I wrote this blog quite a while ago but with conference this weekend I thought it appropriate to post.
When we first arrived at our new home in Mapusaga Fou, our neighboors came and introduced themselves. They offered us some fresh fruit and told us about the village. They also warned us about the missionaries that come around regularly and knock on your door. We laughed and said, "ya, we know all about those guys, we went on missions too." They smiled and said "ah, your mormon too."
We soon learned that our palagi neighboors were Bahai which is another world wide religion. Over a beautiful dinner they told us about Bahai holidays and beliefs, traditions and holy writ. They already seemed to know a lot about Mormon beliefs and insisted it was Herbal tea before we could ask.
Yesterday they invited us to a prayer meeting to pray for the people of Japan. We went to their home where there were four large pots of food cooking on the stove. Over a dozen people arrived with food in hand to join our faith in behalf of our brothers and sisters in Japan.
Our nighboor, Dave, thanked us all for coming and spoke of the honor it was to his home to have us there. He invited another mormon to offer the opening prayer, which he said in Tongan. After the prayer, this Tongan man and his family broke into a georgeous rendition of "love at home" in tongan with the children singing parts and everything.
After an international dinner, Dave explained that Bahais recite written prayers from their prayer book. After another beautiful song He invited us all to take turns saying a prayer, either from the prayer book or in whatever manner we wished. Matthew started and we went around the circle praying for the people of Japan. What a great spirit was felt in that room. We heard mormon prayers and bahai prayers. Prayers in english, Tongan, and Samoan. This divers group of people, men, women, children, were all united in faith.
We then listened as the Tongan families sang a worship song in Samoan to close the gathering. Truly, when 2 or more are gathered in the name of the Lord, there spirit can be felt. It was a great evening to raise our voices and our faith to help our brothers and sisters who need help. After everyone else had left, Dave invited us to the Bahai new years celebration that his congrigation was having the next day.
This man has been such an example of faith to me. Willing to and wanting to reach out to others of different faiths and celebrating the common ground of worship and praise. Using faith to help others in their time of need, and not hesitating to call on the faith of others. Thank you Dave for teaching me about faith and how to use it, live it, and share it.