It was after my year-12 school exams in 2017 when I tried to move away from Heavenly Father.
A few years earlier, as an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I had earnestly prayed for a baby brother. Heavenly Father heard and granted me that prayer, but when he was delivered, my brother was stillborn. I was completely heartbroken.
I felt that no matter what I offered to Heavenly Father it was never enough. Then another huge trial affected me. In 2018 my Appa (dad) had a problem with his job and he had to return to Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea, where we live. I clearly remember I told Heavenly Father: “That's it . . . I'm done . . . first, you took away my only brother, now what are you doing to me? Just don't talk to me . . . I don't know if you can hear me . . . but if you don't . . . that's okay.”
I knew I needed Him, but I didn't want to admit it, even though I was faithful in my personal prayers and reading my Book of Mormon, I thought it wasn't enough! It took me four months from the time I graduated from high school, to attend Institute for the first time. However, I didn't want Heavenly Father to help me with anything. I would think, 'Maybe He's tired'.
One Saturday, after Institute class, I felt someone calling me to go into the chapel area. At first, I thought I was being silly, but I slowly walked into the chapel and stood at the pulpit. I started baring my testimony even though no one was in the room. I ended up praying and asking Heavenly Father, “Please tell me, show me what I need, I know there's a very big, empty space in me. I know I need ‘it!’ Whatever it is! I need it! Please, I need an answer! But if you can't hear me now, that's okay.”
As soon as I ended my prayer, two missionaries, Elder Tauiliili and Elder Laufiso, unexpectedly walked into the chapel. I didn't want to talk to them, but I knew they were the answer to my prayer. So, I talked to the missionaries and told them about what I was going through. They said this one thing to me: 'Heavenly Father is waiting for you'.
I knew at that moment how much I meant to Heavenly Father. How could someone, above the Prime Minister and Queen wait for me? I wanted to talk to Heavenly Father and apologize for pushing Him away.
Four days later, my family and I were helping my younger sister, Jamuna, with her art project. We were working on the veranda when we heard three consecutive warning gunshots just 20 metres from our house.
Three seconds later, the fourth bullet was shot directly at my house. The bullet travelled a few centimetres above the fence of our yard, and at half a metre from the edge of my house and bullet hit me...in the head! Just behind my right ear! My family believed that someone was going to die that night; they thought I was lost.
For a few seconds, I was stunned and didn't realise what had happened to me. Then I saw the compressed bullet that had fallen to the ground in front of me. I remember looking down thinking that I was already dead and that my body had fallen.
But nothing happened.
I felt my head expecting to find blood coming from a wound. My mom grabbed me before she fell in fear. She was scared I would die. But to our surprise, there was nothing! Not a scratch or any sign of injury. I was confused. Why am I still alive? But deep down in my heart, I knew that God needed me in this world. I knew that I have an important work to do. It was at that moment I realised how much I needed to go and serve my mission.
Although my head never even had a bruise from the bullet, I received a comfort blessing from two dedicated missionaries.
As I drew closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ over time, I came to love them with all my heart.
Finally, I realised that what I was missing was an understanding of the love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father have for me. Having this firm knowledge, my heart changed a lot and so did my family.
The Lord had changed my life and I began doing ministry work where I could. Then I started teaching Seminary in Nine Mile Branch in the Gerehu Papua New Guinea District.
Now, I'll be leaving for my mission and things are looking great for my Appa's (dad) job. I know the Lord has a plan for each of us, we just need to put our trust in Him. The Lord will preserve, to help Him bring to pass the eternal life of men. He loves us, He needs us to help gather Israel on both sides of the veil, and He is always waiting for us to talk to Him.
At the Provo Missionary Training Centre (MTC) I will learn Cebuano, which is an Austronesian language, so I can serve a full-time mission in the Cebu Mission in the Philippines.