Thursday, November 27, 2014

Just Know that I Love You and Am Doing Well

Hi everyone! This has been a crazy week, and I have really not too much time to write. :( Found about 20 minutes this morning to say hello.


Monday we were taking care of the 12 finishing missionaries, and have been working on the transfer ever since. We've gotten 2 lessons taught this week so far, and have really been doing lots of organizing for the new missionaries, and did transfer calls yesterday all morning. I've been to the airport like 6 times in the last 4 days, and soon the new missionaries will be here. Gotta get all that organized.

Sorry I don't really have time to write a real e-mail about this week. I am SO thankful for all your letters and Emails! This was an awesome email week !! I LOVED the pictures Zephne, and Cherise!

Thanks for all your support and love. Sorry I couldn't write back to all the emails individually. Just know that I love you and that I am doing well.

Next p-day might be a bit tight on time too, but I will try and write a good e-mail. Having no p-day makes you realize how nice p-day is :P

I am sending some pics from this week.

Heavenly Father has been helping me out as the responsibility is getting bigger. Thanks for you prayers and your love. I LOVE YOU!!!

Transfer last night

Our office missionary Elder Anderson at the BBQ for the missionaries' last meal

Transfer last night

Monday, November 24, 2014

Long Day, Short Message

Hey Mom & Dad! Long day. I will write tomorrow (or another weekday).

Sorry, for the delay : P

Love you!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Old Ship Zion

Hi all!

This week has been a good week.

So, I wrote a TON last week. I doubt I will write so much today. I have been WAY faster typing here than in my other sectors, and I am finally re-trained to use the QWERTY keyboard. I got used to the goofy French one, and then here, we do so much typing on English keyboards that I have lost the french keyboard ability.

Seeing as I have sent no physical letters for this last transfer, I will try and get one written to send soon. Sorry...

How are you all!? I am happy to hear from you! Thanks for being my family, and for supporting and helping me. I hope that you all pass a good Thanksgiving! (next week?) and that you have some good times together. I miss you, and the turkey, and clam chowder; but I know that I am doing good here, and that I will see you all in summer. I am enjoying the 80+ weather, and the beautiful green-ness here. It's like the garden of Eden. Seriously though.

This week started with some small conferences. We did half of the mission one day, and the other half the next day. Elder Taylor (not my companion, but an area medical missionary) came, and talked to the mission about stress management, and how to communicate positively. It was a great training, and we had the chance to meet him, and to have him come to our monthly leadership counsel, to talk about Christ-like leadership. It was a good meeting.

This week we also had some good meetings with President, and we were able to do a split with the zone leaders of Raiatea. It was cool. I was able to work with my old companion Elder Teihotu, and we actually had a good time. I was really happy that it was a positive experience, and that he enjoyed it too. I'll send a picture of that. The other guy in the picture is my buddy from the MTC, Elder Gouttin. He's from France.

Friday, we picked up Elder White, from Provo, to be my next companion. Elder Taylor, who's been in the office since like February, will be going to Takaroa (the Tuamotu's) this Tuesday, and now it'll be Elder White and myself holdin' the fort down. :P I will miss Elder Taylor, but I know that he will finish strong at Takaroa! He's got about 3 months left. I'll send a picture of us with Elder White. He is a great guy.

This weekend, we had a baptism (shout hooray!). Actually, we had two baptisms, and a marriage. Yeah. It was a loaded week for the ward, and to add on top of that, a member of our ward died, and we had the funeral Thursday. Friday was marriage number one, and Saturday was marriage two, with two baptisms afterwards. I am really blown away by the ward in which I serve. It's about half or two thirds of the size of the old Highland 3rd ward, but the members here magnify the calls, and do so much for each other, and for the missionary work. It is a FUNCTIONAL ward, and I love our bishop. I think this is probably the biggest ward in which I will ever serve.
The baptisms went well, and I confirmed the young man. It was a good service, and I even got to give a talk about the Holy Ghost at the service. While at the service, and later, while listening to another missionary concert the members sang, I thought about how lucky I am to be a member of the THE true church; the church of Jesus Christ. How cool is that!? Right!? I remember Elder Ballard's talk about staying in the ''old ship Zion'' and how important Brigham Young said it is to STAY in the boat. I never want to leave the old ship Zion, and I can't stop thinking about how good the old ship Zion has been to me. Oh how lucky we are to be in THE true church, to have all the never ending blessings that are found within. How lucky I am to have a family centered on Jesus and His teachings, to have a group of kind Christian people with whom to worship, to have been taught by kind volunteer teachers at the Sunday school, to have studied with President Campbell at the seminary building, to have been called on a mission, and to be able to help others find joy and make it back to Father. I will never leave this old ship Zion.

Thanks Mom and Dad for all that you do! I love you, and I look up to you! This was a good week. Your son is doing fine, and he loves you! Thank you for all your prayers, your love, and your help. I hope and pray that you are well, and that Heavenly Father will keep looking out for you! I love you!

Elder Teihotu, Gouttin and I at the airport. They flew in to come to our leadership meeting.

Elder White's first Sunday night call-in report.

The Baptism

One of the marriages. The town hall here is REALY NICE! it is one of the cleanest, coolest buildings I've seen here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Could Not Be in a Better Place

Hi everyone! Early emails this week.

Thanks for all the mail, and emails :D. I really am spoiled with all the letters you send. Thanks bunches :D

I am doing well, and I am happy. I could not be in a better place right now, and I know that my mission has been the best thing for me so far. I am sooo happy to be a missionary!

This week has been great. So, before my mission, and earlier in my mission, I always saw the week updates that missionaries sent home, and I thought the format was weird. This day I did XYZ, Tuesday XYZ, and so on for the week. But now, I get it 100%.... If the day -by-day thing bothers you, please lemme know, and I will try and write differently.

Here are some experiences from this week:

Monday, after writing you all, we got to go to the chapel I served at in Heiri, and play soccer, and basketball with the elders in the zone. I got to talk to elder Christensen, elder Randal, and some other mission friends. It was great, and my old companion E Christensen and I got to talk about the old sector, and about Hitiaa (my last sector, where he served about a year ago). Elder Christensen will finish here in just a few weeks, :/ and I will miss the guy. He has been a great friend, and was an excellent companion during a time of learning on my mission. It is weird seeing all my buddies finish. Elder Clark will finish with him too. I love those guys. Monday night, we had a FHE with a member family. The husband is a highcouncilman, and his wife is our ward's primary president.

Tuesday we had several meetings the morning, then we were able to do some work in the sector later. Same with Wednesday. We taught one lesson Wednesday that was soooo different. We taught a woman who is from Raivavae (an island in the Australes, south of Tahiti near Tubuai where E Pratt first arrived) On the island of Raivavae, normal Tahitian isn't really spoken. The dialect there is pretty much Tahitian, but instead of R's they say G's..... it is so weird. Normal Tahitian does not have any G sound, but their crazy island dialect has no R's. So, for example: RAI-VA-VAE (ray va vay) becomes GAI-VA-VAE (gay va vay) trying not to laugh.... the verb 'To speak' - PARAU, become PAGAU (pah gauh) and 'thank you' - MAURURU (mau - roo-roo) becomes MAUGUGU (mah goo goo) :P
The lady speaks french (but prefers Gay va vay) and she gets Tahitian. 

 So I am struggling to comprehend anything being said, and on top of it, MUSIC

We taught the lesson in front of her house, and her neighbor began BOOMING crazy dub step rap, trash music. It was so loud. Like more loud than the theater speakers. SO LOUD. It was straight up LOUD.

And then it starts raining.

I got almost nothing during the beginning of the lesson, and while I was thinking about how much we should find another spot to teach, my companion was teaching like a champ. We asked the guy to turn it down, and he wouldn't, and so we just kept teaching. It turns out that the spirit came, my companion taught really well, and the woman had some questions answered. Wow. Really a funny, crazy lesson, and leaving it I was just speechless. It was cGazy, Gight? It's Geally diffeGent tGying to undeGstand, let alone talk without the letteG R, i mean G.... :P
Heavenly father looks out for us, and I sure felt happy that we kept teaching. I will never forget that lesson.

Thursday morning, we got to do a service project, and paint for our Primary president's family. It was a great project, with the Zone leaders who live with us, (elder Jessop and elder Tumarae). After the project, we had crepes, and we had pancakes! :D We spent the rest of the day with president. The morning we did some study with him and then for about 5 or 6 hours, we worked on the transfer. Sister Bize made BURRITOS!!! :D
Thursday night, we got to do a Family Night with some of our investigators

Wednesday, we found out that Elder Pearson, who was coming down for the Stake Conference of Papeete, had a few hours free, and wanted to talk to the missionaries. So, we organized a quick mission conference Friday morning, and we got to hear him talk for 2 hours! He talked about the holy ghost, and it was really amazing. It's the 3rd time I have gotten to see him in the mission, and every time I learn more and more. We're pretty lucky in the mission that everyone can be gathered within an hour or so (except the companionships in the islands, who watch by Internet), and we can do these types of conferences. It has really been a treat.

Saturday, we got to hear him again during the night sessions of Stake Conference. Elder Taylor and I got to go with President, and the talks that night were great. President even gave a talk, and it was awesome. He had the whole crowd laughing, and had all of their attention. He really is a great speaker, and has the honor and respect of the members and missionaries here. He reminds me of Dad when he gives talks. Very enthusiastic, and makes good points.

Sunday was another session of conference, and they we had the chance to have a dinner with President, and Elder and Sister Taylor of NZ (not to be confused with my companion Elder Taylor) They came down to talk about the health of missionaries in the mission. They have a special call, and tour the pacific area, and E Taylor is in charge of the mental health of missionaries. He is here to talk about stress, and will give some presentations in the next few days. Right after their plane got here, we took them to a concert! The stakes here, under the direction of Elder Tarati (our local 70), are doing a missionary choir. The members are singing a concert, with the purpose of inviting investigators and non members, and then inviting them to come to church, and take lessons. It was an amazing concert, and holly cow, they sang sooo well. It was almost professional, with all the best singers from Tahiti, and some really special arraignments. I love music, and being able to hear it was just like a spiritual re-charge for me. And, lucky me, I will be able to go again, seeing as my companion's testimony is on the program :D

I'll send a pic of the concert, and dinner last night.

I'm going to send some pictures now, and then I will write a bit more later if I have time.

Anyways, that is a large summary of this week. I hope you liked the Gay va vay story :P I sure did

Have a good week all, and thanks for the support. I look up to you, and I am proud of you, my family. We have an ETERNAL unit! We are an Eternal Family! MANUIA! (success!)

I love you!
Have a good week!

B-Ball Last P-Day

Service Project Thursday

Our ward's youth, at Stake Conference :D

Us at the concert last night

Dinner Last night :D Sister Warner (the mission nurse) made BBQ chicken and POTATOES!! Also in the picture are President and Sister TEFAN (Temple President!) I got to sit next to them and talk with President Tefan. They are great people :D

Monday, November 3, 2014

This Week Has Been a Whirlwind

This week has been a whirlwind. Things are going by really fast.

Tuesday was a very special day. My old WML from Vairao, who was baptized by my companion, Elder Taylor a few months before, went to the temple! We got to accompany him and his wife, and elder Taylor was his escort :) It was a cool day, and we were there for their own endowments, and for their sealing. It was the first sealing I have ever seen, and I really thought it was a simple, beautiful ordinance. In the temple, I think I was the most awake and captive of the teachings, that I have ever been in my life, except for maybe the first time. I really appreciated the chance to go, and I really remembered why I love the temple. I felt a strong feeling of closeness to my Heavenly Father, and I had images in my mind of leaving the pre-earth life. How important Christ's role is for us, and our Father had HUGE trust in Him and in us. He trusted Him because all the people he was sending down, to forget, would be completely lost without him, and he trusts us to find his son, and to use his Atonement to get back. I thought about the conversations we had as I left for my mission, and I think about the conversations we must have had with Father, right before leaving his presence. It was just a special trip to the temple. And it was a tender mercy, that before Mom had her scope, I got to put her name in the temple :)

Wednesday, Elder Taylor and I taught some lessons, then we did a split with the Zone Leaders of PAEA. I was with elder White, from Provo, and Elder Taylor was with his companion. E White is a super great missionary, and I had a good time with him. We had a ward missionary coordination meeting, and we did some lessons together. Wednesday night, we made what has to be the highest cholesterol meal I have ever made. Spaghetti and sauce, but with TONS of cheese in the sauce. It turned out really yummy, like a hot, sticky, noodlely lasagna. It was really good. Elder White and I had fun, and in meeting him more, I found out he loves fishing and hunting too. Had a good time, and learned from him.

Thursday, we ended the split so that Elder Taylor and I could have a meeting with president. It was a good meeting, and we had dinner with them. President whipped up some crepes, and we had crepes and jam. We were all surprised by the quality of the crepes, including sr Bize, and we chuckled a bit about that. President has such a dynamic personality, and makes people laugh so easily. I am so lucky to learn from them, and spend so much time with them. They are such good people.

Friday, was Halloween. :P We had the coolest zone meeting ever. My companion gave a training, involving a blindfold, a maze of chairs in the RS room, and pin the tail on the donkey. It was a great object lesson, and we had lots of fun, and then all felt the spirit and were all involved as the spiritual part was shared. We had a great day of lessons, and doing office chores. Then at the end of the day, we ate with a member family, and had McD's pumpkin pies for dessert....! :D That was a great surprise. :P One of the perks about being in the city.

Saturday we had a baptism, a young woman in our ward, and a young boy. The parents of the boy were re-activated, so that his dad could baptize him. It was really a sweet ceremony.

Sunday, we picked President up from the airport, and did some lessons, before going to the temple garden concert (it rained so the moved the concert into our chapel). We had a good day.

That's about all for this week. I will send a few pictures. In all, it was a great week, and I am very happy to be here. I will miss being a missionary, and I will miss Tahiti. Good thing I still have 9 months here! Gotta use EVERY minute of it, like Elder Gifford told us in his meetings.

I love you so much!!! Thanks for everything, and have a good week my family! I'm gonna go talk at a baptism next door, in the ward of Papeete 2. I love you guys!!!!

Zone Conference

One of Our Baptisms

Our Vairao WML and his wife at the temple right before they got their ordinances. I really liked the light behind the temple. :)