Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hello My Family and Friends, 

So I’m kind of freaking out because today is my LAST pday. 

I never thought the end would come! 

Since there are 3 of us in our zone who are finishing, we did another Motu activity and so that was fun. We went and played volleyball, and Soeur Falesii went fishing a little bit! We found a good spot where there was a fallen tree trunk so we sat down and fished right there on the beach but we (by we I mean I ha ha) only caught 2 little fish before we tried to find another spot where there were bigger fish right on the shore and we failed. Ha ha, guess I’ll have to try again after the mission when we can go out in the water. 

Zone Activity at the Motu!

Our zone! 

This past week was AWESOME and super busy. We taught almost 40 lessons this past week which brings back flash backs to when I left Papara almost a year ago. The work was really hopping in Papara (and still is!!) We have a lot of new investigators and SO much potential which is kind of a bummer that I'll only be here for another week!! Remember our miracle family, Suzanne and Boniface? Well the adversary REALLY got them this past weekend but Boniface is determined to be baptized this coming Sunday morning and Suzanne said she would tell us in the week if she was going to be baptized as well. We're still on edge because I really hope that she decides to be baptized with her husband but overall I know that she will be baptized, even if it’s not this coming Sunday. She has a WHOLE lot of opposition coming from the RLDS church because she’s a leader and they didn’t accept her decision to be baptized. We encouraged them to keep going and that the opposition is only normal because they are on the point of making the greatest decision for their family. We have shared with them Matthew 16:19 ( and D&C 22 ( to help her understand that nothing holds her back from being baptized because when she will be baptized with priesthood authority, it will be sealed not only on the earth but also in heaven. Fingers crossed and lots of prayers that her answer will be yes for this Sunday. 

Another miracle we saw was with a part member family that we ate with on Wednesday. We ate a traditional Tahitian meal and we were talking with this family where two of the kids (and their spouses) are members but their parents are not (they’re Adventist) and it went so well! We shared a message before leaving and when the Dad was sharing his thoughts he said, "I want to thank y'all for always coming to teach my kids and for everything that y'all do and after all these years I don’t know why, but no one has ever come to teach me!" It’s been like 7 years since his kids have joined the church so we kind of laughed and told him that it was not a problem, we would come to teach him. One of the coolest miracles on my mission because he is very active in his church. 

Well it looks like this will be my last email. I want to thank all y'all for all of the support and for all of the prayers that were offered for me. I really did the see the tender mercies of the Lord and SO many miracles, I can never even type them all out on Pday. I learned a WHOLE lot about myself but the most important thing I learned is that God lives and that because he loves us, He sent His son to die for us. This restored gospel that we have is literally the path to receiving eternal life. I can't even say how grateful I am for the opportunity that I have had to share it here in French Polynesia. Good thing my mission isn’t quite finished yet, but that's just what I wanted to share in my last email home. 

I love y'all and I will see y'all really soon. 

CRABS at the Tiatia's house. They still freak me out.  

My favorite little boys- Ariihei, Terehau, and Moeava (the kids at Suzanne and Boniface) They make me laugh. 

YUMMMM Ma'a Tahiti (Tahitian food) hahahaha I promise that it actually tastes soooo good.  

Lots of Love, 

Soeur Rachel Taylor 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bonjour Ma Famille! 

We are doing SO great here in Avera. 


I seriously am so grateful to be here because we see so many miracles in the lives of our investigators and the people we meet. Suzanne and Boniface are progressing SOOOO well. Last week, when we taught the Word of Wisdom, Suzanne said she didn’t know that coffee was on the list of things that aren't good for our body to consume. She drinks it every day to help her at work, but when we committed her to live the Word of Wisdom ( she said yes right away. We did a follow-up this past weekend and she said that she drank her Milo (hot chocolate) every day and when they ran out of Milo, she drank sweetened water. I was just like wow- that's what you call someone who understands the importance of the commandments. Suzanne hasn’t officially announced to us that she is going to be baptized the 15th with her husband, but when we committed her this past weekend, she said that she really wants to. It’s just hard with her family and the church (remember she's a leader in the RLDS church). She was going to have a meeting with them but when we did our lesson on Saturday, she said she didn’t go and decided that it didn’t matter what they said, she was going to keep going forward because she felt that it was right. I don’t think I've ever met someone with greater faith. She's more of an example for us than we are for her, that's for sure. 

Other than that, we had our Couples Night this past week and it went soooo well! We had three different workshops and then we had activities after. Everyone loved it and even though we had more members there than investigators, it really motivated the members to invite their friends for the next activity. So that was a plus. 
Part of the evening was our little photo booth- lol, "For thy Maker is thine husband...." (Isaiah 54:5) 

Saturday, we had the STLS come and do splits with us which was WAY fun and I learned so much. 

We worked hard and found so many new potential investigators and we fixed Hereiti's baptism for the 15th as well! Do y'all remember Hereiti? She's our age and she hasn’t really been progressing until this past week. Actually, she was progressing when we fixed her baptism for December but after some trials, she was no longer progressing and now, its sure. She stopped smoking and is really motivated to be baptized because she got her answer that the church was true. So we are working with her and I hope that she will continue to progress until her baptism. 

Other than that, I’m doing great! Everyone keeps reminding me that I have so little time left so that's weird because it still feels like I have forever here!  
The Moutham family with their ADORABLE little girl,

Suzanne and Boniface's house! Cool huh? It’s on the water! It’s so windy and we LOVE doing lessons there :) 
Ariihei and Terehau! These kids are my favorite.  

Hope y'all are doing well! Love y'all! 

Soeur Taylor 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hello my family and friends, 

So this week will be short- I'm doing great! 
I had to figure out my application for BYU again today so that was weird. The end still seems so far in my mind so I know that it will be hard when my last few weeks here are gone. 

This past week was interesting because the work was totally dead during the week but we were super busy this past weekend. Nobody wants to see us from Tuesday-Thursday but everybody wants to see us the weekend. It was great, but we are going to have to change something this week so that doesnt happen again. We ended up doing a lot of reactivation and going to visit former investigators or other potential investigators. It was good- but this week will definitely be better. 

Our miracle family is doing so great. Boniface (the father) is so motivated and he decided that he wanted to be baptized on the 15th of February at 6:00 in the morning instead of the 14th so we'll have another early morning baptism like we did with Linda when I was in Mahina. We're working with his wife Suzanne who is still waiting for an answer. Boniface prefers speaking in French, but Suzanne prefers speaking in Tahitian so our lessons are so mixed up with the two languages and it’s really great because it’s been awhile since we've had progressing investigators in Tahitian. We had quite a few powerful lessons this past week and I just know that Suzanne knows that it’s true. She just hesitates a little bit. Over all, they're both really motivated to change and it's always very touching to see and feel this desire. Their son Ariihei really progressed too and then yesterday, when we had our lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he was totally tuned out and we went over what Faith and Repentance was like 5 times. Oh the joys of teaching kids sometimes :) We made him a little notebook with pictures and all the summaries of the lessons to study because they aren't in Avera during the week, only the weekend. Hopefully that helps him and he will be ready too for the 15th with his parents. 

Another one of our great investigators is Haoani. He's 16 and his parents were both members but I’m pretty sure his mother is excommunicated and his dad is inactive and he lives with his mom and grandparents who are all Jehovah Witnesses. When we started the lessons, we gave him a Book of Mormon that he started reading but he told us that he can’t find it anywhere now! He thinks that his family threw it away and so when Mamie Tiatia gave him another one, we told him to always keep it in his bag and to not leave it at the house. He agreed and when we committed him for baptism, he said he would pray and ask God. It was a sweet experience and he's definitely somebody prepared. 

We found a new investigator as well who is French and the first time we met her she said that it was no problem for us to come back because it’s been 3 weeks since she started praying and everything has been going so well in her life! That made me smile so much and so now, we've started teaching her and she's very willing to learn and do what God wants her to do. (PS this is very rare because most French people here don’t even give us a chance to invite them to take the lessons. They just say no right away. (Ha, I only think of my best friend Jordan who served in France)

Other than that, our converts are doing really well.  Vahinetua is being such a great missionary right now with all of her Protestant family. She's really changed and that makes me so happy. 

I hope y'all have a great week- I love y'all!! 

Soeur Taylor 
I didn't really take pictures this past week. This is just a pretty sunset when we had our sport activity this past week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bonjour, bonjour tout le monde! 

This week was one of the best weeks of my mission! 

First of all, let me just say how grateful I am to have such a great mission president. President Bize really is one of the greatest people I've ever met. So last week, in his letter to everyone, he said that two elders (who finish at the same time as I do) challenged each other to finish off their missions with 10 baptisms. President then asked if anyone else was willing to join in on the challenge. I didn't think much about it until President called us on Tuesday and asked me personally why I didn't reply joining in on the challenge? I told President that we already baptized everybody in December and that we were starting over from zero because of the slump from the holidays. He then proceeded to basically give me a pep talk, saying that if anyone could do it, we could because of the success we had in December and because we were among the best and a whole bunch of nice compliments. His goal was basically to motivate a missionary who is finishing soon and what can I say, IT WORKED. We both committed to join in on the challenge and even if we don’t make it to 10 baptisms, our biggest goal is just to be able to fix 10 baptism dates. 

We are working with our miracle family right now for the middle of February and we actually do have a whole lot of other potentials for March and the end of February so thanks to our wonderful mission president, we are motivated and ready to see some miracles. 

After all that, we had our zone conference on Friday which REALLY helped us as well because we realized that we are a little weaker with our commitments. One thing President said that really stuck with me was that I had a lot of time left. I was like, “you're right, I do!” 

Overall I have really been feeling a fullness of joy through missionary work. This Saturday is the baptism of Heiti Tauhiro! Remember the Tauhiro family? Well they are progressing incredibly well to be sealed in the temple next month and their daughter who is turning 8 will be baptized on Saturday. I really was hoping to be there but well, being on a different island makes things complicated. 

Other than that, Sunday was the 1-year mark for our miracle baptism, Torea Mendelsohn who is married and waiting for his first child who will be born next month. He married a member and they are preparing as well to be sealed in the temple. And yesterday, I found out that Nuihau got his mission call!!! Remember Nuihau? Well he got his mission call to serve here in French Polynesia and he starts at the end of March. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to hear so much good news from all my converts that got baptized. 

We have quite a few investigators that have miraculously been progressing and so I really hope that I will be able to be here to see some of them get baptized. We shall see :) 

I hope to share more experiences next week, but that’s it for me this week. 

This morning we went on a hike to get an AWESOME view of Raiatea, Tahaa, and even Bora Bora in the distance. It was great.  

The Tiatia couple!! They finished their mission serving in Avera with us and they are incredible. It is a JOY serving with them

RAIN. Saturday is a huge day for us because so many of our investigators can't see us much in the week so of course it decides to pour ALL day. We had fun on our bikes. ha ha.

Cows on the trail. lol

We had to go through a huge mud patch.

I hope y'all are doing well- love y'all!! 

Soeur Taylor 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Ia Ora Na Tatou! 

So first of all, I am a little ecstatic because while we were anxiously waiting for the assistants to call for transfers this past weekend, they never did! So we didn't get affected by the transfer and Soeur Falesii will end up being my last companion. I’m happy. 

Second of all, after WEEKS of searching and working to find new investigators, we finally did this past week! We had 6 new investigators, 3 of which are a family that was a reference by a family in our ward and is prepared like no other family that I've ever met. We had our first lesson this past weekend and at the end, I felt strongly that we needed to commit them to be baptized. Well as he was sharing his thoughts at the end of the lesson, he ended up telling us that he knows that by July, they'll be baptized. They already committed themselves for baptism. Can you talk about GOLDEN investigators?! We bore testimony and I know that when they find out that it really is the true church of Jesus Christ, they won’t wait until July to be baptized. The wife is actually a deacon in the RLDS church which is a big deal, but as she was sharing her thoughts as well, it was pretty evident that she knew that it was true. She said, "As a deacon, normally I should be serving God. But I feel like I’m only serving man. It just doesn't feel right." She reads a whole lot the Bible and I can just feel that she really is searching for the peace in knowing the truth. At the same time, it is pretty hard for her as well because she is in this position of leadership. All in all, we felt so blessed to find this family with 3 kids. The oldest, who is 11 years old, will take the lessons with us starting this week. This family has a lot of potential so we're excited for them. 

With the New Year, we worked with our Ward Mission Leader during our Coordination meeting to develop a Ward Mission Plan for this year and while we were looking at our ward, we called up the assistants to find out how many baptisms our ward had during the past couple of years. We found out that in 2012, we had 2 baptisms. In 2013, we had 5 baptisms. And in 2014, we had 15 baptisms in the ward. That means that the number of baptisms TRIPLED between 2013 and 2014. Talk about hastening the work. 

So with those numbers, we set the goal of 25 baptisms for the ward this year and we had a good ward council yesterday about how we were going to make that happen. Ward councils are not always easy as missionaries, but if we're not there to motivate the members, who will? 

I’m still freaking out a little bit because Soeur Aniel, my first companion, is finishing her mission tomorrow! I feel like my mission is making a full circle because we ended up being in sectors right next to each other and I got to see her until the end just like in the beginning. It's a little weird that she's finishing now and I’m finishing later, but I'm really happy for her. 

Another reason why my mission is taking a full circle is because I got food poisoning yesterday, just like when I first got here. I’m praying that that's the end of it and that that won't continue, but I’m sure it won’t. 

Other than that, I’m doing really well. It’s been nice and sunny lately (and really hot at the same time) but I always feel like the sun is better than the rain because of the fact that we're always on bikes. 

Our Family Home Evening with SO many people! (and so many investigators)  

Trying to find our investigator in the jungle of Raiatea haha- we found a super pretty river which was cool  

Our district! Last district meeting with Sr Aniel and Elder Temake. 

Charlotte the pig! Hahaha a lot of people have pigs here- it makes me laugh. 

Hope y'all have a great week, Ua here vau ia outou! (I love y'all!) 

Tuahine Taylor 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bonjour bonjour ma famille, 

This week was definitely an interesting one! Because it’s the holidays, pretty much ALL of our investigators either went on vacation or disappeared so we were left with a pretty much blank week and no lessons! So what did we do? 

Tuesday we set out and did a whole day of contacting! The only parts of our sector that we haven't contacted yet were the parts where there are huge gates in front of the houses (like at Mahina) and so it’s a little more difficult to contact in these parts of our sector. The people are usually French or rich foreigners so they usually don’t believe in God or even come to the gate to tell us that they're not interested so needless to say, we came out with zero potential investigators. 

Wednesday, we didn't want to repeat the results from Tuesday so we decided to be smarter. We took our member listing and went through to see who were active members, who were inactive members, and who were the people that we didn’t know. We went and got help from a couple of members and the whole rest of the week we did our search and found more partial member families and inactive families and it was so great! When we were going around searching for these people, we ended up meeting more potential investigators during the process so that's when I knew that we were doing what God wanted us to do. We still have more names to find, but it was great because at least we did something more effective. 

Our New Years was pretty boring. We went to bed by 10:30 (like normal) and didn’t do anything special. We just had a big dinner with our neighbor, Julia. Soeur Falesii told me that she was awakened at midnight by some fireworks that went off but I was knocked out and didn’t wake up until the next morning. Ha ha, like every night.  I sleep like a rock because I am always so wiped after every day. I think it’s partially the lasting effects from Chikungunya too. Other than that I’m doing well. I just still have pain in my feet and hands which I hope will go away soon.

New Year’s Dinner

Saturday, we both got packages and letters and it was like the most exciting thing ever! We have SOOOOOO much chocolate and junk now. Thank you Cypress Ward and Falesii family! 
I loved the package from the youth from Cypress Ward but I was kind of freaking out with the pictures because everybody looks so old! But thank you, thank you, thank you Cypress Ward for sending the package. It made us super happy. (Emma I got your letter too :)

So much candy!

 So I started my last planner yesterday. I'm kind of freaking out about that- only 6 weeks left! Transfer calls are this week so maybe we'll be affected by it. We're sad about that. Soeur Aniel is finishing next Tuesday and she flies to Tahiti (from Raiatea) on Sunday so that is kind of freaking me out too! My first companion is going home! So crazy. 

All in all, this week was a good one. I learned a lot about the worth of souls. We went out to search for the lost sheep in Christ's flock because we found a few families that haven’t been visited in over 20 or so years and that broke my heart a little bit. With one family we went to go see, there was a HUGE gate in front of their house and we could not see if they were home. So what did we do? Soeur Falesii gave me a boost and I grabbed the top of the gate to see if anyone was home. We ended up dying of laughter because we weren’t too successful but in the end, he came out! It was a partial member family and it was the member that came out to talk to us. We pulled it together right when he opened the gate so that was good and there is a lot of potential with him and his family there so we are happy. 

Hereiti! I don't know if I've ever shared her story. She was the one that asked us if Heavenly Father would change her life. She was fixed to be baptized at the end of this month but now she is most likely moving to Tahiti so she'll have to continue with the missionaries in Tahiti! I didn't realize how tall she was until I saw this picture, ha ha.  

This picture has a story- we got all ready to leave one day and then out of NOWHERE it starts POURING down rain. We were like what the heck? We didn't want to leave and go in the thick rain because then we would be soaked the whole day and that wouldn't be good. So we sat down for a few minutes and I said a prayer. I didn't know that Soeur Falesii was praying at the same time but when I was saying my prayer, little by little I heard the rain diminish until finally, it stopped all together! We smiled, grabbed our helmets, and headed off! It didn't rain hard the rest of the day. God answers prayers. 

The view when we went up this hill to contact

 BIBU! Our DMP's dog that is everywhere! He's hilarious.

Her name is Mahina! Haha she is a cute little girl that lives with some of our eternal investigators. She was sitting on the bench by the road when we came up and stopped for a second because we had to call somebody, so while Soeur Falesii was on the phone, I was teaching Mahina to pray. She was explaining how they went to church and she was embarrassed because she didn't even know how to pray or didn’t know the other kids (she's 5) I have always had a special place in my heart for this little girl so we had a nice chat and I taught her how to pray. She told me that she would pray that night. That was a touching moment for me. 

Thanks for all of y'alls prayers. I love y'all! 

Soeur Taylor 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ia Ora Na e Ia Oaoa outou i teie matahiti api! 
(Hello and Happy New Year (in advance)) 

This past week had its ups and its downs but I was so happy to talk to my family on Christmas. I was happy to see the Christmas tree and Christmas treats because there wasn't a whole lot of that here. It was pretty much like any other day here. 

On Christmas Eve and Christmas, we had fun being Santa and spreading Christmas spirit when we went singing for our investigators and members and giving them either cinnamon rolls or little presents that we pulled together between all of our little toys and stuff that we had accumulated. We really felt the Christmas spirit when we did that so that was nice, so we had a great Christmas.

Spreading Christmas Joy. 

We also had our baptism of our little friend, Walina! She was baptized on her 9th birthday and it was very rewarding to see because it was her Dad who baptized her! When I got to Raiatea, they were inactive and little by little they came back to church. Walina started the lessons and now they're all active and they are preparing to go to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. 

Nothing is better than that for a Christmas present! 

Walina chose me to give the talk on baptism and I talked about how when we first met Walina, she was VERY shy and didn't talk to us at all. We were obligated to talk through her Mom and have her Mom help us out in the lessons. But because Walina committed to take the lessons, little by little our friendship grew and we became good friends. I compared that to when we are baptized and we make a covenant with God. At first, we don’t really know Jesus Christ and our relationship is weak. But when we commit to take upon us the name of Christ, little by little our friendship grows until we become good friends and this friendship is what helps us during our whole entire life. Making Covenants with God is how we come to know God and his Son Jesus Christ. That's why in John 17:3, it explains that that is how we obtain eternal life. 

It was really great to see her baptism but recently we've had such a hard time finding new investigators, we are slowly falling into a big slump with the work here in Avera. With the sickness and the holidays, it's been slow. But that’s okay! This week will be better. Even though everybody rejected us this past weekend, I know that we will find those who are ready to accept this gospel. 

We were really tried this past weekend but that's just how it is in our life. We need trials in order to strengthen us. And thank goodness for that as well. 

Thank y'all for all of the prayers- I love y'all! 

Have a great week and a good New Year! 

This picture with Walina blowing out her candle makes me laugh so hard because of her little sister- Apetahi in the picture. Not sure whats she is doing but I got a good laugh with that picture.

Tuahine Taylor