Monday, July 29, 2013

Le prèmiere semaine à le MTC!

IA ORA NA! (ya-rawh-na!)
Ma famille,
I am so happy it's p-day! Monday really is the best p-day because Saturday is more relaxed and we get to exercise for longer in the morning, Sunday is like the best day EVER because you feel the spirit SO much in the meetings and devotionals and talks we get to listen to. So having a monday p-day is like having a long MTC weekend! It's great.
So hopefully, y'all got the letter I sent last thursday with my thoughts on the first day. I'm kind of laughing at my enthusiasm and how positive I was in that letter because the second day of the MTC was definitely the hardest day. That was when we started class and studied for literally the WHOLE day. We sit in class sometimes for like 4 hours at a time and by the end of the day- I am seriously so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I love learning French though! I'm so glad I had some background in it because it's made the transition just a little easier. French is such a BEAUTIFUL language. I memorized our purpose as a missionary in French and am working on the 1st vision and I love it so much because it means just that much more. You have to think about every word you are saying so the spirit is always so strong when I read the first vision in french. The spirit speaks all languages :) But yeah, learning French is definitely very difficult. I know that I am hard on myself a lot because I just want to be fluent SO BAD. We taught our first investigator on Friday and then on Saturday. His name is Vetea (Vay-tay-ah) and he's from Tahiti. He's living in Provo with his aunt and doesn't speak English. It went well, but it was SO scary at first. The most frustrating part for me was that I knew what I wanted to tell him, but I couldn't figure out how to say it in french! A lot of the times, me and Soeur Aniel (my companion) would be saying something, turn to one another and ask each other in French how to say a word. Our lessons were a little rough at times but we could feel the spirit and I think that Vetea was able to understand our testimonies and the gist of what we were saying. I love teaching. It's really challenging, but thank goodness for the spirit! The spirit is the real teacher. I have already felt the power and influence of the gift of tongues, but I know that the spirit is what really touches the hearts of investigators, and especially Vetea. We taught him about Joseph Smith and how to pray. At first, he wouldn't pray because he didn't know how, but at our last lesson, we got him to say the closing prayer! It was so great. We were so happy. Now we just have to get him to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. We teach him tomorrow morning, so we'll see!
My district is SO great! We have 2 other companionships of soeurs and 3 companionships of elders. We're already such great friends and it's fun to be in the classroom with them. I don't have a lot of time today (I'll have to figure out how to type faster, but I'm trying to figure out how to attach pictures. I will send it in another email!
I love y'all!! Dearelder me with what's going on!
Beacoup d'amour,
Soeur Rachel Taylor

These first two are with Sister Udall and Sister Spjut! I am so happy I got to see them!

 SO many books! Both in french and english.
 SIsters in my district! I love them!
 Me and Soeur Aniel after our first lesson. We were so mentally exhausted hahaha
 Matching with Soeur Carter for gym time!

Me with my district. 
 And this is with all of the tahitians! So many of us, I love it!
 At the temple!
 Elder Andrews and I! It's a terrible picture of me butttttt oh well. So glad I got to see him!!
 Also, my tags in French and tahitian :)
 I found Sister Nicholas!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tips for Packing: 1 more week!

The countdown is getting real! I report in just one more week!
After shopping and preparing to leave, I've learned a lot about where to buy stuff and what is best to get. I know I'll be much more knowledgable when I have actually lived in Tahiti and have experienced everything, but I thought I would share anyways for any other sister missionaries going tropical :)

If you have to get the Typhoid vaccine, do NOT get it orally. I called around to the travel clinics, but I couldn't find any with the Typhoid shots in stock. I saw that Walgreens had travel vaccines so I gave them and call and found out they had the oral Typhoid vaccine. It turns out you have to get a prescription, take a pill every other day for 4 doses, take it on an empty stomach, and then swallow with a glass of lukewarm water. SUCH A HASSLE. I'm too forgetful and busy for this stuff! If you can help it, GET THE SHOT.
These were the hardest to find. I wanted some light, comfortable skirts and dresses so this was really hard because I had to be picky with the fabric and length. I hit the jackpot at LOVE that website! Some of the skirts were a little pricey for me, it was worth it. Forever 21 is great too for random great finds. Everyone is different though, so all I can say for finding dresses and skirts is good luck!
I surprised myself and found all of my shoes at Famous Footwear minus my Keens. In Tahiti, missionaries can wear open toed sandals so I got two pairs of sandals, some crocs for when it rains (not the cutest, but practical and comfy!), and then some neutral flats for the MTC. I got the flip flops as a gift for shower shoes and then bought my Keens on Amazon. I LOVE MY KEENS. I totally recommend these shoes for anywhere you serve. They are also referred to as fisherwoman shoes (my best friend Jordan is rocking a fisherwoman shoe tan in France right now). They're a little pricey but SO worth it. They will be great for the MTC and for in Tahiti. 
I love these towels! I've been highly encouraged to get these because they are very absorbent and light. You can find them  here. They're on sale right now! 
I love pictures! I am so excited to fill these as I serve. If I'm not able to print pictures myself, I'll just get my parents to print all the pictures I send home. This is also a great thing to send missionaries too! I just sent some to my missionary who's about to leave the MTC. 
To hopefully combat the inevitable weight gain. I've heard great things about bringing a jump rope and a resistance band is great for working out in your apartment. 
I love baby oil! It's great to apply after showering for dry and sunburned skin. I discovered it this past year while living in Utah. It's a lifesaver, I totally recommend it! 
This pretty much only works for all my Texans out there because there are only HEBs in Texas. They were only $1 and are MAGICAL. They stay on your heel and are super light. I bought like 20. 
These are great! I'm so glad I thought about this. I found these at the dollar spot at Target and they're perfect size for letters. I've already started using it for letters I've gotten from my missionary friends. I'm bringing two though because I'm not sure if one will last me all 18 months. This is great to send to missionaries as well (I sent two to mine in my last package).
Best of luck to all those brave souls still mission shopping- it's hard stuff! Elders have it so easy.