Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Day 13 at the MTC

Ia Ora Na Ma famille!
Man do I love P-days. I can't believe its already been a week! It's gone by so fast but at the same time, it feels like forever ago that I had my last p-day. It SO true how they say that the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. So weird! Today is Day 13 in the MTC. I've been trying to keep track so I don't totally lose all concept of time.
Okay so where do I start? This past tuesday, half of the tahitians went to San Fransisco to get our visas! It was pretty uneventful, but it was cool to visit the outside world for awhile! The other half went on Monday. Dad, I hope you got that picture that this wonderful mom took of us and sent out to all of our parents. I thought you would get it for sure since Mom's phone is off and lost sometimes ;) But so we got up at 1:45 in the morning (YES, 1:45!!) and had to be at the travel office at 2:30 am. After waiting around for awhile, we finally got on a bus to the airport and then our flight left at like 5:30. We got into San Fransisco about 8ish I think and then just at breakfast at this cute little cafe and waited for the French consulate. After we met with the French consulate and got fingerprinted, we went and walked up and down this outdoor mall. There was a farmers market so we tried some of the fruit and bought some good bread from these people selling them at a stand. They were really nice and gave us a deal for his "missionary friends" even though it was only like $1.00. lol. After walking around a little bit, we called our driver and he took us to the airport a little early because the last group had problems with ticketing and apparently it was a big deal, so they told us to go early. Well we got our tickets fine and had like an hour before our flight, but then our flight got delayed. TWICE. We sat in the San Fransisco airport for FOUR HOURS. It was awful. We talked to a few people though, including some members from like Florida, so that was fun. Soeur Naylor was my companion for the day since Soeur Aniel went on Monday, so that was kind of fun. Soeur Taylor and Soeur Naylor. She's so much fun. She and I talked to this like 21 year old who was heading home to Nevada. I asked where in Nevada she lived and she said Henderson! I was like no way, I know some people in Henderson! I asked if she knew the Andrews family (even though it was a LONG shot) but she didn't. I wish I remembered her name but she works for some eco-friendly or green company. I can't remember. But she was really nice and it was fun talking to her.
Another great thing that I have LOVED this past week is that my teacher has been talking a lot of culture with us! Last monday when half our district was in San Fran, she talked culture for like 2 hours. IT WAS AWESOME. She also came to dinner with us and talked culture then too. I love hearing about Tahiti and CAN NOT wait to get there! I already love the people so much.
Here's some of what I learned-
1. Each island is surrounded with a reef and so most islands don't have the picturesque beaches we all see in pictures. A lot of them are rocky and the water comes right up to the land! Who knew? There are lots of pretty clean and beautiful lagoons so that was cool.
2. There are no restrictions on where Elders and Sisters can serve- some just have sisters, some just have elders. They also opened up new islands a few weeks ago so who knows, I could serve anywhere in French Polynesia! But since 75% of the population lives on the main island of Tahiti, I will most likely serve 75% of my mission there.
3. There are fruit trees EVERYWHERE. Bananas, mangos, pineapple, passionfruit- you name it. Its supposedly the BEST fruit in the world too so I'm beyond excited. I don't even care if I have to endure eating raw fish in fermented sea water (a popular dish that natives apparently LOVE to serve you when they find out you haven't had it yet. I can't remember the name... but from what I hear- It's gross).
4. We will be riding bikes everywhere on sketchy roads so that should be fun. She said everyone has a fall at least once because there are crazy ditches on the side of the road that travels all the way around the island of Tahiti. I laughed because I know that for me it'll be like an everyday thing.
5. Our teacher gave a prayer and spoke a little Tahitian for us. Oh my goodness, it's such a beautiful language! I can't wait to learn it! It seems REALLY hard though. On the bright side though, my french is coming easier! I gave my first lesson without notes last week and it was awesome! The gift of tongues is SO real and I'm so incredibly grateful to be blessed with it!
6. I will accumulate like LOADS of leis and seashell leis and black pearls which excites me so much. Fruit, leis, black pearls, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Does it get much better?
One of the hardest things about the schedule we have is not getting sleepy during class! It's a constant struggle. Especially since I lost a lot of sleep traveling to San Fransisco and there is no nap time here at the MTC. Boo. But it was pretty funny last week in class when we were practicing baptismal invitations. My companion, Soeur Aniel, was in the middle of inviting me to be baptized when I had totally fallen asleep on my desk. We were laughing so hard. It's amazing how fast I can fall asleep in our classroom! I'm slowly getting caught on my sleep so that's nice!
This past weekend, I've been battling congestion, a cough, and a sore throat. It's no fun being sick at the MTC! But I got a blessing yesterday and have been feeling SO much better. I think it's just my body trying to adjust to the dryness of Utah. I can't wait to be in humiditiy again!
So here's an update on our investigator- Vetea. We asked him to be baptized last week! It was so scary. Especially in French. I stumbled a little bit, but the spirit was so strong that it was seriously tangible! He said maybe and we're meeting with him tomorrow. I love teaching! I have learned SO much about being the best missionary I can be so I look forward to teaching our investigators because there is always somewhere to improve. We get a new investigator tonight and her name is Hutia! I'm excited. We start TRC with investigators who come in from the outside next week so I will be teaching A LOT more. It was pretty funny because Vetea turned out to be another one of our teachers. When he revealed that he was our teacher and was playing the part of one of his investigators he had (Vetea) we all were like whhatttt. I suspected, but it seems so real when you're in there that it's nice. Soeur Buswell is going to be Hutia so I'm excited to get good feedback.
Speaking of Sister Buswell (our teacher from the beginning)- she is AWESOME. I love her so much! Honestly, one of the best teachers I've ever had. This past week, she had us do an activity where we took off our tags and looked at them. She asked us to look at what stood out the most- our name. But not our own personal name, our family's name. Soeur TAYLOR. She reminded us that our family was always with us and couldn't be closer to our heart. They were constantly praying for us and that we should never forget that. She also told us to look at the next biggest name- J├ęsus-Christ (Jesus Christ). She reminded us as well that he was ALWAYS with us and that we should never feel alone. We are representatives of Jesus Christ who loves us so much and will always be there when we need help. This activity really got to me and made me extremely grateful for this calling and for the family that I came from. I love you all and miss y'all so much! Thank for all of the letters and dearelders- it's the best part of my day!
Look up the talk- Teaching Helps Save Lives by Russell T. Osguthorpe. He gives a shout out to us Tahitian missionaries and it's really a wonderful talk.
Beaucoup d'amour,
Soeur Taylor
Soeur Naylor and I matching when we were temporary companions for the day! (:

 On the plane to San Fran!
 In the van traveling to the French consulate! Lolz at elder Tweede.
 Our- "We've been in this airport for 4 hours" faces. haha excuse the unattractiveness.
 Cafe Rio for dinner at the airport. THE BEST. It took 2 hours for someone to pick us up so it made the time pass faster (:
 My vocab wall! It's actually pretty helpful. When I learn a word or verb, I cover ti up with a new one! But I can still flip back through and review. 
 Our classroom! It's tiny. That the view from my desk.
 I decorated our door! la Ora Na - Hello. and then Aita Pea Pea - No worries. Our class motto!
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! On Wednesday!! In French and Tahitian just for you! Love you!!! 
The face wash and lotion I need. My skin is dying here from the dryness! Can't wait for the humidity!!! (Never thought I would here anyone say that... haha -ash)

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