Monday, September 30, 2013


To'u Utuafare!! 

This past week was incredible. I'm loving the MTC and I can't believe that I only have 1 week left!! Today is a busy day since it's my last P-day so I'll try and type fast :)

So first of all- WE GOT TRAVEL PLANS :)
We got them on Thursday and it was the most exciting thing of my life. We heard that we got travel plans from the other district, but our district leader, Elder Twede, wasn't back from getting mail yet. Sœur Aniel and I were freaking out so we left the classroom and briskly walked (just kidding we ran) to go intercept Elder Twede and Molinari coming back from getting mail. We saw them in the main courtyard and as soon as they saw us, they bolted. So of course we ran after them. Then, we crossed paths with Elder Jessop and Elder Gilson who were running to the classroom to find them. Confused yet? lol Basically, we all ended up chasing down Elder Twede and Molinari because we wanted to see if everyone got their visas and travel plans. We ended up losing them, but we eventually all made it back to the classroom. It was so exciting. 
Sœur Aniel is our travel leader and we report to the travel office next Monday at 7:30 am (YAY for a later reporting time than 2:30 am or 4:30 am) Our flight leaves from Salt Lake to LA at 11:30 am and we land in LA at 12:34. Our flight leaves for Tahiti at 4:30 so family, I'll be calling during our layover! 
We also got an email from the mission home today which was super exciting. We land in Tahiti at about 10:00 pm their time so we'll be in temporary housing by the temple and then have breakfast with President & Sœur Sinjoux in the morning. I'm so excited.
I clearly won't get a P-day next week but from what I've seen with other missionaries, I might be able to send a quick email saying that I made it safely and what not. It still hasn't hit me yet, but I'm so stoked to find out where my first area will be!!! 

On other news, the Relief Society Broadcast was INCREDIBLE. I hope y'all got to watch it. It was SUCH an incredible experience and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of it!! The whole experience started out with our bus breaking down on the way to Salt Lake. The Fan belt broke and so we literally were camped on the side of the road for a good hour. It was great fun. Haha but no really, we were all in pretty good spirits and the whole attitude of the bus was just incredible. I love being surrounded by so many good people!! What we didn't know until later too was that when the fan belt broke, the engine stopped working and our bus driver was helpless 4 lanes over. She couldn't accelerate but had to navigate our huge bus across 4 lanes on a busy highway. We were unaware because our bus driver was incredible and extremely calm the whole time. Nonetheless, it was a miracle we made it to the side of the road safely. We definitely had angels watching over us :) 
When we got there (I'm so mad I didn't get any pictures. I assumed cameras weren't allowed) it was like the most incredible feeling sitting up in the choir seats. I was FEET away from the Prophet, 1st presidency, and a few apostles. I LOVED it. Singing was so much fun and I really felt like those same angels that watched over us were singing right along with us. Someone told us on our temple walk yesterday that that broadcast was the first time there has ever been a sister missionary choir. AWWHHH YEAAAAHHH. It was great :) At the end of the broadcast too, each of the Relief Society Presidency members gave us a hug as we walked out. It was awesome :) 

To leave y'all, I want to share a little thought about the power of the scriptures and scripture chains. I was studying the other day and ended up with a nice good scripture chain that was incredibly helpful for me. I thought I would share and challenge  y'all to try as well. It's amazing where each scripture will lead you and where you will end up. I don't have time to explain each one, but what I got out of each scripture will be different that what you get out of each one so it works out :) 
1. Joshua 1:9
2. D&C 68:6
3. Genesis 26:24
4. Isaiah 41:10
5. Daniel 10:12
6. Mosiah 27:14
7. Alma 29:8-10
8. D&C 11:22
The Lord is always with us, especially when we make the right choices and strive for his spirit to be with us. That's something I've really learned over the past few weeks. 

Well I think that's about it! Conference is this weekend and I'm SOO stoked. Ending my MTC stay with a bang :) 

So I totally wrote out a bunch of tips for missionaries coming into the MTC in the future (Lindsay K Lauckkk!!! :) ) but I forgot my sticky note with all of them written down. I'll try my best to remember- 
1. Come in with a good attitude. The MTC can feel like a long time, but if you have a good attitude, you will have some of the most incredible experiences and you will love it! This place is amazing and I will be a little sad to leave it (Even after 11 weeks). 
2. Bring a little flashlight and alarm clock. 
3. If you're going to a bike mission, don't spend a lot of money on bags! Just get a bike bag that goes onto your bike. I didn't realize this, and I wish I would've.
4. Bring a jacket if you're not going somewhere cold like me! Provo has been getting way too chilly for me! Especially since all I have is a rain coat that provides minimal warmth. 
5. All missionaries get a 40% discount in the bookstore. So if you need new scriptures or any kind of materials, just wait and buy them here! I got a little set of scriptures for like $35. English Mini PMG are the best too. Especially when you have a lot of language and scripture books. 
6. SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE as MUCH as possible. Force yourself to pray in your language and use it as much as possible. At first, it's really difficult (believe me, I know) but it will only get faster and easier and will help you out SO much. Practice bearing your testimony to other missionaries too. From what I hear, that's all you'll really be able to do when you first get out in the field.
7. Print emails off in 18M Room 323 (That won't make sense to you until you get here) We always go in the morning and print off emails before we email later in the day.  
8. Recognize that you're on sacred ground and strive to feel the spirit with you always. You'll love it :)
I probably forgot something, but that will have to do for now :) 

I love y'all and am so grateful for all of the love and prayers :) 

Write y'all in 2 weeks! FROM TAHITI :) ( Or somewhere in French Polynesia, we shall see!) 

Beaucoup d'amour, 

Tuahine Taylor

Just 2 more weeks left :)

To'u Utuafare!!

So I'll start off with some exciting news- GUESS WHAT.
A super awesome Sister Missionary choir gets to sing at the Relief Society General Broadcast on Saturday! AND I'M A PART OF IT!! LOOK FOR MY FACE. :)
I'm so excited because it's in the conference center!! This really will be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'M SO EXCITED. Hopefully I make it on the screen and y'all can see my lovely singing face :)

So this past week has been so great. I have seen so many tender mercies of the Lord- One of them being the advance in my language learning. The Lord has really blessed me this past week because I am finally wrapping my brain around Tahitian. It really is so simple and I'm laughing at how dramatic I was at the start of Tahitian. It was hard, don't get me wrong, and still is but I think that what was the most challenging part was just how new it was. The structure, vocab, and grammar are SO different from French so I just had to get used to that aspect. To rate my confidence level in both languages for y'all (on a 1 to 10 scale, 1 = having zero confidence and 1 = completely fluent) I would say that my French is at like a 6.5 or 7 and my Tahitian is at like a 3 or 3.5. You might think those are low, but considering I was like at a .5 last week, I'm pretty happy with the improvement :) I find French to be easier because I can express myself so much better in French! There is so much more vocab! Context is everything in Tahitian which is difficult for me to get used to because so many words have like 10 different meanings. You can't say ummm or uhhh in between words and sentences either because added on to the words, they could make the word mean something totally different. LOL. Another thing is that you can't guess on words you don't know 100%. Some words only have a letter or two difference and so if you get it wrong, you could totally be saying something different than you wanted to. (Hopefully that all made sense because my English has been struggling lately too haha) 
Overall, it is quite an adventure learning these languages and I'm just so ecstatic to finally get to Tahiti. Time has flown, but I've been feeling ready to go. At first it made me really nervous because I am terrified to get there and not be able to communicate, but the Lord has comforted me a lot and I know that I will be just fine :) Besides, I have 2 more weeks to learn so much more! The MTC is great. Plus, I'll learn so much more when I'm actually there. Just two more weeks!! AHHHHH. 2 weeks from now I could (and hopefully will) be on a plane to Tahiti!! I'm so stoked.
Besides all the language learning, I can't think of anything else exciting or out of the ordinary that happened, but I have had some good times with my MTC family. I sure am going to miss seeing my sœurs and frères everyday. When you spend so much time together, you can't help but feel like one big family (Yesterday was day 60 at the MTC by the way- CRAZY). The good thing is that we still have 2 more weeks! And this saturday!! I'm SO excitied to go to Salt Lake with my Sœurs :) 
But speaking of family, we had to say goodbye to one of our Elders, Elder Ganne-Soulary, this morning. He is in the other district, but we've become pretty good friends. He's from the Paris France area and is just about the cutest little French elder you'll ever meet. He's also one of the most positive and happiest people I've ever met. He was 1 of 3 French elders going to Tahiti so he was great for asking questions. He was trying to be fluent in English and we were all trying to fluent (or just better) in French, so they are so helpful for pronunciation. But anyways, he was called to Tahiti and has been learning with us, but due to health problems, he got reassigned to the France Lyon mission. It was hard to see one of our Elders leave without us, but we know that he will be so incredible in Lyon. Sœur Jones- look out for an Elder Ganne-Soulary! He's just an inch taller than I am and is hilarious. I told him to look out for you and showed him a picture of you so I really hope y'all cross paths :) 

Other than that I am doing really well and am really enjoying my last couple of weeks at the MTC. Thanks for all of your letters and packages :)

Love y'all!! 

Beaucoup d'amour, 

Sœur Taylor

I can't remember which week it is... but only 3 weeks left!

Bonjour Ma Famille!!
First of all- Joyeux Anniversaire/Mahana oaoa no Ashley on Wednesday!!! I love youuu!!
This past week has been crazy, but one of the best weeks here. I am just so grateful that I get to be here and constantly be surrounded by so many people that have impacted my life so much. I really do get the privilege to know so many great sisters and be blessed by their sweet spirits. I have had so many experiences here that have really changed my life and my outlook and purpose in life. It's the best!
On Wednesday, Sœur Aniel and I got the privilege to be a part of the "Wednesday Night Experience" with all the new missionaries coming in. On the first night, all the missionaries divide up into different rooms and they get the opportunity to group teach an investigator. It's their first exposure to what it's like to teach somebody, so it can really be a neat experience. So anyways- Sœur Aniel and I got to be 1 of 6 companionships to start off the lesson and demonstrate how to begin teaching. We knock at the door, talk to the investigator for a little bit and get the discussion going. It was such a cool experience even though it was really nerve wracking being watched by 50-75 new missionaries. We got to know them a little bit but usually right when they asked a good question, the moderator would cut in and the new missionaries now could answer and teach the investigator. It was so cool but sad at the same time because we wanted to answer their questions so bad! The best part too was that we got to do it in English! Awwwhh yeahhhh. But it was weird at the same time. It was nice too to remember back to when we were in their shoes and to realize how far we've come and how much we've progressed. I don't know if we'll have the chance to do it again, but I sure hope we do!!!
On Thursday, we found out that we were getting moved to a new classroom building. The rest of our zone was in another classroom building and our Branch president wanted us to move so that we were more unified as a zone. It wasn't too bad of a move except for the fact that we lost our nice and big desks :( So now, we are crammed next to each other in these chairs with flip up tablets and LOTS of books that we have to put under our desks. I attached pictures of the new room. One of our goals this week is to get some boxes or at least something to put all of our books in so that it doesn't look like a tornado came through the classroom everyday. At least we only have 3 weeks left so that's nice!! 
On Saturday, we taught our second lesson to Jean-Claude in Tahitian- AKA the hardest thing ever. I'm slowly starting to understand Tahitian but it's still very difficult! I feel like I'm really close to being able to say everything I want to say in French, but it's back to the kindergarten level sentences in Tahitian. It's just a lot of memorizing and hard work. Elder Andrews & Elder Oehler- I don't know HOW y'all learned Korean! Learning a language that's not latin-based is very difficult and really takes a lot of patience, diligence, and practice practice practice. Sœur Kimball and I have been trying to PVL (Parler Votre Langue/Speak Your Language) more often so we're fasting from English the rest of this week until Friday. On Friday, we'll take a small break and then start it over again. I'm just nervous I'll get to Tahiti and not be able to communicate at all. But we'll see, I still have 3 more weeks left here!!
On Sunday, I ran into Elder Wood in the cafeteria!! It was way fun seeing a new face. Everyone has left me already! (ps (don't post)- Mom tell Kim that Spencer's P-day is going to be either Wednesday or Friday. All missionaries I've met going to Brazil have either Wednesday or Friday p-day. But most have Friday p-days.) 
I also was called on to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Every sunday, they call on a Sister and an Elder to give a 2-3 minute talk in French. All sisters besides the Tahitians have left already soooo the chances were pretty big for me to get called on. It was on Le Livre de Mormon (The Book of Mormon) so luckily, I actually prepared a talk and shared a few scriptures. It was still way nerve wracking though. I was like shaking the whole time. lol I can't even imagine how it'll go when I get called up in Tahiti. I guess we'll just have to see! Ha oh dear...

And that's about it! It's hard to find stuff to report since every week feels like a day. I seriously feel like it was yesterday that I was typing my weekly email to y'all. I'll be in Tahiti before I know it! 

Beaucoup et beaucoup d'amour!!!

Sœur Taylor
(Tuahine Taylor/Sister Taylor)

Semaine six!

Ia Ora Na To'u Utuafare! 
First of all- THANK YOU for the packages!! 1 from Mama Jones (that I had to wait like 3 days to get because the mail room was closed early on Saturday and Monday was a holiday) and then the other from Dad! I also should get one today from Briana so I'm way stoked to open that as well :) 
Thank you for all the food!!! Between the 5 other Sœurs in my room and district, we have like a pantry in ou room. We have gotten SO much food from family this past week and it's the BEST. Thank you thank you!!
Other than that this past week was great. HARD, but still a pretty great week. The Tahitian is slowly coming and I'm hoping it will get easier the more I hear and speak it. We taught in the TRC in Tahitian this past Thursday and it was overwhelming but pretty funny at the same time. We hardly know ANY Tahitian so to walk in and try to teach a lesson was difficult, but there were just some moments when we had to look at each other and laugh because we had no idea what to say or how to converse with these volunteers. Luckily, we had two understanding RM's and so that was nice. The first volunteer was the former and famous Elder Gunderson who've we've heard so much about because he was such an incredible missionary and knows Tahitian VERY well. He also taught himself Marquesian because he wanted to go there so bad. So yeah. He was a boss at Tahitian. But he was really nice and he knows Briana, Hillary, and Braxton!! They were all in the same ward so that was cool to realize in the lesson. It was funny because he was talking in Tahitian and I heard Briana and concluded that he knew her and was wondering if we were sisters and I wanted to respond to him so bad but all I could say was "E! E!" (Yes! yes!) "To'u Utuafare!!" (My family!!) Hahaha it was funny but I talked to him afterwards in English and he said he was Briana and Hillary's home teacher. (Briana, I'm supposed to ask if you remember Orange Julius home teaching? Hahaha) But anyways, I just can't wait until the day when I can actually form sentences and be able to have a conversation in Tahitian. Oh what a happy day that will be if it ever comes :) 
Speaking of Tahitian though, I want to share a funny story from class the other day. So Frère Roney was teaching us about Negation and making sentences negative and at the end of the lesson, he told us to practice with our companions and answer the questions in our grammar book. It was SO funny because Sœur Aniel just looks at me with this terrified look and says- "How do you do that??" (I responded by laughing because I was in the same boat lol) And then she says- "People speak to me like I know Tahitian!" (I'm laughing harder) She then proceeds to just throw up her arms, look at me with big eyes, and say, "Overwhelmed." LOL, you have to know Sœur Aniel to fully get a kick out of this because it was hilarious. It pretty much sums up our lives for the past two weeks. Haha one of the best parts was when she looked at me and said "Houston... we have a problem." Lol. She's the best. Sometimes, we have laughing fits which I actually find to be really healthy. It keeps us from completely going crazy. lol. 
Besides that, we had a "FHE" with our new Tahitian investigator - Jean-Claude. He is the father of one of Teiho (Tay-cho) who the other half of the class taught as their French investigator (Remember, we taught Vetea). So anyways, Frère Roney picked Sœur Kimball and Sœur Derrick to teach the lesson both in French AND Tahitian. The reason being because Teiho and his siblings only speak French while Jean-Claude only speaks Tahitian. It was a little taste of how it will be like in Tahiti because that's not uncommon for a Tahitian family (The children understand Tahitian, but don't speak it. I'm sure that's how it is for the parents with French as well but they sometimes prefer to just speak Tahitian). I was REALLY happy that we didn't get picked to teach the lesson because it was definitely a challenge, but Sœur Kimball and Sœur Derrick did so well. The rest of us just played the parts of Teiho's family (because Frère Roney was Jean-Claude) or members of the ward. I was Moira, Jean-Claude's wife. lol. It was kind of weird, but I didn't have to say anything really so that was a relief (because it would've had to have been in Tahitian). 
Overall, a pretty good week. My teachers are seriously the GREATEST so it makes class really enjoyable and they are so helpful in our learning process.
Just 4 more weeks left in the MTC! It's so crazy to think that a month from today I will probably be in Tahiti!! AHHHH!

I love y'all and am always praying for yall! 
Ua here au ia outou! 
(I love y'all!)

Beaucoup d'amour, 

Tuahine Taylor
(Sœur Taylor/ Sister Taylor)

p.s. Mom! I watched this EXCELLENT talk by President Holland yesterday that was about teaching. It was at a worldwide broadcast so try to find it online! I think it's just called "Teaching" by Jeffrey R. Holland. It was so good. I thought about you the whole time I was watching it!! 

1 more month left!!!!!!

Ia Ora Na To'u Utuafare!!
(Bonjour Ma Famille! Hello my family!!)
This past week was great. Happy September! August went by SO fast so I'm scared/nervous/excited for September to fly by because October means we finally leave for Tahiti!!! It still hasn't hit yet....
It got a little more real this past week when we started Tahitian! Oh my gosh I don't even know how to word how I feel about Tahitian. But I'll try...
It's a beautiful language and it's exciting to learn because its the language that was actually on my call but IT'S SO HARD. Here's a tip- DON'T try to learn another language 6 weeks after learning the first one. Because it is SO HARD. If I didn't wasn't blessed to be set apart as a missionary of the Lord, it would be impossible and I would've already given up. Thankfully, all I have to do is put my trust in the Lord and work as hard as I can. All of those beautiful Tahitians that are waiting for me are my motivation! "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me." (Moroni 7:33
I'm also really grateful that I'm pretty decent at memorizing because that's what Tahitian is until I can fully understand grammar, sentence structure, and get more used to hearing Tahitian. Sœur Aniel and I were listening to a conference talk in Tahitian just to hear it and it was actually pretty entertaining. Tahitian is so pretty, but sometimes I feel like I need to speak it with a low voice and really loud because that's how all the translators and everyone pretty much speaks it. It's kind of a manly language. LOLZ. So great.
There are a lot of T sounds in Tahitian because just about every other letter besides the vowels and consonants not indigenous to the language become a T when you speak it. In our grammar book it has a chart kind of like this-
B becomes P 
C, D, G, J, K, Q, S, X, Z  becomes T
L becomes R
PH becomes F
The great thing about Tahitian though is that it's very phonetic. So there are hardly any silent letters or weird pronunciations like there are in French. 
So besides the languages, teaching is going really well. We start teaching in Tahitian on Thursday and I'm way nervous. I can hardly say a few lines for a prayer and a few lines of my testimony. So we'll see how Thursday goes..... 
This past Tuesday's devotional was SO awesome. Why? Because NEIL L. ANDERSEN spoke to us!!! That's right, another broadcasted devotional! I even made it on camera singing in the choir. Checking that off the bucket list lol. 
He spoke on Love and Sacrifice and it was an incredible talk. I wish y'all could hear some of these talks we hear! They are seriously SO great! At the end, he went around and shook a bunch of missionaries' hands but sadly, I didn't get to shake his hand. He stood like 10 feet away from me though! IT WAS AWESOME. It's such an incredible experience to be in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. 
At the end of the devotional, it was storming pretty bad outside so we sang hymns for like 10-15 minutes until the thunder and lightning stopped. It was still raining though so guess what? We walked back to the MTC in the rain! It was pretty fun. I would've loved to see thousands of missionaries walking/running/freaking out/taking pictures and laughing outside the Marriott going back to the MTC. So funny. 

Well that's about it for this week! Just a typical week at the MTC :) 
Lots of studying, learning, teaching, and TONS of spiritual growth. For those who are curious, here's what a typical day looks like (with a few variations during the week with P-day mondays, devotionals on Tuesday, service on Saturday morning, and then Sunday meetings)
5:40- wake up
6:30- breakfast 
7:00-8:00 - Personal Study Time
8:00-11:00- Class with Frère Roney 
11:00 - Lunch
11:45-12:45 - Language Study
12:45-1:30- Additional Study Time
1:30-2:30- TALL (Language study on the computer)
2:40-3:30- Gym 
4:00- Dinner
4:45-7:45 - Class with Sœur Buswell
7:45-9:00 - Additional Study Time
9:00-9:30 - Planning
10:30 - Lights out! 
Like I said, there are some variation from day to day but that's pretty much it! It's nice and I love learning so much but it's definitely so nice to go to bed at night because I'm so exhausted!! 

Hope y'all are doing well! Love y'all and am praying for y'all!! Thanks for the mail! 

Beaucoup d'amour, 

Tuahine Taylor
(Sœur Taylor/ Sister Taylor) 

Tuahine = Sister