Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Bonjour tout le monde!
Since I didn't have a Pday on Monday and neither did my companion, we are emailing today! I'm still getting used to this french keyboard too so this should be interesting trying to type this email. lol
I made it! The flight from LA was long (8.5 hours) but we finally landed in Tahiti at like 10:00 Tahiti time. Président  Sinjoux met us at the airport along with the APs and couples from the office and we jumped into cars and headed to the temporary housing right behind the temple and just down the hill from the mission home (The housing is for when stakes from the the outer islands come to Tahiti to go to the temple). It was pretty nice and we slept so well because we were EXHAUSTED. In the morning, we had breakfast and orientation with Président et Sœur Sinjoux and then interviews and a bunch of paperwork after that. We were all super anxious to interview with Président because he told us where we would be serving.
The Mission Home

Me and Soeur Aniel with our new lays.

Sooooo because I know you're all dying to know, I am currently in PAPARA! Its on the south side of the island (Tahiti) and I'm beyond excited. My companion is Sœur Carter! She is incredible and SUPER helpful so I'm super lucky to have gotten her as my trainer. We live in a house with 2 other Sœurs who are assigned to the area right next to ours. It's also really exciting too because Sœur Fisher (in the other district at the MTC) is in our house so I'm super excited to see her everyday. Our house is actually pretty nice! We have a washer and dryer and I'm in an area with a car!! We also have a guard dog (Zeus) who is super nice and keeps the roosters out of our yard. He barks super loudly if anyone ever walks by the gate in front of our house so that's a little comforting too. We don't have warm water at the moment, but usually we do! Small side note: Its actually both super hilarious and super annoying because there are roosters EVERYWHERE and they all get together and crow at each other at like 4 am. Other than that, I sleep really well. Our house doesn't have air conditioning but Tahiti always has a nice breeze so its really not bad sleeping at night. The people are all so happy and nice and I'm really excited because we have 4 lessons tonight, one of which is with a new family!! We'll see how that goes but I'm super excited to actually teach real people.
My trainer, Soeur Carter.

Our house in Papara
View from our back yard.

My french is not too bad, but I'm still trying to get used to peoples' accents and comprehending what they say. I haven't used much Tahitian yet but we're teaching a Mami tonight who likes to be taught in both. I might be able to say a few words and comprehend hardly anything butttttt oh well. I'm putting all my trust in the Lord and I have faith he'll be there with me every step of the way. That is something I've learned now more than ever!
The only side effect of from speaking only French (and some Tahitian) is that I constantly have a headache which gradually turns into a migraine. Nonetheless, I know that it can only get better and that somedayyy I'll be fluent enough!
Speaking of migraines though, I experienced my first faatamaaraa (dinner appointment) last night and it actually wasn't too bad but I had a migraine and was a little queasy which made me not hungry. Butttt I ate anyways and actually had a very cool experience. I will admit that I almost gagged a few times because my stomach was freaking out but I survived :) There was no fish served and they actually made these super good cakes so I got super lucky! We have another faatamaraa tonight so we'll see how that one goes!
Like I said, we usually have a car (which is manual by the way! I cant drive manual! Haha luckily, Sœur Carter does. Who knows if I'll have to learn) but the other Sœurs had to use it today because they're a trio and us greenies don't have our bikes yet. We actually only have half of our luggage because everything wouldn't fit in our car. lol So Sœur Carter and I are on bikes for the day. We just rode to this member's home where they have a computer we can use and the ride over was both super hilarious and super sketchy at the same time. There were all these cars whizzing by and the whole time I'm both praying to not fall off into the ditch on the side of the road/hit any cars and I'm trying to make sure that my skirt doesn't fly up in the wind or get caught in the bike. I wish I could've seen myself because I would've been laughing so much more than I already was. Maybe its a good thing I'm in a car area! lol

Well anyways, I don't have much time because it's taken me forever to type this but I want to share one little thought. During my travel here (on the train, flights, and in the airport) I had a lot of time to think about what kind of missionary I want to be and what I want to accomplish during my next 15.5 months in Tahiti. I thought back to when my teacher, Frère Roney told us something that really has stuck with me. He told us not to be a rusty tool. The Lord can accomplish his work with rusty tools, but it takes longer and requires more missionaries. Instead, be the tool in the Lord's hands that is sharp, clean, and useful. That hit me hard and has become something I'll tell myself throughout my whole mission. Don't be a rusty tool. And just because I'm a set apart missionary doesn't mean that this motto or phrase doesn't apply to all y'all as well! Don't be a rusty tool. It's easy to share this wonderful message and member involvement is so essential for moving the work along (I hope y'all were listening during conference!!).
Thank you for your prayers; I am doing so great and I am SO happy.
Beaucoup d'amour,
Sœur Taylor

Our church Temple in Papeete, Tahiti

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