Monday, November 25, 2013

Bonjour tout le monde!

 First of all, it is officially summer here in Tahiti and IL FAIT CHAUD (IT'S HOT).

On top of that, we didn't have the car for like most of last week so we were on bikes. It was good to be on bikes but our sector is just so big that we were like always so nasty and sweaty when we got to appointments. Haha and of course being as white as I am, I got a lotttt of sun. Don't worry mom, I wore sunscreen ( the second day lol) and we've got like 5 aloe plants in our yard so that was super nice. I am finally getting color so that's nice and I'm also developing some super great tan lines. My favorite is my CTR ring tan line. lol. When we were on bikes though, we ended up starting our days early and just stopping when we had a break to do our studies. It was cool because we found some pretty neat places right next to the water! 

Now that we have the car back though, I've been driving more and more to practice. Which is super great and super scary at the same time. I definitely died 3 times in the middle of road trying to turn onto a "street" last Sunday. We really are protected as missionaries and I am SO grateful for that lol 

 Another part of my advancement in training is answering the phone and making calls. Which is super scary if you have never experienced it before because some people are hard to understand in real life and so when you put them on the phone- I freak out. Hahaha it's been mostly okay but I have a bad habit of throwing in random English words sometimes. "... C'est le faatamaraa avec vous tonight.. uhhh ce soir!" Hahaha Soeur Carter gets a kick out of it so for now, I'm in charge of the phone hahah.

So I have to share a funny story because it pretty much defines every night in our house. First of all- I HATE cockroaches. I am completely terrified of them. They're pretty big in Texas but they are HUGE here. And FAT. So I usually avoid going outside at night because they're all around our house in our driveway at night but occasionally one gets in the house. So last Thursday, there was one crawling around and Soeur Carter (being the BEST companion ever) goes and gets the broom to sweep it out. The only problem is that when she has the broom, all of a sudden it flies a little bit by the curtains. UMM WHAT. So we're both freaking out a little because we we're not expecting it to fly! (usually they don't) And so I'm already way up on the couch and she's like cautiously trying to find it with the broom. As soon as she sweeps over by the curtain, it flies up at her face. We are both screaming but luckily she turns away fast enough to avoid it. But THEN, it flies up again RIGHT in her face and of course, being the cool person that she is, she goes into ninja mode and somehow ends up laying on the ground. In the end, it ended up flying back outside and we were all okay. We did end up laughing for a good like 10 minutes though. GOOD TIMES in our little house.

The work is going pretty well, but we have so many amis who are just SO close to baptism, but they have these blocks. Most of them are because they're living with someone and they're not married or someone in the family isn't okay with it. We keep working with them though and keep praying that they can get over these blocks. We had a baptism (well two) this past weekend of a Mami and her daughter. They were baptized in Papara but the Soeurs in Maraa (Sr Taylor and Sr Moli) taught them because they're in Maraa during the week. It was a great service! 

My first baptism is this week for Charles Willy!! He was also the first ami I committed for baptism so I'm really excited for this weekend. 

We have Charles Willy this weekend and then Nuihau next weekend! I don't know if I've talked about him yet, but I will for sure tell his story next week or the next after his baptism. 

Life is great here in Tahiti - ALWAYS full (people LOVE to feed the missionaries because apparently they're always scared we're starving to death or something lol) and always happy!

Thanks for the mail and safe travels to Colorado famille!
Beaucoup d'amour,

Soeur Taylor
There are puppies everywhere.
Stacey... She loves my tag but she never smiles! One day...

Yesterday was little  Hitinui's birthday! He's second cousins with Tepatupatoa on the right who is Vaitiare's son. They're hilarious.

LOOK AT THIS PUMPKIN A MEMBER GAVE US! His name is Mautini. (pumpkin in tahitian- creative I know)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ia Ora Na Utuafare e Mau Hoa!

Désolée for not sending an email yesterday- Soeur Carter had food poisoning and so we just took it easy at the house.

This past week was great! All the weeks start meshing together but its good because I’m really adjusting well and enjoying life here in good ol Papara. First of all though- MERCI BEAUCOUP famille et friends for all the mail! I got a whole stack of mail on Sunday because it turns out that Soeur Taylor in Maraa accidentally got a bunch of my mail. It was so fun to read updates on the fam (thanks for sending that mom!) and to hear about the outside world. It was pretty interesting though because I realized just how different the outside world is. I was laughing about it with Soeur Weller because mission life and mission worries are just so different than normal life. Even normal life in Tahiti is SOO different than in America so yeah- it’s pretty funny to read about life in america because I definitely haven’t been around that in awhile. But nonetheless- I LOVE being a missionary here and so I know its best that I’m here :) (just a side note though- Thank you family for planning every trip possible without me! Haha I hope yall have fun though!)

Oookaayyy so this email I want to talk about a famille very close to my heart- Famille Tufariua! They were the family where I had my first Soirée Familiale the first night in Papara. That was our first contact with them and ever since then they have progressed SO much. No baptism dates yet- but they are definitely on their way. One of my favorite parts about being a missionary is being able to see people not as they are now, but for the potential for what they can become. I imagine that’s how Heavenly Father sees each and every one of us so it’s definitely something I love, love, love about being a missionary. This is how I look at this family. We teach Mami, Tepoe, and Carole. They're all at different levels of progression, but we always have SUCH great lessons with them.
Mami is just about the funniest Mami you'll ever meet and I LOVE being around here. She's from Les Australes and so she speaks a Tahitian where you take all of the Rs and change them to Gs. So instead of Mauruuru roa! It’s Mauguugu goa! I always try and speak Tahitian with her accent and she LOVES its. It’s so funny. I can’t speak very much, but she always has me repeat stuff when I say it with the Gs because she loves it so much. We have fun with her.

Carole is really smart and ALWAYS has soooo many good questions. We always end up just answering her questions the whole lesson because they are always parts of each of the 5 missionary lessons. She's definitely the furthest along on her progression because she has the most desire to know. She's really funny too and so we are always dying of laughter with this family.

Tepoe is the second oldest daughter and she's a little bit slower with her progression, but she has a LOT of potential as well. She’s more quiet than Carole but I know she listens and loves the missionary lessons as well.

Last Tuesday, after our lesson, Tepoe says she wants to show us something and comes back with a bucket of like 3 of these crabs. They had showed us some smaller ones before that they eat with coconut, but this time they brought out these huge crabs!!

Of course we wanted to get a picture but it was like super terrifying because their claws were going crazy! Haha I was soooo scared they were going to pinch me!

This picture is HILARIOUS because Mami just like grabbed one without a shell and it didn’t pinch her! She’s the best. That’s Tepoe on the left!

This picture is the BESTTTTT. Soeur Carter held one without a shell and I caught this picture RIGHT before she dropped it. That, my friends, is the face of PURE terror. Hahahaha it is not staged, I promise. hahahaha
Haha we see this famille every Tuesday and Saturday and so I'm excited to see them today.
Other than that, I don’t have much else to report besides that the work is going well. I'm not getting sick anymore, and the languages are going! I still have SOOO much more to learn (especially with Tahitian) but it's definitely coming! Tahitian is the hardest because I can’t understand ANYONE. Nobody speaks clearly or slow enough for me to follow. lol. But that will come with time. On a brighter note though- I FOUND MY TAHITIAN PAPI. His name is Papi Pupure. I need to get a picture with him and so I’ll have to talk about him more later, but he loves to teach me Tahitian and we are always laughing because I can’t understand him and he totally knows it. Tahitian Mamis and Papis are the BEST.
Thanks for all of your prayers and letters!
Vous me manquez!
Beaucoup d'amour,
Soeur Taylor

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bonjour tout le monde!

First of all- Sorry I didn't email yesterday, we had zone conference all day! It was super great and I got to see a few missionaries from my mtc family so that was fun.

 Last p-day we went en ville because I had to sign some papers at the bank and then yesterday we had zone conference with two other zones in Faa'a so P-days have been pretty exciting around here lol. Going en ville was super fun because we stopped at this big market and had fun looking around at all of the different things vendors were selling. I of course wanted to buy it all but seeing as I'm a poor missionary and I've still got quite a bit of time left in Tahiti- I refrained. (Mom you would be so proud of me) It was really neat to see everything though and to talk to a few people so we really enjoyed the experience.

The work is going pretty well here in Papara even though lately we've had a little bit of a rough patch where everyone was canceling appointments or on vacation or sleeping every time it rains (which is a lot here). BUT we've been doing something different lately that I have LOVED and even though we've had a few rough days, we've also had some of the greatest experiences. We've really tried to focus on Christ and teach all of our lessons centered on him because we've realized how important a testimony of Christ is. There are approximately 22,000 members in French Polynesia but 11,000 of them are inactive. That's HALF. So our biggest goal as missionaries is to teach investigators and really make sure they have a testimony of Christ and this gospel so that we don't baptize future non-members. Because in reality, everything around us changes constantly but something that will never change is this gospel. It will always be the same and it will always be perfect. So even though people around us (like members of the church) are not perfect and don't always live the gospel- the church will always be the same and Christ will always be the perfect example. We have an investigator who's had bad experiences with members of the church and that is always one of the hardest blocks for investigators joining the church. But anyways- BREF.

I want to just talk about the Kokovi family for an example of our new emphasis on Christ. So this family is great. Like one of of my favorite families in Tahiti (if I can say that). The Mom (Philomene) has a baptism date but she doesn't want to get baptized without her husband, Rono. Rono is incredible and is soooo ready, but he's just afraid of the commitment. He has a hard time with his faith and acting with faith. The only other member we teach is Hitinui (the oldest) and his girlfriend, Matarii. They have 3 other girls and a boy who we haven't gotten to take lessons yet, but we have Soirée Familiales every week and they always love them. I would LOVE to teach the whole family but we'll just have to be patient and keep praying. So we had a SF with them on Friday after 2 weeks where Rono was working in Faa'a. We were a little nervous that maybe they had stopped progressing (that happens a lot when people go on vacation sadly) but it actually ending up being one of the greatest SFs ever. We talked about Christ and their progress and Rono shared all the differences he had seen in their family since they started taking the missionary lessons. They spent a lot more time together and they were a lot happier. AND he hasn't been drinking for a month!!! We were SOOO happy to hear that. We all just shared testimonies of Christ and we really just had such a great experience with them. I'm excited for the future with them because I really think they're close to baptism. Happiness does really come from families. I've realized that here more on my mission than ever before.

I'm out of time- but I love you all!! Soeur Taylor

 This cat picture is for you Ashley!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bonjour tout le monde!

So this week I will hit my 1 month mark of being here in Tahiti. WHAT? Time is crazy. And so was this last week! Ha ha let me tell you...
Walking on the beach.

We can still enjoy the beach even though we can't go in the water.
First Sector: Papara
So this past Tuesday night  we were trying to figure out everything for our split again because Soeur Carter had her STL meeting with all the other leaders with President en ville  (in Papeete).  We originally just planned for me to go on a split with our DMP and his wife, Soeur Mathilde, but of course she calls at 8:30 Tuesday night and tells us that their car has broken down.  So then Soeur Carter tells me that Ill just have to drive our car (and they would ride with other sisters) and pick up the DMP and Soeur Mathilde because they can't drive the mission cars too . I was like UMM WHAT. I can't drive a manual!! Ha ha so you can guess what we did for the last 30 minutes before we had to be back at the house. It was pretty terrifying but hey, I learned how to drive manual!

But after all of that, they ended up needing to take the car and so I just went on a split with Soeur Fisher again and we spent half of the day teaching her amis and the other half teaching my amis in Papara on our bikes. That wasn't too bad except for the fact that Papara is huggeee and we had to bike like all the way to the end of our sector.  But more of that to come.

 So the lessons with Soeur Fisher's amis went well in Mahaiatea and we had a lesson with Charly Willy at the church at 4. We got to the church at 4 but of course Charly Willy and Soeur Evelynne (his mom) weren't there yet.  So we were waiting outside and this truck drives up and this guy is trying to talk to us with the window barely cracked and  the engine roaring and we were just not getting ANY of what he was saying. Ha ha so he pulls over and turns off the car.  He rolls down the window and starts explaining how he's got this evil spirit inside of him and he needs us to give him a blessing.  I was like uhhh, we don't hold the priesthood so we can't give you a blessing!  But of course he kept going and Soeur Fisher and I were just like what in the world is going on?!  Ha ha and then his wife is in the front seat and she spins her finger by her head motioning to us that this guy is crazy so Soeur Fisher and I were just like greaaaatttt.  But I told him that I would get the Bishop's number and he could help him out.  Long story short, NOBODY answers and I just about gave up but Soeur Evelynne and Charly Willy finally showed up and so she talked to him and got it all figured out.

We gave the lesson and that went really well but after the lesson, we had to book it to our next lesson pretty far away. So we are biking pretty fast and I was in front.  Keep in mind that we are riding on the side of the road which is super sketchy with cars whizzing past.  Well I totally misjudged the space behind this trash can and I rode RIGHT INTO THE DITCH. LOL. Luckily, it was a grassy ditch and it was a small one so I wasn't hurt or anything. Soeur Fisher and I were totally dying for a good 5 minutes before I realized that I had crashed right in front of the house of an ami that I forgot we needed to stop by and reschedule our lesson.  Ha ha ha so now I can say that I've crashed my bike just the 2nd time I've ever ridden it.  Man am I good.  Don't worry mom, the bike's totally fine.

After everything that's happened, not only with the split but with all the other crazy things that happen every day, I really do know that Heavenly Father protects his servants and we really are surrounded by angels watching out for us every day. I really do know that there is a reason that I'm here and that Heavenly Father will make sure that I accomplish all that I need to when I'm obedient and do my best to be worthy of the spirit when I teach.  Being a missionary definitely isn't hard and I am still waiting for when I can speak all the French and Tahitian that I want to, but for now- I'll just keep moving forward.

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts!
Beaucoup d'amour,

Soeur Taylor

Celebrating Day 100!

Souer Carter's 22nd birthday celebration.

Soeur Chapman stopped by for Soeur Carter's birthday.

Zeus gets sad when we leave.