Monday, April 28, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde! 
This week was great! It was pretty eventful so that is always fun. 
On Wednesday, we had a lesson with this old French couple who live WAY up on the top of a mountain and it was way cool. They live in a really nice house and they both speak English so they were talking to me in English a lot which was pretty fun. The husband is actually German and they don’t have any kids- they’re just an old rich couple who live in Tahiti. (I think the wife was born here though). They were really nice and accepted our message and after the lesson they gave us this huge quiche that was SO good with like these little apple tarts because he is a retired famous chef. I hope we can continue teaching them- but they don’t like to fix lessons, just call when it works for them. So we'll see! 
Other than that, we have a lot of potential and so many great amis. I am amazed everyday by the amount of people who are just so ready to accept the gospel. One of our amis- Florence- is one of the miracles we found. We've had only 3 lessons with her and we committed her for baptism at the end of the 2nd lesson. When we came back, she said- "I don’t know if I can be baptized on the 24th, my kids have a big event happening that day." We were like oh, okay! And the 22nd?" She said she was going to pray and make sure that she knew that it was right. She is great. She really is someone who was prepared up until this point. We did find out though that she lives with her boyfriend and they're not married so that will definitely push things back. I’m excited for how things go with her though because I know that she will do great things in the church. 
So on Thursday we got called in to film for the documentary for the arrival of the first missionaries here so that was way fun. We got costumes, our hair and makeup done and then we filmed different scenes of the pioneer sisters when they were here. It was super, super fun!  Soeur Kuhn and I taught little kids English. The next day we filmed on the beach of Arue. It was the big farewell where the Tahitians said goodbye to all of the missionaries. It was fun being a part of something like this for the church because now I'll always have a little souvenir from my mission. Who knows though, maybe I’ll just be in it like 3 seconds but hey! That’s better than nothing :) 
Hair and make up for the documentary filming.
Better than the picture.
Filming the documentary.
I don't have a lot of time so I’ll just include a bunch of pictures. 
Love yall and hope yall are doing well! I got a good stack of letters recently (including one from Ashley with pictures of my nephew cat- Alfie! Hahaha) 
Don’t be afraid to hand out a Book of Mormon this week. You never know who is being prepared. :) 

Captions were not included with the following pictures.
Visitors after the concert.

Anita! She got baptized!
That was a miracle that I heard from Soeur Kavera and Soeur Jarman.
Her dad finally gave the authorization and she was baptized!! So, so, so, so happy for her. 
Soeur Taylor 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ia Ora Na et Joyeux Pâques!

Nobody really celebrates Easter here, but well, I figured I have my whole life to celebrate it like it should be. So I hope yall celebrated extra for me! Ha ha.

Life is going really great here in Mahina and the work is really starting to pick up! I spent most of the week with Soeur Kuhn and then finished it off with Soeur Faana. We had so many great experiences that I wish I could share each and every one of them! But I’ll keep to just a few of my favorites.

SO, do yall remember when I talked about doing hard things? Like bearing my testimony in front of a gazillion people?  Okay well this past week we went to our lesson with Christian and he starts talking about the concert and how much he enjoyed it. He tells me that when he saw me get up and bear my testimony he was really touched because when I spoke in Tahitian he could see that I was blessed by God in order to speak in Tahitian because I spoke even more than he did in Tahitian. (Just to clarify, I only spoke like 3 sentences in Tahitian during my testimony) ANYWAYS- I was so touched when he told me that because I really felt that YES, it is worth it.

There are so many blessings that come from doing hard things.

Christian is definitely one of my favorite amis. We gave him a few chapters to read in Alma (Alma 40-42) after we taught him the Plan of Salvation and when we came back, he told us that he didn’t want to just read in the middle of Alma so he started from the beginning of Alma and only got to chapter 28 before our next lesson. We were like, WHAT! We could not believe that he read all of that in just a few days. He told us that he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and he came to church for the first time yesterday! He loved it. He told us he wants to be baptized like Jesus Christ, but that he just wants to be sure of everything. We were planning on engaging him for a date after we talked about the Law of Chastity and marriage (because he lives with his girlfriend) but yesterday at church he told us that he had a date already in his head and that we will talk more Wednesday at our lesson. We were like OKAY, that works!! So great.

Another cool experience we had was when we came to see one of the families we teach that is semi-member. The mom is inactive and so is the oldest son, but her other son and daughters are our amis. The whole family has been coming to church, but Tevaiarii (the son who is like my age-20ish) and Teapuarii (the daughter who is 14 years old) still have doubts and hesitate because of the bad examples they’ve had in their life. They don’t want to make the same mistakes after being baptized, so they still hesitate. Well anyways, we came for Tevaiarii and we started talking with his mom a little bit. She tells us that Teapuarii has decided she wants to be baptized. We were excited and then a little bit later Tea comes out and we start talking with her. She doesn’t know that we know and so we're talking a little bit and then we turn around to go and she says- "hey, wait a sec! I want to tell yall something. Soooo, do yall remember when yall talked to me about baptism? For the 25th of April??" We're like- yeessssss :)
"Well... I'm ready." (Inside we're dying of happiness) Okay!
"But do I have to get baptized in April? I want to get baptized in May."
Ha ha- yes Tea, you can be baptized in May.
So yeah- she's getting baptized the 10th of May! So happy.
Now we just have to get her brother to make a decision!

The sector of Mahina has really been picking up and we have been meeting so many great people and so many great members. I love it!
My mission is the best.
Oh- hey, guess what?! So the church is making a documentary for when the first missionaries came here to Tahiti and they chose a group of missionaries serving here to be in it and I got chosen! So this week they are going to be filming and all we have to do is just act out different scenes and be missionaries! Like normal. We don’t have to speak- just act.
I’m excited! It’ll be fun and I’m excited to be a part of something like this!
Soeur Kuhn and I went to Yo'Rana.
The macaroons and yogurt were free because a member of the church owns the store.
We had to cross the river in the back of DMP's truck. It was hardcore
We crossed the river to see our Amis on the other side.
Scenery shots from the mountains.
I worked with Soeur Faana the last part of the week.
Love yall, have a great week!
Soeur Taylor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ia ora na to'u utuafare e mau hoa!
This week was CRAZY. I can finally say and understand that I REALLY can do hard things. Why? Because sometimes missions are hard. That's not a complaint, that's a fact. I promise y'all that after my mission, I fully believe that I can take on any and all things.

First of all, this past week I was on a split with Soeur Kuhn after being in the area for only two weeks. So it’s been interesting trying to figure out and remember where everyone lives and who the members are and how things work in the ward. We did do a LOT of contacting this past week which was really great because we witnessed a lot of miracles.
One of my favorite contacting experiences this past week was when we were in this neighborhood on a mountain. We left the car to the side of the road because there was this house that was up on a higher part of the mountain. (that made no sense but I can’t really describe it better) We walked up to this nice, big house and there was this man in the yard. He's got a dog who was running around the yard and so when we walked up, he said- "Viens, viens!" (Come, come!) I of course thought he was talking to his dog because well, nobody ever says that to us. They mostly just look at us weird and ask us what we want first. When we didn't move, he said it again and we finally realized he was talking to us! We walked over, and we started talking to him and had a little lesson with him. We talked about families and Jesus Christ and we shared a scripture in the Book of Mormon. We introduced the Book of Mormon and gave him one and he told us that he was going to read it. It was way cool because he told us that he's been searching for the truth and he totally agreed with us when we talked about how the Bible was changed and translated differently and so that's why God gave us the Book of Mormon to clarify and to give us all of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We fixed another appointment and when we went back with DMP, he had totally read part of it! He read 3 Nephi 11 and got stumped over baptism. He had a lot of questions and when we explained and asked if he wanted to be baptized like Jesus Christ, he thought really hard about the answer and said that he had never thought about it before but he told us that he thinks he would really like to. We were dying. He came to our missionary concert and LOVED it. We are really excited to meet with him again on Tuesday.
Secondly, like I said, we had our missionary concert in Mahina this past week. During the concert President always chooses two missionaries who serve in the stake to give their testimonies. Well what do you know, President asked me to bear my testimony and I was so nervous I thought I was going to throw up. For those of you who know me well, I do not love getting up in front of a lot of people and talking. As y'all can imagine, that's been encouraged a lot on my mission. Well anyways, there was like a gazillion people at the concert and I got up there and bore my testimony in French and Tahitian and it ended up being just fine. I stumbled a little on my words but well, I tried my best.
Lastly, so the ward of Mahina doesn't have a piano player. Nobody knows how to play the piano for church and it’s always been the missionaries! I played the piano for 4 years but stopped when I got to high school. I haven't lost all of my ability to play the piano but I can’t play very well and not very fast at all. So anyways, they asked me to play the piano and it was AWFUL. I only could play the right hand and even with the right hand, I messed up so many times. It was stressful and I pretty much just laughed myself through that and tried to keep a smile on. The whole time I kept asking myself, “WHY did you ever stop?!” I think it was Heavenly Father’s way of telling me that I need to work on sharing my talents more too. So yeah, I’m dreading having to play next Sunday, but you know, I’m just going to go with it. I know it'll be fine.
It’s been a blast with Soeur Kuhn this past week and she'll be staying with me until Friday. Mahina is really starting to pick up and we're excited to see how much our amis will progress this week.
With all the hard things on my mission, I really do know that it is TOTALLY worth it. Why? Because not only do we see changes in people’s lives and witness miracles every day but I am building true friendships that will last for eternity. Remember Nuihau?? Our golden investigator from Papara? Soeur Carter and I found out that he's going to serve a mission!!! I was so happy, I almost cried. He's started his papers and he's going to submit them next year after school is done.
THAT is why I do hard things.
THAT is the reason I know and experience TRUE and PURE joy.
THAT is why I am a missionary. And I love every bit of it.
I love all y'all- Hope y'all are doing well!
Beaucoup et BEAUCOUP d'amour,
We watched General Conference on a laptop in the Primary Room.

We went to McDonalds in between sessions. The sign says Thank You in Tahitian.

Soeur Taylor
Contacting is fun when you meet people who carve Tikis.

I love the HUGE ones.

Contacting with DMP. He's so intense and works with us all the time. He even has a plaque with his name on it.

I ran into a bunch of my friends from Papara at our concert.

Stacey and Caleb.

Famille Tchongtai. I have missed them a lot.

This dog was totally wondering what the heck we doing.
Lots of scenery shots