Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello my wonderful friends and family!
 
Life is pretty good here in Mahina and I have the feeling it’s really going to start picking up. Our ward is so great! We've started committing a lot of members to do missionary work and to participate and we’ve started to see the beginning fruits of it.
This past weekend was the big event celebrating 170 years since the first missionaries arrived here in Tahiti and it was so fun to go and see! There was a big cultural night on Friday where each Stake on Tahiti danced and they had a choir too. It was so fun! I saw a bunch of members and amis from Papara again so that made me so, so, so happy. Saturday night we did a little march and sang Called to Serve in the stadium which was fun and interesting. Never thought I would be doing that on my mission! Ha ha. The only bummer was that it rained Friday and Saturday night so we were soaking wet when we marched in and for the first time on my mission, I was actually cold! So bizarre.
 
The 170th anniversary dances were way cool.
 
I got to see my favorite family- Family Tauhiro and I was so happy to hear about how well they are doing and progressing. Denis has a calling in the youth and Heiranie still does her splits with the missionaries. (She is actually in America right now! She is taking a trip with her grandma and other friends to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and another city that I can’t remember) I was really touched though because when I was talking with Heiranie, she told me that she was really sad because she would be in America for 2 weeks and wouldn’t be able to take the sacrament while she’s there. I was definitely the proudest missionary EVER when she said that because I know that she is completely serious and really understands the importance of going to church! I was just like please, go tell that to all of our other amis too! Ha ha .
Other than that, Soeur Titaina found a job and Heiti is still preparing for her baptism in January. Whymea has gotten SO big and is almost walking! Ahh so crazy and so great to see my favorite family here.
 
A cool experience that we had was when we were walking to the stadium from the parking lot, there was a man walking next to us and Soeur Terooatea started to talk to him.
This was the conversation:
Sr Terooatea- “Frere, tu es membre?” (Are you a member?)
Man- “No, Je suis ami de l'eglise!” (No I’m an investigator!)
Moi- “D'ou tu viens?” (Where are you from?)
Man- “Mahina!”
Moi-  “C'est vrai?? Nous sommes les missionaires a Mahina!” (Really? We’re the missionaries in Mahina!!)
 
We got his name and number and told him we would contact him to see when we could come by. He said that it wasn’t a problem. SO Sunday we find out that the man we talked to is actually the husband of one of our amis who has never accepted the missionaries and who doesn’t want to get married with our ami, Melanie (which is the only thing that blocks her from getting baptized) We were like WHAT? So cool. Melanie was so excited too and we all freaked out together at the chapel. I’m so excited to see what happens with that!!
 
Other than that, we are on the brink of fixing 3 baptisms this week and 2 marriages with 2 of them. We are blessed here with great amis in Mahina. I’m excited for this week!
Soeur Faana got transferred today so now it’s just me and Soeur Terooatea in Mahina! Also, Soeur Carter got transferred to our zone and we now live in the same house. YAY. I’m excited for that.
 
Hope yall are doing well, I miss yall!
 
Soeur Taylor
 
Making cookies with our cute convert, Tea.  She LOVES the famous chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that I made all the time back home.
 
 
One time we stopped and contacted these people in this neighborhood but I had to stay in the car in case someone came by and needed to pass so I took a cool shot of Soeur Faana and Soeur Terooatea being great missionaries!
 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!
 
This week was interesting. It wasn’t our best week but you know, we can only do better this week. The work is getting better here at Mahina. Yesterday, right after sacrament meeting, all of the ward stayed in the chapel and we had a special hour focused on missionary work. It was great! We talked about how the members can participate in missionary work and how important it is that we share the gospel with our friends and family. Right after we gave our talks and had our training? (I cannot find the word in English.... c'est formation en fran├žais... hahaha) we had a few members come up and ask us how they could be member integrators. We were like YES, it worked.

We've been really focusing on building the relationships with the members because here in Mahina, I know that that is the key to finding success. It’s a lot different here than in Papara so we've been trying different things to help the work move forward.

Our amis are doing good and its really incredible to have so many great experiences with them every day. When I’m not feeling well or our day hasn’t been going super great- it’s always our amis who really lift us up.

One of my favorite amis is Marguarita. She is INCREDIBLE. Not only is she really talented and kind, but she is so ready to receive the gospel. The Sisters right before me found her by contacting so I was there when we had our second lesson. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she was so touched by it that she asked us, “what do I have to do to go there” (the Celestial Kingdom)??? So we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we have to follow him in order to live with him, our Heavenly Father, and our families forever. She was so touched but when we asked her if she wanted to be baptized like Christ, she told us she wasn’t sure. She had never thought about it but she told us she would think about it. After this lesson- it has always been so difficult to get a hold of her or to pass by her house when she’s there. Sometimes, we would pass and share a little message before she went and picked up her kids or just have time to share part of a lesson. We FINALLY saw her this past week and we shared with her the lesson of the Restoration (because we hadn't had the opportunity to share the most important lesson!) and she was so touched and filled with the Spirit that she told us to stop at the end. We finished the lesson and she was so touched that she told us to stop, she couldn’t take it. It was something that’s never happened to me before but it was cool because I knew that right then and there, she knew it was true. She knows that it’s true but she is just too scared of what that will mean for her. We invited her to be baptized again and she said that she respects her grandparents who baptized her Catholic too much to convert. And to add to that, she’s moving in a few months to an island called Rikitea. It’s in the Gambier Islands and there are no missionaries or a chapel on this island. SO it is not even really possible for her to be baptized unless she doesn’t end up moving to Rikitea. Complicated. #islanderproblems

Anyways I’m interested to see how things work out with her. I really hope she can get baptized because I know how much that will change and help her family.

I know that despite all of the trials and how hard it is sometimes, nothing will ever beat the experiences and everything that I’m learning here on my mission. It really is one of the greatest times of my life and I’m excited for everything that still rests for me to accomplish here at Tahiti.

This weekend we celebrate 170 years since the first missionaries arrived here at French Polynesia. There is a huge cultural night on Friday and then we have a huge event Saturday night where we get to march in. Ha ha, today we had a practice and it was literally like a marching band practice, or at least it felt like it. Briana, I thought of youuuu! Hahaha

Love yall and I hope yall have a great week!

Soeur Taylor
 
Anavaihere! I think y'all should just change my blog to "The kids of Tahiti" because those are the only pictures I send home... ha ha ha.
 
 
Marguarita! We had apple crumble with her and while we waited for it to cook, she did my hair. It was a little crazy and extravagant so I didn't keep it in all day. It was fun having her do my hair.
 
 
Service project.  We planted plants and I made a new friend, Mahiata. She is super cute and talked with me the whole time.
 
We had fun pulling weeds and planting plants.
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde et Happy Belated Mother’s Day!!
We had zone conference pretty much all day yesterday so that’s why we had to do emails today.
 
Our Zone minus Soeur Kuhn and Soeur Teinauri. They had to leave early.
Our zone conference was really great and really inspiring (like always) but it was a little bizarre because it’s the last zone conference we'll have with President Sinjoux. CRAZY. I can’t believe how fast time flies. It’s already the middle of May! President Sinjoux and the Zone leaders talked a lot about the different things we can do to be more unified with our companion and all the little things we need to be doing in order to advance the work in our areas. With everything that was shared, one thing that was definitely emphasized was that the reason we do missionary work is for Him. It’s not for us, it’s not for our amis, but it really is for Him. This video was shared which was really touching-

https://www.lds.org/youth/video/because-of-him?lang=eng
I hope you guys have seen it and if not- WATCH IT. I know that it’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed and stressed with everything that we have to do and accomplish as missionaries (and as member missionaries :)), but it’s not very complicated. Not at all! The gospel is simple. Our message is Jesus Christ. Our goal is to invite others to come unto Christ and he has given us everything we need to do that. It’s because of Him that we live and that we can return again to our Heavenly Father. What a blessing.
This past week was full of little miracles. To start off, I have a new companion! Ha ha, the assistants called me on Tuesday and were like soooo, President had a revelation and there’s been a last minute change. You’re going to be training Soeur Terooatea now. I was like whhhatttt? So we had to cancel practically everything that day and go into Papeete to pick up my new companion! Ha ha, so for the moment, we're still 3 with Soeur Faana but she will be transferred soon, probably next week- we're not sure yet... But anyways it’s been fun! I’m excited to train Soeur Terooatea because she is really great. She's got the greenie fire and desire which I always love.

Wednesday, we had a meeting with all of the leaders at the Mission home so I was in Papeete again pretty much all day. The cool part about it was that we had to go pick up Soeur Derrick in Taravao which is all the way at the bottom of the island. I've never been on the right side of the island so it was pretty exciting for me to take a little road trip with Soeur Teinauri to go pick up Soeur Derrick. I took a ton of pictures and loved, loved, loved how GORGEOUS Tahiti is! I can’t ever get over it. The meeting was really great too because it really motivated me to work harder and to make changes in my life so that I can be a more effective missionary.
 
 
 
 
 
Manaura, the cute little baby of Hina. He followed us out when we left. Cute little future missionary.
 

Saturday was the baptism of Teapuarii! This young woman is incredible. She has been through a lot with her family but despite it all- she keeps going. She was so cute when she gave her testimony and started crying. She said, "I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to be baptized but right now, I’m sure. I know I made the right choice." I know that through her example, her whole family will come (or come back) into the gospel and that one day they'll be an eternal family.
 
The baptism of Teapuarii.
 
She hates pictures and the little baptism jumper.
 
And speaking of Eternal families- Sunday I got to skype with mine!
That was great. I loved being able to see all of yalls beautiful faces and to talk with yall. I loved it but at the same time I realized that the next time we skype- I’ll be in the last month of my mission. CRAZY! 
Over all, with all of our amis, we saw little miracles in their progression all week. I love my amis. There really is nothing better than seeing somebody change their life to fully follow Christ.
I hope yall never forget the role that yall have in the lives of everyone around yall. There are people waiting for you to share what you know is true so never be afraid to open your mouth and help them find the path.
 
Love yall tremendously!
Bonne Semaine!
Soeur Taylor

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ia Ora Na Tatou!
Eaha ta outou huru?! (How are yall doing?!!)
This week was a little interesting, wasn’t feeling totally myself this past week, but we had a great weekend to make up for it so that’s good, right? Funny how the mission works. It’s literally so up and down but I love it just the same.
 
Our investigators are doing well and I love seeing how Mahina is progressing. We've been getting quite a few references lately and it's been so great for finding new investigators!

On Thursday we went to go visit an inactive member who's girlfriend is not a member of the church. We shared a message with them- they weren’t totally interested- but right after we finished the lesson we saw a couple with a baby at the other side of the house so we went over and started talking to them. Turns out that they just moved into the house and that they took the lessons with the Elders at Arue (In between Papeete and Mahina)! They were still interested and they accepted for us to come back! It was so great because the husband has a twin brother who actually is a recent convert and he has a lot of family in the church so we were really happy to find them! I just kept saying, I don’t know if we would’ve found them if we hadn’t talked to them!
Another cool experience was a reference that we got from the Sisters of Tuauru. It was a member’s friend that actually lives with her boyfriend who is inactive. The whole family is pretty inactive. We’ve visited this family a few times but she has never been there and finally we got to have a lesson with her. It was so great because she really is a GOLDEN investigator. She grew up Catholic and was really practicing but after she met her boyfriend, she started to learn more about the church and she learned a lot of things that she had never heard before in the Catholic Church. She learned about the Plan of Salvation, where we came from before coming to the earth, why we are here on the earth, and where we will go after we die and she was interested and has been wanting to see the missionaries ever since. We talked about our objective as missionaries and just tried to get to know her and at the end of the lesson she asked, “so how many lessons are there before the baptism?” We were like oh, you want to be baptized! She was like, Yes I would really like to but I want to better understand the gospel before I get baptized. We were blown away and were just like “well, that’s why we are here!” So great. They came to church yesterday and her boyfriend talked to the bishop and is going to come back in the church. They have a cute little baby too so I’m excited to see this little family start to progress towards becoming an eternal family.
 
And Voila- Our DMP! (Ward Mission Leader) He has a cute plaque without a name on it. He says that that just represents that he’s a member. LOL.

Other than that, we've been working with a few of our amis with addictions to stop smoking and drinking. It’s been hard for me to relate and understand how to really help them because, well, I’ve never been addicted or even touched alcohol or cigarettes. SO in an effort to better understand them, Soeur Faana and I decided to give up something difficult for a month to help them and to be a support for them. I’ve totally tried this in the past but have never succeeded because I didn’t have a lot of motivation. This time, though, we were motivated. I chose chocolate and Soeur Faana chose Sprite. So far we're going on week 3 and I’ve only broken once! (it was an accident- I totally forgot and didn’t even realize until the next morning) It’s been a good experience for me because with SO much temptation (because I love chocolate) I’ve been better able to understand how they feel when they want to drink or want to smoke so badly, but they know that it’s bad. When everyone else is doing it and the urge is strong- Its hard!

I know that I’ll never be really able to understand but it’s been nice for me to gain some perspective.
 
This Sunday is Mother’s Day and I’m so excited!! I can’t wait to skype with my family!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents and especially my wonderful mother and how grateful I am for her example. I can’t tell y'all how much I’ve seen qualities of my parents show in my missionary work. For example, if y'all know my mom, yall know that she is a hard worker. If she has to do something, she is going to give it her all and she’s going to do it right. Well, that's how I am with missionary work. Soeur Faana tells me all the time that she gets tired just looking at me. Ha ha she tells me all the time that I’m crazy and that I just never stop but all I can say to reply is that I really am my mother’s daughter! Ha ha.  I can safely say that I come from the best family. Happy early Mother’s Day to all yall!
Moms are the best!
 
Cute baby of some new amis. She didn't really like my tag.
 
 
After filming, the director took us all out to dinner at a roulotte. I ordered my favorite dish, Sashimi. SO GOOD and it was fun.
 
 
A cool river we found when we did contacting and found this cute little Papi.
 
 
A Tahitian orange. It's a little more acidic than oranges in America but they are still good.
 
Views from the mountains are so gorgeous!
 
Hope yall have a great week this week!
 
Lots of love,
 
Tuahine Taylor
 
p.s. My Tahitian is progressing and we teach quite a bit in Tahitian here! I love it but it’s really hard at the same time, ha ha.