Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!
First of all, I would like to thank my Grandma who sent me one of the greatest packages! I really did need a lot of the things you sent me! Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!
Can I just say that I have never had so many people want to give us so much food EVER in my life! Man do Tahitians love food and especially to give it to missionaries. Whenever we go to dinner appointments, they LOVE it when we eat a lot. So we do. Rough life, eh?
This week was pretty great like every week. Remember Christian? He's read all the way to Mormon now (he started in like April) and has reread a lot of chapters too. INCREDIBLE, right? Well anyways, we had a really good lesson with him because the only thing that holds him back from getting baptized is his divorce to be finalized (normally in July) and to figure out if he wants to marry his girlfriend or to separate. We talked about goals and the importance of realizing what we want because if we're not working towards something, we're not really progressing. It was really good because he's so ready, but he just has these obstacles keeping him from progressing.
On Wednesday, we had a lesson with one of our amis, Fiona. She's still a pretty new ami and when we were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of making covenants and fulfilling certain ordinances on the earth so that we can return in the presence of God, she tells us, "I don’t believe we need chapels or temples or that we need to make covenants and what not to return to God. I believe that the greatest temple we have is our self." At this moment, I could've felt a lot of different things but the greatest emotion I felt was just pity. Why? Because Fiona doesn’t understand how important and sacred these covenants and ordinances are so that we can become exactly like our Heavenly Father. We testified and we hope that by reading the Book of Mormon, her opinion will change.
We had the blessing of doing a lot of contacting this week. I’ve actually come to love going from house to house because we meet so many interesting people with different stories. Yesterday we ran into two young girls in the neighborhood who talked with us for a little bit. We talked about the Book of Mormon and at the end, we asked them if they had any questions. Poehere (one of the girls) said, "Yeah, why don’t people accept to talk to yall and why do they reject yall?" We were like, good question- we are fun people! LOL We just told her that it was because our message is true and they aren’t ready yet to accept it. I’m excited to start the lessons with these girls.
Yesterday we had our baptism of Linda!! She wanted to do it at 6:00 in the morning before church at 7:30 so it was an early morning for us but TOTALLY worth it. Linda has been waiting a long time to be baptized and I was really touched by her joyous testimony of finally fulfilling her dream. We contacted her husband at the baptism and now we are going to start the lessons with him! Whoop!
Love all yall and I hope yall are doing well!
Special shout out to my incredible family who's currently having the famous family reunion in Florida! Miss yall like crazy!!!
Whoops forgot to add-

This week our new mission president arrives! Next Sunday we have a last and final missionary concert and that will be the last night with President Sinjoux. It seems so weird to change presidents, but I’m excited to serve under another great president, President Bise!
Also, I ran into Torea (my convert from Papara) by the temple and he's getting married August 1st to a member! He told me the marriage is in August but the real marriage (for all of eternity) is in January. :) It really is great to see our converts progress towards eternal life well after their baptism. So heartwarming. :)
Soeur Taylor

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!
First of all- HAPPY FATHERS DAY!
I've got the best dad.
That’s all.
No but really, I just want to say that my dad really is one of my greatest examples in my life. One thing that I've always admired about him is the silent service he offers. He has a hard time saying no when people ask him for help and he always does his best to help everyone he comes in contact with. I don’t know how many mornings when I woke up early for seminary during the winter and I walked out to a car that was already warmed up and ice free. Or when he was there every football game to come and record us performing. Everybody loves my dad. The more I learn on my mission by living on my own, the more I realize the qualities that I’ve acquired from both of my parents. I am definitely a blessed daughter! 
And speaking of the best parents ever, I got my package this week!!! It was so fun to open it up and discover all the treats from America. Unfortunately customs took my B vitamins. The dosage of the vitamins was too big? Something like that. I felt awful when I found out that they took all 4 bottles of my B vitamins but well, what can you do. Now we know. Sorry mom!!! 
Other than that, this week was pretty great. Soeur Terooatea and I have been trying to really practice more faith recently, especially the faith to see miracles. And well, it’s been working! We've really seen the Lord's hand in preparing people to accept his gospel. Last Sunday we tracted in a neighborhood for an hour or so and NOBODY came to the gate to talk to us. We talked with one man but he wasn’t interested in changing, but after we talked with him, there was nobody who would even come and talk with us. Finally, as we were leaving the neighborhood, we got a little lost and we ended up talking with this man who was standing outside his gate. We were still in our car and asked him if he's ever met the missionaries and if he was interested in meeting with us. He was like yeah! This Wednesday? We were like yeah! Okay! Ha ha well it turns out we didn’t see him until yesterday, but it was a miracle to see how he’s been prepared. He told us he's talked with the missionaries before but wasn’t ready to take the lessons. We asked him if he ever heard of the Book of Mormon and he said that he has one! His cousin left it at the house after he went and stayed at a member’s house. When we left him, he went and found the Book of Mormon and started reading. We were happy missionaries.
Every time you have the courage to give a Book of Mormon to someone or talk about the gospel, you never know what will come of it. You never know where your Book of Mormon will end up and how it will end up changing somebody's life. That really strengthened my testimony of that and I know that every time that y'all open your mouth, it’s NEVER for nothing. It’s always for a reason and it always means something to at least one person.
We had a breakthrough with one of our amis, Heinono who has been struggling to find an answer. We've been trying to help her realize that the answer has come in the blessings that she's received and in the good feelings she’s felt. She hasn’t wanted to accept it as an answer and after a really great and spiritual lesson, we committed her to be baptized. She told us no. She told us she didn’t want to be baptized at the end of the month but that she was sure that she would be baptized between the end of the month and when she will give birth (oh yeah she’s pregnant) in September. We were happy with this answer and especially grateful for the progression that she has made.
I’ve really realized that little miracles happen with each one of our amis and in their progression. Every ami is different and every ami has a different story, but they all end up with the same ending.
Isn’t that the greatest!
I hope yall have a great week and have the courage to give a Book of Mormon away or invite a friend to church! Love yall!
Ward activity at the beach. Tahitians are big with dancing.
My friend Terehau.
View from one of our Ami's house.  Not bad, eh?
I love the coconut trees and they are everywhere.
Got to go back to Papara to see Helene's baptism. A huge blessing for me.
Also got to see my favorite little girl, Stacy. She turns 2 next week.
Got to see so many members and converts at the baptism. Oh and did I mention it was also Helene's wedding day.
It was a great day in Papara.
Soeur Taylor

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I hope all y'all are doing well!
First of all, check out this article! It talks about the 170th anniversary that took place here!
So not this past Saturday, but the Saturday before we fasted with our ward council and thanks to this fast this past week, this was a week of MIRACLES.
Aren’t those just the best weeks!
Miracle #1
Her name is Rosemonde.
So the elders called us 2 weeks ago to give us a reference of an ami who went to a Family Home Evening in Papeete with President Sinjoux and who was so, so ready to take the lessons and get baptized. Of course we were like sweet, we'll give her a call!
So we tried to call her but every time we called, she didn’t answer. Then Sunday comes around and we have a new ami in our Sunday school class! We start talking to her and find out that it’s her, Rosemonde, the reference! (ps I don’t know how she found out about church and what time it started and everything, but she came by herself not knowing how it would be- THAT NEVER HAPPENS) We had a lesson with her on Tuesday and I literally almost cried, I was so touched by how ready she is to accept the gospel. Ever since she went to the Family Home Evening and was touched by the spirit, she read the Book of Mormon every day and went to church to find us- the missionaries! She accepted the invitation to be baptized, but she wants to know why it’s the true church. She wants to learn more and confirm all the feelings she’s had up until that point (which is totally normal). She asked us a lot of questions about the Word of Wisdom and so the next lesson we had on Thursday, we talked about it and she committed herself to stop smoking and drinking coffee. She also isn’t married to her boyfriend (who actually is an inactive member) but I know that that marriage will come. Sometimes, I am literally BLOWN AWAY by the faith of our amis.
Miracle #2
Her name is Linda.
She is the niece of a couple that lives in our ward and she has actually already taken the lessons with the missionaries before at Pirae and Matavai and was all ready for baptism but there was a lack of follow-up with the missionaries so she never was baptized. It’s been a little while, so when we talked to her after she came to our Sunday school class, she accepted for us to come and see her! She explained her story and she told us she wants to retake the lessons to remember and bring back everything she learned before. Turns out she remembers a lot, so we of course invited her to be baptized. We gave her the date, June 21st, and at first she hesitated but then she started laughing a little bit because the 22nd is actually her birthday! She already felt a confirmation that it was her baptismal date but we committed her to pray and receive the confirmation from God. She wouldn’t tell us at church yet if it really is the 21st but she is going to tell us tomorrow at our lesson.
Quick side note- Tahitians love to place special events (like baptisms) on already important dates like their birthday, daughter’s birthday or their parents anniversary- it doesn’t matter. So sometimes when we commit them for baptism and we commit them for a date that we prayed and chose by inspiration which turns out to be one of these important dates, they accept. Ha, ha it’s a cool confirmation for us because then we really know that it was inspired.
Miracle #3
Her name is Cyndia.
Cyndia is an old ami that took the lessons before but stopped for a little bit of time. She has a baby who is 9 months old and lives with her boyfriend (who is inactive as well). She goes to church every Sunday and wants to be baptized, but she’s scared. It’s been 8 months since she’s stopped drinking and smoking and is afraid to get baptized and then fall again. It’s actually a very common fear of amis, but I know that right now is the time for her to change and accept the gospel. When we were talking with her, I had a very strong feeling that she’s ready, but she’s just afraid to admit it. We were supposed to meet with her this weekend but she had to cancel and reschedule for this week. I’m excited to see her because I know that she is a huge potential for baptism and the many blessings that follow baptism.
Our ward is doing great and has really been improving with missionary work. It was pretty hard starting off but we're finally seeing little changes happening and that is incredible.
Faaitoito noa teie hepatoma!
(Good luck/stay strong this week!)
Ua here roa vau ia outou! (Love yall!)
All the Sisters in our house.  Love them all!
Our Ward Council. These members are wonderful! 
Our Zone Conference activity.
We played soccer by the beach and ate together.
Our Zone.
Tuahine Taylor

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bonjour ma famille et mes amis!
I totally wrote this email earlier but right when I finished, the internet cut out!! So anyways, thanks to our wonderful ami Melanie, I can now quickly send this email off!
Here are 3 quotes that describe some experiences we had this past week.
"Truth is truth! It is not divisible, and any part of it cannot be set aside." - Russell M Nelson
“Because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. … Because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad” (Mosiah 13:4)

"Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. " -Jeffrey R Holland


I'll never forget being in a lesson this past week after teaching a commandment and being attacked by our ami's parents-in-law because they were not okay with what we taught - the truth. It was an attack with words, (don't worry it wasn't that dramatic), and the whole time he was speaking strongly to us, I was confused. I thought to myself, we taught the truth right? Why is he angry? If there is one thing that I know, the truth is the truth. The commandments are the commandments of God and that NEVER changes. It doesn't matter who we are or in what situation we live. I was called of God to be a missionary and commit all to come unto Christ and keep the commandments. Well to be short, we held our ground and testified of the truth. I knew that she (our ami) understood and I knew that she knew why we were there.

This week was another interesting week that wasn't our best but it definitely started to pick up towards the end! We met a new family and fixed a Family Home Evening with them next week. The father is Protestant and the mother is Catholic but they're pretty open to learn more. As we sat in their home, all I could think about was the first time I sat in the home of Family Tauhiro. I smiled and thought to myself, this family will accept the gospel. I just knew it! 

Speaking of Family Tauhiro, I had one of the proudest moments of my whole mission during a lesson with a Young adult named Tiani. Her little sister Mihirangi takes the lessons and her Mom took a few lessons with us but has stopped for the moment. Well, her Mom was there and she shared an experience about how she was on Facebook and one of our old friends messaged her. She had no idea that this friend was now a member and was in the Papara ward. I was like, "Oh! Whats her name??"  Titaina Tauhiro!!

I was like, "Ahhhhhhh, thats my convert! Thats my family! Haha."

She told me how Titaina could not stop talking about all the blessings she's received and how grateful she is to be a member. She told her to tell her when her baptism was going to happen because she wants to come. Rodica (Tianis mom) was so surprised when she said that but it made her think at the same time. I was so happy and so proud of my convert being an incredible missionary :)

We were able to recontact a few old amis and other semi member families so that was really great for us. We've really started focusing on committing the members because we've realized that here in Mahina, the ONLY effective way to do missionary work is to go through the members. It's a gradual process but we have high hopes :)

Other than that, life is pretty great and it's still BEAUTIFUL here in Tahiti.

Love y'all and I hope y'all are doing well!

Soeur Taylor

I have a ton of pictures to send but I can't send them now... next week!!