Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello Everybody! 

This past week went by fast! It was a good week though because we had so many great experiences with our new member missionary, Mami Teura! We're besties because she taught me how to basket weave and now, she comes with us all the time for our lessons! She's so cute because she told us that she's always wanted to go with the missionaries but she never wanted to ask them to come and pick her up for the lessons. We were so touched and happy because she is actually a convert of only 10 or so years so her story is very powerful for a lot of our stubborn investigators who don't want to change religions even if they know it's true.  

On Saturday we went to go see one of our new investigators. Her name is Linda and she lives with a less active member. They aren't married and she became our new investigator when they were invited to come to a temple activity by a family in our ward. She is Protestant and she's already asked us a lot of questions about why we have to be baptized again because she feels like it was sufficient when she was baptized. We were happy to have Mami there because she was Protestant (and very active) before she converted. Right from the beginning they were both really happy to meet Mami and when Mami started talking to introduce herself and talk about how happy she was to be a member, Linda just started bursting into tears. I had no idea why or what caused her to cry, but I knew that the Spirit was very strong during the lesson. When Linda was able to talk, she told us that Mami looks JUST like her mother who passed away a few years ago. Mami helped calm her down and we were then able to teach the Restoration with the story of Joseph Smith. She was really touched and to top it all off, Mami shared her conversion story which had a really powerful impact on Linda. Basically- IT WAS AWESOME. Members are the best. Especially when they're my adopted Tahitian grandmothers :) 

Remember Margarita? Well we had a few great lessons again with her this week, especially Friday. Remember how we committed her to read Chapter 8 In Moroni? WELL SHE DID. She told us she read it over and over again because she loved it so much. After a very long time, she finally got a complete answer to her question about infant baptism. She always knew that it didn't make sense and when she read this chapter which said that infants were innocent and not in need of baptism, she felt completely comforted. We were soo happy inside because the Book of Mormon teaches so much better than we do (thank goodness) and we knew that she found answers inside. While we were talking about baptism and how important it is, we asked her if she felt that she needed to be baptized too when she read and she told us that she thought about it, but that was the end of it. She wants to go nice and slowly and she told us that she wants her whole family to be baptized when she decides to make this commitment. It was a great lesson but I really do hope that it won't be too late for her if she waits for her husband and son to convert as well (because they both don't believe in God .. at least not yet!) Over all, we really enjoy teaching Margarita. 

Splits with Soeur Tetua on bikes.
Other than that, We did a split with the sisters at Pare Wednesday and I got the experience of being on a bike again. We were laughing in our neon vests and helmets. It was fun, I got to work with Soeur Tetua! 
On Thursday, we did a split with the sisters at Matavai and we had one of the best faatamaraas with the Fareata family! She gave us a few robes and Soeur Marrett and I had so much fun trying them all on. How I feel with a lot of families in our ward is how I felt when we had some cool missionaries in our ward growing up. I'll never forget when Elder Hall and his companion (can't remember his name but I know that it starts with a B and that he was INCREDIBLY smart) ended up dancing with us at the last minute in our talent show act for Christmas. They were really great missionaries and sometimes I hope that we have the same impact as these two missionaries did on me and our family. 

Trying on robes with Soeur Marrett. 

This coming week we are going to Moorea again so we're going to get to take the boat again! I'm excited. :) 

Never get tired of these sunsets.

Zone activity at the beach.

Love yall and I hope y'all have a good week! 

Soeur Taylor 

I think that's all of them.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ia Ora Na Tatou!

Wow, it's already been 50 weeks in Tahiti! It's almost my 1 year mark since I've been here in Tahiti. Time is flying!

This past week went by really fast because we had 2 zone conferences and Saturday we had our big activity with the Collective Baptism to top off our month of missionary work in September.

Zone conference picture.

On Friday, we had our Open House at the chapel with 5 different rooms which talked about The Book of Mormon, The Plan of Salvation, Family Food Storage, The Blessings of the Priesthood and then the 72 hour kit. We had different members to teach the different topics and we were really hoping to have a lot of investigators there but in the end, we only had 3 investigators come. At first we were a little disappointed, but actually, we experienced a miracle because one of the investigators that came decided by the end of the open house that he wanted to be baptized! We were surprised but super happy at the same time because he was a former investigator that just recently we re-contacted by one of the members in our ward. So cool huh?

Saturday, we had our Talent Show with the whole stake and the Collective Baptism with 4 baptisms right after. The Talent Show was so incredible because each ward represented a different country. I laughed so hard when they represented America because they pulled out the Hoedown Throw Down which remixed until we finished with a bunch of Hip hop and rap. I was like yeepppp, that's my country! Ha, ha, ha.
Our ward represented Australia and they were so good! We had our investigator, Hinatea, who danced with the group and our little convert Keanu right up front. I was dying because he was sooo cute when he danced! I felt like my mom when I watched the video like 100 times that night because he was just too freaking cute.

Talent Show.

The Baptism of course was incredible because Eric totally surprised us by shaving his beard off! It took me like 5 minutes to realize when we were at the Talent Show but I was so touched because he really is someone that is converted to the gospel. It hasn't even been a month since we've started teaching him but he really changed his life around and I will never forget the impact that his family has had on me. His girls are so cute too. We're the best of friends because we always play their little games before we have our lesson with Eric.

It was so great to finally see the baptism of Mihirangi as well because after the months that I've been here in Mahina, it was so sweet to see her baptized. I was praying that that touched her mom too because she is still a little hesitant to be baptized. I know that one day she'll finally take the plunge but they're moving to France in 3 weeks!

I was also super happy to see my family, the Tauhiros, at the baptism because they're good friends with the family of Mihirangi.

Over all, we had a super great weekend that was very rewarding as a missionary. NOTHING beats the incredible changes that these people make in their lives when they accept the truth. I know that I was meant to meet these two families and I thank God every day that he gave me this blessing to be here as a missionary.

Lydia, our future missionary.

I hope y'all are doing well- Faaitoito noa ia outou no teie hepatoma! (Have a great week!)

Tuahine Taylor.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!
Today was the best Pday (Preparation Day) ever!!! Why? Because we went out to the Motu (little island) in the lagoon of Tahiti. So our mission president is the best ever and said that we could go on a boat if we had life jackets, distress signals, and if we stayed in the lagoon. So we organized a little trip with some members and investigators and we went to go hang out on the Motu!
It was the first Pday with Soeur Spackman (she got here last week) and so we all told her that she was incredibly lucky to have spent her 1st ever pday at Tahiti on the Motu :)
We didn’t go in the water, but it was way fun to just hang out on the beach anyways :)
Heading out to the Motu.

Soeur Teinauri was clenching the rope because she was terrified.

Other than our wonderful Pday, this past week went really well! I’ve been loving working with Soeur Ntsiete. The ward is going really well and we've been getting more and more member references! (Over all, it’s only like a few the past 2 weeks but hey, that’s a lot!) With almost every member reference we get, the investigator ends up getting baptized. Why? Because they've all been prepared by members! It’s incredible how effective member missionary work is. The full-time missionaries really couldn’t do it without the members, that is for sure!
A SUPER cool experience we had this past week was Tuesday when we went to go and see our investigator- Margarita. She's been taking the lessons ever since I've been here in Mahina (I was there for her 2nd lesson) and she really has been someone prepared. She knows that the Book of Mormon is true and we've already committed her to baptism but she hesitates because her whole family is Catholic and she has a lot of respect for her grandparents who baptized her Catholic. We've been working with her and she's had so many incredible experiences. I’m just waiting for the day when she tells us that she’s ready. And I know that it’s close! We had a great lesson Tuesday, committed her to continue reading in Moroni with the chapter 7, and we fixed the next lesson for this coming Tuesday (at first she wanted to fix it for 2 weeks later). The NEXT MORNING, she calls us up and tells us that she’s reading and she wants us to come and help her understand better. We went and had a great lesson and while she was expressing how she felt, she told us that during the whole chapter, she thought of me! I was a little surprised and then she read verse 29-

 " And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men."
Then she said something that I will NEVER forget.
"The children of men = Me (Margarita) and the angels- that’s you Soeur Taylor"
Woah.... I was so baffled when she told me that- I had no idea how to respond.
After, she shared verse 34 -

" And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved."
She told us that she realized that because he said to repent before being baptized, it was not right to baptize babies because they weren’t capable of sin . We were like- YES, that’s EXACTLY right.
We all knew that she understood the truth there and I pray that soon she'll announce that she's ready to be baptized despite her huge Catholic family.
We told her to keep reading with Chapter 8 (  which talks all about infant baptism.
This Saturday, we have our 2 baptisms of Mihirangi and Eric.
Eric is our incredible investigator who is progressing SO much! Our first lesson with him was August 26th and he'll be baptized this Saturday- the 20th of September. He wanted to be baptized this past Saturday, but we decided that it was better to keep the 20th.
Seriously- our investigators are golden.
I love them.
Other than that, we've been really practicing our Tahitian with our new investigator Sonia who lives with an inactive, Emanuel who only speaks Tahitian. Sonia is a cute little Mami who has a hard time focusing in our lessons but we love her anyways. I’ve really seen the power of the gift of tongues though because without a Tahitian companion, I’ve really had to rely on the Spirit to be able to communicate and teach.
I love it.
Well that’s about it- I hope yall enjoy a TON of pictures today :)
More pictures of our day on the Motu.

The beach is made up of coral.

We found a lot of creepy crawly friends.

Our food! Fish, Uru (breadfruit), beans and canned beef.

And of course, coconut.

Hina-ora and Ohana - we're besties.

She's the cutest, right?!

Love yall!

Soeur Taylor 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hello, hello!

Sooooo, I have like noooo time so this will be short. 

1st of all, 

Tuesday, we got to go to a fireside where Family Tauhiro got to share their conversion story. I will NEVER get tired of their story! It honestly is the best. The fireside started out with Soeur Kavera and I where we talked about how we met the family. Then, Elder Taylor talked about his part in their story and then we had the blessing of hearing the testimonies of the family. It was so incredibly sweet for me to hear their testimonies again because I got to see their progression since their baptism. The biggest change was Denis, the father, because he was the most hesitant and now that he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood and has a calling, he definitely is a different person. We got to catch up and I was happy to tell them that I will most likely be able to assist at their temple sealing the day that I leave for home, the 24th of February. What a blessing that will be to assist at their sealing JUST before I get on the plane. I sure hope I can.

Speaking of great conversion stories, we had the baptism of Hina Teaurai this past weekend. FINALLY! I have never been so happy that we never gave up on them. Every time we came with our smiles and positivity when they weren't feeling so motivated was worth it. Every time. Hina-ora, their daughter, sang I am a Child of God with us at the baptism and that was incredibly cute and touching. We did a split the day of the baptism so I was with Soeur Faana again and we both loved to see this great baptism. We got to contact the brother in law of Hélaman and we are going to see them on Thursday. I feel like one of the reasons I'm still in Mahina is for the family of Teaurai :) 

Remember when I did a split with Soeur Ntsiete? She's my companion now! I'm excited to work with her. It was weird dropping off Soeur Teauroa today but I know that she will continue to do great things in her life. 

Well, that's all I have time for. Love y'all and have a great week!!

CENTIPEDE - these things are dangerous.

Look what I learned to make today! A cover for my journal. Mami Teura taught me :)

I thank my Mother for my good manual and artistic skills - you're the best!

Soeur Taylor 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ia Ora Na Tatou!

I'm doing well in Mahina! I've been here so long that I'm pretty much a member of the ward. Transfer calls are tonight but since my companion is finishing her mission next week, I will be staying again in Mahina. Yay for my fourth companion in the same area. Ha ha.

This past week was really a week of miracles. It was actually one of the hardest weeks too but I guess that's just how it works, huh?

Remember how Mihirangi was supposed to be baptized this past Saturday but their family was "too busy" for her to get baptized? Well, after lots of prayers and fasting, her Mom changed her mind! We went to go see them and we talked a lot about how if we put the Lord first, everything will fall into place (3 Nephi 13:33). She explained that she wanted to wait until they moved to France and so we bore testimony and respected their choice. THEN, 30 minutes after we left their house, she calls us up and told us actually, Mihirangi was going to be baptized here in Tahiti. YIPEE! She's taken the lessons since May so she really is ready.

Another miracle is with our investigator who just started the lessons this past week, Eric. His wife is a member who just recently returned to church and he was a huge potential member from the beginning. He's been coming to church every Sunday for about a month or so but hasn't been ready to take the lessons until this past week. We had 2 lessons with him this past week and both of them were very powerful and incredible lessons. Yesterday, we had a little activity at the temple where we visited the little Visitors Center we have and then visited the Temple Garden. Eric was joking around with us that he was already a member and we were like yeah, real soon huh? After, he puts up his hands and tells us, "the 20th!" We were like wait, "what?!" He was like "yeah, the 20th!!" We were ESTACTIC! We have a lot more lessons to cover before his baptism this month, but he is committed and ready for this great change.

Ashley (20 yrs) and Fleur (24? yrs) are doing really well too, just super hesitant. Fleur lives with her boyfriend and when we taught the law of Chastity, she told us that after SIX YEARS of being together, they have NEVER talked about marriage! I was like what?! After 6 six years?! Ashley (her brother) was laughing so hard when I asked her that question because they both know that that is just ridiculous. Ha ha. So this past week when we asked her if she had talked to him about marriage, she said that she never found a moment and that she didn't really know how to bring it up. We were laughing when we proposed different ideas of how to give him hints but in reality, we all know that guys aren't super aware of little hints, ha ha, it's just better to bring it up bluntly. The poor girl. We're praying that he finally gets it together and proposes.

Another of our investigators (who is one of my favorites) is Mélanie. I'm not sure if I've already talked about her but she is someone who desperately wants to be baptized but can't because her boyfriend doesn't want to get married. They have 3 kids together and have been together for almost SEVENTEEN years but he's still hesitant to get married #welcometotahiti She leads the hymns every Sunday and is practically a member but she's not because she's not baptized. She has a super strong testimony and we've been really working with her for her marriage and everything and I've got a feeling that it's going to be soon. We've prayed and fasted with her and I think that before the end of this year, it'll happen. Man I can't wait for that day. We've become really close and I know that she deserves it after waiting 3 years now.

Other than that, life is good in the ward. Friday, we have a pancake activity with our ward missionaries because the whole month of September, the stake has a bunch of activities set up for missionary work. We're hoping to motivate our ward missionaries so that this month we can be super effective :)

Ua here roa vau ia outou! (Love yall!)
Family Putoa! This family is INCREDIBLE. In the picture too are 2 investigators that they brought to church and to the temple. They work so much with us and I want to have a family just like theirs one day :)
Eric and Romy! They have 3 super cute girls.
Soeur Lanteires! She's my mom here in Mahina :)
Have a great week,

Tuahine Taylor