Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hello Everybody! 

I am so full of excitement after receiving the best email in the world from the best parents in the world that we are going to come back to Tahiti after my mission!! I'm so excited and grateful because I never thought I would be able to come back. I know that that will make leaving Tahiti just a little bit easier :) 

This past week wasn’t our best but we made it through, huh? We had a lot of people cancel and the weather wasn’t the greatest so that made door-to-door contacting a little complicated. It rained almost every day this past week so we started off our week on Tuesday, SOAKING WET, on our bikes but we were laughing the whole day. We had to bike pretty far to get to a valley where we then had to bike super far into the valley (which was an uphill battle) to get to one of our lessons. When we got to our lesson we were wet, dirty, and tired. Sr Falesii was like, “are we even allowed to show up to lessons like this?” I was like, “uhhhh, no not really, but oh well.” After we finished our lessons we ended up going back home to change and then to the chapel for reactivation. 

2 experiences to share from this past week: 

The first was when we were going door-to-door contacting and we came to this house where this little French girl came running out to greet us. She was so cute when she asked who we were and what we were doing. We explained that we were missionaries who taught and invited people to come unto Christ. We asked if her parents were there and she said that they were separated and that she lived with her Dad. She went to go and ask her dad if he wanted to talk to us and sadly, he didn’t. But here's what really struck me. When she came back to tell us that he didn’t want to come and talk to us, she then proceeded to tell us very precisely where her Mom lived just 1 kilometer from her house. We took note, thanked her and went on our way. After we left, I had a strong impression to go and see her Mother at her house so we went to go and find the house with the directions that she gave us. Unfortunately she wasn’t at her house but we are going to keep coming back to her house until she is there! Ha ha, it was a cool contacting story because I know that there is a reason why this little girl sent us to go find her Mom. Maybe she's a potential investigator. We never know! 

The second experience was when we went back to see a lady that we met contacting. She is very religious and believes COMPLETELY in the Bible, but she accepted for us to come back and explain better our message and why we are here. We taught her the Restoration and she listened and enjoyed the lesson but she had a hard time accepting Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She told us that maybe it’s true, but for herself, she believes and keeps her foundation in the Bible. It was a very interesting lesson for me because while she was talking to us about how we need to build our foundation on the word of God and that we need to be careful not to take a wrong path and be cautious that the devil is there for tempting us and everything, I really believed that she was trying to convince us that we were wrong and that we worshipped Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I think it would be normal for anyone to be a little intimidated (especially as she was talking/preaching to us slapping her hand on her Bible) but all I could feel during this lesson was peace. I felt sure and strong and I thought to myself, “thank goodness I have a testimony.” Thank goodness I know that all of this is true and that no matter what anyone says, I can never deny the answers that I personally received from God. I did get the impression that I needed to strengthen my testimony in the Book of Mormon and after our zone conference Wednesday with the 70, Elder Nielson, I made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon by the time that I finish my mission in February. I started last week and I have LOVED reading because I was determined from the beginning to learn and recognize new things in the Book of Mormon and it worked! I have learned so much and I know that thanks to these experiences that we've been living- my testimony will continue to get stronger and stronger every day. 

We still are on the search for new investigators because even though we have a lot of activities, all of the non-members that come to the activities aren’t interested in taking the lessons so we are always stuck doing lots of contacting. But that’s okay! I like contacting. It’s always interesting to meet all of the different people. 

Well anyway, that’s it for me this week. Love y'all!! 

All muddy because it rains so much.

My companion, Soeur Falesii

Beautiful Raiatea!

Have a great week!! 

Soeur Taylor 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!! 

So this week was long (like all the first weeks after a transfer), but it was a great week! We have a lot of work to do here in Avera so I’m excited to work with Soeur Falesii. My companion is so great and we laugh a whole lot in our little house with "Mamie Bobo" (That’s our Mamie that lives with us). Mamie literally makes me laugh so hard and I am convinced that I found Jordan's (my best friend) 70 year old Tahitian twin. She's always hungry, she always has something funny to say, she does random things, and she is very easy going. She is one reason that this transfer was a lot easier than if she wasn’t there :)
We don’t have a lot of new investigators so we did a lot of contacting and we're planning different activities so that we can find new investigators. Overall, the ward is in good shape but I’m excited for what we are going to do in the ward for the future. 

Life here in Raiatea is a lot more chill and easy going than Tahiti and I love that there are not a whole lot of cars on the road and that EVERYBODY is family. The sun is a little stronger here and it is a whole lot more humid here than in Tahiti. There is always wind though so that’s nice and we sleep outside on our porch pretty much every night! Sometimes I feel like I’m at girls camp. It will definitely be weird to go back to life with AC because it is very rare to see AC here, ha ha.

This past week, I met a whole lot of investigators and I really enjoyed learning everyone’s stories and how much the gospel has changed their lives. One story I loved was with one mother who shared that the gospel has changed her life more than she could’ve imagined. She said that before, if she had fights with her sisters, they could last years before they forgave each other. Now that she has known the gospel, she said that one bad argument that they had resolved itself within a few days and that was really touching for her because she saw that when she prayed and read her scriptures, she found answers. This story really struck me because for something as small as an argument between siblings had such a big impact on her and because she did even the smallest things, her life was blessed and the conflicts were resolved. 

Sometimes I wonder if we complicate things too much sometimes. The gospel is simple. Applying the gospel to our lives is simple. The only thing that complicates things is ourselves! Because we are imperfect, that makes it harder but it’s always possible to apply these principles in our lives. 

There are a lot of investigators and former investigators here but a whole lot of them haven’t made the choice to advance and be baptized because they don’t feel ready to apply the principles of the gospel. It’s really too bad because it’s so simple, but they haven’t been able to find this confidence and courage to do it. I think that’s why they need us :) 

Missionary work really is like shining a ray of positivity and sunlight on these people’s lives. I love it :) 

This morning, we did something super Tahitian with two of these eternal investigators, Vahinetua and Moe. We got up super early and went into the mountains to do "Cobra" where we collect and cut open coconuts to harvest the white part of the coconuts. We have to chop the coconuts in half, rip them apart, and cut under the coconut so that it comes out. After that, they lay them out to dry during a couple of days or weeks and then go and sell it to make different oils and soaps. Its hard work and they don’t earn as much as they deserve, that’s for sure! We left all clean and ready to go and when we came back we were COVERED in mud and soaking wet. We went and waited at the chapel for Mamie to come and pick us up and we were laughing so hard because as we were eating sandwiches in the rain sitting on the ground, we literally looked like homeless, dirty missionaries. Ha ha ha ha, what a good experience. 

Last Monday two Elders put on a show with their burning sticks.  I'm not sure what it is called in English but look, IT WAS COOL!


Look at all the coconuts.

Mamie Bobo

Before our adventure into the mountains.

A coconut farm.

COBRA.  We had fun but I got a mean blister on my hand that I hope won't get bigger.

Well anyways, that’s it for me this week! Love yall!! 

Soeur Taylor 

Friday, October 17, 2014

IA ORA NA frommmmm....


Raiatea is another island in French Polynesia so it was weird to leave Tahiti but I think I’ll be here until I finish my mission in February so that made it even weirder to leave Tahiti and all of the wonderful investigators and members in there. I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was but needless to say there were tears that were shed.

Soooo I wasn’t expecting the transfer to be one week in advance but the Assistants called us this past Thursday night to tell me that I was going to be transferred to Raiatea and that I would be leaving Sunday night. I was like, “what??” So let’s just say that this past week was CRAZY

Not only were we on bikes and EVERYWHERE in the sector, but this past weekend we had to see everybody and I got to say a lot of goodbyes. Saturday, we had 3 faatamaraas. (3 dinner appointments) I felt like I was going to explode. Tahitians love to do big dinners when somebody leaves or for special occasions and they love to see the missionaries eat well so Saturday was a challenging day. My mind is all over the place so I’m not really sure what to write but I promise to send lots of pictures and write better next week :)

My new companion is Soeur Falesii and she's from Samoa! She is super nice and I’m excited to be her companion. Our house is in a neighborhood where there is only members and we have a cute little Mami (elderly woman) that lives with us and sleeps on our porch. Hahaha, that’s not a joke. Last night, in honor of my arrival, we all put our mattress on the porch and slept outside. Ha ha I know that I am going to LOVE it here in Raiatea. 

Last night, when I arrived at the airport, practically the whole ward was there to send off Soeur Van Wagenen who finishes her mission tomorrow and so I met a whole lot of members and they were all super nice and welcoming. 

Sorry this email is so scatterbrained...

Sonia and Emanuel. (cutest Mami ever)


Hinatea! Lover her and so sad I'll miss her baptism in November.

Look at that picture that Margarita made for me! She made it with sand from Polynesia and I was blown away because she did that portrait so well!

Heinono had her baby! His name is Fredo just like her husband.

Olivia and Emiliano. So sad to leave this couple - they're incredible.


Airport pictures.


Downtown Raiatea.

Coconut bread is soooooo good. I'ts sweet bread with real coconut shavings inside.

Love you all! 

Tuahine Taylor 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde! 

Yeepppppp, this Tuesday will mark ONE YEAR at Tahiti! I’m so excited. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I remember when we first got off the plane at like midnight and even though I couldn’t see anything of Tahiti because it was dark, I was so nervous and excited to start my journey here. And now, after everything that I’ve been through here, I never thought I would get to this point. Funny how time works huh? 

Overall I’m doing super great. This past week was crazy but we loved it.
Tuesday, we re-contacted a few former investigators and one of them accepted us to come back! It’s a family where the husband is an inactive member and all of his family are non-members. They've had a lot of trials and just at the end of their rope, we came by and the wife (Olivia) was so relieved to just talk about everything and confide in us. She wants her husband to change so badly and go back to church and so we're working with this family to help them become an eternal family. I’m excited to teach them. 

Wednesday, we took off to do our split in Moorea! There are 4 sisters in the Haapiti sector so we split off and worked with the sisters there. President called us the day before we left and basically told us that Moorea needed miracles and that he was counting on us. I was like, “thanks for the pressure President, but we can do it.” It was Soeur Ntsiete's first time to go to Moorea so we had fun on the boat. We were having a good time taking pictures when I reached for my badge and I realized that A BIRD POOPED ON ME. I was like, “what the heck!!!” Soeur Ntsiete was laughing so hard but then like 2 minutes later, a bird pooped on her too. HA, we were laughing so hard on that boat. The split went really well and I really loved to go and work at Moorea because it’s still just a branch and needs a lot of work done. We worked hard and I got to meet a lot of different members and potential investigators. We had a good conversation with two women who were at one of the members house in Tahitian and I really was happy to see that my Tahitian has progressed. There are SOOO many advantages to knowing the languages here, it’s not even funny. We've been teaching a lot more in Tahitian so I’ve really been enjoying improving my Tahitian. We saw a few miracles in Moorea so that was fun. 

Moorea! Gorgeous, huh?

My frenchy companion. 

HAHAHAHAHA Ignore my double chin and baldness but I couldn't resist, this picture is priceless. 

Friday, we saw our investigator, Sonia, who is 72 years old and really sick but she has a strong desire to be baptized. SHE IS SO CUTE. Seriously, one of my favorite investigators. I’m sure that because she is so sick, she has a hard time remembering our lessons so my next project is to make her a book with a bunch of pictures and simple summaries of the lessons. I did this for Papi Teuira (remember him who got baptized last December?) in Tahitian and then little books as well for our kids who got baptized and all of them loved it. Sonia is definitely at a child's level of understanding and when I showed her the first few pages of the book that I started, she LOVED it. She knows she can’t remember a whole lot but I really do see the light of Christ shine through her and I will forever be grateful to have met her. 

Friday and Saturday we saw a TON of miracles in our sector and had so many lessons with potential and new investigators! We were so excited. We met one family who is Sanito (RLDS) and we invited them to conference and the next morning (at 5:30 in the morning). THEY CAME! We were ecstatic. 

We also got a call Friday from the couple at the office saying that our car (which was in an accident before I got into the sector) is getting fixed this week so we need to bring it in today and we will be on bikes all this week! So yep, this week is my week to lose all my chubbiness because we are going to be on bikes in our mountains at Mahina! I was laughing so hard when he told me. So in an effort to train for this week, we decided to go on bikes Saturday and that was hilarious. We died going up one mountain to go all the way to a lesson that was cancelled but let me tell y'all, it was AWESOME riding down the mountain. Ha ha, this week is going to be fun. 

Conference weekend was incredible (especially since Margarita ended up coming on Sunday!!!!!! ) and we were REALLY hopeful that all of our investigators were touched by the messages. I especially loved how much they talked about the family and the importance to spend time with the family. With each conference, there are always different focuses (like the prophet and sustaining church leaders this conference) but there is always one focus that is always repeated, the family. We are incredibly blessed to have families here on earth and I definitely am SO grateful for mine! 
During one of the sessions, the screen wacked up a little bit and we watched conference as if everyone had extremely bad fake tans. LOL

I hope y'all enjoyed conference and for those who didn’t get a chance to watch- https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/10?cid=HPSU100514465&lang=eng 

It’s worth it to watch. 

Love yall and I hope yall have a great week!!! 

Soeur Taylor