Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bonjour Ma Famille! 

We're doing super well here in Avera and I can't believe another week has passed by! That went by fast. This week was a pretty normal week full of lessons and good contacts. 

Recently we’ve been teaching a lot of kids ranging from 8-11 years old and I have been loving it! These kids crack me up. With every lesson we do with them, we always promise them a little surprise at the end if they listen well and if they respect the commitments we gave them. Of course, they always listen well and so we usually let them pick out a few stickers or a lollipop at the end. On Saturday, we had a lesson with a little girl named Tauhere. She LOVES the surprises so she is always so excited to tell us that she prayed every day and answers every question we ask. During her lesson, she had a friend hop in and listen too. We were happy because she is 9 years old and she actually was participating too. The funniest thing was that during the lesson, when her friend responded to a question, Tauhere got a little annoyed and told her to go away because it was her lesson and that it was not fair that she was going to get stickers too because she didn’t even pray this past week. What happened after that was that we told her friend that she could stay but then after they got in the cutest little cat fight saying that the other was not nice and little digs like that. The best part is that we were in the middle of talking about Jesus Christ and his life and how he was really nice and always helped others. We were laughing so hard because we were trying to be the peacemakers and at the end, we told them that they had to tell the other that she was a child of God and that she loved her. They were both hesitant but when we bribed them a little with the stickers and candy, they finally did it and it was so cute. 
After our lesson, I thought a little bit more about this experience and I thought, If we as adults could always do that every time we have a little dispute with someone, the world would be a better place. All we have to say is, "You are a child of God, and I love you!"  Just a thought. 

Other than that, we finally had a good Split this past week with the Primary and Sunday School auxiliaries which was super effective. Things are really going a lot better with the ward and I am hoping that will continue because we've been having a harder time lately getting members to lessons. 
We had a fun evening with our ward missionaries where we had a little training and made crepes at the end. It was way fun and our ward missionaries loved it so hopefully that motivates them to work with us. 

December is going to be a big month for us because we have 5 baptisms fixed for the moment and so much potential but we're a little nervous because there is a HUGE transfer next week and we find out this week if we'll be transferred. I'll be so sad if we do because my companion is incredible and we both want to be here in December, but we'll see. 

Hope y'all have a good week and a good Thanksgiving! We are going to celebrate it at our neighbor's house. We already found a good pumpkin and I’m excited to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread this week :)

I read a cool article the other day, thought y'all might enjoy it-

A little friend

Our sport activity when it was pouring rain. Ha, ha they didn't even care.

There was a transfer so Mamie was making flower leis and I made one too.  It's the lei that she is wearing.

Beautiful Raiatea

Love y'all! 

Soeur Taylor

Thursday, November 20, 2014

IA ORA NA tout le monde!

Today we had another incredible Pday on the Motu!! This motu is like 100 times prettier than the Motu at Mahina so that was fun. We had a zone activity but half of the zone ended up not coming so we were less missionaries but it was WAY fun. Super relaxing. It was great because this past week was CRAZY. 

So remember that Family Home Evening that we planned for overcoming addictions? Well, ALL of our investigators and the families that were supposed to come ended up canceling at the last minute and we were sad. But that’s okay! We are going to try and do it again or try to modify it a little bit but hey, at least we were ready huh? 

One of our investigators who is trying to overcome an addiction to smoking is Dewis. He and his future wife (Laetitia) have taken the lessons for a LONG time and they are getting married the 19th of December and getting baptized the 20th. They were investigators that restarted the lessons with Soeur Green when she was here! (Cool huh?) But anyways, we had a lesson after like 3 weeks of not seeing them for a lesson and it was almost entertaining because they are such a typical couple. Laetitia used to be a HUGE smoker. She hasn’t smoked for a while now (ever since she read that our body is a temple in the bible) and ALL she wants is for Dewis to quit as well because the marriage is getting close and she's nervous that he won’t stop before their marriage. She was explaining this in our lesson and at the same time sharing her testimony and Dewis is getting defensive saying that he made the promise that he'll stop before the marriage and that all he wants is for his family to stop repeating the same thing, stop smoking, stop smoking, stop smoking. Ha ha. He kept saying that he could do it, but that he didn’t need help. After they both finished, we were like- Dewis, do you know what will make your family stop repeating the same thing? If you actually do what they say and stop smoking!! He laughed and said that we were right. 
We testified a lot about how much his Heavenly Father loved him and about how much his Savior knew how hard it was for him. ALL he had to do was to turn to them and ask for help. We fixed the goal to fast for this past Sunday but we ended up having to move it to this coming Saturday. 

So we've been doing a whole lot of contacting but this week it went a little differently. Do you know what we did? We followed the spirit!! Funny, normally we should be doing that EVERY time but I guess that's why we are here to learn. Normally, we pick a neighborhood and we just do the whole street or keep going. But this week, we decided to just ride our bikes and when we felt like we needed to stop, we stop! Simple huh? Well EVERY time we stopped, we found potential investigators. The Lord was merciful to us this past week and we really saw some miracles. Most of them were former investigators that missionaries had never written in the area book or they were people that had already assisted at activities or been to church. IT WAS AWESOME. I promised myself I would never go back to normal door to door contacting! 

One of these contacts we did find was a Mamie that had recently gotten into an accident and was confined to a wheelchair. She is an excommunicated member because she isn’t married, but lives with her boyfriend (basically Husband, they're just not married). It was pretty clear that she had some side effects from the accident and so we weren’t totally sure about sharing a message, but she started talking about how she knew a lot of hymns and so we sang a few hymns with her. We were wrapping up to leave when she said- " Je suis pas fiu de vous, vous pouvez rester et chanter un peu plus avec moi si vous voulez!" (Im not tired of y'all, y'all can stay a little bit longer and sing with me if y'all want!) Her words touched my heart and so we sat and sang with her because it was pretty clear that she was lonely. She told me that I had a pretty voice (ha ha. I thought of you mom) and we left her with a prayer. I learned a lot by this visit. I learned that the worth of souls is very great in the sight of God and that it doesn’t take a lot to make an impact on somebody's life. We are going to stop by every week because she loves to see us and sing with us. :) 

Life has been pretty fun on bikes. Soeur Falesii and I race home every day and she always wins!! Ha ha. I get so frustrated because I’ll totally be ahead but at the last minute she pulls ahead and wins the race. I always tell her that it’s her islander strength that kicks in and that I was not blessed with that, ha ha ha. 

Other than that, my study in the Book of Mormon has been going so well. I love the Book of Mormon. I’m up to Jarom and Omni now and I have loved strengthening my testimony.
A story to share with yall- In Jacob Chapter 7 it talks about Sherem, an Anti-Christ, who turns the hearts of many away from God. He knows that Jacob is a man of faith and so he searches out Jacob to come and persuade him as well (verse 1-3). Jacob knows his bad intentions and he explains that even though Sherem was good with his words, he had a testimony and at the end of verse 5 he says- "wherefore, I could not be shaken." From a lot of experiences on my mission, I know that the devil seeks us out! He seeks us out to try and persuade us because he works extra hard on those who have faith and believe in Christ. How do we protect ourselves? With our testimony. Our testimony that is centered and built on Christ. If we have this hard rock testimony- we will not be shaken.

I hope y'all are doing well, I love yall! 

Special shout out to my best friend who is longer a missionary!! I’m still freaking out about that..... Time is flying. 

Mamie Salome 

A pirogue and my companion. Our lesson got cancelled, but hey, look at the cool view.

We ended up running into our investigator on the road, we had to stop and do a lesson on a member's porch and then had to go to the church. We only had 2 bikes so our investigator took mine and I rode on the back of Soeur Falesii's bike. So Funny! We laughed all the way to the chapel.

Cows! They come on the road and oh my goodness, it reminds me of Texas to see pastures of cows. 

The boat heading to the Motu 


Look how tan I am and how burned at the same time. Never in my life will I be this tan again.

Mamie. She makes me laugh so hard.

Our zone, well half of it.

Lots of love, 

Soeur Taylor 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ia Ora Na!

I’m getting more used to the sector now and I really feel like we can do so many great things here. After all the work we did these past few weeks, we are finally seeing the fruits of our labors with new investigators and a lot of potential! 

With one of our new investigators, we started teaching in French and as we were continuing in the lesson, she didn't say much and when we asked her her feelings on the restoration, she told us that she had a hard time expressing herself in French! We were like oh! So we started teaching in Tahitian and it made all of the difference!! It was a very cool experience.

"11 For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ." D&C 90:11

 She opened up and she said that she thought it was great and maybe it was true, she wasn't sure. We committed her to pray and I think that she has a whole lot of potential to join the church one day. 

Wednesday, there was a HUGE event here in the Raromatai islands (Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine, Bora Bora) called the Hawaiki Nui. In Pirogues or these large, long canoes they start at Huahine, canoe until Raiatea, then Tahaa, and the last part is the canoe from Tahaa until Bora Bora. I have NO idea how to translate or explain in English, but y'all can just see in the photos. Anyways, what they do in this race is in these long racing canoes (consisting of 6 people in one canoe) is to see who can canoe the fastest between all of these islands. It’s a huge deal because it’s VERY difficult with the distance being so great. Because it's such a big deal, we decided to go and set up a table and try to contact people who were there. We made our famous cookies and set up a table and everything but we didn’t have our table up for very long when we had to take it down because of miscommunication. Apparently, it wasn't confirmed that we could have a table but with the 10 minutes that we had it set up, we had one lady come by and take a Book of Mormon who is from Avera!! She said she would call us. #success

The Hawaiki nui. 

Our famous cookies that we made to pass out to people.  It still works! 

I could go on forever sharing our experiences, but I’m excited for tonight because we planned a big family home evening with a couple of our investigators and their families who are still trying to overcome addiction. There is a great program in the church with a 12 step program so Soeur Falesii and I are in the middle of finding activities and different things we can do tonight to help our investigators stop smoking and drinking. 

We've got a lot of different activities in the works so needless to say we are kept busy, but I love it! It’s better than being bored, huh? 

Life is going great here, I love being in Raiatea. Saturday, we fixed a baptism for a little girl who is turning 9 in December and wants to be baptized on her birthday. Her family is returning to the church and I’m excited to see this family come back and receive again the blessings of this gospel. 

Remember Sonia and Hinatea?? From Mahina? I sent pictures from when I left Mahina and Sonia is our Mamie we saw who is really sick and Hinatea is the young woman (16) who's dad is an less active member. THEY WERE BAPTIZED. It was always planned for Hinatea to be baptized the 1st of November but it was a good surprise that Sonia was able to be baptized too. I’m so sad I couldn’t be there, but I was so happy to find out that it was a great baptismal service. Ashley was supposed to be baptized as well but at the last minute, he decided he wasn’t ready yet... Soon! I know that it will be soon.

Hey mom! I got 3 letters this past week! One from JULY, one from AUGUST, and the last one from October. HA, got to love the Post Office here. 

Ariioehau and his nephew, Albert. He's a new investigator but look at Albert. Does he not look like my cousin, Byron??  Melissa, I thought of you when I met him.
Rain!!! So much of it this past week.

Garden of Eden? Ha, ha, ha. So many kids who just run around naked.

Well that’s it for this week. Have a great week y'all! Love yall! 

Tuahine Taylor 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde! 

So I don’t have a lot of time so this will be a short email. 

Here's what happened this past week: 

A couple of weeks ago, there was a story on the news channel about Soeur Taylor (who was in the accident last December) and the miracle of her story (Did I ever tell you guys that she came back and is finishing her mission?) Well anyways, EVERYBODY thinks that I’m her when they first meet me and I think it’s hilarious to see people's reactions but one of the best ones was this past Sunday. This lady comes up to me and she's like, "Hello." I say “hello” back. She says very seriously and not super loud, "You are very courageous."Ha ha ha I was like, "Yes, thank you, but I’m not the same Soeur Taylor that was in the accident." She was like, "Oh." Aaaannndddd she walked away. HA HA HA. 

Lots of biking and LOTS of sun. I literally was so drained every day last week because I was sun burned and we were in the sun all day. Even if I put on a ton of sun screen, I sweated it all off because it was HOT. 

We did a lot more contacting this week and usually when we go to a house and the dogs bark and bark, nobody comes out. So we came to this house and yelled- "Ia Ora Na!!" but nobody came out. There was just a TON of dogs that were barking. So we started walking away and this couple comes out and yells out to us to come back!! We were like what? That's literally the first time that’s happened on my mission. We talked to them, they were interested, and we came back yesterday to see them! Only the wife was there, but it was a good lesson and she has a lot of potential!! 
We saw a whole bunch of miracles this past week and we are still working hard to find new investigators. The members are great and there is a whole lot of potential, but we still have a lot of work to do. 

One goal that I've set (not sure if I’ve already mentioned it) is to read the Book of Mormon by the time I finish my mission. I've been loving it because I've been learning SO much in 1st Nephi alone. One thing that I have loved is that fact that despite everything that happens in Nephi's family and in his life, he NEVER loses faith. He always keeps this strong faith and he is so quick to forgive his brother's wickedness. I love the example that Nephi gives of faith because I’m sure that we can all say that our lives and trials do not even compare to Nephi's so despite everything in our life, we need to keep the faith. 

I hope y'all are doing well and never forget to strengthen y'all’s faith in the one person that will never leave us alone. 

Mamie Bobo!

Soeur Falesii's flat tire

Coconuts, coconuts, coconuts everywhere!

Lots of love, 

Soeur Taylor