Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 100: Last place in the 5K, but finishing strong with no regrets

Hey guys! Sooo this week was a great week!!!! So pretty much for P-day on Saturday after emailing we went to watch all the dances, and Saturday was the Hakas and those were super cool! I captured some sweet videos to show you guys when I get home!

Sunday we had church went and visited some investigators!!

Monday was weird because it wasn't P-Day haha, but we were able to recontact some people and do some lessons. We started lessons with this girl named Carla who lives with, and is family with, Melodie (and they live right next to us). Carla actually won Miss Ua Huka this year. She is super cool and we are really good friends with her, but she has already been through the lessons before. She has had some amazing experiences, but when the missionaries left the island, and she left to Tahiti for school, she let go of things for a while, and now she is picking it back up and is super determined to make a change!

Tuesday we saw Monia and she is doing great. She has lots and lots of worries and doubts, which is normal, but we talked about the plan of salvation and had a really good discussion about that and she took it really well. She wanted a full week to reflect and ponder and read the BOM, so we are praying super hard for her.

Wednesday we had a lesson with Aldo, and he is stressing out. That man works soooo hard and has sooo much to do. Life as a Marqesan farmer is tough (he has like 3 different gardens to handle), but in our lesson we were able to talk a lot about putting God first and the rest of what we need will be given to us. He then asked for a blessing and now he and his family are stronger than before!

Thursday we had lesson with Melodie and Carla! Melodie's lesson was kinda funny, haha, cause she would say stuff like "I don't know if I have the desire anymore." or "My faith is getting lower", and because we are close with Melodie, and she is a tougher girl, Elder Ugbah and I were super bold with her in that lesson, and we were guided purely by the spirit. At the end of that lesson she was back to normal! 

Carla's lesson was great as well. We retaught the restoration and she keeps saying stuff like "I want my future kids to grow up in this" or "My family better except this one day". Carla is 17 and Melodie is 21 BTW! 

Friday the 14th of July is like the 4th of July in America, so there were all these huge activities, and the Mayor invited us to run a 5k run. All of our investigators were wanting us to win, haha, but we knew we weren't going to. The competition was huge, and I played baseball so I'm not much of a runner, haha. But because our friends and investigators think of Elder Ugbah and I as athletic, they immediately think that we will win. Buuuuuuttttt no. We came in last place hahahaha!!!!! But it was the hardest 5k I have ever done!!!! it was an intense run!

Soooooooooo the end is coming, but I'm just trying my best to finish strong. I am super happy, but sad to leave soon, haha it's hard to explain how I'm feeling!! I am very grateful for this mission. I will never regret this decision!!

Love you all,

Elder Boyd

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Week 99: It's hard to teach when everybody's dancing

Hey guys! All of July here in French Polynesia is just a huge party, so this is when the missionary work tends to slow down, especially here in the Marquesas islands. It's crazy how much these guys prepare themselves for the partying haha! I had this idea to change our P-day to Saturday because everyone is out or hungover, but Monday everyone is at home. We called the Mission President and asked him if we could change our P-Days for the month of July, and he thought it was a good idea. So yeah, that's why our P-Day is today.

Hopefully we will be able to have a better week, because this week hit us hard. It was the boat week and the preparation for the dances and stuff. Last year, I spent July in Bora Bora and it was sooo cool because I got to see some of the cool Tahitian dances and cultural stuff, and now we get to see some of the cool Marquesan dances!! But everyone during the week was preparing for them, so it was tough week for missionary lessons!!

Monday we went and helped Aldo collect all of his lemons off the trees, and we put them in big crates to prepare them to be sent to Tahiti. That is how Aldo makes his money! And then we had a lesson with Aldo!

Tuesday we helped Aldo with his lemons and we went contacting with no success.

Wednesday the boat came, so we had to wait all morning to pick up our stuff that came on the boat (thanks mom for the package) haha, and after that we went out contacting.

Friday we had our district meeting and we talked with the elders of Nuku Hiva about ways that we can stay busy and working during this month of July, haha. We came up with some good ideas and a good vision, and then we had a lesson with Monia. 

Last week I forgot to talk about her!! Sooo basically, Monia has been studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses for like 2 years and they have just pounded in her head that the BOM is of the devil, and that our Church is bad, and all that stuff. But the last couple of weeks we have been going to see her just to say hi and check in on her. We noticed that she slowly started to open up to us that she finally accepted us to come back and talk to her and stuff like that.

So last week during our lesson with her we talked about the BOM (the week before that was the restoration and that was great as well), and we shared the powerful verses in Moroni 10:3-5 which directs to ask of God, and she started crying after she read that verse. It was crazy! She just really felt the spirit! So we gave her the Book of Mormon and also the conference edition of the Liahona magazine, and this last week she read all of the Liahona and some of the BOM and she looooovvvveeeeddd the Liahona, but she was weirded out at how simple the BOM was, haha. She was used the Jehovah's Witnesses and their bible and all this complicated stuff, that once she got to something simple it was weird for her.

She read all the book of Moroni and she loves it! She liked the BOM, but she still has her doubts!! This woman is soooo afraid of messing up, so she is just really scared of getting into something new! She says that every time she reads the Liahona or the BOM, or talks with us, she can feel something (obviously it is the spirit) like a feeling of peace, a warm feeling. She asked the Jehovahs Witnesses what that was, and they said it was the devil disguising himself as light. They think that the devil can do that!! 

She is just having a hard time letting that go. But it's ok because she is just really scared to mess up and disappoint Heavenly Father. The Lord blesses people like that, and He will make it known unto her. I feel like he will definitely open her eyes just by small experiences!! Sooo yeah, that was super cool this week!!

Then we went to Hokatu with Christine and her family to watch all of the Marquesan dances, and that was awesome! I didn't get any pics because I took all videos. So I'll show them to you guys when I get home! A Buddy of ours, named Carla, won Miss Ua Huka, so we were super pumped for her!! That was my week. 

Recently, I have just been feeling such big gratitude for the things that I have learned on my mission. I feel like when I get back it will just be a new start into the real world! The real world is a DINGUS, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to overcome the world and find joy! Jesus Christ has overcome the world, so if we hold on to His example, we will overcome it as well! Light will always overcome darkness!! 

Have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 98: Aldo sets a date - and the difference between the Marquesas and Tahiti

Hey guys! 
So sorry! The internet connection went out again on the island but this time it was for the whole weekend! Makes it hard to write home on P-day! 
I can't believe that yesterday was my little brother's 18th bday! (Everyone feel free to wish my little brother "Beezer" a Happy Birthday)! I really can't believe that Brendon is officially an adult right now...who would've thought that this day would come so fast! Haha! Watch out world!
Since I don't have a lot of time before I will probably lose connection again, this will just be a short email to fill you in on my week!
So last Monday we helped Aldo with his coconut tree garden and we cleared this huge thing out with big knifes and stuff like that, twas dope! Then our Branch Mission Leader came over from Nuku Hiva and visited for the week. So this was the first time in months that we've seen another leader of the church or priesthood holder. And it was actually awesome!
He joined us in many of our lessons and it was an extra force for us! It was great to have him here. He said that he has seen a major progression here in Ua Huka since the last time he visited which was back in March!! He said that people wave at us now and that people are more friendly towards missionaries for sure! That is something that I didn't realize had been happening until he said that!! When we arrived everyone was super scared of us, but now we can talk to most of the island without people trying to hide from us haha! There is still a lot of persecution and weird moves like that but its ok, dinguses will be dinguses! 
Aldo is also doing super great! IDK if I mentioned this in my last letter but Aldo prayed for a date to get baptized and he felt that God was telling him to get baptized the 10th of August, his birthday, so we are working toward that date with him. That's the last week of my mission, so if he gets baptized that week I would totally be a happy camper!!!! So pray hard!!! He still needs to stop smoking and needs a little bit more confidence in himself!! God is leading him, so it will all be good!! God is leading all of our investigators slowly but's just super hard to have patience sometimes! 
The Marquises Islands and Tahiti are like two different missions, because they are literally two different kinds of people!! In Tahiti the missionary work moves so much more quickly and smoothly, but here it takes a lot of time because of the small numbers and the powerful influence of the Catholic Church that has been on this island for years. I have learned a lot about how God works here in Ua Huka!!! I also learned that missionaries have such a little part in an investigators conversion, so we need to have complete confidence in the Lord for anything to work!!! Alma 7:23
So I've got six weeks left on the mission, and I'm sooo grateful for the decision that I made to serve a mission. I will never forget the experiences that I've had and lived during these two years, they will influence me for the rest of my life!! Love you guys and have a great week!! I'll have pictures and a better email next week!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 97: Pit stop on the way to Hane, and you never know who is watching your example

Sorry again for the tardiness in writing, we went to help Aldo with some work. It was super fun because we all were working with machetes and were cutting down this huge area to turn it into a cage where he can put all of his goats! Sooooo yeah this week was super great here, very busy!!

Last Monday It rained like crazy, and when it rains like crazy that means that the WIFI stops working, and all stores close, etc. So we literally did nothing except sleep and studied in the scriptures haha!

Tuesday we went on bike all the way to Hane, but before that, Marie Christine made Puaka Toto (which is pig cooked in its own blood) and its sooooo good that I ate way too much and I threw up on the way to Hane, haha, but it's ok, I wasn't sick after. We were able to contact and meet new people that day! 

Wednesday the sisters had their Relief Society and we went and visited a good friend of Marie Christine (Tatiana), and she was super great and invited us to meet with them again because apparently her husband wanted to talk to us!

Thursday we went to see Moeata but she wasn't there so we had a lesson with L. That was good, but man, she has so much anger in her heart and she is suuuuper prideful so it's really hard to teach her. We tried to give her the BOM and she accepted, so I really hope that she reads it.

Friday our investigator Julie was doing an open house thing where she was making food and delivering it for people, so she could make money to buy a marble tomb stone for her son who died a long time ago, so we went and helped! Moeata was there helping as well, so we talked to her and apparently L is being kind of a dingus to her and telling everyone that she is mormon now and stuff like that, but she is doing in a persecuting way, so she had a hard week. She is still reading the BOM and working hard--she is a stud! All of our investigators are just champions because if someone is even seen talking to us, the whole island knows and they all start criticizing the person -- its super sad to see that.

Saturday we did a lot of meetings and a massive planning session. It took us four hours, haha, but we have a super good plan for this week coming up!

Sunday morning we met Tatiana's husband, named Teva, and we did a lesson with him. It was super great! He wanted to talk to us because he is just astonished with our sacrifice and our example. He said that he notices the way we treat kids, and he says that its rare to see people like that. He noticed how all the kids just love us, and he says that it's because kids have a pure heart and they go toward people who also have a pure heart! I liked hearing that! I'm just super glad that Elder Ugbah and I have been trying to be good examples on this island in spite of the persecution toward us and those we teach! You never know who is watching ;)!

Jesus Christ was our first and best example, and by being baptized we take upon us His name, meaning that we are also examples of Jesus Christ and His gospel.  Everything people do in this world is based off of examples of others, so if we strive to follow Christ's example, we will help others change, because you never know who is watching, but there always is someone watching!

Have a great week! I love you all.

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 96: The Boat comes in, and the Mormon Elders attend a Catholic wedding

So this week was definitely a tougher week, but it was still pretty great!! The boat came this Friday sooo everyone on the island (literally everyone on the island) were busy preparing for the boat to come! Everyone who works at the stores gets ready to receive all the new products, or people get all of their fruit ready to send out on the boats to sell because everyone here has gardens of all kinds of fruits. Many either prepare their pigs or goats to be sent, or they send all of their cool tikis and stuff like that!! So it was a busy week for everyone here in Ua Huka! 

Monday we had a chill P-day and just relaxed again. and we then had a lesson with Aldo and he is doing super great! BTW, we are doing lessons with Aldo every other night, and when he doesn't have a lesson with us, he and Marie Christine read together! They both have been saying for this week that has helped them sooo much!! When they have had arguments, or trials, they said that reading the Book of Mormon together really helps them, sooo that is great!!M

Tuesday we saw Moeata and she is also doing great! We talked a lot about baptism again. She totally has this testimony and she is totally ready, but she is sooooo scared of her dad! Ha, it's funny because Aldo is scared of his mom and Moeata is scared of the dad! We are really trying to help those two! We understand them because pretty much this whole island is family and the whole island is Catholic, so it really is tough for these investigators, but i know with faith and hard work, we will definitely have success!

Wednesday our investigator, Mehiti, headed back to Tahiti!! She is going back to talk to her boyfriend Raimoana, and try to fix things and talk about marriage and baptism and she is hoping to come back in July! We are staying in contact with her. We alerted the missionaries in Tahiti and they are seeing her, and we are sending her some verses and stuff by text message!

Thursday we did a lot of contacting, and we had a few good lessons.

Friday the boat came and we had to go down to the boats and pick up some stuff the office missionaries sent us, and then we had district meetings and we planned for the next week!

Saturday we were invited to a little kid's birthday!! His name is Teanu, it was awesome becuase we got a chance to talk to more people and develop some good relationships with some people! Then there was this huge marriage that everyone on the island went to. It started off in the Catholic church, and we totally went haha. It was funny because everyone looked at us like we were crazy!

Catholic church services are extremely different! The bishop was there and they call him "my lord" which weird,  but idk, I'm just really glad and blessed that I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ! The reception was super cool because they had a Haka and all this really neat cultural stuff!! I took some pretty sweet videos!!

Sunday we had a great day at church. We talked about fathers and the influence of their examples!! 

Things are going great here, we had a super good weekly planning, and we have some pretty great goals and plans set up! So we are praying and are excited to see what happens!! love you guys have a great week

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Week 95: Dad runs up the mountain, and staying in Ua Huka to the End

Hey guys!! So this week was a pretty normal week!

Monday, because elder Ugbah was sick, we pretty much just chilled in the house and he rested and yeah that was pretty much our P-day! haha. But it was great because it was a nice break and we got to rest a little bit!!

Tuesday we had a few good lessons but we also had like three lessons cancel which kinda sucked.

Wednesday: Sooooo this boy named Ronny, he is Marie Chantal's son, really wants to get baptized, but we kept hearing that the dad is not ok with him being baptized. So we planned to do Ronny's lesson later in the day so that the dad would be there and then we can talk about that with the dad, but while we were walking up to the house the dad saw us and totally went and hid up in the mountain behind his house. We were pretty disappointed and its obvious that the dad doesn't want to talk to us, but it's okay -- God has a plan for him and his son. Marie Chantal is being awesome and obedient, so blessings will come.

Thursday we had some decent lessons and there was a conference back in Tahiti so we got to tune in by Internet and be part of it! We learned a lot. President and sister Bize are super powerful speakers! You can see how much they love their missionaries just by the way they talk!

Friday we had district meeting and yeah it was great!! 

Saturday morning was great! We went to see Moeata. She is doing great btw, and also her mother-in-law's (her name is Leontine) story is super long and hard to explain, but basically she was cast out of everything political and the Catholic church just because she was the leader and people didn't want her to lead anymore. For years she just became super bitter and then we she started hearing how we pray she said to us that that scares her, because when we pray with Moeata she feels something and she is scared of this change. But anyway, she finally came to us and asked for help and she needs to get all of this bitterness and anger out of her heart, so yeah, we started the lessons with her!! So that was cool! 

Then we saw Monia, who studies with the Jehovahs Witnesses, and she loves it, but she says that she feels something different with us! Of course, she asks a JW what that means and they tell her that that's from the devil and that satan can disguise himself into light and stuff like that... haha.  So yeah, we are working with her on that! We talk a lot about the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Sunday was great as well we had a good day at church and a good day spending it with our members! 

Transfer calls were this week, and it turns out that Elder Ugbah and I are still staying together!! This was the last transfer before I leave! So it's for sure that I'm staying here in Ua Huka until the end of the mission and I'm staying with Elder Ugbah to the end! Yay! I'm super pumped to finish here!!

Love you guys. Have a great week,

Elder Boyd

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 94: The highs and lows of missionary life

Hey guys, what's going on? Sooo, this week was a crazy one! It was kind of a spiritual rollercoaster if you know what I mean!! 

Monday we worked in the morning. We had a few lessons because some of our investigators couldn't see us during the week and they were great lessons!! And then we did our mail and other P-day prep.

We got back to work on Tuesday and man it was an intense week. We saw Moeata and we talked about prayer! She has had all these crazy awesome experiences with God, but the only thing that's delaying her is to pray and ask if its all really true! So we talked about that and she said that she would do it! At the end of our lessons she said that she wanted to say the prayer. She said a super super long prayer and she asked God right in front of us if our message was true! At the end of her prayer she was all teary eyed; it was definitely one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard! The spirit was super strong!

Then Thursday SUUUUCCCKKKKKEEDDD!!! We have another investigator named M and she is super great. She has gained a testimony and everything. Of course her husband is not ok with it and says that if she chooses to be mormon he will divorce her! So she chose to stay Catholic and avoid the drama! I don't like that decision, but it's okay. I mean I understand her situation and why she is so scared, but also, I understand and know the joy that she could have with this gospel. It's okay, she will probably have another chance! It's never too late! So yeah, Elder Ugbah and I took it pretty hard because we worked hard for her to come so far, so it was sad!

Friday we had all of our meetings and Saturday we had some great lessons again and a lot of success! We are teaching a woman with same-gender attraction issues, but with the Lord everything is possible haha!! She is actually doing super great and she loves the gospel and is believing it. She knows that she has to change so she is making efforts! 

Also, at the beginning of my mission in Fa'aripo, in my first area I taught a girl named Mehiti and her boyfriend Raimoana. My trainer, Elder Teamotuaitau, and I ended up fixing their baptismal date, but a few weeks later they disappeared! Sooo get this: Mehiti is from here in Ua Huka and is really good friends with Marie Christine, so we talked and she said that they disappeared because of their in-laws; they kicked them out because they wanted to get baptized!!! Sooo mystery solved! It's like God has prepared Mehiti for all this time until now because we started the lessons with her. She still wants to be baptized and she knows that it's all true and stuff like that!! So we will be talking about that more this week. Raimoana is in Tahiti working. I haven't seen him yet, but apparently he is doing super great!! So that was a cool miracle.

On Sunday, we conducted church. Testimony meeting was super great!! Ugbah got super sick after church so we just chilled the rest of the day while he rested! 

God works in mysterious was and he always will!! Most of the time we won't understand how He really works, but all we need to understand is that listening to the spirit and having faith in Him will allow Him to work miracles prepared for us!! 

Love you guys! Have a great week

Elder Boyd