Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 15: Baptizing Tuhey (the little blueberry)

Bonjour, Ia Orana, Bonsoir, Maitai?, Toe oe huru? Ok is everyone?

Here is an update on what happened during this last week....

Monday: We didn't end up going to the lighthouse last week and I was so excited to go but we couldn't make it happen. We might go today so fingers crossed. Yes, we played beach soccer and then I just walked knee deep in the water because it feels like money on my legs! Most of the time Elder Dalton, me, and others stand in the water and just talk...haha...I could do it all day on P-day, it feels good to chill. After P-day ended, we had family night at the Orbeck home and that was really great. We had a testimony meeting and the Spirit was strong...I bore my testimony about my mommy. Ha!

Tuesday: I can't really recall lots of details but we taught a bunch of lessons like we usually do every Tuesday; that's like our busy day; I'm not really sure why, but people seem to like to hear about the gospel on Tuesdays!

Wednesday: We had a lesson in the morning with Natalie.  The first time we taught her she already knew that the Book of Mormon was true and and she wants baptism but we have a couple of things to get lined up first. During that lesson the Bishop joined us and he bore his testimony and told the story of the Orbeck family and Fabreese and all the amazing stories that have happened in this ward.  We set a baptism date for the 12th and she is going to try and prepare and be ready.  After that lesson a missionary couple named Elder and Sister Caldwell from Midway, Utah came and taught me to drive stick shift so now I can drive a stick shift car because that is what we have out here.  Soooo look out Tahiti!  I'm not the driver yet, plus my area is mostly bike, but when I get to an area with a car I can drive. Pretty sick if you ask me!

Thursday: Just another crazy, busy day like always...Ha! No turkey and stuffing out here in Tahiti!

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were the toughest 3 days of my mission so far...but things are good...the language is coming along...and I am committed more than ever to be the most hard-working servant of Christ.  I don't ever want to be seen as just a kid with a name tag, I am here for more. 

On Saturday we baptized little Blueberry Tuhey and that was really great.  The Spirit was strong and we have a lesson with his Mom and Dad next week.  My back was really hurting again that day so I asked my companion for a blessing and I felt way better.  I will be good.

I love you all! Mom, thank you so much for the letter and Ensign conference magazine you included with my package...I actually read from that this morning.  Dad, thanks for your email too...the poem is really great.  You guys are the best parents ever!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 14: Birthday in Tahiti

Hey, Ia Orana! 

This week was really great! Of course the week started on P-day with beach soccer (but today we are actually going to the lighthouse on the island and we get to go to the top of it so that's gonna be new and awesome!) 
P-Day ankle-deep in warm water with my Zone

Also, last Monday was the last day Sister Stastney was going to be in our zone so she took our journals to write in them and wrote us all great messages. We hung with our zone at the beach and I loved it...the sand was so hot that Elder Pruett and I both got burns on our lily white feet so that was really painful for a couple of days, but it healed quickly. Then Elder Teamo lost our house key so we had to stay in the house and study the rest of P-day but we found it the next day just in time to get back to work. 

Elders Teamotuetau and Boyd

Tuesday we had a whole lot of lessons and it was pretty much a good, normal day. Wednesday was our English language class and it was extra fun and went super well. We taught the verb "to be" and "to have" and played a fun game. The Tahitians love games and are always up for some fun so it was great! Ha!  A lot of people here have the desire to learn English so we always have a good turn out. Elder Dalton is one of my favorite people ever and we get along great! He and I laugh at all of the French words that sound a little "iffy" in the English language and have a good time all day long! 

Thursday was my birthday and we went to have a conference at the chapel in Papeete with this guy who taught about stress and how to handle it. It was a good message. Then when I walked out of the conference my whole zone had made a cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to me. They gave me a "Frozen hat" and it was awesome. That afternoon we had good lessons and then we had dinner at the Orbeck's house but it out to be a birthday party for me! They sang to me and gave me presents, just some really cool Tahitian decorative stuff and it was a pretty great day.

Birthday dinner with the Orbecks and other Mahina ward members

My 19th Birthday with good people I have been able to teach and see baptized

Friday we just had a lot of lessons again but it was hard cause I was really tired, I don't know why. It must have been all the Birthday partying! Haha! It was really funny because over here when someone is eating they yell "Tama'a" which means "let's eat", so when I'm eating they are all like Elder! Tama'a!, and I'm just like......ummm ok, haha, yeah that's what I'm doing! I'm not sure if I'm not eating fast enough or if I'm not eating enough...I bet you never thought you'd hear that one! 

Elder T and I with Poerani and Vehia Orbeck

Saturday we had splits all day and I had a lesson with Remoana and Angenita and that lesson had the Spirit from the get-go! It was seriously bouncing off the walls and going nuts! And I was like ooohhhhhh geeeezzz, do you feel that? Will you be baptized? And they said yes! So yeah, another baptism coming over here.  

I forgot to tell you about Fabreese who was baptized this week. You just look at this guy and see humility on his face! I love that guy!  Also we are teaching these two guys named Steve and Arama; Arama is a member and Steve is a non-member and they are really cool. Funny thing, Steve's Bday was the same day as mine so that was a cool day! 

Steve (green shirt) Arama (white shirt) Yanki (lower)

On splits with Yanki. I love that guy!

This week I really gained an appreciation for my sweet little mother and I miss her soo much! My mom is a miracle and from the start of my life she has taken care of me and loved me! 

I love you all! Happy Thanksgiving to all back home!

Elder Boyd

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 13: Baptism of the Family Orbeck

Hey Family! This week was really great and went by really fast.

Last P-Day we gathered with another zone and an Elder who was in the MTC with me, Elder Isabell, was there too so he, Elder Dalton, and I got to spend some time standing knee-deep in the super-warm ocean and talked for awhile to catch up on great missionary experiences so far. Eventually, we joined the others playing (you guessed it) beach soccer SURPRISE, haha but yeah it was a good day.

We enjoyed Family Night with Yanki again (the ward missionary I told you about last week), and that is always so awesome because I love Yanki! I got to teach lessons to all of his kids who are currently inactive but all so great! They are progressing a lot and seem to want to make the necessary changes in their lives to return to full church activity.

Tuesday was just a really busy day and we did a lot of work and taught a lot of lessons...great day!

Our first English class on Wednesday went surprisingly well! As we hoped, a lot of people came to the class and it was really fun because Tahitians are just super energetic and they know how to enjoy life, so we played English Learning games the whole time and had a great time. The whole Orbeck family came as well which was really cool! It was a success.

Of course, Friday was the moment of truth for the family Orbeck as we baptised all of them ... and it was sooo awesome!! I got to baptize the little girl named Vehia who is 13 years old. She is so little and humble, and their whole family is remarkable. I have been so blessed to watch this family change and grow and become involved with the local ward members. Mahinui, their 16 year old son, is now considering the possibility of going a mission right when he is 18. I love these people!

 The family Orbeck on their baptism day

A new day for Vehia

I haven't told you about this house we pass all of the time with all of these great Tahitian guys who sit outside and have the most contagious laughter ever! It is fun to visit them when we pass by, and guess what? They are all active members of the church as well. I guess it's a Tahitian brotherhood thing, and they sure seem like they have a good, clean, fun time -- all day long, every day. Life is good in Tahiti.

Our investigator who was supposed to be baptized on Saturday who is a good young man, can't be baptized because his parents were going to kick him out of their house if he went through with it.  So he had a lot of pressure over that and cancelled. I feel badly for him. Hopefully hearts will be softened. So then something crazy happened! I went on splits with frere Opuu Tera (Papi), and while we were out in a neighborhood I talked to this guy and set a time to teach him on Sunday (yesterday). It turns out that he's the oldest brother of our investigator that had to cancel his baptism! So, that is going to be a big blessing! If the older brother will listen and feel the spirit, it might help to soften the hearts of the parents.  Keep them in your prayers! 

Another super funny, but incredible, thing happened this week...haha. While talking with Tuhei, who is the awesome little kid that I met when I very first came to this ward, I felt to give him the baptism challenge, and I said, Tuhei my friend, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be ...", and he just cuts in and yells, OUI!!!!!!!! Hahahaa it was so funny the way his excitement got the best of him, and also very touching. So, he will be baptized on the 28th of this month.

Sunday was such a great day because it was the Primary program in our ward, and that was so hilarious! hahaha. I love the kids here! There is just nothing better than the Primary program is a favorite all around the world.

Love, Elder Boyd

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 12: Bursting with Baptisms

Hi Family!

Ia-Orana! I have to say that this week was honestly sick (these days, that means awesome)! 

Here's a quick recap of a very eventful week. Monday night we went and had FHE with Frere Yanki and I gotta say that Yanki is one of my favorite people! I'll try to get a picture with him this week. He is a Ward Missionary and he is absolutely amazing. All of his kids are inactive, but his son, Antoine, wants to come back so we are teaching and helping him. 

Tuesday we gave a blessing to Yanki's other son, and after the blessing he said, "I will stop doing the things of the world". It was absolutely amazing to see the change in him. We had a lot of lessons the rest of the day. We get to teach so much every day, it is really cool. Later that night Elder Dalton and I were talking about how a lot of people we meet want to learn English, so we had the idea to start an English class. I called Sister Jones who is one of the couple missionaries whose job is to help the native Tahitian missionaries with English and stuff like that. She was giving some lessons that day and she approved the idea on the spot! So, Elder Dalton and I will be teaching an English class for locals every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. and I'm really excited about that! I know a lot of non-members are going to come so that will be a good opportunity for us to find even more investigators and get to know more people. 

Wednesday and Thursday were just normal, busy days and we taught a lot of lessons! My investigators T. and H. are not quite ready for baptism yet even though they want to get baptized. They need to work on a few more things and they will be ready. T. is really progressing but H. is not trying quite as hard. I know something will motivate him, and I trust the Lord will help with that. 

Friday was also a pretty great day. We started off with district meeting and it's always so fun! My zone is awesome! Ours is the most successful zone in the mission right now and President Bize is really proud of all of us. He motivates us to do our best. I'm so blessed to be in a zone where everyone works hard and is super fun to be around, it's awesome! In our lesson with Eria we changed his baptismal date to the 21st of November and he asked me to baptize him, ha so pretty nuts if you ask me! 

Saturday was an amazing day because all our lesson appointments were awesome! In our lesson with the family Orbeck I felt to testify of the Savior and I shared John 17. I talked about all the things He has done for us and then the mom said with tears in her eyes, "I feel his love". The spirit was present and we all felt it. They are being baptized on Friday and I have been asked to baptize the daugher, Vehia, my companion will baptize the brother, Mahinui, and a member is baptizing the mom and dad. I called President Bize and invited him to the baptism and he was so excited when he heard it was a whole family, but he can't come as he is going to another island to visit other missionaries, but he said he will be thinking of us. My Mission President is a great man and he loves all of the missionaries. He is awesome. 

We spent Sunday mostly studying after Church as we had no lessons set up on the day of rest. This Saturday we will also be baptizing Marutea, so this week will be great with both him and the family Orbeck entering the sacred waters this week.

Having dinner with Vaitiani and her family. They take great care of their missionaries.

It's great to hear things are going well back home. Congrats to Deeds on taking 6th in State with Volleyball, and tell B good luck with "Heck Week" as he starts wrestling practice.

Love you all, 

Elder Boyd

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 11: Smiles by Emilie, commits on splits, and casting out evil

But first .... 

The Boyd Family enjoyed an unexpected, and wonderful correspondence on Sunday with the newest member of the Mahina ward -- Vaitiani, the lady whose baptism Connor was part of two weeks ago (his first baptism). She sent the following (translated from French) along with the video and picture below. 

"Hello, it will be with pleasure that I bring you news (short stories) of your son, elder Connor. This evening there is an activity in Mahina and the theme it is "where from I come". I shall show him your messages and we shall make photos and videos. First two weeks we saw that he was not well, that he was sad and it is there that my daughter Émilie came towards him, to give him a little smile and hug. He misses you enormously. We make for you of big kiss."
-- Sister Vaitiani

Vaitiani's daughter, Emilie with her Elder Boyd

This meant so much to us. Elder Boyd has not mentioned or reported anything but gung-ho excitement to his family, so the observation that he looked a bit sad, lost and in need of a little kindness and that little Emilie responded was precious to us to learn of. Emilie and Connor now have a special bond that can be seen in their faces. And we were so grateful Vaitiani made Connor record this little video to us. It's fun to hear the language starting to influence even his English.

Video from Elder Boyd - Only plays in a browser -- not on a mobile device.

Now ... This Week from Elder Boyd:

Hey everyone back at home!

So this week was really good! Last Monday after I emailed we went to the mission office and we met with the AP's and I got all of this new stuff to use to teach our investigators. Great new pictures and stuff; I love getting new stuff like makes our lessons even better.  After that we went as a zone to this great restaurant (a member invited us there) and she gave us like 600 dollars worth of food. Heavenly! Then we went and played beach soccer again, and let's just say I really stink at beach soccer! I'm really hoping we can agree on a hike up in these lush mountains soon. 

Tuesday was nuts! It was just a lot of work, and it was awesome! We had sooo much work to do that my companion and I had to split and he went with a member and I went with another member to teach lessons. I was a little worried, but I honestly liked it! My companion is awesome, but man the guy can talk! And sometimes I like to use a little quiet to invite the spirit.  Elder T talks crazy fast and a lot of times I have to kick him under the table to let him know that I have something to say! Ha!  But the lesson with just me and and the member went really well. It was cool to see that I could do this even without my awesome comp.  The lady we taught wants to be baptized...I am so excited!

Wednesday we did splits again and this was my favorite day of the mission so far. I went with Francis who is the ward missionary and we taught Chantal.  She is an investigator who is uneasy about baptism, so I shared Alma 34:40-41 and told her to be patient and she will know when the time is right.  Then I talked about my mom and my dad and how they had amazing patience and kept their hope that they would eventually have kids. They had to wait seven years for a kid and that was me! I'm so grateful for their patience and continued hope even when things seemed impossible or hard. Instead of waiting any longer, she committed to baptism and will be baptized on November 28. So that was awesome!

One of the Members who owns a restaurant invited our Zone to dinner.  It was sooo good!

Later in the week I had an experience that changed my whole perspective on a lot of things. I'm still teaching this great kid who is my age and lives in a tiny shack. After we had the lesson (we were outside) I asked him to continue praying and reading, but he said that it was difficult because there are bad spirits in his house. I thought that sounded kind of weird, but my companion said we could bless the house. He asked me to do it!  So we go into his shack and I don't feel anything, so I started a prayer and then suddenly I just felt like I was being surrounded by Satan. I could hardly speak. 

At that moment I felt like I should say (and I did) "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to get out".  Almost immediately after that the dark and evil feeling was honestly gone and I felt the Holy Ghost around us in the house. That was really creepy. Satan is real. I hated the feeling of all of his power thrust into me. It was a horrible feeling. I honestly got a headache from it.  I seriously still have a super bad headache, and ever since that experience I've been really tired. It's like I'm coming back from an injury. I've never felt something this strange before. 

It was sure an eventful week. Elder Urbani was transferred and Elder Dalton who was in the MTC with me is the new guy in our missionary house. It's great to see him again.  

Elder Boyd with Elder Urbani (French) who was transferred this week.

Mom, the food here is good, nothing weird or crazy yet. Fish and chow mein-like stuff, plus steak and fries.  I like it.  No crazy bugs or spiders and the people are great! 

Love you all!

Elder Boyd