Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 71: 2nd Christmas in Tahiti

Hey guys!  This week was another great week!

On Monday after emailing we went to Point Venus and just chilled for Pday! It was awesome and we had a great time. 

Point Venus
Then we had a lesson with the Diard family (they are doing great BTW) and then FHE with our other investigator named Sebastian. Good day! Tuesday we got right back to work. Our goal was to have as many lessons as we could possibly fit in because it was the week of Christmas and it's always hard to do a bunch of lessons because people are really busy. But that wasn't going to stop us!

Christmas party at the mission home

We had our mission Christmas party on Wednesday and it was soooo fun! I saw everyone from my MTC group and I finally saw Elder Barfuss! It had been like a year and a half because we were always in different parts of the mission and it was good to see and chill with him! We totally watched "Finding Dory"! It was cool to just watch a movie again...haha...I have missed that! 


Thursday and Friday we got back to work with District Meeting and lessons.

On Christmas Eve we tried our best to get lessons done haha! But we did set a baptismal date for January 28th! Her name is Vienna and she is awesome! We are really excited for her.  She is so ready! Then we went to the hospital with our district and we went caroling to some of the sick people there. We could really feel the spirit that night in that hospital! Then we spent Christmas Eve with the family Teiti and we ate mussels, oysters, crab salad, fish, escargot, and it was sooo good!!! I ate soooooo much I wanted to throw up ha! Then we went on the roof and we lit fireworks with them...a little different Christmas Eve tradition than we have at home, but it was great!


Christmas Day we went to Church and did the Zone Leader reports. AND THEN I SKYPED THE FAM! That was great once we got the connection under control! Then we went and visited the orbeck family for dinner and it was super! Later we did a small thing with our district and played the ukulele, the guitar, and played and sang Christmas songs together! It was a good day!

Doing ZL calls on Christmas day ... the work never stops

Sorry this was a whimpy letter haha but i wish you all a Merry Christmas and I'll see you all next year! The mission goes by way too fast! I'm loving it!


Elder Boyd

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 70: Christmas Program on Tahitian TV

Hey guys! How is everyone doing? As you probably know by now, the local television station wanted to do a Christmas special on the LDS missionaries, so President Bize called a few missionaries to come over to the mission home on Monday and we did the program. It was pretty great ... actually it was scary being on camera. It aired locally on TahitiNui TV on December 18th.

Elder Connor Boyd can be seen at the beginning and end singing, and his intro is at the 5:20 mark at this link:
http://www.tntvreplay.pf/Emission-religieuse-du-18-decembre-Eglise-de-Jesus-Christ-des-saints-des-derniers-jours_v8038.html

Tuesday was bombin'! We had a bunch of lessons but I don't really remember anything that would be that significant to tell you about. Just lots of lessons! Haha!

On Wednesday we had another  busy day of lessons, and we had a great lesson with the Teiti family. The dad is a member, but currently inactive. The mom and the kids are Catholic, but we have been teaching them for quite a while and they looooovvvveeeee taking the lessons. We have been starting to talk about marriage and baptism, and you can see that they are starting to get a testimony of everything. They are really getting ready!

The Orbeck family took us to dinner again this week.  Love this family!

We met a new investigator on Thursday named Thierry. He is a little "out there" in that he is part of a group that is fighting for Tahitian independence. They want Tahiti to be an independant country because right now they are a part of France. France is honestly the thing keeping them up and alive. If they were independent, it would be so hard for Tahiti to get any resources! We will see how long this independent group of people lasts, but we hope Thierry can embrace the gospel. 

That night we had our little video watching night and activity with our investigators. The family Diard,  the other Sebastian, Nicolas (recent convert) and few other new people came. We watched the "Nativity" video, then the "Resurrection", the #lighttheworld video (which is super awesome btw), and "Because of Him", Between every video we had a member bear their testimony. Bishop bore his testimony and then me and Elder Ruff. And then our new convert Nicolas (he's a stud) bore his testimony! It was super great and our investigators looooovvvveeeddd it because it was simple and powerful. I loved it because it was only 45 minutes long! Hahaha! We can do a lot in 45 minutes!

District meeting was on Friday and the district had another great week! After the meeting we did more lessons! We found out one of our investigators was gay so that was a pleasant experience...not sure how we missed that.  

 Tahitian Doorbell
Finding a Doorbell in Tahiti is a rare thing. It took 18 months to find one. Normally you Yell "IA ORANA" and people either come out or yell back. See what happened with ... The Doorbell ...


On Saturday we found a new neighborhood and it was a richer neighborhood. These areas are tougher to contact in, but we decided to try. We didn't quite finish the neighborhood, but almost everyone said "no" immediately! Sad! But there was one guy that said we could come back so we will see how that goes! Maybe he was the ONE that needed us that day.

Sunday was so great! The Diard family, Teiti family, and 4 other investigators came to church and it was sooooo awesome! We are finally getting some great blessings and our hard work is paying off. The Zone is doing super great as well. Every month the mission does a challenge for the zones and this is like the first time that ARUE has been in the lead and we are super excited! I'm so proud of our missionaries!

Elders Boyd and Ruff after a great meal at "The Trailer"

Like I said in my last letter.... I have learned so much about repentance on this mission. Repentance allows all of us to become better people, even if we have major weakness. Repentance can turn people's lives around.  I have seen it bless people's lives and it blesses mine too. 

Have a great week and love you guys! We will be Skyping in just a few days!!! 

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 69: First week with Ruff and following the promptings of the spirit in teaching

Hey guys! So this week was a pretty good one!

After handling all of the transfer stuff on Monday and saying goodbye to Pax, Elder Ruff and I got to work on Tuesday. We had a lesson with the Taiti family and they are doing super great! They just keep progressing really well. Then we planned a missionary activity that we are doing this Thursday. We are going to show some of the church Christmas videos and then some members will bear their testimonies. We hope it will be a great missionary tool!

Elders Boyd and ?

On Wednesday we had a bunch of lessons and it was a pretty normal day of work. Until we were out contacting and these guys that were super big druggies let us in. Of course we didn't realize it right away, but we started sharing a message with them and they seemed like they were super into it. Then their dad walked out and saw us a freaked out! Haha he totally kicked us out! 

Then we had a lesson with the Diard family. The lesson was great and the Spirit lead us to talk about repentance again! It's like the 4th time we have talked about it but they always seem interested in that message and I guess it is something they really need to understand for some reason.  But we are not about to question the Spirit!

Thursday was pretty busy. We went to the Church to try and see if we could make some invitations for our activity, but then we felt that we needed to go and see an investigator that we used to teach, her name is Rere. Rere used to be very good investigator, but apparently while she was taking the lessons she and her husband had a big fight about investigating the church. It was quite a while ago, but when we pulled up she was super happy! Her son had a lung infection that is super dangerous so she asked us to give him a blessing and the husband was there as well. So we went into the room with everyone and gave the son a blessing. The Spirit was super strong so we asked if we could talk a little bit and they said yes! Even the husband came to the lesson! What a miracle! 

So yeah the lesson was great and they both cried (even the husband). Yeah, that was a miracle this week! You just never know when people who you thought you might never teach again will suddenly be ready to receive the message of the gospel again! 

Later that night we went to see Leia and Floras dance recital (Diard family--Sebastian and Rosalie's two daughters) and man they are really good at Tahitian dancing. They are talented and it was fun that they asked us to come. Then we ate Mcdonalds with them which made sitting through a dance recital all worth it! Hahahaha!

During the weekend the Diard family had a little setback again, but we went a saw them and talked about it and tried to help them work through things. We almost lost them (that would have been the worst) but we left them that day with the Spirit and a good feeling. Later in the day on Saturday Sebastian sent a text and said that he is reading his scriptures and praying and asking God for help and Rosalie is doing the same! It looks like they are doing a lot better. I'm super proud of both of them. They have learned to turn to the Lord in times of trial and to let Him help them!

This week was super great. We had a lot of miracles and we saw the Lord's hand often. We may be able to set some baptismal dates this week!! Pray!!

Love you guys and have a great week!


Elder Boyd

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Week 68: Elder Paxman returns home, Elder Ruff comes in as ZL

Hey guys! Sooo this week was a good one, but is was my last week with Elder Paxman.

On Monday we went to the market in Papeete so Elder P. could get some souvenirs for his family! But of course, a guy wanted to "Bible Bash" with Paxman and me, but we didn't engage. I hate that corn! Haha!

Tuesday was awesome. We had a load of lessons to do, it was super busy and super great!! We took Hiti and Nicolas to the genealogy center to help them find some of their ancestors and that was really cool. I even learned a little bit about my genealogy as well. Apparently mom or someone else already did a whole lot of my genealogy, so looks like I'm set; thanks mom or grandma or whoever it was!! :)

Hiti's baptism a few weeks ago

Wednesday we were prompted to visit a lady that we haven't seen in a long time because she wasn't really interested. When we showed up to her house she let us in and told us what had happened to her since we last tried going by her house. Apparently her granddaughter was recently diagnosed with cancer, so that is prompting questions that the Plan of Salvation can answer perfectly!!  Do we have the answer for her, or what?! Haha! It was a great opener so we started talking about that and she just started crying! We totally knew we were there for a reason.

Elders Boyd and Sovereign

We had Leader's Council again on Thursday and it was super great. It is always awesome to see my old buddies in the mission and to get inspired by the new messages. There were a lot of leaders in the Council (we can call it the Jedi Council) who went home today, so we are getting a lot of new newbies this transfer! It will be interesting.

Friday was a busy day of lessons and then we ate at a restaurant with the Teheiura family and it was super gooooooooooddddd food! Haha!

Squinting in to the sun after taking Nicolas to the Temple

We took Nicolas to the temple to go and do baptisms for the dead on Saturday and it was sooooo cool! He was so excited and ready to go!! When we were in the temple with him he was so happy and you could today tell that he was feeling the spirit!! As soon as we finished he said that he was going to come back every Saturday with his grandma!! Super awesome!!! Then we had a lesson with the Diard family and it was great. We ate with them, we ate like French people haha!

Sunday was a good, busy day. Paxman and I bore our testimonies and taught lessons.

Sorry this email was super short haha! I got on late today because this morning I had to drop off Paxman so he could do his final preparations to return home and then I had to handle all the transfers in my zone and and for the zone right next to us. The ZL's there were both super sick so they couldn't drive so I had to handle all of their transfers and then had to get my new companion (his name is Elder Ruff, he is super cool btw) so my head is still spinning! 

Elder Paxman, Hiti at his baptism, and Elder Boyd -- A good note for Paxman to finish on

But yeah, I'm still looooovvviinnnggg the mission, it's super great! The only thing that is tough is that I don't like saying "Goodbye" all the time!! Today was another day of goodbyes. Paxman and I served four months together and we had a lot of success. We fought hard for our baptisms and I'm proud of Paxman and the missionary he has become. He was a good example for me and I will miss him!!

Love you guys and have a great week!


Elder Boyd

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 67: Miracles happen when children pray

Hey guys,

Last P-Day we went to Papenoo because Elder Paxman wanted to visit his old converts and ward that he served in when he started his mission -- like me except I was assigned to the Fa'aripo ward. Elder Paxman finishes his mission this week and is returning home, so it's a final hurrah for him. Then we had a killer FHE with a the Tuahu family who had invited an investigator, Sebastian (it's a different Sebastian) and yes, he is also from France, but he will soon be married to a Tahitian who is super active in the church, and Sebastian is super interested in our message and what the true church is all about.

Tuesday we had a great day of lessons, especially with the family Taiti. The dad is a member and has two kids. He felt that he should retake the missionary lessons with his family, so we have been doing lessons but just with him and his kids. The mom didnt want to, but we have been commiting them to pray every night as a family, and to read. They want to do lessons everyday!!! haha

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Sebastian which went super well. Lessons just go so well when the investigator is humble and ready to listen!! Then we had a lesson with the family Diard, which went super well also ... the wierd thing is that our two most potential investigators are French guys, hahaha. It's weird because French people are usually more stubborn when it comes to the gospel.

Thursday was a normal day -- nothing too special, but we found a new investigator.

Friday we had our district meeting. We had a lot of miracles in our district and zone this week -- it was awesome! Then we did a split with Elders Clements and Heiata. I was with Elder Heiata in their area. They are also the missionaries in the office so we had to do some of the office stuff, which gave Elder Clements a little break because they are super busy with all that, and they always go home just super beat haha!

Saturday was a good day. We had another lesson with the Taiti family, and guess what: THE MOM CAME!! She saw her kids saying prayers and reading and she wanted to come!!!!! Then we went to McDonalds with them -- the world is cursed with McDonalds: you cant get away from that garbage food!

On Sunday sooooo many investigators had come to church it was super great! Our gospel principles class was full!!!!!!! Then we did our weekly numbers report and the zone of Aru'e caught up to the other zones, so we are no longer the worst zone -- we are tied! We are super proud of our missionaries in the zone; they have worked sooo hard that these past few months we have had some awesome miracles happen.


Love, Elder Boyd

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 66: Elder Cardon visits, Turning 20, and Orbecks are sealed in the Temple

Hello Family! This week was crazy awesome!

To start off, this whole week we had a General Authority Seventy (Elder Cardon and his wife) come to visit the Tahiti, Papeete mission.  He wanted to do a Leader's Council on Monday night, so all the Zone Leaders and STLS had a meeting with him, and the meeting was super fun! We talked about what this mission needs and what our missionaries need to be successful. It was interesting because the whole meeting was in English! What a change! We actually had to translate for the French/Tahitian missionaries and that was a first. After that, we ate a great dinner together.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we got back to work did a bunch of lessons. BTW Robert (the member who is blind) still comes with us almost everyday for a few hours, he has sooo much faith and we truly enjoy having him with us!

We had multi-zone conference with Elder Cardon on Thursday and it was really great. There is no question that when he speaks the Spirit is just working through him. He is just so in tune with the Spirit when he talks and testifies. He talked about a lot of great things but something that I really loved was when he talked about faith. He had been speaking about faith earlier and he was talking about recognizing the spirit, and then he asked if any one of us would be willing to come up to the pulpit and give a 3 minute discussion about it. He said to stand if we were willing.... it took me about 10 seconds to stand but I did. There were about 10 others that stood up with me. 

Elder Cardon then looked at all those that didn't stand was said, "How can you look an investigator in the eyes and tell them to exercise faith when you don't even have the faith and courage to stand up in front of a bunch of missionaries and talk about the spirit!" Holy, that was crazy! I learned a big lesson from that. He taught us that faith is what gives us courage and that we as missionaries need to have enough faith to stand all the time to share the gospel. It was a message that our mission really needed to hear. 

After the conference Elder Cardon picked a few missionaries to do interviews with and he picked me. It was just amazing in the interview. Elder Cardon just asked me where I was from, about my family, what I have learned most on my mission (I talked to him about repentance and what I have learned from the process of repentance and how it can change lives for the better) and then he told me some stuff that I really needed to hear. It was a great experience that I will never forget. He made me feel so proud to be a missionary. I know he was inspired of God to tell me what he told me, it made me so happy! He is seriously my favorite general authority.  He also told me to tell you guys this, "Thank you for giving your valiant son to the Lord for two years. The Lord is grateful for your sacrifice and he loves you both."


Friday was just awesome! The family Orbeck (the family I baptised in my first area last November) were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple! It was amazing! Christian, the father, asked me to be his escort for the endowment session, and they had Elder Teamotuaitau (my first companion/trainer) to be the witness for the sealing! 



I can't describe in words what I felt in the temple that day. During the sealing when I watched that family being sealed for eternity, was the best feeling I have had as a missionary. After the sealing Elder T and I could hardly hold it together.  We were the missionaries that baptised them, and then we got to be with them as they became a forever family. We gave each other a big hug and we were like, "Our mission was a success!" It was an awesome day for me and one I will never forget. Oh! And the Orbeck family surprised me with a big birthday celebration after the temple sealing.  It's so like them....it's their big day and they celebrate MY 20th birthday.  They are amazing people! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than exactly what happened today! 


On Saturday we had a sports activity with the ward in the morning and then Hitiarii was baptized. He is such a stud! After his baptism Paxman and I were talking to him and he said, "I truly love this church!" That was like music to an old guy's ear hairs hahaha! But it is true, this church is amazing, it's because it is the true church of Jesus Christ.

Sunday..."Charlie to Alpha 32...Charlie to Alpha 32... Baptism Confirmed...I repeat, Hiti was confirmed....mission was a success...over and out!" Just a little mission humor for you!

Love you lots!


Elder Boyd

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 65: Nicolas gets baptized and confirmed

Hey guys!

So this week was killer!

After we finished our emails on Monday we went and played basketball with a few priests from our ward. They are a good group of kids and it's fun that they like to hang with us. It reminds of the good ole days with my buddies in the Moyle Park ward!

On Tuesday Paxman and I went to check on Nicolas and we were freaking out just a little because Nikolas went over to Moorea with his mom for the week.  We really wanted to stay close to him the week before his baptism but we were told he wouldn't be back until Thursday. So yeah, we were a little stressed out because we wanted to be there if anything got in his way. We prayed so hard during the entire week for him and asked the spirit to protect and watch over him.  The rest of the day was great. We did a ton of lessons, haha!


I dropped Paxman off at the boats on Wednesday morning because it was the day that we do splits with some missionaries on Moorea. I picked up Elder Frazer, and the split was so funny because he is just a crazy Vanuatu kid!! He is honestly a blast! Since I have been here in Tahiti I have had the chance to  meet many different kinds of Polynesians. I've met  Fijians, Vanuatus, Tongans, Wallisiens, Futunas, Caledonians, New Zealanders, etc. and they all have very different things about them since they come from different cultures. Vanuatu's are just super crazy! They remind me of my little brother B but even a little bit more crazy haha! It was a super fun day and we got a lot done.I gotta say I love the Fijians too. Every person I have meet that is from Fiji is awesome. They are so funny, down to earth and so nice.


Thursday came and Nicolas came back! So we hurried over to check on him and did his interview and made sure we was ready. He was good to go!! Then we did a bunch of lessons to finish out the day.

We couldn't wait for Friday. It was time for Nicolas' baptism. I love baptism days. It just feels so good, waking up in the morning and going to the church to fill up the baptismal font and setting up the room for the baptismal program! The ward came out to support Nicolas with all sorts of food to eat after the baptism. Brother Momo, who is from fiji, makes brownies; like the brownies you eat in America sooooooo I died and went to heaven! Nicolas showed up and was super happy and his grandma (Meme is what we like to call her) was so happy.  Meme his is the grandma that I told you guys about. She is the perfect grandma that feeds you everything and is just a classic grandma all the way around! 


Nicolas was baptised by his uncle and as soon as he was baptised it started pouring rain. It was really beautiful and pretty cool. Then Nicolas shared his testimony and it honestly changed me. He stood up and started talking about his childhood and how his childhood was focused around surfing, skating, kitesurfing and just trying to have fun at every turn. Then he talked about when his parents were separated (he was crying during his whole testimony btw) and how he couldn't find any happiness in his life. His family had problems and his mom moved to New Zealand with his brother. He said that there were multiple times that he tried to commit suicide because there was no happiness in his life! While he was a child he never learned about God, because his dad is very inactive and didn't discuss things like that with him. He thought that God didn't exist.  Then about a  year ago he moved to Arue next to his grandma, who raised her kids in the gospel. Even though Nicolas' dad was raised in the church he was the one child who was not active. 


Grandma Meme invited Nicolas to church one day and he loved it! Then he met Paxman and me and he decided to start taking the lessons.  We taught him how to pray, taught him the commandments, and he developed a belief in God because he could feel Him when he went to church and prayed.  

He told us that while he was in Moorea that week, he could feel God's presence with him and he knew that what he was about to do was right! There it was again, God watching over his children. Nicolas' testimony was so powerful! Paxman and I had no idea what he had gone through before we met him. When we met him he seemed like a happy kid, that loved life, who had never had the opportunity to learn about the truth of the gospel. We just knew we needed to teach him!! And while Paxman and I were freaking that Nicolas had gone to Moorea earlier that week, God surely answered our prayers by comforting Nicolas and preparing him for his baptism. God is amazing, Nicolas in going to be a great missionary and leader in this church!


On Sunday Nicolas was confirmed. I remember when he sat down in the chair before the blessing started he looked up at me and gave me a smile. After he was confirmed I saw him open his eyes, and his eyes were completely different, there was a certain light in his eyes! It honestly took me back. I know now that it was the Holy Ghost that is now with him.  The gospel changes people and changes their lives.

This week was awesome, I learned that if we but trust in God he will help us! He is mindful of all of his children. We just need to let him do His part of the work and be a tool in his hands here on earth.

Have a great week!


Connor

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Week 64: An investigator's prayers are heard and answered.

Ia ora na guys!

It's been a pretty normal week. There wasn't a whole lot of new stuff that happened, but life is good!

On Pday Paxman and I went to Papeete and played basketball with Elders Loamanu, Heckman, Harrah, Bradshaw, Ford, and a bunch of other guys. It was super fun and just a chill Pday. Most Pdays are super busy, but this time we just got to shoot hoops and then after that we had a family night that was pretty fun.


Busy Tuesday started out with a visit to see Nicolas. We are just helping him to prepare for his baptism this week. He is so ready, but there are still some problems with his parents so pray so that he can be baptised this Friday! That night we had our lesson with the D. family. S. was pretty worried because when he had that awful week a couple of weeks ago his boss required him to write a written explanation about his behavior. The boss will then have to decide if S. will have to go back to France or if he can stay here with his family! So during the lesson we talked about the Holy Ghost and it was a great lesson. S. wants to change soooo badly and he wants his family to be together.  You can see his desire to make things right. So we offered to give him a blessing, and then told him to pray so that God could soften the heart of his boss!


Wednesday was a normal day of lessons but we got a text message S. saying: "Bonjour...; la bénédiction et ma priére ce matin ont été entendues.. Mes chefs ont été cléments et me laisse ici... Merci.... S." Which means "Hello.. the blessing and my prayers this morning have been heard. My boss was merciful and leave me here... thank you...S.!" That was a super cool text to get from him. God definitely is helping him out. It is seriously a miracle that S. is staying here after all the "ish" that he has let happen. I am really happy for him.

On Thursday we had Leaders Council. It was a good meeting and it was good to see all of the zone leaders in the mission.

Friday we had a zone meeting and Paxman and I lead and had to give the lesson. We talked about the parable of the sower. It's a super great analogy for missionary work. 


Saturday is the day of "partying" here in Arue. It's the hardest day for us out here, There is so much drinking going on that it is insane.  I don't know why they do this out here but we always do our best and at least try and teach some lessons. Unfortunately we usually just end up with drunk guys saying weird stuff about the gospel and all you can really do is laugh. That afternoon we started our fast with the stake for missionary work! It was great to be part of a fast with the whole group.  
Church was great on Sunday. Vaitiare (investigator) finally came to church after about 10 Sundays of trying to get her there. She really loved it! We are going to try and commit her to be baptised this week. She really is so ready! 

Well that's about it guys. Have a great week and remember that the church is true and Jesus loves you...and try not to drink to much Diet Coke (moms of Alpine, Utah!) Hahaha!

Love ya!


Connor

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63: Satan is a "tool", but Heavenly Father clears the path for those who seek Him.

Hi Family! So this week was a really good one!

For Pday our zone wanted to build a fire and make s'mores...a little taste of America! So we went to a member's house where we could build a fire and we ate s'mores until we couldn't stomach one more bite.  It was funny because the Tahitians were super weirded out and they said that we Americans were crazy! Haha! We are not crazy...we just know a good graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow combo when we see it!

Sofitel Hotel
Tuesday was a great day and we did a boatload of lessons..and when I say a boatload I mean a boatload haha!  Robert, the member who is blind, came with us again for part of the day. He is such a good guy and he is not afraid of anything at all...he really inspires us all. At 6:00 we had a lesson with R. D. and her family, and man they had really progressed since our last lesson. We could immediately see the difference in the family from the moment we walked in. On Monday night they read scriptures together and they are trying to let God into their lives.  It's crazy to see how the gospel heals families. We talked about baptism and they were a little hesitant, but we explained that they need to ask God first before making this decision.  If they ask with a sincere heart, they will know what to do.
On Wednesday we went to see Hiti and we set his baptism for the 18th of November. He was so excited! So he is focused on preparing for the baptism, but this week he is heading out to Huahine for a ramming competition called the Hawaiki Nui. Basically the ram is a big canoe race where 6 guys are in a canoe and they go from Huahine to Raiatea, then Raiatea to Taha'a, and finally from Tahaa to Bora Bora! It's the biggest competition of the year, they are literally ramming from island to island and it takes a lot of training and work. After we saw Hiti we went back to check on the D. family and they had taken a little step back. Satan is a "tool"!, The dad took a step backward because of a little argument they had at the house. Darn! But I know they can do this...they will start moving forward again. The gospel has already made a difference in their lives.


Orbeck's took us to dinner
Friday I went to over to Moorea to do a split and that was super fun! Moorea is a dope island and I would looooovvveeee to serve over there one day. It reminds me of Bora Bora. It is different but it kinda has the same feel to it! It's a great place to be and I enjoy going over there to work with the missionaries serving in that area.  

Early Saturday I took the boat back to Tahiti and man I was tired! But we had things to do so we did a few lessons and then that night we had our baptism!  Paxman and I were so pumped!  It was a little girl named Manahere. She is 9 years old, and she wanted to be baptized so badly.  We have been giving her the lessons and then "boom goes the dynamite" she was ready to go! 

Even though this baptism was a bit easier (kids are a little easier because they are so humble and they know what's right and they wanna follow it...no wonder Christ wants us to be like little kids) it was so great! That baptism made all this work and all the trials we have watched so many of our investigators go through seem worth it! Paxman and I had a jam session to the Nashville Tribute Band on our way back home that night to celebrate!


On Sunday we gave the talks in Church. I spoke about testimonies...'twas grand!

On a mission you learn a lot about the plan of God. You see how God works and how He functions. But you also learn how Satan functions too, and man is that guy predictable! You know exactly when he is going to go after an investigator.  As soon as we set a baptism date or talk about it, and they say yes, the next thought in my mind is "buckle up" you are about to go on a wild ride for a bit! It really is true, but I have also learned that Satan is not patient. He is predictable and he has the same old tricks. But our Father in Heaven is amazing. He knows what to do, and He will always clear the path for those who seek him! 

Goodbye and love you all!


Connor

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 62: Nicolas is ready, and Robert, while blind, helps others see through his testimony

I just have to start off by saying that the craziest thing happened today! We were at the store and all of a sudden I start to hear a song that seemed really familiar and it was by Kenny Chesney! My favorite! I was so happy...it was like the day started with a little miracle because they seriously NEVER listen to country music over here. Some wonderful Tahitian must have decided to listen to a little Chesney today just for kicks and giggles! Ahhh...the little things that make a missionary happy!

Point Venus lighthouse
So last Monday we went to Point Venus for Pday and there were a lot of great missionaries there. It was pretty dang fun! Then we had FHE with an old investigator named Kiro and that was pretty awesome...we rocked the message!

Tuesday was our busy day but a highlight was when we had a lesson with a new investigator named Hitiarii. He lives with the family "Brothers" (that's the name) and this family is one of those families where all of the kids went on missions and they are all pretty great! So Hiti is a terrific guy and he is super interested! It was a really good lesson.

Wednesday was a neat day.  We found a member that loves going to do lessons with us and he simply loves missionary work! His name is Robert and he is actually blind.  When he is with us we have to walk slowly and lead him to our lessons and I have to say that it is pretty awesome! He has a super sweet testimony and he is just a great person all around. I really enjoy having him with us.


We went back to have another lesson with Hiti on Thursday and man that guy is super humble. He is just ready to hear about the gospel and he gets the message in every lesson that we have had with him.  This guy is so great. Then later that day we went contacting down by the beach and of course we found the resident beach "crazy guy". He told us that he talks to Micheal and the Angel Gabriel and also to God. During the night he stays up and apparently that's when he talks to God. He asked us to write down our first and last name in his notebook and then told us we should come back the next day to receive further instructions after he spoke with God about us. He would find out for us if God really wanted us to be on our missions...oh boy!  We were doing everything we could not to lose it haha! Needless to say, we didn't go back the next day for our instructions. Ha!

Friday we stopped by to talk and do a lesson with Nicolas and it looks like everything will work out. His baptism date is officially set for the 11th of November because that's his birthday and he really wanted that memory on his big day.

Elder Boyd and Nicolas
We have quite a few Priests in the ward out here so Paxman and I decided to start taking two Priests with us every Saturday for like 2 hours or so to contact and teach some lessons.  It was a good experience and we were able to teach a few pretty good lessons but the very first house we contacted was a grumpy Asian guy that told us to go away! Haha! We kinda scared the Priests a little right off the bat, but things got much better after that and it was a good day! We are doing everything we can to involve the members in the work out here.

Sunday was a great day at church and then we set out to do more lessons. Saturday and Sunday are hard because so many people in Arue drink...and I mean they drink a lot!  It's tough to see week after week the same people sitting around yelling HALLELUJAH or THE HOLY GHOST IS LOVE or a few other choice drunk people phrases. I keep thinking of a few funny quotes from old movies when we walk by them (I haven't forgotten some of my famous quotes) but man I just don't see the appeal! We have got to get these people to want something better!

Our small missionary apartment in Aru'e
I finished the Book of Mormon and now I am reading the New Testament.  Tell Brendon and Kennedi that I am in Mark and will be caught up to them with their Seminary reading in no time.  It's so great to read about the life of Christ. 

Love you all and have a great week!


Connor 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 61: An investigator prays: Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief

Hey Everyone! It's just nuts how fast the weeks go by on the mission! Here is a recap of what we did last week.

P-Day ay Papeari
Last Monday we went all the way to Papeari (on the other side of island) to go on a hike with a bunch of other missionaries. It was super fun!  I really love chilling with a whole bunch of missionaries on Pday. We really have some great people out here in the mission. That night we visited a bunch of families and then we went and got some pizza for dinner. Heaven! Elder Sovereign and his companion stayed at our house that night because his companion had to go and get a check up at the doctor's office the next day.  It was fun to catch up.

Tuesday we got right back to work.  Out here Tuesday is like the day right after the weekend. It feels like Monday's used to feel when you had to go back to school and everything! Haha!  It is a super busy day with tons of lessons. I love it, but I'm always soooo tired after Tuesday. If I wasn't tired on a Tuesday, I wouldn't be doing my job!

Ferry between Pape'ete and Mo'orea
On Thursday we did splits with the Moorea missionaries. Elder Gonzalez came here to work with me in our area and Elder Paxman went out to Moorea to be with Elder Sekeme for the day. It was a decent day, but we didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped because Gonzalez got super seasick on the boat ride over. So for most of the split he was too sick to do anything. It was tough, but it was ok...we still got a few good lessons in.  Then we had our English class, so I taught the class and it was great (if I do say so myself) haha!

President Bize came to our district meeting on Friday and discussed our zone and the district of Arue and it was great to have him there. I'm proud of our missionaries, they work so hard and it's cool to see them work and succeed. 

Aru'e District in the Aru'e Zone
Then we had a lesson with S and R. They had a hard week but it's ok, they are going to be having some hard weeks and days in this healing process. They really are doing better and they are loving the lessons now. They are honestly starting to feel the Spirit. S said the prayer at the end of the lesson and it was a great prayer. He said many things in the prayer that showed his true heart, but the phrase that stuck in my head was, "Father, I want to believe in you." I thought of the story in the bible where the man asked Jesus to cast out an evil spirit and heal his son and Jesus asked him "Do you believe?" and the man replied "Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24). I love that verse! S wants to believe, he just needs to build on his faith week by week and let the Lord heal his heart.

On Saturday we had some complications with the parents of Nicolas and decided to push his baptism date back to the 29th. Pray for him guys! He is so ready, but just as we get close, something gets in the way.  

Sunday was busy with our zone leader homework and lessons and then Elder Brunet (one of the missionaries from Bora Bora) came and stayed at our house! Ahhh, I missed Brunet, it was so good to see that kid again. He is leaving today and going back home. Elder Bunet is one of the missionaries that I honestly look up to. He has given everything to the Lord and you can see it when you look at him and talk with him. He's a great guy and he will be a kid that I'll stay in contact with for a long time.

Elders Paxman, Brunet, and Boyd
This week was a little bit harder, it seems like all of our efforts with our investigators are just destroyed by temptation and bad influences and it is so hard to watch...especially when you know they are ready and just need to have faith and move forward. I know that we will see some miracles with these great people.  Paxman and I have gotta be a little more patient and remain full of hope! We ask our investigators to have faith and be patient...we need to trust in the Lord just as we ask them to do!

Have a good week guys!

Love ya!


Elder Boyd

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 60: The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives

Hey guys!  So this week was a great but kind of interesting one! Elder Packer really wanted to go and play tennis on P-day so we did! It was pretty great! Then after that we had a lesson with Roger (Terai) and Moeata and it was awesome!

Last week's hike on P-Day

Tuesday and Wednesday we went about our lessons and we had a lesson with Nicolas.  He is such a dope kid, you guys would love him! I told him he needs to move to Utah after he goes on his mission because he and I would be good buddies! I wanna teach him to snowboard, because with kite surfing he would be a natural. He said he will teach me to kitesurf when we all come back after the mission.  

After our lesson with Nicolas, "R" called. She asked us to come to her house immediately if we could.  We show up feeling a little nervous and she said that her husband was a little out of control.   We tried to share a good message with the family,  just to talk about God and Jesus and the atonement, but it just felt so dark in the house. There was just a horrible feeling, and you could visibly see how scared she the kids and have been of their dad.  We asked them to pray together as a family, and then we left and scheduled another lesson for Sunday.

On Thursday we had "Leaders Council" and it was great! With the last round of transfers we lost a lot of the zone leaders because they went home so there were a lot of new guys which was nice  because I'm not the new guy anymore!:) It's hard being the new guy who doesn't know anything but now there are a few people that really think I know my stuff! Hahaha! Elder Sovereign has been called as a ZL so it was fun seeing him and  a lot of my good MTC mish buddies were there! It was a great day!


Friday was a good day. We did a split with Elders Clements and Packer. I was with Elder Clements in my area and it was a good time.

Saturday was a pretty normal day but at 3 o'clock we did a fast with the stake for missionary work!!  Paxman and I have been trying to push the stake to get more involved in the missionary work, and it's getting a lot better. They are fasting with us and sometimes they even come to lessons with the missionaries!! It's getting better slowly, but surely.

This week I also saw my good buddy, Bryan Paofai, from Bora Bora. He was in Tahiti for a weightlifting competition! After his competition he called me and I headed over and talked to him for like an hour. We caught up and talked about Bora Bora, the ward I served in and his family. It was soooo awesome to see him. I miss Bora Bora way toooo much!!! I wanna go back someday soon!!


On Sunday after church we ate with Nicolas and his grandma and some of the ward then went to "R's" house for our lesson. Apparently by the time last Wednesday night rolled around things got worse with those guys! The parents started fighting and and there was some hitting and things got out of hand. "R's" husband ended up calling for some help and spent a little time in the hospital trying to get things in check. During that time "R" would say prayers with their two kids and I was so happy that she knew where to turn for help.  

Friday night her husband asked to leave the hospital and as soon as he got home they started saying family prayer together! When we showed up to the lesson on Sunday, there was a completely different feeling in that home. They looked happy, the kids were happy and they looked like a newly married couple! They spent time at the beach together and even did yard work together as a family.  The change was so quick and we could honestly feel the difference right when we walked in!  In the lesson we talked about the Restoration with the prophet Joseph Smith and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson! We asked them to pray about Joseph Smith and the church and to think about all the blessings that they can have as a family.

This week I saw firsthand the power of this gospel, how it can change people and families for the better. I know that if we live the gospel and just do the basic things, like saying our prayers reading our scriptures, we can be happy. The lord can heal every weakness and wound in our lives, and I saw this in action with our family this week. The gospel totally changed their whole perspective; it brought hope into their family, they now believe that they can be a happy family in spite of the mistakes that have been made!

If you ask me, that is what this gospel is all about.


Love ya!

Elder Connor Boyd


Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 59: Don't be a Dingus; Believe in Jesus Christ!

Hi Friends and Fam! Ok, so this was a decent week! 

On Monday we did a massive hike called the "Fachoda". It basically takes you to this super pretty waterfall, and at the top there are two "slick rock slides" and  a great swimming area. Unfortunately, we didn't get to swim :( but it was ok because there were a whole lot of missionaries that came with us. I got to see many of my good buddies, like Elders Sovereign, Murdock, Harrah, Elledge, Ford, etc. It's always nice to have a few moments each week to chill with them for P-day! 

The Fachoda Hike

Then we had two family nights so we did a split. I took Elder Clements with me and Paxman took Elder Packer with him.  It was a good time!

Tuesday we just worked to get lessons and checked in with Nicolas. Like I mentioned last week,  his dad will allow him to be baptized, but we had to move his baptism date to the 22nd because Nicolas wants his mom to be there. His mom is coming from New Zealand, and we still need to have the mom give her approval, so pray that the mom will accept his decision! Nicolas is super excited for his baptism! He is so funny!

Wednesday was just a busy day of lessons...it was good. Then on Thursday I got to do a split with one of the APs and guess who it was? Elder Teamotuaitau, my very first trainer in Tahiti!  I was a little nervous for the split, but it was actually super, super fun! Elder T has become an awesome, humble missionary and it was fun to spend the day with that guy! We worked in his area, and that area is really poor! Even more poor than where I am right now.  It is hard to see. It was interesting to see all that needs to be done by the assistants, there is a lot to do!

Friday we had our district meeting, and it was a tough week overall for the district of Arue, but Moorea is doing great...I am super proud of those guys!

Beautiful Mo'orea

I was excited for Saturday, and as expected, conference was great! Elder Holland murdered it again in Priesthood session (make sure you do your home teaching guys, hehehe). That man can talk about anything and make it super spiritual and inspiring (maybe he needs to go off on Diet Coke so that every Mormon mom will stop drinking it...ha!). Then that night we went to the hospital to go and visit an Elder that's in the hospital and help him out with some stuff. His name is Elder Nathan Lloyd and he is from AF High School.  He is a great kid and super funny too! He is not feeling well right now but he will be ok. Then we went to give a blessing with Elders Clements and Packer. They wanted us to come because they were a little nervous about the lady that asked them to come and give a blessing to her cousin. The girl really struggles and used to slit her wrists and do some self-destructive things. She was obviously having a really rough time. We also talked to the cousin and she is struggling as well because her husband was not faithful.  We gave her a blessing and it turns out that she lives in our area so she wanted us to come by the next day!

The Sunday session of conference was nuts again! Elder Bednar slayed! Ha! After conference we went to the house of the lady that we met the day before.  Her name is R, and her husband was there too. He is a French guy and it turns out that he really wants to save his marriage and stuff. I felt bad for the guy because you could see that he was feeling horrible, that his sin was tearing him apart.  But it is making him really humble which is an upside, and the fact that we told them that there is hope if they repent and choose the gospel, we saw a little more hope in them. It was cool to see, because the French guy had been searching for help and everyone that he talked to told him that his marriage was finished and that he ruined it. We are the first people to say that there is hope if he really wants to change! 

The gospel is awesome guys! Just live the gospel and follow the commandments every day because it makes you happy.  So follow Jesus Christ and find your joy!

Love you all!


Elder Boyd