Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 28: Family Night with 10 kids, Bro Howard's blessing, and gratitude for good friends

What up fam?!!!

So this week was in fact a pretty darned successful week! But I think I almost died of hunger because we ran out of food at the house, so I really only ate at member's houses.  It's hard to teach lessons when you are eyeing the bag of chips in their kitchen...ha!  But it's ok..we are going to the store today which is exciting...I know you always said to never go to the grocery store when you are hungry or you come home with a cart full of cookies and chips...but here we go! Ha!

After emailing last Monday we went back to the house and I was so excited to show Elder Ivie  (the new guy) all of the food stands and stuff around the island, so we took him on the big tour! Then we played volleyball (all six of the Elders on Bora Bora against a bunch of Tahitian's that have played volleyball all of their lives) so yes, we got absolutely smashed! Then we played basketball and WE destroyed them back, so it was pretty sick! After that we had FHE with 10 little was the easiest and the funnest FHE I have done.  They just loved it and took it all in! 

Tuesday, we went to Herenui's house and that went really well. All of her cousins were there and they were very interested in our message. That was really, really great and they will all be there tomorrow when we go back for our next lesson...I'll let you know how it goes.  

Most of the week it rained like nuts! So that was a downer, but we kept up the work got a lot done. It ended up being a great week in spite of being soaked most of the time. 

Thursday, we had lessons and then Brother Howard, the awesome little grandpa that I love out here, was super sick. We went to give him a blessing and he asked me to give it to him in English. To be honest I have never had a blessing flow like that! I wondered, "why did that blessing just flow like that"...I mean I don't remember what I said exactly, but it felt so good, and I realized it was simply because I had a real love for that little man.  In our lives we need to feel that kind of love for makes everything in life make sense.  A life filled with love will always flow better than a life with little or no love. 

Friday, we met with this guy from "Aito Hot Dogs" (this hot dog guy that is so cool) and we got free hot dogs and talked to him (so grateful for that -- we were really hungry), then headed off to teach more lessons.

Saturday, my companion woke up super sick so he slept all day and I studied Tahitian all day. That language is crazy hard..I asked some Tahitians on Sunday if they could help me and they were like, "we don't speak the real Tahitian, we speak 'ghetto Tahitian' because it's too hard!" Ha!  So I might learn how to speak like a Tahitian gangster...I am not really sure!

Sunday was such a great day at church. Afterward, Elders Sovereign and Ruff came over and slept at our house this time so yeah, that means we didn't really sleep much last night! Ha! 

I thought a lot this week about my friends back home and the examples that they were to me. It is because of many of them that I'm here and on the path that leads to Christ. I studied the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and those three friends were ready to die together in the furnace because they loved their God.  I love the picture of them in the furnace and you can see the Savior with them, and to be honest He looks pretty comfortable with all of them! So ask yourselves, would the Savior fit in with your friends?

Have a great week and until next time...Nana!

Elder Boyd

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 27: Bro Howard's smile, attending a reception at the Four Seasons Bora Bora, and Walking the Path of Goodness

Bonjour Family!

Ok so this was a crazy week and went by really's almost a blur! Holy Smokes! 

Monday: After emails and stuff we were just sitting in the house chilling with everyone and I got a call on the phone. I answered it and I heard,  "Hey Elder Boyd!" The voice sounded so familiar.  It was Andre from Faaripo (my old sector)! It turns out that he just moved over here and is now living in my sector again! So I went to see him at his new house and we talked and chilled and just caught up! I was so happy. Andre and I were really tight in Faaripo so it felt like I never left. It was so awesome! Then I realized that I had scheduled two family nights, so we had two that night! Haha! It was a great night.  One of our appointments was with Brother Howard (the kind old man that I talked about last week) and I took a pic with him so you guys could see who he was... it was a selfie haha!

Elder Boyd with Brother Howard

Tuesday: This was a day full of lessons and then we picked up a new missionary who came from Faanui. He is brand new and can't speak a word of French! I love seeing these new missionaries, it's so fun! I remember those days and how crazy they were...I can't believe how that time passes so quickly. But Elder Ivie, the new missionary, is great! He is out and ready to work and is excited. His companion is Mr. Bean so he will have a pretty darn good start!

Wednesday through Friday: We were really busy with lessons and we had a great lesson with a lady named Tehea Tepea and her fiance (who is already LDS) and that is going super great! I can definitely see a good future for them!  

Elders Boyd and Pula

Then Elder Pulu and I got invited to a wedding reception for a great guy named Urah (he is from the sector Anau...which is Elder Sovereign's sector) and the reception was at the nicest restaurant ever! Yea, it was so good! Elder Sovereign had to sing and my companion played guitar and I learned the song on the ukulele. I really want to get a ukulele of my own...oh yes I will be playing and singing until I'm a little old man! 

At the restaurant there is this sign that says all of the famous people that have been there and there were tons! Like Johnny Depp, Paris Hilton, Leonardo Dicaprio, Dwight Howard etc... and also Carrie Underwood! I was like woohoo and I took a picture of it since I will probably never get to go there again! 

The place was super cool because it's all sand inside and "islandy" like and the food was so good.  I had ribs and for those who know me, I hate ribs,  but these were unbelievable and I ate swordfish which was awesome too!! So that was a really good night and we were excited that they invited us to come!

Saturday: This was one of our really great member's birthday and she works at the Four Seasons (the nicest hotel in Bora Bora) and she invited us to go and eat breakfast over there with some members.  The food there was crazy good too! Oh my gosh! Then we walked around the resort and the water was amazing and the whole place was just unbelievably cool.

Sunday: We went to church and then had lessons and a bunch of meetings and then we just finished our day with my little companion's training stuff and then we just chilled with Elder Ivie and Mr. Bean.  It was a busy and a really fun week! 

I listened to an awesome talk from Hank Smith (he is amazing) and the talk is called "Real Life". He talks about about how if we make the right decisions in our lives,  things still might not be all flowers and roses...haha! He said something interesting, Christ gave us three things to do in this life; He said learn of me, hear my voice, and walk and you shall have peace! I really liked that! If we follow God, and do the right thing we might not get exactly what we want right away, but Christ's promise is that we shall have peace!

I ask all of you to learn of Christ, hear His voice, and walk! Take that hard step, or that step that will change your life forever.  Like a mission, or a calling, or decision to give up a friend that's not the best influence. Walk in the path of goodness and I promise you that eventually "ye shall have peace in me". 

Package from home ...

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 26: A bad haircut, a good conversation, and a prayer of gratitude

Hey Family!

Well it's official, I cannot trust anyone to cut my hair over here! Monday after emailing I got a haircut and the girl messed it up so badly it may take the next 18 months before I get home just to grow it out again - so no pictures this week!  I was so mad! Elder Sovereign was making fun of me all day because it was so bad! Hahaha!  Later that night I fixed it a little bit, but it is still pretty funny, haha!  

We had FHE on Monday with this great ward member.  I'll have to get a pic with him because I love him!! He is just small and old and he is just a typical "chill-islander" grandpa. He speaks English really well, so he and I talked in English and he told me his life's story. He grew up with his stepfather who spoke only English to him. He and his stepfather lived in the first hotel built in Bora Bora and it was only him and his stepdad that ran it! He was a little boy that would help the tourists and stuff! Then he just continued on about his life and I love how he said it, "Then for the rest of my whole life after that I was married and working somewhere else but wherever I was, every night I would go to my stepfather's house and we would talk in English for a little bit. I did that every night until he died." 

He had just had this little smile on his face, like he wasn't sad about it, just glad he could spend so much great time with his stepdad and then he said, "I'm just really happy to be talking to you!" 

It was such a cool moment to me to see an old man just as happy as can be about his life and memories. He wasn't loud or anything that draws attention.... he was just a quiet little guy with a small little smile and eyes that gleamed with the love and joys of life...real life...enjoying times with his stepdad, learning from his mistakes as a teenager, getting married and having a family and going to visit his grandchildren.  Even the way that he prayed was so quiet and sacred to him! He just gets it.  It was really cool. 

Everytime I see him now I give him a hug and speak to him in English, and he always has his small, closed mouth smile... you know that kind of smile (and he has a little mustache) but just good with life!  So yeah, you can picture it, haha...I wanna be an old man just like that!

Tuesday, we had a big day of contacting! Whew! And Wednesday we had a few lessons and found some new people! It was good! 

We had a lesson on Thursday with Herenui and Anthony and their cute little family!! You can see the stress in their lives with all the jobs they hold down and the stress of taking care of their family. During the lesson Herenui was asking so many questions and the lesson ended up being 2 hours long! It was crazy long, but it was awesome! I gave her a Book of Mormon and I was kinda direct with her. I said, "Herenui, I dare you to read this and see what happens next and the blessings that will come from reading this book... she seemed interested and excited to read, I hope God backs me up on this one! I have already developed a love for this family we met on our first day of contacting here!

On Friday, my companion and I went to lessons with a member named Ramon who may be the funniest human ever, haha! The rest of the day was just kind of interesting...

Saturday we worked hard contacting and taught lots of lessons.

Sunday we went to church and afterward went to Ioanes house for a lesson with him and his future wife! I think I forgot to tell you last week that they are getting baptized on the 27th of March!  Then we were asked to give a few blessings for school and stuff, and that was really cool!  We ate dinner at a member's house and then we went to sleep at the Elder's of Anaus' house, which is on the other side of the island.  

My companion and I went to Elder Sovereign's and Elder Ruff's house to stay.  We were supposed to go fishing with them in the morning (P-Day), but that didn't work out. Yeah, we had a missionary sleepover, ha, but I didn't sleep much because Elder Sovereign and I stayed up almost all night talking about missions and life, just like we did in the MTC! Elder Sovereign and I have become really good friends.  I'm pumped because he is going to UVU after his mission too. 

Since the boat was broken today and we couldn't go fishing, we just went and got coconuts from the nearest tree and ate coconuts and had breakfast with some members.  It was a good P-Day morning. 

This week I had the opportunity to watch the movie "17 Miracles" again. It is honestly the coolest movie; I think it is my favorite now!!! The things that people sacrificed just so they could see the temple and have temple blessings is amazing to me! I think often now about when the lady said from that moment on, whenever she felt like giving up or things got bad, she just got on her knees and said a prayer of gratitude instead of feeling badly! I think that is something we should all do! If that is something that the pioneers could do with all that they endured and sacrificed in their lives, we can definitely suck it up and say thanks to God instead of complaining and getting bummed out!  

Live your week with a prayer of gratitude in your heart and all will be well!  

Love you all!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 25: Motu fun with Tamatoa, teaching Karime, and overcoming fear is power

Bonjour! This week went by so flipping fast!

After emails on P-Day, Elders Sovereign, Ruff, Stewart and I hung out with an investigator named Tamatoa; he's the coolest kid. He is 18 years old and he has a baptism date fixed so I'm excited for him! He has a tiny little boat that looks like it'll break down any minute, but he took us to a motu -- one of those little islands that surround the middle island of Bora Bora!! This is where all of the nice bungalows and hotels are. We climbed a coconut tree and ate coconuts and chilled for a little bit haha! 

It was amazing how the water is soooo blue and clear. It is so hard to explain, but it's really neat. Tamatoa told us that he wants to serve a mission once he is baptized... it was so cool.  Then we had family night with a couple of families and that was really fun. 

I feel like I am really changing and growing as a missionary.  I used to be nervous to share messages and stuff, with the language and all,  but now it's like I can hardly wait to share a message. It's cool how that change comes because I actually see that the messages I am sharing, are changing someone's life.  It makes me excited to teach and help people...I can't let nerves get in the way!

On Wednesday we were totally full with lessons and we did not even have a spare minute to do any contacting so that was great! We taught this little kid named Karime and his friends: Tama and Keihei. They are 8 years old and they love learning about Christ; it was fun to teach them! 

Thursday, we taught more lessons and later in the day we went on splits and Mr. Bean was with me! Haha it was so great! We went and taught Karime and his friends again and played a 20 minute soccer match with them. It was the three of them against me and Mr. Bean (just imagine what it would be like to play with Mr. Bean haha!) They are good kids!

Friday, we had District Meeting and that was great. Every District Meeting we first talk about our sectors and then one missionary is in charge of the lesson or talk. It was Sovereign's turn and he did not prepare so he whispered to me,  "Elder Boyd, when you talk about your sector can you make it long?" So I spoke about every investigator and I took 25 minutes so he only had to talk for 20 minutes when he was supposed to take 40 minutes or so! He owes me one!

Saturday, Pulu and I taught more lessons. One of them was with this old man named Timoti and we shared the story of Joseph Smith.... and he was shocked and amazed by the story and the spirit was crazy nuts. So we engaged him for baptism! The only hard thing is that he promised his father before he died that he would stay in his current church. We are respecting his commitments, but I know he wants to follow his Father in Heaven and spirit he felt even more.  It's kinda hard for him, but he'll get there...I know he feels the Spirit and will be able to make the right choice when the time is right for him.

Sunday, we enjoyed church and visited investigators and families -- Good day!

Things are busy out here and I love it.  Talk to you all next week!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 24: First Week in Bora Bora, training Elder Puluiuvea

What up family!  So this week was a bit long but GREAT! The first week of a new transfer is long because there is always so much to do! 

Bora Bora ... to whom here will I be led to share the gospel?

Monday: It was a good P-day! After I emailed we went and played basketball with some members on the island and that was fun. I'll have you know that I absolutely destroyed! Ha! After that we had family night with this inactive family and it was good. We taught about the Holy Ghost and how it can be a guide in our lives.  

My first work day here in Bora Bora was just OK. I think the companion before me (the one who started training Elder Puluiuvea, my new companion from New Caledonia, and whose training I will be completing) was maybe a little bit ready to go home. He was at the very end of his mission and I'm sure it is hard to stay motivated when you are thinking of home. I noticed that all of the members, except for three, were really near to our house -- meaning the Elders stayed pretty close to home instead of riding their bikes to the end of the sector to go teach. Just my observation.

Arriving in Bora Bora meeting my MTC buddy, Elder Soverign (left) and my 
new companion Elder Puluiuvea (right) from New Caledonia

So, Wednesday we got on our bikes and pedaled all the way to the end of our sector! Oh my gosh this island is awesome! I loved it because it is where Matira Beach is...which is literally the highest rated beach in the world! It is so unbelievably pretty! So we started contacting there and found 7 new investigators and we are still not even close to being done contacting that part of the sector.

Matira Beach at the very end of our sector

Thursday, we went back toward Matira Beach and had a few lessons and taught this little family. The parents were nice, but I could tell they were stressed like crazy; they have 4 little kids and they work several jobs just to stay afloat. We started talking about trials and she interrupted and said, "Too many trials!" Then she just went off on how she has had so many trials that have made her overprotective of her family and super closed off to other people. She said she has even lost her trust in God! Her question to us was, "Why are the wicked better off than most of the good?" 

I could see why she would feel that way; so that was at the end of the lesson, and I told her in next lesson we will talk all about her question more! I do know that God is really there for us and if we just trust in him everything will be okay.  I hope the next lesson goes well...I need to prepare and get my thoughts together and let the Spirit guide us. I'll let you know how that goes.

On Friday we went contacting and found more really cool people! And we continued contacting all through Saturday.

Sunday was a great day. At church we met some great local members and  also saw some LDS tourists from Orem! This couple was vacationing here and came to church -- they have a son on a mission too. She was like, "Make sure you send you mother pictures! Haha"! She was just like you, mom...I wondered if you actually sent her...haha...they were cool!

I have to tell you about this Elder that is staying in our house right now; his name is Elder Escoffre (just picture the French version of Mr. Bean...haha!)., and he is so funny! After a long day it is great to just come home and talk to him because he's so fun!

Attending church with all the Elders serving here

I remember before my mission everyone was like,"Wow! You have a two-year vacation",  but it has not been even close to that! It has been hard, but it has been worth it!  I'm so happy with my decision to be here, I miss everyone at home so much but this is where I need to be. Looking back at all the experiences I have had so far as a missionary, I honestly don't know how I have done everything so far... I must not have been alone! ;) 

On my mission I have learned this: If you are doing something hard or having a hard time in your life right now, stop complaining, go straight to your knees, then pick up a Book of Mormon or a Bible, listen closely to that voice in your heart, stand back up and follow it! The Lord is there! 

Have a great week and until next week...Au Revoir!

Love, Elder Boyd

Serving and sharing the word of God in this beautiful paradise