Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 32: Ioane and Purea's wedding day

Hello Family and Friends! So this week was pretty great!

After emailing you on P-Day, we went over to the Atius' house and played a little sting-pong and that was so fun! It was awesome, and it reminded me of playing at home with Jack, B and Luke. Then we had a great FHE!

Tuesday we went out for lessons and visited Herenui but she was not there, probably still at work, so we left a note with a scripture to read and said that we would be by again next Tuesday!

Wednesday and Thursday: Great days, busy with lessons and searching out investigators followed by a District Meeting on Friday which was great fun. We have great Elders here.

Saturday was Ioane and Purea's wedding day and it was so great to see.  We were invited to attend all of the festivities and it was cool to see a Tahitian wedding from start to finish. First we went to a place called the "Marrie" where they do a bunch of government stuff. It's so they have the right witnesses and it's legal and stuff like that. Then they went to our church for their "blessing". It was nice to see...they looked cool walking in and Purea was crying.  I just wish they were in the temple! 

After that we had cake and other stuff and drank coconuts...it was way good! After that Elder Pulu and I ran to do a couple of lessons we had scheduled and to practice our song. We had to sing a song for them at the reception! The reception started at 7 and it was all "island like" and decorated pretty and the floor was all sand. We were actually seated at the table of honor with the couple (holy smokes) and the food was dang good! They had a bunch of dances and then came the songs...Elder Pulu had a guitar and I had the ukulele and we played and sang this song called "Madame Malo", it was pretty cool if I say so myself. This is the song, but we didn't record our playing and singing in French at the wedding. Gives you an idea though https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prMciq9R9iQ. Imaging me playing the ukulele on this one, haha.

Then they had Tahitian dancers come and lots of music. Then it was time for us to head home!

Sunday we went to church and then we got together for "Ma'a Tahiti" as a ward with Ioane and Purea, the new happy couple (this is a traditional meal with a large gathering of Tahitian families).  Boy they love their traditions and their food out here! 

That night we had a lesson that was especially cool.  There were these two younger, teenage girls there and one of them just looked right at us and said, "I wanna change!" That makes me happy because I know that if someone has the desire they really can change.  

So this week the highlight was witnessing the marriage of our investigator and a once-inactive member!  They are finally taking the steps they need to to get baptized and get on the path to the temple where they can truly be sealed forever! Ioane will be baptized soon, we should now be able to set a date, and a just over a year from now they will be at the temple being sealed!!!! 

At the wedding I was looking at our friends, the bishop, and the new couple and I thought to myself, "This all started with a little reference from a member!" Every one of our efforts in missionary work is important. A reference leads to small lessons that lead to the Spirit being felt in someone's life. This work is so important and the reward is eternal! This is truly the work of God!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week 31: I am a Missionary of Jesus Christ

Wuddap, Family?!

This week was really hard, but still good. Some things were just straight up sad though ... read on.

On Monday, we did our P-day stuff (laundry,  shopping, cleaning) and then played basketball like usual.  

Island life on P-Day

We had FHE with Steve, one of our investigators, and WOW that guy is ready for baptism! He is getting married on the 28th of April and then he will be baptized after that. I'm so pumped for this family!

Tuesday, we went out for our lessons and Herenui was there this time and was so happy to see us! That family is busy and stressed all the time! I really hope that they accept the gospel soon because I know that this is THE way to help them.

Wednesday, we just laid around and slept all day...hehehe...just kidding!  We had a boatload of lessons we were all over the place! Busy days are the best!

Thursday was a really tough day for me. We had a bunch of lessons to do and they were all really great, we were on a high! Then we had our meeting with the Bishop, the Ward missionaries, and also the Mission Leader. We started talking about one of our investigators that the missionaries have been teaching for a really long time. She is so awesome, but she is one of those investigators that you have to be patient with. Let the gospel manifest itself you know. But, apparently, last Saturday she received a visit that no one told us about, and they tried to force her to be baptized to the point that they told her that they would be back at 4:00 to pick her up for her baptism! Well let's just say that didn't go over well at all.  So I heard about that for the very first time in the meeting. 

The Bishop said that it has been way too long that the missionaries have been teaching her! She either needed to be dropped or be pushed a little. He wanted to just send in the couple missionaries as a final attempt after the Saturday fiasco. I told him no, that he needs to be patient with the Lord and with her and let the Lord handle this and to have trust in us as missionaries! He said no, it was time to get a commitment or drop her!

We actually had a scheduled lesson with her that night and when we got there I could just tell that it was over! She was really hurt and confused. During the lesson she started to cry. She said to us that she thought that she had a choice about her baptism and that our church was not about forcing a commitment before she was ready. I was so sad! So Elder Pulu and I bore our last testimonies with her and it was over. I just hope she will give it some time and give the gospel another chance. I know one day in this life or in the next she will have her choice to accept baptism. It just broke me and I felt that this was more about numbers than about this investigator.  This situation was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with as a missionary.

Friday, we woke up and we went straight to the Bishop's house to tell him that we really wanted to be part of any visits that others go on with our investigators. Sometimes we understand different things about these people that don't translate to the reports and the paperwork. We finished the day with a few more lessons.

Sunday was awesome because we had 11 investigators at church that day!  That was awesome for Bora!  Hopefully things will continue to progress with all or most of these great people.

So, I just want you to know how much I love our Savior! I love promising people that He is there and that He is with us and that He loves us! It makes me sad when people don't believe it or don't give it the chance to touch their hearts, but I know that He is there. 

I am a missionary of Jesus Christ and I have left my family and my loved ones so that other families can be together forever. I know that God loves me and that God loves you. I love my Savior and I love all of you. 

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 30: Service Projects, spirit-filled lessons, and baptisms on the horizon

Last Monday after emails, we boated to a motu and we did some yard work. It was pretty cool because it is so gorgeous over there...so it was worth it.  After that we had our weekly FHE with all of the little kids again which is always super fun!

Tuesday we started a service project (I'll talk about that later) and afterward had a great lesson with a guy who at the end of the lesson said that he wants to be baptized!! We are gonna set a baptismal date for him during the next lesson! Then we went to see if Herenui was there, but she was not...bummer. So we went and visited some more old investigators and did some contacting before the next lessons.

On Wednesday we taught some lessons and we had a pretty good day, and Thursday we helped at the service project again and had some lessons.  Just regular missionary days.

Friday we woke up and went to the Atiu family's home and taught a lesson with their daughter-in-law. That was such a powerful lesson! I love lessons like that! They make me so flipping happy! After the lesson I honestly think that she will be baptized and change one day!! She really wants to do better...that's all someone needs to change...just the desire and they can do it! Then we had district meeting, but had to leave early and go over to the service project again.

Later, we had a lesson with this girl named Tehea. Her fiance is a member and the lesson with her was so powerful and the Spirit was so strong! I shared D&C 19:23 which is a favorite scripture and then my companion shared a personal experience and he started crying because the Spirit was there! It was such a good lesson and we are fixing a date for her baptism next week! Wow!

Sunday was pretty dope. We went to church and came back and I was just beat. I fell asleep studying and so did Elder Pulu...haha! Then we had a really good lesson but I was sad because the girl said that she can't pray to God because she smokes and she doesn't feel worthy. We tried explaining to her that God is always ready to hear and answer prayers from everyone...He just wants to hear from you.  We told her that you don't need to be perfect to pray and ask for help, but she was so set on the thought that it's just too late for her. It's never too late!! I'm not sure how we can get through to her but we will keep trying. 

After that lesson we had dinner with Craig--an American who moved here to start a restaurant and married a Tahitian woman who was Mormon, and he joined the church here. Holy smokes their house is amazing! We ate just normal spaghetti and garlic bread and that was straight out of heaven...it felt like the first time I'd had American food since the war....holy nuts! It was delicious and I ate a ton! Haha! 

Then we got called to give blessings to two little toddlers, and that was really cool. When we got there they were sleeping and breathing hard because they were really sick.  But after the blessing, their breathing calmed down and they seemed able to rest...it was so cool!  

Then we had our Sunday pre-P-day sleepover with the other Elders on the island and we had our Tahitian gospel jam session! We made a remix of "Don't Worry, Be Happy", "Three Little Birds", and "What's Up"! I was on the ukulele and Pulu played the guitar and Sovereign sang! It was so good...I'll video it next time haha!  

So with the service project I'll tell you more about it next week because some more stuff is gonna happen this week that will make the story super cool!

I realized that my favorite lesson to teach is the Restoration. I love the spirit that comes with that lesson, and I love to explain to people that Jesus has reestablished his church on this earth through a prophet. It makes me smile when I teach it and feel so happy!  The Spirit is always there testifying of the truth of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. 

I love missionary work.  I'm glad that I made this decision to serve a mission...it has changed my life forever. It has showed me that there really is a God; and that anyone can change if they want to...it's never too late for anyone if they just want something better. I wish everyone would believe in that truth so that they can immediately start to feel of His love and peace. Serving this mission is so hard at times, but so happy most other times!  This really is the best two years FOR my life and I'm gonna serve God all of my life! I love the gospel!

Love ya!

Elder Boyd

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 29: The Power of Priesthood blessings, teaching English, and a baptism planned for April

Hi Family! This week was a good one!

Monday: After emails we played volleyball with the locals and had FHE with all of those little kids again who I sent a picture of last week. It was so fun! I love teaching little kids because they are easy to teach and just so happy and excited about it all!

Tuesday is always our busy day for teaching lessons; I'm not quite sure why, but it's always busy! We showed up at Herenui's home and she wasn't there. So we are gonna go back again tomorrow.  We didn't have time last week to head back to her house, but the rest of the lessons that day went really well.

Wednesday, we had a lesson really early that morning that a member referred us to. We taught the lesson along with the member, Pierre Atiu, but we just call him Papi or Papi Pierre. This is one thing that I love that about Polynesia; people call all the grandpas "Papi" and grandmas "Mami"...I love that haha! The lesson was good!

Thursday we were busy with lessons all day and taught a neat family. You can just tell that this family loves their grandma (Mami) and their Mami is so sweet! She is super nice and she rarely speaks in French; she speaks mostly old Tahitian. I can understand a little bit, but my French is much better. We showed up that day and she was really sick. We gave her a blessing with all of her grown up kids and her grandchildren sitting right there. 

After the blessing the spirit was so strong! She just sat there crying and holding on to us. She wouldn't let go of our hands. She was so touched by the Spirit and the Priesthood power that she felt. It was amazing to me. I have never seen a reaction quite like that...I have only heard about them. The priesthood is so necessary in our lives and in our families. I will make absolutely sure that in my family, if I have sons, they are gonna hold this priesthood and they are gonna be worthy of it! They are gonna bless lives with the priesthood power of our Savior! 

Friday we taught some pretty effective lessons and then I went on splits with the new Elder (Ivie) and we taught an English class. The class was so fun because Tahitians just laugh when they try to speak another language, and it was a night full of good old fun and laughter! Hahaha!

Saturday we got a baptism date fixed for April 2nd and we are really, really excited! I'll tell you even more about that next time.

Sunday was a good, normal Sunday. I enjoyed visiting with AndrŠ¹ and then we had our Sunday sleepover with all the missionaries on the island!  Haha! We enjoy telling our weekly missionary stories to each other and just catching up!

Have a great week and love you all!  

Elder Boyd