Thursday, June 30, 2016

Week 45: Steeve and Sylvain get baptized

Hey everyone! So this week was a pretty great week!!

After emailing everyone on P-day, we visited with an investigator in Fa'anui, that Elder Brunet teaches. His name is Anapa, and he is super cool! We rode our bikes around the island, but we did it sport style, where you are in a line and you go as fast as you can, and you work as a team using aerodynamics and stuff! It's actually super cool how it all works. We made it around the island in an hour and 15 minutes, it was super crazy but lots of fun!

This week we had a lesson with Herenui (remember we have been staying in contact with her for months but she is really hard to catch most of the time) and we had a cool experience with her. As soon as we got there you could tell that she was just super stressed and everything. All of her kids were crying, it was just out of control. She and her husband have been having a hard time and  we just felt that we needed to talk to her about priesthood blessings. Well she really wanted one, and she asked me to say the blessing.  Right in the middle of the blessing she says, "Is it normal to feel like this?" So I just kept going and I finished the blessing and then after that she was like, "Man! I honestly feel amazing and so much better...can we do that some other time soon?" Ha! It was great to see her feeling calm and happy.

This weekend was probably the best weekend of my mission. It was one of my favorite investigators, Steeve's, wedding and baptism. We showed up to the wedding and Steeve asked me to be his witness! So we all walked into the ceremony together. Steeve and Aloha were awesome, and I sat at the head table with the other witness and stuff.  Just me and the guests of honor...haha, it was so cool! Steeve and Aloha were all dressed up and their kids were so cute, it was just awesome! After the main wedding we went to the church for a blessing on their marriage. The members decorated the church and everything and it was so awesome for them. After that we ate at a restaurant and I sat by Steeve and just talked to him about his journey.

Steeve and Aloha's Wedding
Saturday Steeve was baptised and then Vairea's fiance, Sylvain, was baptised at the same time! What a great day for two of my faves! They were both there at the church with the biggest smiles on their faces! I sat next to Steeve and Sylvain and when the baptism talks were being given, and Steeve leans over and says, "Boyd, ça brûle mon cœur!" (which means my heart is burning)! He was feeling the Spirit so strong! Both Sylvain and Steeve bore amazing testimonies that day.

Steeve freshly baptized
Sunday: Steeve and Sylvain were both confirmed and it was just a great day.  There was a family from Utah that came to church and I invited them to come into the investigator/recent convert class.  I taught in French and translated for the family from Utah. Everyone in the class had such a good time and they were so excited to hear the testimonies of others and from the investigators and recent converts. After class everyone wanted to take a big picture together and it was a great experience!

Steeve is one of my favorites because we worked so hard for him. We knew he could feel the Spirit and we just needed to keep going until the Lord could soften his heart. We have actually been teaching him since February!! Aloha, his wife, is already a member, but they have both suffered so many trials between February and right now just trying to keep them from marriage and baptism and ultimately true happiness.  Now they are the cutest couple ever!  I love Steeve and Aloha and Sylvain so much! I know that I'm going to stay in contact with them for a long, long time! The people on Bora are just amazing!

Love you!

Elder Boyd

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 44: Mariana wants to be a Mormon, and recognizing the Holy Spirit is our 3rd companion.

Hey wassup fam! So here is the big news from last week on Bora ...

After emails on Monday we played volleyball and I honestly stink at it, especially here in Bora, because everyone here is amazing, it's out of control! After that we played basketball with the local crew (Ura, Mana, Boule, Puiti, and pretty much all of my good friends here) so it was super fun!! I need to stick with basketball for sure! 

On Tuesday, Elder Rybin and I set a goal to teach 25 lessons with just investigators this week and to find 3 new investigators. We normally have around 22 lessons every week, but we wanted to push a little bit harder, so we just headed out for lessons and had a really good day!

Wednesday we had a lesson with Ioane (he is one of my favorites because he reminds me of Chris Rock, haha) and we taught him and his wife, Purea, (who is a member). The lesson went super well. Then Purea talked about her daughter, Marania, and how she really wants to be baptized, but her dad won't let her (her dad is not Ioane), and she told us that during the week Marania is with her dad in Matira!

Matira Beach

Thursday came around and we decided to surprise Purea so we went looking for Marania at Matira.  We totally found her on the beach! She saw us and was super excited! We asked her if we could start to teach her, and she was so pumped haha (she is 9 by the way) so we set a lesson for the next day and she could hardly wait!

Friday we had our lesson with Marania at Ioane and Purea's house. Purea was so happy that we searched out her daughter and wanted to start teaching her right away.  At the end of the lesson I remember asking Marania why she really wanted to be a Mormon, and she said that's all she can think and talk about because it makes her so happy! I explained to her that with all of our investigators there is often something that tries to prevent them from being baptised, (I figured it would be her birth father, but I didn't say that to her) but we told her that if we all pray together and do the lessons and have faith, God will make it work for her! I love Marania, she is such a happy little girl and I just know that God will prepare the way for her. 

That night we had transfers! Since I've been here awhile, all the Elders thought that I might be leaving, but you know I feel like I still have work to do here on Bora.  So we were chilling on our beds waiting for the calls, and I dozed off and woke up 30 minutes later.  Elder Ivie was like, "Hey, I guess I'm leaving, I'm going to Raiatea," (which is an island next to Bora). I didn't get a transfer call! I'm so pumped! So the next transfer is in August, and by that time I will have been in Bora for a little more than six months! I love it here...the time is going by so fast!

On Saturday we had a service project and then more lessons. We hit our goal!  What a week!  We had a lesson with Yannick and Marco, and that lesson was so powerful.  We taught about the Holy Ghost and after we explained everything, Rybin asked, "Can you guys feel the spirit right now?" 

Right then I could tell that God totally had our backs, because after he asked that question the Spirit we all felt became undeniably strong! Marco was like, "Yeah, I do." Then Yannick and Rybin got teary eyed and said "I'm so glad that you can feel it", and we said a prayer and left.  

It was an amazing lesson. The Spirit was so strong and we both learned the we have a 3rd companion in our companionship, and that's our Savior.  He has totally had our backs from the beginning. He is the one who has made everything happen for us in this sector.  

I remember when I first arrived here, I prayed so hard personally, and Pulu and I prayed so much together so that we could build up this sector.  Right now we are having an average of 22-23 lessons a week and we have had 12 baptisms -- and we might have 4 more this weekend! 

I'm so grateful for the help of our Savior and all that He has done for me, Elder Pulu, and Elder Rybin. As missionaries, we are instruments of the Lord, and He will polish us and clean us and tune us. We just need to open our mouths and make a sound when the Lord needs us to, and as we do that we allow the Savior to make a difference and touch people's hearts! I love this work!

Love, Elder Boyd

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 43: Little Alan loved the font and the blessings of Priesthood power.

Hey Everyone! It was another great week here on Bora!

Last Monday after we did our P-day stuff we went to Sister Comming's house and ate food and played some funny card games. I found out that I'm not very good at these card games because I can't keep a straight face...not very surprising ha! Then we had FHE with the Hutia family, and they brought some friends that weren't members. After FHE, Elder Rybin and I were talking to them and apparently the wife really wants to join the church but her husband (inactive member) isn't really ready for that, but we fixed a lesson with them and we are gonna go and teach them this week. 

Oh! A few weeks back we gave a blessing to a little girl with heart problems, and ever since the blessing she hasn't had any problems at all! So they are really excited and they wanted us to start teaching them the lessons. We started the lessons with them and now they want the lessons everyday! 

The power of the priesthood is real! It's such a blessing in our church, in our families, and in our lives! I don't think I really understood the full significance of the priesthood before my mission, but I am extremely grateful for my dad who has held and used his priesthood in our family.  I know now what a difference it truly made in our family!

Friday was our district meeting with all the Elders on Bora and we Skyped in the Sisters on Maupiti (the island right next to us).  The sister companionship is struggling a little because they are such different people. One companion is from Vanuatu, and Vanuatuans are super quiet and humble, it's just their culture.  I think the "quiet" is just tough on the other sister so we are praying a lot for them so that they can work well together.  It's made me so grateful for good companions so far!

Saturday was a good day of lessons, and then we had our nine year old investigator get baptised.   His name is Alan, and his mother is inactive. Alan really wanted to be baptised, and his mom said yes and he was excited. After he was baptised, Alan bore his testimony, and then his mom, Iovinia, bore her testimony! It was really great and now Iovinia wants to take the lessons! 

Alan loved his baptism! He keeps telling me that he wants to go again! It was funny because on Sunday I was talking to Warren (he was the investigator we baptized last Sunday) and Alan came up to us and said, "Hey!! It was awesome in the font huh?" It was so funny, and Warren totally agreed! Then Warren and Alan were both confirmed and it was glorious!!!

So that was my was great.  We are going to keep working with Yannick...fear is getting in his way right now, but he will get there...I just know it!

Love you guys!

Elder Connor Boyd

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 42: Ward Party on a motu = beaucoup referrals, Warren gets baptized, and Yannick is soo close

Hey Fam!!!  This week was crazy-busy, but it was great!

On Pday we went to "Saltwater Family" -- this store that is only here on Bora Bora! It's really the coolest store I bought a hat and then we went to another shop that makes hats and we had hats made for our district! So basically, I scored two awesome hats on Monday.

Tuesday was (like always) our super busy day.  We literally started out early for lessons and got home right at 9 p.m.  Then I passed out on my bed totally exhausted...good day!

On Wednesday we talked to this woman named Karmel (made me think of sister Newell) who has just jumped right in and taken the lessons. She wants to be baptized and everything, but her mom is being a little difficult. Her mom is RLDS, so that's kind of a tough one.  So we decided to go and talk to the mom. She jumped right to the good we started to explain polygamy, and the priesthood and all that. But believe it or not, the mom is starting to be more interested! She actually started taking the lessons with us, so now we just have to get her to pray about our message and "boom goes the dynamite, the mom and daughter will be baptized! Oh yeah!

Friday we had a lesson with Yannick and Marco; these really chill guys. Yannick is so close to baptism, sooooo close! 

Then we had an event with all the wards on Bora. It was a huge evening with food and Tahitian dancing (all of the wards prepared dances and stuff for the program). It is so fun to watch the dancing when you know the people and all the kids who are was really awesome!

Saturday the party continued with the wards on a motu, so we were there all day. It was really like a second P-day haha! These people know how to party!  

We ate food, played games and stuff, but the best part was there were tons of investigators and we got so many referrals! We are gonna be busy for a long time!!!! 

Then on Sunday we had stake conference; and after sacrament meeting the Stake President wanted to talk to Yannick to try and fix his baptism date. I was a little sensitive because of what happened last time (when our investigator felt a little pressured) so I asked if I could be with him.  So the Stake President, Yannick and I went into an office and I could see that Yannick was sooo scared and nervous. The president asked him to get baptized that very day and I could really see him wavering.  I jumped in and  told Yannick to pray about it and we would talk about it later that night. I don't think the president was too happy with me...oh geez! But later that night we went over to Yannick's house and talked to him. So he is gonna be baptised Saturday! 

He asked me to baptize him and he wants to be baptized in the ocean, so I'm really pumped for him! Please pray for him so that he can be baptized this Saturday! I know he is ready...he just needs to keep the faith! 

So after that, we had a baptism -- his name is Warren and he is awesome! He really was an easy one because he just has the faith! He started the lessons with us, he read and prayed, and immediately chose to follow Christ.  He was one of those "faithful from the start" guys! It was awesome!

I love this mission! It's so awesome to see people change and become a better person! The decision to follow Christ is always worth it!

So that was my week in Bora.  I loved it!

Love you guys!

Elder Boyd