Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Week 49: Tairohia is baptized by his Dad, Ralf reads the BoM and Aaron feels the spirit

What's up everyone?  So this week was awesome!

Last Monday after emails all six of the Bora missionaries went to Matira Beach and ate at one of the restaurants and it was great. I even bought this fizzy candy that was super good, B would love it! Then we played basketball with the crew and it was super fun, it may have gotten a tad bit competitive...but you know, it's better that way (missionary power can even be found on the courts) ha! We had family night with the Atiu family and it was just great; I ate a ton like always!

Tuesday was such a busy day full of lessons. Tuesdays are always our super busy day here, I'm not sure why, but it's always a great way to start out the week!

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Ralf. He is pretty much all alone in this world, meaning his mom died, and his dad is super old and super sick, and he has no money, no home, nothing really and it is sad. Ramon took us to see him a few weeks ago, and he started reading the Book of Mormon, and praying, and then "boom goes the dynamite", he wants to get baptized! So we set his date for the 13th of August. I just know that being part of a ward, with people who love him will be such a great thing for him. Plus he will be baptized a member of the church! 

We had our district meeting on Friday, of course. We talked about our areas and what's going well, what's not so great, and what can we do to make it better. It's a good district because we actually try to help each other get better! I've grown a lot in this district, with Elders Rybin, Brunet, Heiata, Ruff, and Lewis! 

Saturday was a really great day.  So I've told you guys about Tehea; she has been taking the lessons for a few months and she totally wants to get baptised. She got married to Charles, who is a member, about 2 months ago and they have two kids.  She is trying to get things settled with her family so that she can get baptised, but it's really hard because her mom is a strict Protestant and not very happy about her joining the church. But a few weeks ago her 13 year old son, Tairohia (the young man in the picture), decided he wanted to get baptised and his baptism was this Saturday. It was a difficult choice for this family because of the contention from Tehea's family, but Tairohia had so much faith! I'm so proud of that kid! 

His dad cleaned up some things in his life so that he could baptize Tairohia and it was great for this whole family. After the baptism Tairohia bore his testimony and said, "I know this church is true, and God lives, in the name of Jesus Christ amen." I don't know why, but that simple testimony was one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard. It was one sentence long, but there was something so powerful that day...we could all feel it.  It was an awesome day!  Tehea was so happy and she knows that she is next! Their goal is to have an eternal family and they are getting there one step at a time. I honestly love them and I'm so proud of this family.

On Sunday after church we taught this kid named Aaron at Papi Pierre's home. It was our first lesson, but when we started talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon the spirit grew so strong! We asked him if he was feeling something (knowing that he could feel it) and then we started testifying of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's role in the Restoration, and God's love for us. He just started crying...he knew what we were saying was true. We invited him to be baptised and he said yes! 

Aaron is really cool. He is 18 years old and a great kid. He said that it was the first time that he had ever felt like that! It was one of my favorite lessons that I have ever had!

I'm so grateful for this gospel. We are so lucky to have this in our lives.  There are people who have never even felt the spirit before...imagine that! Imagine living 20, 30, or 40 years of your life without ever feeling God's love. No wonder God wants us to serve others!

Have a great week!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 48: Continuing forward

I totally just typed my whole letter and accidentally hit delete instead of send! I'm not excited about typing the whole thing again, but I'll do it because I love you all!

Early this week we had a lesson with Teina and Christine. While we were there, their mom came out and she had been drinking. She told us that the girls didn't want to do the lessons anymore, but they really do.  We just had to leave, but decided to come back later to see them when the mom is in a little better shape. We went back on Wednesday, but she still insisted they can't take them anymore. We feel so badly but we will keep trying and reaching out to them. 

On Wednesday I still had a sore throat, so I figured I better run over to the doctor. I went up the the front desk and the lady was super grumpy for some reason (I got the vibe that she does not like missionaries very much...haha...what's not to love), but after a little sweet talking and convincing she let me in so I could get checked. I got checked by this French doctor, he was actually super dope! He was young and wears shorts and flip flops every day, what a cool guy! He gave me some antibiotics and I'm all good!

Friday we had a great lesson with Tehea, her son Tairohia, and her husband, Charles. Tairohia is gonna be baptized next week and his dad, Charles, is going to be able to do it! Tehea is gonna try and get things settled with her family to see if she can also do it this week! So please pray for her...these are great people!  

Saturday was a strange day. I was saddened and a little dissapointed by some of the choices of some of our investigators.  It's so difficult to see them act foolishly and make poor choices when you love them so much and work so hard with them.  I guess I'm kinda getting a feel of what it would be like to be a parent...haha! It's hard to watch when you know they are better than what they are choosing! 

At church on Sunday we saw Greg who owns the awesome restaurant out here. He had been on a long vacation and went to see the NBA Finals games, and then to Alaska. He told me all about that, and said it was super sick! It was fun to catch up with him. Then we had a lesson with Ioane; it always goes super great with him! He's awesome. 

So this week was strange but I learned a lot! I learned that no matter what we do for other people, sometimes we can't control the outcome. We can definitely influence it, but we can't control it. The only thing we can do is to continue to be positive and supportive even if we wonder if we have the energy or strength to keep going.  I know that if we continue forward God will fill in the rest for us! If we give our all, it'll be enough for God to step in with the power of the atonement to make everything worth it!

Elder Boyd

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Week 47: Teaching Yanki's daughter and Eric gets baptized

Hi Fam!

It was another great week on Bora! It started with a hard core "church ball" game with Boule, Ura, Puiti and some great kids from the neighborhood...P-Day is always fun and wild with these guys!

I got to spend some time out in Fa'anui with Elder Brunet on splits, and I totally met a member of the Tahi family that I knew back in Fa'aripo (my first area). I was super pumped! We just started talking about her family and the old neighborhood, and then before we knew it we were teaching her a lesson! Right after that I got a call from Yanki. He and his wife were super happy that we found their daughter to teach. I want things to go so well for her. 

Our lesson with Steeve was great like always, and then we called his friend Eric to come over to do a lesson. Eric was supposed to be baptised the same day as Steeve, but the night before...there's no easy way to say this...he went out and got hammered! Eric came over and we talked about the atonement and how we can always come back when we make a mistake and need some help. He is so ready to be baptised...he just had a moment...so we totally set his baptism date for Saturday! He decided to get rid of the beer and go forward...this guy is awesome!

We went to see Herenui, but she is having a really hard time. I think the Lord is trying to break her down in order to repair her. It's going to take a while with her, but I think one day she will get there...I know what the gospel would mean for her and her family...we will keep trying!

Eric's baptism on Saturday was kinda last minute so there were not very many people there, but it was still a super amazing baptism. Eric is kind of a small, quiet man (he doesn't talk much), but you could see in his eyes that he was so incredibly happy. After he was lifted up out of the water, his eyes were just filled with tears.. it was cool to see!

Sunday was a super busy day, I pretty much conducted baptism interviews the whole time! After church we went to do a lesson with Ramone. We talked with him until dark and finally headed home at nine. Ramone is super funny, one of my favorites, a really good guy.  He thinks he can speak English, but it's pretty much just the bad words! Ahhh! It was just a great day!

Thus was another week in paradise ;) Have an awesome week everyone!

Elder Boyd

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 46: Finding Yanki's daughter and giving a talk at Heiva

Hi guys! It was another great week!

On Monday we moved into a new house right next to the Church.  It's a nice place, but it's strange not living next to Moevai and everyone. The neighbors get really close to the missionaries. We had a family night with all of them (it was kinda like a goodbye), but don't get all teary because we still live like 2 minutes from them! Ha!

We had lots of lessons early in the week then on Thursday we went to visit Herenui. She was not there so we will go back next Thursday. Then we had a lesson with Teina and Christine (they are sisters) and it was super cool.  They are both on track to be baptized next month if they keep going strong! Their parents want to come to Church too, but every time we show up for their lesson they seem to be drinking. We have a little way to go but they can do it! 

One of Elder Boyd's little buddies practicing for the talent show

On Friday we had our district meeting it is always a good time because all six of us Elders here in Bora Bora are super close!

Oh! something kind of fun... before I got transferred to Bora, when I was in Fa'aripo, I was really good friends with a guy named Yanki!! When we found out that I was going to Bora Bora, he said that he has a daughter there and she is inactive and her husband isn't a member! I promised Yanki that I would try to find her, so I searched for six months to find her, and this week we finally did! She knew exactly who I was because Yanki had talked about me to her, and now we are starting to teach her and her husband! I was so happy! I want to do this for Yanki! 

On Saturday we had a lesson with Diana, but when we showed up at her house her boyfriend was outside, he said she doesn't want the lessons anymore, so I asked her boyfriend to go and get her, but he wouldn't. I realized that there are a lot of people that are just scared of the missionaries. It's super funny to think of grown up people who are scared and hide in their houses when two nineteen year old Americans show up!! I don't know why it cracks me up!

So there is a cool thing called the "Heiva" and here on Bora it lasts for basically all of July. It's pretty much a carnival with all this cool stuff. At night they do super competitive dancing, and  it's really cool. Every Sunday night one of the churches will do a small message, so this Sunday it was the Mormons. The ward asked Elder Brunet and me to give a 10 minute talk, so we set it up with a bunch of cool videos and everything.  It was kinda scary, there were a lot of people there, but we talked about the atonement, and it was really, really great!!

So that was my week! It was  a pretty normal week but a good one. I really studied Matthew chapter 10 this week and just loved it. It's a super cool missionary chapter that reminds us that if we really lose ourselves in the service of others we will find out who we truly are. That's so true, and as a missionary I can confirm that! Try to lose yourself in service this week! 

Peace guys, and have a great week!

Elder Boyd