Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week 58: The faith of Nicolas, and It's all about families being sealed together

Hi everyone!

I have to say that this week was pretty "baller"!

Elders Paxman and Boyd
Elders Paxman and Boyd
After emails on Monday we all hung out with the Mahina zone. Elder Dalton is one of the zone leaders over there and it was fun to chill with them! We went to the beach in Tiarei and after that we had our family night.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Nicolas and he is doing great spiritually, but there was a problem; his dad is a member, but at 18 years old he decided he was going to leave the church and do whatever he wanted. His dad was speaking with Nicolas and told him he to wait until he is 18 before he gets baptised. So we talked about it with Nicolas and explained why it was better for him to be baptised right now because he is truly ready.  He said that he would go and talk to his dad about it.

Wednesday we got to talk with Roger and Moeata about the fast we had together. They have decided to try and set a date within the next two months for their marriage and baptism, they just need to settle some family situations. It's hard because Roger's side of the family is Protestant and Moeata is Mormon, so the family is kinda fighting about how and where they they should get married. Roger and Moeata want a Mormon wedding of course...it's just hard with the family, so we are going to really pray for them to get the help they need with this situation! 

We also had a lesson with this lady named A. Her husband is JP and he is the nicest and kindest man ever. JP was baptised about 2 years ago, but his wife (A) is a heavy drinker and heroine addict and she has been like that for about half of her life. Her body is really destroyed right now. About a year ago A got sooo close to baptism and so close to leaving her old life behind, but the day of her baptism she didn't show up to her baptism and they found her drunk of the side of the road later that day. A went downhill and JP also went downhill and fell back into habits with alcohol and stuff. It's super sad!! But Wednesday we visited JP, and A was there. She said that she wanted to change and that she wants to quit her old life, so we are teaching her again, and we are going to be working really hard with them.  They are great people! A is a french woman and JP is Tahitian! They are both great!

We kept busy with lessons at the end of the week and had district meeting with the gang on Friday.  We talked about our normal missionary stuff and it was pretty fun! And THEN (I'm getting excited just typing it) we went to the TEMPLE! Man it has been so long since I have been able to go! 

Tahiti Temple
A family that Paxman baptised a year ago went to the temple to get their endowments and to do their sealing and they invited him, and because I'm his companion I got to go haha! It was great experience to go into the temple again, it made me realize that if I go to the temple regularly when I get home that it will help me so much when it comes to school, work, and family. It just relieves all stress and worry and you get a chance to connect with God. The sealing was so cool and that was the first time I saw a family getting sealed together since I have become a missionary! It was so powerful to see that!

Saturday we went to go and talk to Nicholas's dad, and he just asked us to let his kid make his own choice (which of course we would) haha! And then he told us Nicolas wasn't going to come to church because they were going to go kite surfing and all that stuff on Sundays now.

Well on Sunday we headed to church and guess what? Nicolas came to Church! He said that he was talking to his dad and he told him that he really wanted to get baptised. His dad told him to stay with him and go kite surfing, but Nicolas totally chose to go to church instead! At Nicholas's age (16) I hope I would have been strong enough to not pick the kite surfing! But that is faith, Nicolas has faith! So Nicolas is going to be baptised as planned, but you can see that God tested this kid's faith, and he showed God that he has enough faith to follow Christ. And because of his choice, the dad finally said yes to the baptism!

This week was full of miracles, and the biggest miracle of all was the sealing in the temple.  The fact the families can be sealed forever is a massive miracle, that is one of the biggest gifts that God has to offer us. That is something that is worth waiting for...even worth sacrificing everything for!!!

Have a great week pals!

Love you all so much,

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 57: The Aru'e zone is on fire

Hey guys! So this week was a great one!

After we emailed last Monday we went and played basketball in Pape'ete with the Pape'ete zone...church ball at its finest! Then we had a family night with the family Tepahauatepari and it was great. After that we had to take some of the missionaries that were going home to the airport. It was a little sad since that group of kids were all of my buddies from the beginning of my mission; Elders Urbani, Hill, Fuller, and Tripp! It was so weird to see them go because in a year that will be me! It doesn't even seem real...time goes by super fast!

Tuesday was a normal day of lessons, and then that night we had to go to the airport again to pick up all the NEW missionaries. I totally saw Elder Bradshaw (Jerem from Lone Peak) and it was cool to see that kid again. All of the new missionaries spent the night at our house and it was so funny because it reminded me of my first night. You come in feeling all nervous and excited about Tahiti and you ask all the older missionaries these "rookie" questions. It was really funny--feels like yesterday! Haha!

The next day we had our scheduled lessons then went to President's house to give a lesson to the new missionaries about their training. We talked about the "Standard of Excellence" and the importance of that. It went really well. It was kind of funny because we had to do it all in French so they probably didn't understand very much but we tried to make it simple and fun!

On Thursday we were super, super busy again with lessons. We called the stake president (President Estall) and asked him to come with us to a lesson. We are really trying to form a good relationship with the stake president. That has been one of the problems in Aru'e, the missionaries weren't really communicating well with the stake president and using that as a resource, so we are trying to change that! We are starting to see a lot of good things in our zone and we are pretty happy!!

Friday was our district meeting and then we went to teach more lessons. We had a lesson with this kid named Nicolas, he's super awesome, and his grandma is a Mormon. She is just so happy that her grandson is taking the lessons and progressing so well. She went and bought him everything for church, like the BOM, D&C, a bible, and even the hymn book. Seriously EVERYTHING she could get her hands on, because she is just so happy that he is taking the lessons. She is a classic grandma and the first question that she asks her grandchildren or us is, "Have you eaten??" hahaha! She is the best! 

Later that night we started a fast with Roger and Moeata. They wanted to fast for their marriage and for their baptism, it was so awesome.  We have them committed, and we are hoping to have them on date soon.

So on Saturday we set a baptism date for Nicolas (October 8th) and then we showed up to have a lesson with our investigator "V". The moment she saw us she started crying! She told us that the night before her mother was drinking and her mother told her that she had always loved her other child more than her. How horrible and heartbreaking is that? "V" is about 35 by the way, and she was so sad. I guess in a way it was kind of a miracle because she is ready for baptism and the only obstacle was her mom.  It just makes it easier for her to choose to get baptised, but I still know she is hurting.

Sunday was awesome because we had 11 investigators at church! Let's go! And every companionship in our zone set baptism dates this last week! Our zone has 16 dates set and Pax and I are so happy with the progress of our zone, they are all working super hard! It has been neat to see the changes coming along in the past month. This week was really great!

In my study I've been reading in 3 Nephi. It's amazing to see what was going on with the Nephites while Christ was on the earth.  It's one of my favorite sections in the BOM.  Keep up your reading everyone!

Love ya!

Elder Boyd

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 56: Couscous cracks me up and Au Revoir to Elder Urbani

Hello Family and all!

Last Monday after we finished our emails, we went to Pape'ete to play basketball with some of the zones right around us.  I got to hang with Elder Terry, my companion from the MTC! It was super fun! There were even a few other guys from my MTC group. It's always super cool to go and catch up with all of my buddies from the MTC. After that we had a lesson with Roger and it was super good.  That night we had FHE with an inactive family and two more people who were living with this family. It was really good! The two living with the family (Karine and Vaimiti) wanted to take the lessons right after the family night! How sweet is that?

Tuesday and Wednesday were really strange days. We had sooo many lessons cancel and everything just went wrong. But you know there are going to be days like that on a mission so no big deal! Chin up and keep working!

On Thursday we had our "Leaders Council Meeting" with all the zone leaders and assistants and with President Bize! It's a super long meeting haha!  We start at 9:00 in the morning and go until 3;00 in the afternoon!! It nuts, but the meeting goes by super fast because there is always a lot to talk about! So for lunch we ate couscous and all that I could think about was the scene with the pharaoh in "Night at the Museum 2" when he was like "Oooohhhh he is nothing but a little grain of couscous!" you know, with his lisp and everything! Remember how all of us could not stop laughing! I was cracking up and seriously no one understood why I was laughing. I guess all the other missionaries didn't have a life before the mission...how do you miss that movie? Hahaha!

We had a our big zone conference reunion on Friday with all of our zone.  Paxman and I talked about what we discussed at the leaders council. We were really trying to motivate our missionaries to take the work more seriously! The entire time that I have been on my mission, the Arue zone has been the lowest producing zone! Elder Paxman and I are super motivated to get the numbers up!

Sunday was the best part of the week.  We went to church and we finally had investigators come to the meetings! I was sooo happy! We had 10 investigators come and even the family Teheiura came! It was so awesome! After church we went to the family Orbeck's house because they made "Maa Tahiti for Sunday dinner and it was super super good! 

Then we went and did our weekly report and went to ward council meeting.  That day was Paxman's birthday so we went and celebrated it with the Sisters because they made a big cake for him.   We just ate the cake in the parking lot of their apartment complex because we can't go in but it was great! Haha! 

So this week was a hard one but there are going to be weeks like this when you are preaching the gospel. In the mission field and in life, sometimes there are just things that we can't control.  We just press forward with faith so we can let the Lord guide us.  I know He is in control!

Oh! Today I saw Elder Urbani! He was one of the missionaries in my very first house when I arrived on Tahiti. He stopped by to say goodbye to me...he actually heads home to France today.  I haven't seen him for almost a year and he just came back from one of the outlying islands and now he is going home!  It was weird because a year ago when I was in the house with him and we were talking we couldn't really communicate. 

We were amazed because back when we were in the same house we were trying to communicate in English and a little French but mostly just laughed when we couldn't understand each other.  Now we speak in straight-up French and it's easy! I'm gonna miss that kid...he told me to come visit him in France!  Then the assistants asked the zone leaders to pick up the new missionaries so I'm going to go and pick up Elder Bradshaw (from Lone Peak) tomorrow!  Cool! I'm super excited to see him!

Have a great week and love you all!


Halloween package is on the way this week ...

Week 55: Bearing testimony and snails aren't so bad.

Hi everyone!

It was another great week!

After emailing we went to Point Venus to go and play beach soccer, smash ball, and to just chill with a bunch of other zones in the mission. I saw a bunch of people from my MTC group like Elders Sovereign and Terry, and Sister Lawrence. It was cool to see them and chill! After that we went and had a lesson with this couple, Roger and Moeata. Moeata was a member and was sealed in the temple with her ex-husband and everything! She got divorced and fell away from the church and she really wants to come back!! Her boyfriend Roger is super, super humble so every lesson just goes straight to his heart...it is so cool to watch him react to the messages.Then we had FHE with another great family!

Tuesday we started the week with a great start! We had a bunch of lessons that were really effective! Then we had our meeting with the Stake Council, to talk about our areas and how the stake could help us out a little bit better. They wanted to do a fireside, so we will be planning it and getting ready! 

On Wednesday we did our splits with some of the Elders from moorea, so this week I stayed here in Tahiti and Paxman went over to Moorea. Elder Sekeme came and served with me for the day, and it was so much fun! Elder Sekeme is the best friend of Elder Puluiuvea (my old companion-Pulu). It was super fun serving with a Caledonian again...hahaha! Elder Sekeme is a newer missionary, but man that kid can bear his testimony. It was so cool to see, he is just super humble and when he teaches and bears his testimony you can feel the Spirit so easily! It was awesome.

Thursday we went and took Elder Sekeme to the boat and picked up Elder Lasson for the next split. Elder Lasson was super great too. He is a black French guy and it's pretty interesting serving with French people...they really know their language ha! It was a super cool experience, I really liked it. His way of teaching is super cool. He talks like Sherlock Holmes so when he teaches he makes the investigator really think of their life and stuff, it was great. Elder Lasson is a professional soccer player back home so after his mission he is going straight into professional soccer! Cool guy.

We had District Meeting on Friday and then another lesson with Roger and Moeata and they are really progressing...it's nuts! Ha!

On Saturday we had a meeting with the stake again and then we all ate together and did a fast together. The stake set a goal to have 105 baptisms for the year, but they are a bit behind because right now we have only 39 baptisms. The stake is really motivated right now so we fasted together so that God could help us to get the 105 baptisms for the year! We are gonna really start working with the stake to help them hit their goal!

Sunday was a good, normal Sunday. Pax and I bore our testimonies (pretty much talked about missionary work...haha) trying to get the members more motivated to get out there and help us find investigators. Then Paxman and I had brought a bunch of granola bars, cookies and water and we finished our fast in the car! Haha! It was funny...we were starving! Then we had a bunch of lessons and that night we ate with a member named JP and  he is so dope! We ate fries, chicken, and ESCARGOT (snails) and it was so good! 

So my week was a pretty normal week but I loved it. I got to drive a lot in the Hilux this week and it was super fun because it's a stick! Fast and Furious (unlike snails) haha!

Have a good week and love ya!