Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63: Satan is a "tool", but Heavenly Father clears the path for those who seek Him.

Hi Family! So this week was a really good one!

For Pday our zone wanted to build a fire and make s'mores...a little taste of America! So we went to a member's house where we could build a fire and we ate s'mores until we couldn't stomach one more bite.  It was funny because the Tahitians were super weirded out and they said that we Americans were crazy! Haha! We are not crazy...we just know a good graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow combo when we see it!

Sofitel Hotel
Tuesday was a great day and we did a boatload of lessons..and when I say a boatload I mean a boatload haha!  Robert, the member who is blind, came with us again for part of the day. He is such a good guy and he is not afraid of anything at all...he really inspires us all. At 6:00 we had a lesson with R. D. and her family, and man they had really progressed since our last lesson. We could immediately see the difference in the family from the moment we walked in. On Monday night they read scriptures together and they are trying to let God into their lives.  It's crazy to see how the gospel heals families. We talked about baptism and they were a little hesitant, but we explained that they need to ask God first before making this decision.  If they ask with a sincere heart, they will know what to do.
On Wednesday we went to see Hiti and we set his baptism for the 18th of November. He was so excited! So he is focused on preparing for the baptism, but this week he is heading out to Huahine for a ramming competition called the Hawaiki Nui. Basically the ram is a big canoe race where 6 guys are in a canoe and they go from Huahine to Raiatea, then Raiatea to Taha'a, and finally from Tahaa to Bora Bora! It's the biggest competition of the year, they are literally ramming from island to island and it takes a lot of training and work. After we saw Hiti we went back to check on the D. family and they had taken a little step back. Satan is a "tool"!, The dad took a step backward because of a little argument they had at the house. Darn! But I know they can do this...they will start moving forward again. The gospel has already made a difference in their lives.

Orbeck's took us to dinner
Friday I went to over to Moorea to do a split and that was super fun! Moorea is a dope island and I would looooovvveeee to serve over there one day. It reminds me of Bora Bora. It is different but it kinda has the same feel to it! It's a great place to be and I enjoy going over there to work with the missionaries serving in that area.  

Early Saturday I took the boat back to Tahiti and man I was tired! But we had things to do so we did a few lessons and then that night we had our baptism!  Paxman and I were so pumped!  It was a little girl named Manahere. She is 9 years old, and she wanted to be baptized so badly.  We have been giving her the lessons and then "boom goes the dynamite" she was ready to go! 

Even though this baptism was a bit easier (kids are a little easier because they are so humble and they know what's right and they wanna follow wonder Christ wants us to be like little kids) it was so great! That baptism made all this work and all the trials we have watched so many of our investigators go through seem worth it! Paxman and I had a jam session to the Nashville Tribute Band on our way back home that night to celebrate!

On Sunday we gave the talks in Church. I spoke about testimonies...'twas grand!

On a mission you learn a lot about the plan of God. You see how God works and how He functions. But you also learn how Satan functions too, and man is that guy predictable! You know exactly when he is going to go after an investigator.  As soon as we set a baptism date or talk about it, and they say yes, the next thought in my mind is "buckle up" you are about to go on a wild ride for a bit! It really is true, but I have also learned that Satan is not patient. He is predictable and he has the same old tricks. But our Father in Heaven is amazing. He knows what to do, and He will always clear the path for those who seek him! 

Goodbye and love you all!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 62: Nicolas is ready, and Robert, while blind, helps others see through his testimony

I just have to start off by saying that the craziest thing happened today! We were at the store and all of a sudden I start to hear a song that seemed really familiar and it was by Kenny Chesney! My favorite! I was so was like the day started with a little miracle because they seriously NEVER listen to country music over here. Some wonderful Tahitian must have decided to listen to a little Chesney today just for kicks and giggles! Ahhh...the little things that make a missionary happy!

Point Venus lighthouse
So last Monday we went to Point Venus for Pday and there were a lot of great missionaries there. It was pretty dang fun! Then we had FHE with an old investigator named Kiro and that was pretty awesome...we rocked the message!

Tuesday was our busy day but a highlight was when we had a lesson with a new investigator named Hitiarii. He lives with the family "Brothers" (that's the name) and this family is one of those families where all of the kids went on missions and they are all pretty great! So Hiti is a terrific guy and he is super interested! It was a really good lesson.

Wednesday was a neat day.  We found a member that loves going to do lessons with us and he simply loves missionary work! His name is Robert and he is actually blind.  When he is with us we have to walk slowly and lead him to our lessons and I have to say that it is pretty awesome! He has a super sweet testimony and he is just a great person all around. I really enjoy having him with us.

We went back to have another lesson with Hiti on Thursday and man that guy is super humble. He is just ready to hear about the gospel and he gets the message in every lesson that we have had with him.  This guy is so great. Then later that day we went contacting down by the beach and of course we found the resident beach "crazy guy". He told us that he talks to Micheal and the Angel Gabriel and also to God. During the night he stays up and apparently that's when he talks to God. He asked us to write down our first and last name in his notebook and then told us we should come back the next day to receive further instructions after he spoke with God about us. He would find out for us if God really wanted us to be on our missions...oh boy!  We were doing everything we could not to lose it haha! Needless to say, we didn't go back the next day for our instructions. Ha!

Friday we stopped by to talk and do a lesson with Nicolas and it looks like everything will work out. His baptism date is officially set for the 11th of November because that's his birthday and he really wanted that memory on his big day.

Elder Boyd and Nicolas
We have quite a few Priests in the ward out here so Paxman and I decided to start taking two Priests with us every Saturday for like 2 hours or so to contact and teach some lessons.  It was a good experience and we were able to teach a few pretty good lessons but the very first house we contacted was a grumpy Asian guy that told us to go away! Haha! We kinda scared the Priests a little right off the bat, but things got much better after that and it was a good day! We are doing everything we can to involve the members in the work out here.

Sunday was a great day at church and then we set out to do more lessons. Saturday and Sunday are hard because so many people in Arue drink...and I mean they drink a lot!  It's tough to see week after week the same people sitting around yelling HALLELUJAH or THE HOLY GHOST IS LOVE or a few other choice drunk people phrases. I keep thinking of a few funny quotes from old movies when we walk by them (I haven't forgotten some of my famous quotes) but man I just don't see the appeal! We have got to get these people to want something better!

Our small missionary apartment in Aru'e
I finished the Book of Mormon and now I am reading the New Testament.  Tell Brendon and Kennedi that I am in Mark and will be caught up to them with their Seminary reading in no time.  It's so great to read about the life of Christ. 

Love you all and have a great week!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 61: An investigator prays: Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief

Hey Everyone! It's just nuts how fast the weeks go by on the mission! Here is a recap of what we did last week.

P-Day ay Papeari
Last Monday we went all the way to Papeari (on the other side of island) to go on a hike with a bunch of other missionaries. It was super fun!  I really love chilling with a whole bunch of missionaries on Pday. We really have some great people out here in the mission. That night we visited a bunch of families and then we went and got some pizza for dinner. Heaven! Elder Sovereign and his companion stayed at our house that night because his companion had to go and get a check up at the doctor's office the next day.  It was fun to catch up.

Tuesday we got right back to work.  Out here Tuesday is like the day right after the weekend. It feels like Monday's used to feel when you had to go back to school and everything! Haha!  It is a super busy day with tons of lessons. I love it, but I'm always soooo tired after Tuesday. If I wasn't tired on a Tuesday, I wouldn't be doing my job!

Ferry between Pape'ete and Mo'orea
On Thursday we did splits with the Moorea missionaries. Elder Gonzalez came here to work with me in our area and Elder Paxman went out to Moorea to be with Elder Sekeme for the day. It was a decent day, but we didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped because Gonzalez got super seasick on the boat ride over. So for most of the split he was too sick to do anything. It was tough, but it was ok...we still got a few good lessons in.  Then we had our English class, so I taught the class and it was great (if I do say so myself) haha!

President Bize came to our district meeting on Friday and discussed our zone and the district of Arue and it was great to have him there. I'm proud of our missionaries, they work so hard and it's cool to see them work and succeed. 

Aru'e District in the Aru'e Zone
Then we had a lesson with S and R. They had a hard week but it's ok, they are going to be having some hard weeks and days in this healing process. They really are doing better and they are loving the lessons now. They are honestly starting to feel the Spirit. S said the prayer at the end of the lesson and it was a great prayer. He said many things in the prayer that showed his true heart, but the phrase that stuck in my head was, "Father, I want to believe in you." I thought of the story in the bible where the man asked Jesus to cast out an evil spirit and heal his son and Jesus asked him "Do you believe?" and the man replied "Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24). I love that verse! S wants to believe, he just needs to build on his faith week by week and let the Lord heal his heart.

On Saturday we had some complications with the parents of Nicolas and decided to push his baptism date back to the 29th. Pray for him guys! He is so ready, but just as we get close, something gets in the way.  

Sunday was busy with our zone leader homework and lessons and then Elder Brunet (one of the missionaries from Bora Bora) came and stayed at our house! Ahhh, I missed Brunet, it was so good to see that kid again. He is leaving today and going back home. Elder Bunet is one of the missionaries that I honestly look up to. He has given everything to the Lord and you can see it when you look at him and talk with him. He's a great guy and he will be a kid that I'll stay in contact with for a long time.

Elders Paxman, Brunet, and Boyd
This week was a little bit harder, it seems like all of our efforts with our investigators are just destroyed by temptation and bad influences and it is so hard to watch...especially when you know they are ready and just need to have faith and move forward. I know that we will see some miracles with these great people.  Paxman and I have gotta be a little more patient and remain full of hope! We ask our investigators to have faith and be patient...we need to trust in the Lord just as we ask them to do!

Have a good week guys!

Love ya!

Elder Boyd

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 60: The power of the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives

Hey guys!  So this week was a great but kind of interesting one! Elder Packer really wanted to go and play tennis on P-day so we did! It was pretty great! Then after that we had a lesson with Roger (Terai) and Moeata and it was awesome!

Last week's hike on P-Day

Tuesday and Wednesday we went about our lessons and we had a lesson with Nicolas.  He is such a dope kid, you guys would love him! I told him he needs to move to Utah after he goes on his mission because he and I would be good buddies! I wanna teach him to snowboard, because with kite surfing he would be a natural. He said he will teach me to kitesurf when we all come back after the mission.  

After our lesson with Nicolas, "R" called. She asked us to come to her house immediately if we could.  We show up feeling a little nervous and she said that her husband was a little out of control.   We tried to share a good message with the family,  just to talk about God and Jesus and the atonement, but it just felt so dark in the house. There was just a horrible feeling, and you could visibly see how scared she the kids and have been of their dad.  We asked them to pray together as a family, and then we left and scheduled another lesson for Sunday.

On Thursday we had "Leaders Council" and it was great! With the last round of transfers we lost a lot of the zone leaders because they went home so there were a lot of new guys which was nice  because I'm not the new guy anymore!:) It's hard being the new guy who doesn't know anything but now there are a few people that really think I know my stuff! Hahaha! Elder Sovereign has been called as a ZL so it was fun seeing him and  a lot of my good MTC mish buddies were there! It was a great day!

Friday was a good day. We did a split with Elders Clements and Packer. I was with Elder Clements in my area and it was a good time.

Saturday was a pretty normal day but at 3 o'clock we did a fast with the stake for missionary work!!  Paxman and I have been trying to push the stake to get more involved in the missionary work, and it's getting a lot better. They are fasting with us and sometimes they even come to lessons with the missionaries!! It's getting better slowly, but surely.

This week I also saw my good buddy, Bryan Paofai, from Bora Bora. He was in Tahiti for a weightlifting competition! After his competition he called me and I headed over and talked to him for like an hour. We caught up and talked about Bora Bora, the ward I served in and his family. It was soooo awesome to see him. I miss Bora Bora way toooo much!!! I wanna go back someday soon!!

On Sunday after church we ate with Nicolas and his grandma and some of the ward then went to "R's" house for our lesson. Apparently by the time last Wednesday night rolled around things got worse with those guys! The parents started fighting and and there was some hitting and things got out of hand. "R's" husband ended up calling for some help and spent a little time in the hospital trying to get things in check. During that time "R" would say prayers with their two kids and I was so happy that she knew where to turn for help.  

Friday night her husband asked to leave the hospital and as soon as he got home they started saying family prayer together! When we showed up to the lesson on Sunday, there was a completely different feeling in that home. They looked happy, the kids were happy and they looked like a newly married couple! They spent time at the beach together and even did yard work together as a family.  The change was so quick and we could honestly feel the difference right when we walked in!  In the lesson we talked about the Restoration with the prophet Joseph Smith and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson! We asked them to pray about Joseph Smith and the church and to think about all the blessings that they can have as a family.

This week I saw firsthand the power of this gospel, how it can change people and families for the better. I know that if we live the gospel and just do the basic things, like saying our prayers reading our scriptures, we can be happy. The lord can heal every weakness and wound in our lives, and I saw this in action with our family this week. The gospel totally changed their whole perspective; it brought hope into their family, they now believe that they can be a happy family in spite of the mistakes that have been made!

If you ask me, that is what this gospel is all about.

Love ya!

Elder Connor Boyd

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 59: Don't be a Dingus; Believe in Jesus Christ!

Hi Friends and Fam! Ok, so this was a decent week! 

On Monday we did a massive hike called the "Fachoda". It basically takes you to this super pretty waterfall, and at the top there are two "slick rock slides" and  a great swimming area. Unfortunately, we didn't get to swim :( but it was ok because there were a whole lot of missionaries that came with us. I got to see many of my good buddies, like Elders Sovereign, Murdock, Harrah, Elledge, Ford, etc. It's always nice to have a few moments each week to chill with them for P-day! 

The Fachoda Hike

Then we had two family nights so we did a split. I took Elder Clements with me and Paxman took Elder Packer with him.  It was a good time!

Tuesday we just worked to get lessons and checked in with Nicolas. Like I mentioned last week,  his dad will allow him to be baptized, but we had to move his baptism date to the 22nd because Nicolas wants his mom to be there. His mom is coming from New Zealand, and we still need to have the mom give her approval, so pray that the mom will accept his decision! Nicolas is super excited for his baptism! He is so funny!

Wednesday was just a busy day of was good. Then on Thursday I got to do a split with one of the APs and guess who it was? Elder Teamotuaitau, my very first trainer in Tahiti!  I was a little nervous for the split, but it was actually super, super fun! Elder T has become an awesome, humble missionary and it was fun to spend the day with that guy! We worked in his area, and that area is really poor! Even more poor than where I am right now.  It is hard to see. It was interesting to see all that needs to be done by the assistants, there is a lot to do!

Friday we had our district meeting, and it was a tough week overall for the district of Arue, but Moorea is doing great...I am super proud of those guys!

Beautiful Mo'orea

I was excited for Saturday, and as expected, conference was great! Elder Holland murdered it again in Priesthood session (make sure you do your home teaching guys, hehehe). That man can talk about anything and make it super spiritual and inspiring (maybe he needs to go off on Diet Coke so that every Mormon mom will stop drinking it...ha!). Then that night we went to the hospital to go and visit an Elder that's in the hospital and help him out with some stuff. His name is Elder Nathan Lloyd and he is from AF High School.  He is a great kid and super funny too! He is not feeling well right now but he will be ok. Then we went to give a blessing with Elders Clements and Packer. They wanted us to come because they were a little nervous about the lady that asked them to come and give a blessing to her cousin. The girl really struggles and used to slit her wrists and do some self-destructive things. She was obviously having a really rough time. We also talked to the cousin and she is struggling as well because her husband was not faithful.  We gave her a blessing and it turns out that she lives in our area so she wanted us to come by the next day!

The Sunday session of conference was nuts again! Elder Bednar slayed! Ha! After conference we went to the house of the lady that we met the day before.  Her name is R, and her husband was there too. He is a French guy and it turns out that he really wants to save his marriage and stuff. I felt bad for the guy because you could see that he was feeling horrible, that his sin was tearing him apart.  But it is making him really humble which is an upside, and the fact that we told them that there is hope if they repent and choose the gospel, we saw a little more hope in them. It was cool to see, because the French guy had been searching for help and everyone that he talked to told him that his marriage was finished and that he ruined it. We are the first people to say that there is hope if he really wants to change! 

The gospel is awesome guys! Just live the gospel and follow the commandments every day because it makes you happy.  So follow Jesus Christ and find your joy!

Love you all!

Elder Boyd