Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 67: Miracles happen when children pray

Hey guys,

Last P-Day we went to Papenoo because Elder Paxman wanted to visit his old converts and ward that he served in when he started his mission -- like me except I was assigned to the Fa'aripo ward. Elder Paxman finishes his mission this week and is returning home, so it's a final hurrah for him. Then we had a killer FHE with a the Tuahu family who had invited an investigator, Sebastian (it's a different Sebastian) and yes, he is also from France, but he will soon be married to a Tahitian who is super active in the church, and Sebastian is super interested in our message and what the true church is all about.

Tuesday we had a great day of lessons, especially with the family Taiti. The dad is a member and has two kids. He felt that he should retake the missionary lessons with his family, so we have been doing lessons but just with him and his kids. The mom didnt want to, but we have been commiting them to pray every night as a family, and to read. They want to do lessons everyday!!! haha

On Wednesday we had a lesson with Sebastian which went super well. Lessons just go so well when the investigator is humble and ready to listen!! Then we had a lesson with the family Diard, which went super well also ... the wierd thing is that our two most potential investigators are French guys, hahaha. It's weird because French people are usually more stubborn when it comes to the gospel.

Thursday was a normal day -- nothing too special, but we found a new investigator.

Friday we had our district meeting. We had a lot of miracles in our district and zone this week -- it was awesome! Then we did a split with Elders Clements and Heiata. I was with Elder Heiata in their area. They are also the missionaries in the office so we had to do some of the office stuff, which gave Elder Clements a little break because they are super busy with all that, and they always go home just super beat haha!

Saturday was a good day. We had another lesson with the Taiti family, and guess what: THE MOM CAME!! She saw her kids saying prayers and reading and she wanted to come!!!!! Then we went to McDonalds with them -- the world is cursed with McDonalds: you cant get away from that garbage food!

On Sunday sooooo many investigators had come to church it was super great! Our gospel principles class was full!!!!!!! Then we did our weekly numbers report and the zone of Aru'e caught up to the other zones, so we are no longer the worst zone -- we are tied! We are super proud of our missionaries in the zone; they have worked sooo hard that these past few months we have had some awesome miracles happen.

Love, Elder Boyd

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 66: Elder Cardon visits, Turning 20, and Orbecks are sealed in the Temple

Hello Family! This week was crazy awesome!

To start off, this whole week we had a General Authority Seventy (Elder Cardon and his wife) come to visit the Tahiti, Papeete mission.  He wanted to do a Leader's Council on Monday night, so all the Zone Leaders and STLS had a meeting with him, and the meeting was super fun! We talked about what this mission needs and what our missionaries need to be successful. It was interesting because the whole meeting was in English! What a change! We actually had to translate for the French/Tahitian missionaries and that was a first. After that, we ate a great dinner together.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we got back to work did a bunch of lessons. BTW Robert (the member who is blind) still comes with us almost everyday for a few hours, he has sooo much faith and we truly enjoy having him with us!

We had multi-zone conference with Elder Cardon on Thursday and it was really great. There is no question that when he speaks the Spirit is just working through him. He is just so in tune with the Spirit when he talks and testifies. He talked about a lot of great things but something that I really loved was when he talked about faith. He had been speaking about faith earlier and he was talking about recognizing the spirit, and then he asked if any one of us would be willing to come up to the pulpit and give a 3 minute discussion about it. He said to stand if we were willing.... it took me about 10 seconds to stand but I did. There were about 10 others that stood up with me. 

Elder Cardon then looked at all those that didn't stand was said, "How can you look an investigator in the eyes and tell them to exercise faith when you don't even have the faith and courage to stand up in front of a bunch of missionaries and talk about the spirit!" Holy, that was crazy! I learned a big lesson from that. He taught us that faith is what gives us courage and that we as missionaries need to have enough faith to stand all the time to share the gospel. It was a message that our mission really needed to hear. 

After the conference Elder Cardon picked a few missionaries to do interviews with and he picked me. It was just amazing in the interview. Elder Cardon just asked me where I was from, about my family, what I have learned most on my mission (I talked to him about repentance and what I have learned from the process of repentance and how it can change lives for the better) and then he told me some stuff that I really needed to hear. It was a great experience that I will never forget. He made me feel so proud to be a missionary. I know he was inspired of God to tell me what he told me, it made me so happy! He is seriously my favorite general authority.  He also told me to tell you guys this, "Thank you for giving your valiant son to the Lord for two years. The Lord is grateful for your sacrifice and he loves you both."

Friday was just awesome! The family Orbeck (the family I baptised in my first area last November) were sealed for time and all eternity in the temple! It was amazing! Christian, the father, asked me to be his escort for the endowment session, and they had Elder Teamotuaitau (my first companion/trainer) to be the witness for the sealing! 

I can't describe in words what I felt in the temple that day. During the sealing when I watched that family being sealed for eternity, was the best feeling I have had as a missionary. After the sealing Elder T and I could hardly hold it together.  We were the missionaries that baptised them, and then we got to be with them as they became a forever family. We gave each other a big hug and we were like, "Our mission was a success!" It was an awesome day for me and one I will never forget. Oh! And the Orbeck family surprised me with a big birthday celebration after the temple sealing.  It's so like's their big day and they celebrate MY 20th birthday.  They are amazing people! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than exactly what happened today! 

On Saturday we had a sports activity with the ward in the morning and then Hitiarii was baptized. He is such a stud! After his baptism Paxman and I were talking to him and he said, "I truly love this church!" That was like music to an old guy's ear hairs hahaha! But it is true, this church is amazing, it's because it is the true church of Jesus Christ.

Sunday..."Charlie to Alpha 32...Charlie to Alpha 32... Baptism Confirmed...I repeat, Hiti was confirmed....mission was a success...over and out!" Just a little mission humor for you!

Love you lots!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 65: Nicolas gets baptized and confirmed

Hey guys!

So this week was killer!

After we finished our emails on Monday we went and played basketball with a few priests from our ward. They are a good group of kids and it's fun that they like to hang with us. It reminds of the good ole days with my buddies in the Moyle Park ward!

On Tuesday Paxman and I went to check on Nicolas and we were freaking out just a little because Nikolas went over to Moorea with his mom for the week.  We really wanted to stay close to him the week before his baptism but we were told he wouldn't be back until Thursday. So yeah, we were a little stressed out because we wanted to be there if anything got in his way. We prayed so hard during the entire week for him and asked the spirit to protect and watch over him.  The rest of the day was great. We did a ton of lessons, haha!

I dropped Paxman off at the boats on Wednesday morning because it was the day that we do splits with some missionaries on Moorea. I picked up Elder Frazer, and the split was so funny because he is just a crazy Vanuatu kid!! He is honestly a blast! Since I have been here in Tahiti I have had the chance to  meet many different kinds of Polynesians. I've met  Fijians, Vanuatus, Tongans, Wallisiens, Futunas, Caledonians, New Zealanders, etc. and they all have very different things about them since they come from different cultures. Vanuatu's are just super crazy! They remind me of my little brother B but even a little bit more crazy haha! It was a super fun day and we got a lot done.I gotta say I love the Fijians too. Every person I have meet that is from Fiji is awesome. They are so funny, down to earth and so nice.

Thursday came and Nicolas came back! So we hurried over to check on him and did his interview and made sure we was ready. He was good to go!! Then we did a bunch of lessons to finish out the day.

We couldn't wait for Friday. It was time for Nicolas' baptism. I love baptism days. It just feels so good, waking up in the morning and going to the church to fill up the baptismal font and setting up the room for the baptismal program! The ward came out to support Nicolas with all sorts of food to eat after the baptism. Brother Momo, who is from fiji, makes brownies; like the brownies you eat in America sooooooo I died and went to heaven! Nicolas showed up and was super happy and his grandma (Meme is what we like to call her) was so happy.  Meme his is the grandma that I told you guys about. She is the perfect grandma that feeds you everything and is just a classic grandma all the way around! 

Nicolas was baptised by his uncle and as soon as he was baptised it started pouring rain. It was really beautiful and pretty cool. Then Nicolas shared his testimony and it honestly changed me. He stood up and started talking about his childhood and how his childhood was focused around surfing, skating, kitesurfing and just trying to have fun at every turn. Then he talked about when his parents were separated (he was crying during his whole testimony btw) and how he couldn't find any happiness in his life. His family had problems and his mom moved to New Zealand with his brother. He said that there were multiple times that he tried to commit suicide because there was no happiness in his life! While he was a child he never learned about God, because his dad is very inactive and didn't discuss things like that with him. He thought that God didn't exist.  Then about a  year ago he moved to Arue next to his grandma, who raised her kids in the gospel. Even though Nicolas' dad was raised in the church he was the one child who was not active. 

Grandma Meme invited Nicolas to church one day and he loved it! Then he met Paxman and me and he decided to start taking the lessons.  We taught him how to pray, taught him the commandments, and he developed a belief in God because he could feel Him when he went to church and prayed.  

He told us that while he was in Moorea that week, he could feel God's presence with him and he knew that what he was about to do was right! There it was again, God watching over his children. Nicolas' testimony was so powerful! Paxman and I had no idea what he had gone through before we met him. When we met him he seemed like a happy kid, that loved life, who had never had the opportunity to learn about the truth of the gospel. We just knew we needed to teach him!! And while Paxman and I were freaking that Nicolas had gone to Moorea earlier that week, God surely answered our prayers by comforting Nicolas and preparing him for his baptism. God is amazing, Nicolas in going to be a great missionary and leader in this church!

On Sunday Nicolas was confirmed. I remember when he sat down in the chair before the blessing started he looked up at me and gave me a smile. After he was confirmed I saw him open his eyes, and his eyes were completely different, there was a certain light in his eyes! It honestly took me back. I know now that it was the Holy Ghost that is now with him.  The gospel changes people and changes their lives.

This week was awesome, I learned that if we but trust in God he will help us! He is mindful of all of his children. We just need to let him do His part of the work and be a tool in his hands here on earth.

Have a great week!


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Week 64: An investigator's prayers are heard and answered.

Ia ora na guys!

It's been a pretty normal week. There wasn't a whole lot of new stuff that happened, but life is good!

On Pday Paxman and I went to Papeete and played basketball with Elders Loamanu, Heckman, Harrah, Bradshaw, Ford, and a bunch of other guys. It was super fun and just a chill Pday. Most Pdays are super busy, but this time we just got to shoot hoops and then after that we had a family night that was pretty fun.

Busy Tuesday started out with a visit to see Nicolas. We are just helping him to prepare for his baptism this week. He is so ready, but there are still some problems with his parents so pray so that he can be baptised this Friday! That night we had our lesson with the D. family. S. was pretty worried because when he had that awful week a couple of weeks ago his boss required him to write a written explanation about his behavior. The boss will then have to decide if S. will have to go back to France or if he can stay here with his family! So during the lesson we talked about the Holy Ghost and it was a great lesson. S. wants to change soooo badly and he wants his family to be together.  You can see his desire to make things right. So we offered to give him a blessing, and then told him to pray so that God could soften the heart of his boss!

Wednesday was a normal day of lessons but we got a text message S. saying: "Bonjour...; la bénédiction et ma priére ce matin ont été entendues.. Mes chefs ont été cléments et me laisse ici... Merci.... S." Which means "Hello.. the blessing and my prayers this morning have been heard. My boss was merciful and leave me here... thank you...S.!" That was a super cool text to get from him. God definitely is helping him out. It is seriously a miracle that S. is staying here after all the "ish" that he has let happen. I am really happy for him.

On Thursday we had Leaders Council. It was a good meeting and it was good to see all of the zone leaders in the mission.

Friday we had a zone meeting and Paxman and I lead and had to give the lesson. We talked about the parable of the sower. It's a super great analogy for missionary work. 

Saturday is the day of "partying" here in Arue. It's the hardest day for us out here, There is so much drinking going on that it is insane.  I don't know why they do this out here but we always do our best and at least try and teach some lessons. Unfortunately we usually just end up with drunk guys saying weird stuff about the gospel and all you can really do is laugh. That afternoon we started our fast with the stake for missionary work! It was great to be part of a fast with the whole group.  
Church was great on Sunday. Vaitiare (investigator) finally came to church after about 10 Sundays of trying to get her there. She really loved it! We are going to try and commit her to be baptised this week. She really is so ready! 

Well that's about it guys. Have a great week and remember that the church is true and Jesus loves you...and try not to drink to much Diet Coke (moms of Alpine, Utah!) Hahaha!

Love ya!