Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 100: Last place in the 5K, but finishing strong with no regrets

Hey guys! Sooo this week was a great week!!!! So pretty much for P-day on Saturday after emailing we went to watch all the dances, and Saturday was the Hakas and those were super cool! I captured some sweet videos to show you guys when I get home!

Sunday we had church went and visited some investigators!!

Monday was weird because it wasn't P-Day haha, but we were able to recontact some people and do some lessons. We started lessons with this girl named Carla who lives with, and is family with, Melodie (and they live right next to us). Carla actually won Miss Ua Huka this year. She is super cool and we are really good friends with her, but she has already been through the lessons before. She has had some amazing experiences, but when the missionaries left the island, and she left to Tahiti for school, she let go of things for a while, and now she is picking it back up and is super determined to make a change!

Tuesday we saw Monia and she is doing great. She has lots and lots of worries and doubts, which is normal, but we talked about the plan of salvation and had a really good discussion about that and she took it really well. She wanted a full week to reflect and ponder and read the BOM, so we are praying super hard for her.

Wednesday we had a lesson with Aldo, and he is stressing out. That man works soooo hard and has sooo much to do. Life as a Marqesan farmer is tough (he has like 3 different gardens to handle), but in our lesson we were able to talk a lot about putting God first and the rest of what we need will be given to us. He then asked for a blessing and now he and his family are stronger than before!

Thursday we had lesson with Melodie and Carla! Melodie's lesson was kinda funny, haha, cause she would say stuff like "I don't know if I have the desire anymore." or "My faith is getting lower", and because we are close with Melodie, and she is a tougher girl, Elder Ugbah and I were super bold with her in that lesson, and we were guided purely by the spirit. At the end of that lesson she was back to normal! 

Carla's lesson was great as well. We retaught the restoration and she keeps saying stuff like "I want my future kids to grow up in this" or "My family better except this one day". Carla is 17 and Melodie is 21 BTW! 

Friday the 14th of July is like the 4th of July in America, so there were all these huge activities, and the Mayor invited us to run a 5k run. All of our investigators were wanting us to win, haha, but we knew we weren't going to. The competition was huge, and I played baseball so I'm not much of a runner, haha. But because our friends and investigators think of Elder Ugbah and I as athletic, they immediately think that we will win. Buuuuuuttttt no. We came in last place hahahaha!!!!! But it was the hardest 5k I have ever done!!!! it was an intense run!

Soooooooooo the end is coming, but I'm just trying my best to finish strong. I am super happy, but sad to leave soon, haha it's hard to explain how I'm feeling!! I am very grateful for this mission. I will never regret this decision!!

Love you all,

Elder Boyd

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Week 99: It's hard to teach when everybody's dancing

Hey guys! All of July here in French Polynesia is just a huge party, so this is when the missionary work tends to slow down, especially here in the Marquesas islands. It's crazy how much these guys prepare themselves for the partying haha! I had this idea to change our P-day to Saturday because everyone is out or hungover, but Monday everyone is at home. We called the Mission President and asked him if we could change our P-Days for the month of July, and he thought it was a good idea. So yeah, that's why our P-Day is today.

Hopefully we will be able to have a better week, because this week hit us hard. It was the boat week and the preparation for the dances and stuff. Last year, I spent July in Bora Bora and it was sooo cool because I got to see some of the cool Tahitian dances and cultural stuff, and now we get to see some of the cool Marquesan dances!! But everyone during the week was preparing for them, so it was tough week for missionary lessons!!

Monday we went and helped Aldo collect all of his lemons off the trees, and we put them in big crates to prepare them to be sent to Tahiti. That is how Aldo makes his money! And then we had a lesson with Aldo!

Tuesday we helped Aldo with his lemons and we went contacting with no success.

Wednesday the boat came, so we had to wait all morning to pick up our stuff that came on the boat (thanks mom for the package) haha, and after that we went out contacting.

Friday we had our district meeting and we talked with the elders of Nuku Hiva about ways that we can stay busy and working during this month of July, haha. We came up with some good ideas and a good vision, and then we had a lesson with Monia. 

Last week I forgot to talk about her!! Sooo basically, Monia has been studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses for like 2 years and they have just pounded in her head that the BOM is of the devil, and that our Church is bad, and all that stuff. But the last couple of weeks we have been going to see her just to say hi and check in on her. We noticed that she slowly started to open up to us that she finally accepted us to come back and talk to her and stuff like that.

So last week during our lesson with her we talked about the BOM (the week before that was the restoration and that was great as well), and we shared the powerful verses in Moroni 10:3-5 which directs to ask of God, and she started crying after she read that verse. It was crazy! She just really felt the spirit! So we gave her the Book of Mormon and also the conference edition of the Liahona magazine, and this last week she read all of the Liahona and some of the BOM and she looooovvvveeeeddd the Liahona, but she was weirded out at how simple the BOM was, haha. She was used the Jehovah's Witnesses and their bible and all this complicated stuff, that once she got to something simple it was weird for her.

She read all the book of Moroni and she loves it! She liked the BOM, but she still has her doubts!! This woman is soooo afraid of messing up, so she is just really scared of getting into something new! She says that every time she reads the Liahona or the BOM, or talks with us, she can feel something (obviously it is the spirit) like a feeling of peace, a warm feeling. She asked the Jehovahs Witnesses what that was, and they said it was the devil disguising himself as light. They think that the devil can do that!! 

She is just having a hard time letting that go. But it's ok because she is just really scared to mess up and disappoint Heavenly Father. The Lord blesses people like that, and He will make it known unto her. I feel like he will definitely open her eyes just by small experiences!! Sooo yeah, that was super cool this week!!

Then we went to Hokatu with Christine and her family to watch all of the Marquesan dances, and that was awesome! I didn't get any pics because I took all videos. So I'll show them to you guys when I get home! A Buddy of ours, named Carla, won Miss Ua Huka, so we were super pumped for her!! That was my week. 

Recently, I have just been feeling such big gratitude for the things that I have learned on my mission. I feel like when I get back it will just be a new start into the real world! The real world is a DINGUS, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us how to overcome the world and find joy! Jesus Christ has overcome the world, so if we hold on to His example, we will overcome it as well! Light will always overcome darkness!! 

Have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 98: Aldo sets a date - and the difference between the Marquesas and Tahiti

Hey guys! 
So sorry! The internet connection went out again on the island but this time it was for the whole weekend! Makes it hard to write home on P-day! 
I can't believe that yesterday was my little brother's 18th bday! (Everyone feel free to wish my little brother "Beezer" a Happy Birthday)! I really can't believe that Brendon is officially an adult right now...who would've thought that this day would come so fast! Haha! Watch out world!
Since I don't have a lot of time before I will probably lose connection again, this will just be a short email to fill you in on my week!
So last Monday we helped Aldo with his coconut tree garden and we cleared this huge thing out with big knifes and stuff like that, twas dope! Then our Branch Mission Leader came over from Nuku Hiva and visited for the week. So this was the first time in months that we've seen another leader of the church or priesthood holder. And it was actually awesome!
He joined us in many of our lessons and it was an extra force for us! It was great to have him here. He said that he has seen a major progression here in Ua Huka since the last time he visited which was back in March!! He said that people wave at us now and that people are more friendly towards missionaries for sure! That is something that I didn't realize had been happening until he said that!! When we arrived everyone was super scared of us, but now we can talk to most of the island without people trying to hide from us haha! There is still a lot of persecution and weird moves like that but its ok, dinguses will be dinguses! 
Aldo is also doing super great! IDK if I mentioned this in my last letter but Aldo prayed for a date to get baptized and he felt that God was telling him to get baptized the 10th of August, his birthday, so we are working toward that date with him. That's the last week of my mission, so if he gets baptized that week I would totally be a happy camper!!!! So pray hard!!! He still needs to stop smoking and needs a little bit more confidence in himself!! God is leading him, so it will all be good!! God is leading all of our investigators slowly but's just super hard to have patience sometimes! 
The Marquises Islands and Tahiti are like two different missions, because they are literally two different kinds of people!! In Tahiti the missionary work moves so much more quickly and smoothly, but here it takes a lot of time because of the small numbers and the powerful influence of the Catholic Church that has been on this island for years. I have learned a lot about how God works here in Ua Huka!!! I also learned that missionaries have such a little part in an investigators conversion, so we need to have complete confidence in the Lord for anything to work!!! Alma 7:23
So I've got six weeks left on the mission, and I'm sooo grateful for the decision that I made to serve a mission. I will never forget the experiences that I've had and lived during these two years, they will influence me for the rest of my life!! Love you guys and have a great week!! I'll have pictures and a better email next week!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 97: Pit stop on the way to Hane, and you never know who is watching your example

Sorry again for the tardiness in writing, we went to help Aldo with some work. It was super fun because we all were working with machetes and were cutting down this huge area to turn it into a cage where he can put all of his goats! Sooooo yeah this week was super great here, very busy!!

Last Monday It rained like crazy, and when it rains like crazy that means that the WIFI stops working, and all stores close, etc. So we literally did nothing except sleep and studied in the scriptures haha!

Tuesday we went on bike all the way to Hane, but before that, Marie Christine made Puaka Toto (which is pig cooked in its own blood) and its sooooo good that I ate way too much and I threw up on the way to Hane, haha, but it's ok, I wasn't sick after. We were able to contact and meet new people that day! 

Wednesday the sisters had their Relief Society and we went and visited a good friend of Marie Christine (Tatiana), and she was super great and invited us to meet with them again because apparently her husband wanted to talk to us!

Thursday we went to see Moeata but she wasn't there so we had a lesson with L. That was good, but man, she has so much anger in her heart and she is suuuuper prideful so it's really hard to teach her. We tried to give her the BOM and she accepted, so I really hope that she reads it.

Friday our investigator Julie was doing an open house thing where she was making food and delivering it for people, so she could make money to buy a marble tomb stone for her son who died a long time ago, so we went and helped! Moeata was there helping as well, so we talked to her and apparently L is being kind of a dingus to her and telling everyone that she is mormon now and stuff like that, but she is doing in a persecuting way, so she had a hard week. She is still reading the BOM and working hard--she is a stud! All of our investigators are just champions because if someone is even seen talking to us, the whole island knows and they all start criticizing the person -- its super sad to see that.

Saturday we did a lot of meetings and a massive planning session. It took us four hours, haha, but we have a super good plan for this week coming up!

Sunday morning we met Tatiana's husband, named Teva, and we did a lesson with him. It was super great! He wanted to talk to us because he is just astonished with our sacrifice and our example. He said that he notices the way we treat kids, and he says that its rare to see people like that. He noticed how all the kids just love us, and he says that it's because kids have a pure heart and they go toward people who also have a pure heart! I liked hearing that! I'm just super glad that Elder Ugbah and I have been trying to be good examples on this island in spite of the persecution toward us and those we teach! You never know who is watching ;)!

Jesus Christ was our first and best example, and by being baptized we take upon us His name, meaning that we are also examples of Jesus Christ and His gospel.  Everything people do in this world is based off of examples of others, so if we strive to follow Christ's example, we will help others change, because you never know who is watching, but there always is someone watching!

Have a great week! I love you all.

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 96: The Boat comes in, and the Mormon Elders attend a Catholic wedding

So this week was definitely a tougher week, but it was still pretty great!! The boat came this Friday sooo everyone on the island (literally everyone on the island) were busy preparing for the boat to come! Everyone who works at the stores gets ready to receive all the new products, or people get all of their fruit ready to send out on the boats to sell because everyone here has gardens of all kinds of fruits. Many either prepare their pigs or goats to be sent, or they send all of their cool tikis and stuff like that!! So it was a busy week for everyone here in Ua Huka! 

Monday we had a chill P-day and just relaxed again. and we then had a lesson with Aldo and he is doing super great! BTW, we are doing lessons with Aldo every other night, and when he doesn't have a lesson with us, he and Marie Christine read together! They both have been saying for this week that has helped them sooo much!! When they have had arguments, or trials, they said that reading the Book of Mormon together really helps them, sooo that is great!!M

Tuesday we saw Moeata and she is also doing great! We talked a lot about baptism again. She totally has this testimony and she is totally ready, but she is sooooo scared of her dad! Ha, it's funny because Aldo is scared of his mom and Moeata is scared of the dad! We are really trying to help those two! We understand them because pretty much this whole island is family and the whole island is Catholic, so it really is tough for these investigators, but i know with faith and hard work, we will definitely have success!

Wednesday our investigator, Mehiti, headed back to Tahiti!! She is going back to talk to her boyfriend Raimoana, and try to fix things and talk about marriage and baptism and she is hoping to come back in July! We are staying in contact with her. We alerted the missionaries in Tahiti and they are seeing her, and we are sending her some verses and stuff by text message!

Thursday we did a lot of contacting, and we had a few good lessons.

Friday the boat came and we had to go down to the boats and pick up some stuff the office missionaries sent us, and then we had district meetings and we planned for the next week!

Saturday we were invited to a little kid's birthday!! His name is Teanu, it was awesome becuase we got a chance to talk to more people and develop some good relationships with some people! Then there was this huge marriage that everyone on the island went to. It started off in the Catholic church, and we totally went haha. It was funny because everyone looked at us like we were crazy!

Catholic church services are extremely different! The bishop was there and they call him "my lord" which weird,  but idk, I'm just really glad and blessed that I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ! The reception was super cool because they had a Haka and all this really neat cultural stuff!! I took some pretty sweet videos!!

Sunday we had a great day at church. We talked about fathers and the influence of their examples!! 

Things are going great here, we had a super good weekly planning, and we have some pretty great goals and plans set up! So we are praying and are excited to see what happens!! love you guys have a great week

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Week 95: Dad runs up the mountain, and staying in Ua Huka to the End

Hey guys!! So this week was a pretty normal week!

Monday, because elder Ugbah was sick, we pretty much just chilled in the house and he rested and yeah that was pretty much our P-day! haha. But it was great because it was a nice break and we got to rest a little bit!!

Tuesday we had a few good lessons but we also had like three lessons cancel which kinda sucked.

Wednesday: Sooooo this boy named Ronny, he is Marie Chantal's son, really wants to get baptized, but we kept hearing that the dad is not ok with him being baptized. So we planned to do Ronny's lesson later in the day so that the dad would be there and then we can talk about that with the dad, but while we were walking up to the house the dad saw us and totally went and hid up in the mountain behind his house. We were pretty disappointed and its obvious that the dad doesn't want to talk to us, but it's okay -- God has a plan for him and his son. Marie Chantal is being awesome and obedient, so blessings will come.

Thursday we had some decent lessons and there was a conference back in Tahiti so we got to tune in by Internet and be part of it! We learned a lot. President and sister Bize are super powerful speakers! You can see how much they love their missionaries just by the way they talk!

Friday we had district meeting and yeah it was great!! 

Saturday morning was great! We went to see Moeata. She is doing great btw, and also her mother-in-law's (her name is Leontine) story is super long and hard to explain, but basically she was cast out of everything political and the Catholic church just because she was the leader and people didn't want her to lead anymore. For years she just became super bitter and then we she started hearing how we pray she said to us that that scares her, because when we pray with Moeata she feels something and she is scared of this change. But anyway, she finally came to us and asked for help and she needs to get all of this bitterness and anger out of her heart, so yeah, we started the lessons with her!! So that was cool! 

Then we saw Monia, who studies with the Jehovahs Witnesses, and she loves it, but she says that she feels something different with us! Of course, she asks a JW what that means and they tell her that that's from the devil and that satan can disguise himself into light and stuff like that... haha.  So yeah, we are working with her on that! We talk a lot about the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Sunday was great as well we had a good day at church and a good day spending it with our members! 

Transfer calls were this week, and it turns out that Elder Ugbah and I are still staying together!! This was the last transfer before I leave! So it's for sure that I'm staying here in Ua Huka until the end of the mission and I'm staying with Elder Ugbah to the end! Yay! I'm super pumped to finish here!!

Love you guys. Have a great week,

Elder Boyd

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 94: The highs and lows of missionary life

Hey guys, what's going on? Sooo, this week was a crazy one! It was kind of a spiritual rollercoaster if you know what I mean!! 

Monday we worked in the morning. We had a few lessons because some of our investigators couldn't see us during the week and they were great lessons!! And then we did our mail and other P-day prep.

We got back to work on Tuesday and man it was an intense week. We saw Moeata and we talked about prayer! She has had all these crazy awesome experiences with God, but the only thing that's delaying her is to pray and ask if its all really true! So we talked about that and she said that she would do it! At the end of our lessons she said that she wanted to say the prayer. She said a super super long prayer and she asked God right in front of us if our message was true! At the end of her prayer she was all teary eyed; it was definitely one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard! The spirit was super strong!

Then Thursday SUUUUCCCKKKKKEEDDD!!! We have another investigator named M and she is super great. She has gained a testimony and everything. Of course her husband is not ok with it and says that if she chooses to be mormon he will divorce her! So she chose to stay Catholic and avoid the drama! I don't like that decision, but it's okay. I mean I understand her situation and why she is so scared, but also, I understand and know the joy that she could have with this gospel. It's okay, she will probably have another chance! It's never too late! So yeah, Elder Ugbah and I took it pretty hard because we worked hard for her to come so far, so it was sad!

Friday we had all of our meetings and Saturday we had some great lessons again and a lot of success! We are teaching a woman with same-gender attraction issues, but with the Lord everything is possible haha!! She is actually doing super great and she loves the gospel and is believing it. She knows that she has to change so she is making efforts! 

Also, at the beginning of my mission in Fa'aripo, in my first area I taught a girl named Mehiti and her boyfriend Raimoana. My trainer, Elder Teamotuaitau, and I ended up fixing their baptismal date, but a few weeks later they disappeared! Sooo get this: Mehiti is from here in Ua Huka and is really good friends with Marie Christine, so we talked and she said that they disappeared because of their in-laws; they kicked them out because they wanted to get baptized!!! Sooo mystery solved! It's like God has prepared Mehiti for all this time until now because we started the lessons with her. She still wants to be baptized and she knows that it's all true and stuff like that!! So we will be talking about that more this week. Raimoana is in Tahiti working. I haven't seen him yet, but apparently he is doing super great!! So that was a cool miracle.

On Sunday, we conducted church. Testimony meeting was super great!! Ugbah got super sick after church so we just chilled the rest of the day while he rested! 

God works in mysterious was and he always will!! Most of the time we won't understand how He really works, but all we need to understand is that listening to the spirit and having faith in Him will allow Him to work miracles prepared for us!! 

Love you guys! Have a great week

Elder Boyd

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Week 93: People are progressing and Moms are awesome

Hey guys! Sooo this week flew by way too fast; and I say too fast because I feel like there is not nearly enough time in a week to get everything that we need to get done, done haha!! I feel like there should be 30 hours in a day instead of 24.

For P-day on Monday we went with Aldo and killed a pig and prepared it! So I learned how to dress a pig and how to kill a pig too, haha, and then Marie Christine cooked it and we ate it the next day!!! We were tired after that so we just did mail and chilled, then we had a few lessons sooo yeah we did that!

Tuesday, we went back to work! In the morning we saw sister Moeata and she is doing super great. She is just the perfect investigator because she understands scriptures super well -- she just has a mormon brain! That night we had a super great lesson with Moerani, and she is also doing great She keeps reading and progressing, but we really invited her to pray and ask God if it is all true because she hasn't done that yet!! 

Wednesday was a great day of lessons. We got Melodie on this intense 12 steps to change program that the church did to help her with her addition problems. She is only 21 years old, but she wants to by freed from all that stuff and we are trying to help her out.

Thursday we saw Moerani again and she came with good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She got an answer, and she now knows for sure that this is all true and she knows what she has to do........baptism. But of course there is definitely a trial that she will have to overcome and that is her dad, who is very against our church and does not want her to get baptized at all. We talked with her about faith in Jesus Christ, and she said that she would go and talk to her dad! We have a lesson with her tomorrow so wish us luck!!

Friday the sisters were busy in the morning so we had to ride our bikes all the way to Hane, but it was totally worth it because when we got to Moeata's house her boyfriend, Rataro, was there and totally talked to us and even assisted in the lesson with us!!!! Oh man, that was awesome!!!! That was totally a miracle, and Moeata was sooo happy!!!

Saturday was a less busy day, so we did all of our planning.

Sunday was Mother's Day here on the island, so we did church on the theme of mothers, and it was great.  Elder Ugbah and I gave talks on moms and then Parina, the little girl that was baptized a few weeks ago, gave a small talk as well!!! All the sisters we sooo touched; especially Yvonne. She was bawling and said that that was the first time that anyone had ever celebrated mothers for her, and she has been a mom for a long time! It was a great day!! I'm sooo grateful for my mom and for all that she has done for me. I love you mommy!! And thank you to all the moms out there!

Aldo is also doing well; he is just trying to stop smoking! He keeps reading everyday and everything!!!

I have learned on mission that God is not going to let things be easy for us!! For example; for those who wanna be baptized there is always a trial that can prevent them from being baptized!!! It's like God is saying to them, "Oh, you want to be baptized? Prove it!" It's sooo true!!! It is neither easy, nor comfortable, to follow God sometimes, and it's not meant to be easy -- but the reward is huge, haha! 

Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Boyd 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 92: Touring Ua Huka by boat -- with lemons

Hey guys so this was a pretty decent week!! 

Monday we took a tour of the island by boat. We went with Julie (the sister in law of Aldo and Marie Christine), and Aldo!! The person driving the boat was this guy named Noho; he is totally a guy that just lives at sea, and he loves his boat!! The island of Ua Huka is soooo pretty!!! It was super cool to take a tour around the island!! I also learned a lot of tricks too, like apparently when you are at sea it's good to bring lemons with you so that if you get tired and feel gross because of all the salt, you eat a lemon haha.  It sounds gross, but when you are in the ocean it's actually super good and it makes you feel more energized!!

Tuesday and Wednesday were some harder days because there were futsal games going on so everyone was busy and most of our day-time lessons got cancelled. We were able to do a bunch of lesson at night though.

Thursday we went all the way to Hokatu to see some investigators, and later on we saw Moeata after her futsal practice. She came to Marie Christine's house and we did the lesson there. We talked about the law of chastity, and we are really trying to talk about marriage with her because she is not married but she is living with her boyfriend (that is super common here in French Polynesia)!

Friday we did our district meeting and a lot of planning!

Taking over the Mayor of Ua Huka's office. He likes us.
Saturday was also great. We had a bunch of lessons to do!! We saw Moeata again and we reset Aldos baptism date -- we are going to try and to it the 24th of June!! We set up a program for him to stop smoking, so we are going to try for that and he is going to try to talk to his parents, which is going to be pretty crazy because their parents hate us!! The funny thing is that Moeata and Aldo are our most potential investigators!

Sunday we had 18 at church. We are pretty happy because we are averaging about that much at church each week now!! 

I've really been studying Jacob 5 this week, and it's super great!! I like reading it from a missionary's point of view. I really like how it talks about how the servant and the Lord worked together in the vineyard, and then the servant harvested the fruit!! We as servants of the Lord are working with him, he cannot do it alone, but he needs us to help him plant, nourish and harvest!! 

Have a great week. Love you all!

Elder Boyd

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 91: 20 people at Church service and seven investigators making progress

Hey guys so this week was super great!!!

Monday, after emailing, we went to watch the futsal tournament again and it was the two best teams playing so it was super fun. After that we played volleyball with some of the people there in the street, and I learned again that I suck at volleyball haha! 

Tuesday we had a pretty decent day of good hard missionary work!! 

Wednesday was definitely a tough day, haha, because the boat arrived on the island. The island gets all of its supplies by boat sooooooo when the boat comes everyone is either picking up stuff that they ordered or they are bringing tourists around, or they are selling stuff to tourists because tourists are suckers and its easy money, haha. Sooo everyone was super busy and didn't have time for us. We tried to make the best of our time and decided to study and plan some stuff for the upcoming week!!

Thursday we went to another valley called Hane, which is the middle valley of the three. We saw some of our potential investigators and had a great day with them!!! Buuuuttttt, oh man, apparently Hane is totally just blowing up with the persecution!! Like holy cannoli it's startin' big time because we have a lot of potential over there! Seems to always happen this way.

Friday we did our meeting and did work and boom goes the dynamite!!!

Saturday we were pretty busy early on and then we had planning meetings.

Sunday was totally bombin because we had a record of 20 people at church!! Woooooooooo, we are sooo happy with the progression, I'm gonna cry!!!!!!!! We started off with only 7 the first week!!!! Oh man, hard work pays off, but we still have a lot of work to do!! Then I called home for Mother's Day -- my last call home from the mission.

I'm sorry that this letter was a bit small and boring haha I'll write a better one next week. I read a verse in Alma 26:22 that if we prove our faith and repent every day, God will give us amazing things. I will let you guys look up that verse and figure what He will give us!!! The goal of this life is to make covenants and keep them through faith and repentance using the gift of the Holy Ghost!! There is no greater plan, and no greater reward!!

I love you guys! Have a great week

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week 90: Parina gets baptized. If you are down and need to laugh, play volleyball with a drunk guy

Hi guys!!!!! So this week flew by super fast!!!!!

After emailing on Monday,  we went to watch this huge Futsal tournament that was going on! Futsal is like the only sport here, so its pretty intense! We later played volleyball with Melodie, Moerani (who are both investigators), and Siki (who was drunk at that time). so we were all messing with Siki big time! If you are ever down or need to laugh, play volleyball with a drunk guy!!

Tuesday was a great day!! Almost everyday of this past week was filled with lessons, like we had at least 5 or 6 lessons a day!! If you ask me, thats nuts! But yeah, bad news about "C"; let's just say that she let the persecution and the criticism got the best of her, so she said that she didn't want to keep going with the lessons, which is sad. It is so astonishing to me how quickly people can forget about the spiritual experiences that they have had! Looking back on it she never kept the commitments we gave her, and even though the lessons were super spiritual she never read or prayed in-between on her own!  Sooo.... lesson learned, never stop studying and praying or we will forget the spiritual experiences that we have had!

Wednesday we were able to recontact Marcella, also a very potential investigator. She had a lot of work and was super busy, so it has been hard to reach her, but we can totally see that she has been reading and praying during her free time, and so she had progressed even though she wasn't able to see us often!

Later in the week we had a bunch of lessons and we saw Moeata again during this week and man she is doing great! We talked a lot about baptism and the word of wisdom! 

We held our district meeting on Thursday, twas great!!

Saturday, everyone was super busy so that was our planning day, but we did our fast and it was good.

Sunday, we had a great turnout at church again; we had 18 in attendance, so we are keeping it up!!! It's a lot of work planning and running the church here, but man it's super super great, and its definitely a rewarding experience!!!

Finding the perfect baptismal spot
So today (Monday) was a special day because Parina (the daughter of Yolinda), who is 8 years old, was baptized!! Yesterday Elder Ugbah and I found a really really pretty spot to do the baptism, and we did the baptism there this morning, it was super super great! We had a bunch of investigators come and they loved it! Don't worry, I'll send some pictures!

So all of our investigators like Aldo, Moeata, Mercella, Moerani, Melodie, Reiata, etc. are all doing great, and progressing!! 

Have a great week guys 

Elder Boyd

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 89: Trust falls, and being a light and example

Hey guys. This week was great, and it went by super fast too.

Monday we ate with Marie Christine's family. Since we live just right behind them we are always at their house! Then we went a visited a beach. It was pretty cool, but I forgot my camera haha sorry!!! Then we did family night and we had some investigators there; Melodie and Moerani came with us!! It was fun! We talked about faith and our activity was trust falls haha they are actually super great for teaching faith haha!!

Tuesday: t'was a great day, we were just super busy, but we saw an investigator named Moeata who is the sister of Aldo (who is the husband of Marie Christine) and those two are in fact our most potential investigators, and the funny thing is that their parents are like a big part of the group of catholics who criticize us and stuff!!!! So Moeata and Aldo are really loving the gospel and just soaking it up!! You can tell that they are just the examples. If they get baptized there will be soooo many that follow because everyone here loves Aldo and Moeata!! But their parents don't know yet that they are seeing us all the time. The only thing that is blocking them is their parents because they are just scared that their parents will get angry and of course they will, because they don't understand yet, but it's coming!! You can see that the Lord is totally working on this family!!

Wednesday: Nothing special just a good day of teaching!!!

Thursday was the same old. We tried to see Colette, but she was sick!! She was acting kinda weird and we found out that this girl went a talked bad about us and said stuff about Joseph Smith and all that, so we are planning to see Colette tomorrow and try to talk to her. We can't let her forget the experiences she had with the gospel. I have l learned on this mission that Satan totally tries to get people to forget their experiences! 3 Nephi 2:1-2.

Friday was a slower day so we did all of our planning and got all of that done! And we did a district meeting with those at Nuku Hiva!! When we saw Moeata again we talked a lot about the light of Christ because she always asks why the members of the church and the missionaries are glowing all the time!! Sooo we explained the its through the true gospel principles and keeping the commandments that we become a light and an example.

Saturday Yvonne came back, so now we have all four members here in Ua Huka.

Sunday was great!! New record: we had 19 people at church, and then after church we went all the way to Hokatu which is the last valley where the road stops! 

So here in Ua Huka there are three villages, Vaipaee, Hane, and Hokatu, and the rest of the island hasn't been touched!! So we went there to see an investigator named Caristine, and finally since Ugbah got his new brakes and tires we were able to go on bike!! We found a perfect spot to do some baptisms. It's perfect because it's hidden and quiet and you can totally feel the spirit better!!

Love you guys. Have a great week!!

Elder Boyd

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 88: Just your average week on a mission

Hey guys!

After emailing on Monday we were super tired again and so we took a massive nap and just chilled haha. It was pretty chill.

We go on a run to this spot and back every morning
Tuesday we got back to work!! we saw sister Colette in the morning and she was doing great! We talked again a lot about baptism with her, she keeps on bringing it up!! We noticed that here in Ua Huka we talk a lot about baptism because they all ask a lot of questions about baptism and how that works, so we actually try to make that a center of every lesson; like if we are teaching the restoration or the plan of salvation we try to center those lessons around baptism!!

Wednesday we headed over the Hane, which is the neighboring valley (it's super pretty) to see some investigators. We tried doing a lesson with a crazy Catholic, but it was literally impossible to teach them! We tried so hard, haha, but we gave up after we talked about how the apostles were killed and the gospel was lost for a small while. They responded that the apostles were never killed they went and hid in a magic house that kept them alive for a long time hahahahahahaha. We tried to explain to them but you can't explain the gospel to someone who doesn't want to listen.

Friday the boat came so we went and picked up our stuff! Everyone on the island was busy with the boat and the tourists, so we did a bunch of planning.

We did some service projects and some good lessons on Saturday and we planned for church!!

Sunday we had church and it was good but we didn't have as many people because there was a big event on the island, but we still had ten people at church!!

So this week was good. It was just a normal week in the service of God, but we are motivated to help the church grow here, and the church WILL grow here if we are motivated and patient. The Lord knows best and knows how, and he works by the small things first. That is how His big and eternal plans are realized (Alma 37:6-7).

Have a great week. Love you guys.

Elder Boyd 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 87: Jesus us the light of the world

Hey guys, so this week was super great!!

A picture with Yolinda's kids Ramana and Parina at our missionary home
On Monday after our Pday stuff we  ate with Marie Christine and her family! Let me just say that she is our Marquesan Mom haha! She is totally mom-like; just like a classic Utah Mormon mom who won't stop feeding us and taking care of us haha -- its funny and awesome all at the same time!! Then that night we read with Melodie...every night we go over to read with her to help her stop smoking and to keep her mind on better things!! 

We got back to work on Tuesday and Wednesday and just had some good days of lessons!! We were talking with Marie Christine and Marie Chantal about how most missionaries gain weight on this mission, but for some weird reason I have lost weight!! I showed them a pic of me before the mission and they were freaking out haha, so this whole week they were trying hard to make me gain my weight back! They are just making a whole lot of food...bring it on Sisters! Haha!

Thursday we had a lesson with C. She has a bombin' house and it's decorated all local like and pretty! She was a lady that we gave a blessing to the week before and she really felt the Spirit. Apparently her husband moved to Tahiti and is living there and it's been super hard on her because she is alone and sad about him leaving. 

She loved the blessing we gave her and she is so focused on the things we teach her! When she talked about the blessing she was like "you guys are powerful, you have a power" (it kinda reminded me of when Ammon cut off the arms of those guys and the king thought he was the great spirit) but we simply explained the priesthood! The power to act in God's's not's Him. I'm so glad to be a priesthood holder! It's a privilege to get to see God work His miracles through you! I just really love it! She believes everything we have taught and she is honestly listening to her heart! We talked a lot about baptism!! 

Friday was a good day..had district meeting by Skype and a bunch of other stuff.

On Saturday we did service projects all day!! In the morning we went and cut C's lawn, (in Polynesia they don't use lawn mowers, they use weed eaters to cut the lawn so it is always pretty interesting) and then we had a lesson with Ronny...'twas great! Then we helped Aldo (Marie Christine's husband) with his work because he was super sick this week. We went and fed his goats and his pigs and all that. The Marquesan lifestyle here on Ua Huka is so simple!! They don't need a whole lot of money! If they are hungry they can either go to the store or they can go hunting for wild goats, cows or pigs, haha it's crazy!!

Sunday we had 15 present at church and that was soooooo great! Our first week we only had seven but now we have 15 and 7 of them are our investigators!! This Sunday it was my turn to do the lesson and I was grateful to do the lesson on Easter! (btw there is no Easter bunny here...yes I know that's pretty sad but it lets us focus on the right things). I did the lesson on the signs of Jesus' birth and death that we read about in the Book of Mormon. Samuel the Lamanite prophesied of the signs of his coming and his death, and it is a great thing to study. 

Samuel prophesied that when Christ will be born there will be continuous light for a space of a few days and then when He dies there will only be darkness for the space of 3 full days; no light whatsoever! In 3 Nephi 1 we see the signs of His coming and then in 3 Nephi 8-10 we see what happened during those three days of darkness. But what I love the most is when it says in 3 Nephi 10 that on the morning of the third day the darkness was gone and the light came back (the morning Jesus was resurrected). Then in 3 Nephi 11 Jesus appeared to the Nephites and said "I am the light of world"! 

I love that message our Father in Heaven shows us!! Jesus Christ IS the light of the world! Without Him there would be no light, no hope, and no way to get back to our heavenly home! Jesus Christ is a resurrected being and because he is living we have light, hope, and a way to move forward!!

Have a great week!!!

Love you guys!

Elder Boyd

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Week 86: We learn through our experiences

Hello everyone!!! So this week was a super busy week!!

After emailing on Monday, we went and ate with a family and we watched a church-sponsored movie and just chilled haha we were tired after last week!! Then that night we had a lesson with Melodie and then Aldo and his son Ryan! T'was great!!

Tuesday, the sisters Marie Christine and Chantal had a full list of their friends that we can visit, they have been praying on their own asking God to show them where they should take us and that is pretty much what they have done! So we saw a bunch of people and had some really great lessons!

Wednesday we had a bunch of lessons and then Christine and Chantal took us to see Moeata (the sister in law of Christine) and her father in law Rataro! So they were accepting and we started talking about prophets and the restoration and they loved it!! They just kept asking questions and then Rataro asked for a blessing, he has prostate cancer!! So we gave him a blessing, and after the blessing he just got teary eyed and they invited us the come back over!! Oohhh man it was great!

Thursday the sisters took us to one of their friends named C who is having some pretty intense marriage problems so we gave her a blessings and it is sooo amazing to watch the power of the priesthood change people in an instant!! This week we gave maybe 15 plus blessings and man this island really needed the priesthood!

Friday we did our district meeting with the elders of Nuku Hiva, it was good to see them again even if it was by Skype! They are doing great and then we went and saw some more people!

Saturday: is the day that everyone goes and plays futsal and drinks and stuff like that so we put that day away to do all of our planning. We did our weekly planning and then a planning with the sisters to plan this upcoming week, and planned church!

Sunday: Church is a little different here. Because there are so few members, we do primary first and then a sacrament meeting, with a little lesson instead of a bunch of talks. It was actually super great. I like it!! We had 10 people there and 5 of them were investigators!! We should have even more next week

In the church we LEARN many valuable principles but sometimes we cannot fully understand them until we experience them. This is the way God lets us fail, and this is why we are free to choose what we do, because God can then help us UNDERSTAND His principles through our experiences!! That is what I came to realize even more strongly this week!!

Love you guys have a great week

-- Elder Boyd

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 85: Ua Huka My Nose

If you guys were to ask me how this week went I would probably reply "Holy moly it was nuts!", because holy moly it was!

A Marquesan Sunset
So Monday we went fishing with Brother Bonno and while fishing Elder Temahaga and I decided to move a little further out on the reef (because we were shooting for the big fish, even though in the back of both of our minds we knew we wouldn't catch anything :) ) and while we were out there fishing I was just chilling and then all of a sudden I get DRILLED in the face by a fish hook! Ha! Elder Temahaga's pole got screwed up and something happened with the string so, yeah, the hook flew up and caught me in the nose and made a huge gash on my nose! Haha! Elder Temahaga was freaking out, but I was totally ok -- even though I was bleeding ... a lot! 

Brother B and the other elders made me go to the hospital, and the doctors were super cool. They gave me a bunch of patches and stuff and cleaned it and (boom goes the dynamite) I was on my way! Don't worry mom, I'm ok! I don't understand why my nose has just gotten murdered in this life: in second grade I drilled my nose on a pole, junior year I shattered my nose by getting hit by a baseball, 

Broken nose from a baseball off a line drive to the pitcher (2014)
... and now I have some cool scars from a fish hook to add to that!

Tuesday morning we got everything loaded up and we took the boat to Ua Huka and wow was that cool. The Marquesan Islands are so pretty! The ocean was not very calm and we started to get sea sick.  Elder Ugbah got way sick! Dang! When we got to Ua Huka Sister Marie Christine and Marie Chantal came and picked us up and we got all settled in!! It's really good to be back in Ua Huka, because man I really, really love this area! 
The boat to Ua Huka - farewell to Nuku Hiva
Wednesday - Saturday: we spent a lot of time seeing investigators. Marie Christine and Marie Chantal had a whole bunch of people that they wanted to see and they have definitely been doing their part of the work! Because of them we have found a lot of new investigators!! They are really amazing. 

Basically the deal here is that there is really only one religion on the island and it's Catholic. The Catholic church and their leaders pretty much run everything here. Much of the community is full of Catholics who are pretty critical of everyone and they definitely talk badly about us!! Most of our investigators say to us is that the people here have a big problem with criticizing and it is hard on our investigators.  I can really see that a lot of people are searching for the truth in their lives but are SCARED to look for it! Now that we are staying here on the island full time it'll give more people an opportunity to learn the truth!! I totally feel like I'm in Joseph Smith times where we are trying to establish the church with just a few members and there is a lot of persecution and stuff like that! Ha it's crazy!!! I honestly love this place, and Elder Ugbah and I are working really hard. 

We are still teaching our investigators who have been taking lessons with us by Skype and it is so great to be closer to them! Aldo (the husband of Marie Christine) is doing super great! He is a hard worker and has a great desire to do what is right.  Melodie is my can tell that she has had a tough life. She was abused as a child but she is 20 years old now and has a big desire to do what is right.  She just has a hard time with smoking so we have her on a strict program! Julie is doing great, and the list goes on. We have a lot of work to do here. 

Sunday was crazy because we couldn't get conference here this weekend. The Internet is not great here, so we did a sacrament meeting.  It was the smallest sacrament meeting I have ever seen! We had just a few adults and their kids attend, but it was super great.  It humbles me to see the faith of these sisters that are so strong in the gospel in spite of the persecution and the trials!

So here we are again at Pday! Poi poi roa!!! (Shout out to my buddy Paxman) haha! We got up and went running, ate something, and did emails!

We sometimes take for granted the blessings that we receive everyday. This island has just begun to have an opportunity to receive the blessings that we have access to in our lives everyday! I'm so grateful for our Father in Heaven and that he has given me the chance to share His gospel with these wonderful people. 

Have a great week guys! Love you all!!

Elder Boyd