Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 76: Caught a yellow fish. We do our best, and God does the rest

It was a great week in Nuku hiva!

After we emailed on Monday we went fishing with Brother Bonno who is a inactive member and a really great guy. We went fishing for a few hours, and guess what? I actually caught some fish haha! I caught a cool yellow fish that was pretty awesome...it was a good time. 

Fish I caught on P-Day
After that we had a lesson with a Sister named Cynthia and she has studied with the Mormon missionaries for like 20 years!! Holy cow! So we re-contacted her and tried to start things up again!

On Tuesday and Wednesday we really got back to work and had pretty busy days! Tuesdays on the mission are usually the busiest and the best days; you are just running back and forth from lesson to lesson haha! At the end of the day we had a lesson with Steven who is 19 years old. Last week we set his baptism day for the 18th of February but during this lesson he was saying the he wants to "take advantage of the world" right now, and then get baptized later when he is older and has had some fun!! Elder McQuiston and I were just begging him not to make that decision. He said that he would pray about it, so let's hope he is open to what God tells him this week.

We had a lesson set up with Cynthia on Thursday morning and we invited Sister Ellis who is awesome BTW! She was converted three years ago and she is married to an American named Kevin. He is super cool but he doesn't yet believe in God. But with the strong testimony of his wife, I think he will be converted one day for sure! Anyway, we show up to Cynthia's house for the lesson and she wasn't there...bummer! But Sister Ellis thought of her older sister so we went to go and see her! She was home and was willing to talk a little bit and the lesson was good until we talked about the family...then the lesson was INSANELY GOOD haha!! She totally loved the message and wants us to come back! Sister Ellis said they have tried over and over with her and that she normally never accepts the offer to return and talk about more gospel principles.  She is definitely being prepared by God...you can just feel it! Her name is Ann-Marie by the way!

Friday was a good day. We had district meeting and a bunch of lessons.

Saturday was great! We did a bunch of Skype lessons with our investigators from Ua Huka (the neighboring island) and they went really well. It was a good day.

Elder McQuiston and I working the jungle
On Sunday we went to Church and I still can't get over how small the little branch is! My whole life I've been in a big ward and I've served my mission up to this point in decently bigger wards. So this is definitely a change! After church we had Branch Counsel which was a bit interesting! It's funny how much things change according to the culture.  Marquesas is a completely different place, but it's great! I honestly love it here! 

Then we went and ate with Sister Ellis and Kevin (the American) and he is super cool. We just talked about Newport Beach and movies and many things that you just can't talk about with Tahitians or Marquisians because they have not idea what you are talking about!

This week I learned in Alma 26:22 that if we do our best to have faith in Christ and repent everyday that God will give us many things. Like he can open our mind to more gospel knowledge. He will reveal things to us that have never been revealed to our mind before and he will help us have success by helping others around us to have faith in what we are teaching and be willing to repent.  It's totally true! We can only give our best and God does the rest! 

Have a great week! Love you guys and miss you!!

Elder Boyd

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 75: First week in Nuku Hiva in Marquesas Islands

Hi guys! So this week was super different, but good!
After emailing on Monday I got dropped off at the missionary house in Faa'a because in the morning these missionaries were the ones who would drop me off at the airport. So guess who was at that missionary house? Elder Sovereign, Elder Piazza, and Elder Lasson! Great guys! So basically it was a party that night because it was the last time we were gonna see each other for a while. We were all getting transferred, and we won't see each other pretty much till the end of our missions! Oh my gosh that is so weird to say!

Tuesday morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and got ready and then Sovereign and Piazza dropped me, Elder Lasson and Elder Ugbah at the airport...all of us were going to the islands! I was on the plane with Elder Ugbah from Missouri (he's going to Hiva Oa) and man that guy talks! Haha! Good thing he is super funny haha! 

Flying to Nuku Hiva with Elder Ugbah
Then I landed in Nuku Hiva and met my companion, Elder Mcquiston. He is a newer missionary, he's only been out about six months. He was there with the Branch President and we drove to our place, my home for the next little while. 
My new companion, Elder McQuiston from Utah. This is his first area and has been here 6 months.

It was like an hour drive, and man it was soooo pretty, but sooo different. Basically it's like taking one of the rocky mountains and putting it in the middle of the ocean! That's a perfect description of Nuku Hiva! It's very pretty and very different, there are cows and horses all over the place. Many people have cars but also a lot of people just ride horses everywhere!

View from the high road that spans across the island
View of our little town, Taioha'e, by the bay
On Wednesday we set out to do lessons and we had some great lessons and did some great work! There are a lot of people on the island right next to us, called Ua Huka that really want to change. We do lessons with them on Skype and we will try to plan a trip to go over there if we can get them to commit for their baptisms and stuff.  The work here is great, Marquesans are super different but they are rather accepting. If we have good people who are willing to listen, we have a chance! They are almost all Catholic here, and that's kinda a big problem because the local Catholic leaders are super crazy about their people changing religions.

Thursday we had a meeting with our branch mission leader and I am so excited that we have a good branch mission leader! He is sooo great and motivated to work with us! Then for the rest of the day we set out for more lessons. 

Friday we had district meeting and lessons and Saturday was great but tough because I got sooo tired.  I think the week finally caught up with me, but we were still able to have a great day!
We have the nicest missionary house in the mission. Check out that view!
View from our porch. Seriously, can you believe this?!
Church on Sunday was interesting because we don't have a church building in Nuku so the members meet in a house!! It's crazy! There were like only 40 people there, holy cow I have never seen that! We have a lot of work to do here! There aren't a lot of members, but the members we do have are great!!!
This member's home becomes our meeting house on Sunday with 30-40 people attending our small Nuku Hiva branch.
So this week was crazy! It was fun to have a new experience. Everyone made fun of my Tahitian accent! My American/Utah/Tahitian French accent was really a novelty out here! 
Had to stop and appreciate the canyon
I am really happy to have this experience to go here and serve the people on Nuku Hiva. It'll be really different and maybe a bit harder than some of my other areas but "What doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger" -Kelly Clarkson (I think??)  I have a big testimony that a person can do anything if they work hard, there is no secret to having success on the mission....by working hard we can do anything with God's help, of course!

Have a great week!

Elder Boyd

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 74: Saying Goodbye to wonderful people in Aru'e. Next area: Nuku Hiva

Hey guys so this week was pretty great. It was my last week here in Arue,

Last P-day after emailing we stayed at the church and played card games and stuff together as a district, it got super intense.... maybe a little too intense! Haha! Then we had family night with the family Tepahauaitepari, their son is serving a mission; he is a Zone Leader in Pape'ete right now and he's super cool.

An investigator that the sisters were teaching in another area moved into our area so we went to go see her on Tuesday. She is sooo potential! She has read the BOM all the way to Alma and she loves it! Her boyfriend, Matoa, is potential as well. And as an added bonus the other people in their house (Martin and Marie) started coming to the lessons while we were there and they are super potential as well! They live super far up on the mountain where there is no service or electricity. They actually have to use car batteries to get electricity!! They are great people and I am really excited about them!

Later that day we had interviews with President Bize and it was super great.  We had a great discussion about the transfers and how my mission is going and all, and then he told me a tad bit about my transfer. He didn't tell me where I was going but he told me I was being transferred. 

Wednesday was just a busy day of lessons and we watched the Joseph Smith movie with Sebastian, it was super great!

On Thursday we had another day full of lessons!! Then the sisters had a baptism so we went to support them.  Right after that we went to the High Council member's house to eat with him since he knew that most of us were getting transferred and he wanted to do a last "Tamara'a" feast!

Last District Meeting in Aru'e
Friday was our district meeting and the zone is still doing pretty well.  I'm super proud of what the zone has done these last few months. That night I got the transfer call and I'm going to NUKU HIVA in the Marquesas Islands! It's an island that's 10x bigger than Bora Bora, but there are far fewer people there (only around 2,600 on the whole island). Apparently it's super pretty and it is considered a special assignment area!!! President told me in my interview to make sure that I had a good camera and now I know why!! So I'm really excited for that!

Elders Ruff and Boyd with Nicholas
We had some good lessons on Saturday and then we went to go eat at Mehmeh's house (Nicolas' grandma). We ate some Ma'a Tahiti and twas a blast! We chilled with Nicolas for a little bit, and then we did some more lessons and I said goodbye to some of my investigators! It's so hard saying goodbye.

Church in Aru'e
Sunday was my last day of church in Aru'e. I sat by Nicolas during church except when he went to bless the sacrament. It's so great to watch converts bless the sacrament!! Then after church we went to Mehmeh's house again and said our final goodbyes. 

Saying goodbye to Mamie (Grandma) Delphine and Nicholas

Then we went to say goodbye to Hitiari'i, Sebastien and then the Teiti and Diard families. Truly some of my favorite people ever.

More Goodbyes 
These were all families and people that I have come to love because of missionary work. Missionary work is such a precious and important work and the outcomes are great and eternal. Not just for the families you are teaching, but also for yourself. That is what I learned here in Aru'e and the rewards of missionary work cannot be fully explained or described. It is an experience that you have to live. 

Every Sunday I watch Young Men's leaders struggle to explain how great their mission was to their Priests (trying to convince them to go), but they really can't, because the blessings are so great and personal that they cannot be explained! Jesus said, "love one another"; to love is a verb, meaning an action, we can't love someone without showing them our love! We can show how much we love our Father in Heaven by keeping his commandments and loving and serving others. There is nothing more important than that to really understand what love is.

Adeline and Christian Orbeck showed up at the airport at 7:00 am to see Elder Boyd one last time.
Next week I'll be emailing you from NUKU HIVA! I'm super pumped for this next adventure hahaha! Have a good week and wish me luck! 

Elder Boyd
Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Island chain is known as the original homeland of early Eastern Polynesians -- they were the Explorers (See Disney's newest movie Moana) who from this origin sailed out and settled many Polynesian Island chains. Over 130,000 were on Nuku Hiva in the 1800s before the great expeditions, and before the French colonized and brought with them Typhoid Fever wiping out much of the remaining population until vaccinations were developed and brought there. This culture is known for cannibalism back in the day.

Population has been less than 3,000 since early 1900s, and just 2,600 today (less than the student body of Lone Peak High School). Hopefully Elder Boyd can shout "Ia'Orana" and flash that smile to each of them on this beautiful island at some point in the coming months. But if they bite, he'd better run fast.

The 4th Season of Survivor was filmed on Nuku Hiva. Yes, the Boyd family is currently Binge-watching. Fascinating history of Nuku Hiva found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuku_Hiva

Literally in the MIDDLE of the ocean. Farther away from a continental land mass than any other island in the world.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Week 73: Putting a drunk man to sleep safely

On Pday after we did our emailing and reports the sister missionaries showed up to do their emails and they had this super cool, new Monopoly game. So we started to play that while we were waiting for them to finish their work, and then they joined in. Before we knew it the game got crazy fun and intense! So we literally played Monopoly for like 5 hours straight. I'm good with my money, but I had really bad luck at the beginning so I did an emergency upgrade for everything and then I came back to shock everyone (I don't have the energy to explain it very well, but just know that it was super cool) and I won! Legit! 

After that we had a lesson with the family Diard (they are doing great, but they are having a few trials right now but its ok they will get through them for sure). Then we had FHE with Sebastian! 'Twas a pretty great day!!

Tuesday we got back to work and had a good day full of lessons and hard work! 

On Wednesday we went to visit JP because he wanted to do a fast that night for his wife and for him because he wants to get better and get on the right track. So we showed up that night but apparently he had been super tempted by his brothers to drink and he drank, like he REALLY drank! I guess he had a bunch of rum (and now I understand why Jack Sparrow is the way he is) and holy Hannah, rum must be strong! So Elder Ruff and I brought him to his bed and we sat next to him until he fell asleep! 

I love that guy so much, and you can tell that he loves the missionaries and wants to do better. For the past 3 years missionaries have been stopping by his house and helping him out. He has a pretty hard life, so yeah, I feel pretty bad for him! I feel like God sends missionaries just to keep him going and know that someone cares. It was the first time that I have ever had to put a drunk man to sleep, and it was a little strange to see!

We had Leaders Council on Thursday and we talked about our vision for this year and all the things we can to better in the mission/zones. It's always a great meeting and I always learn so many new things. I'm grateful for the experience that I've had to be a zone leader.  It can be busy and hard, but it's such a great experience and I've learned so much!

Friday we had a our zone meeting and it was great. We talked about what we want to do for our missions, and who we want to become!

On Saturday we did a big fast with the high council leader that is in charge of missionary work, Brother Temaiana. He is super great and a hard worker, and he really cares about the missionary work!!

We ended our fast on Sunday and had a few lessons and then we went to a huge meeting with the Stake President and all the high council leaders. We talked about a plan of action and set goals with the stake. This stake has got to focus together if they want to have baptisms. The goal they set was to have 15 baptisms for each ward so that would be 105 baptisms for the stake and that is a boatload!!!! They can do it if they put trust in their missionaries and listen for promptings from the Spirit. If they start doing that, they will achieve this goal!!

Never forget that our Father in Heaven loves us, and that his son, Jesus Christ, was sent to show us the way and to open the gates through his atoning sacrifice!! If we focus on Him we will have the joy that we are searching for, because it is here!!

Have a great week!

Elder Boyd

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week 72: New Year, splits with Elder Roylance

Happy New Year! So this week was pretty great!

Last P-day after we emailed our district was totally craving burritos so we bought all this burrito stuff and we made  Mexican food! Elder Ruff and I cooked it and it actually tasted really good! Haha! So I'm officially a good cook now.
Mexican food with our District

That afternoon we had a lesson with the Diard family and they are still doing super great!! They are really progressing! Then we had a small family night with Sebastian and his future wife!!!
On Tuesday we headed out to work but it is still winter vacation here so it's hard to do lessons but we still had a great day full of lessons!
Wednesday we had another boatload of lessons it was a pretty normal day.  We are really trying to focus on listening to the Spirit in every one of our lessons. On this mission I've learned so much from the Spirit, the Spirit testifies and TEACHES, and that is something that I have really learned while teaching. It is not me teaching, it's the Spirit. The Spirit simply needs me to be the spokesperson (so to speak..ha!) 
In so many lessons I have said things that I have never ever thought of before! So many things have just popped up in my mind during the lesson and I recognize that I am being led by the Spirit. Inspiration/revelation is "thoughts to the mind, and feelings to the heart" and I have really seen that come to life in lessons!!! In missionary work having the Spirit with you is sooooooo important! Jesus himself even explained that if the Spirit is not there then his testimony is nothing...meaning that the miracles he does and the things he teaches is only significant because the Spirit is testifying to us that these things are true!
Teiho who I taught in Fa'aripo a year ago got baptized

On Thursday
 we did splits..... Ruff went to Mo'orea and Elder Roylance (who serves in Mo'orea) came with me for the day. Elder Roylance is cool he is actually from AF, he went to AF high school! I think mom knows his mom!
I dropped Elder Roylance off at the boats and picked up Elder Ruff on Friday, and when Ruff got off the boat he was talking to a tourist family that was from Utah. They talked to us for a while, and then the dad totally just handed us 100 bucks! We tried over and over to refuse be he wouldn't take no for an answer! So wow!!!!! So we did our district meeting, and then after the meeting we took the entire district out to a cool pizza place and we ate lunch and used that 100 bucks to feed everyone! What a great surprise for all of us! Then that night we ate with one of my favorite members ever, Andy! He served a mission in Louisiana and he's super great!

On Saturday we tried to do lessons but everyone was partying, seriously, it was nuts! But that night we hung out with Sebastian and his future wife (Mereana) and it was great.  We ate super fancy food and had a really nice time. 
Sunday we had church at eight o'clock in the morning and no investigators came! So sad! They really ring in the New Year hard over here hahahaha!! It was Andy's last day in the ward cause he is moving to Huahine!! So we took a few pictures and got each others contact info and then said Goodbye.  (That is one thing I'm sick of doing.......saying "Goodbye" to everyone)
Then after Church we went with some of the Young Adults and sang songs for people in the hospital and Hiti (our convert) was there with us.  He's still doing great, and he is starting to prepare for a mission, cause he really wants to go! That guy is so awesome! That night the district ate with the High Council leader (the one who is responsible for the missionary work)and he is great. We are really gonna start working a lot with that guy. He's a great addition to the work in this area. 

Have a great week don't forget to read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church. The little things make such a difference. It does a lot more that you think!!!!!

Love you all!

Elder Boyd