Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 80: No time to write from Ua Huka

Elder Boyd and his companion have travelled by boat to the neighboring island of Ua Huka for about 10 days to find, teach, interview, and baptize people they have been teaching via Skype. Internet wasn't working well there so he was only able to get through a message to pray for the people they are working with and that he sends his love.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 79: God gives light to those who use his atonement daily

Hey guys!

Elders Boyd and Paxman from back in Aru'e doing a Zone Conference. (we just got this today)

So after emailing on Monday, we went and fixed our bikes because yeah they were a little bit broken down and needed some help! Haha! Then the Gendron family invited us over and we had a great family night with them!

On Tuesday we started the week off pretty well with a bunch of good lessons and cool stuff! One of my faves is a little kid from Ua Huka named Ronny and we have been talking about baptism with him for a while, so we hope that we can baptize him next week.  BTW, this next Friday we are heading over to Ua Huka and we are staying there from the 24th to the 7th of March. This is my first time over there so we are really praying that when we get there we will be able to baptize some of our investigators that are ready for baptism...we do so many of our lessons with them over Skype so pray for us!!!! We are really excited to head over there and to work with our investigators face to face. I hear that it is super different, but super cool over there!

Wednesday we rode our bikes all the way to Taipivai, and had a great day!!! We went to the Ah Scha family's home (active members) and then brother Ah Scha (bless you) came with us to do missionary work the whole day!  He is such a stud, and he is soooo funny! He has sooo much energy, and he loves the gospel so much that he just gets super excited and his enthusiasm is contagious!  I had such a fun time hanging with brother Ah Scha that was really a blast! He is definitely one of my favorite members. We had the chance to visit a lot of inactive members and a lot of investigators, and then we did an English class which was super fun!

We had our district meeting, our meeting with the the Branch Mission Leader, more lessons, and then we had our weekly planning meetings to round out the week. 'Twas a good time!

Saturday was branch conference, and the District President came over from Hiva Oa, and we had some activities. We made little basket things out of leaves and stuff, and for those that know me pretty well you can imagine that I got bored of that really fast haha! The sisters in the branch finished my basket for me because apparently I wasn't very good at making it (I thought I was doing ok) haha! Then that night we had a fireside that Elder Mcquiston and I planned. We watched videos on doing missionary work and talked about the importance of the members in missionary work! We make so much progress when we are all working together!

I had one of those missionary testimony builder experiences on Sunday. When sacrament meeting started Mcquiston and I were sitting at the sacrament table (we bless the sacrament) and I could see in the back row the Ah Scha family. Brother Ah Scha looked miserable and he was crying, and his wife had sunglasses on and you could tell she was crying too! I was worried because before they were reactivated they had a little challenge with the Word of Wisdom, so in my mind I thought they maybe had a setback with that again! 

When we started the sacrament I saw that brother Ah Scha left and went to the back of the house. After the sacrament Mcquiston and I went to the back of the house (which was on the other side of where the meeting was) and I saw him sitting there and tearing up. I just went up to him and gave him a hug and Mcquiston did the same. Brother Ah Scha kinda tried to hide it but then he started talking to us. 

So long story short, when they got to church his oldest kid pushed his little brother to the ground on purpose (classic brother move) and his little brother got all dirty, so Brother Ah Scha got really angry. He said that he was just sooooo filled with anger that he didn't feel ready to take the sacrament that week. He just expressed that he is trying so hard and wants to be a good example for his kids but was worried that he was failing! Then something came to my mind that I had never really thought of before, I said ,"During my mission I've seen the difference in the families that truly want to live the gospel. There is a certain light in their home, and I saw that in your home last Wednesday. God gives this light to families that use His atonement daily, not to families that are perfect, but families that use the atonement." 

In that moment the Spirit taught me through my own words that He put inside my mind to help comfort Brother Ah Scha, but they were as much for me as they were for him. Then Brother Ah Scha cheered up and we talked a little more, we talked about Punu Pua Toro and Uru which is one of our favorite meals in Polynesia for the both of us! Things just got better as the day went on!

I know that it may not seem like a big deal to us that he got a little angry and didn't feel like he could take the sacrament, but to brother Ah Scha it was. I think it is because he truly understands what the sacrament really is, he showed sooo much love and respect for our Father in Heaven that day, just by his concern that he was not worthy to take the sacrament. I will always remember that moment!

Have a great week and love ya!

Elder Boyd 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 78: When FHE cancels ... make burritos.

Hey guys!

Monday we did a bombin' hike! Slightly dangerous, but it was super fun!! I sent pics of it last week! Then we got ready for our FHE and right when we were walking out the door, the member called us and canceled! So I made burritos for us and man it was good! I found taco seasoning in the cupboard, and I got soo excited!!

This week was a little bit harder because a lot of people canceled on us, we had a day full of scheduled lessons, we had 8 planned but 6 canceled or weren't there when we showed up! It was a bummer, but we still made good use of our time contacting, visiting old investigators, and visiting members, so it was still a great day!

We planned that every Wednesday we would ride our bikes to the next valley called Taipivai, and we would stay there the whole day. There are two active member families (the Ah-Schas and the Chus) that live there, so we planned to go with them and see some of their friends, and we had some great success. We met an inactive member and his wife who is not a member but she believes in the church (she is just waiting for her husband to get his act together). The husband's name is Rocky haha I totally call him Rocky Balboa; he is a good guy so we will help him get on a good path so his family can be in the church!

Thursday we had our lesson with Sister Marie, the sister in law of our branch mission leader. She is probably our biggest potential because she is interested and she has family helping her through this process. I noticed that when you teach someone who is interested and ready to hear the gospel message you can see a certain light in their eyes, and it is amazing to see. It's like God's spirit is changing them in that very moment. I never really noticed it before, but now it's something I notice easily!

Elders McQuiston and Boyd working Taipivai

Friday: We had a lesson in the morning and then we had district meeting by Skype and my comp, Elder McQuiston, gave a killer lesson! Then we went out to see some members and some old investigators, then we did our weekly planning!

Saturday was great. We planned a missionary activity and some of the members came. Basically we talked about missionary work and the importance of members' role in the work, then we did some role playing and had them practice sharing a message about the family.  We had them write down names of five friends, then we split up into three teams and we all went to visit those friends for an hour. It was super awesome because the members actively engaged in finding people for us to teach and THEY shared the messages.  We were able to get a few good references from it, invite new people to family night activity we set up, and found a new and solid investigator!!

Visiting bro Gendron

Sunday we attended church in our little branch and were invited to dinner with Kevin (the American) and his wife sister Ellis, and then we visited some investigators and some less-actives!!

This week we weren't able to see Rapuni and Leila -- they were busy -- and we were a bit busy too, but we will try and see them this week!!

I always will say that the biggest thing I learned on my mission is the principle of repentance; it's sooo important and necessary for our happiness! When someone changes for good, God forgives and rejoices! That's what I have felt so personally in my life!

Have a great week!

Elder Boyd

Note: Connor's Valentine's Package is somewhere between New Zealand and Tahiti and will probably reach him in Nuku Hiva next month (even thought we sent the first week of January). Hope he enjoys a few snacks and thoughts from home.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 77: Elder Boyd testifies about what helps him believe in God (Alma 36)

Kaoha Nui! 

Last Monday after we did our emailing we went to play basketball with some really cool members. It was super pretty too because the court is just right beside the ocean! It was a pretty chill Pday! For family night we wanted to do a thing we call "Soirée Quartier"...It's basically FHE but everyone in the neighborhood is invited so it's a great way to find investigators.  Our branch mission leader hosted it and we watched "Meet the Mormons"! We had 12 investigators there and our branch mission leader was sooo giddy haha! He was pumped that we actually had investigators there! It was neat to see his excitement!

Tuesday we got back to the grind...ha! We had lessons almost every hour and man I was sooo tired that night.  That's the way it's supposed to feel on the mish!

Wednesday was the grind round 2! We are getting down to business! We found some new investigators and were super busy! I finally got my bike there on the island so now we could do things a little bit faster.  It was great to be able to pick up the speed. That night we were supposed to go and see Steven but he was working late. We didn't really a have a chance to see him this week so there's no news on his situation, but we have a lesson with him tomorrow, so wish us luck.  

On Thursday we went to see some investigators that I really like. The wife is named Leila and the husband is named Rapuni. Rapuni is a pretty smart guy and we were just talking to him like friends!  He would tell us stories in his life when he felt like the Spirit was telling him something. He has had many expériences that have helped him believe in God, and he asked about the Mormons and why are we different and stuff.  

We talked about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, Plan of Salvation and stuff like that, and then he asked me directly about my expériences. He wanted to know what has helped me believe in God and to feel that He is there to help me.  I shared a few verses from Alma 36 which is when Alma talks about the joy he felt and even his repentance process. I expressed to him that we all make my life I have certainly made some mistakes...and that it's through this repentance process that we can no longer be "tortured by the remembrance of my many sins". The Spirit was sooo strong in that moment and we could feel it so strongly. 

Then Rapuni was quiet and ended the conversation and was like, "I gotta get going to work." It was weird to me that he ended the conversation right after that moment. He hurried in the house and his wife said goodbye to us. I don't know what this man was feeling or what lead him to end the conversation like that.  I could tell that something about that conversation hit him really hard. I'm excited to see him this week and to talk to him. I will keep you posted.

Friday was a day of meetings and planning.  We set out our goals and plans for the week.

We had another busy day of lessons on Saturday and did our best to contact more investigators. 

On Sunday after Sacrament Meeting the branch mission leader, his wife, Sister Ellis, and the two of us went to the other side of the island to a village named Aakapa. It was like a two hour drive so we could see some of the members over there. We are going to organize a prayer group so that these members can take the sacrament on Sundays in their own village. It's really hard for them to get to the other side of the island and they need the opportunity to take the sacrament. Man is it super pretty here in Nuku Hiva...i mean it is just soo pretty! It is really an amazing place!

K guys have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Boyd