Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 83: Prayers answered: Pioneering Ua Huka!

Hey everyone! This week was a great one!

On Monday Elder Mcquiston left with Elder Fareata and headed back to the main island and Elder Ugbah and I officially became comps! I love that kid...Elder Ugbah is super funny and he loves sports so we talk about sports when we aren't talking about mission stuff! So yeah he is awesome and he has been on a mission for about 8 months.

Boyd and Ugbah riding bikes to Taipivai for the day
BTW: Yesterday I hit 19 months (what the ...) 

We spent Tuesday going to member's homes so that they could meet and get to know Elder Ugbah. Then we did a few lessons because with the conference last week we didn't have time to re-contact all of our investigators so we we needed to get in our lessons!  We were able to connect with a few investigators and it really was a great day!!  Then that night we got a call from my buddy, the beloved Elder Garff (assistant to the Pres) and he told us that in a few weeks Elder Ugbah and I will be transferred over to Ua Huka! Wooooooooooooooo! I'm sooo pumped! I just knew there was something special about that place when we were over there the past two weeks and it means a lot that President trusted what we felt. 

So today two other Elders are coming here to replace us in Nuku Hiva, and we are spending a little bit of time with them to show them the area, and to prepare for when we go to Ua Huka. We have a lot to prepare for, because there are only 4 members on Ua Huka and we will need to lead everything over there! But there are people who are so ready for the gospel! I am soooooooo excited, but nervous at the same time; it's going to be crazy over there for a while! We are gonna be the first missionaries officially staying over there. It will literally be the first time that there will really be the sacrament or Priesthood over there, it's gonna be wild!

Wednesday we went over to Taipivai and spent the day over there. We saw the Ah Scha family and they are studs!

On Thursday we had a meeting with the new Branch President and our missionary team. We talked about Ua Huka and made plans about what we can do to help this island and the members there. The new Branch President is super great and he is really motivated!!!

Friday we went to Taipivai again with our Branch President to go and help the family Ah Scha. They are having a few problems in their home...they are living in a hornets nest (meaning that they are all alone and everyone that lives around them are super mean and judgmental Catholics and not very accepting of their choice to live the gospel). The Branch President wanted us to go over in our regular clothes just so we did not draw attention on this visit. So we went in pants and a t-shirt haha! It was funny and felt so weird, but we had a great visit with the family! They are sooo great and I wish great things for each one of them.

We did a service project on Saturday. We helped out Kevin Ellis (the American) with his new house that he bought. He is going to start a restaurant! We pretty much took hammers and destroyed walls and broke down shelves it was kinda fun haha! After that we did a few more lessons.

Sunday we went to church and then ate with the Richard family and then we watched the JS movie with some investigators!!! 

This week was really great! So we will have 2 more Elders with us for a little bit while we prepare our reassignment to Ua Huka!  I'm sooooo pumped for that! I really hope that I'll finish there!!! 

Love you guys and have a great week!

Elder Boyd

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 82: President and Sr Bize arrive in Nuku Hiva for a Conference

Hey guys,

After emailing, Monday was our last day in Ua Huka, so instead of a real P-day, we did lessons with our investigators for our last day, and man am I gonna miss that island and everyone there!! Elder McQuiston and I had the idea to get missionaries over there full time, and since President Bize was coming to Nuku Hiva for a conference, we tried to arrange for the four sisters in Ua Huka (see last week's letter home) to come. We planned to do a meeting with President Bize to talk about this island! So I made a few calls and we were able to direct some district funds to pay for their boat transport so that they could come to the conference!

Elders Boyd and McQuiston with the four sisters from Ua Huka
Tuesday we arrived back on Nuku Hiva! After getting all settled back in we went to see some of our investigators to invite them to the conference, and then we had the meeting with President Bize. In the meeting were President, our branch mission leader, sister ellis, the four sisters from Ua Huka, McQuiston and me.

We wanted to plead for a way to send missionaries to Ua Huka, and the 4 sisters just testified with all of their hearts about why they need missionaries over there. We explained our recent 10-day experience and how it is over there. We must have done something right, because President agreed with us and he is now making plans to send missionaries over there!!

With President Bize
We are not sure what we will do exactly; it might be us who will go over there, or he may send two more missionaries! But, I hope that I'll have that chance to go over there, haha, because I love those guys over there, and you just really feel the need and desire for missionaries!! Man those sisters have sooo much faith. It was definitely a testimony builder to go over there and experience the spirit working in the people we taught on Ua Huka!! 

Wednesday and Thursday were simple days. We tried to visit our investigators in the mornings, then went to conference meetings with President Bize and his wife in the afternoons. We spent some of the days just talking about the mission, and they taught us a few things. We had interviews with them and then Thursday night we had our last conference session! It was great! 

Friday President Bize and his wife left! I really like them, it was great to have  a chance to hang with them for a few days! They both have served this mission really well and I'm so grateful that I got to serve with them in this mission. It's weird ... that was probably the last time that I will see them for a while, because they finish in July! 

Later Friday morning the sisters of Ua Huku were headed back home so we went to the dock and said goodbye to them.

Saturday I woke up a little sick. Haha, I think it was just from being tired because we haven't had a good break for like  2 weeks. We went out and did a few lessons and came back and rested a little bit! 

Sunday we had church and then we went to pick up Elder Ugbah and Fareata. Their area was recently closed on the island of Hiva Oa, so they were staying the night here. We all went and enjoyed burritos with the Ellis family which was bombin!!

Elders Boyd and McQuiston
Today, Elder McQuiston was transferred and I have a new comp, Elder Ugbah from Missouri. He has been on his mission about 8 months now, and he is cool. I'm excited to work with him.

Love you all.

Elder Boyd

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 81: The story of Ua Huka

Hey guys, this trip to Ua Huka was an amazing adventure!! We head back to Nuku Hiva tomorrow afternoon, and I really don't wanna go back haha! So the story of Ua Huka: 

Stock photo of the mountains of Ua Huka

There is a woman named Yolinda here. About a year ago her husband died in a car accident and they were both members, so she was left alone with two kids, but she has testified that this gospel has helped her through her trials! At the funeral her father in law came and there was another inactive member here named Yvonne (she is great and she is related to the Orbeck family in Pape'ete). No one knew that she was a member except Yolinda (they were the only 2 members on the island), and at the funeral Yvonne sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives", and then everyone knew that she was a member, and apparently it was such a powerful moment!

So Yolindas best friend, Marie Christine, was interested in this gospel that helped Yolinda so much, so Yolinda shared all that she knew, then had the idea to contact the missionaries in Nuku Hiva. They started doing lessons by Skype and Marie Christine was baptized the 19th of November 2016. She invited her friend, Marie Chantal, to her baptism and she was super touched and wanted to learn more so she started taking the lessons and then was baptized in January.

But, there are a few problems in Ua Huka -- it's ALL Catholic, so when Marie Christine and then Marie Chantal were baptized, the persecution started, and its like major persecution, such as the Catholic church leaders are teaching lessons on how evil the Mormons are and how to criticize them. It's super ridiculous!

So now there are four members, Yolinda, Yvonne (she is active now), Marie Christine, and Marie Chantal, and they are all sooo amazing and have sooo much faith. Because of their example there is so much work here and a lot of people who are super interested and ready. We really need missionaries here!! It is amazing to see these four sisters and how happy they are in spite of the local negativity! 

There are a lot of investigators here that I love too that I really don't want to leave the island! We have found so many people who are ready, and we set 3 baptismal dates in the 9 days we have been here!! So yeah, there's the story of Ua Huka.

Stock photo

I have had so many testimony building experiences on the priesthood during my mission, and that continued here on Ua Huka. Yesterday we gave so many blessings, and have already seen the effects of it. It can make a grown man cry, and not know why, haha. No one who has with faith received a priesthood blessing and felt its power can deny the reality of it!

I know that it's true and real and that every young man needs to be ready and worthy to use it at all times.

We have been so busy since we got here, I haven't taken the time to capture how beautiful this place is. I'll take some more pics today and send them next week. 

Love you all 

Elder Connor Boyd