December 29, 2014

It was indeed a holy night

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year! I hope you all had an amazing Christmas.

I would like to start out today by talking about a special experience I had this Christmas... We didn't have much to do as missionaries leading up to Christmas because everyone is busy preparing for the parties and the feasts, so as a zone we decided to do a lot of service. Christmas evening was spent in the hospital, caroling for little children and their families that weren't able to be home for Christmas. That was a special experience, to be among the sweet spirits of children and to feel of their purity.

Later that night, we departed en ville (downtown Pape'ete) to give food and sing again for persons without homes. I will never forget looking back down at a street with young and elderly Tahitians sitting among cardboard boxes with a little morceau of chocolate tarte in their hands, some cookies and a small bag of turkey, because that is all we had to give. This Christmas was different than any other Christmas we have ever lived. It was hard to be away from our families, not to be in snow or participating in familiar Christmas traditions, but all of us are extremely blessed to have walked the path of Jesus Christ this Christmas, to do the things that He lived to do. It was infinitely precious.

My dad this week asked me a lot of questions about my life here in Tahiti and so here are a few answers.

We live in a little apartment with two other sisters and just down the street are the other group of four sisters in our zone, we live in the area of Taunoa.

My area is in Pirae and we cover the ward of Pirae 2, in the zone of Pape'ete. We have about three mountains valleys in our secteur, so it's really quite large, about 10% of the people in the ward boundaries are active members. In the valleys, there are the people who live in poorer circumstances and on the mountains are the people who are wealthy. It's a broad scope to work with.

Another awesome opportunity the sisters in the zone of Pape'ete have is to serve in the visitor's center just next to the temple. There we give a presentation of lessons using the Plan of Salvation as the main focus and including the Restoration and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you how much I love the center... So much. It's like our very own Temple Square in Tahiti!!!

We teach all of our lessons in French right now and every once in awhile, we come across someone who speaks only Tahitian, it is much more common to speak Tahitian in the outer islands. I told myself at nine months, I'm going to really start to try to learn Tahitian, but right now, French is the dominant language.

Welcome to 2015! It's gonna be great!!!

December 22, 2014

22 Decembre 2014

Something I learned this week that I love, if trials are not a consequence of disobedience, it is a sign to you that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow.

I have become so aware this past month of just how much Heavenly Father's hand works in our lives. And it's our choice if we are going to allow Him to do it, or resist. I love it!!

December 8, 2014

Joyeux Noel!‏

Bonjour Toute le Monde!

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the Christmas season. Has is snowed yet? I hope so!

Things are going really well. This week has been full of adaptations, the new secteur, the new companion, and the new house, but it has been a good week. Mostly because it was maybe one of the hardest weeks of my life spiritually. A lot of growth and turning towards God. Heavenly Father reached out to strengthen me many many times. And you know what? Fasting works. Priesthood blessings work. Reading the scriptures works. Praying, yes, praying works. I am so grateful for this week!

I love my Heavenly Father. I love the opportunites He gives us for growth. I love that He never leaves us alone. He is ALWAYS there with reach. And He speaks to us, even if we aren't listening. And how sweet the message when we finally allow it to penetrate through to our spirits. What is He trying to tell you today?

I wish you all a Merry Christmas Season! Thank you for your prayers and support, they help us a lot.

December 1, 2014

01 Decembre 2014

Me and Rauana
Happy December to Everyone!
I hope all days this month are merry and bright!

At the beginning of this past week, my companion came down with Chikungunya (a mosquito transmitted illness) so we stayed at the house for most of the days because she couldn't walk. Pas grave, I was able to have some loooong studies. Haha!

Wednesday we received transfer calls and I have been transferred to serve in Pirae 2 in Pape'ete. My companion is Soeur Tamehahe from Tahiti and we will be in a car. Really excited for the new adventure but also a bit sad to leave our investigators and members in Tuauru.

Me and Maina
I would like to share another miracle that happened this week with Maina. Monday she and Tumunui decided to get married and Friday, Tumunui found a job! The miracle of faith is that Maina recognized it as a blessing from Heavenly Father that came from a righteous decision and what's more, she shared her testimony with Tumunui.

We were also able to recontact a couple, Ayou and Vanina, who have started to take the lessons again. They have two children and pose a lot of questions during the lessons which is awesome. We are excited to see their progression.

The stake had a fun activity this week with the youth. We did a faith walk in the pouring rain where each team was attached and had to pass through 4 trials all the while protecting their faith (keeping the coconut seed white). It was too much fun... and wet.

I hoped you all passed a wonderful Thanksgiving and took some pounds, but not too many. And I hope you all continue to take the time to be grateful for small blessings and tender mercies we are granted everyday.

God is everywhere.

November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Generous members taking care of us! xxoo
They don't have this holiday in Tahiti but that's okay, because everyday here is almost a Thanksgiving Feast.

Today, I would just like to share some things I'm grateful for:

A loving Heavenly Father
Eternal Truths
The Book of Mormon
The prophet Joseph Smith
Faith in Jesus Christ
My family

I am also grateful for the miracles of softened hearts and desires to come unto Christ.

This week Maina and her tane, Tumunui, announced that they are getting married! Do you know what this means for their family?! Maina wants to be baptized the same day and later sealed in the temple. And she knows with time it will come, that she will have an eternal family. Heavenly Father blesses His children, He answers their prayers, He grants them the righteous desire of their hearts, but first, we must act in faith and do our part.
Gospel in action
I love this gospel! I love seeing it in action! The blessings that come from living it are beautiful and precious!
Can you see it?
Can you feel it?

Sister Spackman

November 11, 2014

This week we received a surprise visit from Elder Pearson, the Area Seventy over the Pacific, and oh, the conference was much needed!
He talked about the nature of the Spirit, it's role in conversion, and how important it is to align ourselves with the Spirit.
Something my cousin Andrea shared a while back was reconfirmed by Elder Pearson and I would like to share it.
Another name for the Spirit is the Record of Heaven (Moses 6:61). Inside each of us is a perfect knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the Restoration, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ, the Atonement. This knowledge came from the teachings we received in the premortal world. The role of the Spirit is to remind us of what we knew before we came to Earth. And when we bear testimony to others, the Holy Ghost has the opportunity to witness and remind others what they once knew. It is so so so important to bear testimony, to invite the Holy Ghost to confirm the truths, to bring the heart and the mind into congruency, to allow faith to grow into testimony.
So bear your testimony! Spread the light of the gospel that resides within you! What are things that you know absolutely without any doubt to be eternal truths? Don't you want to share those with others?
I wish every member would take the precious experience of telling others for the first time that they are children of God. Don't you want to tell them they can be with their families forever? To tell them how much you love Jesus Christ? And to tell them all that Jesus Christ has done for them through His Atonement? In this ever changing and crazy world, people will be looking for a source of stability. Let's show them the stability that can be founded upon the Rock of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who is constant and unchanging.
Please share your testimony today. It doesn't have to be formal or eloquent to be powerful. Go and change a life because you shared that you believe in Jesus Christ and you know the sweet peace of His love. What they have to lose if you don't is far greater than what you'll lose if you do.
This week I'm going to bear my testimony more and I hope you choose to do so too. I promise you won't regret it.
Faaitoito! Bonne courage!
Soeur Spackman

September 17, 2014

Eh, Bonjour! Ia ora na! Salut!
Let's get down to business!

Oh my goodness, I love Tahiti! I love it!!!

 My trainer is Soeur Teinauri from Tubuai and she only speaks French... (she knows how to speak some English too but we pretend to not know that).. Alors... We only speak French all day, everyday and it is the best! Sister Teinauri has been serving for 15 months, so I am her last companion before she goes home and we really want to work hard to find people to teach before she is finished. For now, she mostly teaches the lessons and then I get to bear my testimony at the end, and slowly for the next twelve weeks, teach more and more of the lesson with her.

Our secteur is Tuauru in Mahina, Tahiti. I feel like I'm in the jungle... It is awesome! We have bikes for our secteur which is kind of shaped like a comb... There is a main street and then the teeth of the comb are more little streets that branch off the main one.. I can't see the ocean unless we ride to the top of the hill.

Sister Teinauri says it's the second smallest secteur in the mission, which is great because then I can hopefully get to know everybody in it.

It rains everyday for about 15 minutes to an hour and then is beautiful for the rest of the day! There are a lot of members here so, en fait, we are fed every night which is so so generous of the ward, alors... Je vais grossir :)

We are lucky too because we have a good amount of investigators who love to follow the lessons and keep inviting us back... The only hard thing is... We don't have tons of investigators keeping their commitments or can't get baptized yet because they have Word of Wisdom difficulties or are living in concubinage with children and their concubins don't want to get married yet. Un jour, nous èsperons. :)

We love our area.. It is a hard area, but we have so much hope and faith that the Lord is softening the hearts of His children and preparing them. En fait, yesterday, there was a grande miracle a la chapelle! We invited an investigator to come to church, Mami Micheline... And she came!! And in Relief Society, there was a lesson about genealogy and she said that she wants to start doing it to find out which island her family is from... Also, our ami, Maina, came to church with her children and her concubin, who is an inactive member, and stayed for all three hours and also other inactive members came with amis of their own... We still can't believe it... Heavenly Father is truly preparing His children to receive the gospel.

Also, we had a lesson with Franck. He is an old old man who is going deaf, is blind in one eye, and only speaks Tahitian, but he is so so so stinkin' cute. We had never sung a hymn with him before during a lesson but this past time we tried it... The cutest thing! Because he is going deaf and also because we had never sung with him before, the hymn ended up being a monotone chant with no rhythm and all in Tahitian. After we tried to teach him how to pray too but he didn't want to by himself, so we took turns saying a prayer, eaching saying things we were grateful for and then asking for blessings. Also the cutest thing ever... Hopefully he can understand some of what we teach him.

It's super funny because a lot of people here don't wear tons of clothing and sometimes you have to be careful when you drop in on the investigators to fix an appointment... You end up looking at the ceiling a lot.. Haha.

I want to bear my testimony of how important is missionary work. Without the gospel, without baptism, without the temple, we cannot live with God again. I would give anything to have all of my family living with God again. So I hope that through this work, members and missionaries alike, can bring their family and the families of others home again. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to always be missionaries to those around us, at home and abroad.

XOXO Soeur Spackman

Sister Hayley Rae Spackman
Papeete Tahiti Mission
BP 93-98713
French Polynesia

August 23, 2014

I bear testimony that the Lord's hands are in our lives.

This week was a harder week than previous ones, kind of like hitting the 18 mile wall during a marathon.

Through this week I was able to know that Heavenly Father is aware of us in our struggles and wrestlings with overcoming the natural man. While this week was challenging, it was also filled with so many tender mercies.

Sister Stastny and I were able to teach a "gold tag" investigator, which is a recent convert or actual investigator that comes to the MTC for missionaries to practice teaching. We were walking around trying to find missionaries to practice our "mini lessons" with when we came upon Isaac sitting on a bench and started talking to him. He came to BYU to play rugby and was a bit interested in our church so his friends told him to come to the MTC to talk to the missionaries. Sister Stastny and I asked for a question that he had that perhaps we could answer... He asked our feelings about women and the priesthood...

...We were not expecting that. Haha.

It is amazing the way the Spirit communicates through you to bear testimony to others. We didn't talk about the details of the big to-do, but we were able to bear our testimonies of how having priesthood holders in the form of fathers and brothers and friends has granted us much peace and comfort when we had sickness or heartache. It was a harder question but we were grateful for the experience because we were able to break out of role play and really share the message of the gospel with someone searching for truth.

Another tender mercy came through an activity our teachers had us do where each companion prayed about questions to ask the other companion. the purpose of this activity was to practice meeting the needs of a person by only asking them questions. The Spirit works miracles! Sister Stastny asked me questions that pricked my heart and helped me to know how aware Heavenly Father was of my concerns this week and her questions also helped me to know how to overcome the trials.

I'd like to ask you these same questions now and truly have you think answer them perhaps in your journal or someplace else.

Do you believe God knows you?

How do you know this?

Do you trust God?

How will you show Him you do?

Je suis très reconnaissante pour mon adversité cette semaine. The hardest of times have a way of turning into the sweetest and most sacred of times as we give way and turn our hearts to be healed by the Savior and His Atonement. I am grateful to be on a mission and to be learning about God and His love. I hope each of you are able to see God in your lives and believe that He knows you. And I pray that you will trust Him and let Him love you.

Keep the Faith. Bonne Courage.

Soeur Spackman

August 14, 2014

Bonjour Tout le Monde! It's hard to believe that it's almost been a month. Days pass by slow, but the weeks pass by very fast. The native French speaking district joined our zone and it is a blast to have them around... There are two sisters from New Caledonia who basically laugh at every French word we say (but it's really because they love us so much).

Sister Liz Watkins joined our district and is in a trio with Soeur Kiwa and Soeur Cromar, so we now have 5 roommates in our little bedroom. Together, she and Sister Cromar are little bundles of crazy and it makes the long days in the classroom pass by more quickly.

So one of my favorite things about the MTC are the Relief Society, Sunday Night, and Tuesday Nights devotionals. Every speaker gets you really motivated about being a good person and being a good missionary. It's also cool because Sacrament Meeting talks and District Meeting talks usually correlate with the devotional subjects. From the devotional this past Sunday about pioneers something really stood out to me so that's kind of what I want to write this email about today.

"I Believe in Miracles"

I want to testify that miracles truly do happen. It seems surreal to hear the stories of the pioneers where food would appear on the trail or souls who had frozen in the night would come back to life the next morning or feet frozen with frostbite that would be completely healed instead of amputated. Sometimes it's hard to believe in miracles, but that doesn't mean they don't still happen.

I want to tell of miracles here in the MTC...There are missionaries in my district who didn't know any French when they came, now it's the fourth week and they are teaching full lessons in the language. They learning grammar concepts that in school, you don't learn until you are a fifth or sixth year student... And they are learning them in one three hour lesson. Not only that, but next week, they are preparing to learn a second language. The MTC is a miracle.

This week we were asked by our district leader to write in our journals from where we draw strength and I want to share that today. And perhaps you too can think of where you draw strength from.

"I draw strength from my parents, from their testimonies of the gospel, of eternal marriage, and the importance of families. I draw strength from their examples of long-suffering endurance and love.

I also draw strength from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I learned today about the Atonement. When you give a gift to someone, you desire for them to love it and to use it. Christ's Atonement is a gift. He wants us to use it. It's not here to sit in the closet and gather dust, but to be used every single day. I draw strength from the Atonement and from the example of Jesus Christ. He did every hard thing known to every man, with His help, I can do hard things too. During companion study, Sister Stastny shared this and I love it... Jesus Christ already suffered for my sins, He already felt my sadness and pain and guilt. He already sorrowed... It is now time for me to bring Him joy. It brings Him joy when we repent, when we turn our hearts to Him, when we use the gift He gave His life for. It makes Him happy when we use His Atonement."

I know we need Jesus Christ in our lives, I know it. And I hope all of us will choose to invite Him in and let Him take away our sorrow because it makes Him so happy when we do.

XOXO Soeur Spackman
Dear Sister Spackman,

We have received the good news that you have been called to serve as a full-time missionary here in the Tahiti Papeete Mission. We congratulate you on being worthy of this important calling and look forward to having you serve with us.

We are confident that you will learn to love this great mission. The country is beautiful, the people are gracious, and the Church is well known. There are approximately 22,500 members in eight stakes which include the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Huahine and Maupiti. There are also branches of the Church located on many islands throughout the Australes, Tuamotus, and Marquises.
You are one of a select few called to accept the challenge of learning two languages, both French and Tahitian. French Polynesia is an Overseas Territory of France, and as such all Tahitians are French citizens. French is the language of the government and the schools and all young people speak French. Tahitian, however, is the language of the natives and is used a great deal in the outer islands. Through your faith and diligence you will be blessed and will be able to learn both French and Tahitian so that you will be able to fulfill this special calling.
Ours is an obedient and hard working mission. Come prepared to put in a full missionary day and to strictly follow all mission rules found in the Missionary Handbook. Please study it very carefully. Hard working and obedient missionaries qualify to have the Spirit as their constant companion. Please prepare also by reading the missionary guidebook, Preach My Gospel, cover to cover.
We are excited for your arrival. If you have any questions please feel free to correspond with us. We hope the information you received from the Missionary Department with your call will help you prepare. Come prepared to forget yourself as you serve others by finding, teaching, and baptizing.
May Heavenly Father bless you for accepting the Lord’s call to serve.


Benjamin T. Sinjoux

June 24, 2014

Here is my address!

Tahiti Papeete Mission
Sister Spackman, Hayley
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti 98713
French Polynesia

February 15, 2014

Missionary Work and the Atonement

I believe in the miracle of the Atonement. I testify that it is not only able to lift us when we have fallen, but that it also moves us onward and upward. I know that it is only through Christ that we may be saved. I am eternally grateful to my brother, my Savior, and my friend for making the ultimate sacrifice. He gave His life so that I can return to live with my Father in Heaven once again.
I know that the Atonement is individual. I know that Christ suffered for one person at a time, one sin at a time. In those moments when you feel the most alone, please remember, you are not alone. Jesus Christ knows perfectly what kind of pain, sorrow, or disappointment you are experiencing. I testify that if we turn to Him in our time of need, He will carry us to higher ground.
I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

February 8, 2014

To Serve or Not To Serve?

Ia Orana. My name is Sister Hayley Spackman. In January of 2014 I was called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was assigned to labor in the Tahiti Pape'ete Mission speaking French and Tahitian. I will be serving from June 2014 to December 2015.  I could not be more excited!

President Thomas S. Monson announced the lowered age for young men and women missionaries in General Conference of October 2012. At first, I was resistant to go on a mission. I told myself that a mission was definitely not for me. Then one day, while praying to know where to apply for school, I received an answer that I could not deny. The Lord needed me to serve a mission.

Since then, maintaining the desire to serve and the motivation to prepare has not been easy. My heart wanted to go, but my mind would try to justify staying home to make money or to complete my education. These past few months have been some of the most trying months of my life. My testimony has been challenged and many temptations have been thrown my way. During these trials, my life was hard, but looking back, I wouldn't have traded any of them for something else. Every single hard time was worth it because through them, I have been able to grow closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ exponentially.

To all you brethren and sisters out there who are trying to win the fight against the Adversary. Keep fighting. I testify that God is on your side. And if God be for us, who can be against us? {Romans 8:31} He will lift you up and strengthen you. Heavenly Father knows your divine potential and He will push you to your limits because He knows you can reach past them. But because of His infinite grace, the Lord will be there with you every step of the way. I testify that He loves you and He knows you. Sometimes we may be surprised with where life takes us, but I know that everything happens for a reason.

More than a year after receiving an answer about going on a mission, I still don't think that a mission is for me. But I know without a doubt that my mission is for the Lord and the people of Tahiti. Why?... That I do not know, but I cannot wait to find out!