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!!!