October 26, 2015

My Tahitian Sunset

This is the last email I'll be sending out as a full-time missionary. There are a lot of things that I could say and would like to share, but I feel the best theme for this letter is my testimony. 

I testify that God loves us. I know that we are His children. I know He has a specific plan for each one of us, and like fingerprints, no two plans are alike. 

I testify that He is a God of miracles. He weaves us in and out of one another's lives, weaving sorrow, weaving joy, until little by little, we step back and begin to see a masterpiece unfold and realize that that masterpiece is us. 

I testify that God breaks us, He trims us, He sands us, He applies almost unbearable heat and pressure so that we can be purified, pure enough to return into His presence. But I've learned this with surety: The will of God will not take us where the grace of God does not protect us. 

I testify that Jesus is the Christ. I am grateful for Him. He is LIFE. I am grateful for every step taken through my own personal Gethsemane these past few months so that I could come to know His Gethsemane. Through trials, we come to understand what He did there and also, why He did it. 

I am grateful for His infinite sacrifice, but also the often overlooked sacrifice of His Father, who allowed such pain and suffering to happen because He knew that we could be saved. I testify, knowing it is again such a great sacrifice for Him, He allows us to pass through such pain and suffering because it will give us the faith in Jesus Christ so that we will be saved. 

Of the many things I've learned, these are some of the most important:

Cherish our prophet, cleave unto His counsel, and always pray for him.
Each soul has great worth in the sight of God and He loves us equally
The plan of salvation is a plan of progression, there is no right way to go but up. 
The commandments are not boundaries of restriction, they are boundaries of protection.
The Sacrament is the most important moment of our week. 

Thank you for the prayers and thank you for your faith. I'll see you soon.

Sister Spackman

October 5, 2015

Love In the Little Things

I wanted to share things I love about my mission this week!

28 Sept. Realize the need for daily repentance and yearn for forgiveness.

29 Sept. Companions become true and cherished friends.

30 Sept.  Learn to pray for a stronger back instead of a lighter load.

01 Oct. Even if you fall on your face, at least you move forward.

02 Oct.  (Grandma Evie will appreciate this) Savor the occasions where you become in tune with your ancestry. This was done while making some Mexican food and rejoicing over finding tortillas in the grocery store.

03 Oct. Go ham over General Conference (also, you start to take sayings from your companions, like "going ham").

04 Oct. Those you teach become as dear to you as your own family members--you anguish and plead that they will accept the gospel and have mighty changes of heart.

The work of the Lord changes us and we learn so much. Let us all press on!

Soeur Spackman

September 28, 2015

Finish With Your Torch Still Lit

When I had 12 weeks left, that brought interesting perspective and has also caused deep reflection. Speaking for most missionaries (I believe), we think about what it will be like when this great chapter in our book of life has finished. Sometimes we plan for what we want to do after, such as going to college, working, and getting married. But most often, we find ourselves pondering the questions, what do I want to be like after my mission? Am I serving the mission that will help me arrive at that destination? And, am I loving the journey?

The First Presidency message written by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf this month so clearly explained this metaphor for our races of life. I encourage you all to read it.

"In ancient Greece, runners competed in a relay race called a lampadedromia. In the race, runners held a torch in their hand and passed it on to the next runner until the final member of the team crossed the finish line.
The prize wasn’t awarded to the team that ran fastest—it was awarded to the first team to reach the finish line with its torch still lit.
There is a profound lesson here, one taught by prophets ancient and modern: while it is important to start the race, it is even more important that we finish with our torch still lit..."
It's not about how fast we go or how much we do or how good we look while doing it. To Heavenly Father, the essential is how good we ARE while moving through the different challenges in this life. And when one race finishes, do we keep on running?
This message pierced my heart this week because for much of my mission, I've looked at how fast I've been running and have become discouraged by weaknesses and unpredicted sicknesses. I have lost sight sometimes of the beautiful vistas to be found along the course. But remembering this week, in actual running, the best thing to help you reach the finish line is to focus on what feels good along the way.
So... here are some of the why's I love my mission.
15 Sept. It feels good to wake up at 6:30 in the morning.
16 Sept. We get to meet so many people, each with their own stories that have brought them where they are today.
17 Sept. We get to help people everyday.
18 Sept. We are taught as we are teaching.
19 Sept. We've learned to be active members, through seeing the importance of visiting and home teaching, helping with building cleaning assignments, and how much missionaries need members for the work to progress.
20 Sept. We are prepared for future callings (and often I feel the preparation is for primary).
21 Sept. A greater appreciation for our parents and their wise teachings.
22 Sept. Sharing the load of someone who is weary and downhearted by taking time to give them rest and trying to help them feel love. 
23 Sept. Learning the importance of choosing wisely based on our goals.
24 Sept. Learning culture- like weaving ni'au (palm fronds) to make roofing (see photo).

25 Sept. There is a great need for unselfishness when working with others.
26 Sept. Greater love and appreciation for the prophets and apostles as we share (a small, small part of) their concern and labor for the well-being of Heavenly Father's children.
27 Sept. Partaking of the Sacrament each week becomes sacred and intentional.
Thank you for your faithful prayers for all missionaries. They really do help us.
Soeur Spackman

September 21, 2015


This week, my companion and I, have faced humanity.

Remember our family, T-R...? We found out this week that the drunk men not only knocked down their house, but later went back and burned everything inside. They have almost nothing, but they are choosing to not let it stop them. They are still working with faith for their marriage and baptism.

We are also teaching a less-active sister who suffers from depression. It came on when she, as a young mother of three children, lost her husband and was thrown out of the house by his family. She later remarried, but to a man who spent much of their relationship abusing her verbally and sometimes physically. These choices saddened us, yet there is a very special spirit when we are able to teach this sister about the gospel.

Another investigator chose to start smoking at age 8 to de-stress while his parents were fighting. He has now chosen to learn about the Church of Jesus Christ because he wants to stop smoking and drinking coffee. He wants to change his life.

These experiences are all rather grim and add to the many hardships people face around the world. One may wonder when faced with news of genocides, wars, substance abuse, child abuse, crime, and every other ill in the world, where is God in all of this?

He is in our agency.

There was a war in heaven fought so that we could have the ability to choose for ourselves. God is so loyal to this gift of agency that He allows His children to suffer because of the badly used agency of others. God is so loyal to agency that He allowed His Beloved Son, He who was without sin, to suffer, bleed, and die.

Amidst all the trial and tribulation we face in this world we can find hope in the sacrifice of His Beloved Son. He suffered for our sins and also suffered our pain caused by the sins of others. He was forsaken that He might know how we feel. He died that we might live again.

From the hymn, O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown, it testifies;

No creature is so lowly,
No sinner so depraved,
But feels thy presence holy
And thru thy love is saved.
Tho craven friends betray thee,
They feel thy love's embrace;
The very foes who slay thee
Have access to thy grace.

While we take comfort in the promise of forgiveness and grace, I pray that each of us will try to use our agency each day conscientiously, for the better. Choices have immense impact. The choice to join the church. The choice to leave the church. The choice to serve a mission. The choice to stay on a mission. The choice to smile and speak a kind word. The choice to be angry and hurtful. The choice to fill our spirits with light. The choice to participate in harmful media. The choice to believe in Jesus Christ. The choice to reject His sacrifice.

We can all make good choices!

Soeur Spackman
Getting my nails painted by T...

September 14, 2015

Love and Light

His Perfect Atonement

I used to believe
That there was a hole
In Christ’s Atonement—
That He could save everyone—
Except me.

But I was wrong.
There is not one hole,
But seven.

Two holes in
His Hands
Where they nailed Him
To a cross
At the behest of those
He would die
To save,

Two holes in
His wrists
Where they ensured
The weight of His body
Would not cause
His hands
To rip through
Before His penance
Was complete,

Two holes in
His feet
Where He stood
As a witness to all
Of God’s unyielding love
For each
Of His children,

And one hole in
His side
Where they pierced Him
To prove His work
Was done.

Seven perfect holes
In earth’s only
Perfect Man.

The perfect Atonement
To patch the holes in our lives.
His holes make us

I was wrong.
There is a
In Christ’s Atonement
For me
After all.

by Kasey Hammer

This week, let us all be made whole as we are filled with Christ's love and light.

Ua here au ia outou et a la prochaine!

Soeur Spackman

September 7, 2015

Cry & Pray

Helping to prepare for a wedding
This morning, I read an article from this month's Ensign on defending marriage and family.


I ask each of you to read it along with the proclamation to the world on the family.


As you read, please let the words resonate within you and commit anew to be a valiant defender of marriage and family, to uphold the plan of God and His divine commandments.

My companion and I are extremely privileged at this time to teach many couples and many families. We struggle and cry and pray to help them receive the gospel so that they may find peace and security within themselves, within their relationships, and for their children.

It is a miracle for me to see them little by little, being filled with gospel light.

M and A... are a Tahitian-Italian couple with three children. Their questions are golden. They ask things such as: Why are there so many churches on the Earth today? Where is the authority? Is the eating of the fruit by Adam and Eve really a bad thing? Do our small children need to be baptized? Do we need to be baptized? We LOVE teaching them because they are thirsty for understanding, hungering after answers and we are filled with joy as we teach them because the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers!

A and T... are another couple we teach who want to be married, want to be baptized by immersion to follow Jesus Christ, and they want eternal life. Yesterday, T... says that he is looking for a job so that he can earn money to pay for their wedding. We promised them as they put spiritual things as priority, they will be taken care of temporally and Heavenly Father will help them to obey the commandments. We are so excited to see the miracles that will come into their lives this week.

The family T-R... is progressing well. Both parents want to be baptized because of the examples of their children. They hold family home evening 3 nights a week and help their children to memorize scriptures. After coming to church this past week, some drunk men came and demolished their house (house being: tree trunks and a roof covered with sheet metal, and a dirt floor surfacing the area of about 10x14 feet). They can't stay there or collect their possessions (clothes and bedding) until the police file all the reports. But they are holding strong and trying to make the best of it, still making time for their lessons and trying to take care of their children.

I am grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am grateful that we can be Saints as we are 'sinners who keep on trying'. I am grateful to see the blessings of gospel living and the safety that comes from living the commandments. I am grateful for the prophet and the weight he carries. I am grateful for miracles. I am grateful for adversity because it brings refinement. I am grateful for refinement, even though it hurts. I am grateful for Jesus Christ. And I am grateful for the opportunities we are given each day to try and follow in His footsteps and do the things which He would do.

Let us each try a little harder to be a little better everyday.

Soeur Spackman

August 31, 2015

Takin' one for the team

Keylanie and Teuana
Sometimes we have hard trials before we have our miracles. This week my companion took the brunt of those trials as she caught, for the second time, a viral epidemic going around in the South Pacific. But we thank her for taking one for the team because if Satan is focused on stopping us, he isn't focused on stopping our investigators.

Simeone and Martine were married and Martine was baptized the next day. Their goal now, the temple in one year!

Stanley also was changed and was ready for his baptismal date this Saturday and now he and his family have the new goal of working for the temple!

We had two little kids from the Elder's secteur that were baptized into our ward and Sunday night we got to go teach their parents. Background: the father of the family has the Bible memorized (and when I say memorized, I mean memorized) in Tahitian so that is somewhat daunting. He also has half of the Book of Mormon now memorized because he is working to see how is correlates with the Bible. I love the lessons with him and his wife because he sees things justly. We talked about the Sacrament yesterday and shared how sometimes it's hard for him to see members taking the Sacrament because he worries they aren't sincere in what they are doing. He understands the significance of the bread and water and he wants others to take it with the significance in mind... We asked him flat out, T..., why aren't you baptized yet?... He laughed and says he knows he will be baptized soon, he just needs to work with his youngest son and also stop smoking. News of him and his family to come!

We also met two investigators from the religion Baha'i. That's a new one! The lessons are very interesting because many of their beliefs are similar to ours. Excited to see where that goes as well.

In other news, we got a flat tire again, but luckily the Elders were there to help us fix it because it was in the dark, with no street lights, in the country, with 2 sister missionaries and 3 sister young adults who don't know how to change a tire...

This work is amazing and full of... adventures.

Soeur Spackman

August 24, 2015

The fruit of the Spirit is love

Logan, my little love who wears her "future missionary" badge to church on Sundays
Vaiheinui who demonstrates that you can have your cake and eat it too
Visiting a vanilla farm and learning how to marry, or pollinate the flowers. SO COOL.
Are you ready for the news???

Simeon and Martine are getting married on Friday and Martine is getting baptized on Saturday. It's a miracle! We just found out this last Monday and everything fell in line crazy fast, but we are really super happy because Martine has been investigating the church for four years... And they are getting married!!! And she is getting baptized!!! E mea maitai roa. E oaoa rahi roa vau.

This week we had a mission conference with Elder Pearson and Elder Robbins from the seventy visiting with their wives. (For us, that meant watching over a live video stream what was going on in Tahiti). The topic of the conference was "Tasting the Light" and Elder Pearson urged and exhorted us to strive for the Spirit all day, everyday, and if we aren't feeling it, STOP AND PRAY. Sometimes it's hard to know if we are working with the Spirit because it isn't common to feel it strongly so Elder Pearson gave us a quick tip from Galatians 5.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

He said during the day to evaluate how we are feeling towards our companion, and if we are feeling these fruits, then we can surmise that the Spirit is with us. I loved that because it's easy to evaluate if we are being impatient and irritated with our companion, or if we are being loving and kind.

Soeur Morrill is settling in well to the mission field. She loves the people, pets the animals, and tries all the food, and isn't afraid to talk in lessons. We have been really trying to learn Tahitian. It comes. Haha.

This week I'm grateful for the chances we are given each day to try again. We can always be more obedient, more charitable, more diligent, more humble, more meek and I am grateful that at the end of the day, Heavenly Father is a perfect parent, who forgives us of our sins and in His endless patience and love, gives an unopened day to try again to be better. Personal prayer is sacred and treasured by Him. I hope that all of us this week can more sincerely talk to our Father and spend time sharing our lives with Him because I know He is there, waiting to hear all.

Soeur Spackman

August 10, 2015

Tahiti Papeete Mission is the best mission in the world

This week we received transfer calls. My companion is going to be my new STL and I'm going to be training!

So, in an effort to help my greenie, the theme of this email is:

All (and probably more than) you want to know about the Tahiti Papeete Mission:

Our perfume is found in the form of mosquito repellant.

We eat with members or investigators every night. Rice and french baguettes are present at every meal. The ma'a we put on top changes, sometimes shrimp and curry, sometimes potatoes and chicken, or my personal favorite, poisson cru and sashimi (raw fish).

There are dogs everywhere. Some are guard dogs, and if they start to advance the attack, calmy bend down and pretend to pick up a rock, they still bark ferociously but at least they stop running.

We wear flip flops and take our shoes off before entering into homes. When arriving, it's culturally expected to greet everyone present with the bise (cheek to cheek kisses). With men, the mission rule is a handshake, but not all men know that rule, so sometimes you might be forced to faire le bise with them before you have time to explain.

We can walk in the ocean just until knee level.

The roosters crow at dawn, and at 5 in the morning, 4 in the morning, midnight... basically all the time and it's funny because they build off one another, crying back and forth.

I love Tahitian companions because we always speak in French, they teach you to live like the people and also how to dance. They love jokes and telling stories and rarely is a smile given without a laugh of joy to accompany it.

Everyone is cousin, aunt, or uncle with everyone else. The women nurse in front of all. And little children run naked until age 4 and in their panties until about age 10.

Polynesian people believe in God and Jesus Christ, whatever the religion, which are many: Jehovah Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Catholics, Protestants, and the Hallelujahs (Pentecosts).

And especially in Huahine:

The speed limit is 25-35 mph, watch out for scooters, cyclists and oncoming cars because sometimes the road is only big enough for 1.75 cars. Also, when driving at night, street lights are only found in the two central villages, so if you turn the headlights off, it's pitchblack. But man, can you see the stars.

We have washing machines and after hang dry our clothes.

July and August are winter months with strong, cold winds. Bring some socks, a blanket, and a sweater (pronouned sweata) in Tahitian.

We drink coconut water (best still in the coconut) and also citronade (homeade lemonade). Tap water is safe to drink.

The deceased are buried in the front yard.

The stores close at about 4 in the afternoon.

We can see the islands of Raiatea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora too if the sky is clear. The ocean is 3 minutes away from our house.

Basically, the Tahiti Papeete Mission is the best mission in the world!

When you give your camera to children...‏

See what happens when you give your camera to children...the last one is my favorite!

July 27, 2015

Oh, It Is Glorious‏

The earth was looking especially beautiful, so we took pictures of it.
This week was wonderful!

Look Mom! I practiced making this for a wedding...

July 20, 2015

Huahine Is a Happy Place

Funniest Moment of this week:

We went to recontact some potential investigators. When we arrived, the investigator had taken out all of his religious books and among them was the Book of Mormon. We asked him how he had it in his possession (thinking maybe missionaries had already passed by his house).
He answered, "to be honest... I stole it."

That is probably the only time in this life that it's okay to steal... Not really, but we were happy still the same.

My companion and I are having a lot of fun. When doing porte a porte in the rain, we joke that the wetter we get, the more handsome our husbands. We do 'Insanity' (the workout) at night when it is too dark to tract and then we joke that it's for all the days that our husbands will have worked in the pouring rain.

We have been able to find a lot of couples these past two weeks and we are super excited to teach them, to help them follow Jesus Christ so that their children can grow up in a gospel home.

The members here have big hearts and despite the worries they have with their inactive children or that they have multiple callings, they still find time to work with us and feed us. They are a generous people and I love being with them. Huahine is a happy place.

Soeur Spackman

June 29, 2015

Huahine Hurrah's


Not a lot of news this week, except that I have been transferred to.... wait for it... the island of Huahine!... Polynesia's best kept secret between Tahiti and Bora Bora. Already, it has been so amazing. I am with a native Tahitian companion, Soeur Terooatea. We are in the ward of Fare, which covers Huahine Nui (or the big island).

We could say now that my mission is a vacation... Haha. It feels so good to have a new start. A new island, a new companion, a new house, a new secteur, and new people to meet.

Soeur Spackman

Until We Meet Again...and we will!!
Soeur Terooatea, my new comp
Collecting shells beachside
Try not to be too jealous :)

June 22, 2015

One Year Older and Wiser Too‏

Thursday, 25 June 2015 marks one glorious year of being a full-time missionary. And as my dear MTC companion, Sister Stastny, put it: One year of having the privilege to wear the most beautiful accessory we've ever owned.

A missionary's purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel." At this time, we all have been called to be anxiously engaged, and to hasten the work, showing the way of salvation to Heavenly Father's children.

The longer I am a missionary, the more Heavenly Father opens my eyes to this way of salvation. The more I learn how dependent each and every one of us is on Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

I see that as we have been called to hasten the work throughout the world, Heavenly Father is hastening the work within us. He sees us where we are and where He wants us to be and then helps us to get there. But that requires stretching. If you have tight hamstrings or stiff pride like me, you know that stretching hurts, but it's the hurt that "hurts so good." You know that later, you'll be better and you'll move further, and so you keep bending to touch your toes or bow your pride to accept Heavenly Father's will.

I love Jesus Christ. I love my baptismal covenants to take His name upon me, to always remember Him, to keep His commandments, to become His disciple, to follow Him.

I understand now that if we really want to be His disciple, we must walk some of the paths that He walked. Sometimes that is passing through persecution or rejection of our compassionate efforts to help others. Sometimes it's resisting Satan when he tempts us to deny who we are and question if we are capable of completing our divine mission. We follow Christ when we take up our cross of pain, weakness, and heartache. We follow Christ when we spend a moment or two in our personal Gethsemane and question if God has forsaken us.

The path of a disciple is not an easy one. But we can take heart because we are walking in the footsteps of the most loving, most selfless, most obedient being to ever live upon this Earth, the Savior of mankind.

We can also take courage because as we follow Him on this path, He becomes our personal Savior, our Redeemer, our Prince of Peace. And while the path is long and weary, we are never alone. His hallowed hand makes us whole. His wondrous power raises us up. He fills with sweet our bitter cup. I testify of these things in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Answers for Grandpa Darwin

Grandpa! Thanks for emailing me! To answer your questions... The Tahitian people are very Christian and so almost everyone was baptized Catholic or Protestant (even if they are non-practicing) and lots of times we see Jehovah's Witnesses out proselyting or Seventh-Day Adventists. Most of our converts are those who were baptized Protestant when they were infants and then hardly ever went to church after that. People are still really nice though when we go tracting... Instead of door to door it's more like gate to gate because the houses and yards are surrounded by concrete walls to keep animals (and missionaries) out. Sometimes the gates are 8 feet high but it's fun because you never know who is going to come out to answer. And they don't have doorbells, what we do is yell "Iaorana" or "Bonjour" really loud and wait for someone to come.

I love you Grandpa! Thank you for your letters! I love receiving them! Have fun golfing and gardening!

May 25, 2015

It's Good to be from Canada, eh?‏

Meet Sister Arbuckle, a crazy English-speaking Quebecois, who makes me laugh and go running in the morning. 

This week we made a plan that for 21 days we are going to fast from all desserts, meaning: cake, cookies, ice cream, crepes, and chocolate... yes, my friends, even chocolate...

We decided to do this to help two of our investigators obey the word of wisdom. We have fixed with them that at the end of the 21 days (June 13) will be their baptism. It is already hard. Haha... First we had to have the desire to count chocolate as a dessert (and not as a essential food group) and then choosing to give it up. It is an interesting experience because we have been able to feel somewhat the same emotions and thinking as our investigators in the sacrifices that they are making and we are praying that this will help them have more faith and willpower to overcome their addictions.

One great blessing of this week was to assist an endowment and sealing of a previously inactive family that I was able to teach at the visitor's center plusiers fois. The first time they came to the center, we gave the presentation about the Plan of Salvation and I remember the husband asking if he could "come back everyday to keep watching the presentation over and over again, to understand and remember the plan Heavenly Father created." The Spirit was incredibly sweet as this couple was sealed together and to then have their three youngest children sealed to them.                                                                                

Another unbelievable miracle was with a twelve year old girl, T. She has been coming to church every week since January with her family, but they expressed they were not yet interested in following the missionary lessons. On Thursday, the Bishop asked us to contact T. On Saturday we had our first lessons with her where she told us that she wants to be baptized, and on Sunday we fixed her baptism for May 30 (as in this Saturday! one week from the first lesson). She is a remarkable young woman who has already started Personal Progress and regular scripture study, she is pure in heart. This experience has been a testimony for us that Heavenly Father helps His children to have what they need, when they are ready for it. Sister Arbuckle and I have honestly just been there to make sure all is in line for her interview. We are still shocked that it has come about so fast.

Il y a tellement, tellement beaucoup de choses qui se passe chaque semaine que, des fois, ca devient difficile d'exprimer tous les sentiments et des experiences. Je suis reconnaissante pour ma mission. Pour tout que j'ai appris jusqu'a la, pour ma famille qui me soutient et aussi pour L'Expiation de Jesus-Christ qui m'apporte le pardon pour le temps quand j'etait pas la meillure missionaire que j'aurais pu ete. Et qui a ete la lorsque j'avais besoin de la force de continuer. C'est vraiment un processus, le fait de "devenir un missionaire." Et j'espere tout le temps que je suis meillure aujourd'hui que j'etais hier. Je sais que c'est possible a travers Jesus-Christ.

Faa'ito'ito et Bonne Semaine!
Soeur Spackman

May 18, 2015

Pockets of Sunshine

Joyful Baptisms of Oceane, Romina, and Makeli

I'm 20 in Tahiti and I still got my Lemon Poppy Seed Cake!
Thanks Mom!!
My friend Maimiti Miti just received her mission call to Las Vegas!
The Happiness of Children
Thank you so much for all of your emails. I am feeling really good this week. We have been blessed with many tender mercies as I am fighting to overcome trials. I read an article in the Liahona for June that really helped me to have a clearer perspective and the message was the Lord visits His people with assurances until deliverance comes. My eyes were opened to so many moments that Heavenly Father sent me, assuring me that everything would be okay, and helping me to keep moving forward. Deliverance is now coming.

Laughter and smiles are coming back to my face. The day is scattered with small pockets of sunshine that come only with a mission. I love my mission. I LOVE MY MISSION. Sometimes I wasn't able to say it, but it has come! I love our investigators. I love teaching the gospel. I love learning the gospel. I love the Plan of Salvation. It is perfect. The scriptures are rich with teachings of the Fall and the Atonement. General Conference talks are rich with encouragement for our lives today. Heavenly Father does all things in His perfect wisdom, even if we do not yet understand, one day, our eyes will be opened.

Also, the feelings of a greater vision, the goals of things I want to continue to do for the rest of my life, and excitement for my future in the church and as a wife and mother. I can see! and that helps me so much to bear the burden with cheer and to love the burden. I wish I could share everything with you that has become a part of me. Things that I cherish and never want to lose.

My favorite scripture at this time, Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


May 6, 2015

Joy In The Journey

Baptism of Claire and Tetua
La Fautaua
Hike to the waterfall with President Bize and our Zone
Drinking from the Fountain of Youth
These past two weeks, Soeur Teriihaunui and I were able to find 12 new investigators so far. It has been a miracle. As with Nephi and Lehi of old, the Liahona (the Spirit) led us into "the most fertile parts of the wilderness." One day, we would go to a house, find and teach one person, then fix a lesson for the next day. When we came back, there would be other family members to sit in on the lesson, and we were able to find more investigators. Almost all 8 of those we found this week live in the same area of our secteur.

Two experiences that were especially striking this week happened like that.

We had found a young wife and mother and we started teaching her the plan of salvation with her cousin. The next day we came back to finish her lesson and while we were reviewing the information we went over the day before, her husband started listening and then came and sat himself down in the middle of the lesson. As we explained more and more, he became more and more transfixed with the message. At the end, he asked, "can you come back tomorrow?" He is thirsty for the gospel.

We also starting teaching the plan of salvation to two children using images and laying it all out on the ground, after about 1 or 2 minutes, we had about 15 children surrounding us and drinking it in. They were so excited to learn! We will see if they will come again for the lesson on Wednesday.

This Saturday, Romina and Oceane and Makeli will be getting baptized. They are so excited.

The lesson for Keanu last evening was powerful and it was mostly taught by our Bishop, helping Keanu precisely define his hesitations. At the end, Keanu said he knows he needs to be baptized, he could feel the rightness of it burning in his heart. He is still hesitant, however, because he wants to follow his father, also he doesn't want to keep making the same mistakes. We know one day, soon, he will be baptized.

We have confidence in him to do what he knows to be the right thing, to join the Church of Jesus Christ and in doing that, joining with Christ, committing to follow him. Not for his family, not for the missionaries, but for him and because he loves Jesus Christ.

I ask you all to keep praying for Keanu, and also Romina, Oceane, and Makeli, and that we might each take up the path leading towards eternal life.

Soeur Spackman

April 13, 2015


I love being here, I love our investigators, I love seeing them discover the gospel and find a love for spiritual things, I love seeing their lives change for the better. It's so hard sometimes, but that is because this isn't a cheap experience, this work has eternal consequences.

March 30, 2015

Baptisms and Becoming

Baptism of Timiona
Baptism of Hiro
Baptism of Marciano
Members do the missionary work, not the missionaries. We teach. The investigators that have members there for lessons, to invite to activities, to sit with them at church. Members we need you!

Thank you for your prayers of faith and fasting and your efforts in sharing the gospel. Even asking people if they are interested helps to hasten the work. Let's keep opening our mouths and offering the good message of the gospel, and as we hasten the Lord's work in the world, He hastens His work in us. We become more faithful, more converted, and more like Him. We become His.

Soeur Spackman


Sometimes Mom and Dad, I miss you a lot. I miss being able to talk to you everyday about the little things that happen, times of weakness, times of overcoming temptation and submitting to Heavenly Father and His will, times of feeling purely Christlike through my words and actions. And I've learned it's okay to miss you, you're my best friends, and it's only natural that I want to share everything with you. And sometimes Mom and Dad, it's okay to miss me too. We both know that our faith and dependence on Jesus Christ and His Atonement is increasing as we are far apart. And we know that all of this is for our learning.

I love you Mom and Dad and I miss you. Sending a big, silky soft, "I'm glued" squeeze your way!

March 16, 2015

Hearts and MIracles

My mom asked me today why missionaries talk so much about miracles. I hadn't ever really thought about it before, but it's true, when missionaries write home, we write about miracles. I don't know if this is a conscious action or if it naturally happens because we are surrounded by so many each day.

When we talk about miracles, however, they are rarely grand acts that most people associate with the word miracle. For us, in all simplicity, a miracle is a change of heart.

This week, we saw a miracle in Keanu, our 15 year old young man who has been following the lessons for about six months. He told us that he prayed during school when he had a problem with his teachers and was disrespectful. He then said he was going to apologize... Can you see the miracle?... Six months ago, he didn't know how to pray, but this week, he not only said the words, but he prayed in faith to Heavenly Father for help.... He also opened up during the lesson and asked for advice on how he can better express his feelings and concerns to his parents. Later, during the closing prayer, he prayed for the courage to talk to his parents... Can you see the miracle?

Or we could tell you about Clarissa (name changed), a single mother of three children, who lived a rough life for many years with an abusive husband. She lives in a "home of welcoming" that belongs to a member in our secteur. The member set up a lesson with the missionaries and on March 28, Clarissa is going to be baptized because she has seen that a life with Jesus Christ at the center is a life of peace and happiness and she wants that life.

The least often recounted miracles, however, are those that missionaries experience within themselves.

It's not easy spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a companion, but as missionaries, that is something we accept to do as part of our call. As you can imagine, habits and behaviors start to grate on nerves and tension can build. For a few weeks, I have the opportunity to spend almost all hours of every day with three companions. For the most part, it's a lot of fun and life is joyful. There are only some hard moments when I (pridefully stubborn and stubbornly prideful) want to do things my way, or not do them at all. This impedes the Spirit and the work does not progress forward... This week, I've felt the Lord working in my heart, to make it meek and lowly. It's hard and oh boy, does my pride put up a fight, but I am so grateful as He breaks it down, because as my nature is being changed to be more like Him, we are then able to go help others change their lives, through Him.

I would like to bear my testimony of the miracle of missionary work. Heavenly Father's hand works in the life of each one of His children, if we only could see how much. He loves His children and because He loves us, He gave His Son to die for us, so that through Him, we might live again. And it's possible for all of us, so let's let the Lord work mighty miracles in us. Today.

March 9, 2015

Missionary Work is the Lord's Work

This week has been absolutely great! Our investigators are making progress and the members are participating more in missionary work. Heavenly Father is blessing the secteur of Pirae 2!

The great miracle of the week is that we had 6 investigators at church yesterday... That is the first time in my entire mission! We are seeing families come together in the gospel and single mothers are finding spiritual stability for themselves and their children. We loved a lesson the other day with Claire, who was awestruck by the fact that we have a prophet on Earth. Today! And that he lives and that he leads and guides us to follow Jesus Christ. I love when people accept and love the truth. Their countenance changes and the light of Christ within them grows brighter.

Keanu and Makeli and Hiro are all making progress as well. I love teaching these young boys. They have sincere desires to keep the commandments and learn the gospel. The other day Makeli said a prayer, asking for help to stop drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and drugs. It was cute because he doesn't smoke cigarettes or drugs... Haha. But now he has help in denying those things when the temptation is given.

We also contacted Papi Barff, an inactive, recent convert, who is the cutest old man. I don't know why I love old men so much... I blame it on my Grandpa Darwin... Anyways, Papi and I are comrades in arms now. He is teaching me how to correctly pronounce Tahitian words through reading the Book of Mormon.

Another happy thing in my missionary life is the missionary couple, Elder and Sister Jones. They are from the Great Britain and I have to be careful or I try to copy their cheerio, quite proper British accents with their ''Hello, my ducks'' and cheeky jokes. (If you want to imagine Elder Jones, it's Mike Letts with an English accent...) I rather enjoy them.

Missionary Work is the Lord's Work, therefore, it is the Best Work! Let us all take part.

Soeur Spackman

March 2, 2015

Sharing Faith

First, I just want to say thank you to all for your prayers. Miracles happen in missionary work each day because of heartfelt, mighty prayers of faith.

We were able to teach Hiro and Tihoni again this week (they are the cutest). In one of the lessons they asked if we could buy them scriptures and a hymnbook so they can participate at church. Our grand miracle of the week was in teaching their mother, Tetua. She came to the visitor's center to watch a presentation on the plan of salvation, and to meet the missionaries who are teaching her sons. The presentation covers a lot of information, but at the end, we testified that all we wanted her to take away was that she is a daughter of God and that because He loves her, He gave her beautiful children and a chance to learn the gospel. We then committed her to be baptized and she said yes, because she knows that all this (meaning what the church teaches) is true.

Please pray for her. She isn't able to come to church for the moment because she works and she is also a single mother. But we know that the Lord will help her and she will be able to find a way to provide for her family and give herself to the gospel.

We were also able to commit Timiona and Romina to baptism this week and they accepted! Romina is the mother of Keanu and Makuli and the big sister of Oceane (young men and a young woman we have been teaching for a few months). We are praying that with the example of Romina, the others will come to church and desire to change and be baptized.

Another highlight of the week was today during a zone activity. We were playing beach ultimate frisbee when it started to rain so we ran for cover in a pavilion. There were already some people there, two among them some Papis (grandpas). We started talking to them because twenty something missionaries had just bombarded their ballad with their friends. They had a lot of questions. One of them, a non-practicing Catholic, down-to-earth, take-care-of-the-planet Frenchman was really interested in the differences between our church and the Catholic church. He was impressed by the moral standard that youth are taught to live and that we sacrifice eighteen to twenty-four months to serve others and the Lord. It turned into almost a two hour conversation and at the end, he wasn't interested to start following the lessons, but I hope a seed was planted and that it was an uplifting experience for him as it was for me.

Heavenly Father is working in the lives of His children. He knows what has happened in our lives and He knows what He's about to do. May we all trust His will and His timing.

Soeur Spackman.

February 23, 2015

Mission life and mission lovin'

Frere Hapairai came to the center
Soeur Stastny and me

Recent converts, Dacia and Manu Cucovaz

February 16, 2015

16 Fevrier 2015

This weeks miracle was found in a part member family. The mother is inactive and the father is Protestant. They have eight kids and they started to take the lessons, to learn more about the church. They have a newborn in their home, so there is already a special spirit when we arrive. The miracle is that their hearts are soft and they are open to hearing the message of the gospel. We are so excited to help this family, to see what happens in the coming weeks.

I am grateful for the small miracles and tender mercies of everyday. They give us the strength and hope to go on, to keep trying to spread the good news of the gospel, that families can be together forever.

And that is the good news of the gospel.

Soeur Spackman

February 9, 2015

Take the Plunge

We lost some investigators with a lot of potential this week too because members of their family are against the missionaries. That was hard.

BUT! I am grateful for those people we contacted this week who have been brave and used their agency to start the following the lessons. It takes a lot of courage to do that. And it's always exciting to see what happens... to see if they'll take the plunge into the gospel.

February 2, 2015

The Gospel Binds

In a recent Ensign article it shared a quote about pioneer sisters crossing the plains. "They found spiritual strength in each other's love and compassion... As they suffered trials of illness and death, they prayed in faith for each other and comforted each other. The love of God flowed from heart to heart till the wicked one seemed powerless in his efforts to get between us and the Lord, and his cruel darts, in some instances, were shorn of their sting."

We have sisters from America, Austrailia, France, and Tahiti, but despite these cultural backgrounds, there is a bond of strength and love. I'm grateful to have felt that bond more profoundly this week as we comforted each other in trials and delighted in success and the good choices of others.

The gospel binds.

January 26, 2015

Dancing and Laughter

Yesterday, I was laughing really hard because we were showing sister Tamahahe all of our lame American dances. Here in Tahiti at church dances everyone knows how to cha cha and waltz and fox trot. It's the real deal. And it was fun to laugh all together.

January 19, 2015

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind

We stopped to say a prayer and ask what the Lord wanted us to do, to find someone who needed Him in their life that day. After the prayer the word ''member'' came into our minds. Two seconds later, Sister Stastny saw a member of her ward leaving her house. She ran over to talk to her and ask for the info about the apartments. The member gave us a few names and then thought of a part member family, but she didn't know the exact apartment number... We decided to start trying and go knock some doors.

The first door we tried two people came out, shocked upon recognizing us as the missionaries. They asked, "how did you know we were here?" Kind of a scary first sentence. And then, "wow, even when you move to Babylon, the Lord doesn't forget you... we were actually in the middle of drinking...give us two minutes...." The brother and sister invited us inside and we started trying to talk to them, to find out their story. Sister Stastny shared a scripture about the Lord never forgetting us because we are engraven in the nailprints of His hands. The brother started to cry and left for the balcony to calm down. When he came back, he said, "I just have one question, if someone drinks, if someone smokes, if someone commits adultery, tell me, is there a redemption for them?" The Spirit was so strong as all of us bore testimony and shared experiences about redemption for those who have strayed off of the path. He left the room again.

When he came back and asked, "I have one more question... I smoke. I drink. I have broken the law of chastity. Tell me Sister Stastny, is there a redemption for me? Tell me Sister Spackman, is there a redemption for me? Tell me Sister Tamahahe, is there a redemption for me?" How strong and precious the Spirit as we, representatives of Jesus Christ, were able to say, yes, there is a redemption for him. Yes, that is why Jesus Christ suffered in the garden, why He died on the cross, because He is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world.

Sometimes we lose our way in this life, sometimes we are burdened down by our poor choices and we turn away from God, but I testify that this is not the end, that there is always a second chance, and that Heavenly Father cannot wait for us to turn to Him again. I love Jesus Christ. I love the Atonement. I love the warming embrace and hope that repentance brings. I know that Heavenly Father never forgets His children, and when they are in Babylon, there are people who are praying for them and searching for them to help bring them back.

January 12, 2015