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!