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Monday, August 3, 2015

Maybe the last one...


3 August 2015 Mo'orea

Well, I'm not sure if I'll have any time to do any writing next week so I'll write this as if its my last letter.

Its been absolutely fantastique serving my mission here the last two years. It still really hasn't hit me that I'm leaving. It probably wont hit me until I'm home. I think it's better that way in the end. Well, I havent really prepared for a "last letter". I guess it should be filled with wonderful clichés and cheesy statements about missions and such. So, excuse me beforehand if it starts to smell a little like camembert.

I think a mission to Tahiti can only be understood by those that pass through the experience. The people are incredible, absolutely incredible. You take out the internet, wordly concerns, fear about what people think about you, and a whole boatload of other things and you may be able to start to understand the people here. They are so wonderfully charitable. You can talk with almost anyone, everyone calls each other "couzin". They are all so worried about being "american" or "European" that it is hilarious sometimes to see how they have "assimilated" these cultures. There exists a war between two very different cultures, occidental and islander, and I hope it's the islander that will win.

I'm going to miss being able to speak with people in Tahitian. I went through many pains to learn this mostly oral language. The language is about as living as the plants that are in a constant battle to reclaim the land that everyone fights their siblings for. There are not very many missionaries that speak Tahitian as well as I have been blessed to. I think there are maybe 4 or 5 of us, 3 of which are finishing. Sadly the language is slowly dying out. Some day I think 
I'll be a speaker of a dead language. But, that language helped with the conversion of many older people throughout my mission. Older people that could only be touched through their native language.


We had a triple baptism of all children.
We helped reactivate their families
and then the children were all baptised.
This is Ariirai.

Manovai


Moerava and her grandfather

I'm not sure I'll ever eat as well as I have here. So many nights were passed with stomach aches that could have been avoided. But eats hard to resist when you have a Tahitian mami crying "Elder ma, Tamaa" and giving a stern pointed look that means "I made all this food, and someone better eat it".

The people here are incredibly spiritual and humble. Most first contacts are super spiritual experiences, and the people have a natural God-given thirst for the gospel. I think it comes from the fact that they are so purely part of the house of Israel. These people will feel the spirit, know it's true and accept baptism after having only met you within a couple of weeks. It's incredible to see their faith in Christ. It's incredible to see that the Spirit really talks to these people in their hearts, thoughts, and quite often dreams. It's so wonderful to be surrounded by faith instead of skepticism and sarcasm. That's a lesson everyone of us needs to learn. God commands us to be as children, not intellectually, but in a more faith based sense. It's a lesson every person raised in occidental culture needs to learn.

I learned enourmously here. It was really a refining time. I like the way I am now much more than how I was before I came to Tahiti. It's hard to describe internal changes, so I wont try. I think it's impossible to sum up the total accumulated knowledge of two years of study and teaching. As Elder Uchtdorf said, "I tried to contemplate the atonement, and could only come to this conclusion, that God loves every one of his children." (paraphrased) I think its the same for me. I understand a lot of things a whole lot better then I did when I left. Simply stated I know Christ lives. I know God is our Father, and that he wants us to become exactly like him! I know that we can change, and make commitments that will help us to achieve that goal. and that through the grace of Christ all this is possible. I stand by Nephi (chapter 11) when he said:

6 And my soul delighteth in proving unto my people that save Christ should come all men must perish.

7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.

Don't think I can express the sum total of my mission in any other way. Like Nephi that's what I love to do, and doing it with the power of the Book of Mormon changes lives, in time, and in eternity.

Love you all, and I'll see you very soon!

Faaitoito, à bientôt!

Elder Molinari

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lots of Pictures

27 July 2015 Moorea

We went on a long hike today to "the lookout of the three pines." I don't have a lot of time to write so you'll have to be content with pictures from the hike and a few others from the week - which I just realised are mostly flowers.


These remind me of Kirstin's cherry blossoms from Japan,
although they have nothing to do with cherry blossoms nor Japan!


This is me and a giant spirit tree.
Its called that because lots of spirits live in it o.o




Fields and fields..... of pineapples



This is the shot we climbed for - Three Pines Overlook.
Well, maybe for the panoramas too!
A selfie in paradise
This is an addition to my badge picture collection


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Good Week

20 July 2015 Mo'orea
Relaxing at the swimming area of a resort near PaoPao
Well, it rained...almost all week. Missionary work is tedious when it rains, well not really. Tracting is tedious when it rains, and we do a whole lot of that here. Our movie night for "Meet the mormons" was a success. Our new ami François came, thanks to the support we have from another member who served his mission in Australia. After watching meet the mormons for about the 10th time, I can safely say my favorite part is the pilot's story, followed by the Humanitarian. The members here are INCREDIBLE! Its only been 2 weeks and you'de think I've been here for a month.

This week the pedal on my bike exploded. Well, the bolt exploded - good thing there were no cars on the road because it totally sent me veering into the middle of the road. So....the trooper almost made it to the end. Now I'm seeing what I have to do about the pedal...We do an Enourmous amount of biking here, but I don't think its as much biking as Tautira so its not too bad. I'm just very tired at the end of the day, thanks to my almost 5 months in a car.
I snapped a pic of this friend


Today we went to The hotel at the end of the Paopao sector. Dont ask me for the name because I cant remember. It was stunningly beautiful, and not a single person responded hello when you said hello to them. Welcome to the coldest part of paradise. Other than that we saw two dolphins do some tricks, and a small sea turtle sanctuary. Baby sea turtles love playing around in the water, its pretty amusing. Never before has the temptation to jump off a dock into CRYSTAL CLEAR water been so strong. Good thing there were railings on the bridge.
We got a new car! Not really. We're on bikes!

Since My father has been sending me speeches, I'd like to recommend one I find particularly enlightening. Brad Wilcox, on grace. Incredible talk. You can find it on BYU speeches.

Love you all!

~Elder Molinari




Post Coming Soon for 13 July 2015

Our computer broke and I haven't been able to get to the post for last week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Transfer

6 July 2015 Tiarei
I hardly have any time to write you guys and since I'm on an American keyboard, its impossible to type quickly. I have a boat to catch to Moorea in an hour or so. I'll try to give events of the week through pictures! Oh, and I got changed at the last ;inute. I'm now going to Haumi at Moorea.

Love you all, enjoy the pictures

Elder Molinari

We had 2 baptisms this weekend, and the font drained over night...call the firefighters!







The shorter sister on my left is Titiura, To the right is Hinerava.
Hineraa was also a miracle.
She decided to be baptised Saturday last Tuesday.
After Baptism: moi, Titiura et Elder Houde



This is mami Taamino, she made the flower displays for the chapel Sunday

Last picture with my zone in Tiarei



Monday, June 29, 2015

Transfers

29 June 2015 Tiarei
The camera lens doesn't quite capture the gradient
colors in the sky.
Well its incredible, but I got transferred for the last 5 weeks of my mission. I'm going to Moorea, Paopao. I’m pretty happy; it’ll be nice to be on an island again. My companion is another Vanuatu, named Elder Tokalolo. The transfer was actually a "special assignment" designed to help elders who have been out for a while but have difficulty taking the lead, assume the responsibility. 3 others from my group that finish in 5 weeks have a similar responsibility. All in all I can't complain, Moorea is GORGEOUS, and the ward there works like crazy so It’ll be a nice send out. There’re no telephone poles in Moorea :)

Elder Houde,Titiura et moi
Anyways, this week we had an awesome experience! Titiura had her baptismal interview. The one thing that was preventing her from baptism was marriage. Her boyfriend said he would never marry her. So what did she do? The day of her interview, she came with all her possessions packed in two bags and announced she was returning to live with her mother. She has an incredible testimony, and it was amazing to see her leave the terrible situation she was in. After the interview she took the bus to her mother's house, and that was that. If that isn’t a literal example of faith, I don’t know what is. Especially since she had a testimony after reading the first Brochure we gave her, we hadn’t even taught yet! Just goes to show you that this is the Lord's work, He touches hearts. Choices determine destiny. Baptism is Saturday, just before the transfer happens Monday.

Other than that it was a pretty average week. Its hard to believe I’m so close to the end!

Love you all!


Elder Molinari




Monday, June 22, 2015

Concert and Work

22 June 2015 Tiarei

This week was incredible in terms of work. We were busy every day until sundown with lessons. The end of each day we were completely fried mentally and physically. We have these moments during our end of day planning where I'll stop to think, and Elder Houde will as well. Then we will wake up 15 minutes later. It’s pretty funny.


Anyways, I'm not sure if I already shared the story, but one of our amis, Titiura, will be baptised July 4th. Her date was given to her in a dream. We didn’t even fix it. No big deal. When you have a very spiritual people, Heavenly Father can accomplish his work in a very spiritual way. That just lets you know a little bit how things work here in Tahiti.





Tuesday we had a lesson in a Faaapu (farm), which involved crossing the river. Luckily it hadn’t rained too much.




This is us in the Faaapu. I’m hiding among the Bushes. The bushes are called bird of Paradise, "oiseau de paradis", because of the flower in them. This is the flower-






This is where we teach lessons to latchkey children that don’t have anyone really that watch them, in the back of our pick up.


Other news...I can site-read most hymns now on the piano. It’s been a little less than a year that I play every Sunday. It’s helped me improve a ton piano wise. Who knew that a little Chopin revival before leaving on my mission would have come in handy? Maybe I'll tie in a little engagement for all those reading this week. Break a habit and try something new. By that I mean, try to develop a new talent or skill. Who knows, maybe it will come in handy some day? ;)

We did the first of a series of missionary concerts this week. IT was really nice to see everyone, and to sing for an enormous audience! There must have been over a 1000 people! The concerts were, nice and the testimonies born were great as well. My favorite was my buddy Elder Franco. He bore a killer testimony in Tahitian. We will be doing more concerts throughout July, and even next Sunday. Did someone say road trip?




This photo is my companion, Elder Houde, Elder Gouttin, and I. He's a French elder that came with us at the same time. We finish together. We stole a big bag of popcorn after one of the rehearsals and ate as much as we could!

Today we went to a beach to play soccer. I cut my toe pretty badly on a shell. Tahiti problems.

Love you all!

Elder Molinari