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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The following are excerpts of an email conversation (of sorts) I had with Kristoffer on 12 August. It was his preparation day (laudry, letter writing, "day off") and I happened to catch him at the computer. There was a long lag-time between transmissions, so the conversation was quite disjointed. We did manage to get some answers to a few questions, which are in purple. 

BTW, I am the one who makes the postings to this blog. Hopefully, I will get better at it as time goes by. - Father of the missionary.

What do you want me to write about in my E-mails? There's not much that goes on here. It's just kind of a grind 'til we get out>.> (His current departure date is 7 October 2013)

I'm suffering from this odd unable-to-recall-English-words syndrome. Apparently, we have crazy French-Tahitian accents when we get back.

Well, I've found out we get to check 2 bags to Tahiti. (That is: two checked bags (50 pounds each), the bike and a carry-on (plus purse if you have one).

Is the new carry-on bag too small to use? Do you want another suitcase?
I think this carry-on will work. I'll have to see.

We have seen the huge pile of books you receive in the MTC. One sister posted a picture with a pile about 20 inches tall and weighing 20 pounds! Yeah, we have an enormous amount of books. I'm planning on getting fluent enough that I won't need my English scriptures anymore. I'm getting there. By 12 weeks, I'll be able to read them easy. I'm not sure if we will need another suitcase.

How do you fit 6 people in a room designed for 4? You don't.

We are moving to west campus in early September so I'll see if I can repack everything. It's a fusion of Raintree and Wyview apartments. (At least these are 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, not dorm rooms, which should provide more space). Apparently, they're planning on phasing everyone out of here and they're going to wreck the whole place and build it new.

What is "everything" that the MTC bookstore has? The bookstore pretty much has everything we need in it. I'm planning on buying one of those bike bags everyone recommends. (that wasn't much help!).

Don't worry about me. Like I said, last semester was tougher than this is. It's really nice here. All I have to do is study, pray and eat. It's a relaxing life. That DOESN"T mean I'm not working though. (Kristoffer LOVES to study. He is in his element.)

Au revoir! Or, in Tahitian, NANA!

Monday, August 12, 2013

12 August 2013    Week 3     MTC Provo Utah

la ora na!

Je espere te avoir maitai! (editor's note: I hope you have ? "maitai" - Tahitian word?)


Doesn't feel like I hav been here for 3 weeks but I have - boy does time fly. This will be our MTC Week 4 (since the first half-week you get here counts as week 1), so just 2 weeks left of French 'til we start Tahitian. We are all so excited!


There are a few Tahitian missionaries here that all our teachers know. They came to our class on Friday and sand for us and gave us shell necklaces - the first of many we were warned. Soeur Buswell (one of their teachers. Soeur is sister in French and pronounced "sir") said she had over 20 lbs. of shell necklaces when she came home.


We are starting to get off on tangents in our lessons and talk about the culture in Tahiti and it is super fun. They eat with their hands, there are not many spiders, everyone has a giant metal spike in their yards for shucking coconuts, and banana trees grow like weeds. There're so many funny things about the people that I can't wait to see for myself.


Apparently, the mission president's wife has some political connections - this is the rumor - and she is the reason so many more missionaries are in Tahiti. Originally, only 25 missionary VISA's were issued for all of Tahiti - but the Lord's work needed to move forward and thus they were able to open it up completely - no restrictions. This means that there will be hundreds of missionaries all over the islands in French Polynesia. Our teacher said they are opening tons of islands at the moment because they can now fill everywhere else they need to. The Marquises Islands were also closed for many years, and they just recently got opened as well, it would be amazing to serve there! Most of the islands opening up are in the Tuamotus - tiny atols - basically a lump of sand in the middle of the ocean. Also a lot of islands speak their own dialect of Tahitian, so there may be more language learning in my future!


Tahitian French is a lot different then France French. The cadence is much slower because you have to roll all your r's, which is nice because it makes comprehension great! I can pretty much understand everything people say to me now, thanks to the gift of understanding of tongues. 


The key to getting good seats for devotional is to join Choir. If you show up early to Choir, you can be right in the front super close to whomever is speaking. It's great! Speaking of devotionals, every Sunday night we get a choice of films to go watch. They are usually old devotionals given by the apostles at the MTC... and they are phenomenal! You get to hear the general authorities speak like you have never heard them before. One of my favorites so far has been Elder Bednar's "Character of Christ" address. He goes through stories about Christ and about people, and challenges us to find Christ's character in them! 


We've been here long enough now that  the devotional topics have looped already, it's kind of funny. Sacrament meetings are fun, we are given a topic on Saturday and you have a random chance of being called up to give a talk in French/Tahitian. We are a French speaking ward, and it will be fun when we learn Tahitian 'cus our district will be the only ones understanding us!


Our investigator Hutia is progressing nicely. She just wasn't opening up to us, so I fasted about how we could really get to her. Before our lesson, the spirit told me I should write an allegory involving rowing the gospel. The lesson was great! She opened right up, was super engaged and even promised enthusiastically to keep her commitment! Fasting is such a great way to accomplish our purpose as missionaries! 


The Lord loves us individually!


Elder Molinari


P.S. Our name works perfectly for the Tahitians to say, it even sounds like a combination of islander names..

Sunday, August 11, 2013

5 August 2013 Week Two MTC Provo Utah

Ia Ora Na
We're finally settling into things. Teaching investigators nearly every week in all French. Thanks to the gift of tongues my language skills are progressing quite rapidly- I just wish I had someone to talk to in French at all times. I'm not sure I gave you my scheduale last time:
  1. Wake up 5:45
  2. Breakfast 6:30
  3. Personal study time till about 10:00, then the teacher comes in
  4. Instruction time till Lunch, then Lunch
  5. After Lunch more Instruction time, till about 7:00
  6. Then personal study time till 9:00
It's pretty hectic, but it keeps me busy so I'm not complaining. When we finally get into the field I'll get to sleep in for 45min in comparison to what I've been doing. On sundays we are let out of the hamster cage and get to go walk around the temple, it's still not open yet though. We have two teachers now. Our first teacher Soeur Boswell is absolutely amazing. I can pretty much understand all her French, and she gets all teary eyed whenever she talks about all her "family" in Tahiti. Our first investigator, Vetea, was actually our second Teacher, frère Rony- no surprises there. He's a pretty quiet kid from Heber, but he is really good at teaching how to present lesson material. I think He's more comfortable speaking French than english. When ever we have a "new" investigator they make a little introduction video. So, Before it started I said, garauntee you this investigator is going to be Vetea with a different name. The tape came on, and the queit slightly monotoned french came in, and it was almost exactly the same, so we all ended up bursting out laughing. His favorite line in discussions is "Je ne sais pas"... after everything. I've neraly got 200 memorized verbs. I have a goal of 2,000+ words in French before I leave. Hopefully I can just memorize most of the tahitian words before I go as well, since thats about how many there are in the entire language.
Aparently since they are expanding the Tahitian mission they are opening new islands. So there is a chance I could end up on an island that no one has been to before, which would be awsome. The Soers stay mostly on Tahitia and Raitaea. soeur Boswell said she actually liked her time in Tahiti proper because you were always busy, 28+ lessons a weeks busy. When you go to the outer islands she says some people get frustrated because its so different, and the work is really really slow. I wouldn't mind that though, more time to get to know the people. She said you can wade in the water in shallows. And sometimes the members et up volley ball courts right on the water..which is really fun. Also the mission president can authorize you to go boating and fishing with members. Soeur Boswell said a trick is to get invited to do things by investigators, then ask the mission president. ( you can edit this from the blog but she also said most missionaries never have a solid poop their entire mission. not one. and toilets can be REALLY sketchy.)
Sunday is probably my least favorite day, mostly because I have to be in a suit all day. Not having music is getting a little annoying, I'm kind of like an addict when we get to sing at church in French, but we pick all the wierdest songs. The french hymn book also has several we don't have in the english hymn book, there a a few clasical songs that were adapted for hymn use.
We watched the Joseph Smith movie in French last night, the one with the steamboat on the mississipi vignet style. By 40% through I was getting the gist of what the actors were saying. Still makes me wonder why they had to suffer so much and we have incredibly plush lives in comparison. But it really helped me think about how to preach the gospel like how joseph smith did. I reccomend going over church history this week! It's really great to refresh your mind on all the stories from time to time- and I'm sure Nicholas doesnt remember much from it!
So long
Elder Molinari