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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

23 September 2013 MTC Provo, UT USA

Ia or ana!

Not sure what to talk about. We moved classrooms maybe 2 weeks ago now? it was pretty awful considering the new one doesnt have desks just chairs with the side desks that fold down, but Elder Twede and I made the best of the situation and found an abandoned classroom with a table to use, I actually think we've been even more productive than we were in the last building. We are well into teaching lessons in Tahitian. Our "Investigator" is Jean-Claude. He is the father of our previous investigator Teiho. Frère Rony is having a really great time playing all these parts. It's interesting because he is a really old tough Tahitian who is pretty set in his ways, but its interesting how the gospel affects the parents of Children who begin to live by its principles.

Our Devotional on Tuesday was by Gregory A Schwitzer of the 70. It was pretty good, but I don't remember much. Most of my notes are impressions and not necessarily what the speaker is saying.
 :x   Any ways, it made me look for an application of the story of Nephi and the plates. When God asks us to do something we may have to try several times before it actually happens. We take the simple approach and just "do it". when that doesn't work we keep trying until we have given "all our possessions". Finally when we have nothing left the only thing we can do is rely solely on God and go withersoever the Spirit directs us. Another thing the talk made me think of was the phrase "instrument in the Lord's hands". However, you can't just spontaneously create an instrument. Instruments need to be hand crafted, it takes a great amount of time to carve and hollow until the instrument plays the correct pitches, and plays them beautifully. We all have the raw materials needed to become instruments, but we have to let the master carve and whittle us, until we become the instrument he wants us to be. we are all different instruments as well-different materials, different process, different sounds. Just a thought.

I got a really nice treat yesterday at devotional. In the morning I was thinking, "I wonder when Adam, Elder Shin, my old (one of my favorite) roommate is going to be reporting. We would used to stay up really late talking...i'm not going to extrapolate on really late, it was just really late. That night while I was waiting for devotional to start he just appeared sitting about 5 feet from me. We had to wait till after devotional to talk because he was a little late (not too late). The devotional ended, and I walked up to him and the first thing I said was, "Are you going to the talk by Elder Holland tonight?". (On sunday nights at the MTC we have a choice of films/devotionals to attend). He'd just reported on Wednesday, and we both didnt realize how much we'd been missing college till we saw each other. It was almost an Alma and Sons of Mosiah moment for me. I rejoiced in seeing my brother again, but not only my brother, but a brother in the Lord - forgive me for the cheesy scripture references. It was REALLY good to see someone I knew so well, even if you arent homesick, its such a boost to see friends sometimes; especially if you've been in the MTC for 2 months. He made me laugh later because he said he was a little taken aback that the first thing I said to him was asking which movie he was watching. I thought it was funny because that's just how I am. Once I'm really good friends with someone each time I see them again it's almost like I just pick up right where we left off, like no time has passed in the interim. It was one of those nice tender mercies that the Lord throws our way every so often.

Happy to hear the talk went well, I was praying/fasting for you!
Ua here au ia outou!

~Elder Molinari

Monday, September 16, 2013

Picture of me in the MTC computer room


16 September 2013 MTC Provo, Utah, USA

It's about that time again (Week 9)

Not sure where the week has gone. Every day feels like a week, and every week feels like a day! -or at least that's what the say. The days fly by as well if you're working hard! 

Several weeks ago Elder Twede and I decided that we were going to purge ourselves of complaining. About anything. Period. It kinda makes you realize just how much we complain daily, but once you cut it out, everything and all your relations to people become so much better. We started telling people that being in the MTC for 12 weeks was a blessing! Everyone we talked to would say something to the affect of, "...jeez that must be awful", or "..I don't think I would be able to stay here that long". We started responding with, "no it's great!", "We have lots of time to study the gospel of Christ and French!", "The MTC is like no other place, where do you get to study language and the gospel - intermingled- all day?!". Once you make that attitude change everything gets better, and I think by sharing that with others Elder Twede and I also help them get through their MTC experience, by comparing it with ours. So Kirstin/any prospective missionaries, take advantage of your MTC time. It is a blessing.

On to other things. Elder Twede and I were selected to demonstrate for the "Wednesday Night Experience" (oooohhh ahhhh *jazz hands*) On the night all the new missionaries arrive they form groups of 50-70? maybe and have a chance to teach 3 investigators as a group. So it's their first experience with teaching. They all come into a big room and there is a couch and two chairs set up and the new missionaries encircle it. It was Elder Twede and my job to start the experience, meaning we come up demo a door approach and show how to do what can be the hardest part for new missionaries, what Preach my Gospel calls "How to Begin Teaching". It was loads of fun. 

It's not exactly hard for Elder Twede and I to connect with people and find out what makes them tick. So we talk get to know them for the new missionaries and then right when we get a lead in, or a statement from the investigator that we can jump into a principle to share a first message the MTC Employee running it cuts us off and lets the new missionaries take over. It's kind of like someone putting a really delicious dessert in front of you and right when you're about to stick your fork in they nab it away from you and give it to someone else! 

As you can imagine the lesson kinda bounces all over the place from there, but its funny because even though the new missionaries have no idea what they're doing, the Spirit is still there. On our Wednesday night experience someone somehow managed to bring up the Second coming!? It can get pretty funny, but at least the spirit through Elder Twede and I got to show how to, as Holland puts it "Find where the investigator is". It was a great experience and I hope we get to do it again. 

Our guy running it was Elder Christiansen from the District, so it was neat to work with him. You could tell he has gotten sick of everyone saying, "Hey are you that guy from the District" and then proceeding to nit-pick how he taught. Elder Twede and I didn't bring it up, I could read his emotions from the others that did, and I think he liked us more for that :]

I think I'll write about Elder Twede and my weekly Bathroom Revelation. Every Saturday we do weekly planning, and part of weekly planning is to set companionship goals. And for some reason- more often than not- we get the goals we set reaffirmed in the bathroom. I'll share one of our experiences. This was a couple weeks when we made the aforementioned goal to not complain-particularly about our 12 week stay. After we finished we went to take our bathroom break, and as we were washing our hands we exchanged the usual "men in the bathroom small talk". The Elder asked us how long we were in the MTC and we responded with 12 weeks, and before we could say anything else he went off on how much of a blessing that was, and how he wished he could have more time here to prepare for the field. Bear in mind that this is the FIRST time I had heard anyone respond to our stay time with anything positive. I think he was going to one of the random Eastern European countries that changes every few years. This wasn't that first time we'd had bathroom revelation, but it was still nice to know that the Lord approved of the not complaining goal we had set. That Bathroom is holy ground for Elder Twede and I.

Any ways that's about all I have time for for this week. Things are really ramping up. Only 3 weeks left, and really 2 because at the end we have to pack and have a few cultural days where Soeur Buswell and Frère Rony just talk about the people and the culture...Can't wait!

Some logistics:
I still need a raincoat...we completely forgot about that. Frère Rony said it will be miserable without one. He recommended to get a really nice one that will be water resistant and last my whole mission. I'm sending all my silk ties home, so maybe include a few more cotton ones with the raincoat? Maybe see if you can get me a microfiber towel...one that doesn't turn into a hard rag...Elder Twede has one called "mission ready"? from Mr. Mac or something like that. It's always instantly dry, and stays soft like a towel. Mine doesn't seem to dry...ever. and if it doesn't dry here Tahiti will be worse! :C

I'm probably going to use the carry on I got from Marilyn since I need the extra room and we are allowed 2 checked bags (one of the few missions that are :])

Here's a picture of me, I'm doing fine!

Ua here au ia oe! (Love you all)
Elder Molinari

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Elder Twede and Elder Molinari in their "not-so-Tahitian lavalavas (it's more of a Samoan thing).

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Think This is Week 8? Anyways, less than a month to go


Iaorana!

Survived the first full week of Tahitian instruction! It's a crazy language, but the sentence structure and grammar is not that bad.

The sentence structure is: Tense marker-Verb-subject

ua- past tense
e-future and continuing future tense
te...nei- present tense

ua pure au (I prayed)
e pure au (I'm going to pray)

You don't actually use the present tense for much because the "e" tense is actions you are currently doing that you're going to continue doing...which is most things.

There is no conjugation at all, you throw the tense marker at the beginning of the sentence and say what you want. All verbs are left in the infinitive.
You also turn verbs into the nouns they represent by adding -raa to the end. You can also turn nouns into verbs by adding a haa- or an faa- to the beginning of the noun.
Also the passive voice is easy as well. To make a passive verb you add -hia to the end.
 A few examples:

maa - food
tamaa - to eat (This is an exception because maa is such an old word, so you add ta- to make it a verb) 
tamaraa - a meal
faatamaraa - to feed a meal
faatamaraahia - to be fed a meal
tamaraahia - to be eaten


maitai - good
haamaitai - to bless
haamaitairaa - a blessing
haamaitaihia - to be blessed

e nehenehe re'o! ( It Beautiful language)

It's really beautiful how it all works out.

I have been continuing reading Jesus the Christ. I think im more than halfway through it now. It is an amazing book. Talmage's rhetoric and spin on events makes for an enticing read, it also is teaching me a TON about the character of Christ. I would recommend it to everyone and anyone who wants to know more about Christ and his divine mission. 

Everything is pretty much the same around here. We are all getting really excited as the weeks fly by! Tahiti can't come soon enough. I met an Elder Myers going to the Tokyo Mission, so Kirstin will probably see him when she gets to Tokyo. I don't think I told you but I was sick. For a long time. But, it looks like I'm better now so no worries! I got your package today! It was full of great stuff! Thanks for the extra shirts and pants they are awesome, or as Tahitians would say, nave~! The blue linen shirt is really nice! The Lavalava is très nave aussi; even if they don't wear Lavalavas in Tahiti, it's fun to wear them around the MTC campus on P-Day (because nobody else has to know that :] ). Well...I'm grasping at straws here (whatever that means), so I'll bare my testimony in Tahitian:

Ua ite au e, e Iesu Mesia  to tatou faaora, e na roto i te tareahara, e nehenehe ia tatou ia tatarahapa. (I know that, Jesus Christ is our savior, and through the atonement, we can repent.)
Ua ite au e, e buka mau te Buka Moromona. ( I know that, a book true, is the book of mormon)
Ua ite au e, ua here te Atua ia tatou. ( I know that God loves us.)

na roto i te i'oa, o Iesu Mesia amene.

I love how Tahitian words make things so simple. Reading the book of mormon in Tahitian is an amazing experience. For example the word Savior is faaora. The word ora means life. If you remember from above adding faa- make the noun a verb. so in effect Jesus Christ "lifes" us. Everything is so simple and pure in the language!

well that's all.

Ua here au ia tatou!

nana

Elder Molinari

Monday, September 2, 2013

Some pictures from the MTC -
 The obligatory "map" picture. Sorry if I look sick - I am.


 This is our dorm room. My bed is the top bunk against the back wall.

 Our classroom. Can you find my desk?

 The one that is set up differently from the rest, of course.

 My Tahitian name tag.

 My French name tag.

 We went on a quick flyover the island of Bora Bora (pronounced Pora Pora). It was beautiful!


My MTC district in our classroom.


2 September 2013 MTC Provo, Utah, USA

Iaorana!

This week went by so fast, I'm scared to see how fast the last five move by! Things are fully settled in. We're not moving to West campus anymore - which was a bummer because I was looking forward to a change of scenery. Elder Edw- I mean one of the Elders still combs his eyebrows every morning so nothing much has changed yet. I'm finally getting better! Went to the doctors and got some antibiotics. Turned out the reason I wasn't getting any better was because I had a sinus infection. So four weeks later here I am. Finally getting better! Another MTC tip. The absolute minute you start getting sick, visit the doctors. period. no arguments.

Let me take this opportunity to talk about the MTC food. When you first arrive, you're still in the honeymoon phase (yeah I think I'll go with that ;]) where everything is so unreal. The food seems wonderful, and you eat entire meals. Maybe its just because we're here so long but about week 5 it starts to get really old. I mean REALLY old. There's only so many hamburgers you can eat, (I think I stopped eating them at about week 2). I'm not a big fan or cafeteria food, nor things like enchiladas and chimichungas (<- no idea how to spell that) so I'm usually out of luck for meals. My favorite thing is when they come up with some crazy name for a burger, and its code for "we put mushrooms on it". The salad bar, the wrap bar, and cereal are your best friends. They have this really nice oat cluster cereal that really fills you up fast, and probably gives you more nutrition than the other food. Anyways, don't take my word for it. Some people really like the food. Those people in question have already gained 8-10lbs however. We all have our free agency. Good luck Kirstin, I think Japanese is a 9 week stay, so will will understand all too well our grievances!

Tahitian instruction is great. Frère Rony and Soeur Buswell stand at the front of the class and go off in Tahitian, and I can only catch a few words here and there. It's really interesting to start all over again so to speak. Except this time with little to no foundation and the language, and you can't guess because there are no roman ties to this language! I'm actually progressing really fast. I said the prayer for Church and Sunday, thanks to the gift of tongues I spoke quickly, smoothly and didn't stumble at all. Everyone was really impressed. It was funny because everyone was expecting french, because they didnt know we had started Tahitian yet. So they were all surprised when instead of "Notre Père Celeste", they heard "E to matou Metua i te Ao ra" ( ay to mah-to may-too-ah ee tay ow rah) it was fun. 

The MTC bookstore is like a mini Wal-Mart. They even have a clothes section now for sisters. They have all sorts of writing and notebook goods. TONS or over the counter medicine, and lots a toiletries. I have never seen more choices for pens in my life. Some things we worried about, like detergent and shampoo, and face washing soap, and hand sanitizer, we didn't need to worry about. Send me anything Kristin needs that you are wondering about and I'll see if the store has it. Missionaries get a 40% discount on all prices as well.

Neil L. Andersen spoke to us on Tuesday. Since I couldn't sing because of my throat we went and managed to get the spots and the gym floor right in front of the stand out of the bleachers. His talk was about, sacrifice and love. He said the more you sacrifice on your mission, the more you will love your mission, which in turn will cause you to sacrifice more, and vice versa. It was a great talk. HE also said a mission is the best place to learn to love God and others. After the talk he came down and I got to shake his hand, it was pretty neat.

I really actually love it here. There's always an incredible spirit, and the stress is nice because its not stress like at school, its I'm worried about other people stress. I know I'm supposed to be here on my mission, and that there are people in Tahiti who need to hear the Gospel! The Lord Lives and loves you, may the spirit be with you all!

nana, avec here (amour)

Elder Molinari
26 August 2013 MTC, Provo, Utah, USA

Ia ora na, toute la monde!

This will be our last week studying French, and we start Tahitian on Thursday! Can't belive I'm in MTC week 6 already, we've hit the half way point so fast! I'm super excited! I've already started memorizing the purpose en Tahitian, A  ani manihini i te mau taata ia haera..something..Mesia na roto..some more things...Tareaha (Atonement), tatarahapa (repentance), bapetizoraa (baptism, pronounced pah-pay-ti-toh-rah-ah)..then I can't remember the rest but its a start. We were walking back from the temple today and we were all talking in french, and there were some elders in front of us. One of them heard us talking french and asked if we spoke french. Instead of saying the usual oui, mais un peu (yes, but a little) I just responded with oui. He just kinda went off in french, and I just kinda understood 90% of what he was saying! It was awesome, we talked in french most of the way back. Turns out he grew up in Tahiti near Faa'a, that was why he accent sounded familiar to me when he asked if we spoke french. He had some funny things to say. Apparently, some of the outer islands are still super sketchy, as in practice rituals still sketchy. He asked me if I liked raw fish, which they eat a lot of. Then I asked him about fafaruu the fermented fish dish. He looked at me and said, imagine a toilet stall someone forgot to flush, then intensify the bad smell by 100x, and you may get close to what it smells like. Not exactly looking forward to it now! However, the conversation really increased my spirits on the subject of my language acquisition. I thank the Heavenly Father everyday for blessing me with the gift of tongues!

 Also, we learned this week people eat dog there as well. As in- well, looks like we hit this stray slightly diseased dog..let's eat it! I guess the dog isn't always diseased, sometimes it was their house pet! Talk about a different perception of dogs! More on the subject of dogs. Our teacher Frère Rony told us a story of an enemy he made in tahiti. He said he was going to an investigator's house and he saw their dog charging at him. So he bent down to pick up a rock to try and scare it off and in his words, "at that moment that dog decided we were arch enemies". He had to kick it hard as it charged at him, and it ran away. He said later in the lesson it charged into the house randomly at him and tried to attack him again. Every time that dog saw him after that it would charge at him, he told us one time it jumped and but into his thigh while he was riding his bike and he had to try to shake it off for a few seconds... Sounds like the dogs will be fun...Also he said the missionarries call the stray dogs "Le dinosaur!" because they are all gross, make awful noises, are incredibly diseased, and hardly have any fur. I asked him if we needed to worry about those, but he said they don't have any life left in them to do anything. Apparently dogs weren't a problem until the french government outlawed killing them, which was fine and dandy for France proper...but for tahiti not so much.

Really excited for this Tuesday, I think we are getting another general Authority! My challenge for all of you is to read 2 Nephi chapter 31, and try to see how many times you can find the missionary purpose- or the doctrine of Christ- spelled out! It's a wonderful testimony of our work!
The Lord lives and loves you!


nana



Elder Molinari
19 August 2013 MTC, Provo, Utah, USA

Ia ora na!

This week has been crazy! On Tuesday we had a mini lesson on how to teach receiving revelation through prayer. It was really great because later that day we taught our investigator, Vatea, about revelation through prayer. So after a day filled with prayer, we got to hear from Richard G. Scott. He gave a great talk about - you guessed it- receiving revelation through prayer. It was very personal; he was on the edge spiritually almost the entire time. He said there are three ways God answers prayers, with feelings of peace, feelings of discomfort, or no feelings at all. With the latter, it is up to us to decide our course of action, then he will direct us if we choose poorly. He also asked us to make it a habit to say our prayers out loud. He says it makes them much more meaningful, and shows how much respect we have for prayer. All of us have been trying to follow his advice!

Apparently I wasn't having a hard enough time with the language and schedule. I...maaaay have articulated that it wasn't that bad a few times. So of course the Good Lord saw it fit to humble me with a little sickness. I guess I'll keep my mouth shut in the future about how hard something is! The sickness isn't too bad, just a had a weird fever in the night, then a dumb cough and sore throat, but after the temple trip today my throat is feeling much better. We got to help the ladies in the laundry room after our session, so I got bonus temple time. It was REAAALLY nice. 

Right now my favorite way to study French is by reading the Book of Mormon in French. I learn so much vocabulary, and my comprehension is shooting up really high. I can understand almost all of a conversation in French now. In the volunteering investigator center - where members/ nonmembers come in and let them teach you in your language- we had a girl that was visiting from France, and I could understand almost everything she said! I could even respond, It's getting much easier. With faith, all things are easier!

Je vous aime!
aita pea pea (roughly no worries)
faitoito (roughly have courage)

nana

Elder Molinari