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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fafaru!

28 October 2013 Uturoa, Raiatea

I ate Fafaru for the first time last night. It was about as bad as you’d think it would be. For everyone that doesn't know its fish meat that has been sitting in ocean water for a week. Then you eat it. NO spices no seasoning. Just like it is, all mingy and whatnot. It was kind of like putting a slug in your mouth, that no matter how much you chew, it doesn't break apart. However the slug tastes something like dog poop, and swamp, mixed with an after kick of ammonia. I don’t really know how else to describe it. I ate it one time, then I decided to do it again for a photo. The second time they said to put it in lemon juice to make it better. So i did, little did I know that better meant increase the intensity of the flavor! I had to say a quick prayer in my head to get it down that time, cuz it was bad. As an after-thought I think it smells better coming out than going in!

Work is going slowly, but I’m pretty sure we are progressing with the investigators we have. An inactive couple we are working with are trying to quit smoking and we had our lesson set up to teach about faith. I asked a few questions at the beginning though and one of them was are you praying every day. the response was iffy. So instead of faith the spirit told me we needed to have a lesson on prayer. We talked a little Then I had everyone there share an experience they had had with prayer and when we were done there was a great spirit there. I then shared the passage from 3 Nephi 13 i think? about the lilies of the field and the birds that don’t sow, and how Heavenly Father already knows what we need and want, We just have to ask for it. I then committed them to pray every night, and they seemed more motivated!

The Language is coming along a lot better, I can understand probably 90 percent in lessons now, but normal talk is still difficult when i don’t know what the subject is. But I wasn’t called to do normal talk, so hopefully it’ll come within the next few weeks I’m just going to focus on my teaching skills and vocabulary for lessons right now. the rest will come with time.

We had Stake Conference on Saturday and Sunday, and the 2 70s of the area were here. There talks were excellent! and it was great to have an English straight to French Translator, I learned so many new words! During the priesthood session he called all the young men up to the stand. Then asked the steak president to go through name by name and ask them their age and priesthood office. Roughly 50 percent of the young men he called up weren't up to date in the church’s main system. Whenever he found one that wasn't up to date he would call the bishop of that boys ward up, and then the clerk, and make him promise all of us that he wouldn't forget about records. 

The General Authority then said; what if this young man went to another ward and wanted to bless the sacrament? To the other ward h. e is still a teacher, and that means to the church he is still a teacher. He then stated that until it is in the church system, the ordination/ any work that needs to be recorded is not recorded in heaven. It was pretty intense, but at the same time really funny. I kept looking over at elder Purdy (the zone leader) with a I can’t believe he just did that face! 

His talk on Sunday was also stupendous as well. He addressed cohabitation and same sex marriage directly. He said whenever we are confronted with these things teach the plan of salvation. Where in the plan of salvation is the plan of cohabitation, the plan of same sex marriage? It’s nowhere. To what end are these practices worth it? Nothing, nothing comes of them in eternity. Do you think that that is the condition that we are going to be living in heaven? It was pretty impressive. 

Several of our investigators were there that needed to hear that. I had also been wondering how exactly does the sacrament purify us each week like baptism? He answered my query in his talk by saying that when the priest blesses and SANCTIFIES the bread and water, he is also doing the same for the entire congregation, and we recommit ourselves to those baptismal covenants each week. It was interesting.

Kirstin’s departure is speedily coming up! I wish her luck! (his sister who reports to MTC in Provo 20 November to learn Japanese, before going to Tokyo) 

Love you all,

Orometua Molinari

Haere Mary Haere Papu (slowly but surely)



 Eating Fafaru
Farfaru


Monday, October 21, 2013

21 October 2013 Uturoa, Raiatea

I’ve decided on a new name for Raiatea

...land of the misfit Peugeots. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Peugeots in my life. Actually, the most I have ever seen is two, in our driveway at home. It seems like anything that has 2-4 wheels that Peugeot has ever made has ended up here.

I am going to be brutally honest, things are difficult! My ear for the language is coming along, but it is still going to take time before I can fully understand what everyone is saying. Which makes things difficult because you want to serve them and find out their needs, what makes them tick, but it’s hard to pick up on those things.

I try to keep the conversation to the gospel, then I know what is being talked about. I can pretty much understand the conversation when I know the subject, otherwise my comprehension lowers. However, the Lord sometimes requires a slow Learning period, and that’s just where I am right now. It’ll come, but it will take time.

The food is good, except for when it’s Chinese food (shao ming or something like that) its these noodles with all sorts of stuff grilled and served on top. That’s getting harder and harder to stomach each time I have it, but everything else is delicious!

Last week was great! On Wednesday all the District and zone leaders went to Papeete for a meeting with the president. So guess what that meant? The rest of us- basically the only other elders on the island- stayed with Elder Franco on his side of Raiatea. So my MTC companion Elder Twede came over from Taha’a, and we stayed with Elder Franco for 2 days. It was great! It was nice to be able to discuss our experiences and vent a little to people that could understand. Elder Franco is one of Elder Twede and my good friends from the other district of new missionaries.

So it was just us in the mission house on the other side of Raiatea. Things are much slower and spread out over there. Far more rural than my area. We were all just kind of distraught over the fact that we really want to be aggressive with our missionary work, but it’s very difficult at the moment when all you can do is kind of teach lessons and bear testimony. Later that day heavenly Father gave us a little confidence booster. With the help of some members, we got Elder Franco 2 new investigators and started an inactive father on the path back towards activity. It was a really nice time.

I was feeling a little frustrated on Saturday with the language and everything, and we were stuck home because it was pouring outside. And Just as I was getting up, a thought came into my head, "read 1 Corinthians 14." By now I know to just do whatever my thoughts tell me to do. So I did, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out what it was about. You can read the chapter for the whole thing, but its Paul talking about receiving the gift of tongues and prophecy. What a coincidence right? Nope. There are no coincidences on missions. I couldn’t have told you what 1 Corinthians 14 was about even if my life depended on it before Saturday. I like one verse in particular that said if you talk in tongues, makes sure you speak simply so everyone that hears can be edified. It was nice to hear that from Paul. So another small miracle with the scriptures!

Well know that the lord lives and loves all of us! My favorite scripture is Paul’s testimony of God’s love (Romans 8:38,39)! Read it and ponder its implications!

Love you all. Don’t worry about me!


Elder Molinari

Monday, October 14, 2013

 Flying in to Raiatea
 My first P-day
 Our house
My 1st companion Elder Chailoux and me (sorry, it won't rotate)
 Up the road from our house
Picture of town with Elder C in the foreground
Taha'a across the lagoon as seen from our house 


14 October 2013 Uturoa, Raiatea

My First Week in Tahiti

Well, not really Tahiti I was only there for a few days. For my First Zone I was assigned to Uturoa, Raiatea. (I’m using a member’s compûter so I can’t take too much time). I want to write about; my first week here so I will summarize arrival. We flew in and stayed in temple housing then flew out on Wednesday, my companion elder Chailloux was with me as well. He is the district leader here, and he is from Bora Bora and doesn’t speak a lick of English, needless to say it’s been fun. We arrived at our house and there were mosquitoes everywhere! We live near the airport but on a road that takes out away from, the coast. Luckily, we found the source of the mosquitoes and took care of it, the previous elders had left a big thing of standing water Under the sink. Mosquitoes here aren’t like mosquitoes at home, after a few swats they give up and fly away!

if you want to know how I am feeling right now, Watch the other side of heaven when he gets off the boat and introduces himself to the "branch president" that face is how I’m doing. Who knew French could not sound like French? I mostly follow Elder C. around on my bike and smile and bear my testimony. Well... maybe its not that bad, I can understand probably 20% or less of what is being said to me. I swear they only use half of the entire word to speak. I can’t understand the bishop for the life of me. Imagine the godfather, but with two more ping pong balls in his cheeks- and then put it in French/Tahitian and your getting there.

We already had a baptism for an investigator named Bruno. Names are sooo hard to get in a conversation. They are all sorts of American/French/Tahitian combinations, and everyone says their names so fast I cant ever catch them!

I have a few names memorized but it is still hard!

We have mostly done lots of porte à porte (door to door). This involves biking up to someone's house yelling “iaorana”, and waiting to see if they come out. Then I introduce us, answer the obligatory where are you from and Elder Chailloux saves me before I get into trouble! We actually find a decent amount of investigators this way, probably because they are so confused as to why I speak Tahitian. We tracted into this ancient Tahitian man the other day, whose shirt only went down to the top of his belly, and he had a cloud of mosquitoes around him. We talked a while, gave an overview of the restoration, listened to him speak and then he agreed to let us come back. (didn’t find this out till after we had finished).

There’s lots of wind here, so it’s never too hot, and I am always comfortable at night, due to the fan, and a thin blanket that protects me from the nono's (mosquitoes). I actually don’t have very many bites, probably due to my frequent and fervent prayers.

So lots of biking, lots of swatting, and lots of trying to figure out what’s going on. Ward council meeting was extra tedious, but it gave me lots of good practice with listening.

There are chickens everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE! Right now there are two roosters having a territory war over our yard, accompanied by their gang of hens. They are crazy; I go and yell at them to be quiet as well as Elder C. a lot.

The people’s houses are really cool. Pretty much everything is open, but the insides are tiled and kept really clean. People in the US would probably think its 3rd world living standards but that’s how you build houses here. Once you go inside, you see appliances like TV’s, game systems and nice furniture. So it’s rather odd. Some houses are nicer than others though. There are still some that are living at about 3rd world level.

We have meals called faatamaaraa's with members everynight. Last night I was feeling rather overwhelmed; as we biked to our diner appointment - I was almost dreading it. But it was with this wonderfully kind Mami (what you call all old Tahitian women). She talked nice and slow for me, corrected me French/Tahitian, and made sure I knew what was being discussed. I told her I felt a little trapped in my own head. She responded with "well of course, it’s not easy to learn 2 new languages, but you will, it just takes time" I love how Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need when we need it. That dinner appointment left me feeling a lot better.

Well that’s about all I have time for. Things are going well. Couldn’t be happier!


Elder Molinari
 Elder Molinari and MTC Teachers Frere Rony and Soeur Buswell


MTC District in Provo UT before departing for Tahiti

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good Bye USA, Hello Tahiti

On Monday 7 October 2013, Elder Molinari, along with 20 other missionaries flew from the US to Tahiti to apply the language and teaching skills they have been practicing at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah for the past almost-12 weeks. They carried with them: two checked bags, a bike, carry-on bag and one personal item. Flight information showed that their flight arrived earlier than scheduled last night.

They were supposed to have been met at the airport and then transported to temporary lodging for the night. Today's activities will include breakfast with the mission president and his wife, an orientation meeting, an interview with the president and then receipt of their first assignments. It was reported that their first companion in the field, their "trainer," will be at the mission office for these meetings. Once assigned, they will travel with their trainers to their newly assigned areas.

We talked with Elder Molinari yesterday by phone while he was awaiting his departure flight to Tahiti. He was very excited and ready to go. He is very much looking forward to meeting the people of the islands and learning first-hand of their unique customs and attitudes toward living.

There are many more missionaries in Tahiti than what they have typically had in the past. As a result, many new areas are being opened. Kristoffer is hoping to be assigned to one of the remote islands where he might be of the first missionaries to be there.

We should hear within a few days about his arrival and the location of his first assignment.  

-His father, the editor

Friday, October 4, 2013

Editor's Post

Elder Molinari didn't provide much detail to their receiving travel plans last week. One of the sisters in his district reported the event in a MUCH more exciting way. Thank you Soeur Taylor, aka Texan in Tahiti, I hope you don't mind. I borrowed the following from her blog.

"This past week was incredible. I'm loving the MTC and I can't believe that I only have 1 week left!! Today is a busy day since it's my last P-day so I'll try and type fast :)

So first of all- WE GOT TRAVEL PLANS :)
We got them on Thursday and it was the most exciting thing of my life. We heard that we got travel plans from the other district, but our district leader, Elder Twede, wasn't back from getting mail yet. Sœur Aniel and I were freaking out so we left the classroom and briskly walked (just kidding we ran) to go intercept Elder Twede and Molinari coming back from getting mail. We saw them in the main courtyard and as soon as they saw us, they bolted. So of course we ran after them. 

Then, we crossed paths with Elder Jessop and Elder Gilson who were running to the classroom to find them. Confused yet? lol Basically, we all ended up chasing down Elder Twede and Molinari because we wanted to see if everyone got their visas and travel plans. We ended up losing them, but we eventually all made it back to the classroom. It was so exciting. 

Sœur Aniel is our travel leader and we report to the travel office next Monday at 7:30 am (YAY for a later reporting time than 2:30 am or 4:30 am) Our flight leaves from Salt Lake to LA at 11:30 am and we land in LA at 12:34
Our flight leaves for Tahiti at 4:30 so family, I'll be calling during our layover! 

We also got an email from the mission home today which was super exciting. We land in Tahiti at about 10:00 pm their time so we'll be in temporary housing by the temple and then have breakfast with President & Sœur Sinjoux in the morning. I'm so excited.

I clearly won't get a P-day next week but from what I've seen with other missionaries, I might be able to send a quick email saying that I made it safely and what not. It still hasn't hit me yet, but I'm so stoked to find out where my first area will be!!! "

Thanks Sister Taylor!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

30 September 2013 MTC, Provo, Utah, USA Well, This Is It

The Final Week

Well this is it. At about this time next week I will be on a plane, or in an airport one of the two. I got my flight plans. We leave Monday at 11:30 AM. I forgot the letter with all of your questions. But in a blanket response to it - yes I have received everything you sent me from various places in the world (including the fenders). The (rain) Jacket is really nice, and its super cool how it folds into a pocket and condenses so far down to pack. We started packing today - well more like staging everything to pack.

Our teachers came with us to the temple today, and that was really nice. It was sad to say goodbye to the laundry ladies, we've gotten so used to going and helping out after the session. I hope the next Tahitians do it and carry on the tradition. I think I'm going to Iron sashes in the millennium, its so calm and gives me time to think.

Really great devotionals on Tuesday and Sunday...I don't have my notebook to write down my thoughts I had. darn it. well, Sunday's was the Provo temple president and he talked about temple stuff. Told us never to forget that we are kings and queens, and to proclaim our message as such. Tuesday's Devotional was by one of the 70's...his name escapes me. It was something like - always open your mouth and the Lord will bless you. 

He told a story about how on a bus a missionary who had no idea how to speak the language just opened up his Book of Mormon and pointed at the picture of "Jésus" and said the name to some lady. He then managed to ask where she lived. She told him the house near the red sign. He then fasted and prayed about where that house was. One day they went out to find it, passing by several houses and red signs till he said, "that's the one!" sure enough it was her, and she was baptized some time later. Never be afraid to share our message.

I think the plan is to call around 2:00 LA time at that airport since Salt lake is probably going to be a little hectic. Then we can get a good amount of time to talk if we want to. I'm kind of stuck with this carry on bag of Marilyn's. The couple got released and left our branch the Sunday before I got that dear elder with your suggestion. so... I think I'm going to try and leave it with one of my teachers and see if Marilyn can come and get it. I'll tell her my plan, and warn her she may be getting an E-mail from a random person about a carry on bag. I'm going to take it that you didnt order me a new luggage bag, so I'll just be ready to pack everything in between the two bags I have. 

Not much going on anymore, just the usual. 

The MTC has been a great experience. There are very few times in your life when all you have to do is study the gospel and how to teach the gospel in another language without the stress of tests in between studying. The two months was a blessing, most of us were able to purge "un-missionary-like" behaviors in this time- and we've gotten accustomed to teaching. I can understand most of the Tahitians that are here when they talk- French and Tahitian- (tender mercy of the Lord) and I think I will be able to add to discussions and communicate with people "fairly" well when we get to Tahiti. 

We received our arrival instructions letter from the mission office today. I'll forward that. 

Kirstin (sister who is preparing to go to Tokyo as a missionary - report date 20 Nov), take advantage of your MTC time. You're here for 9 weeks, which is kinda close to my stay time, 9 weeks being the 2nd longest. Use it to come closer to Christ and plant the seeds for your harvest in the rest of your mission. It's very easy to slack off here, and not try to "become" a missionary even though you're not in the field yet. There are still A LOT of high school attitudes here, and its sad to see that, seeing as these missionaries should take this opportunity to try to grow up, not regress back to a "glorified youth conference" attitude. 

Read Jesus the Christ before you get here. Always remember who you represent, and you will qualify to have the spirit's guidance and help everyday you sit down to learn your language. 

I swear I hear "arigato" everywhere around here. Japan must be a field "white and ready to harvest," to have so many lucky missionaries headed to teach those wonderful people. 

I love the MTC, it's a sacred place. There's nothing wrong with the orange juice. Don't eat the meat - or try not to. I've been living off of cinnamon granola for the past month and a few weeks. It's delicious, filling, and gives me all the energy I need. 

If you like sleeping on the top bunk, take whatever bunk is farthest from the door and has the most walls surrounding it, that's the bed I got and I think it's the best one. I would say take a top bunk just because you won't have to be annoyed by someone moving around all the time on the top. Bring shower sandals, bring blankets, a pillow and pillowcase for the MTC. I had to use the MTC Blankets, which were pretty gross and covered with other peoples hair...from most parts of their body. All of my roommates turned up their noses at the blankets, so I took them all, figured I may be sleeping in grosser places in Tahiti and used them. I've been the warmest at night since. But bring a blanket or two just so you don't have to use them...they are pretty gross. 

They don't sell face sponges in the bookstore. Buy all the snacks you want when you go to Walmart with Marilyn - the bookstore's selection isn't very good besides tortilla chips. Buy popcorn, you'll be glad you did for a snack. 

What other "last E-mail-information" can I give you.... Love everyone - even if you don't like them- and you'll begin to like them. Don't be embarrassed to speak the language even when you think you will sound stupid, its important to speak as much as possible. 

There is a fitness room in the same building as the bookstore in the basement, you'll probably want to go there for gym, unless you want to play volley ball like we always did. If you can get people to play Sand volley ball. It's soooooooooooooo nice to kick your shoes off and mess around in the sand, it relives soooo much stress. 

See "Character of Christ" video by Elder Bednar the first Sunday you can. Then see it near the end of your stay. The dichotomy between interpretations each time you watch it is interesting. Read a lot of Church history stuff before you come and brush up on it. There are no resources here for that. 

Well, I have to go. That's as much as I could fire out in the time I had left. Maybe write some questions down for when I call on the phone that I can answer. Call Marilyn and tell her my plans maybe, I'll E-mail her just the same.

The Lord lives and Loves you! Talk to you in the Airport next week!



Elder Molinari