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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Coming Up On Six Months

27 January 2014 Uturoa, Raiatea

Coming Up On Six Months

Honestly I don’t know where the time went. That’s about all I have to say about that.

The work is coming along, I can definitely see a change in the ward, attendance has jumped up by about 50 and we just went over 200 last Sunday. Which is a lot better pour rapport when I got here; I think it was near 120.

In the wards in French Polynesia, I don’t know if they have this at home, but they have this program called reactivation. All the auxilliare leaders gather on Tuesday night and we visit inactive families. We split into little groups and head to visit people to invite them to church, meet needs. Its a really inspired program. However at the beginning hardly anyone would come. Last Tuesday we had 20 people attend!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was incredible. We split into 5 groups of 4 and visited nearly 20 families that night.

During the reactivation my group visited this old man who hasn’t come to church in a loooong time. I knew it would all be in Tahitian, and since my group was people who had never done reactivation and a new convert I was in charge. So I started out in my Tahitian, and it went pretty well. We fixed a fast for him at the end of the week to help him overcome his trials. One of the others that was with me after we finished the visit said, once elder started talking in Tahitian I thought oh great now we are all obligated to talk in Tahitian. It was pretty funny.

The Tahitians always tell us Americans that our Tahitian is better than theirs, I don’t really know about that, it helps that they can understand everything that is being said! It was pretty funny. After that 20 people came to the fast for the papi on Saturday, it was really powerful. Even if he didn’t come to church it was a step in the right direction and I knew he was touched.

I think we are on the cusp of having a lot of baptisms, we’ve been teaching several families for a while, and now its up to them to act on the feelings they have. Hopefully they will make the right decision!

Funny story....We had a lesson and Elder Tumarae asked if they had they doctrine and covenants in Tahitian, what he said was "Tei a oe te parau faufau" what he meant to say was "parau faufaa". Translation he asked if they had the dirty word, not the word covenants. It was pretty funny.

The Tahitian is coming along...slowly. but languages don’t come quickly very often, and on a mission the 2-3 months it takes to learn a language is already REALLY fast. Neil L Anderson is coming to visit in February, as well as 2 of the 70. All the missionaries are going to Tahiti and we are going to have a special meeting with him, and all the new Americans will have just arrived as well. Then there is going to be a grand transfer i think. The new objectives for the year were put in place, but it wasn’t by the mission president the Area 70 gave us the objectives. we did 847 baptisms last year. The new goal is 1847 baptisms for this year. I think we are going to be getting tons of missionaries here in the coming year, as well as open lots of new sectuers. I hope.

In the words of one of our investigators, Ia nanu, petite a petite, pas forcer. IF you can tell this particular investigator likes the cannabis it’s alright we’ve noticed a change recently.

Well...That’s about all. Read Enos 1-9 then 12 its really good. 

Nana, bonne semaine


Elder Molinari

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Other Side of Heaven

20 January 2014 Uturoa Raiatea

It’s exciting that Kirstin is on her way to Japan. Sorry to hear she isn’t feeling well. I got a sinus infection while I was there too. She should have gone to the doctor sooner. I learned that at the MTC. When you start to get sick, don’t keep pushing forward. Stop, slow down, get better and then continue. Preventing illness is easier than treating illness. And a sick missionary is a useless missionary.

I’ve started a Tahitian language focus. It’s getting better. I realized it’s like the MTC, you need to start all over again. Before, I was more concentrated on French. It appears you can’t really do both at the same time. So now that my French is pretty much here, I’ve been going for Tahitian the same way I did French. I try to speak Tahitian with Elder Tumarae, but he always just goes back to French. I think I’m going to ask President Sinjoux to put me in the Tuomotus to learn Tahitian. In fact, the reason Elder Franco is there now is because he asked. : )

Elder Franco and I were pretty close and he really wanted to learn Tahitian like me. We had a conversation about the work and about how a lot of missionaries are happy to just go around and deliver a nice message; someone that teaches lessons not people.

In fact, this week I was feeling a little, overcharged we can say. Our plan has been working and we have tons of people, but when you have tons of people and it’s hot and you are overworked, sometimes you can forget people and we planned a lesson over another lesson on accident. I was just a little “lost” we can say. Lessons, numbers, families, appointments, goals, numbers, blah, blah, blah! Overwhelming!

Then one of the members  here mentioned “The Other Side of Heaven”. I’m not sure if I ever told you, but for some reason that movie has always resonated with me, powerfully. 
One night when I think I was in 11th grade, after watching it alone, I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to give me a mission like that. And he sent me to the islands! Every time I watch that movie, I get this pulling feeling in my stomach. It’s what I like to call “the yearning of the soul.” As I was thinking about it, it reminded me why I wanted to come here. Why I asked to come here.  I was reminded that Elder Groberg taught almost completely by example first, then the lessons came. I just really want to go someplace small like that.

It was an amazing refocusing time, and I’m a LOOOOOOT calmer than I was before. I just need to stay like this now!  

Monday, January 13, 2014

A few pictures...


This is the Ebb family, We started teaching the younger couple, but they had to leave to go back to Tahiti. So we lost them! This was a going away party. We taught them for a couple weeks and it was a dream for Stephanie because she never thought her husband would follow, and then continue with the lessons. I think my favorite thing to do is teach the inactive children of part member families, it means the world to the parents.



The island has a weird mix of African trees on it.



Typical day on the road. Elder Tumarae goes in front when I've been biking too fast ; ]



The cruise ship that visits the island from very far away. The building on the left is the chapel. This picture is taken from the housing development right next to the chapel.

More Raiatea

13 January 2014 Uturoa Raiatea

Well I survived the transfers and will stay here super nice :]

I’m going to try and answer all your questions.

We know the name of the new mission president, but that’s about it. It sounds like you know more than we do because I didn't even know his first name (editor’s note: the new mission president is Pierre Bize. He will begin in July). It’s funny because his last name, pronounced "beez" is the name for the greeting you do when you kiss the cheeks of the person you’re saying hello to. Kind of funny, I’m sure there will be many jokes about that to come, the Tahitians think it’s a riot.

Interesting customs? I don’t even know...

Apart from mowing lawns and cutting brush with weed whackers nothing jumps out right now. Ill keep my eyes open.

Funny stories?  I’ll have to take a rain check on that one. Elder Tumarae provides the entertainment in my life. Sometimes I can hear him smacking his belling in the shower.

Oh! This week we got an air conditioner installed in our little house! So we called the mission office because our ceiling fan broke. A couple days later the office couple called and told us they were sending an air conditioner, and that it would be installed the same week! Oh man we were excited, it was installed Wednesday, and Elder Tumarae’s favorite saying now is "dangereux la clime" Dangerous the air conditioner! We’ve already slept through the alarm this week because of it; the trials I’m facing right now are very hard! Neither of us even heard it go off we were so deep in sleep in the wonderful winter wonderland of our house.

Our new air conditioner

The work is progressing well. Right now we are doing family nights by neighborhood, as well as by family, and they invite investigators and inactives and we fix lessons (ed. make appointments). It’s working really well. It gives us lots of exposure and shows people that we are normal people not weirdo strict preachers. Although sometimes the family nights can be very awkward. Well maybe it’s only me that thinks they are awkward. Sometimes we will have zero participation, its a little bit like the gospel principles class, so you just talk until the activity then everyone wakes up. Everyone kind of just glares at you till its done, then after everyone says how great it was and how we should do it again. Which is funny because there body language always give me the opposite impression. We did one last week where I kept asking for experiences, even the members didn’t volunteer any. Just me standing up in front of a lot of people reading scriptures and talking. Really odd, but it works so I’m not complaining.

Lucky them, I wanted to train, but since Elder Tumarae and I kind of just got put together I knew we wouldn’t be split quite yet. And we are really making the difference in this secteur (ed. Area) right now, well, the spirit is really making a difference in this secteur right now! We fixed three baptisms this week. which is good since this ward only had 6 baptisms for the entire year before we did the last 3 in December. You could say we’ve increased baptisms by 100% so far, so the work is progressing! I hope I can train next transfer in February.

Do you ever get to play the piano? Yes. I get to play the piano. They have 2 pianos in our ward and sometimes in between meetings I sneak off and play them!

Which islands in your mission have missionaries?
We don’t have missionaries, in the Cook Islands, in fact that area was given to the Fiji mission, I think. We have elders on Takaroa and Makaemo in the Tuamotus right now. Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, and elders on Tubai, and Rangiroa in the Astrals. Of course missionaries on Moorea and Tahiti, and for the isles Raromatai, Also missionaries on Raiatea, Tahaa, and Pora. Those are all the islands that are open right now, maybe more will be opened up since we have so many missionaries. Close to 200 now. I think President Sinjoux’s goal is to fill the islands that already have missionaries, and open new areas little by little. They just split a secteur here on Raiatea, and now every single ward/branch here has a set of missionaries. That’s the first time this has ever happened here, since only a few years ago it was one set of elders for all of Raiatea. Big change!

Sorry for the short letter last week!

I've kept Morfar and Papa in my prayers; I hope they are doing well! (ed. These are grandfathers. They are both doing well after their surgeries and some recovery time).

Thanks for the little note on Faith. I started a study on faith when I was in the MTC, because whenever people ask the question what is faith, we always get the same response “to believe in something you can’t see". I didn't really like that response, and I started searching for what exactly faith is. What I found was interesting.

That answer is a good place to start, but it is so much more than a belief. Faith is a principle of power, and it has to be built up over time. In a sense, I found that you have to build and grow your faith. It is in some way like the priesthood, it is an intangible substance or power per say, that you can have the capacity to possess and collect. And it comes from doing all the little things like reading scriptures, praying, and going to church and following the commandments. All these little things contribute to the growth of our faith, it’s almost a reliance on things you can’t see, that motivates your actions until the things you can’t see become visible. Like the story of the Brother of Jared, he had so much faith the veil couldn't hold him.

When we have acquired enough faith we start to see miracles happen in our life. These miracles in turn grow our faith even more. It’s kind of like rolling a snowball around on the ground. You start with next to nothing but in time it grows and grows until it is enormous and immovable.

After you have acquired enough faith you can start to use that faith to receive answers to prayers, effect the flow of actions around you, at this point it’s no longer just a belief in the unseen, it’s an assurance that your actions prayers and commands WILL produce results and changes, you begin to have the capacity to know that your will is in line with the Lords, and whatever you ask will be given.


Hebrews chapter 11 and Ether Chapter 12 are very good chapters to study concerning faith. Paul goes on to teach that all the miracles of the old and new testament were, in fact, performed by faith. When you've acquired that much faith, you just act and you have the assurance that your actions won’t be in vain. That’s a little bit of what I've found concerning faith :]


New Years Day 2014 Uturoa Raiatea


 For New Years we ate at Guillain's again. We had snails. 
Although they are green, they were delicious. 
I'm not exactly sure why Americans make all the crazy faces when they eat them. 
They are a little rubbery, but taste like butter.



After you pull the snail meat out, you drink the juices that are left in the shell. 
I could pretend that it tastes bad, but its really just a load of melted butter and spices!

The Hike - 30 Dec 2013 Uturoa Raiatea


This is the start of a hike 
we went on up the mountain that's right next to Uturoa.
A member family went with us. 

 The were random animals on the trial all the way up to the top of the mountain.


 Midway break up the mountain, Elder Tumarae was pretty tired!



 Here's me at the top of the mountain.

All of us at the top of the mountain, the town you can see below is Uturoa. 
I think its the view you have from Google maps.

Christmas Dinner 2013 in Uturoa Raiatea


Christmas chez Guillain famille

(Christmas with the Guillain family)

Christmas Cake


Monday, January 6, 2014

Week

6 January 2014 Uturoa Raiatea

I don't have much time to write this week. Things have still been slow but we've been scheduling lots of family night with the members and inviting inactives and investigators. It was cool to hear that Kirstin got to eat with Elder Bednar! Super lucky! 

Love you all!

elder Molinari

Editor's note: By the time we reach the one-year mark, he won't be writing anything at all! Perhaps the title might more appropriately be - "Weak."