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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Editor's Mother's Day Edition

11 May 2014 Mother's Day Video Call

Since it was Mother’s Day on Sunday, missionaries were allowed to call home. We were fortunate to be able to speak with both of ours: Elder Molinari in Tahiti and Sister Molinari in Tokyo. In fact, it was a video call, but we were unable to get all three videos to work at the same time. It seemed that Japan wouldn’t allow it. We could see Tahiti and we could see Tokyo. They could see us too. Tahiti could see Japan, but Japan couldn’t see Tahiti. Despite technical difficulties, we were all able to talk together. Both missionaries are doing well.

While Sister Molinari is still on the uphill-side of the language learning curve, Elder Molinari feels he is fluent in French and gets by quite well in Tahitian. He says he gets quite the reaction from elder Tahitians when “this skinny, white kid breaks into Tahitian.” He loves it!

While we were “Skyping” with Elder Molinari, a young child came into view and kept repeating “ay-dar, ay-dar.” We thought he was asking for something important. Turned out he was just saying “elder, elder”!!! It doesn't’ appear we would do very well there.

We were able to get some answers to questions we had from Elder Molinari. He is usually very light on responding to our questions.

He will remain with Elder Smith, whom he is training, for another six weeks (one transfer in mission jargon). His mission president, President Singoux only has one transfer left before he completes his mission. He is from the islands and lives on Tahiti, so he doesn't have very far to go to get home.

The missionaries know little or nothing about the new mission president whom we believe to be from the United States. He will begin his three-year term in June.

The musical firesides Elder Molinari participated in for the past two months were performed in each stake of the church on Tahiti for audiences of about 1000 at each performance. We do not know how many performances there were. He said they were very well received.

The Tahitian people love to joke and tease. So he feels that he has become quite a jokester, as if he wasn't before. They are a happy people who have plenty of love for just about everyone.

His favorite thing to eat is “sashimi” or as we know it by its Japanese name “sushimi”. It is raw fish with nothing on it. The fish types are “red fish, blue fish and yellow fish. “ They can sometimes get a bit more specific. He did say he likes red tuna, which we don’t seem to have here. We have yellow fin and blue fin tuna, but when fresh yellow fin tuna is cut, it looks red. He also drinks soda now, which he didn't drink before his mission. He said you just can’t escape drinking it. Apparently they don’t have water to drink.

Elder Molinari feels he has become a trend setter with his cotton plaid ties. He claims he never saw any when he first arrived, but now they are popping up all over. He was wearing a wide, wild looking bright green tie with large fruit-like forms on it. It was pretty ugly. Not so sure about trend setting with that one!

With “all that soda”, he has been drinking; he says he has gained about 5 pounds. They are fed well by the members. He seldom has to cook anything. I believe they do breakfast on their own, which is typically cold cereal.

Both he and his sister marveled at the absence of wild animals in either place. There are birds, of course, but not many rodent-type animals. At least, not that they see! There are dogs all over the place. And there are plenty of mosquitoes. He smacked one at the beginning of our call and then proceeded to show us what was left of it (the flattened remains) on his hand.

At one point in the video call, the member whose iPad they were using to chat with us, stepped in and said that Elder Molinari had to remain in their ward for the rest of his mission because he can play the piano and they don’t have a piano player in the ward. They actually have a real piano too, which isn't a common thing in Tahiti. Now they have a real piano and a real piano player so they don’t want to lose him!

Before signing off, he favored us with two songs: the one he sang in the concerts as part of a barbershop quartet and the other, a Tahitian love song. The latter, he sang quite quietly into the iPad, but the people in the house still heard him and ooh-ed, aah-ed and applauded. As did we.

He is having fun and enjoying his assignment in paradise. Time is moving quickly as he said he can’t believe he is approaching his one-year-mark in July.