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Monday, July 28, 2014

Surpassing the Year Mark

28 July 2014 Bora Bora

Well somehow it’s been more than a year now. Don't really know how that happened.

This week we found 6 new investigators, I think it’s the first time in my mission I found that many in one week. One of them was a lesson from our port à port sessions on the other side of the island. The two others were..I guess port à port as well, but it was just people we talked to on our way to visit a member’s house.

4 of these new investigators were found in a single lesson, it was like I was watching a TV show or something during the lesson. It was the first lesson. So we sit down, with this guy named Tauirai Tino (changeheaven body) and we start talking and his friend comes over - we didn’t get the name- his friend is just a little bit drunk, that "I had a vodka cruiser before breakfast" kind of drunk, and he joins us in our lesson.

Of course this is your average middle-of-the-jungle, wooden-benches-outside kind of lesson. Then they start arguing about the meaning of their name, because they are cousins, then all of a sudden, the argument gets serious and the big guy Tino says, "excuse us Elders we gotta go clear this up". So he grabs the guy and brings him over to where we can't see them.

While this is going on another friend, Maui, comes along and sits down in our bench circle. He told us not to worry about it cuz they are like that all the time.

Then Tino comes back and sits down and we continue the lesson. I think this guy was talked to by Jehovah’s Witnesses or something cuz he talks about the 144,000 chosen. We counter it with John 3:16, Christ came to save everyone, and we continue. At about this time two more people come walking by - a couple- and say hello as they pass. Then all of a sudden, the man turns around and says they are going to stay as well and they sit down.

Their names are Mickey and Philemon. During this, Tino's nephew also wandered over and sat down. So all of a sudden we go from this lesson to a sermon for this group of people. Keep in mind this was all in Tahitian as well. So we talked about the first vision and Book of Mormon, and the spirit was really strong. Then at the end we fixed another time for next week. They called me Orometua-which is a title of honor here- then we left.

We got to the bottom of the hill and I turned to Elder Peterson and said, "what just happened?" We didn’t really know it was quite a bizarre, yet awesome experience. 4 New investigators in one lesson. Thank you Heavenly Father.

Other than that, we are just continuing with our tracting sessions, and praying for more miracles like that.

We've inspired our third companion, Elder Lee Chip Sao to learn Tahitian. Hopefully, he will follow through with it. Tahitian is just such a weird language anything done in it feels surreal. Maybe it’s just the fact that it’s such an oddity that white people are walking around talking about Jesus in Tahitian...That’s probably it.

That was probably the most "stand out" experience this week. I laughed quite a bit at Kirstin's Japan-bicycle-mami experience (ed. note: check out his sister's blog @ or use the link right over there ===> in the side bar). Sounds like she got a little taste of what the island life is like here :)

What else...

I don't really see the ward division happening. There’re too many inactives, and I feel like there are not enough tithe paying priesthood holders to actually create a ward in ANAU. Maybe a branch...? We've been port à porting there because we think the Lord will help us find his future ward leaders for ANAU since there is not enough member/church exposure on that side of the island.

Most of the OLB's (ed. note: ???) we do are with very nice people...I hope they read those brochures!!!!!

The problem is everyone was waiting for the division. Then when it didn’t happen, people got discouraged. If it doesn’t happen again I feel like the members will just get even more demotivated.

Personally, I feel like a division is something that everyone needs to work for and not just something that happens from time to time. We haven’t merited it yet in my opinion. I think everyone wants it to happen just to cut the number of inactives down. "We'll give everyone 200 and see what happens after!" My goodness, not exactly a division if you ask me.

Well...sorry I don’t mean to be negative, just realistic.

We might have transfers here soon. Well probably, because president said it’s a waste of a team of missionaries to do 3-3 (ed. note: 2 companionships of 3 instead of 3 companionships of 2). So I think the Elders of FAANUI might be going or Elder Joly because he finishes next week. Then he'll slide over one of them and transfer the other. Either way we will know this week!

Hope you all have a good week!

We are going to hike up the giant mountain today, so I’ll send pictures later hopefully.

Elder Molinari

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Loooooong Week!

21 July 2014 Bora Bora

This week was super long, probably because we didn’t have very many lessons. Lots of port à port (ed. note: door to door)! We decided to focus this week and last on looking for new investigators, because it seems like it’s just the same people that were being visited before and frankly there aren’t very many potentials anymore. So just like what happened at TIAPA, we hit a “reset” button and went out searching for more people. I'd forgotten how great tracting in the islands is. The people are a lot nicer than those that we port à ported at TIAPA.

We had some pretty awesome experiences with the port à port. One of them we randomly decided to stop at this house and this old Papi came out. There were dogs barking and snarling everywhere. We were talking with him and he was having a difficult time understanding us. Then we realized he was pretty deaf. So once we started yelling it went better.

It was a pretty bizarre experience all in all. It might be the only OLB (ed. note: ??) experience I've done yelling, in Tahitian. We talked then he said he had back pain, so I offered to give him a blessing. He accepted and we went inside. Then-still yelling- I explained what we were going to do. In Tahitian things come out really blunt, and it’s pretty funny. What I said was.

"Papi, E horo'a matou ia oe the hoe haamaitairaa na roto te mana na te Atua. Te mau nei matou, ta'na mana, no te mea e mau tavini matou na te Atua!"

The translation is, we are going to give you a blessing through God's power. We hold His power, because we are his servants. Elder Peterson said it was pretty epic, especially since I was yelling the whole thing. Then we gave him the blessing, gave him a Joseph Smith Brochure and left.

After we’d pedaled away for a little bit Elder Peterson starts laughing and says, "what just happened?" Which made me laugh because it was pretty funny. Then he asked what do you think the papi thought? For all he knows we could have been three random angels - speaking Tahitian. He might have thought it was some kind of bizarre dream.

All in all tracting is pretty fun in the islands.

I got the package, and it was soooo awesome, thanks a ton I love you guys! Everything was there in it. The ant proof container is especially awesome. The Rubiks cube, while the [insert Chinese word] Cube is pretty cool, its super light and turns super easy. I like messing with it before I go to sleep it relaxes me.

The ward division is probably going to be the 9 of August, I think? We will see, everyone is pretty sure it’s going to happen. They found Elder Peterson and my house. I haven’t seen it yet but it’s on the other side of the island kind of next to this resort called Sofitel, just after Matira. It’s apparently in a pretty nice spot, everyone said its small, but that doesn’t bother me because the house at Uturoa was probably tinier!

My reflections this week were about trials. Trials can make life difficult and god gives trials to everyone. However, some people have to deal with more because they don’t know the gospel and they transgress against the law they don’t know about. Although they are not punished for it, they still end up suffering the consequences of their actions, whether or not they knew it was a commandment. Therefore, by teaching people the gospel and helping them follow the commandments; life is made easier because most of the bad consequences are removed when you follow the commandments. The trials stay but the other bad effects go. There’re my thoughts!

Love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Molinari

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A few pictures

One of the resorts on a motu
President et soeur Bize et moi

My awesome new hat!

Note from editor: Some problem with the the blog site isn't allowing the addition of pictures in the post I made yesterday. So here they are in a separate post. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Week -Still Pushing Ahead

14 July 2014 Bora Bora

Resort on one of the motus

This week we finally visited the other side of the island. Well, we had visited Anau, but we had never been completely at the end of Anau. So we biked completely to the other side and it was pretty awesome. It’s the side with all the resorts, 4 seasons, Talaso, St. Regis, there’s one other one but I don’t remember the name. Not very many people as well. The road is also right next to the ocean, with a rocky cliff on the island side. It’s really beautiful and peaceful. It took FOREVER to get out there though, maybe an hour and a half?

This week we recommited to try to talk to more people. So we went into this sketchy dirt road out on the other side of the island and ran into an awesome family. We shared our message and gave him a Book of Mormon. He actually said he was super interested in reading it. The only problem right now is the Heiva. It’s a large cultural festival held every night this month. It's actually just another excuse to get blind drunk, I've just nicknamed it Babylon Festival. It starts at sundown and goes till 3 or 4 in the morning. Alors, everyone is too busy sleeping, or to busy heiva-ing to do lessons! July and Christmas are the two dead seasons for missionary work here in Tahiti. Apparently everyone works at it as well. So in other words people aren't really interested this time of year.

The prayers seem to be working, Monia's husband started coming to the lessons out of nowhere. He also came to church yesterday, it was pretty awesome. It would be awesome if you could pray for a family whose name is Tropée. They are a family we've recontacted who were going to get married and baptized, and then the father stopped everything. We've started the lessons encore, and things are going well- but we want them to be successful this time.

President Bize is really awesome. It seems there will be less of a Mission president/missionary wall. He's French but he's been living in the US for a while. He's also going to make sure that foreign missionaries take this opportunity to learn English. Since he learned his English with his English companions, and it helped him a ton later on and he wants that for all non English speaking missionaries. As well, they reported the apostles are going to make some changes focused on teaching more for conversion, as well as focusing more on reactivation of inactive and new convert members. I’m interested to see what will happen.

If you have a Preach my Gospel, read in chapter one the section titled The Restoration. It’s pretty powerful and will help you share the gospel with others, as well as the most important things that need to be made known.

Ok, I love you all!

Elder Molinari

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pictures to follow, again....

7 July 2014 Bora Bora

This is very frustrating that I can't send any pictures. The Tahiti Church IT department thinks that USBs will destroy MLS....Oh well. It’s just a little ironic that I’m at Bora Bora, one of the most beautiful places in the world and it’s so difficult to send photos.

I have just been getting so unlucky with flat tires this week; which culminates in long walks back to the house. The tires on my “new” bike need to be replaced. Our house is on the west side of the island and our secteur is on the east side, with a mountain in between. EVERYDAY we bike all the way to the other side of the island, but since it’s absolutely stunning I don’t complain.

There is only one church building on the whole island. Actually, it’s more like 2/3 of a building because part of the building was destroyed recently by the landslide. Two wards meet in it. Yes, the members from our secteur have to come to the opposite side of the island to attend church. The first ward meets at 8 in the morning, our ward meets at 12. You can’t overlap the meetings because there’s no room. I have no idea what they are going to do after they create a third ward to meet there. 4-7 church anyone? They have a bus to go get people, but as you can imagine only the people that ride have any idea how it works. So because it’s sooo far away most of the members become inactive, or go to the protestant church, BECAUSE ITS CLOSER. Oh, boy is it interesting here.

Tomorrow we are all going to Raiatea for a conference de Zone avec (ed. note: with) the new president. Super excited!!!!! Sadly, we are only going to be there for a day. But it’s better than nothing.

I think the bishop is almost our friend, we just have to land a reunion coordination (ed. note: coordination meeting) and we will be well off. We've enacted a plan to reactivate the inactives in our ward (300 I think). We have visits that are programmed every Tuesday night. In the auxiliary meetings the presidency should prayerfully choose families’ and individual’s names to give Tuesday night.

Then the presidencies and any member that wants to, comes Tuesday. We have the ward divided up into zones and we make groups, then put the names the presidencies supplied on the board, then we go visit 1 or 2 families and come back and report. That way bishop is up to date with the family’s needs and people can offer help that are there.

At least that’s how we did it at Raiatea. Even though we have close to no one Tuesday I hope once we have a meeting we can really set it up. The only thing that we've never gotten to fully work is the auxiliary meetings, oh well.

[Editor’s note: The preceding three paragraphs will not make much sense to many of you. Allow me to try to simplify things by saying – they are targeting and visiting members who stopped coming to church in hopes of rekindling a flame inside them and inviting them back to church.]

I need everyone to pray for a couple of people. They are ready to be baptized but are being blocked by their conjoint (ed. note: de facto or common-law spouse). Their names are Jean-Jacques, and Monia. Their conjoints’ names are Marie-Claude and Robert. We really want to fix a baptism, but the other side’s heart is INCREDIBLY hard.

Thanks a bunch!

Love you all!

Elder Molinari

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another Week at Bora

30 June 2014 Bora Bora
Lagoon de Bora on my boat ride from the airport to the island.
Well it turns out that it seems like there is a lot of work to do in ALL our assignments.

Let's try to describe the situation here at Bora...They are about to separate into 3 wards, but they are still trying to figure out how they are going to do it. Normally you split a ward by the number of tithe payers, but here they want to do it by area, because it just won’t work in the more rural part of the island. It was actually supposed to already happen, but has been pushed off for a while. There are a LOT of inactive members, like 2 times the ward’s attendance number of active members. So step one; we're going to reboot the crashed reactivation program before we worry about anything else.

We have a pretty good number of amis (ed. note: friends), but we are going to have to work to get them to progress. They are too used to missionaries just coming, visiting and then not setting any habits. So we are going to work til all the investigators read the Book of Mormon and then pray daily. It’s a very big difference from Tiapa where all our amis read what we asked them to and prayed. We have some solid familes that we have recontacted, who are REALLY ready to be baptized- now let’s just grow the faith to be able to say yes.....Let’s just say, we need to sound the alarm because there are quite a few people "sleeping through the restoration".

For this past week, we did a TON of biking out to Matira and Anau every day. It's a pretty good haul out there as well. But we get to see the BEAUTIFUL - EVERYTHING. So I'm not really bothered. 

We ate at this pizzeria at Matira and it was delicious, then the French owner gave us 2 more pizzas on the house. We ate way too much pizza. Like I said before, I am EXTREMELY more appreciative of normal sector sizes since being in tiny Tiapa. We managed to find 8 new investigators last week, and we hope to find more this week. It’s pretty nice.
Not a good shot of Matira beach. It goes on and on.
I forgot how nice the islands were, and how most people will talk to you and be friendly. I'll try to send more pictures during the week if I have the chance.

Ok, Have a good week, love you all!

Elder Molinari