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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A note from the editor...

30 December 2014
As suspected, Elder Molinari did not send an update for this week. I am sure he felt that since he had just spoken with us on Christmas Day, he didn’t have anything to say. I will try to capture some of the things we talked about during our video chat.

He called us from a member’s home and was using their i-Pad. He was seated at a table inside the house with the i-Pad flat on the table, so we could see the corrugated steel roof inside the house. There was an opening at the top of the wall where the roof connected to allow air to flow freely. He looked good. His face showed signs of perspiration and he constantly swatted at mosquitoes as we talked. We could hear birds chirping and he actually showed us the view outside.

Before his mission, this fair-skinned young man was very sensitive to mosquito bites. The bites would swell and turn red, sometimes leaving marks for extended periods of time. On occasion, he would even feel ill from insect bites. He commented that he thinks he is immune to them now. “After I get a bite, it turns red and then after a few minutes, it goes away.”

They had had a Christmas Eve gathering at the mission home the night before. All of the missionaries from the zones surrounding Papeete participated. Districts of about 6 missionaries were responsible for a musical number or a skit. Elder Molinari said that their initial plans were too complicated to do successfully, so they just sang a simple hymn arrangement of a Christmas song. He said it was the best because it was serious and the others tried to be humorous or clever, but weren’t.

Their plan was to spend the night in Papeete. Instead they chose to drive home after the celebration. He said it was a long ride home, but that didn’t stop him from opening his Christmas package from us that he received while at the mission home. He got to bed very late that night, but he said it was worth it!

He plans to be in Tautira until February. That is when he will finish training his new companion, Elder Kokona. They seem to get along very well together. We were able to speak with Elder Kokona. He thanked us for the chocolates and the goofy Christmas tie we sent. He was as friendly as Elder Molinari had reported previously.

Elder Kokona, which means coconut, said Elder Molinari is very funny. They shared with us some Biswali or Bismali or ??? language (we asked three times), which is what Elder Kokona speaks. It seems to be a hybrid of English and I-don’t-know-what. “Nehm blonga meh” and “Nehm blonga u” translates to “My name is” and “Your name is”.

At some point in the conversation, Elder Molinari’s sister, who is serving a mission in Tokyo, joined the conversation. She didn’t want to hear anything about how hot it is in Tahiti. She says it’s freezing in Japan right now. It is actually in the high 40’s which isn’t very cold at all compared to winter temperatures in upstate New York, where they grew up. It was about 87 in Tautira, which is a bit higher than the usual 84. It is summer there and always hot and humid. Tautira seems to get a lot of cloud cover and rain to go with it.

It was fun to hear Elder Molinari speak in French and to see that he is doing well. He says he has lost about 10 pounds while being in Tautira. They bike everywhere they go. Since the area they work in is not very close to their house they burn a lot of calories biking 25-30 kilometers a day (15 to not quite 20 miles).

Elder Molinari commented that he has completed his full calendar year in the mission. During a two-year mission, you typically spend one entire year (from January to December) on your assignment. For him, that is 2014; which is drawing to a close. He will remain in the mission field for another eight months until August 10, 2015 (giving him two extra weeks in Tahiti). Then he has to come home!

He clearly loves being in Tahiti. He loves the people, the culture, the food, the work, the languages, the scenery; not so much the mosquitoes and the heat and humidity. In order to be successful on a mission assignment like this, one needs to learn to love the people. I think he has been very successful in accomplishing this. As with most people who spend extended periods in island cultures, it has become part of him. It is going to be very difficult for him to leave.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Editor's Note

Editor's Note: Elder Molinari did not send an entry for this week. We suppose he is thinking that he will speak with family on Christmas, so he doesn't need to write anything!
Christmas is one of two times missionaries actually get to speak with family while they are serving as missionaries. The other time is Mother's Day. 
I will try to capture what he tells us on Thursday and make an entry from that. Look for it later in the week. In the mean time, I have a short piece that he wrote to the youth in our stake (local church unit) a few months ago. Missionaries who were currently serving were asked to provide advice for the youth who are preparing to serve missions. Here is what he had to say:

IAORANA TATOU! (yo-rah-nah tah-toh) (the response is iaorana)

Missions are a blast. A mission is a microcosm of life. You will have so many varying experiences, in such a short time its almost too much to take in. If you want to be "prepared" for your mission, work now to establish lasting habits (emphasis added).

These habits include but are not limited to, daily prayer, daily repentance, daily scripture study, and some sort of work ethic. Now I'm not saying that you need to be perfect in all of these, because I'm not, but establishing habits such as these will provide you with powerful spiritual fortifications, and invaluable spiritual experiences. Also, learn how to have fun. Missions should be fun, and you should be able to find joy in the work that is being done.

We are Heavenly Father's children, and he loves us. His plan is perfect. He sent Jesus Christ to the earth to save mankind. Love motivates every action of our Heavenly Father. Our progression is so important and precious to him, that he risks the chance to lose us, in order to give us all he has. I know he loves me. I know he loves you. Perhaps the most important thing you will share on your mission is that God loves us. As an authorized representative of Jesus Christ, I bear witness that He is the ultimate representation of God's love for us.

I bear witness that He Loves us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, Amen.

Orometua Molinari

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snow melts in Tahiti.

Vallee de Tautira

I don't know why I put that as the title, Its just SUPER hot in Tahiti in December. I don't really notice it as much as I did last year because I'm used to swimming in my sweat by now...but still.

We had a great week. Heremiti's baptism is going to happen the 27th of this month, and we're all excited for it. She's a little girl who's parents are inactive who we teach with her grandfather, and her dad. She's super awesome and responds to all our questions - even if she doesn't know the answer. We had a miracle in our district this week. First of all I'd like to put a plug for best District of the year *cough* maybe I'm being a little prideful. I just have the best sisters in the mission to work with. We went from 2 total fixed baptisms to 9 as a district in a week. Super proud of all the missionaries in my district. And we will be having 5 of those 9 the 27th of December. What a great after Christmas present for the Lord. Anyways, pray with us that those baptisms will all go through without problem.

I don't have much time to write because we went fishing this morning as a zone, and then rehearsed our Christmas song we are going to sing for the mission Christmas party the 24th. Its "Mary did you know" by Pentatonix. Super cool singing group, if you have the chance check out their other Christmas stuff. Anyways, that would be about all I have time to write this week.

Spiritual thought... Charity. Have charity its the best virtue. Beats all the others. Moroni 7 read it, love it.

Take a look at this video:

Love you all, have a good last week of school.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Companion

8 December 2014 Tautira
This is Tautira Valley. It's Awesome!

Elder Kokona et moi

I got my new companion on Wednesday this last week. He is so awesome. He's super nice and friendly, and really likes to do missionary work. And....luckily he speaks French, and English a bit. But, his accent is sooooooooooo thick I have trouble understanding him a lot of the time.

He's under the impression that I'm the funniest person alive. I don't have to do much to make him laugh, really love the guy. He talks to everyone. Which is something awesome about him, so he just goes off and starts talking to people and I come up behind -normally it’s because I’m talking with someone- and then we fix lessons. We're a really good team.

So this was SUPER funny. Elder Kokona is unpacking and he pulls out his sandals. That he brought from Vanuatu. Guess what he had? A pair of Tevas, AND a pair of old worn out navy blue Old Navy Flip flops! Guess who else wears Tevas and a pair of old worn out navy blue Old Navy flip flops? This companionship was destined to be. It was so incredible I took a picture.

Today we hiked up a mountain in our sector that overlooks Tautira village. The Dz's (ed note: zone leaders), the elders from Toahotu, and the Sisters from Taravao and Elder Kokona and I were there. There’s a giant cross at the top of the hike. It was kinda short around 20 minutes, but it was really steep. It was a nice hike. It’s always funny to see your sector from a birds- eye view, it makes everything seem even smaller.

Not much else to say. Just feel really good. Better than I've felt in a long time! Have a great week and love you all! I guess we can start thinking about Skype! It’ll probably be around noon on Christmas Day for us here, maybe 10-12. [Ed. note: This is one of two phone calls missionaries are allowed to make home - Christmas and Mother's Day]

Love you all! 

Elder Molinari

Monday, December 1, 2014

Well, It Was Inevitable

1 December 2014

I got the Chikungunya! 

It's pretty terrible. It attackscartilage and joints. For some reason it decided to attack my sternum, who knew that you used your sternum in EVERY body movement you can make. I got it Saturday and I still have it. It lasts a while.
Moi, Moeava et Olsen

Oh, that’s right, transfers. Elder Olsen is going, I’m staying....and I’m training. Elder Olsen is going to Tahaa. The elder I’m training is from Vanuatu, a group of islands from around Fiji, I think? Anyways, if he’s like the other Vanuatans that have come here he won’t speak English nor French. Sooooo, I'm going to have to train someone I can’t communicate with....sick. This should be interesting. Anyways this means I will have 2 sons! (a son is someone you train) so I'll be here in Tautira until February!

We also had Tinitua's baptism. It was really nice, however I was a little disappointed because not very many people came. Before my mission I never realized how important it was to go to other people’s baptisms, especially the baptisms of investigators. Alors, please go to other people's baptisms.

My district in Tautira
Slice of Rainbow cake
Rainbow cake (note water line!)
Oh, the elder I’m training is named Elder Kokona, which in Bishlama means coconut. So ill be training elder coconut in Tahiti :)

Ok that’s all the time I have this week! Love you all!