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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Baptism of Teramai

26 January 2015 Tautira

Tautira village

Well, this week me semblais d'être mieux (just kidding). We had a good week. We were a little low on lessons, because I've been a little too long winded at lessons lately. It's a very Tahitian thing to talk for a long time. When I say talk I mean have long conversations. I think it comes from the fact that it’s very hard to say things in Tahitian without taking a long time. Anyways, I'm working to improve it.

Speaking of long winded, I'm not sure I've ever been to a baptism longer than the one we had Tuesday. It was about an hour and 45 minutes...that’s right over an HOUR. We had made the program, but at the last second so many people were added to give little testimonies :| so it was all changed without me knowing. Anyways, everyone was so excited that Teramai was being baptised that everyone who talked felt like they needed to share every experience they've ever lived with Teramai.

By the time the baptism happened we were all really antsy, or maybe it was just me ;) Anyways, it was dark, rainy, cold (well probably not that cold but when you've been in Tahiti for a while it was cold) and after 8:00 when we finally went into the font to do the baptism. I got to do it in Tahitian. It was incredible, to say the least. When the prayer started "no te mana i tuuhia mai ia u i Iesu Mesia..." it was like everyone took a breath and stepped back. Probably one of the most powerful baptismal services I've ever assisted. Her testimony was even better. She got up and started quoting scriptures from the Book of Mormon like she's been a member for years. All the other members that came were shocked, but like Sister Molinari said this week, that's just what happens when we READ THE SCRIPTURES. Anyways, it was a nice service, even though it was the longest the world has ever seen.

What else happened...? It rains ALL the time here. I'm on the rainy side of the presque île. It’s like the Rochester New York of Tahiti. I don't have much else to say. Fixed some more baptisms this week. I'm astonished by the fact that this is Week 9 of Elder Kokona's training. Meaning there’re only 3 weeks left after this week. Feels like we just started! Maybe I'll be leaving soon, who knows? This week I passed 18months on mission, almost to the big twenty.

Spiritual thought: I really like the thesis of 1st Nephi. Nephi shares it in 1 Nephi chapter one, verse 20. Try and find what it is.

Love you all and have a good week.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weird Week

19 January 2015, Tautira

Well since Chikungunya stays in your system for 6 months or more I "got it" again this week; and even when you don't have it, its like your biking with arthritis. SO FRUSTRATED. Ok, now that the venting is out we can continue.

Teramai's baptism is tomorrow, we're all pretty excited for it, good way to start of the year for the ward, first month with a baptism. Anyways, Teramai is so awesome, and shes SO ready. Which means that the baptism is going to be a powerful spiritual experience for her and everyone else there.

I'm not really sure what to write... Feels like I've been here in Tautira forever, but I think its one of my favorite sectors. Oh yeah! We went to the temple on Tuesday. We drove ALL the way there, and then they told us the session was full...and it was the last one. We were with the Zone leaders and Elders of Toahotu. 

All in all we thought it was going to be a pretty anticlimactic visit to the temple. The first Lady that talked to us just told us that it was full, and that we'd have to come back another day. But as a missionary you don't "come back another day", you've got one shot and if you miss it you wait another 2 months til its your turn again. Well as we were about to go an old Tahitian man comes up and says he'll go talk to the temple president, then guess what they did? They organized an extra session for us :) It was super nice of them, and we were so grateful. Just a great illustration of how Tahitians are very tilted towards the "spirit of the law" side if you know what I mean.

Well have a nice week, love you all.

Elder Molinari

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last Week of This Transfer

12 January 2015 Tautira

Well, this week was spent mostly at the house because Elder Kokona was confined to his bed. Thursday we did a split so we could do some of our lessons, so Elder Kokona went to Toahotu, and Elder Peterson (my comp. from Bora) came over and we worked for a few days so the week wasn't totally lost.

So...I don't have too much to share. Maybe some insights? I did a study not too long ago being poor in heart vs. having a broken/contrite heart. With the infusion of a little Alma 42 doctrine I came to the conclusion the two are actually Meekness, and penitence. Meekness being the ability to submit to trails and unjustness, and penitence being a fervent desire to repent when noticing one's defaults or if they are pointed out. This week I was doing a little studying and I've come to the conclusion that the two, meekness and penitence, are what makes up humility. So humility, true humility, is the capacity to take trials, and a desire to change and repent. (Alma 42:24)

Also I've really enjoyed the counsel that Alma gave to his son Shiblon in Alma 38. Not only does he give a clear and concise testimony of the Savior in verse 9 (quoting 2 Nephi 31:21 might I add), but the counsel he gives in verses 10-12 I find particularly applicable to myself. All this week I've been meditating on the verse 11 and above all 12. Let us all try to apply this counsel in our daily lives to be truly humble.

Well, I've got nothing left to say. Next week!

Elder Molinari

Monday, January 5, 2015

What Happened?

5 January 2015 Tautira

I'm not exactly sure where this transfer went but this is the sixth and last week. The end of this week will officially mark the halfway point of the formation, so I'll be moving in 6 more weeks. Time really does move fast. Its amazing to think that I'll be finishing this year O.O

Anyways, as for last week; sorry for not writing. We had a very long activity and I just didn’t have the time at all. However, the baptism went well. Sorry for the lack of photos, I'm still blocked by this null computer. Six more weeks and you'll get some. Not much happened that week. Christmas was just Skype and trying to get a hold of Elder Kokona’s family, which we were finally able to do.

Last Sunday we had an incredible family night at one of our fixed baptisms. Her name is Teramai. She’s an older lady, and we've had some incredible experiences with her. I can't share them all here, it'll have to wait till after the mission, but let’s just say we've had LOTS, and I mean LOTS of support from the other side of the veil. Absolutely incredible! Anyways, her baptism will be the 20th of January, and we are all super excited for it.

Elder Kokona got Chikungunya yesterday, so we are down and out for the count for a few days. However, this past week we fixed another baptism with one of my favorite investigators, Julia. She is super awesome, and already had a testimony, but because of some bad teaching/engaging habits of the Elders she had been turned off by the lessons the first time she took them. But this time it was powerful. One of my favorite things to teach is about the spirit world. Alas, there’s not nearly enough room nor time to write Alma 41, one of the best chapters in the book of Mormon. Anyways her baptism is set for the 20th of February....right before the transfer ;) What a miracle!

Ummmmm what else? New Year’s we spent chez la famille Tevaearai. Super awesome family. We ate baby cow, clams, chicken, caviare, fois gras (ed. note: duck liver), cake. It was super awesome.

What else, my study this week and probably for the next couple weeks is the House of Israel. I started with Abraham and am working my way through the Abrahamic covenant. One of my favorite moments in the Bible is in John 8 when Jesus proclaims his divinity and confronts the Jewish leaders, and he declares that "if ye were Abrahams children, ye would do the works of Abraham." I had always thought I understood this verse, and I did to an extent, but after my study I learned that the real works of Abraham are all the ordinances necessary for salvation (DC 132:33 or around there). When we are baptized, we become and qualify for the blessings as Abraham’s Seed (Galatians 3:26-29). Blessings like the temple and so on. So when Jesus responded to their claim as Abrahams seed, he rebuked them because they had not even contracted the ordinances required to be numbered with the seed of Abraham. This same mistake, a denial of the fullness of the gospel, is remade today each time someone refuses to accept the gospel. In effect they redo the same error that the Jews made, denying themselves of the "works of Abraham". Needless to say I'm really enjoying this topic.

Well that’s about all. I tried to write more to make up for last week. Love you all.