Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh man! Now in Tahiti (week #1 in Papeete Pirae 2)

Ia ora na!!!

Alright first off a disclaimer, I'm typing on a French keyboard, so if some of my words make no sense, I'm sincerely sorry!

With Elder and Sister Hemmings from the Tahiti mission office
Well, I made it to Tahiti! Let me just say... man it's awesome. Weather is beautiful, mountains are beautiful, and the people are absolutely beautiful! Some of the most kind and gracious people I've ever met, even the nonmembers.

I guess I'll start with the travel! All went well, and we made it safely. We met some friends along the way, including a member family from Texas going to Tahiti on vacation and a guy named Mike who served in Tahiti in 2000 who's going back to visit, It was pretty awesome! We got to Tahiti and realized some of our bags were not there... including mine! It was kind of stressful, but they turned up the next day, so it was all good in the end. The flight was one of the nicest I've ever been on! Pretty good food and comfy chairs. Not a bad deal at all.

Mike Buckner the former missionary who Casey referred to as the guy who served in 2000 took this picture and emailed it to us with a very nice email: "I had the opportunity to meet your missionaries in LA, and took the same flight with them to Tahiti. My name is Mike Buckner and I served my mission in Tahiti in 2000-2002. I was on my way back to Tahiti to visit some people when I ran into these fine missionaries. They were each so excited and anxious to go, and would not talk to each other in English. I was so happy for them as I knew what it was like, and the many adventures that lie ahead. They made it safely and I told them I would send you a picture of when they got in. "  This was so nice to receive!

So the first day after arrival, we met President Sinjoux and his wife. They are super nice, and very humble and intelligent people. Clearly called of God! We took care of business like our bank accounts and visa requirements as well, Then, we got our assignments. My assignment is... Pirae 2! It's a neighborhood of North Papeete. It's not next to the beach however... The Lord knows what tempts me! So, we're closer to the mountain. and that means a lot of hills that we get to bike up and down. It's way fun, especially going down! My trainer is Elder Martinson, from Salt Lake City. This will be his last transfer before going home. He speaks French really well, and Tahitian pretty well too. He really helps me with the language and correct pronunciation, grammar and phrases. All in all hes super nice and patient with me.

Speaking of the language... well, lets just say that I'm lost, all the time! When I came here I couldn't understand a lick of what people were saying. I couldn't tell if they were speaking French or Tahitian or either for that matter! They have such a thick accent, so different from conventional French, and they like to mix French and Tahitian together often. Now, I'm at the point where I can distinguish between French and Tahitian, but I still can't understand a whole lot. I can teach lessons though, and that's about all that matters right now!

Teaching is pretty amazing! We have a good amount of investigators, I'm not exactly sure how many, but Ill talk about some of them. One is a woman named Vetiare, who lives pretty high up in the hills. She's so ready to be baptized, but she needs to get married to her boyfriend first, they live together and have two children. However, their marriage is scheduled for December... so we're gonna try and persuade her to move that a little closer. We don't want to rush, but that's just so far away. We also teach a man named Jacques, he's an older guy who's a little depressed, but he has such strong faith and prays often, and I can really see him being baptized within this transfer. also we have Alec and Kahaia, another couple who live together, and they are way fun to teach as well. Teaching is definitely what makes the mission awesome, the Spirit is so strong and it's so much fun to help change lives.

The food here, its pretty bomb! And thereis lots of it! Usually mornings are pretty light, just a bowl of pops, but after noon we stop by peoples houses and they give us all kinds of fruits to eat and pastas and meats to much on, so by the end of the day we're full and happy. Good, good stuff. Fruit is absolutely delicious here, and so is the fish. Nothing too crazy like fafaru yet but we'll see soon!

Life is great, not much time left so I gotta finish up. Here's a picture, i'll send more next week, and I love you all! Life is beautiful!

Elder Ball

Please write me: (Put 3 stamps on your envelope.)

Tahiti Papeete Mission
Elder Ball, Casey
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti 98713
French Polynesia

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