Monday, July 8, 2013

One more week! Week #10 in MTC

Ia ora na!

This is it! It's the final stretch of the MTC, and we're just getting ready to go!

We got our travel plans on Friday, and man did it feel good to get them. The fact that we're going to Tahiti has finally hit us hard, and we're so stoked. We leave on July 15th at 3:30 in the morning, get on a flight to Los Angeles at 7:15 then wait at Los Angeles during a 6 hour layover. Then, at 2:30 we get on our flight to Tahiti! This is incredibly exciting for us, we've been waiting so long for these travel plans and now that we know when and what to expect, we sitting on the edge of our seats every day. However, we do have one whole week left, and we gotta make the best of it while we can. We've been speaking as much French as we can every day, with no room for English, and we try our best to speak Tahitian as well. It's the final stretch, and we gotta finish strong.

It's been a great week this week! We had a great opportunity to celebrate the 4th of July. We had a little patriotic service that night, with a few speakers and hymns. Then we watched 17 Miracles, a pretty intense movie about the Willie/Martin Handcart Company and all those pioneers heading West. Pretty sweet movie, and it made me appreciate the pioneers so much more. Then we watched the fireworks that were shooting off from the BYU stadium. It was pretty sweet, and a nice little break from the norm. I've never felt as much patriotic spirit as I did that night. It was probably my favorite 4th of July yet, and it made me realize how much I love this country. But with that being said, did I mention how much I want to leave the country to Tahiti? ;)

Like I said, as we're drawing near to a close here at the MTC the work has been getting more intense. Our teachers have been doing these exercises with us, in which we have to teach one of the lessons in just three minutes, in both French in Tahitian. It is extremely difficult, because you have to know the doctrine well enough in order to simplify it, yet teach it clearly, invite the Spirit, and bring the person we're teaching closer to Christ. It's actually pretty tiring, but such good practice, and we know the lessons super well now. I've been more successful in this exercise with Tahitian than French. I guess it's because with French I tend to talk and describe things a little too much, and with Tahitian I don't know how to say as much so I can't really do that. It's been fun, yet difficult, no lie.

To be honest, P-Days have been pretty boring these days. The temple is closed all month for some renovation, so we don't have that in the morning. We basically just do laundry, write home, eat some food and just sit around all day. We can't do fun things like play in the gym or anything, so we just kind of sit and suck our thumbs. Today is our last P-Day here though, so I can guarantee next P-Day will be just a little more exciting.

One thought that I loved that I wanted to share was something I read over in Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon. I thought it was great because it really applied to me as a missionary, but honestly it goes for everybody. It's in Mosiah 2:22, when King Benjamin is addressing his people:

"And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you."

This is awesome, because all that God requires us is to keep His commandments. It's simple, and it's how we can be happy. Keeping the commandments and following Jesus Christ is what will keep us in the straight and narrow path, which will lead to eternal happiness in Heaven in addition to this life. I heard someone say that the moment when someone sees the commandments as protection than restriction is on the path of righteousness and happiness. It's so true, and I'm sure as I get to Tahiti, I'll see the difference between those who are obedient and those who aren't. We have these commandments from God for a reason, and He gave them to us because He knows us best and wants what is best for us. There is most often heartbreak, sorrow and loss of self-control with those who fail to recognize the importance of being obedient, and yet such exceeding joy, self worth and a sense of accomplishment when we align ourselves with God's will. It will give us the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and make us feel at peace.

Well, that's what I've got for this week! I'll probably write this Saturday before I leave, but after that you can expect a lot of sweet, new info and experiences. I'll guarantee quite a few pictures as well! This is the moment I've been stoked for for such a long time. If you send me a letter after Wednesday, it would probably be best to send it to my actual mission address as opposed to the MTC address. That way, I won't leave the MTC and miss the letter by a day or so. With that being said, I'm excited! I love and miss you all, and I'll get back to you once I'm in paradise! Je vous aime!

Ma te here,
Orometua Popo

Elder Ball

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