Monday, February 29, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm, Our Island Cat - Bri & When Pres Bieze Told Us to Stay In!

February 29, 2016

Hello tout le monde!
For a quick recap of my email last week; I said that we finally got sun, but that was shortly lived. We had rain ALL week and wind ALL week. Our showers were cold ONCE AGAIN. But hey...who knows, we may get some sun today. We are expected to get hit with a cyclone after this week of getting the "depression", which is what they call it.
With the weather we were told by our mission president to be wise and stay inside. We have the mountain sector and we had a lot of flooding at member and ami homes. We brought the other soeurs with us and asked anyone we could find if we could help them clear out water from their homes or clear out debres that damaged some homes, but we were also turned away from helping members and amis too. If we try hard enough, one day the members and amis will let us do service for them! ONE DAY!!
I wasn't able to work in the sector a whole lot this week, because I was helping Sr. Lawrence in hers (I have the car and she is on bike), so we had our comps work together in Taravao 1. Sr. Lawrence has had really bad back pain for the past 2-3 weeks, and all the docteurs we have been too find her situation "bizarre et on ne sait pas qu'est-ce qu'on doit faire avec toi....mais tien...prend doliprane." Doliprane is the French version of Ibuprofen. We figured it could be one of two things, but we hope it's nothing too serious. Not gonna lie....when you're injured or sick on the mission the one thing you long for is home. But right now our home is our mission, and the love of Jesus Christ is stronger than we could ever imagine.
There really is not much to report on this week....bummer I know. Our house has been pounded with the storm that we had, but we have remained our of harms way #blessed
So, to end this tiny email of mine; here are some quotes I find rather....PRETTY AWESOME!
"We would do well to slow down a little and focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most." - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"I believe music heals the soul." - Alex Boye :)
Je vous aime beaucoup. Merci pour vos prieres chaque jour et pour votre amour!
Ua here au ia outou!
-Tuahine/Soeur Morrill :)

p.s. It's now been 9 MONTHS!!!!!!! WHATTT!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Just sending a little love!

Cyclone Scare and Cold Showers

February 22, 2016

Chers tous,
J'espere que vous aviez passe une bonne semaine!!
This week has been beyond gloomy. Today is the first day we've seen sun since last monday! We heard about the category 5 cyclone hit Fiji these past few days, and we've definitely experienced the aftermath of that storm with super stong winds and obnoxious rain. Today was also the first time we had warm showers since last week as well! It's been pretty cold here which is beyond rare, but he we have sun (and humidity) again so that's always worth a SMILE!!
And: Isabelle got baptized. It was super great, even though it was a small bapteme with not that many people. She was just so happy, and what kind of made me chuckle: after she came out of the water after being baptized she yells "MERCI...MERCI" least the spirit is still here. Isabelle is awesome, and I couldn't have said it better myself!!
Had lecons with Vairea this week and she told us that she was finally going to "break the news" to her very Catholique famille that she's taking the missionary lecons. She said "I have my cousins' support and the love from Heavenly Father to back me up. Set my bapteme for the 12 Mars." ....oh..woah...OK!! Might as well! "I wanna work for that date, and nothing can get in the way of MY salvation." No lie...her courage kinda of surprised me, because she's been timid for a while about talking to her famille, but I now see her love for the gospel and her testimony in her face every time we see her! "I CAN DO ALL THINGS."
Funny little story: So Dawson is our other Bapteme fixe for the 19 Mars, and he absolutely loves church and reading the Livre de Mormon. We were blessed from la famille TEIHO to get two more amis who loved coming to their soiree familials on monday evenings, Arii and Wilder. We had a lecon with them this past Saturday, and their friend in the TEIHO famille, Kawkehe, was there too, AND so was DAWSON. Hahaha...he's acting like a member integrateur before he's even baptized. He's a cute kid, and he even told us he thinks his bapteme will bring his famille to take the lecons too! We had a lecon with Dawson about familles and the temple; we talked about how great it is to become an eternal famille and be sealed to your loved ones for ETERNITY. At the end of that lecon he literally said " veux ça." Haere maru, haere papu...petit a petit....little by little (or slow and steady) his famille will know of the blessings of the gospel too!!
This past Tuesday we had to go en ville all day for transfers, and Soeur Lawrence got a new fille straight off the plane from Provo, Soeur Sanchez. At the end of the meeting Elder Tia-soi-chang and Elder Pruett (the assistants) were talking about what it's like to be in a car lie I like the car, but I really want to be on a bike #beeninacarsinceday1 SO Elder Tia pulls the cat out of the bag and tells me that I may as well get to love the car, because I'll be called as STL (sister training leader) soon.....WHAT??? I mean that's great, but normally you get that assignment when you're at your YEAR mark...not your HALF WAY mark. But hey...we'll see!
Other than that this week has been pretty chill like the people! I hope y'all have a great week full of sunshine, smiles, and some snow (or rain for those in the south).
I love y'all! Je vous aime! Ua here au ia outou!

-Tuahine/Soeur Morrill :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Another week, another sunburn and other adventures!

February 15, 2016

Chers tous,

Bonjour ou Ia ora na!

J'espere vous avez passé une bonne semaine!
This week was super great!
First of all: We've been having lecons with our new ami, Dawson! Super cool kid, and he has gained a testimony so fast. In our first lecon during the week we were discussing L'Evangile de Jesus Christ, and I had a distinct impression that we needed to engage him to baptism again. Though I wasn't sure, I had to figure out how to talk to Soeur Lasso about it DURING the lecon. So what do we do? We passed notes, like you all know y'all used to do in middle school, during the lecon to make sure that both of us were feeling the same prompting haha. It was so great. We both felt that the 19 March was his bapteme date and engaged him for that day. And he said....YESSSSS!!! So we fixed his bapteme for that day, and we told him we would do everything in our power to help him prepare for his baptism....y'all he's already ready, but the 19th of March just stuck out to us #theholyghostisreal
Second: This past Samedi Abraham got BAPTIZED!! He asked me to give the discour about the Don du Saint-Esprit. As I was speaking, I looked around the room, looking at other people, and then my gaze rested on Abraham....he was crying....dangit. For those of you who know me pretty well, you can pretty much guess that I started crying too. After Abraham was baptized and we went to féliciter him he shook my hand and told me how much he appreciated the words I said and how touched he was by the Spirit I brought into that talk. It's amazing the little things you say that can touch a person's heart. That's why we should always Ouvrir la bouche!!
Thrid: We had another lecon with Willy et Teivaiva this past week and it was Teivaiva's 18th birthday! So naturally we sang and brought him cake...that we tried our best to make! After all of that he tells that he has signed up for the ARMY in France. WHAT!!!! First of all that's awesome, but second of all NOOO! We don't want him to go, but I know there is more for him in France. A little background on Teivaiva: He was adopted when he was super little, and later on he was forced to go to a reform type of school. He dropped out of school at the beginning of the new year, and still has trouble reading. He's improved on his reading ability so much every since we've been teaching him. But he'll find out where in France he is going after the 22nd, AND he asked us to contact the missions over in France to find him and continue the lecons with him!!!
This week has been super duper hot, and it's been unbearable some days, and those days I've gotten absolutely fried. is life. But...we have found some pretty legit people. for example: we contatcted the PRESIDENT of the BILLABONG surfing competitions. He totally lives in our sector and told us that we could come back anytime, and later on after our missions would "hook us up with sick surfing lecons" hahaha. His name is Max, and he's super chill. He's super famille oriented and would not stop talking about him. Totally going back there this week!
P.Bize made an appearance at our Saint-Cene yesterday, and gave a pretty killer talk about missionary work. He taught our Gospel Principles class too, and told all of our amis and converti recents the importance of working towards ETERNAL LIFE! At the beginning of the lecon he starts talking about how the church of Jesus Christ was restored, and he turns to me and asks me to stand up and racont to everyone what happened when Jospeh Smith prayed in the forest grove that one day. Normally when I recount the first vision I get chills, but rarely do I cry. Yesterday was that day, not only did I cry while I recounted the first vision, but after I finished I was looking around the room more and saw a lot of our amis and converti recents were crying too. Not gonna's amazing the message you bring when you know you are just the transporter. Yes, I am a missionary, but the Holy Ghost is the real teacher her. I wasn't really aware that I had touched so many people that day until afterwards a lot of them came up to me and told me how stronly they felt the spirit. Advice: If you are a soon to be missionary. Never forget; when you recount the first vision, always allow the spirit to work through you. Don't make it sound like your just reciting it over and over again. Make it a special and spiritual experience for your amis. You may recount the first vision about 100 + times on your missions, but your amis will normally only hear it make it special every single time!! #peace
Y'all this week has been great, and our district got together in our sector of Taravao 1 to do district contacting. It was super fun, and our district helped us find more potentials. It's amazing how many more people you can find with missionaries in on small area!
Before I peace out for the week I want to leave y'all with a quote that I absolutely LOVE:
    "God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted, the music unsung, and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation." President Thomas S. Monson
Ua here au ia outou!
Jusqu'au semaine prochain!!
Peace out home slices!
-Soeur/Tuahine Morrill :)

Tahititan banana delight, beautiful ocean again, knocking on portals, Abraham's baptism, soccer Tahitian style with kids

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weddings, prayers, and hand surgery

February 8, 2016

HEEEYYYY yooouuuu guuuuuuys!
I hope y'alls week has been fantabulous!
So first of all: yes....I had hand surgery. If that's what you would even call it. So throughout my mission so far I've gotten my share of sicknesses. I've gotten shots and these medications that Americans do not have, but it's worked. I've also gotten these verrues (warts) on my hands. HOW? no idea! Being here has made me super aware that washing your hands is not something to be taken lightly here. So yea....I had to go into the docteur this past wednesday and get that taken care of. And normally with verrues they would either burn or freeze them off...NOPE. Everyone....they numbed my hand (and I was so glad they did) and SCRAPED them off. I don't know what I would have done or said if my hand wasn't numb, but NEVER have I been so thankful for numbing medicine in my life. So after that my hand bled a lot, but they gave me medicine to help wash out any virus I have in my system that would cause the verrues to appear on my hands.
2nd of all: Last week I told you about the miracle that is ABRAHAM! Well...THEY GOT MARRIED!! I can't exclaim how happy I am for him and Hapai. They got married and Abraham is getting baptized this Saturday! It's been a long up hill battle for Hapai, and we've fasted and prayed with her a lot. For a while she thought he would never change and was close to giving up and kicking him out of the house, but then all of he sudden he flips that personal spiritual switch and wants to get married and baptized. Soeur Hapai came up to me and Sr. Lasso in church yesterday and said "Je suis trop heureuse! Pere-Celeste a repondu a mes priers!" He answered her prayers! That one moment was a testament to me: no matter what your situation is...PRAY!! He hears you prayers, and He WILL answer them. But don't are also living the plan that He has made FOR you specifically, and you agreed to it in the pre-moral existance. He will answer you prayers, but only when He knows you are ready for it and only when He knows you are best equiped to handle His response. He loves each and everyone of us, even though there are some days we think our prayers go unheard and unanswered. JUST KEEP PRAYING!
Also: We've been teaching this famille MARCANTONI for about 2 weeks now and it's been AWESOME! They are so golden! We taught them Le Retablissement this past week, and afterwards talked about bapteme. They said they really want to get baptized, but "il faut que nous aillons doussement avec eux." Why? Y'all....a little background on this famille. They are active Protestants, and that's rare for us missionaires to get people that are active in their own church and want to hear the gospel at the same time. They asked to follow the lecons. And they want to get baptized, but they told us they want us to go slow with them, because they have callings in the Protestant church and they're en train de quitter la religion ils on grandit de dans pendant toute leurs vie. C'est dur. But they said they would do whatever it takes to gain a testimony which was so cool to hear!!!
This week has been great, and we found another golden investigator named Dawson who got permission from his parents to take the lecons. He's so nice and has only 15 years! But you can just see the light slowly coming into his life. He's become happier and talks more than from the first time we met him. Golden I'm tellin' ya..GOLDEN!
Other than these blistering hot days, we are supposed to get an actual cyclone at the end of Fevrier. If that actually happens who really knows...on verra! But as for now, I hope y'all are all do SUPER!
N'oubliez pas les benedictions qui viennent de l'Evangile de Jesus-Christ!! Je vous aime!
E mea oaoa ia'u d'etre ici a Polynesie Francaise! (I'm so happy to be here in French Polynesia)!
Jusqu'au semaine prochaine!!
-Tuahine/Soeur Morrill :)

Friends & the heights we climb to knock on doors

Everyone loves a picture

Accidentally drank the water!

February 1, 2016

Famille, Friends, Americans lend me your ears!
How are y'all? :)
This week has been good! And on the bright side of doing porte a porte this week we actually got rejected by super nice Faranis (native French people)!
Along with another super cool addition to the week: We are teaching ENGLISH CLASSES!!!! Well I am at least, and Soeur Lasso is teaching SPANISH! It's been super fun, because I finally get a little bit of a feeling what it's like to teach my native tongue to other native speakers!
Blessing 1: Also this week has been kind of a whirl wind with some of our other amis: So we have this amis named Abraham...not really sure if I've told y'all about him, but he's been super difficult.  Abraham is living in concubinage with a non-pratiquant named Sr. Hapai! He hasn't been super faithful to Sr. Hapai and des fois goes and stays with another woman (I know right...not so great), but we see he's home so we stop by to say hi! He sits us down and tells us probably some of the MOST AMAZING NEWS EVER!! Him and Soeur Hapai have talked and planned their MARIAGE!! And after they get married, Abraham wants to get BAPTIZED.....WHAT???!!!!!! Il a dit "on veut se marier et je veux me faire baptiser." He said it was like no big deal! They planned their mariage for the 6 Février which is ya know at like the end of this week!! He said after he talks with our bishop then he will choose a date this week for his bapteme! I'm not gonna lie...It's hard to trust people like that when you've heard so many harsh and awful things about them, but I really have the faith in him that he has changed. And if it really works like he's told us, I know that after he is baptized him and Sr. Hapai and their kids (Hinanui and her sister) will all prepare to be sealed in the temple as a famille for eternity! I'm praying so hard for them, because Abraham is a great example that people can change even when you think they are "too far gone."
Blessing 2: Later that same evening we finally met a the famille MARCANTONI! They are a famille of 4, Nellia et Yannick et leurs enfants Teariikinui et Tumatoarii. They are references from another zone in the mission and they heard about the church from Nellia's brother who is getting married and then baptized into the church in a few weeks. They went to a coin de feu (fireside) with her brother and became super interested. We taught them the Plan de Salut, and boy was that a great lecon! Nellia had so many great questions, and her eyes lit up when we told her that her grandma's diabetes was NOT a sin and that is was all part of God's eternelle plan for her. They were happy to hear that familles can be made eternelle and sealed in the temple. They are such a busy famille. They kids are wicked athletes and go en ville into Papeete Faa'a area every weekend, and they work until super late every other night, so the only nights they are available are Thursday nights. But I can see it! They're gonna be the next famille to see the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and be baptized and be sealed for FOREVER!!

So along with getting rejected by everyone on the mountain again, Soeur Lasso and I had a really good discussion about faith and building your personal conversion of the gospel. Like I said in one of my last emails: if you only have one convert on the mission I sure hope it's yourself who has grown closer to your Heavenly Father. Peu importe the number of how people you baptize. Yes, our objective is to invite others to come unto Christ and to teach repentance and baptism, but you want to make sure that your conversion is just as strong when you teach your amis so that for sure you are their to help them increase their faith and enter into the waters of baptism.
I'm gonna be honest: numbers are stressed a lot here, and it's stressful. And we have become discouraged des fois in thinking that we aren't accurate missionaires if we don't reach a standard of excellence that our President has set for the mission (which is btw for every week: 22 lecons, 3 new amis, 3 bapteme fixes, and 6 amis a la sainte-cene). Numbers are stressed a lot, and it causes a lot of anxiety and stress in the missionaires in this mission, but I've realized one thing: yes, you should always work hard to find people to teach and teach people when you find, but if you don't get those numbers that week IT IS O.K. It's not the end of the world. Heavenly Father sees that! If you are working your hardest every day and trying your hardest to be obedient then He will bless you....yea it may not be in high numbers but it will be in small miracles and blessings you pick out every week that will eventually grow into an even bigger blessing later on down the road. So WHAT if we don't get those numbers every week! Abinadi converted someone and he didn't even know it! (Mosiah 11-Mosiah 17 Le Livre de Mormon). So WHAT if your president emphasizes numbers. You are your own missionary, and if you work your hardest, you will be blessed. #dropsmic
I've given y'all bits and pieces of what the other half of our mission is like throughout my emails. I love my mission with all my heart, and I've grown so much in my own testimony that every time we get rejected by someone, yea it's a little sting in the heart, but we have just planted a seed that someone down the road will eventually harvest.
Missionaires plant a lot of seeds on missions and des fois we don't see the fruits of our labors, but our Heavenly Father does, and ya know what...that's all that matters.
I love y'all so much and pray for you all every day!
J'espere vous allez avoir une bonne semaine avec vos familles et amis!
Ua here au ia outou!
jusqu'au semaine prochain!
-Tuahine/Soeur Morrill :)
p.s. the water didn't kill me


A great week!

 January 25, 2016
 Hello tout le monde!!!
j'espere vous avez eu une bonne semaine!!
This week was really good!
First off: We went to go find Teivaiva this week, because he forgot about his last lecon; so we go up to the house he is staying at and there he is with two other people, Willie et Hiriata. Willie is 23 et Hiriata is 18 ish. We talk to them and start to share a message and then all of a sudden Willie says he wants to get baptized....WHAT??? Turns out Willie followed the lecons with the Elders when they were serving here in Taravao...which is like 6-7 years ago!! He apparently heard from Teivaiva that he has been following the lecons and decided to wait with him one day until we came back to that house!! He loved the lecons with the elders and asked to take them again!! #blessed
So one of the first weeks that I had Sr. Lasso we went up into the mountain and did some porte a porte to find new people. We ran into a woman who was TEMOINS her name is Olivia. She was hesitant because she knows there is tention in Tahiti between the Mormons and Temoins. (side note: Temoins and Mormons are the only faiths that prosylite in French they see it as a kind of competition I guess). Tried to share a message with her...and what did she do? bash on Joseph Smith and our modern day prophet Thomas S. Monson....that's happened a lot since I've been here, but all we could do was "bare pure testimony" which is what President Bize told us. BUT THEN....just wait....we are at our house (this past Saturday) and the five of us are about to do our studies when all of a sudden we hear "COOKOO il y a quelqu'un?" It was the Temoins. They had no idea they had just walked upon the house of the missionaries, but when we walked out I saw Olivia with another sister. I don't know if the word surprised is the right word to use for Olivia when she saw us again, but she tried her best to be friendly to us. It was interesting to discuss with them, though they still bashed at our faith. No matter how many people throw dirt at my faith or dirty it's name I have no doubt that this church is true. With all my heart, I have seen the blessings that have come from being a membre and from serving a full time mission. Yes a mission is hard, and unexpected events are bound to happen, "but always remember that no matter if you have one or zero converts on your mission...I hope the biggest convert you have is yourself." -Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles
Finally: FRERE VITO GOT BAPTIZED!!! Oh my gosh I can't even explain how happy I am for him and his famille!! Frere Vito the father and was the last one to get baptized in his famille. (note: his wife and kids have been converts for a little over 6-8 months now) For a while he would leave when the missionaries would come to teach his famille and he always spoke badly of them. His brother Henri and Fr. Vito's wife basically said that Fr. Vito hated the Mormons and especially the missionaries for a long time. But now, he is baptized. He reads the scriptures every day almost non-stop from what his wife told me and completely changed his life. He was a difficult amis to teach and for a while had trouble with knowing how to read, but now (for most of our past lecons we would read out of the Livre de Mormon with him and explain as we read relating it to the first 4 lecons) he reads almost perfectly. He wears a white shirt to church now with a tie (every single sunday before his bapteme he always wore the same red button down shirt hahaha). He's EARLY to church now! And you can see the light of the gospel in his eyes!! He knows it's true, and at his bapteme he bore such a beautiflu testimony I almost cried!!
The day of Fr. Vito's bapteme it rained.....NOOOOO. We were so close to having clear Bapteme water. But when we got them it was as dark as ever haha. And that evening his famille and his brother did a beautiful program for his bapteme. Fr. Vito's son Nohoarii baptized him!! Earlier that week Henri was looking over the program that Fr. Vito wanted and saw that Noho and him were doing literally everything for his bapteme. Henri spoke to Noho and told him he had need to baptize his father. For a while Noho argued with Henri but then Henri told him "quelle meilleur benediction tu pourrais avoir de baptiser ton pere. Tu vas le baptiser et tu vas jamis le regretter." He was right...Noho didn't regret baptizing his father. I can't explain to you the chills I got when Noho said the bapteme pray! It was so powerful and it was amazing to see a son help his father become clean of all the sin from his "past self". After Fr. Vito was baptized Noho began to cry (which made me shed a tear or two) and just held onto his dad for a long time...and the entire time people are trying to take pictures of them, but it was a beautiful moment to see!
Frere Vito is by far an amazing convert and has changed for the absolute better. What better thing is that (a little bit before I finish my mission) I should be able to go through the TEMPLE with them and watch them get sealed as a famille for ETERNITY! That's the goal our Father in Heaven has for us! We all came into this life and were put into a famille. Why wouldn't famille be one of the most important things our Heavenly Father wants for us? We were put into a famille for a reason, and our goal is to make our famille and other familles eternelle! I can't wait for that day to see the Perry Famille all dressed in white!
From the looks of it this week has been pretty great! It's been full of plusiers benedictions despite of all the hardships that come a long with the mission!
I hope y'all have a great week and enjoy the snow some parts of the US (Bama apparently) has received!
I love you all so much and am so thankful for the prayers!
Jusqu'au semaine prochain!
Ua here au ia outou! FAMILLES ARE FOREVER!!
-Soeur/Tuahine Morrill :)