Monday, July 22, 2013

Aloha!! (Not the mish language obviously but I thought I would shake things up.) 
It is not the normal day to write letters, but I have permission to use this time now to say....

My companion/trainee/"daughter" (its a mission thing here to refer to companions as family, Soeur Chapman was my mom) is Soeur Hopuu, she is Tahitian, so confident and cooler than me. We have had so many great moments since yesterday when we both rode bikes for the first time with backpacks. (How the heck does anyone do that???) Especially concerned on the modesty aspect because there is always a slight breeze here and we bike against the wind (symbolic??). She and I are pumped to learn Tahitian together, and we're going to translate between Tahitian and English because she wants to learn English also!
Anywho, Soeur Hopuu and I taught an English class yesterday (I teach a class every Saturday from 11-12, its always a good time), we have planned for her birthday which is this Saturday (cake will be involved), she loves to run so we ran the longest route ever this morning and it was fabulous, and today were going to teach until dinner (no fatamaraa so we are going to cook fish and ravioli YUM).

This training is going to be just wonderful. So far I have not felt like time has 'flown by' but I am grateful for every single thing I have learned up until now. There are so many things that are different here than America so that was tricky but Im motivated to keep adapting. I am so grateful for this opportunity to train because so far it has been a way to solidify the things that I know and also to learn more with a different person. Its been great so far and I think that as long as we keep it real & acknowledge that we are not perfect, its going to be just fine. Essentially, I have a huge responsibility (to train) but Im grateful for this huge opportunity to solidify the training I just received and also to continue my language progression at a rapid rate but now with Tahitian! Also, I LOVE every single letter and email I receive, they are always and forever appreciated. I desperately wish I could reply to them sooner but rest assured that I have read almost all of them and I will reply to them asap!!!!!!!

So, I am always and forever grateful for the emails and letters and I really am trying my darnedest to reply to every single person in a quality manner. There are several letters that I have read & loved but have not had the chance to reply yet. Thank you and sorry if you fall under this status!! Bientot A few observations since the last time: 

I realize that I havent written very many spiritual experiences in my letters but I dont want that to be interpreted as an indication that there is a scarcity. I have had so many experiences with the people here where I have prayed or fasted for a miracle in the life of a person that I love here and "unexplained" things have happened, including one experience when an abusive boyfriend got sentenced to prison.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pictures of How I Mercifully Havent Gotten Fat, Praises for Running
1. Service Project in the lettuce... field.
2. This baby. Ridiculously chubby-cute and yet another reason for why Im going to have 12 kids. And all my babies are going to be fat.
3. Its the end of the world, this picture was taken in the morning right before my run. That would be the moon in the sky simultaneously with the sun.

Ia Oraaaaaana! 

Oh lo lo (expression here to express bemusement or connotes that there is a lot going on, like 'oh la la' but funnier to hear) it has been a long time since I really WROTE. The computer crashed in the middle of a replying to another letter last week and dashed my plans of sending pictures and whatnot.

Minor language update: functionally fluent in French, its kind of a funny joke with me, myself, and I when people first meet me and talk to me like im an immigrant and I reply with a nice smile and speak quickly and correctly in french. not all the time, just sometimes its fun to watch their whole demeanor change afterwards. tahitian is coming slowly but im going to keep working at it. I learn best by doing, and we dont have a ton of opportunities to speak so thats tricky. hopefully ill have the opportunity to serve on an outer island at some point and i can work on my tahitian more! 
(humble and all, ill go where im needed, but i would be lying if i said i wouldnt cry tears of joy if I got transferred to Raiatea at some point)

Spirituality update: pretty solid in the gospel. Every time I teach a person with a lot of questions, my testimony grows. I really respect people who have a lot of thoughtful questions. My first baptism (where I have taught since the first contact) is set for August 3rd!!!!! She is solid, her husband is already a member and the first lesson she told us that shes already read the Book of Mormon, shes halfway through the Doctrine & Covenants, and when can she be baptized. It was a joyful moment. 

I wish to present now, ladies and gentlemen, Mami Therese. (Yes, that translates to Mother Theresa in English.) This older lady is one of the most hillarious people Ive met here. After helping her build a small fence, she decided it was time to teach me how to dance.