Monday, 25 January 2016

Big changes and a crazy P-day

I am so sorry guys. 
I won’t have very long at all to email. Tell the people sorry if they ask why I didn’t reply this week. 

My companion, Elder Ruff was transferred to Bora Bora, so this morning we had to drive to Pape’ete, then back home to Mataiea the to Fa’a’a (the airport), then back home. Then to Taravao at the connection of Tahiti and Presqi'ile then here for email. The zone leaders are going back to Fa’a’a to pick my new companion Elder Lo'amanu, he is a Tongan-American dude. He has a lot of mission experience and apparently he has a really good sense of humour. So this is going to be fun. I’ve been driving for hours today.  Je suis fiu!  But at least I didn’t forget how to drive standard.

I’ve learned too much to put into an email so far. all about maturity and the scriptures. This week was honestly a huge challenge for us. We are in the zone with the most potential in the mission, so we get put under a really high standard and Elder Ruff and I consistently had appointments dropped this week. Almost all our lessons that where planned got cancelled, and we ran into some huge speed bumps. It got so bad, we ended doing a split (trading companions) with the zone leaders for two days. So this week I spent two days in Vaira’o. The area goes from Vaira’o to Teahupo’o. It was crazy awesome. It is the most beautiful part of the main island. For one of our lessons we had to cross two rivers in the Toyota Hilux that the zone leaders have. I ended up eating a wierd berry that is super rare. It that makes your sense of taste change. We had a bunch of Marquesian lemons, (smaller but way more sour than normal lemons.) We juiced them into a glass and drank it straight after eating the berry. It ended up not being sour at all, but super sweet, and desirable above all other fruits. T’was a taste I’ve never experienced before. but even if it didn’t taste sour, it made the muscles in my neck do weird things. T’was kind of a strange experience. 

I’m kinda sad to see Elder Ruff go. We never even had an argument. Sometimes we would get into fake arguments, to prevent a real one happening. He kinda became my brother, even though he is technically my “father.” (missionary lingo for your “trainer and first companion). He is now serving in Anau on Bora Bora. We went through a lot together, and I am really glad I got to serve with that guy. Now on to the next companion. Nothing too exiting happened this week, I worked really hard this week, and this preparation day has been full of nothing in particular, so i’m ready for bed already...

But all is well. And life moves on.

Oh and I realized in a previous email, i miss spelled 'ua here otou.’  I said 'ua here tatout' which means I love us , not I love you guys. heh heh. I still kinda suck at this Tahitian thing.

Elder Goodwin

My last selfie with Elder Scruff. This was in fact supposed to be a 'before' photo, of how much our skin colour changes after four hours of contacting in the sun. But afterwards we where too tired to take an 'after' picture.

Monday, 18 January 2016

P-days, dogs and driving

You asked about P-day adventures. I have gone hiking at a place called Vaipahi, but other than that, We've driven around the island a few times. We have multi-zone conferences I think once a transfer. We had one recently, with the zones of Punauuia, Paea and Papeari, I am in the zone of Papeari. 

Story of the week is kinda funny to me. Elder Ruff and I where walking to a lesson in one of the sketchier neighbourhoods to go to a lesson. Before you hear this next part I need to explain the dog situation in Tahiti. There are stray dogs everywhere, usually pit bulls, but there are tons of other breeds also. They are usually nice, or ignore that you even exist... and if one is in your way you just say 'hiesh' loudly and it will walk away (most dogs recognize that as a warning). 

Ok, so we are walking, and all is well--nothing could ruin this day. We have had three lessons so far, so we are content with life--and coming around this corner, out of nowhere comes this dog. It attacks Elder Ruff’s right leg. He tore his pants up pretty bad but thankfully the bite didn’t go very deep. We went pretty much directly to a doctor, because we where worried about rabies... but all is well, everything is fine, and my companion is healing. The other day this tiny wiener dog puppy ran up to Elder Ruff, and I jumped in front of him yelling watch-out! and protected him. So basically I am the worst companion ever. 

I don't really have any pictures because this week was pretty lame... sorry. But good news, we had to go to Papeete this morning to get the oil changed in the Avanza or “Bethsheba," as we like to call it. While we where there, I got to do my driving test with the couple missionaries that are over that kind of thing. So now if Elder Ruff gets transferred next week, I will be able to drive. woot! woot!  Driving in downtown Papeete is scary, but I nailed it like a pro. 

Not a lot of cool news... sorry guys, keep on keepin' on!

Faitoito (Goodluck)
Elder Goodwin 

Elder Ruff's leg and destroyed pants

Monday, 11 January 2016

Mataiea - working and learning

We have had the edge of a cyclone sweep the Presqu’ile (the small attached 'almost island’ of the main island of Tahiti) a couple weeks ago, but so far, we have been pretty safe here on the main island. 

Our last P day (preparation day) we went on a hike. It was decent, I enjoyed it. I have been working on my Tahitian a lot lately, the sad thing is that at the New Zealand MTC, they don’t give you language learning tools like a dictionary. but at the Provo MTC you get 4 different books for learning Tahitian, so I have been mooching off of Elder Ruff a lot. I have ordered some books from the mission, so we will see what comes of that, but so far I can understand maybe 30 percent of what people say, and I can speak the ever so slightest bit of it. The issue is, that Tahitian is not spoken nearly as much as French here on the main island, but I have been getting better slowly. 

Mataiea sector has been doing better. We have found a few people with a lot of potential... so the work is progressing a lot. Elder Ruff is the district leader now, so we are slightly more busy, and I have been gaining new experiences everyday. No really crazy stories happened this week, other than Ruff baptizing one of our investigators, and me getting to confirm him. He is an awesome dude. He may be in the top ten of the nicest people I have ever met in all my life, he is the kind of guy that would give you his car if you needed a ride home. 

I miss the cold a bit. It kinda sucks to be burning hot all the time. But I've been getting used to it. It is never colder than 25C here so I've been very warm, day and night.

The Tahitian word of the day is ‘fiu.' It means 'fed up', ‘I’m so done', or being on the edge of giving up. Fiu is a word we use on many occasions in our area. Ha ha. 

Ua here vau ia tatou! (i love you guys)
Elder Goodwin

A recent baptism 

A hike we had last P day. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Christmas and beyond...

Ok, update time. Sorry about the lame emails lately, the holidays have been a confusing time. Christmas here is pretty much like Christmas in Canada, but no snow. A bunch of members and investigators gave us some gifts. They are all chocolate, so our house is now full of chocolate. I am going to gain so much weight. 

The work continues. It is hard to do work these last weeks because everyone was partying and didn’t want to talk to us... so we haven't had much work to do. But now that people have finished Christmas and New Years and it is time to get started again. 

The new house mates are Elder Toame from Vanuatu and Elder Gonzales from France and Spain. They are both pretty awesome. Elder Toame is hilarious... the house has gotten just a little bit more fun, yet surprisingly more focused on the work, which is a really good thing. 

The adventure of the week was that Elder Ruff and I where invited to a birthday party for one of our investigators, so of course we thought it was an awesome idea to go. Let it be known that it was not an awesome idea. We rolled up to a music pumping college type party, so we did what any person would do, and we started with an opening prayer, we ate some food, whilst talking to drunk people. There were four “reirei’s" there. A reirei is a man who dresses up like a woman. They where huge! Like rugby player status, yet they had long bleached hair and kept telling me they liked my tie. Overall a ten-outa-ten experience. Other than that, the work has been continuing. 

I think things are looking up for Mataiea. On a more spiritual side, I’ve learned that missionary work is difficult at times, but the joy I feel is stronger than anything i have felt before. Even when you have been rejected my everyone for the last four hours in the burning sun... at the end of day and you know you were an instrument in the hands of the Lord, and you had some effect on someones eternal salvation. You can't help but smile.

Goofy Christmas photo shoot with  Elders Lee Chip Soa, Mclelland, Ruff and I.

Group photos are with, Elder Lee Chip Soa, Mclelland, Ruff and I and Sisters Augustine (Utah), Toa (Tahitan), Stosich (Montana) and Janeau (French). This group picture is our whole district... all the missionaries from Mataiea to Papeari on the Island of Tahiti.

The face of, "we did 3 hours of contacting, and the only thing we got was a cool selfie over a river."