Monday, 31 October 2016

Getting to know our new Ward

Dear friends and family,

In answer to your questions about the island… we have a couple cheaper 4 star and lower resorts in our area; (Anau, Vairou Bay) but all of the five-star $10 000 dollar a night resorts are on the Motu’s, (little atoll islands surrounding the main island). Every once and a while, our wards head over there to the motu's for ward activities. It’s really nice to be in a rural area, but when the population is more spread out, making it more difficult to be efficient as a missionary. When your next lesson is at the other side of the island, it makes it tough to get to lessons on time.

it is about 15 kilometers for us to get to the chapel (in Vaitapi) from our house, so it is about a 25 to 30 minute drive If you don't get stuck behind a rental car moving at about 20 kilometers an hour. The island is 32 Kilometers around.

No need of shoe polish, I’m still going strong, 

Halloween here is a little different, they didn't really go door-to-door like we do. They just dress up an go to parties and there is a fare amount of drinking… We actually hardly noticed it was halloween until a member brought it up. A couple members gave us some candy. 

In The French Polynesian islands, the only real land animal that can do some sort of harm are wild pigs. But they tend to hang out high up in the mountain. Every once and a while you run into a goat wilst contacting up in the mountain. 

Ok Tahitian lesson time.
1 Hoe, 2 Piti, 3 Toru, 4 Maha, 5 Pae, 6 Ono, 7 Hitu, 8 Va’u, 9 Iva, 10 Ahuru, 
11 Ahuru ma Hoe, 12 Ahuru ma Piti, ….20 Piti Ahuru, 21 Piti Ahuru ma Hoe, etc.

I Love you = "Ua here vau ia oe" (one person talking to one person), “Ua here vau ia orua" (one person talking to two people), "Ua here vau ia outou" (one person talking to 3 or more people.)

Hi, how are you = Iaorana, Eaha ta (Oe,Orua,Outou) Huru? or for short. Iaorana, Achuru? 

Merry Christmas = Ia oaoa (oe, orua, outou) teie noela (L's in Tahitian are pronounced as R's)

Does this dress make me look fat? = E mea poria anei vau i roto i teie ahu?

I will send pictures of the apartment next week. 

This week was really great, lots of work was accomplished. companion is still doing great, supper good missionary. no complaints!

Elder Goodwin

Elder Larsen and I helping a Mami make Firifiri

Deep fried flour, sugar, yeast and coconut milk goodness!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Bora Bora... first week

Iaorana Ta'u Utuafare. Eaha ta outou huru? 
Hello my family, what's up?

Yeah, Elder Loyd went home. He got crazy super sick and nobody knew what it was. Because of that there were only 5 missionaries on Bora for about 3 weeks.. so Elder Larsen served in another Ward on Bora until I arrived. So there have been no missionaries in the area for a couple weeks. I didn’t really know Elder Loyd too well. He served on Tahiti for a bit and then he went to a super cool island called Tubuai. Then he arrived on Bora. so I’ve seen him around but I dont know a lot about him. We all hope that he can come back pretty soon. 

To answer your questions. There are Three Wards on Bora Bora, but only one chapel. They bought the land for Stake Center a little while ago, because they are thinking of taking the Islands of Tahaa, Maupiti and Bora Bora and making the Stake of Bora Bora pretty soon… but we don’t really know when they are going to do that. 

I don’t know how to explain where we live, because addresses don’t exist here. If you want to describe were you live you have to do it by land marks. We live basically on the oposite side of the island (the east side) to the chapel. We live ocean-side of the highway and we have a very small house. I actually love the house. Actually, I just looked at google maps, we live in VAIROU bay. You will see a long dock. Go south of that dock a couple meters and you will see a second smaller dock. We live in the white roof house in the property just south of that small dock. We aren’t right next to the ocean, we are the one closer to the highway. (have fun)

Elder Larsen is super awesome, we have a very similar sense of humor, but he still works really, really hard and speaks very good French for being only 12 weeks in the field. So far, I’m having tons of fun and getting a lot of work done. 

I like the more rural area of the island. It is a lot more quiet, but our area is huge, Its literally the most northern point of the island to the most southern point of the island, known as Matira beach. Its freakin massive. My last area was 1.5 kilometres long, this one is over 15 kilometres long.

My bike arrived on the boat "the HavaikiNui" on Friday. Our area would suck to bike in, but if our lessons are close it wouldn't be too bad. 

I got to meet the Ward on Sunday and it went really well. They were kinda happy to see the missionaries back after 3 weeks of nothing. They seem super cool, I'm crazy pumped to get this Ward moving. The work in Anau is a bit sleepier than the other two Wards. Its kind of a rough start because we had no lessons fixed this week. So we visited a lot of people and did a lot of contacting, so next week we have a bunch of stuff to do and we will hopefully start getting this area pumpin out some big numbers. 

Well, one year has passed, I am now slowly working my way though the second half of my mission. I burned a shirt the other night. I’ve got some cool pictures of that, 
I just have to wait a bit to send the pictures and can use the other computer. 

What do you guys want to know how to say in Tahitian? I don’t know what to teach you guys...

Elder Goodwin

Matira Beach

Cute little hermit crab/ Matira Beach 

A nice little cake a member got me for me for my hump day anniversary.
Preparing for the ceremonial burning of the worst white shirt for the one year anniversary.

Ho'e matahiti i roto ta'u misioni. One year on my mission!

Monday, 17 October 2016

Transferred: already missing Papehue, but excited about my next island adventure

Hello everyone,

Wellllllll. Big news, I got a call Thursday night that I needed to be transferred to replace an Elder that got really sick. So on Sunday I had to take an airplane all the way to a a small island… I'm not sure if you have heard of it. It's called Bora Bora. I am serving in the Ward of Anau, which covers the entire east side of the island. Its a really big area, but thankfully we have the car. There are 3 areas on Bora, (Fa'anui, Vaitape and Anau). Cool story, my old companion Elder Owens is serving in Vaitape right now so it is really cool to be able to see that guy. 

The main island is pretty poor and a lot more wild and quiet than Tahiti. But the areas around the hotels, and out on the "Motu's" (the atols around the island) where it is super touristy and beautiful. But there is still a lot of white sand. This place is mega beautiful! There seems to be a lot more Tahitian spoken here so I am excited to get more opportunity to speak it. 

I will be sure to send a bunch of awesome Bora pictures. We are going to go to a couple cool spots for our P-day, so you guys will see a couple cool pictures. Stay tuned!

Other than that my last week in Papehue was super good. We got a lot of work done and had a good time doing it. I really love that Ward. I'm gonna miss them a lot. 

Life is going good. Love you guys.

Elder Goodwin

Bora Bora airport arrival!
Boat to the main island

My new companion, Elder Larsen in our assigned car. He's from Kaysville, Utah and has been on his mission 11 weeks.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Failure, success, and a little Tahitian equals an excellent week.

Hey guys.

This week was really interesting. The whole companionship unity thing has been doing miles better now. We found some common ground and things are going really well. But all-in-all this week was tough. 100% of lessons this week got cancelled. I’ve never had a ‘perfect' week before. But we still managed to find a couple lessons, although they were unplanned, fall out of the sky opportunities. 

Honestly this week wasn’t all that special. We ended having a bunch of extra unplanned time, so we took advantage of the time to build relationships. We visited our Ward Mission Leader everyday this week. Our WML is an older Tahitian man that can’t really walk. He can’t go out with us because he doesn’t have a car. But he is an incredibly smart and well read fellow because he reads a lot. He doesn’t really speak French very well. Everyone in the ward tells us that his Tahitian is the best in the Ward by far. So we go to his little wooden shack and talk to him in Tahitian and laugh with him. And because of that, my Tahitian has been improving in leaps and bounds. I’ve also been reading the bible a lot in Tahitian because it is written in the original Tahitian. 

This Sunday was a fast and testimony meeting for us. Normally this meeting was supposed to be reserved for the Tahitian language. The first two testimonies were people who forgot about this emphasis, so they bore their testimonies in French. When I got up to go bear my testimony, everyone thought I was just going to do it in French, but I bore my testimony and engaged the Ward to do missionary work--in Tahitian. The Ward flipped out. Old Tahitian people are sometimes a little self-conscious when les "taata marite” (Americans) come and speak Tahitian when their kids don’t always speak it very well. All the testimonies after me where in Tahitian and people were being super warm and friendly to me afterwards. WHY didn’t I do this months ago?. 

Even though the overall work kinda sucked this week, I feel really good, because we worked mega hard. And I learned a lot this week. 

E mea au roa te vi. Ua hinaaro vau ia amu te uri. 
I like mangos. I want to eat dog meat. 

Elder Goodwin

Tuesday evening I got to drive the zone leaders truck to take my companions to Tiare (near Hitia on the north side of the island) to eat with Elder Faatau's family before he left for Australia.

Elder Eperania (my companion), the other Iri Uouo (white skin) is Elder Dalton, Elder Faatau, Elder Langomazino and me.
Honestly, this camera is made to take pictures of kittens!

Monday, 3 October 2016

I'm starting to enjoy fafara (who'd have thought!)

In answer to your questions, Mom/Dad, I do know of a pants place, If the problem starts to get worse, I'll give you a heads up to me buying a pair or two. Prices seem to be comparable to chez nous. I'm pretty sure the shirts will hold up, I've learned a few shirt whitening techniques so I think I'm good. I have one shirt that needs to be burned, but the rest are fine and dandy. I'm actually doing really good with most of my stuff. Maybe in the Christmas package send a thingy or two of socks. My socks are starting to get holes in em. But we are still doing good for now. OH and by Christmas I'll need another thing of hair clay. Claire knows what I’m talking about. 

I’ve learned a bunch about la patience the last couple weeks. I’ve also learned a lot about obedience. If we aren’t obedient even just to Mission rules, God’s presence leaves us. Keeping the spirit takes effort when there are challenges. 

Last week we did a really cool hike near the Temple. It was super fun. I got to see some friends in the Mission. 

The work this week was a little tough. We had to put a couple investigators on stand by, but we had two people fix baptisms this week. Elder Faatau, our "visa waiter," is super awesome, too bad he isn’t serving here. 

We ate fafaru** twice this week, and honestly it isn’t even hard to eat anymore. If you know how to eat it, its actually tastes pretty good.

Super cool thing that will happen on Tuesday. Elder Faatau is leaving for the MTC (he got his Australian visa) and he needs to go to his house to get some some stuff. We got permission to go to his house and eat with his family, then drop him off with some other Elders to take him to the airport. He lives in Tiare which is mega far away. So our zone leaders are giving me their truck and we are going to drive up there. ITS GONNA BE SO MUCH FUN. We basically have permission to got do a road trip. 

Not a lot of news this week. I’m hangin in there...

luv you guys

Elder Goodwin

**Made with fish or shrimp, fafaru is marinated in fermented seawater. This water, called mitifafaru, is made by soaking a piece of very fresh fish in the cleanest seawater available for a period of three days. The hardest detail to transcend while eating fafaru is the smell. The fermentation process is used in numerous Tahitian dishes, but only fafaru smells like a five day-old carcass in its finished state. Just remember that this is a real Tahitian treat!

Elder Faatau and I hiking last Monday

Left to right: Elder Prete (Saskatchewan), Elder Paxman (Calgary)