Monday, 24 April 2017

Little miracles grow a testimony...


Sad to hear about the Flames...

Alrighty, so my Tahitian is actually doing a lot better. Here in Ra’iatea they speak really really good Tahitian. Their way of speaking is very clear and holds a lot closer to the original Tahitian. Sometimes on Tahiti, people speak very mixed up Tahitian that isn’t correct. But the people here all speak very pure Tahitian, even the kids sometimes speak very well. At Church it is about 70 to 80% in Tahitian. So I’ve been getting a huge work out. We teach a couple investigators in Tahitian right now. 

The other day my comp and I got invited into a house with a bunch of old mammies in it. They seemed as though they didn’t want any of what we were bringing... until we just started talking to them in Tahitian. They were just so surprised that two white kids spoke Tahitian. So we talked about that for a while and slowly turned it into a gospel conversation. That’s how it works people!

We had a bunch of miracles this week. We ran into about 4 people on different days that were very clearly prepared to receive the restored gospel. There was a lady that took the lessons 20 years ago and recieved a testimony---but she moved to France for 15 years. After she moved back we were the first missionaries to stop at her door. Then another who took lessons ten years ago. And another couple that has always seen missionaries and have always wanted to talk to them. They have all now become investigators and are mega potential. Overall this week was a huge testimony builder for both of us. 

We also had a weird run-in with a tourist (also and member of the Church) from Texas who kinda got stranded here without money or a place to stay.  We got her in contact with people back home and managed to work the situation out. Some members ran into her at the airport and since no one here speaks English they obviously called us to help. Us being some of the only English speakers here. 

We are going now... to do a cool service project with our branch mission leader who is a master wood carver. We are going to help him with his projects. Lets hope we don’t mess up one of his master pièces.... I’ll send pictures of that next week.

Well that’s all I can think of. If you have questions you can asks em. 

love you guys!

Elder Goodwin

Monday, 17 April 2017

Serving in Tevaitoa and Vai'a'au, Ra'iatea

Hello Dearest Fam jam,

So the easiest way I can explain where we live is that we live in the parking lot of the chapel of Tevaitoa. There is a little building just to the left of the chapel. (The Chapel is the 'H' shaped building on the road in the clouds at the southern end of this map) That is our home. It's kinda weird, but I can dig it.

So I am now in the area of Tevaitoa on Ra'iatea, but we also cover the area of Vai'a'au which cover all the way to Fetuna on the southern part of the island. Our area almost covers half of Ra'iatea. It is by far the largest secteur I've served in and one of the biggest areas in the mission right now. Thankfully we have a car.

This week was crazy busy. We got a lot done, but also did a lot of running around pickup stuff and throw it on the boat for the missionaries that transferred. We had a couple of changes in the zone, so that was a lot of work for us.

Funny story of the week. Left the phone on the roof of the car and drove about 2 kms to a lesson before realizing that I had put it on the roof. "Praise the Lord!" the phone was still there. Such a tender mercy of the Lord. And for the totally unrelated reason we now have a new phone in the area.

We have a bunch of really potential investigators here, we will be doing a lot of really good work together. I already know Elder Peel pretty well so the ice was already broken before we even started. So we've hit the ground running. I'm really excited for the opportunity to be serving here.

Just an overall description of what the area is like. The far away areas like Fetuna are super sparce and very secluded. Some of our investigators just live in the jungle. That is the only way that I can explain it. The mountains here are beautiful. I'll have to try and get some cool pictures of it. The island itself is just very wild in places. And there is a lot of Tahitian spoken here. And the Tahitian accent is super clear and clean... which will help me out a lot. Moustaches seem to be popular here, I've counted at least 30 different men in the ward with moustaches. There are also a lot of what we call, "faapu's" which is like a garden/farm thingy. Lots of vanilla and taro grown here. I've already gotten a gift of a bunch of vanilla that I dont know what to do with, but i'll try and bring it home. Smells great.

For the birthday package, send mostly mediums and a small for my comp. My comp is a very small man. So yeah... heh heh.

All is well here. I'll try and get some cool pictures of the area for you guys.

Elder Goodwin

Ps: I love you guys.
Transfer day from Bora Bora.

Last view of Bora Bora. Triste! I fell in love with this place and the people I served and the people I served with.
Just a regular trip to the boat docks to ship out luggage and bikes from the missionaries who were transferred.
This Tahitian equivalent of "Big Gulps" for the road trip. 

Bonding with Elder Peel in our little apartment.
Tahitian vanilla pods.
A beautiful little motu near our home. 
Elder Peel and our wheels

Monday, 10 April 2017

So many wonderful goodbyes on Bora Bora...

Well!!. I've got news. I will be transferred this after noon to the wonderfull island of Raiatea. I will be serving in the area of Tevaitoa, so I think this will be a really fun experience for me. We are in the zone of Raromatai, which is the only zone that is based in the islands rather than Tahiti. We have the islands of Tahaa, Huahine and Raiatea in our zone. 

I will be in a car again. We have the wonderful opportunity to drive a Toyota Hilux pickup, that’s gonna be really fun. My companion will be Elder Peel from somewhere in Utah (go figure!). I’ve already met the guy a bunch of times, he’s a super cool dude. He’s been out on his mission for about 20 months now so we are going to be killin it out there. 

I leave at 4 o’clock our time today (Monday, April 10). I get to take a plane this time. We will see how this new area will be. I thinks its going to be great. I'll get to visit the others islands in the zone every once and a while too. It’s only a 20 minute flight. I think that Raiatea is only like 40ish km from Bora. It's kinda like flying from one end of Calgary to the other end of Calgary

I’ve been saying goodbye to the members in the ward all this week. We will have a gathering with the members to say goodbye at the airport shuttle docks. So maybe later today I'll send those picture or next week. We will see. I overall really loved serving on Bora Bora. I’ve promised a billion people that I'll come back to visit some day. The Bishop here offered me his house if I want to come back and the owner the motu that we always go to said he'll let us stay there for free. So if we come back we won’t even have to stay in a hotel. 

This week we absolutely killed it. We were teaching lessons left right and centre. We managed to find a bunch of new investigators thanks to some awesome members and we fixed one of their baptismal dates the first lesson. I'm really happy with the state of the area right now. There is a lot of potential here. 

This week we did a huge Bora Bora wide open house at the Chapel. There were maybe 300 people there and most were not members. Elder Dalton and I took care of the class were we taught people about what missionaries are and we got the opportunity to teach the mayor of Bora Bora and answer some of his questions he has. Nice guy. 

I’m overall feeling really great, really excited for what is to come in my mission. This next area is going to be an adventure. 

I love you guys. have a great week.  

Elder Goodwin

Drawing of me... from Elder Pedron

Visit to the Bora 2nd World War Cannons

Elder Dalton and I

Monday, 3 April 2017

Busy, busy week plus General Conference


Yes I did, in fact, spend over 10 hours this week sitting in a hot chapel for 6 oclock in the morning until the after noon to watch General Conference!. Long story short I was super tired. We decided to spend Friday night and Saturday night at the other elders' house. So we basically had a missionary sleep over. The only thing that sucked was that we had 6 elders and one bathroom, so we had to get up really early so we could all get to the chapel on time. 

The pareo’s (Tahitian wrap skirts) I bought for the young men included with the postage was only 9000 pacific francs. Not expensive at all actually. I sent it last Monday actually, so it may arrive next week. The postal lady said maybe around 2ish weeks. 

In response to your question about why I am likely coming home in November, I didn’t extend my mission at all. It is just because of some changes in Missionary Training Centre intake dates. Some of the transfer times have moved during the mission so my original return dates no longer line up perfectly. 

All is well over here. Transfers are next week so I’m a little antsy. (I have been here a long time so kind-of expect to be transferred to a new area) but all will work out well. I’m just trying to get work done this P-day so no crazy stories or anything. No huge news. But next week will be a big email probably. 

love you guys. 

Elder Goodwin