Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Safely in Paradise

So ya...wow. I am currently safely in paradise. I don't exactly know where to start. I guess I could start by saying that if I were to walk outside right now, I would see the crystal clear, blue ocean one side and a fog covered steep green mountainside with a waterfall cutting through the middle of it. Oh and lots of coconut trees. In fact I drank a coconut earlier from the coconut tree in our yard. It was absolutely delicious. We arrived in the middle of the night last Monday and there was practically the entire island there waiting for us at the airport, singing songs, putting tiare's (flower necklaces) around our necks, the works. It's been quite the week since then. I'm in the Temarua sector on the south-ish side of Tahiti. 

My companion is Elder Purau who's been out for almost a year and a half and is from the other side of the island. It really is the kind of paradise that you imagine when you think of Tahiti. We have lessons on the beach and about half of them outside, we pluck strange fruits off of trees and eat them pretty much when ever, we can hear the ocean while we're sleeping and it sounds like a dragon breathing slowly in the backyard, we see the vibrant assortment of fleurs that line the roads and are all over peoples houses, we see natives rowing their boats along the coast daily, ya...like that kind of paradise.
     As far as the people, they're what really make it paradise. I never thought that there could be so many nice, humble, loving, people all in one place! We have loads of investigators and we have a baptism this Wednesday! We'll be baptising Tehina who has come a long way in the time that she has been taught, I understand. I might be actually conferring the holy ghost on Sunday, too. I also invited another investigator to be baptized this week too and he accepted! His name is Steven, he's 9 but he is about the most mature 9 year old I've ever seen. He actually reminds me of a cross between Chuck and Riv.
     We work a lot with a Soeur Liline. She is a member that is always helping us find new investigators, she helped us find like 5 this week! We are at her house basically every day teaching lessons and such. I really am surprised at how receptive people are to the gospel. The Lord has truly prepared these people.
     As far as the language and adjusting to the culture...well...It's been a journey but I'm getting used to it I think. The first day that I went proselyting, which was Wednesday, I pretty much was done and just wanted to go home. I had a hard time that first day adjusting to how people live and just what to do and I couldn't understand a thing anyone said to me. People really do live a lot differently here. The houses are just slightly better than being outside and absolutely everyone here is dirt poor compared to anyone I had ever met I think. That shocked me that first day and I didn't exactly know how to deal with it. The next day I recovered and started getting used to it and now it just seems normal to me. The language is beating me up more than I expected but It'll get better. It feels wierd to speak english now, I don't really do it anymore.
      Overall, I'm absolutely at peace to be here and help my brothers and sisters come along side me and follow Christ. I had an awesome day Saturday when we took a trip to the temple with our investigators, 16 of them, and some of the members. The greatest moment was when we were on our way there, and I realized I was in paradise in every sense of the word. We were on an old Mercedez-Benz bus and I had Soeur Liline and her family behind me singing tahitian songs about Jesus with the guitar and ukulele, and I had my investigators in front of me on the way to see the temple for the first time, and to the right of me was the cloud crowned mountains of tahiti, and to the left was a view of the ocean like in the pictures with a rainbow over all of it. It was pretty sweet. I love these people and I'm going to do my best to serve them the best I can.
     Well I'd better go, I'll try and send pictures. Sorry I didn't email till late, we do that at night now. Love you all!! God lives and He works miracles and He loves us more than we could even know. I've seen it, I know it.
Na'na, Orometua Clements