Thursday, April 28, 2016

Status update: Brown skin and bleached hair, I eat fish and coconuts.

     Life on the island is still a lot like life on an island. We still pretty much stay busy with lessons or branch volleyball and other sports. Thank's for the update for the rain. We need it, our only water is collected rain water from our roof and it's pretty low.

We actually don't go fishing very often and eat fish only once in a while (raw or cooked). We are fed almost every day by the members who consider fish to be poor peoples food so almost everyone gives us chicken imported from tahiti with coke and icecream. Fish is SO much better and I try and tell everybody that we'd actually prefer that. My favorite food is the native stuff. Ipo (steamed flour and coconut milk), poisson cru(raw fish and vegetables in coconut milk and citreon), pape haari (coconut water), haavari (pigs liver and heart cooked in it's own blood, actually pretty good). Also everything is eated with rice.

 I saw a school of flying fish the other day! Or is that a flock? Whatever they are, they're real! It was so weird! Also I tried to catch a lethargic shark last night by hand, it was a little to deep for me to reach. 

    This week was a bit better for missionary work. I had the zone leaders breathing down my neck for the zone challenge of working more with members( seeing as how my district, the largest in the mission my missionaries (12), takes up half of the zone) but it worked pretty well. we got more lessons in with members and I motivated my district to do the same which is hard because I can't see them and I don't even have contact with one island. We have three investigators who are super ready for baptism. Kahaia still waits for an answer, Tera wants to be baptized but lives with her boyfriend and he won't marry her, and Michel is just days away from fixing  a date I think. 
     Michel actually had a big breakthrough this week. He decided to pray "our way" by himself to ask if the church was true. (I thought he'd already done that) and well unsurprisingly he really felt the holy ghost and says that his baptism is soon but didn't want to fix a date just yet. What's cool is that he also talked to his dad (on the island of Vairaatea) and his dad wasn't against him being Mormon. In fact we had just talked about temples with Michel and Michel told his dad about that. "pa, the Mormons have what they call a temple. we can save our ancestors inside." Evidently this old catholique deacon was extremely uh...étonné ( I forgot what this is in english, astonished maybe? he was both happy and surprised). There's no missionaries on his island though so I asked president what it takes to open an island like that. We'll see. We'll see him tonight for family home evening.
K er'body te apa nei au ia outou.  -Elder Clements
New sunglasses

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

te feruri nei au...

Parrot fish 
...Well today we tried to go fishing (us four white missionaries) but the little fish kept eating the crabs before it could get anywhere near the big fish. 

underwater paradise 

Yesterday was Sunday. Michel came to sacrament for the first time which was cool. OH YA! Michel read the Book of Mormon this the whole book. I actually think he has a little left but he's at least to Mosiah and he started on Thursday! So quick. We'll see him tonight for family home evening. I think we need to re-commit him to baptism. 

     We had a movie night on Friday for all the investigators. We watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the restoration (translated correctly?). I was the one in charge of organizing it. I really had the help of God to do it though because a couple hours before, I found out that none of the stuff was where it was supose to be ( computer, projector, movie, etc.) and nobody would answer their phones so I just decided we'd go try and find these people. Right off the bat we found all of the people I needed to talk to strangely gathered together on the side of the road talking to each other. So I thanked God and very quickly and miraculously got everything rounded up for the movie night. Miracles are real. #real

     I got the package this week along with a kind package from the young women. It came by plane so it came pretty quick. The contacts are a whole new world! No more sweat dripping on my glasses and I can now see well with my sunglasses on! I was at Michel's house right after I opened the package and gave his boys the gummy bears to share. They were happy to say the least. They're pretty poor so they don't get stuff like that often. Nobody goes hungry here really because fish is so easy to catch and then there's coconuts but things like that are expensive and hard to come by. The young women's package was also very nice. Tons of candy and some cool ties! 
     So that's about it. Keep on keepin on. Love you all. goodnight.
-Elder Clements

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lemme just catch that shark and then we'll go fishing...

Above is the sentance a giant tahitian man named Andy threw at us before diving into a steel cage with a 10 foot lemon shark, wounding it with a harpoon and then wrestling it out of the cage so it didn't eat all his fish. Ya we went fishing this morning and it was SO hardcore!! After that, he went and shot about 7 more fish before taking us over to another area. There, he asked 'who wants to fish.' I took the line first. He put a small fish on a hook and threw a line the size of a bass guitar string in the ocean. 'watchout for sharks, they pull hard' oooook. The first few times the bait just fell to the bottom and got stuck on some rocks. The fourth time he put some new bait on and we threw it out further. I saw it sink a little and then a little tug saying somethings there. It didn't feel very big... I pulled the line and then yanked on it and at that moment I thought I'd gotten my line stuck on a passing underwater bullet-train! Very clearly a shark. I managed to somehow keep hold of the line (although I thought this thing was going to cut my fingers off!!) and slowly dragged a 30 pound, 5 foot shark into the boat. So that was my morning. Bucket list item accomplished. Caught a shark. 

     Our investigator Michel is really getting ready for baptism. He's got his own little system of doing things so he won't let us fix a date yet until he has 'told everybody that he's going with the Mormon's': He's already told all his friends, and I guess a lot of them have rejected him. This guy really is serious! He's so awesome! He has a lot of faith and determination. His friends are against him, even his member wife thinks he should stay catholic but he doesn't pay any attention. Its between him and God. I've already seen him change and I can't wait for the day where he is finally 100% ready. God is along side him showing him the way, I know it's true. 
     That's pretty much it folks, other than that I got sick from drinking tank water, don't do that, found some new investigators and taught them every day, played wish you were here at a wedding; etc.
-Elder Clements

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

La Conférence Génerale

So generale conference seems to have come and gone. We were actually able to watch it here. However it was at 6:00 in the morning. There wasn't any english which I prefer just because it's their real voices and not the nasally voice of the french translator. Nevertheless, I still got some really good stuff out of it. One of my favorites, like mom, was Jeffrey R Holland and then of course I liked President Uchtdorf's. I really liked the Prophet's too but it was sure short.
     This week we did a bunch more service. We finished the job with the copra by doing what we call pita'a or talking the coconut meat out of the shell. I felt pretty useless when we showed up because nobody wanted to let the white guys do it but thank heavens president George's daughter, 8, was exited to teach us how to do everything. The same day we went to Michel's house with president George and mowed his lawn...well the paumotu version of that anyway. We do it with big gas powered weed whackers pretty much. He and his wife really appreciated it that and so they invited us over to eat on sunday after the last session. We had fish, poisson cru, ipo, and coconut water. absoluety delicious! 
     On april fool's we didn't do all that much. Actually that was the day we did most of our service. Elders Terry and Lewis got us pretty good though. We got home after eating and saw a sign on the freezer that said "left-over chicken, enjoy". We opened and found, of course, a live chicken in our freezer. It was pretty cold and angry but we let her go and now she lives at the house. The rest of the island did some pretty good stuff though like fake radio advertisements and such.
     I sang karaoke on wednesday which was pretty legit. I sung a couple beatles songs  - Let it Be and Imagine as well as I'm Yours by Jason Mraz. I guess I can sing higher now because I was actually able to sing those. Well word got out that I have a "good voice" and now I'm going to be singing and playing for a marriage on wednesday and I really am starting the guitar class!

Karaoke Night
That was pretty much the week. As far as missionary work, it took a drop this week for some reason but so did the rest of the mission. There was only one baptism mission wide and all my districts numbers were a lot lower than normal but It looks like the rest were too. Very strange but we'll hit this week hard and rely on God through obedience and prayer to spread the gospel more effectively. Also we need to find a boat to rent. K la famille, maitaki ia koutou i toku kainga.
-Elder Clements