Wow the weeks really feel like days and the days really, really, really feel like weeks. This week went quick, but it's been a long week at the same time. Ha-ha. So the biggest news this week is that our teacher, Brother Hapairai mysteriously disappeared. We don't know if he got fired or got a new job, but he just never came one day. We had a substitute instead and no one will tell us what happened to Brother Hapairai. So that was weird. It's been tough having substitute teachers. They never know where we are in the material, and as a result I haven't learned much French since I've been here. The first few days I learned how to pray, bear testimony, and introduce myself in French, but since then it's been up to Elder Stewart and me to teach ourselves the language. Also, Tiare, our investigator, is actually also our teacher. She is a really good teacher. We've now taught 4 or 5 lessons to her in French. (To clarify, each district gets two teachers normally. She is our only teacher though because Bro. H is gone.) Tiare's real name is Soeur Johnson (Sister Johnson).
So this Sunday my district is fasting that we can get our books so we can at teach ourselves Tahitian in the field. Soeur Johnson served in Tahiti. She said average missionaries only learn French. Those who learn both French and Tahitian work miracles in the field. The people of Tahiti are much more receptive when white people know some Tahitian. It is the "language of their hearts" after all, which is what the gospel should be preached in.
I'm really proud of my district. I've had some opportunities to follow the spirit and teach them some things, ask them to focus, etc. They did a really good job focusing this week. We also discovered that we love singing together. We're singing a French/Tahitian hymn in sacrament in a few weeks. We sang it for our Sunday Priesthood meeting as the opening song, and it sounded so good that the Branch President asked us to sing it in church! (He didn't know that we have been practicing it the past week or two. It's the men's arrangement of "Brightly beams our Father's mercy." It sounds so cool in Tahitian!) So that is fun.
Today we went to the temple in the morning. Then we did laundry. Now we're emailing, then we're going to take a nap until dinnertime at 4:30. The P Day nap is seriously the best part of the week. I am always so tired, even though we get 8 hours of sleep each night. That's what happens when you sit all day long. I have more sympathy now for those with desk jobs. Ha-ha.
About half our zone left this week for the mission field. Most of them are going to France, and a few to other French speaking places. We get in a new batch of elders going to French speaking missions tomorrow! That means we are now the older group of missionaries in the zone (which is also our "Branch" on Sundays). The zone consists of about 6 districts, maybe more, as far as I can tell. Two are going to Tahiti, one to Montreal, and a bunch to France, one to French-Creole speaking places, and then random elders going to Madagascar, other French speaking missions, etc.
I'm really excited for Alex to get here next week. It will be so good to see a familiar face. Josh Boyer and I want to get a picture with him when he gets here.
Missing everyone, but life is good. Also, tell Mike Asay I love my haircut. It makes getting ready in the morning so quick and easy. Bet you didn't expect me to be shaved and ready for the day 25 minutes after waking up in the morning ;)
Na na for now!
(Na na is Tahitian for bye bye.)
So this is 5 of the elders in my district. Elder Thorpe (the blonde one in the back) and Elder Peel are companions. Elder Peel is on the right in the white. Elder Nelson is the redhead on the left, he's a sweet kid. Elder Gilstrap is in the red shirt, he is funny and lived in Luxembourg the last two years so he is fluent in French. And then Elder Stweart is in the Gray in the back. He's my awesome companion! And the Elder taking the picture is me in case you couldn't tell.
My bed is the bottom bunk.