Monday, December 28, 2015

Joyeux noel!

Merry Christmas family! 
So Tavararo... whew it has been a long week! The sector is still great and my companion is great! We have normalish food around and all the members are really nice. But, we are en velo (on bicycles in our area). And there are A LOT of hills. Steep hills. For example, our house is actually in the zone leaders' area, and it is up on a hill (that's why we have the killer view). But that means every night when we go back to the house, we have to bike up a huge hill. I must have gotten really out of shape on Ahe, because this week has been absolutely killer! To give some validity to my claim of the hills being steep: my ankles got really bruised from biking! Haha yikes! Anyways, the Lord answered my prayer exactly how I asked. Now I have a great companion and we work hard. Our sector is down on the flatlands next to the airport and the people are all extremely generous and friendly. That seems to be consistent no matter where you go in French Polynesia.
Well, the work is going fine here. Apparently I came into a "drought" in this area. There weren't many "amis" (investigators) because they baptized them all! But the Lord blessed me on my first day out in the field here last Tuesday. We found a family of 11 who is now taking the lessons! Bam. And then throughout the week we found 4 or 5 other amis. So we have a pretty good amount of lessons going. For the lessons, I actually don't talk too much because my companion talks a lot. So we can work on that. But it's not a big deal. He's awesome and we get along really really well.
Today was a great P Day. The sisters in the next zone over organized a talent show and invited our zone. Everyone was supposed to bring a talent. So the 5 of us in our house (the 3 zone leaders, because 1 of them goes home in a week, and my companion and me) were sitting around one night trying to think of a talent to do for the show. Being goofy elders, we came up with a grand idea. Why not buy a bunch of cereal and milk, go on stage like we were going to do something cool, eat all the cereal, keeping the audience thinking that maybe something funny was going to happen, and then walking off the stage once we were done eating! Surprise! Haha so we did exactly that because we all loved the idea. So this morning at the talent show we went on stage one by one, poured our cereal, prayed over it (each person in their head), then ate, then finished! Haha some of the other missionaries watching thought it was hilarious, and the rest were like "What? I don't get it." But there was nothing to get. We just wanted an excuse to eat cereal haha. Anyways, that was fun. Then later the 5 of us went to Papeete and the mission office to drop off something for the zone leaders and pick up some more Books of Mormon. Then we went around this cool market place downtown. It reminded me a bit of Pikes Place market, but smaller and less fish, more touristy souvenir stuff. Then we went to Carrefour's, which is basically a shopping mall and it has a big grocery store inside too. We ran into President and Sister Bize there, so that was funny to see them. Then we all did our shopping and came back to the house. Now the zone leaders are over at their chapel doing mail, and Elder W. and I are here at our chapel doing our mail! I'm doing great but dreading the bike ride back home... Haha.
I don't have any wise scriptures to share this week. But I finished the Book of Mormon in English and I have 15 pages left in French! I've read the whole thing out loud in French and I am almost done. My goal was finish before Christmas, so voila. And after I will start the Tahitian. There was the huge Tahitian grammar book that I didn't get in the MTC at our house, and the zone leaders said I could have it. Boom. Another blessing from the Lord. And also lots of the people here know how to speak Tahitian. So I will be able to learn slowly but surely over time. Please just keep praying for my health, for me to have the spirit and the gift of tongues, and to love being a missionary.

Love you all and miss you!
Elder Barlow

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