Monday, October 31, 2016

poisson cru

Fried Fish & Rice

Hi Family,

We had a lot of lessons cancelled, which is tough. This week we went contacting more with C.  He's fun to be with because he is always optimistic and he likes to joke and stuff. He is teaching us Tahitian, and I am learning a lot. The past month or two I've taught several lessons in Tahitian. It makes me feel cool! I am starting to understand a little bit more each day, but it is still difficult and I am far from fluent. I can survive though. I now can manage to ask questions. It took a while to remember all the question words and forms in Tahitian. The French is good. I can express myself fine in French. I'll have to talk some Tahitian for you when we skype at Christmas. The gift of tongues is cool. Also, I think learning a language would be pretty easy now that I've got one down really well. Did I mention that a lady started teaching us Chinese? I don't remember if I did or not. Anyways, mandarin sounds kind of similar to Tahitian in some of the grammar ideas. Weird! I think if I went to any country with a language study book and immersed myself for 6-8 months I could learn the language. I would love to learn mandarin one day.

This week we found a new ami by doing door to door contacting. I got kind of sunburned for the first time in months and months. The ami was a Jehovah's witness, but inactive for a long time. He said he has always wondered what 'the mormons' teach. He has never been baptized, and was interested in our message. We taught him the first lesson and gave him a book of mormon. It was one of those moments when we were walking out of a neighborhood and I was like: let's try this one last house. And he let us in. The next lesson with him is this week.
Also, another amie we found two weeks ago is progressing! We found her through door to door as well. She had already been given a book of mormon years before, and I think the Lord really prepared her to hear the gospel right now. We invited her to read Moroni 10 and pray. When we came back this week for a follow up lesson, we asked if she had prayed. She said yes, and that it brought lots of deep feelings. We asked her if she had asked if the book of mormon was true. She said she hadn't asked yet, but she will pray. If it is true, she said she is willing to drop everything, including a protestant background and family, and cigarettes. With that desire to follow the lord, how could she not receive an answer? We taught her the plan of salvation and she was in tears most of the lesson. The last time I taught a lesson like that was the first lesson with A, my convert from Papeete. Her whole family is now baptized. Hopefully the same thing happens again this time around. Anyways, the zone and the mission as a whole are not doing so hot. President Bize asked if we could ask our families to join us in a special fast and prayers this weekend, that I can have the spirit with me stronger and be led to those ready to hear the gospel. I need all the help I can get. Keep praying for me!

Fun stuff this week: I made more poisson cru, and also fried some fish. It is super delicious. The poisson cru is sooooo easy to make and so yummy. I never knew you could just eat fish raw. My mind is blown every time but it's so good and so easy! I will definitely make some for you all when I get back! And tonight we don't have a family night so I am making lentils again. Soooo delicious and easy and cheap also. And today Elder Nelson made banana bread, which was pretty good. It's fun to experiment with food and whatnot. It's about the only thing that changes in our routine. Besides what tie we wear everyday.

Tahitians celebrate halloween. I'm not sure if they do the whole trick or treat thing, but they dress up and have class parties for the little kids at school, etc. When we went shopping today, one of the cashiers in the store had facepaint and stuff. So it feels a little festive outside. Too bad it's not cool weather and colorful trees here. But the palm trees I'm looking at outside the window of the church are pretty too, so I can't complain. This week we have our conseil des dirigeants de la mission (mission leadership council) at president's house, so that should be good. Elder Cardon is coming in two or three weeks and we'll have another mission leadership council with him. So I'll get to learn directly from a 70. I'm excited for that.

Today for P Day we went shopping in the morning, went home and ate/made banana bread/ took a nap, and now we're finishing up mail at the church before playing some basketball outside. It's been a good day. Hope you all have a good week, love and miss you!

Elder Barlow

Monday, October 24, 2016

toujours octobre

Fish the members gave us!

My first Zone leader.  Getting ready to go home!
Hello family!
Before I forget, is there a Richmond Barlow somewhere in the family tree? A member this week told me he had an ancestor from America who married into his family a long time ago named Richmond Barlow.
This week's Big news: the mom of R told us she wants to get baptized! At the end of the year. She said she's willing to come to church every Sunday and do the lessons every week and read from the book of mormon because she wants to change her life. She needs to change a few things, but we can work with that! It's cool to have investigators who want to change. If they have the desire, they can do about anything. Also, the grandma of R wants to get baptized too! We'll see how that goes.
Besides that, the week went alright. We found some new amis. We did quite a bit of door to door (gate to gate actually) contacting and found one new family who seems kind of potential. It was a pretty normal week. Elder M is training (did I mention that last week) a new elder from America (from Murray Utah- he went to Cottonwood high school like Dad). It's pretty fun to have a newbie in the house, he's so lost! I can't believe it's already been a year since I got here. Time flies!
Some fun things this week: I made raw fish (poisson cru), which was delicious. I will definitely make some for you all when I get home. I feel like we would be able to find some fresh fish at Pike's place market. It's really easy to make. Also, last P Day we made pancakes.
What else is new.. our zone will go to the temple altogether in a few weeks. Also, Elder Cardon (of the 70) is coming to visit us in a few weeks. And this week President Bize is in Australia for a mission president's conference with Elder Holland. Lucky him. Also, our baptism last Saturday went well. It was the baptism for H. She is 17, the same age as Elisabeth! Weird, I feel so old.
We already did our shopping for P day this morning. This afternoon we're going to come back here to the chapel and play some basketball with other Elders. I think we might try and make some banana crepes for lunch. So yeah, life's okay for the moment. It's fun to hear from everyone, I miss you all! Have a good week.


Elder Barlow

Monday, October 10, 2016


Soirée familiale chez les membres lundi

 Elder Barlow nametage with the minionaries

Me opening the package! So Fun!
Papaya that a member family gave us!

Hello family!

Last Monday we went on a little "hike," on a really steep paved road up the side of a mountain. But the view at the end was nice. I think I am desensitized to beautiful views. I don't think too much of it anymore, even though most people would pay thousands of dollars just to be where I am. Weird. Monday night we had a family night at C's family's house. They made me not 1, but 2 birthday cakes and sang to me in English, French, and Tahitian. Then I blew out all 20 candles in about 3 tries. Haha. It's weird to be 20, I feel old. But not really.
Tuesday and Wednesday were alright. We actually had some more stuff to do this week, more lessons, etc. That was super nice. We still had the same problem as last week, lots of lessons cancelled, but on a smaller scale. So it was bearable.
Thursday was our "conseil de dirigeants," or mission leadership conference at President's house. It was awesome. We ate some homemade enchiladas for lunch. That's the first time I've eaten mexican food in a looooong time. Sorry all the time's I complained when you made tacos Mom. Missions really do make you love your mom's cooking! President Bize gave a really touching formation on becoming better. He talked about the times when he has met apostles and prophets and what seems to make them different from other people. It was inspiring. Also, Thursday night we taught a lesson to B and her husband T. They're an older couple with grown up kids. We met B when we were eating at our relief society president's house last month. She came over and we started talking and fixed a lesson with her. She is protestant, but she has started coming to church and she loves it. We taught them the word of wisdom last night and engaged them to get baptized in December. They said yes!  Also, R, the little brother of D (who just got baptized last weekend) told us he wants to get baptized now! So we did his baptismal interview on Friday and he will get baptized this Saturday. We've been working a lot with his family. All the extended family live in the same area, so there's a ton of potential. We also started teaching the grandparents after giving a blessing to the old papi (grandpa) and healing him (or temporarily giving him relief from pain). So things are good.
Also, the new mission challenge is to have 16 baptisms for each zone by the end of October. Our zone has 17 baptisms planned before then, so if all goes well we should succeed. We decided to fast as a zone yesterday to reach our objective. Already we have some miracles from that. At church yesterday, H, an old investigator who we don't teach anymore but who comes to church every week, came up to us. She's 17, and the problem with her baptism was that her family was against it. Yesterday she said, "Elders, here's the parent permission slip thing. My mom signed it. I've chosen the 26th of October for my baptismal date. When can we do my interview?"     What? We were like "okay, that works, no problem! Next Sunday, baptismal interview!" That never happens like that, basically an easy baptism. So that is exciting!
This week should be alright. Hopefully we find some more people to teach this week. Besides that, the ward is good. I love the people here. We ate at our relief society president's house again last night and it was so fun to sit and talk with her and her husband. They're converts from 6 years ago and they're just such good people. I felt really relaxed around them. It made me think of Mom and Dad. Miss you guys!
Also, I got my birthday package Thursday! It was so fun to open it that night. I love it! Haha the "minionaries" were awesome!
The plans for today are simple. We're going to go do our shopping and then come back to the chapel and play a little basketball with some of the other Elders in our zone. Should be calm and laid back and a nice break from the week. Voilà. Thanks for all the emails and pictures and stuff.


Elder Barlow

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hike last P Day to the "foschoda?" I don't know how to spell it. A waterfall

"pomme d'étoile" aka star fruit. you scoop it out with a spoon

Hello family!

Aaron made a hilarious comment, that today is probably the only time I will ever be excited for my birthday to be on a Monday. Because it is P Day! Woot woot! I can't believe it has been one year this weekend since I arrived on Ahe. This weekend has already been infinitely better, because I was able to watch all the sessions of conference in English! It was broadcast at our stake center in French, but they set up two little TVs in different rooms for Tahitian and English. So I am feeling blessed. And I can't believe I am 20 years old. I feel old. But to put things in perspective: Mom and Dad, you now have three kids in their 20's. So I guess you two are the old ones ;) Hahaha.

To start off the week, 12 of our 14 fixed lessons were cancelled, or the investigator wasn't at their house, etc. I started going to lessons expecting no one to be there. Anyways, what resulted was that by Friday we had taught 5 lessons all week, and we had already visited everyone we knew in the whole sector. We tried a little bit of door to door contacting, and found one new ami from it. But overall, it is extremely ineffective here in our sector. Everyone has big metal gates and they hide from us when we call. Oh, to be in America where you ring doorbells and people come to the door! #missionarywoes
We ended the week with 9 lessons.  But we had the baptism for D, one of our investigators. I was entering his info on our report for the zone last night, and I realized that he is younger than me! He's 19, and I am now... 20. Weird.
What else was cancelled... oh, a meeting with all the missionaries in the zone and the stake president and our stake high councilman. The missionaries came, but the stake leaders didn't show up. But I was hardly surprised after our week. That's how things were this week!

Some positive things that happened: we taught D, an 18 year old french boy we're teaching, how to make S'mores! Super fun! We roasted s'mores at his house Tuesday night. He lives with his backyard on the beach and a view of Moorea. It's one of those locations where you think "is this even real?" Million dollar views exist haha. Anyways, we didn't have hershey chocolate, so we had to use some cadbury milk chocolate instead. I recommend it to everyone, it really makes the s'more taste a lot better! And there's no graham crackers here. So we used a biscuit/sweet cracker thing. The brand is "Arnott" and the cracker was the "milk arrowroot." They're from New Zealand. But all in all, the s'mores were like a million times better than any s'mores I'd eaten before, and we convinced D and C, (our new convert who came with us) that the USA knows whats up. Haha.
Conference was also great. I really enjoyed President Eyring's talk in the Priesthood session. I liked all the talks, I'll have to review my notes. Can't wait for the Liahona magazine next month!

Last night our zone had a little family night to say goodbye to some temporary missionaries who were waiting on their Visas. They're leaving this week. It was fun, we played some games and had a lesson and then ate cake after. Our zone is cool. I'll send some pictures of everything.

Anyways, I'm super happy it's a new week. Today we're going to try and go hiking again (it was great last week!), and tonight we have a family night. This Thursday we have our mission leadership conference at President's house, so it should be a good week! Keep me in your prayers!


Elder Barlow