Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April showers bring may flowers!

Did a split with Elder P. at Raiatea! He's my zone leader. We started at the same time in the MTC.

Misty mountains in the rain at Tiva, also in our sector.

Fun time! He's really short and I'm really tall so we took a funny picture.

View of Raiatea from our sector at Poutoru. There was a really pretty boat.

Hello family!

This week was pretty crazy. Lots of biking. Wednesday we woke up before 5am to bike to Vaitoare and catch the boat to Raiatea. We did that because I went on a split with the zone leaders (Elder P), and Elder M came back here to Tahaa with Elder J. Wednesday was a really good day. It was so fun to work with Elder P. We both started at the same time in the MTC together, so we're both really experienced missionaries, etc. We taught some great lessons and it was fun to meet all the members in their sector. The longer I'm out, the easier it is to relate to people here. I love members so much! The Tahitians just love missionaries, so every time you're in a different sector, if anyone sees you they'll come up to you and ask your name and everything. I made so many friends in the 24 hours I was at Raiatea.
Thursday morning we woke up early again to catch the boat back to Tahaa and finish the split. Friday we woke up before 5am again and biked to catch the boat back to Raiatea for our zone conference. The conference was super good. I loved learning from President Bize. He talked a lot about staying worthy to be able to be called by the Lord to serve. He told several stories about people who hadn't been called to serve as branch presidents because they hadn't payed a full tithing. It's sad when people disqualify themselves from potential blessings. He said looking back right before his call as a mission president, he could see that the Lord had prepared everything already. Nothing could prevent him from being called as a mission president except himself. Luckily he was worthy and able to be called to serve. The other main point that I got out of the conference was to give it our all. Time on a mission is very short, and we need to be fully committed for these two years. I want to be a little more diligent after the conference! We also had interviews with President Bize after the conference. He said I'll probably stay here a while longer. I'm happy with that! I was really touched by some of the things he told me. He said something along the lines of "The Lord needed an Elder Barlow in that sector." It helps me see that the Lord knows each of us personally.
Saturday morning we woke up before 5am to get ready and then bike to the chapel for general conference. We watched it live, so the morning session started at 6am. Too early! I really enjoyed all the talks. I don't have a favorite talk in particular. But I enjoyed hearing the prophet speak about charity and the book of mormon. Also, there were tons of talks about the Holy Ghost and the Divinity, the nature of Christ, and the Gospel in general. There seemed to be more doctrine and less stories in this conference. It was all in French, so maybe I didn't understand some of the stories if there were some. Haha.
Sunday we woke up before 5am again. Conference again. In the afternoon we biked to Faaaha and worked the sector a little.
Update on our sector: Already we taught one lesson yesterday, so this week is bound to be good.
Today we woke up early (again!!!) because we have to go to Raiatea. While we're over there we're going to meet up with the zone leaders and go check out a traditional polynesian altar thing, where they used to sacrifice people apparently. Cool! Tonight we have a family night at the chapel with the whole branch to promote unity among the members. We're in charge of teaching a portion of the lesson. And tomorrow the work restarts.
Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Have a great week!


Elder Barlow

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