Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jungle tracting, robbery & other fun stuff

Hey everyone, 

So this week was pretty interesting. It was VERY hot and we did much walking. We have transfers next week and I'm pretty sure I'm being transferred but we'll see. We didn't have very good numbers but we worked really hard, And I'm very tired so I know we did the best we could.

So our area is progressing very well. "H", our convert from last week is doing awesome. She has really good support from her husband. She's already a missionary. She fought off an adventist neighbor who asked her a bunch of questions. He was super confused about why she got baptized into the Church, but she wouldn't even listen to his message. Uhhh, probably because we teach the true restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! I was very proud of her.

We are working right now towards finding new investigators so we can start teaching a lot of lessons. Saturday was a very interesting, difficult day. Just to start, we walked about 22 km or like 14 miles in total. We walked all day just to find some lessons but the problem was that no one was home and that everyone that WAS home was either drinking or smoking. We literally walked into neighborhoods where people told us to go away because they were too busy smoking paka (marijuana). Some drunk guys made fun of us and no one was receptive to the message. Its rare that we get made fun of or that people are mean like that. People usually have a lot of respect for the missionaries but not Saturday. We walked a lot! I don't know if I've ever told you, but most of the people live on the borders of the island and the middle of the island is all jungle. But....there are some people who venture into the jungle to make their homes. So Saturday was one of the days where we went up into the jungle to find some people to teach. You have to hike upwards, and there's usually just a dirt path (no roads), and it's wet, and hot!!! Imagine hiking up a mountain, wearing church clothes and sandals. And then imagine that you're also inside a 95 degree steam shower while you're hiking, with muddy dirt, and trees and branches and bushes to push through. Got that all in your mind? That's about how our day was, but, It still ended up being a fun day. I fell into mud at one point and sprained my knee which gave me a light chuckle. 

Oh yeah, we also got robbed this week. Someone broke into our house and stole 60 bucks from Elder Barlow, Me and Elder Thia's shoes (this is the second time this month my shoes have been stolen!!!  I'm super fiu (fiu means FED UP in Tahitian),
a necklace my mom sent me for investigators, and the weirdest thing of all, Shoe Shine, they stole shoe shine....? I guess they want to have shiny sandals?!?! 

Anyway, Raurea, another investigator, is going to be baptized this Saturday. She might be going to Bora Bora to get baptized though, because her uncle is in the Bishopric there. She's very solid and I'm very happy for her.

We have a group of two couples who started the lessons this week. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with them and they all really liked it. They asked some really cool questions afterwards. 

I would just like to finish with my testimony that I know the Church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know He loves us and that he's always there for us. He sometimes lets us struggle because He knows we can handle it and that it will make us stronger.  I know He lives. I love you all!! Have a fantastic week! 

Elder Cole Porter

My super sweaty face after hiking up the jungle mountain.
Ha! I paid a high price for this picture. Right after Elder Barlow took the pic, I slipped and fell in the mud! I was covered!
The "road" in our jungle sauna
A millipede I found. He now shall be mine and I shall name him Geoffrey!
Our zone

Two more baptisms

Hey everyone! This week was pretty awesome for us! We finished off the week with two baptisms! Heimiti, who got married and baptized, and also Maeva who's a young girl whose mother is becoming active again. There were lots of family members and friends of theirs who came. It was a very special baptismal service. The water was super chilly, which you'd think would feel good since it's so hot here, but I was super cold. Anyways, I was so happy after the baptism because We've worked very hard these past couple of weeks to help them get baptized and there are so many things that could've gone wrong but everything went great!! 

So earlier this week, We did a FHE with the TA'I family. We talked about Easter and the Atonement and the first Passover. It went very well and we ate some super good lentils afterwards. Lentils are probably my favorite food right now. Its so good!

It was actually a very normal week. It was very effective. I don't know how else to describe it. We accomplished a lot of good things. We found some new investigators and we've started teaching some inactives. 

Our weekly English class went very well. I taught it with Elder Hervaud this week because Elder Barlow was waiting for another lesson so we did a split. We taught the class about shopping for clothes and it was very funny. There's a group of like 6 non-members who come and they love to laugh. Apparently clothes shopping is HILARIOUS when said in English. It was fun!

I think the best thing I ate this week was tofu and grilled potatoes. It doesn't sound very islandy but it was very good and surprisingly filling. We had one family make us tacos with homemade tortillas! And they weren't to shabby! Crazy! Didn't think I'd get ANY Mexican food while in Tahiti! Oh how I've missed my Mexican food! 

I would like to bear testimony of the fact that the scriptures give us answers. There were many times this week where a simple prayer and a quick read in the scriptures or ensign helped me out a lot. Prayers honestly lightened my load. God hears our prayers. 

My mom wanted me to write something in Tahitian. So here you go mom....

E pahono noa te Atua i to tatou mau pure no te mea, Ua hinaaro ona ia tauturu atu ia tatou atoa. Ua here te Atua ia outou, A faaitoito! 
Which means....
God always answers prayers, because he wants to help us. God loves you all, Keep up the good work! 

I love you all!! have a good week!

Elder Cole Porter

Heimiti and Maeva right before we baptize them.

Elder Barlow, Heimiti and her husband, Maeva and me.

Friday, March 4, 2016


Hey everyone! Wassup?! So I again have not seen the sun in a week! Its rained every day this week, a lot, everywhere! Its raining right now and it'll still be raining by the time you read this cause it never stops!!!! We are also under a cyclone warning, which is slightly scary after what just happened to Figi.  I'm not exaggerating but I'm pretty sure all the water of the Pacific ocean has been dropped on Tahiti, twice! But life is good! 

So the work has been picking up lately. We are still working with David et Heimiti! They came to church on sunday and they really liked it. The marriage and baptism is the 12th. We are looking to make it a big group baptism for the ward. We already have two other people who will get baptized the 12th.

We are working with the Marura'i family. The mom is inactive and her two kids are Maeva, her daughter, and Tuihani, her son. Maeva is 9 and Tuihani is 7. Maevas' parents said yes to her getting baptized on the 12th; she's really excited because she's been coming to church for a long time and now she's ready to be baptized.

We are also teaching Nohau. He's 12 years old. He's friends with a young man in the ward. He comes to church and the ward activities and he really likes it. We just have to get his grandmothers permission this week.

So, we are working with Tamatoa. He's a 19 year old university student. He's protestant and very active in the youth group. We've been trying to help him accept a baptismal date. He understands the importance of baptism but he doesn't feel the urgency of it yet. He feels it's something that can wait.  We had a good lesson last night and he's going to continue to pray and read. 

We are also teaching a papi named Morris. He's the father of Anoun, our recent convert. He only speaks Tahitian. Its usually only me that speaks during our lessons because Elder Barlow has only been out 6 months and is still learning Tahitian. I've been out 18 months and I'M still learning it to. Learning two completely different languages on your mission is pretty hard! Haha. Anyway,  He's progressing very slowly, but he is progressing. He's also very diligent in his studies of the Book of Mormon. 

On Friday, I had an interesting experience. It was like 4 in the afternoon and it was raining! Ha! We had scheduled a lesson at 5 with the Marura'i family that I mentioned above, but we weren't sure if they were going to be there. We also had to walk and it takes about 35 min walking up a mountain to get to their house. As we were walking I just wasn't feeling good and I wanted to turn around and go see someone else. We stopped and I just thought for a moment. I had an idea. Normally there's a sister in the ward who goes with us to teach this family. I decided I was going to call her and if she said she was going to come, then we would keep walking; If she said no, we would go back down and visit another family. She said she'd come so we kept walking. We saw the family at a store and confirmed the lesson and told them we'd meet them at their home. We got to the house and did the lesson with the whole family and we were able to fix their baptisms. I know its kind of small, but I was glad for this little experience because it shows that the Lord guides us in our decisions if we ask. 

I know the church is true and I know god loves us. 

I love you all!! have a good week!!

Elder Cole Porter


Where did the sun go?

Hey everyone!! Hows it goin!!? This week was pretty interesting here. Its been raining since last Sunday! Today is the first day in a week where we've seen blue skies and the sun. The problem with the rain is that when it rains, people here have no desire to do anything!!!!! "Can we still come over and do a lesson?", we ask. "No, its raining", replies ALL of our investigators. I don't understand it. Its not like we do the lessons outside or even that they have to come to us. But whatever, We'll just grin and bear it.

Elder Barlow and I, or should I say, Me and Elder Barlow worked very hard this week in the rain, all day long!! We ended up with 22 lessons which isn't too shabby. We had some very interesting lessons. I don't think I've ever been so bold throughout my entire mission!! Let me tell you about one of our interesting lessons....

So there's this guy who's been following me for months, since I first got back to Tahiti. He's a "Seventh-Day Christian". He's someone who wants to bash and fight, and that doesn't really interest me, so I avoid him. But he trapped me the other day. He's actually a very rude, very mean, very prideful man who lives and knows ( but doesnt understand) the Bible. He finally cornered me into doing a lesson at his house last Friday. We went over and we went into his little "chapel room". He started by offering a prayer and then we commenced. He went off about the valley of dry bones and about the council of peace and Adam and Eve. It was, as we say in French, "N'importe quoi!" or bull honkey, horse hockey, and jibber jab, in english. I talked about who baptized him and he got offended because he knew I was right. He got even more mad when I boldly testified of our calling as servants of Jesus Christ and our authority to preach the word in His name. He laughed at us and then literally mocked us. He then said that I was Satan. At this point Elder barlow took over and said that we were not willing to waste our time and then we left; He didnt even let us say a parting prayer because, according to him, "we are sinners and God won't hear our prayer". Needless to say, we shall not be going back. He's in Gods hands now. 

On the bright side, we have a lot of people who progress. We're teaching a young man named Tamatoa. He's really intelligent and he learns quickly. He understands the doctrine very well. We have high hopes for him for these upcoming weeks. 

Anyways, I learned a lot from my studies this week. I highly enjoyed these few verses from Psalms 31. 

 " 21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

 22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

 23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."

I like verse 22 the most; David says that in his haste or too quickly he assumed that he was cut off from the Lord. However, he recognized that the Lord heard his prayer even when he felt unworthy. Then verse 24 counsels us to trust in the Lord and be of good courage and the Lord will strengthen us. i know the Lord hears our prayers and that He Love us. 

I love you all!! have a good week!!

Elder Cole Porter

The road leading up to our house.
Our new house we share with the AP's
A Catholic Church you can see from our backyard.