About Me

My photo
Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. July 24, 2013 - July 24, 2015.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wooah week 10 done! This is officially my last week ever being in the MTC as a missionary!

This week has been very good and bittersweet. So we had our last devotional in the Mariott Center on Tuesday (they will now just be in the MTC gym) and it was a really good talk on just missionary work. I can't remember everything that he said but I just remember after the devotional everyone in our district was just ready to go like right then. And then on Thursday we had our last TRC ever! We taught a 20 minute lesson in Tahitian but it was really cool because we taught a native Tahitian that just randomly happened to stop by the MTC and we were able to teach him (he was here early because he is going to conference this weekend). It was just really neat to hear Tahitian come from a native tongue. I didn't understand everything he said, but I definitely am able to pick up on more than I was able to last week even.

And on Thursday we got our travel plans! Our whole district was freaking out because we agreed to open them in the classroom, and Elder Twede (our district leader and also the mail retriever) was taking a while to walk back to the classroom. So eventually he gets to the class and he starts handing everyone's travel plans back and of course with my last name starting with an R I got my plans second to last (right in front of Elder Twede) but the whole time he was passing them out I was just thinking "oh my goodness, they don't have my visa yet. I don't have my travel plans". But I got it so it was all good! But here's the news: So we officially leave the MTC Monday October 7th at 7:30AM, we leave SL at 11:30 and get to LA at 12:30, we leave from LA at 4:30 and get to Tahiti at 10:00PM (Tahiti time which is 4 hrs behind UT time)! Its real!! So that was very good.

And then on Saturday all the sisters in our district were singing in the general relief society meeting so all the elders in our district just got some elder time which was good. And on Saturday night we got taught by Soeur Buswell and she told us so many funny and cool stories about Tahiti. It was just a really good day all around and I think everyone in the district is just ready to go. On Sunday we had our mission conference meeting where basically we have another two hour devotional in the middle of the day. This mission conference was so good though, I got so much out of it spiritually and they talked a ton about how we can be really successful missionaries and after all the devotionals on Sunday I really just felt so good about everything. It has been a good week and I am excited to just make it through this week and prepare the best I can to leave.

Anyway, thats all I have time for this week!
 Until next week (In Tahiti hopefully),

Elder Rose

Monday, September 23, 2013

Semain neuf est finis (week 9 is done)! Where did the time go? This week felt like it was two days long. I really think time works differently in the MTC sometimes. 

This week was pretty normal. Devotional on Tuesday we got to hear from Elder Schwitzer of the 70. His talk was about missionary work and how we can become better missionaries. Its cool how all the themes of the MTC seem to be the same, whether its my personal study or a devotional, it always seems to get the same message across. This Wednesday was fun because I got to see Sister Hanks arrive at the MTC and I also got to see our whole new French district (we got about 20 new elders and 3 sisters) get here. It was so crazy just to think I was in their shoes just nine weeks ago. It also really helped me to realize how far I have come in French, just watching them study what seemed to me to be easy French principles and grammar. My time here is such a blessing though and I am so glad I have been able to be here for this long. Also on Friday I got to see my old BYU-I roommate Elder Madeux which was great just to catch up with him.

Thursday was an interesting day though. We started out the day with Tahitian instruction from Frere Roney and at the end of his instruction he taught our district about fifteen minute lesson just summarizing the first lesson (in Tahitian of course). So I'm just sitting there during the lesson desperately trying to understand anything that I can and honestly I only understood about five words during the whole lesson. So I decided to fast for lunch, because we had TRC in Tahitian later that day. So TRC rolls around and we find out that we were supposed to prepare 40 minute lessons rather than a 20 minute lesson that we had prepared. Anyway long story short we go into TRC knowing we have to make a 40 minute lesson out of this 20 minute lesson. I'm not really sure how it happened, (it really always seems to happen this way) but the lesson lasted almost exactly 40 minutes and I honestly didn't even have to look down at the lines that we had prepared for half of the things that I wanted to say. It was a little rough but I was able to get a point across and bear testimony all in Tahitian and without hardly looking at my notes. I know the gift of tongues is real because that wasn't me that was able to do that. I am just so grateful for all of the amazing things I have learned about the gospel and missionary work and even about myself here. I know that with faith in the lord we can do anything. One of my favorite scriptures is definitely Moroni 7:33 because I have really felt the power of faith during my time here. 

Something else crazy that will happen this week... we get our travel plans on Friday! Finally! Its so close but it feels so far away. It almost feels like I have been called to serve in the MTC speaking French and Tahitian but our time is almost done here. The Tahitian districts are starting to get pretty creative on how to not go crazy here, so things are fun but I am definitely ready for some travel plans. Anyway those were the highlights of the week. Next week will be a different story though. Thanks to everyone who reads this! You're all awesome! Jusqua la semain prochain, faaitoito! (until next week, take (courage, health, goodness))

Elder Rose

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ia ora na mau taata! Bonjour tout le monde! Week 8 done! I'm a little short on time this week so this may be shorter than usual. 

This week has been really good for me, with the languages and spiritually. We didn't have any general authorities come this week but something interesting that happened was they fit all the missionaries that are staying on the main campus into the MTC gym for devotional this week! This is impressive because in the past they have had to use three overflow rooms that fit about 500 missionaries each.  So there have been a lot of missionaries that have already left for the mission field while I have been here. And it was crazy because all the elders going to France (that got here when we were about three weeks into our stay) left this morning.  Our hallway is nearly empty now which is almost eerie. We only have three more weeks now though so we are all just doing our best to be prepared as possible when we get out to Tahiti finally. 

I'm just so grateful for my time here in the MTC. There is really no place in the world like the MTC and I have learned more here about French and Tahitian and also just about myself than I have in my whole life. And I think 12 weeks is definitely a good amount of time to learn two languages also.

Oh so something interesting we did this week. Our teacher, Soeur Buswell, had us practice street contacting with her in French. So she pretended to be some random person and we really had no idea how it was going to go down. So she gives us about three minutes to prepare our approaches and guess which companionship gets picked to go first. Yep. So Elder Edwards and I start to attempt to contact her with our poorly thought out approach and boom. About twenty seconds in, I ask if I can share a spiritual thought and she just walks away. It was harsh. I was shocked really. It was really humbling though. We were so nervous we forgot to even introduce ourselves. We learned a lot from it though and tried again a little later and again got denied. I didn't feel as bad though after I watched every other companionship get denied too. Our main problem was that we weren't being quick enough to the catch so she just lost interest. English missionaries have it so easy! Anyway, moral of that story, we are all greenies and still have a ways to go. 

And last cool thing that happened. We taught in TRC again on Thursday, this time in Tahitian. Yeah, that was very humbling also. I understood maybe like three words he said in the whole twenty minute lesson. I have been working very hard on learning Tahitian but its difficult when we have to keep improving our French at the same time too. This is really good for time management though. I would really appreciate like an extra three hours in the day with all the things we have to learn. I know that I can do it though with the help of the Lord and the gift of tongues. Speaking Tahitian really makes me appreciate French that much more and I really realize how far I have come. I went from barely being able to say hello to roughly being able to teach (very basically) any lesson from PMG. I know the Lord has been helping me learn these languages and that the gift of tongues is real. Thanks to everyone who keeps me in your prayers. When things get tough I just remember that and I honestly feel lifted. Its an amazing feeling. 

Oh and one last good scripture I came across this week Romans 8:18. It helped when I was feeling down about struggling with the languages. I know that everything in our lives happens for a reason, good and bad. I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us and that he loves us. It helped me to read this and know that in the end it was all for the good. That this would all pay off. Anyway I'm out of time now but I'll write again next week! Faaitoito! Je vous aime! Merci pour tout les gens que ce lire! Until next week

Elder Rose  

Just got here from France because he already knew French. Lucky!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ia Ora Na tout le monde! 

This week was a good one! I think this is week 7. Again, I lost track of time so I am just guessing at the weeks.
So for devotional this week we got to listen to David F. Evans of the quorum of the 70 and it was a really good talk on prayer and faith. Its so weird because its almost like the weeks here are themed. Everything I did this week seemed to somehow relate back to prayer. Anyway at the beginning of his talk he was talking about the change in the missionary age and how blessed we are to be here and how this is such an important time in church history. He just really made me appreciate this mission that much more. I already feel super blessed because my teacher told our district that for the longest time Tahiti had a missionary visa limit of 50 but it just changed within the last two years which is why so many missionaries are able to go to Tahiti now. So I just felt really blessed when I thought about that. And he also went on to stress that the Lord will bless us if we are keeping the commandments and that over time we will go through the process of having faith and being blessed so much that we will have enough trust in him to do whatever he asks of us. I would like to work up to that level for sure. So I guess my message to everyone is pray always. He will answer your prayer, sometimes its just not in ways you expect. But like my favorite scripture Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. If we are keeping the commandments and doing the best we can he will bless us for it.

But on to the rest of the week. So on Wednesday instead of being asked to host new missionaries Elder Edwards and I got asked to direct traffic. So for two hours on Wednesday I got to wear a sweet orange traffic vest and tell people where to park. And Thursday was the day that I have been waiting for weeks. I finally made it out to San Francisco to get my visa this week! It was only me and one other Elder that went to the french consulate that day which made things really easy. We woke up at about 2:30AM and were eventually to San Francisco by about 9:30(west coast time). Since it was just two of us we got to take a taxi to the consulate which was fun because for the first time in about seven weeks I got to talk to someone who wasn't a missionary or MTC worker. So we made it to the consulate with no problems and were in and out of the building in about fifteen minutes, which had to be some kind of record. Then right after that we went to eat lunch at this French cafe type thing called Boudin which was great because I got to eat normal food for the first time in seven weeks again. I ended up getting a bacon grilled cheese sandwich which was a good choice. Then after that we had to wave down another taxi and head back over to the airport. I wish we would have had more time so we could have done some street proselyting but I guess its cool because I get like 21 months to do that in Tahiti. But yeah we ended up getting back to the MTC at about 7PM so it was a pretty long day but a lot of fun.  

For the rest of the week I really just focused on Tahitian. And I just want to give a shout-out to my teachers Soeur Buswell and Frere Roney for being the best teachers ever. I feel so blessed that our district got them. They have been great examples to me and have really shown me how to be a great missionary of the Lord and I am extremely grateful for that. They have helped me accomplish what I thought I couldn't in French and I know they will help me do the same in Tahitian. I know the Lord has blessed me with everything I know though and I would not be where I am now if it wasn't for Him. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have to share the gospel in two of the most beautiful languages on the planet. I feel really blessed to be able to be here in the MTC too because a lot of people who have served missions didn't even have the opportunity to go to an MTC. And I am so glad that I am able to play soccer during gym time while I have been here. Its been nice to just kinda relax my brain from two languages and play soccer.  So anyway yeah that was my week in a nutshell.

A la prochain!

Elder Rose

Lunch in San Francisco, notice the bird who photo bombed my picture.

Cool Pic of the Provo Temple

Monday, September 2, 2013

What is it week 6? I can't even remember. Time is weird here in the MTC. I think its week 6 so lets go with that. Anyway, I had a great week this week.

So for devotional this Tuesday we heard it was going to be another general authority, someone big. So my district left as early as we could for devotional and got some super good seats again, some amazing third row seats. And oh my goodness was it worth it, I'll get to that later. So anyway before devotional we were all taking our guesses at who it would be (I was thinking it would be Uchtdorf). There was just this feeling it was going to be someone big though, it was weird. So we get through singing a couple prelude songs before they come in and then everyone starts to stand up, which means that they just came into the room. So I'm looking and looking and BOOM. Its Neal L. Anderson like less than 30 ft away from me. He ended up talking on love and sacrifice and how we sacrifice for the things that we love and we love the things we sacrifice for. His main point was that everyone will face hard times on their mission but through all the hard times we just need to remember that we are doing the Lord's work and what really matters at the end of the day is the service that we did for others and how that will change their lives. I think that can apply to more than just missionaries though. Everyone will face hard times in their life whether they want to or not, but at the end of the day we can always say that God has been with us every step of the way. I know that God answers prayers and that he loves every one of us infinitely. I can feel that love through everything in my life. Every experience I have gone through, the good and the bad, have been to help me learn and grow. I know that God has a plan for every one of us, and whether that plan works out the way we want it to or not it will be for our own good at the end of the day. Everything He does for is because he loves us so much. My time here in the MTC has really helped me to come to know that. 

But anyway after his talk and the devotional were over there was some pretty intense lightning so all the missionaries would have to wait out the storm. During this waiting time Elder Anderson decided that he would shake some missionaries' hands. So he exits to the opposite side of the stage from where we are sitting and then he goes to the rows just opposite of us. He almost came to our row and then he turned toward the choir. So he goes and shakes a ton of the missionaries hands in the choir. Then he starts to make his way back toward my row again. And then he started walking down my row! So everyone in my district is super pumped. Finally he gets to me and I get to shake his hand, it was cool just to be shaking the hand of an apostle. And then as he gets to Elder Gilson and he asks where he is going. Elder Gilson is just like "Tahiti" and he made this surprised face and said "well that's a nice place" and just kept going down the line. It was pretty funny and we were all on like this spiritual high after that. But then we got to walk back to the MTC in the pouring rain in our suits and that was fun. I was completely soaked by the time I finally got back. It was just a great experience. 

And I got my first haircut this week and I am very happy with how it turned out for it being a free haircut. Everyone in my district is starting to just get a little anxious just to get out to the field and work. Its just kind of difficult seeing everyone leave while we just sit here in the MTC. I will just have to make up for my time here when I finally get out to the field. 

On Thursday we started learning Tahitian! It is a sick language. Its just kind of difficult because it isn't a Latin based language so it sounds nothing like anything in English, which makes memorization for the words a necessity. I enjoyed French because half the time if I didn't know the word I could just say it with a French accent and it would be right. Its not that easy in Tahitian. But I know with enough prayer and practice and with a lot of help from the gift of tongues I will be able to learn the language. I'm just ready to get out to the field and do some teaching! 

Thanks for all the letters I get and for any prayers I get too. I can feel them as I go through my day. I love you all. Jusqu'a semain prochain!

My one month late birthday celebration at the MTC.