We received a letter this week from Soeur Holt telling us a little bit more about her companion, Soeur Tepapatahi. Being together for nearly two transfers will mean that Soeur T will have been her longest companion so it’s lovely to learn more about her. The first thing is that she is not Tahitian as we have been saying. It seems that Tahiti is an island of French Polynesia, and that Soeur T is from a different island called Tubuai. She is 23 years old and when she was at home she loved to dance, and that is what she did to earn money in order to come on her mission. In Polynesia dancing is taken very seriously and it is all part of the culture. Every island has a specific way to dance with different rhythms and gestures. Soeur Tepapatahi has never been taught how to dance (no HSD for her), it is what her grandma and mum taught her in the home from being little. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t compete! The year before leaving on her mission she won the best dancer for her entire island (she says it wasn’t a big deal but Soeur Hootini tells me otherwise!). So, she loves to dance and she can play the guitar (that’s how her parents met- her dad was playing the guitar and her mum was dancing! haha). Soeur Tepapatahi is older but one of the biggest things that I love about her is her testimony and love for her Saviour.
It is amazing to hear how well they get on. Soeur Holt has been so fortunate with her companions, what she tells us about her relationship with Soeur T gives us so much comfort as she is away from us. At this moment in time we are truly just extensions of each other and so I always seem to be talking using the pronoun ‘we’. She is my companion and we experience exactly the same things each and every day.
On that note we’ll talk somewhat about their experiences this week. One day we had a lesson with one of our friends. She was in the middle of watching a sermon on YouTube- so to start off with we taught her about the Mormon Channel and watched the video of living below our privileges with the man on the cruise ship. She loved it and said that she would watch more.
We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon but she also talked to us a lot about the fact that she has lost faith in religion as an institution. We testified that through the Book of Mormon and prayer she can know the direction that God has for her. Another lesson was with Sister Bogot of the Lamentin branch- she took us to teach her friend who lives in our area. She had set up this appointment after giving her friend a Restoration brochure. The lady is really excited about the Book of Mormon and identified a lot with the searching questions of Joseph Smith as she searches for the truth. A really amazing lesson with Sister Bogot.
Soeurs Holt and Tepapatahi did some contacting in areas where people were shopping this week. Soeur Holt mentioned Pizza contacting which she’s discussed before, but also in the Mac shop. I bought a foundation from Mac this week- this was only because we contacted the people who were working there and I felt guilty not buying anything. The man was really sweet and very flamboyant; we asked him if her had met the missionaries before and after a few moments… oh the boys in the suits and ties; I LOVE THEM!! He invited us to go dancing with him so probably not ready for the gospel yet but it was good for our image!! Just not for my bank account!!
They also had time for some planned and some spontaneous service. Saturday morning we helped a member move house- loading beds and boxes into a van. One night we also helped a man catch some kittens which had been left on the side of the road. I learnt Tahitian for kitten… minou! One aspect of Soeur Holt’s service was writing to her dad for Father’s Day. She mentioned: yesterday church was good the primary sang for the papas and we had a munch and mingle afterwards we made chocolate cake. We also learned a little bit more about Soeur Naffer as they met and sang with her. We read Jacob 3 and just talked to her about her dad- actually she lost her mum when she was young so she is really thankful to her dad who raised 7 children by himself while he was a sower at a plantation. Soeur Holt had remembered to send me a letter to read on Father’s Day morning- I now realise why she likes written letters so much, you can put them in your pocket and reread them at different points of the week. I’d forgotten how lovely that feeling is.
Food made a return: We arrived in time for the fhe with all the family and the Elders. The elders shared a message about always praying and then we ate!! We ate something called fruit a pain literally translated as bread fruit and it is so good!! Like potatoes but better!!… Monday last week we played ultimate frisbee as a zone then onto pitta pit for lunch where Soeur Needs and I had a craving for a milkshake so we got a peanut butter and chocolate one; SO GOOD!!…
A nice lady invited us in to drink and gave us mangoes… Weekly planning in the morning- my beautiful companion made me Roquefort sauce rice and fish for lunch; traditional food for French Polynesia and it was AMAZING!!
One evening the Mancunian love of rain came through for Soeur Holt (not so much for Soeur Tepapatahi): That evening was a tropical storm with thunder and lightning it was absolutely breathtaking we sat outside to do companionship study and language. My companion thinks I was crazy in a good way because I started running around and dancing in the rain with the lightning surrounding me but I always remember that mummy told me before I got set apart to seize every opportunity and don’t miss a thing and I think that’s what I was doing last night!!
We’ll close with her scriptural thoughts of the week: This transfer I have chosen the Christlike attribute of virtue. I found the scripture Psalms 24.3-4 to theme my transfer
“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
I really love the interpretation of virtue with regards to focusing all our talents and energy and thoughts on the Saviour and our work right now as missionaries. It is not bad to think about my life before but it is bad when it is distracting when I should be thinking about the people here or about how I can help them.
I saw a quote this week and thought it would be good for all of the Holts because I know how we stress; Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering and doubting-have faith that things will work out. Maybe not how you planned but just how they are meant to be. I see that every single day when plans fall through but we see miracles in their place. Salient advice for us all!