Thursday, July 25, 2013

I HAVE ONE WEEK LEFT!

I HAVE ONE WEEK LEFT!
 
That sentence deserved to be written in all caps. Being "grandparents" of the MTC is fun, but being the "dork dots/freshman" in Tahiti is going to be even better. This is officially my last p-day in the MTC. I'll be able to send an email on Saturday, but that's not an "offical" p-day. :) We have our travel plans. We have our visas. We are more than ready to leave our lovely hamster cage. I am ready to go talk to people. This week has been a blur.  A literal blur. I feel like I was sitting here on the computer yesterday telling you in 14 days i'm heading to Tahiti. Now there's 7. :)
 
Monday morning is when we are leaving. Really though, I'd call it Sunday night. We will wake our little sleepy bodies up at 2:45am, shower, make sure we packed everything, and head to the MTC travel office before 3:30am.  At 3:30 we will be taken in a lovely greyhound bus to the SLC airport. We'll probably get lost, punch in the wrong confirmation numbers on the kiosk, someones suitcase is going to be overweight and we'll scramble to put their stuff into everyone elses, we'll check our bags, and wait for our flights to leave at 7:10am.
 
We'll hope on our airplane and fly to the lovely city of Los Angeles. We will get very, very lost in that airport (so we have been told), check in and wait.  Our layover lasts a good 6 hours. We land at 8:10 am, and we will board our flight to Tahiti around 1:30, but it takes off at 2:20. If anyone's heading to Tahiti next Wednesday, grab that flight! I have 14 very good friends who will be eager to share a special message with you. During our layover I'll call home, I'll sleep, and I'll go contacting. 6 hours is a nice chunk of time to "use every effectively", aka, 6 hours is a nice chunk of time to kill. :) What happens after we board the plane is still a nice big blur to me. We'll sleep (hopefully) for our 8 hour flight, we will walk off the plane, head into baggage claim, and be greeted by hoards of missionaries giving us heis. (hei= the tahitian shell necklace, known in Hawaii as "lei")  BUT: BIG NEWS. BRACE YOURSELF.  We will be arriving in Tahiti, (not only will I be the youngest sister in the Mission, we're the first wave of 19 year olds) but we will be arriving during a very large mission conference. Why a mission conference? Let me tell you! Our little mission, Tahiti, Papeete, is opening new islands! Bam. There are enough sisters now to open new islands for sisters, there are enough elders to open new islands for them. French Polynesia here we come! I am so excited. Send me to the sketchiest place you can find. :)  (As long as I get mail.)
 
All was well in headquarters this week. (That's what we named our classroom, it sounds much cooler.) One of our teachers, Frere Asay, was telling us stories about Tahiti. I was always curious to know if any missionaries had illegal pets. Like a certain uncle of mine who had a monkey... ;) Well, Frere Asay had a "pet" chicken. I use the term pet loosely because he didn't name the chicken.  There are a ton of chickens in Tahiti, and at one of his homes there was an extreme number of chicken. One of these feathered creatures was better than the other ones. Him and his companion started feeding it, and eventually they got to the point where they would pet the chicken goodbye before they left the house. They would even give the chicken Jehovah's Witness literature to read at night, and they'd come home in the morning and the chicken would still be sitting there, reading away. I'm going to find me a "pet."
 
In Headquarters, Elder Hansen and Elder Ball had a "Tahitian Insult War." They would just yell at each other random words they pointed to in the dictionary. Don't worry, we stopped when it got really heated. Elder Hansen ended the war with "Well, you're a Hinano! You flower of the Pandanus Tree!" Good times...
 
Happy belated Fourth of July! The fourth in the MTC is awesome! We had a special devotional that night. During the devotional we had a speaker, and then we watched 17 miracles. Ah. Movies. I love them. Afterwards we went outside, threw our blankets on the grass, listened to some Carly Ray Jeppsen and Kelly Clarkston, and watched the fireworks. All was well.
 
Well, I'm headed off to Tahiti on Monday! The last time I'll get Dear Elders is Friday night, I won't get anything you send to me after noon on Friday. They just go in the trash. :( If you have this urge (which, I know most of you have) to write me a lovely note and send it all the way to Tahiti here is the address:
 
Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Taylor, Morgan
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti
98713
French Polynesia.
 
If you send your letter today, I should get it a nice week after I arrive. :) The average time for me to receive letters is roughly 3 weeks. Unless I'm on a sketchy island... Then there's a possibility I never get your letter. Packages normally take 2 months, and Frere Coulson just had very bad experiences with the Mail. I should get every package you send. :)
 
Our devotional and Mission Conference yesterday was incredible.
I took 3 pages (with very tiny handwriting) of notes during mission conference. Here are some of my thoughts:
 
It's important we create a standard for our lives -- things we refuse to settle on, and refuse to do anything less than. I was talking with a good friend of mine about mediocrity. We are not a people of mediocrity. We are not here to live mediocre lives, but we have to set a standard to live up to so we don't fall into that trap. Because I'm heading to Tahiti, I wrote a few standards for my mission. I am going to pray on my knees morning and night. I am going to smile at everyone. I will never be afraid to speak to someone, and I'm going to talk to every one. I am going to be positive, funny, and love everything and everyone I meet. I'll even love the rotten fish and cockroaches. Every single companion will be my best friend. I can promise that your attitude about your companion will affect  how much you enjoy being around them. I won't be afraid to voice my concerns. I will be bold in all that I do. I will not be mediocre. I'm going to strive to be the best. :)
 
In our Devotional we had Sister Susan Easton Black speak to us. She was the first female religion teacher at BYU who just retired. She was so fun and so cute! Anyway, she had us change the words in "I Am of Child of God." Back when she was young the chorus said, "Teach me all that I must know to live with Him again" then it was changed to "Teach me all that I must do to live with Him again." But she had us sing it like, "Teach me all that I must BE to live with him again."  I am is a conjugation of "to be" (etre, for my french speakers out there), it encompasses a knowledge and a doing.  Our religion is a life style. It's not something we do once a week on Sunday. It's not something we just know about.  It is who we are. I like that. :)
 
7 more days.  Have fun with your summer! Eat snow cones for me, go hiking, watch the stars, climb trees, jump into lakes, just make this summer one you will never forget. This is the ONLY summer of 2013 you're going to have. Make it count. I love you, I miss you all and I'd love to eat a snow cone with you, but I'm having too much fun here to leave.  I love you! 
 
Tahiti here I come!
 
XXo,
 
Soeur Taylor

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