Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Land of Sun and Surf

I really wish our ward parties would look like this. . . Because when we have ward parties on the beach "Soeur Mo" (yeah, that's what everyone calls me) gets to play "Follow Mo" with all the little kids.  Follow Soeur Mo looks a bit like this:

We did the beach dance together.  I had way too much fun.  Granted I couldn't go surfing, but that didn't stop the members from trying really hard to get me into the water.  BUT! I did follow the mission rule and I only went in up to my knees.
I also took a much needed nap on the beach.  I got a bit a sun. One day I won't be completely pasty white.
This week is McCall's birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRAZY CHICKEN! It is also Soeur Anzi's birthday so I made a speculoos cheesecake.  We, in the United States, miss out on some of the greatest food ever.  I love speculoos.  It's a bit like gingerbread, but a million times better.  I used the cookies to make a cheesecake!
So, this is where I almost died.  As I was making the cheesecake I asked my dear companion to go turn on the oven so it can warm up.  She went and "turned" it on.  I asked if is she lit it with a match.  Nope.  I went over, turned off the gas to let it air out so I could actually light it and went back to stirring my cheesecake.

I told Soeur Anzi to turn on the gas a bit and light a match.  I went to demonstrate how to light the oven and BOOM.  Yes. . . We had a slight explosion in our house.  I no longer have hair on my right forearm/hand.  Soeur Anzi started screaming and I sat there laughing.  I probably should not have been laughing, we almost dies, but it was so funny.  That's always my first reaction, to laugh.  Of course this would happen to me.  It was funny.
Do you like my shades?  I've been wearing them 24/7 because guess what? The Chikungunya affects the eyes too!  My poor eyes are much better now, don't worry.  I'm not even wearing my shades today.
I have something important to tell all of you. . .
I'll be home in 23 days.
Don't do anything crazy like this, at least not until I'm home and can do it with you...
I was so tempted to jump in with them.  It looked so fun. . . But I restrained myself.  When I come back on vacation I will be coming to this tree.
This is my Christmas Present.  I SAW SOEUR MOLI!!! I haven't seen her since our accident.  I played a pretty mean trick.  I was invited to go to a christmas program in Punaauia so I sent Sr Moli a text asking her if she was going.  She said yes and asked if I was.  I told her I didn't think so because I have an eye infection.  Let's just say, she was not very pleased with me when I showed up and surprised her. We sat there hugging and crying. 
I love you all!!  Have a fantastic Christmas! Hug someone you love!! Watch this! Yes, click me. :) 






Monday, December 15, 2014

Chikungunya...She got it...

One upon a time in a jungle in a far away land lived a swarm of evil flying insects.  These flying insects love praying on the delicious liquid found in the veins of the human race. Unfortunately for the human race, the flying insects this year have an interesting disease. 

Who go this disease?
house for two out of the last four weeks of my mission. 
It's a good thing I didn't get hit has hard as everyone else.  Why? Because I am the EMT for the sister missionaries. At least, that's what I feel like. 

Last night at 9pm Soeur Anzi ran and sad, "Soeur Taylor! Come look at Sister JJJJJ what's wrong with her?"  I ran out of my room, into the other room.  The Sister was laying on her bed with an ice bag on her head, I yelled her name.  Nothing.  She didn't move.  I went up and touched her.  No movement.  I checked her pulse, her heart still worked.  I checked to see if she was breathing.  Yes. She was.  I looked down at the ground, saw a cup of water, scooped up a handful of water and threw it on her.  Nothing. 

I called the Ambulance, Soeur W the mission nurse, and our zone leaders.   

I helped load the sister onto the stretcher with the EMTs (one of whom is a recent convert) and I got into my car with the other sister's companion and drove to the hospital while Soeur Anzi went with the sick sister in the ambulance. 

It was an interesting night. 
Hopefully in these next thirty days nothing too exciting will happen. I will be back in the United States in 30 days.  

I had my last fireside last night.  It was in PAEA, where I had my accident.  There were over 350 people at this fireside.  I didn't even know that many people lived in Paea!  It was a fantastic way to celebrate the anniversary of my accident and to say goodbye to my family in Paea.  I was also able to see one of my miracles!
Ryan was one of my recent converts when I had my accident.  He had been baptized for one week when that happened.  We are still as thick as thieves. I love him to death! 

Also a shout out to the coolest girl on Tahiti. MALLORI!!  I love you girl! Here's to our future parties eating delicious Einstein's Bagels and drinking Jamba Juice!  

Here's to YOU!!  Have a fantastic "The Last Full Week Before Christmas!"  May your days be merry and bright, and I hope all your Christmases will be white!


Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Taylor, Morgan
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti
French Polynesia.

Monday, December 8, 2014

When December Comes......

This week I became an all-you-can-eat buffet for the mosquitoes in Mahina.  I have thirteen mosquito bites in a two-inch area of my foot.  The curses of being white. . .  What was I doing in Mahina?  Well, I was pestering poor Soeur Nstiete while she was talking on the phone.

I was also discovering the joy of very scary, sketchy bridges...

Yes.  This bridge is literally broken pieces of wood just laying on top of each other.  When you walk the bridge sways, and the boards all move.  I loved it, adventure time times a million! 

I spent two days in this area.  It was nice to see another part of Tahiti.  We had a very, crazy experience together.  First of all, every single one of our lessons cancelled.  No biggie, we had Back-up Plan B, Back-up Plan C, Back-up Plan D and Back-up Plan E.  Um. . .  Not a single one of the back up plans were home.  All day long.  Hello door knocking!  I love tracking   Well... In Tahiti it's door yelling.  There are no door to knock at or door bells to ring. We were sure to find someone right?  No.  No luck. 

We were walking back to the car when Soeur N felt like we should go see one of the inactive members.  Insert the craziest experience of my life here.  We left Akish, (yes, I named our car Akish.  Yes, I fully realize Akish is one of the super villains in the Book of Mormon.  Read Ether 8.  No really, read one of the craziest stories ever.) at a member's house and started walking.  

As we were walking along the main road that goes around the island, a car drove past us, stopped, and turned around.  This is when the "stranger danger" sirens went off in my head. A woman got out of her car and started waving. 

​Quickly, I looked at Soeur N and whispered "Do you know her?"  Soeur N looked back at me, "I have no idea who she is, but she keeps looking at YOU." Oh no, not again. 

When you're in Cali, you drive around Hollywood looking for famous movie stars, right?  Well in Tahiti. . . people drive around looking for. . . me.  They look for me.  They ask for my autograph.  They take pictures with me.  It is very odd. 

The lady explains that she saw me on the T.V. and she wants to take the missionary lessons.  Awesome!!  BUT.  BUT.  BUT.  She will not take them from the Elders in her area, she will only take them from me. 

It does not work that way. . .  I explained we teach the same things.  Nope only me.  I was afraid something like that would happen.  I took her phone number down and we shall see what happens.  

We kept walking to the member's house.  She's an older lady, she's a grandma. The things she told me, wow.  She looked at me, she looked at my name tag, and she started crying.  Five minutes earlier she was going to commit suicide.  Until she heard us yelling her name. 

She explained why she wanted to die, and she also explained that she knows that God loved her. Why?  Because she felt impressed to kneel down and pray instead of dying and the moment she said "amen" we yelled her name. 
I know that God has perfect timing.  I know that he puts things in our lives to help us, and to help others.  Sometimes things we do not understand happen and we can feel like it's not fair, or play the "why me?" game.  But He knows everything.  He wants us to be happy.  He will do everything possible for that to happen, and when we are happy, He will use us to help His other children be happy. 

I am so grateful to be here today. I am grateful I can play with little kids. I am thankful that God can use me to help other people, because I can stand here and say, I AM HAPPY. 

I am happy. 

I love you all! 

Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Taylor, Morgan
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti
French Polynesia.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Throw Back One Year Ago - Last letter before our lives were turned upside down

As we are approaching the one year mark, I went back and read Morgan's last letter to me.  I had been asking her for the past couple weeks prior for the scripture she wanted to be printed on her plaque at church.  It took her a couple weeks but this last letter before her accident she let me know what is was to be:
Moroni 7:33&37  "Christ hath said: if ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me"......For it is by Faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. 
Morgan has had great faith this past year and so have we.  We have seen many miracles that have helped Morgan and blessed our family a long the way.  I have an unwavering testimony of this gospel.  I am so grateful and feel so blessed.  We all face difficult trials in our lives.  I hope those who are struggling right now will remember this scripture.  I refer back to it often. 
Now, here is Morgan's letter she wrote on Monday before her accident.  She was so excited about being able to attend the temple on Friday in Tahitian and also the ward Christmas party in her ward that evening.  She was able to attend the Temple but was hit a few hours later. 
The rain was pounding on the roof. I was sleeping away, dreaming in French, and enjoying the precious hours of sleep I have. That when I heard it. I, groggily, woke up wondering what the sound could be. As I turned my head to the left, nothing. As I turned my head to the right. BAM!

Mouth full of fur.

Cat fur.

Pananche, our favorite feline friend, was purring away, feeling pretty sneaky for jumping through my window and sleeping on my pillow all night long.

*sigh* This cat. I found it sleeping on our table. Our washing machine. In our Attic. And basically everywhere. It's the most annoying animal in the world.

Other than that our nights have been pretty uneventful. Thankfully. We live in a very safe, very quiet neighborhood. Right next door to the Protestant Church. I'll probably only be staying here for another 3 weeks. Which, as happy as I am to get out of here, is slightly depressing. 6 months is a long time. You get really close to families and investigators in that amount of time, but we move on. And I'll be coming back.

Why will I be coming back? Well. We have three INCREDIBLE couples we're teaching. 2 of which will be baptised Christmas day. The only is still working on the Word of Wisdom. And... Sœur Moli and I promised them this week we'll be at their temple sealing. So. TAHITI HERE I COME! Again. Later on. For a wedding. And to tear up those waves.

Speaking of waves. Sœur Moli and I hit up the end of Tahiti for our last p-day. We were able to see a nice bit of Papeari and went down to the beach where they have the national surfing compétitions. Unfortunately those are in July... But it was still pretty cool. The black sand, and McDonalds run made it even better. ;)

I got mail this week! I'd love to know why I can get mail from Japan, before America. (Elder Rogers is the best! Japanese mail!)
AND!! WE GOT REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS! I can't explain how long it's been since I've eaten one of those little babies. :)  Yes, I know I look really tired. Let me explain myself. We had a 6 hour long weekly planning session last night. It was fantastic. I loved it. Sœur Moli and I are going to be friends for a very long time. And yes, my eye looks a tad swollen. I almost poked it out with a metal pole. But there's no damage to the eye, just the eye lid. And yes. That is a helmet tan line for my hair. And Yes. I love Utah State. And yes. I've gained weight. But guess what? I LOVE MY MISSION! And that's all that matters!

V and J. Are our best friends. We're with them everyday, and they are so READY to get married and baptized. Want to know a secret? The gospel changes families. It changes couples. The 2nd lesson with V was terrible. Why? Well we got there and she was crying. J had left the house after an argument with their baby and wouldn't answer his phone. She was worried sick. We talked to her a little bit and then we asked her if she had prayed for him to come back. She hadn't. She asked me to say the pray for us. Right as we finished the pray his car pulled up. The next day, he finally accepted the lessons. And now, I've never seen a more unified couple here in Tahiti. They read the Book of Mormon everyday. They pray everyday. And they are incredible. I am going to miss them. 

We had another miracle this week. We're teaching another couple. T and L. T is a member inactive, and L is SUPER catholic. We started heading over to teach T and see if he needed anything. Each time we'd come over he would have to BEG L to come listen to us. She was not interested at all. We invited them to come to the temple with us.

The lesson after.

She's getting baptized. December 25. She never listened to our lessons. But she wants to go to the temple.

Moral of these stories? The spirit changes hearts. Prayer changed J.  And the incredible feeling in the garden of the temple changed L immediately. It's nothing we did. We're here to help them understand what they feel, but we ABSOLUTELY can not change a person. We can't make them have the desire to pray or to read or to get baptized. BUT. The spirit can, if they're open enough to listen. That is what is incredible about this work. It's not our work. It is really, truly, the Lord's work.

I love it.

Sœur Taylor

p.s.s. the Internet is slow... and I don't have time to upload more pictures. :) NEEEXT week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Because of Him

This week was Thanksgiving.  I sat there and reflected on the things I am thankful for.  I wrote 4 pages of things. (On collage ruled paper of course!)

I am grateful to be a missionary.  I am grateful to serve in French Polynesia.
I am grateful for my family.  I am grateful for the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I was giving another fireside, (I gave four firesides this weekend.  We did A LOT of driving.) I sat there and I realized something.  I am grateful for the Atonement of Christ, I was already thankful for that.  BUT  because he died for us we can be baptized.  If we are baptized, we can be sealed to our family.  Yes.  I have always known that was a blessing.  I can be sealed one day to my future husband.  But, because of my accident, I look at life a lot differently. 

I am grateful families can be sealed because I cannot imagine living without my little brother.  He is my best friend.  I cannot imagine a life without my sisters.  They are the best thing that has happened to me.  I am grateful for my family. 

I am grateful I can go to the temple one day, so my future children, will never have to worry if they will see their best friends, their siblings, after this life.  They will not have to worry about wether they will see their parents after this life. 

This is all possible because our brother, Jesus Christ, died for us.  Because of him we can have an eternal family.  Because of him the Priesthood exists.  Because of him, I am happy. 

I love you!

Soeur Mo

Now, watch my favourite Video, "Because of Him."  I show it at the end of each of my firesides. 

Other Photos Morgan sent this week...
With some other Missionaries!

Elder Hansen from right here in Smithfield, Utah.  They were in the same 4th grade class

It looks like Nerf guns are popular with the kids in Tahiti too right now!

At one of four firesides she did this weekend

Morgan and Sr. Anzi

Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Taylor, Morgan
B.P. 93
Papeete, Tahiti
French Polynesia.
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