Tuesday, May 20, 2014

OCTOPUS, Anyone?

Iorana!!! That's Bonjour in Tahitian, aka hellooooo!!!

Fun fact: There are a kajillion different islanders and languages
here. Oh so many Tahitians, and Caldoches (from New Caledonia...ok,
less foreign for here but still) and people from Walis and Futunia
(these teeny tiny islands, but there are tons of people from them!)
and Vanuatu and ok maybe that's mostly it, but it feels very exotic.
Everyday, we are greeted in another language or hear a prayer in their
mother tongue or just sit and soak it in as they speak to their
families in their local island language. It is so beautiful. I love
language. I've learned that in every language I think you have a
different personality. For me, I'm a lot funnier in English....haha
but I still try in French. But in French I think I'm much more bold
and direct. It's interesting. Someone once told me that you're called
to serve in the language that the Spirit speaks to you best in and
testifies through you in. If that makes sense. I can certainly say
that saying prayers out loud in English (we sometimes do that for our
English lessons) feels WEIRD. And Gospel words are now almost all in
my head as French. Oh it is just the coolest. I love this language. I
love all languages.

I was sitting in Church the other day, as in on Sunday, and thinking a
lot about my past church experiences. About how church has changed my
life. And I thought a lot about all my past leaders. The faces of all
of my past sunday school teachers, seminary teachers and especially
Young Women's leaders were running through my head and I got so choked
up thinking of how these amazing women (and some men too of course)
have impacted my life. How blessed I feel to know them. To have
learned from them and had their example to strive towards. Here's to
all of my leaders: Thank you. Thank you for EVERYTHING. For your
testimonies and love and tender words and understanding eyes and hugs
and tears. Thank you for truly changing who I am and who I want to be.
I'm realizing now how important leaders and examples are in our youth.
We need those beacons of hope and encouragement.

Had a WONDERFUL lesson with one of our adorable amies. She is 72 and
has cancer but never stops working. She works way harder than I ever
have. And with a sprinkle of the gospel, this already incredible woman
has turned into the cutest little thing. I call her my little glowbug.
Because now everytime I see her she is just all giggles and smiles and
eyes wrinkled up from smiling. Whereas before her face showed mostly
fatigue or annoyance or exhaustion, now it is a bright, happy
expression lingering there. And with the aid of our wonderful bishop
she is going to set a date for baptism. She has a hard time
remembering (hi yes, even more adorable), but if she does I think she
really will set a date!

Fun tidbit with her. She lives with some of our other amis.
Complicated situation, but that's not important. The other night we
walk in for our lesson with all of them, and there she is at the
kitchen sink doing something. I walk over and SHE'S PEELING AN
OCTOPUS. Yes. She's just going to town on the skin, cleaning it out,
cutting it up, throwing legs over every which way. hahahahaha it kills
me that this is real life. Well. You guessed it. I ATE OCTOPUS. It's
really not so bad. Just really really chewy. But there's no bones
(that I noticed), which is a great bonus! [context: they don't have
chicken breast here...they just thrown the chicken in a pot. So bones
are in every dish] I really think I'm at the point where I can eat

The amazing part is that I think Heavenly Father has somehow steered
me clear of fish up until now. I've always thought "i don't like fish,
what am I going to do when they give me a fish?" Well I've eaten bat,
octopus, lamb, shrimp with eyes and legs and everything, mussels, etc.
But as of yet I haven't had a full fish plopped in front of me. Tender

Apologies for the lack of photos. I really want to send some, but I
can't figure it out on the computers here. Sad sad day.

Favorite scriptures this week: D&C 123: 13-17. Even the LITTLE things
are important. Smile at someone. Offer a compliment. Wave at that
stranger. Share a simple testimony. It's the little things that help
God to reveal His arm and work His mightier miracles. Oh how I'm
learning that. Life is a conglommeration of so many little acts of

Much love!

..                                      Octopus, Anyone?
                                         Tahitian Salad made with Raw Fish-- A common food

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