Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cow Tongue Among other things

Helloooo ma chere famille et mes chers amis!!!!!

D'abord, je vous aime fort. ( First I love you very.. literal translation)

Puis (Then), well what a week. We have been feeling crazy this week. Crazy on
the inside. We have auto-ecole almost everyday. Which means meager to
no time for studies and the real MISSIONARY WORK. It kills me knowing
there are people who haven't been visited in weeks. But. I know the
Savior is keeping an even better eye on their salvation and their
needs. They are being watched over during this time when we can't
watch over them. But we're doing everyyyything we can to pass the code
next week so that we can get our permis fast and get back to devoting
ALL of our time to the work.

Have so many moments when people's little acts of kindness just make
me want to cry. Such tender people watching out for us. It's the
little things. And the big things too, but especially the sum of all
the little things.

The same amie that gave us the deer haunch gave us cow tongue this
week. We did not leave it in the car.....
 Our ami: "Just boil it, then peel off this white skin
part on the outside...make sure you peel it....then chop it up with
onions and garlic..." hahaha not that brave.

Got to do the COOOLEST service project the other day. It was just how
I pictured my mission being before I got our here. We bushwhacked a
jungle. Real talk. It was SO STINKING LEGIT. All theTahitians with
their machetes. Literally at one point an elder takes a running leap
and just slices through a banana tree trunk in one blow. And the rest
of us were clearing out giant grasses and plants and leaves and stumps
and man it was just so fun. And so much better than gardening the
normal person way. The soil is way softer. Bah I was having the time
of my life. Jungle life is fun.

An ami made me and Soeur Pulsipher matching manu ensembles. Aka a manu
and a top in awesome fabric, sewn by hand. Happy soeurs.

My love of the word of God has been burning on in full force. I have
this hunger to keep reading. I never want to stop. It is fascinating
and touching and powerful and real and oh my it is just so good.

Been reading The Word a lot more with amis as a result of this delight
in the scriptures I've been growing. I always loved the scriptures,
but it is so beyond that now. It is so much more deeply rooted. And as
I share this love with all my heart behind my testimony of The Book of
Mormon, I feel like I'm helping my amis on a whole new level. Helping
THEM cultivate that love and passion from the start. This work is SO

Sent one of our most promising amis back to Tahiti. It was sad to see
him go, but I firmly feel that we gave him all that we could have. We
invited the Spirit to touch his heart, allowed him to meet members and
most importantly, introduced him to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And of
course, we helped him to start the Book of Mormon. Which, after 1
week, HE was reciting to US. "I would like to keep this book, if I
can? It's powerful. it's touching"....."YES, you can keep the book!!"
I can't get enough of sharing this with people. There is no greater
gift in all the world. No greater privilege.

Gave my second talk in French. Always an experience.

Loads of love! The Gospel is TRUE! This missionary is changing and
happy about it!
Soeur Evans

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eh Voila Quoi

Allo oui bonjouuuuur,
Well the days are streaming together again so I fear this email may be a little scattered, but hey life's a mesh of lots of little moments and thus it shall be with this email.
First miracle: I think I mentioned last time that we found a man who's here on vacation from Tahiti? Well we did. And he is GOLDEN. We've had 3 more lessons with him AND he came to church. Unreal! And the other day during our lesson he was recounting when we porte a ported him: "I was sitting there with my sister and I heard voices, and I turned to her and said, 'who knows, maybe it's a sign from God'..." Me and Soeur Pulsipher are sitting there dumbstruck as the member goes, "yes, it is most definitely a sign from God." OH MY GOODNESS. Ok, I'm sure that reading this it seems like such a little thing, but it was such an incredible moment. That moment when it hit me again. That we are out here and that God is really truly answering prayers by sending us to people. That WE are a sign from God. An answer. Proof that He heard. Wowza it never ceases to amaze and humble me. I can think of nothing (literally nothing) better than being an instrument in the hands of the Lord.
We got to watch someone making baskets out of palm leaves the other day. She's the ancient, teeny tiny sister of an amie. It's legitimately how she fills her day. Bored? Make a basket. Oh what wonderful people.
One of our amies is making us manu tops! So pretty soon me and Soeur Pulsipher are going to have matching handsewn Walisian/Futunian manu tops and bottoms. Baaaaah!!! We feel so islandy.
I've discovered one of my favorite things about being a missionary: getting to watch the light come into people's eyes. Every lesson they progress a little bit more, until after a few days, a few weeks or a few months, their eyes are like high beams glowing with the gospel of Christ. The gospel changes us, I can't say it enough, it changes us so much. And the end product is all glowy and radiant and kind and humble and joyous. What a beautiful sight to watch over and over!
Ate rabbit the other day. Tastes like chicken.
We were refound by an old ami. I think I got proposed to. That was interesting. I declined.
Me and Soeur Pulsipher are doing a Livre de Mormon challenge together. And it's lit a new fire in me about the Book of Mormon. I LOVE THAT BOOK. People always say to feast on the word, and I FINALLY feel like I'm feasting. I never want to put it down. We're reading it in French, but it makes sense and it fascinates me and it's beyond thrilling and interesting and powerful. It is without a doubt the word of God. The more I share my excitement with amis the more I see that it's true. Shout it from the rooftops this book is TRUE. And I love it.
Righto, basically, another awesome week in an awesome country serving even better people and doing the best work. This is easily the most satisfied I've ever been by something I've done.
Loving you all with all my bestests!
Soeur Evans
Mosiah 5

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Miracles and Meat

Salut tout le monde!!!

This past week was unreal. It felt like my whole lifetime and like a
blink of an eye. We are giddy on exhaustion and gratitude and laughter
and joy.

Tidbit first this week. We had a 2 hour break between auto ecole
sessions. So we went to see our senior couple leaders and ended up
eating with them. Then we come back to our car to get some study
materials. We get in and casually go, "huh, why does our car smell so
weird?" "hahah maybe they cooked the fish in our car...." "hahah I
know, maybe we left some food in it....hahahahaha". And then
immediately that slight joke suddenly seemed very possible. So I go to
the back of our car and open the trunk. And look in this towel in the
back of our car. Well, more like glance at the towel as my eyes and
Deer Haunch
nose burn with the most noxious toxic fume coming from it. And what do
you know, what is the source of the smell? A ROTTEN DEER HAUNCH.
Unreal. There is a rotten deer leg in the back of our car. In the
middle of the city. One of our amis had given it to us frozen 2 days
before and we'd been so fully booked that day that we had forgotten to
drop it off at our house. Hahaha forgive us if it sounds like we have
no sense of cleanliness, we really do, this was an exceptionnnnn.
Hhahahaha a really funny smelly exception. Let's just say we drove
with the windows down for a few days.

Miracle time! The other day we did some porte-a-porte and talked to a
man. He was very nice and said we could repass. Then the next day we
saw him outside of auto-ecole! God places people in our paths for a
reason! No such thing as coincidences.

The same night, we met another man. He's here on vacation from Tahiti.
Well after a few minutes of talking, we invited him to come to church
and see how he feels among the members and in the chapel. And he
accepted! He woke up at 5:30 to get ready for church and waited for
his ride (which then didn't show up, so he couldn't end up coming).
But he was ready and waiting! How incredible and humbling it is to
have found someone so ready and willing to hear our message and to
COME TO CHURCH! We've since had a great lesson with him and hope he'll
be able to make it this week.

Fun fact. One of our members used to live in Tahiti greeting American
tourists as a living and diving for octopus for fun. He used to have
hair down to his waist. These are real people. They are beyond cool.
It's still unreal to me that I am blessed enough to spend time with
and know these people. (not to mention to see their incredible
testimonies of the gospel, of course)

Another little miracle. We went running along the street to mix it up
one morning. And despite it being 6:30 in the morning, we ran past a
group of very drunk men at the bus station. I was a little nervous
having to run past them again on the way home. I sent a little
thought/prayer up to heaven clueing my Heavenly Father in on my worry.
And 30 seconds before we run back by them on the way home a truck full
of the French police, the Gendarmerie, pulls of and starts rounding up
all of the men. God watches out for us. Always.

Tried a new island dish last night. Beyond delicious. Island bananas
wrapped in ham, covered in egg/cheese sauch and baked. Sounds weird.
Tastes like a dream.

Me and Soeur Pulsipher have had the most wonderful talks about the
gospel together. We get really deep in our studies. Beyond the basic
principles that we share every day, to the deeper questions and
complexities that the gospel answers too. How incredible it is to talk
about these questions of the soul and to pore over the scriptures for
answers and to FIND THEM. There is nothing like that enlightened
feeling of finding the answer to a question in the scriptures, or
through someone else, or through personal revelation. The gospel is

Love you all as much as ever and more,
Soeur Evans

Alma 26:3

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Working Hard and Laughing Harder

bonjour ma famile et mes amis et tout le monde!!!!!!
Oh my what a faboluolous super duper week!
I LOVE SOEUR PULSIPHER. We have been working so stinking hard. So very hard. We go from 6;00 in the morning until 10:15 nonstop with barely a breakfast or lunch break and only enough time at night to flop into bed. We are exhausted. But SO HAPPY. We have been really pushing ourselves and pushing the potential of Paita to its limits. I have high high hopes. God has been pouring out the blessings already, and it's only been one week. He sees hard work and He matches it.
We got a phone call the other day from our ami. She has decided to 'take the bapteme'. WHATTTT???? THis is literally every missionary's dream- to listen to a voicemail and have it say that they would like to be baptized, please pick a saturday between the hours of 1 and 4 and let us know when to show up. Hahaha oh my noooo way it was unreal. But it is real. I'm making no sense. My head is just full of happiness and thoughts of amis and joy. But yes, we have an ami who is very excited to get baptized. And then when we showed up to teach her, a boy who lives with her (that we've previously taught) told us that 'it is necessary that he get baptized. that is the next step. and he would like to be baptized.' AGAIN. So many blessings. We are in shock, but very happy shock. Take in mind that we also hadn't taught these amis in a month because they said they wanted to stop the lessons. God pulls miracles out of the sky and showers them down when you least expect them.
THEN. As if that wasn't enough, we had the wife of one of our amis come to church. MIRACLE. She has never really showed interest, but has always been a sideline observer of all of the lessons and such. And then all of the sudden she told our ami that she was going to come to church with him this sunday. AND THEN SHE DID! Another HUGE miracle and HUGE blessing. An absolute answer to many fasts and prayers.
Our secteur has now been expanded. We're now over Paita and Tontouta, because they pulled the Elders out of Tontouta (our last group of new arrivals had visa problems, so we're running low on missionaries out here). Which means they combined the biggest elder secteur (i think) and the biggest sisters secteur and then gave this giant secteur to us. Also this week we're starting auto-ecole which means we're stuck in a classroom for 3-4 days a week instead of out doing the Lord's work. Like I said my mind is going crazy. But mostly in a good way :)
This is the hardest I've worked on my mission and the happiest I've been. Soeur Pulsipher is an absolute delight. We laugh SO hard. With her we're either in a lesson or we're cracking up. Hahah it's the besstttttttt.
Ok, seriously, we're so happy.
They always say to give your whole heart, might, mind and strength to the Lord. To forget yourself and go to work. And I've been trying to do that my whole mission. But for the first time I feel like it's working. I literally don't have time to think about myself. To think about things I miss or things I used to do. My almost every thought is about amis or church or members or less actives. And the Lord is blessing us with such incredible abundance, more than I've ever imagined. Forget yourself. Forget your worries or your things to change. And just go to WORK. It's finally starting to click. And just like they always say, my joy is full, because of that, my joy is so full.
Much love from your delighted, grateful,

Soeur Evans
Image of the Tontouta River and a view of the mountains nearby