Tahitians are French citizens with complete civil and political rights. French is the official language and is used most of the time, but Tahitian is often spoken among older Tahitians and on the more remote islands.
The Church has accommodated shifts in language usage in French Polynesia as French has become more widespread. Full-time missionaries taught in Tahitian 95% of the time in 1970 whereas in 2007 missionaries taught in French 75% of the time. Some congregations offer Sunday School classes taught in both Tahitian and French.
November to April is the wet season, the wettest month of which is January with 13.2 in (340 mm) of rain in Papeetē.
August is the driest with 1.9 in (48 mm).
The average temperature ranges between 21 °C (70 °F) and 31 °C (88 °F) with little seasonal variation.
Protestant Christians comprise 54% of the population whereas Catholic constitute 30% of the population. 10% of French Polynesians adhere to other religious groups and 6% do not follow a religion.
Like much of Polynesia, the French Polynesian full-time missionary force is self-sufficient in staffing local missionary efforts and also exports missionaries abroad. In 1994, local members accounted for 80% of the full-time missionary force. In early 2011, 40 members were serving full-time missions from the Paea Tahiti Stake. French Polynesian missionaries may become instrumental in achieving greater breakthroughs with French-speaking Pacific nations or dependencies that have been more resistive to LDS proselytism efforts, like New Caledonia due to fluency in French and familiarity with French and Pacific Islander cultures.
The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising 70% of the population alongside Europeans, East Asians (essentially Chinese) and people of mixed heritage sometimes referred to as Demis. They make up the largest population in French Polynesia. Most people from metropolitan France live in Papeete and its suburbs, notably Punaauia where they make up almost 20% of the population.
Organized in 1844, the Society Islands Mission was the third LDS mission organized following the British (1837) and Eastern States (1839) Missions. It was the first foreign language mission of the Church. The first Latter-day Saint couples called to serve as full-time missionaries speaking a foreign language in a foreign culture were called to serve in French Polynesia. Initial proselytism efforts commenced in Tubuai and the Tuamotu Archipelago. The first LDS branch opened on Tubuai and eventually led to the conversion of half the island's 200 inhabitants.
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