All is well in Tahiti!!
My biking mission just turned into an 80 percent walking mission! Why? Because today WE MOVED!!!!! Out of Pamtai and into a lovely two story house a block away from the chapel in our sector!!! Hallelujah! All six of us are still together and I couldn't be happier :) We are now so close (and by so close I mean walking distance :)) to a lovely, lovely park and a TRACK for morning exercise, the grocery store, most of our amis and members, etc etc. What a blessing! The house is clean and roomy and I feel so so so so so at ease there :) We will be building a nice little missionary life for ourselves in Tiperaeui. Berit: We found out that we were giving our house up to the Elders so the six of us girls packed up all of our suitcases, cleaned our entire house, and moved into a new house all by 8 o'clock this morning. One lesson learned on a mission = time management. It is like a wooden cabin /cruise ship type house, with a lot of wood, and a spiral staircase. It's owned by Americans which means it has all the amenities, and plenty of places to put things, and, get this, a clothes dryer!!
TWO baptisms this Saturday!!! Lots to do this week! We are so happy for them, and they are so so excited to become members of the church. Their enthusiasm reminds me how grateful I am for my membership and my family :)
Ami update -- Heinie has been bringing Kevin (her concubine) to the lessons lately and we were delighted that he is slowly starting to open up! Heinie is gung ho about everything -- marriage, reactivation in the church, etc etc and he seems interested as well. We are using another favorite couple -- Erton and Herenoui as their member friends in the church. We are going to the park for a picnic/get to know each other/ lesson later this week. The ward is abuzz with missionary work and ward counsel yesterday was AMAZING. Everyone is so willing to help! Soeur and I have outlined a number of activities for the next two months and we have their full support! Bishop and DMP continue to be our angels. We call them for help all the time and they are always there for us! Tavae finally returned from the US and we are SO HAPPY to have her back!! But she caught something on the plane, as did Baby Hiro, so we called bishop and DMP the other night and they gave her a priesthood blessing. What a sweet calm entered their house after that blessing. I remain ever grateful for the priesthood in my family, on the earth, and really am doing everything I can as a missionary to bring whole families together to Christ.
One of the Soeurs in the ward covered our scriptures in a lovely bamboo/something tropical covering!! I will send a picture next week!
Our mini missionary day teaching teenagers was hands down AMAZING. I feel like I am catching the fire of missionary work! The circumstances are still the same, but with each day that passes I really come to love the work and the people more. This is my actual HOME and LIFE for the next long while! When I think of this ward and our amis as my family, my days change entirely. The windows of heaven seem to be open, or rather, my eyes seem to be opened to the beauty that was already there.
MOMENT: At the chapel
Our chapel is secure by a huge white metal fence and big gate in a high traffic area not far from downtown. There are men and women selling various fruit on the street corner, a few little stores and orange and red tattered apartment building surrounding the contrasting white chapel. We call DMP or Frere Paio to open the gate for us and rest against the fence in the sun while we wait for them to arrive during the week. On Sundays the building is full of members and children running around the courtyard-style chapel (the baptismal font is in the middle of the courtyard;)). The chapel is full of benches made of wood and smiling Tahitian members. The little boys wear wrinkly white shirts and laugh as they pull off their ties. Passing the sacrament in flip flops is acceptable. Sometimes we sing in Tahitian, sometimes in French. The ladies are dressed in skirts and shirts and many are decked in traditional Tahitian dresses, bursting with brightly colored lace, flowers, and wear flowers in their hair that is piled in a bun on top of their head. We give kisses to each sister we pass and shake the men and boys by the hand. Little children get kisses on the head. The members chat with us and are much like members anywhere. Busy with callings, family, work, and life......
Well, I must run!! Our planners are full this week and the work is only just getting started! I am so blessed to be with these people :)
Love you and miss you all! SO excited for you, Elder Bradshaw!! Love the pictures and emails, Mom!! I take pictures of the screen so I can look at the photos later during the week as well.
All is well, I am happy and safe :)
Until next week!!
Love love love
Tahiti Papeete Mission
Soeur Bradshaw, Rebecca
Papeete, Tahiti, 98713