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Monday, December 30, 2013

FHE Miracle

Ia Ora Na!

A Pretty Sunset
It was so good to talk to you and "see" you haha!

A picture of a crab we caught 
This week, we had a cool little miracle happen!  A couple weeks ago, we had a family home evening with a memeber and their family who weren't members.  There was the brother and his girlfriend and the papi of the family.  The family home evening went well until the end.  At the end, the papi went off about how he prays every day and that's all that he has to do for a long time.  And, he told the other people not to listen to us, as well ha.  But, the girlfriend of the brother ended up wanting to take the lessons with us anyways.  So, that was good.  But, the brother and papi didn't want anything to do with the gospel.  But, this week, the memeber talked to us and said that the papi has already had a change of heart.  He realized that we spoke with the Spirit, and everything we said was true.  So, he wants to talk with us again!  I like to say that missionaries are like frying pans.  We have to be there to help people receive the gospel, but all the real work comes from God.  It's Him who converts people and it's Him who changes people's hearts.  I don't have time to write a ton, but I want you to know that I love you!  And, thanks for all that you do and have already done for me!  Thanks, also, for all that you've done to help me be here on my mission!  By helping others, my own testimony has grown incredibly!  Thank you so much!  I love you!

Ua here au ia otou!
My companion and I making coconut juice for poisson cru!

Elder Jessop

Tahitian words of the week:

MATARA- to loose, but it's cool because the Tahitians use if for a remission of sins.  You say, "i te matararaa no te mau hara," or, the loosening of sins.  I like this a lot because its true that our sins bind us and hurt us with guilt and shame, but repentance and baptism loosens the pain through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

TI'AFAAHOU- to resurrect; I like this word because it literally means to rise again :)

The marriage of one of our investigators, Jason, and a member, Reita

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 16 and December 23: Christmas call prep, Marriage, and Baptism!

Ia Ora Na!

Sorry about yesterday, we were in town for a reunion all day so we couldnt email and we have lessons today, so we cant really email ha.  But, I will email again next monday and skype on Christmas.  I can skype now at 10 a.m tahitian time.  I'm so excited to talk with you on Christmas!  My week was good!  We have a marriage and baptism on Saturday!  I have to go in town again today, but I'll talk to you on Wednesday!!!  So excited!

Ua here au ia orua!

Elder Jessop

Monday, December 9, 2013

God is Always There

Ia Ora Na to'u utuafare!

It's crazy to think that there's snow there, ha!  It's super weird that it's getting close to Christmas!  One family had a little Christmas tree up and I was super confused why, and then I remembered that it's December, ha!  But, it really is such an amazing time of year!  Not a whole lot exciting happened, but we are speaking a lot more Tahitian than before!  I can't understand very much in Tahitian, but it's coming ha!  I don't know if it was serious or not, but I heard a crazy Tahitian thought that pieces of Enoch's city fell when it was lifted up into heaven with giants on them and that's how Tahiti was made! 

We climbed some coconut trees!
This week, I had a pretty crazy experience when I was on a split.  We didn't have a lesson with anyone, but we felt like we should visit one of our investigators, Teroo, Tetua, and Temeehu.  We had challenged them to baptism a couple days before and had asked them to pray for an answer.  So, we started with just answering their questions and talking about what they liked in the scriptures they had read and then talked about if they had prayed yet.  They hadn't prayed and we ended up talking about how this baptism is different because they didn't understand why they needed to get baptized again.  Everything went pretty well, but nothing crazy yet ha.  But, at the end of the lesson, the member that was with me on the split invited them to ask a question and then open up to a random page in the Book of Mormon and it would answer their questions.  Teroo did it and he found that his calling in life is to be a missionary and gather the lost sheep.  And the mom, Tetua, asked where she was going after this life.  She turned to a scripture that said she wasn't going to a very good place.  So, we had her ask another question.  Naturally, she asked if there was anything she could do to change that.  She turned to another scripture that said to repent and obey the servants of the Lord!  Those are some pretty powerful words!  But, God knew that it wouldn't turn her heart away from His gospel, but towards Him!  I've seen her heart change so much this week.  It's a miracle!  I know that God knows her and loves her!  God gave her those scriptures to help her soften her heart and come unto Him!  I know that God loves all of us!  And, He is ALWAYS there for us!  He wants us to be happy now and for eternity!  And He wants to help us every step of the way!  

One of my favorite lines in Preach My Gospel in Tahitian says God is sad when we suffer and He is happy when we are well!  During trials, a lot of people think that God isn't there or He is mad at them.  But, if anything, He's there more when times are hard and we're hurting!  God's whole goal, everything that He does, is to help us be happy!  I know this church is true!  And, I know that, by following it's teaching, we can be happy now and for eternity!  I love you all so much!  Thanks for all you do!  Can't wait to talk to you at Christmas!

Ua here au ia outou!

Elder Jessop

Monday, December 2, 2013

Doing the Simple Things

Ia Ora Na!

Things were crazy for awhile so I couldn't write a lot, but they should be better now!  How was Thanksgiving?!  My Thanksgiving was just ana lamb, ha.  Here are some things about Tahiti…  With what I know, most kids dance, play soccer, or fish.  Some people fish normal, but others go diving with harpoons, ha!  Also, they have things like spear shrimp that are pretty crazy!  And, everyone has trees or plants with fruit or taro.  We drink coconut water a lot.  We're starting to eat more fresh fruit.  The fruit is coming into season, so now there's lychee, pineapple, mangos, breadfruit, still bananas, and passion fruit.  The entire middle of the island is a mountain, so people really only live right by the ocean.  Also, the kids here love when I talk about snow, haha!  It's crazy for them to hear that it's not just in movies or on TV!  Also, the stars here are crazy!  Some nights, Elder Lee and I climb up on our house and do our planning there so we can look at the stars.

This is my last companion, Elder Fitzsimmons, right before he left.
Anyways, I think I've already talked a little about this family, but this week we had a Family Home Evening with the Foster family.  The dad is Metua, the mom, Ella, and they have two little girls.  This family has been having a lot of trials and they're having a hard time finding the blessings in their lives.  In the Family Home Evening, we played a game with three cups and knives.  They had to balance the knives to hold a book.  After awhile, they couldn't do it, so we showed them how.  Then, we talked about how, if we just do the simple things, God will bless us with great things!  (The knives were church attendance, scripture study, and prayer.)  And we read a scripture that talks about that in Alma 37:6.  And, they did exactly that this week.  They did the simple things and God blessed them just like He promises!  Their problems didn't vanish, but they are so much happier and their family is working more smoothly.  The change in their family from just doing the small, simple things was incredible! I know that that's true!  We're all God's children.  He loves us and wants to bless us.  And, I know that as we do the little things, He will bless us tremendously!  I'm so grateful for this gospel and the joy and peace that it brings into our lives as we follow Christ and His teachings!  He loves you!  And I love you so much!  Thanks so much for all you do!  You really are the best!  

Ua here au ia outou!

Elder Jessop

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Answer to Every Prayer

Ia Ora Na!

Sorry about last week.  My companion got transferred last minute and things were a mess so I never got the chance to e-mail.  So sorry!  But, yeah, my new companion is Elder Lee.  He's from Provo and has been on his mission for 9 months-ish.  He's an amazing companion!  His parents are professors at BYU, his dad teaches French, and he's traveled like all around the world.  But, yeah, the food here is really good!  I like it!  My favorite food right now is called poisson cru.  It's thin slices of raw fish with carrots and cucumbers in a citrus lime juice.  And the worst was fafaru, that's rotten, raw fish ha!

The craziest thing here is just how happy they are with such a simple life!  And, they give thanks to God for EVERYTHING they have!  It's amazing!  So, we're teaching a family of newly baptized pentacontists and I love this family so much ha!  It's a small family, just a dad named Teroo, a mom named Tetua, and an 8 year old named Temeehu.  I met them the day after the dad was baptized pentacontist and started teaching them the next week haha.  Anyways, this family just has so much faith! They already loved the Book of Mormon and this week they prayed about Thomas S. Monson being a prophet.  And, they all got undeniable answers ha!  I didn't even ask them if they had prayed, they immediately told me they knew he is a prophet and told me their experiences.  They're so excited about the gospel and so willing to do whatever God asks them!  They truly love our Savior and want to follow him always!  Prayer is such a simple thing that I don't stop and think about how amazing it is.  But, we can talk with our Father in Heaven whenever we want, and He loves us and will answer EVERY prayer!  Sorry, I have to go, but I love you so much!  Thanks!  You are all so amazing!

Ua here au ia otou!

Elder Jessop

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Landed in Tahiti

Here are a couple pictures we received of Elder Jessop and his group after they landed in Tahiti.  
They all look ready and excited to share the gospel!  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Inspiration From the Beginning

Ia ora na! 
So, we are teaching a family right now that is in a weird situation.  The mom has heard all the lessons once before, but isn't a member; her name is Ella. The dad is an excommunicated member named Metua Foster.  They are waiting for his divorce papers to go through so he can marry Ella and they can be baptized.   When we went to their house this week, there was a really bad mood there.  It was really depressing and weird.  And, we were going to talk about the Plan of Salvation, but ended up talking about other stuff.  After the last scripture I shared, she said that it really touched her heart and she broke down in tears.   After, they said how they know it is true, and that they feel something different with us.  We found this family in our area book and we really felt like it was by inspiration from the beginning.  God places us in different circumstances so that we can receive help and help others to come unto Him.  I know God loves us all and blesses us all so much!  I am so grateful for this gospel and the joy it brings me and others!  And,  I am so thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ!  I love you!
Elder Jessop

Monday, November 4, 2013

Member Missionary Work

Ia Ora Na!

There was a fireside here last night centered on missionary work!  It was powerful!  The members here are really involved in missionary work!  One way that helps a lot of people to accept the gospel here is Family Home Evening with nonmember families.  There is always food and fun times before, so the families are comfortable.  Then, there is just a small, powerful lesson.  It helps others feel the Spirit in a comfortable environment and I've seen people's lives change because of it.

This week, we went to the temple with our ward council and then came back to eat, fast, and do missionary work together.  We split up into different neighborhoods and did a questionnaire with everyone we saw.  There were questions about genealogy, the Book of Mormon, English, and life in general.  It was way good!  We found 39 new references thanks to this activity!  I prayed beforehand to talk to people who were ready to receive the gospel and those who He would want me to talk to.  And, as I talked with each person, I felt the Spirit confirm to me that I was supposed to talk to this person!  It was an amazing experience!

I don't have the time to say all, but we've been trying to help a sister because she wanted her husband to receive the gospel, but he would tell her he didn't want to right now.  We had tried different things, but nothing worked.  I talked with him and he now wants to work to be sealed to his wife and be baptized. I know that there are people out there ready to receive the gospel and, if we ask and work, God will lead us to them!

I know that this church is true!  And I'm so thankful for the happiness it brings to my life!  I'm so blessed!  I love you so much!  Thanks for all you do!  

Ua here au ia outou!

Elder Jessop

Monday, October 28, 2013

Eliane's Baptism

Ia Ora Na!

Sorry my letters are really bad right now.  We've had some crazy things happen on p-days.  But, thanks for being so good with yours!  I love reading them and I'm glad everything is going good there!  Love you all so much!  Anyways, Tahiti, this place is crazy!  People live in tin sheds, but they are still the happiest people!  Also, they have nothing, but they give everything!  They think of us missionaries as prophets, so they feed us, every night, a TON of food!  And make sacrifices for us all the time!  They do this because they see serving the missionaries as serving Christ!

Also, yesterday, one of our investigators got baptized.  I think I mentioned her before, but her name is Eliane Cornu.  And it was an amazing day because she is especially close to my heart.  I had my first lesson ever with her and a lot of spiritual experiences.  She reminds me of Sandy, and her husband like my Dad, so I love them so much!  She has changed so much since we started!  And her friends and family have noticed and she said it is because of the church.  She is already an amazing example to others!  When she was baptized, I felt so much peace and joy!  It was such an amazing experience!

Sorry, I have to go, but I love you so much!  Thanks for all you do!

Elder Jessop

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Ia Ora Na!

So, my new companion is named Elder Fitzsimmons and he's from Lehi, Utah.  We're serving in an area called Papeari and it's on the main island of Tahiti, but away from the city.  This week, I saw God's hand in my life a lot!  The first night in my area, I had a lesson with an investigator named Eliane.  My companion taught most of the lesson.  I just testified and shared a scripture.  But, I shared scriptures that I had just found on the plane and I felt like they were perfect for her.  (One scripture I shared was 1 Nephi 17:50.)  I know that God helped me do that both for Eliane and me.  Also, I eat and kind of like the crazy food here, which is definitely a gift from God because I am picky and the food here can be crazy and/or raw ha!  I will send some pictures.  I speak pretty much only French right now because my Tahitian is coming super slow.  But, some people only talk in Tahitian in my area, so I'm lost a lot haha.  I can't write a lot because we're just using a member's iPad quick, but I wanted to let you know I love you and think of you and my life is amazing right now!  I feel like I'm living in 17 miracles right now ha.  Thanks again!  I have to go, but I love you!

Elder Jessop

Monday, October 14, 2013

First Week in Tahiti!

Ia  Ora Na!

Thanks so much for the email!  And, it was way good to talk with you too!  Sorry it was so short.  And I don't think they wear grass skirts here either ha.  Maybe they will for cérémonies or something?

So, my new companion is named Elder Fitzsimmons and he's from Lehi, Utah.  We're serving in an area called Papeari and it's on the main island of Tahiti but away from the city.  This week I saw God's hand in my life a lot!  The first night in my area, I had a Lesson with an investigator named Eliane.  My companion taught most of the lesson, I just testified and shared a scripture.  But, I shared scriptures that I had just found on the plane, and I felt like they were perfect for her. (one scripture I shared was 1 Néphi 17:50).  I know that God helped me do that both for Eliane and me.  Also, I eat and kind of like the crazy food here? which is definitely a gift from God because I am picky and the food here can be crazy and/or raw ha!  I will send some pictures.  I have to go, but I love you!

Ua here au ia orua!

Elder Jessop

Some strange food so far:  1. dog and oysters and 2. crazy fish

Monday, September 30, 2013

Travel Plans

Ia Ora Na to'u utuafare!

Carson told me a little about grandma's funeral and it sounded like the Spirit was super strong!  I'm sure grandma loved it!  I talked about this last week, so sorry ha, but I was reminded of it again this week.  Last night, I watched a Joseph Smith movie, and his relationship with his brother, Alvin, really stood out to me.  I can't imagine how hard it was for Joseph Smith to lose his brother and have everyone telling him that his brother was lost because he wasn't baptized.  But, I also imagined how much joy he must have received when he received the revelation about baptisms for the dead!  It's different with grandma, because she was obviously baptized, but it's all about the plan of salvation.  I can't imagine being like Joseph and wondering if I would ever see my family again.  We're so blessed to have the knowledge that we will see her again!  It's such a comfort and joy!  

Anyway, what have you been up to?  This week was pretty normal, except for we got our travel plans this week!  I was so excited haha!  I sprinted to the class when I found out ha!  We leave the MTC at 7:30 a.m. a week from today (Monday) and our flight to L.A. is at 10:30.  Then, we have like a 4 hour lay-over before we fly to Tahiti.  So, that's when I will call.  I don't have the times with me right now (I forgot the paper at my residence), so I will email you specific times later today.  But, I will try to do it around 3 so that the triplets can be there.  Does that work for you?  I will probably send home a package this week of things that I don't need/can't take to Tahiti, just FYI ha.  Also, the "bike guy" talked to us this week.  I guess if we don't have our bikes by Thursday, he takes us to get them.  I'm sure you're on top of it, I'm just passing on the word ha.  Oh, also, I think I'll be able to e-mail you again before I leave, but our branch presidency hasn't said when...sorry ha.  I would say either Friday or Saturday probably.  

Sorry, I don't have very much time, but I wanted to leave with a little quote by one of my teachers, Soeur Buswell, that I really liked.  When she was giving us advice about our missions, she said, "Come a step closer to Christ every day."  I loved this!  And, it's not just with missions, it's a forever thing.  Every day/night, we should have a "devotional" with our Heavenly Father.  We should tell Him about our day: what went good, what went bad, what we're thankful for, and what we need help with and find out what we can do to come closer to him the next day.  I liked it because it's simple.  God doesn't expect us to change dramatically every day.  But, if we take a little step closer to Him every day, we can get SO close to Him and be SO happy!  Also, I taught a Tahitian named Tamatoa in TRC again this week.  Every week they give us a card with feedback.  But, this week on the back of it, he wrote his phone number and e-mail haha.  We're pretty much Tahitian brothers now haha.  Anyways, I love you so much!  And thanks for all you do!

Ua here au ia outou!

Elder Jessop

Just some Tahitian fun-facts: Tahiti was the first international mission.  So, there are some people that are like 8th generation Latter-Day Saints.  Also, scientists think that people from Hawaii, Mauri, Rapanai, and Tahiti all stemmed back to people living on Tahiti (the island Raaitea just north of the Tahitian island).  They think that Hagoth and his people sailed and split into two groups.  One group went to Tahiti and the other went to Samoa.  Also, some people can trace their lineage back to this trip to a man named Tiki and a woman named Hina. One last thing for today, Tahiti means to be taken up into heaven.  Preeeetttttty sweet haha!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Upootia- Keep Your Head Up

Ia Ora Na to'u utuafare!

Me and another French elder, Elder Gouttin.
He dropped a cake on the floor, started eating it on the floor, and then
wiped frosting all over my face (some got washed off)!  He's so funny!

Thanks for the email!  I loved hearing about a kid getting thrown out of a window haha...okay, that sounds super bad, but you know what I mean ha.  Thanks for all you are doing for me!  You're the best!  Also, thanks for the dear elders!  I love reading them!  And, thanks again for the package the other week.  We're still eating stuff out of it haha!  We love it!  Thank you so much, again!  You're amazing!  We've talked a little about administering and ministering, in our zone/district leader meetings, and I thought a lot about you, Mom.  There are a lot of important administering aspects of relief society.  You have to prepare lessons, you have to plan activities, and do a TON of stuff for the ward.  But, even more important than these administering aspects are the ministering aspects.  And, I feel like you demonstrate this perfectly!  I feel like you truly leave the 99 to find the 1 and help them/carry them to safety.  Thank you so much for your example!  Also, thanks Matt for the letter.  I loved reading your letter!  The camp sounds super fun ha!  And thanks for the scripture!  It was super great!  You are all really such great examples for me!  This week, it started getting real that I'm going to Tahiti haha!  We should get our travel plans this Friday and leave on the 7th!  So crazy ha!  Also, I think I told you about my "temple moms" haha.  They said that they are bringing candy for us next week because it will be our last temple visit ha!  They're so cute!

We definitely had to have a mini celebration for the 21st of September!

Anyways, my Tahitian word this week is "upootia."  Tahitian combines words a lot to make new words, and "upootia" is like raised head and it means to overcome.  I like this word for a couple reasons.  I like it because it reminds me of "keeping your head above water," and as long as your head is above the water, you're good.  However, sometimes I feel like we can't keep our head up alone.  Sometimes, our head should be underwater, but God is keeping us afloat.  He loves us and He wants to help us through all of our trials.  I also like it because it reminds me to stay positive.  During trials, it is important to keep a "raised head" and have faith that God will help us endure it well.  Your testimonies are so strong!  And, I'm so grateful that we have the wonderful gift of the gospel in our lives!  I watched one of Elder Holland's recorded talks last night and he briefly mentioned how blessed we are to have the gospel.  He explained how there was only one temple in the "Old World" in Jerusalem and it was in and out of use.  Now, (at the time of the talk), there are like 139 temples, but there are still so many people who don't have this wonderful gift.  They're lost, whether they know it or not ha.  I don't know if my explanation of it made sense, but I really am just so thankful that we have this wonderful gift of the gospel!  I can't imagine losing a loved one without the knowledge that I would see them again and that I could live with them forever!  I'm so excited to help people with these same trials and help them find comfort and joy in the gospel and in the plan of salvation/happiness!  

One of the French elders in the other Tahitian district gets really bad
migraines and can't get the medicine in Tahiti, so he has been meeting
with the District President.  This week, he got reassigned to Lyon, France.
I don't know all the reasons of why he got called to Tahiti, but I think a lot
of it was to be an example to us.  He is an amazing elder!  He is always so
happy and makes everyone around him more happy, as well!
I'm going to miss Elder Ganne-Soulary!
An emeritus 70 (I can't remember his first name, but his last name was Bateman) came and spoke yesterday.  In his talk, he told a story of a sister missionary that was in the MTC about 5 months ago.  I think after like 2 months of her mission, her companion was sick, and she had to take her to the hospital.  While there, she watched a man in the waiting room fall down and die (he described it a lot, but I felt like that's unnecessary).  The missionary watched the man's wife rush to him and cry.  The sister missionary was heartbroken and wanted to tell the lady about the plan of salvation, and that she would be able to see her husband again.  However, she didn't.  She wrote about the experience in her journal and began praying and seeking to find this woman.  A month later, the sister missionary and her companion were asked to visit an inactive member.  As they got talking, the missionaries found out that the lady next door's husband died about a month ago.  After their visit with the nonmember, the missionaries went to the house.  And, they came to find out that it was the lady from the hospital.  The sister missionary had her journal with her and asked the woman to read her entry on the day that her husband died.  This woman is currently being taught by these sister missionaries and has found great comfort and joy in the knowledge of the plan of salvation and the greatness of our Savior.  I don't need a crazy story like this on my mission.  But, I'm so excited to do this exact same thing.  I'm here to help people come unto Christ.  And, in doing so, they can receive comfort and joy in the place of doubt, guilt, and sorrow.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and He suffered and atoned for us because He loves us so much!  I know that families can be together forever through Jesus Christ.  I'm so grateful, again, for this gospel!  And for you, my family!  I love you so much!  

Ua here au ia outou!

Elder Jessop

P.S.  I just found out that I need crocs.  If you can send them with ties, that would be great.  If not, I'm sure they have some in Tahiti.  Thanks!  You're the best!  Ua here au ia outou!

Word of the Week:  Upootia- "to overcome"

Monday, September 16, 2013

Faaherehere- Protection is Love in Action

Ia Ora Na to'u utuafare!

Thanks for the email, the card, my license, and the treats!  My district leader ended up not giving me the mail slip until the mail was closed on Saturday, so I just barely picked it up and my district was super excited!  Thanks so much for the package!  My district and I loved it ha!  The cinnamon rolls were amazing and we're still making our way through everything else.  Thanks so much!  You're the best!  That's so crazy about the slackline!  If I was home, I could have been there!  Or, it could have been my slackline!  That's so crazy!  I don't even know what to say.  I can't remember if I've told you or not, but I leave the MTC on October 7th.  I can't believe it's only three weeks away!  But, at the same time, sometimes I feel like I've lived here my whole life haha.  The district that came in when I was first made zone leader just barely left.  That was weird haha.

The MTC is an amazing place!  I'm here for the longer than any other mission, and I'm truly blessed because the Spirit here is amazing!  Some things I like are listening to speakers twice a week plus a recorded talk once a week as well.  There is ice cream in the cafeteria twice a week and, I mean, who doesn't like ice cream?  I love talking to people about the gospel and helping people get a better relationship with our Heavenly Father!  I love going to the temple every week and serving in the laundry room after ha!  Now, when the elders in my district and I walk in, the sisters say, "Bonjour mes enfants (Hello my kids)!" and "You came!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!"  haha!  I also love the opportunity that I have here to study the gospel and constantly feel the Holy Ghost strongly!  My testimony has been strengthened so much in the short time I've been here! 

Like a week or a week and a half ago, we had a crazy storm and it took a few trees out of the ground here    

I got Jake, Nick, and Sami's emails and tried to send emails back.  Did they not get them?  If not, I'm sorry.  Nick, that's so cool with the long board and COD!  You'll have to tell me how amazingly awesome they are ha!  All the Elders in my district played Battlefield before they came to the MTC haha.  You'll have to tell me how you like the new COD.  When do you actually get it?  And that long board sounds so sweet!  I've never seen a ping pong paddle one ha!  Where'd you find it?  And backflips?!  What?!  That's WAY COOL!  They're the funnest things ever huh ha?!  Can't wait to see you throwing backflips on your snowboard when I come home ha ;).  Jake, I asked you to tell me how school was going, but it sounds like you don't like it that much ha.  School can be rough sometimes ha.  Coach Line is...Coach Line.  That's all I can say ha.  And Mrs. Palmer had a weird class, but I think I did really good in it with extra credit or something ha.  And I never had Fillmore, but I have heard stories....  But, there are a lot of good things about the middle school that you can focus on!  Like, you get more electives, they have huge breadsticks that are way good, and you can take language classes.  Aren't you taking a Spanish?  And my favorite part about the MTC is definitely the temple.  I love going to the session and feeling the Spirit super strong.  And, I love helping in the laundry room after haha.  The sisters are all like super cute grandmas!  And, like I said up above, they love us ha.  They call us their kids haha!  And, I get to speak French there, too, because one of the sisters is from Haiti.  Sami, I loved you're story with the kid and his DS haha.  I laughed SOOOOO hard!  That's way cool about Shandee, but I leave two days before she comes, so I won't see her.  And, I haven't drank the Orange Juice yet haha, but I think it's just the MTC food in general can mess with some people haha.  I've been fine though ha.  And the only new missionaries we've gotten in our zone were the ones I told you about forever ago haha.  But, we get 29-ish new elders/sisters this week!  So excited!  I have hosted the last 3 weeks which is, when missionaries come to the MTC, I pick them up at their car and show them around.  It's really fun!  Last week, there was a huge truck filled with Tongans (in the bed of the truck and inside) singing and screaming haha!  I loved it!  I felt like they were my island brothers ha!  And nice French ma soeur!  Are you in French right now?  If yes, how do you like it?  Talk to me in as much French as you can, and I'll reply, even if it is about a ruler haha.  Oh and this is for all three, Jake, Nick, and Sami, one of the biggest things I wish I would have done before the MTC is play the piano better.  Stick with it!  It can be super hard and kinda boring at first, but once you can start playing fun things, it becomes the coolest thing ever!  So, you don't have to, but, if I were you, I would play as much as possible!  I love you!

Question: Will you find out who Kacey's friend is that owns the pearl thing in Tahiti?  My teacher wanted to know who he was.  Also, I found that my bike has to be in a box and I need the receipt to be able to pick it up at the airport.  Apparently, everyone had found this out before the MTC but me ha.    Sorry, I have to go, but I will tell you one way cool thing I learned from Tahitian this week.  In first Nephi chapter 1, it talks about something like I, Nephi, being highly favored of the Lord, or something pretty close to that I think ha.  Anyways, in Tahitian it uses the verb "faaherehere," which means to protect, instead of favored.  So, it says that the Lord protected him in all his days or something like that.  I love this because it's so true!  The Lord loves each of us and tries to help us and protect us from harm.  Also, "faaherehere" is my favorite tahitian word right now ha.  The word "here" means love and "faa" makes something a verb.  So, "faaherehere" is verbed love, or love in action, which is to protect.  I love this because we show our love by sacrificing and protecting those things that we love!  Sorry, I have to go, but I love you so much!  Thanks for the e-mails and all you do!  Ua here au ia outou!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

Word of the Week:  Faaherehere- "to protect"

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tahiti 101

Ia Ora Na to'u utuafare!  (to'u utuafare is my family)

Thanks so much for your emails and letters!  I love reading them!  And thanks so much for the sugar cookies!  They were amazing ha!  Also, thanks for the pictures!  I love them!  Looks like you are having a blast!  And good job at cleaning the sink!  So good ha!  What toppings did you get ha?    
Yeah, it's really weird starting Tahitian, but I love it!  I feel like I'm going back before day one of French even ha because I knew a little French, but obviously no Tahitian, so it's different ha. But, like I said, I love Tahitian!  In English, you know how there are like 10+ words that all mean the same thing?  Well, in Tahitian, it's the opposite.  Every word in Tahitian can mean like 20 different things and there are words that in the dictionary it says, "Can be used to replace any part of speech."  They can mean any verb, noun, adjective, anything haha.  I've tried to translate some scriptures from Tahitian to English for practice, and I have to skip words and come back to them so much just because it could mean almost anything haha.  And, it takes at least twice as much time to say something in Tahitian than French (and French is a little longer than English for the most part).  My companion has been sticking to French prayers for lunch and, when I get done saying my Tahitian prayers, sometimes, he's done with his food ha.  Elder Molinari (an Elder in my district from Rush, New York) and I joke about it all the time and say, "I'm going to say a prayer.  See you in like 20 minutes." ha.

I saw a rainbow this week!
I loved learning French, but I love Tahitian even more.  As soon as we started it, I really felt like this is my language.  Even though I can't say hardly anything in Tahitian, the Spirit is so strong when I'm speaking it!  On Thursday, I had to do splits with another missionary because our companions went to San Francisco for their visas.  So, we were companions in the TRC and taught a Tahitian.  He lived right by the airport in Tahiti, but him and his wife just barely came here for school.  It was SO COOL!  I LOVE TAHITIANS haha!  We had the best time laughing about our terrible Tahitian and joking around, then it would 180 and the Spirit would be super strong!  Also, when I said my first Tahitian prayer in class, I felt the Spirit SO strong! I had a really hard time praying, not because I didn't know the words, but because I really was, like it says in the scriptures, "Overwhelmed with the Spirit."  I'm so excited to help the people in my mission receive the joy and happiness that this gospel brings!  I love the gospel so much!  And I love the people in my mission so much!  

We've been talking about the Tahitian culture a lot when our teachers come to lunch, but I haven't had time to put it in a letter yet.  So, here is some of the stuff I learned about my mission.  First, my mission is huge!  It's the size of Australia.  We talked about the different sets of islands in my mission, and, in a lot of them, you learn new dialects of Tahitian and, in the Marquees, you learn Marqeesian.  One funny thing I learned is that all Tahitians LOVE Brazillian soap operas ha.  There are a ton of bugs and lizards in Tahiti, but no snakes. Tahitians love it when you learn Tahitian, not just French.  Some Tahitians cry when they see foreigners that speak their language better than a lot of Tahitians do.  It really shows them how much you love them and their culture.  The island Huahine is similar to Bora Bora (which is also in my mission) but apparently way prettier and not touristy.  The island Raiatea (not sure if this is how you spell it ha sorry) has a flower that can only grow there.  They've tried to move it other places, but it can't live anywhere else.   I can't think of very many things right now, sorry, but I'll try to tell you more later.  

Sorry, my letter is like all about Tahiti, but I love it already ha.  David F. Evans of the 70 came to talk this week.  I think he used to be mission president of the Nagoya, Japan mission.  But, he talked about revelation and how many things happen line upon line after the initial revelation.  He talked about the revelation to lower the missionary age and all of the things that have happened since that have hastened the work.  One of the things he didn't mention relates directly to me and my mission.  Last year, Americans were only allowed 50 visas for Tahiti at a time (I think only like 2 could be sisters, but I can't remember).  Then, at the same time that they announced the age change, the restriction on visas was taken away.  If it wasn't for this revelation, I probably wouldn't have been able to come to Tahiti.  But, I am so grateful for this opportunity!  I know that this is the mission I'm supposed to serve!  I know God loves me, and I know He loves everyone in my mission!  I love you so much!  Thanks for all your support!  

Ua here au ia outou! (I love you!)

Elder Jessop

P.S. Funny story.  You know my stitches that got taken out right before I went to the MTC and "temporary" ones got put in that would just "fall out?"  Well, like two weeks ago, I looked at my back in the mirror, and I saw something on my scar.  I tried to wipe it off, but I couldn't get it.  So, I asked Elder Rose (from Georgia) to see what it was.  A couple minutes later he had two stitches pulled out of my back that were still in there haha.  Then, this week, I got out of the shower after gym one day, and my district asked why my back was bleeding.  That shower curtain is like permanently red now ha.  Super gross!  But, it hasn't bled since ha?  The MTC is full of crazy experiences haha!  I love it!   
Word of the week:  Ua here au ia outou- I love you

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sacrifice Because of Love

Ia Ora Na to'u Utuafare!  (to'u utuafare=my family)

Eaha to'oe huru (How are you?)?  Thank you so much for the fruit this week!  It was AAAMMMAAAZZZIIINNNGGG!!!  I shared it with my district and the other Tahitian district and everyone LOVED it!  The girls loved how cute it was and said that you are the best family (which you are) and it was so refreshing and so much better than the MTC fruit ha!  Someone took a picture for me, but I don't know where the sisters are right now ha.  So, I'll try to send it either later today or next week.  Also, the chocolate covered fruit...Holy Cow!!!  Too good!  The chocolate covered bananas were the BEST things EVER haha!!!  So, thanks!  I love you!  You're the best!  Also, thanks for the card, e-mails, and pictures.  I loved the pictures!  Jake, Nick, and Sami: so stylin on your first day of middle school!  How was it?  What classes/teachers do you have?  Also, the picture with all of us kids, I didn't remember that one at all ha.  But, I loved it!  C'était totes presh ha!  

Anyways, we finished up French this week and started Tahitian on crazy! ha  The French elders that came in with us leave tomorrow.  It's going to be so weird not to see them ha.  I feel like they're almost in our district because we spend so much time with them and are way good friends!  But, I'm so excited for them!  Also, Elder Peterson (I think you know his dad maybe?  He lives close to the middle school) is in the other French zone and he came last week.  We have gym times together and see each other a lot!  Also, Sister Bowcutt came in this week as well.

Elder Jessop loves him some fruit!
Elder Andersen talked for a devotional on Tuesday night!  It was so good!  I sat on the third row, and, after he was done, there was a rain/thunderstrom; so, he started shaking hands with some people and I just so happened to be blesssed enough to shake his hand ha.  His talk though was really phenomenal!  I feel like all of the MTC talks from apostles that I have seen and watched (we watch old ones every Sunday from apostles) have been the most powerful talks I've ever heard.  They speak so direct and with such a massive Spirit...It's incredible!  Anyways, he talked on love and sacrifice.  These two concepts are inseparably connected.  When you love someone/something, you sacrifice for them.  Also, we only sacrifice something because we love something else more.  The Savior sacrificed SOOOOOO much when He atoned for Our sins and Our bad feelings.  And why did He sacrifice SO much?  Because He loves us even more!  The same is true for me and my mission.  I didn't really understand why I love the people of Tahiti already and I haven't even met them.  But, it's because I've sacrificed for them.  I am sacrificing my time, my education, and time with you, my family, for them.  But, any and all of my sacrifices are more than worth it because I love the Lord and I love the people in my mission.  

I don't think there is a literal translation for "May you live with the angels" (a request from Judy).  But, one could say "Je voudrais que tu vivrais avec les anges."

Thanks so much (Maururu roa!)  Je vous aime!

Je t'aime,

Elder Jessop

Fun Fact:  Tahiti has different electrical outlets, so, if you ever find yourself traveling there, you may want to find an adapter!

Word of the Week:  Tahitian word of the day, will actually be a lot of words ha.  I would like to bare my small testimony to you in Tahitian

Ua ite au e, e ekalesia mau te ekalesia a Iesu Metia.  Ua ite au e, e buka mau te buka a mormona.  Ua ite au e,e peropheta mau O Iosepha Semita.  Ua ite au e,e peropheta ora O Thomas S. Monson.  Ua ite au e, O Iesu Metia i ta tatou faaora.  Ua ite au e,e te Atua ta tatou Metua i te ao ra.  Ua ite au e, pahono te Atua to tatou mau pure.  Na roto i te i'oa O Iesu Metia, Amene.  

I know that this church is true.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet.  I know that Christ is our Savior.  I know that God is our Heavenly Father.  I know that God answers our prayers.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plan of Happiness

Ia Ora Na ma famille!

Thanks so much for your emails!  I love reading them so much!  And thanks for the quotes and your comments!  I try to realize how important this work is so that I don't have any regrets! It's really hard, but I feel God's hand in my life constantly!  I feel so blessed!  Thanks for the questions too ha.  I don´t know what to say in my letters, so questions help a lot ha!  I don't know what you guys want to know, but here's about my gym time and P-days.  Tuesday through Friday, we can go to the gym for fitness, and I always play volleyball ha.  We tried to play on the MTC's sand courts twice, but the sand was lava hot ha.  Apparently, Tahitians are amazing at volleyball!  So, I'm trying to step up my game ha.  It's way fun!  I love it!  On Saturday we have personal fitness, just like it will be out in the field.  One of the elders in my district has crazy workouts that we do on Saturdays and sometimes in the mornings during the week.  Except for the day I went to San Francisco, I had one p-day before the temple opened.  It was really relaxed for most of the day, then we had class from 4:45 on.  But, now that the temple is open, we are a lot busier.  We wake up, eat breakfast, then go to the temple early in the mornings.  I love it!  The Spirit is so strong!  And I'm so lucky to be able to go once a week!  Then, (I think it's only my district that does this every week), but my district helps the workers/volunteers in the laundry room of the temple until lunch.  The temple session and working after are probably my favorite parts of my week!  I love it!  The old ladies are so nice and cute haha!  It has made me extremely grateful for being able to go to the temple at the MTC!  These workers have to do SOOOO much for us!  But, they do it so lovingly!  They're great examples!  Also, I get to practice my French while I work sometimes because one of the volunteers is from France.  Still crazy hard to understand everything she says, but I feel like I understand what she's saying for the most part, so that's good ha.  Anyways, then we eat lunch, email, laundry, prepare for a lesson with one of my "investigators" named Hutia, then go to class.  The schedule at the MTC is really good at encouraging us to be efficient and make the most out of our time.  It's still a choice to work hard, but they've made it easier to want to work hard.  

Nothing really crazy has happen this week ha.  I gave a sister in my district a blessing because she was insanely sick, so they had to help her out of bed for the blessing.  But, an hour after the blessing, she came to class and was perfectly fine the rest of the day.  It really was such a miracle that I'm so blessed to have been a small part of!  It helped fortify my testimony of the priesthood!  Then, I got sick a few days later, but it wasn't the same thing.  I cough a lot and have a fever, but it's not too bad.

Teaching in the TRC this week was fantastic!  I love the TRC so much ha!  We taught a sister that I love so much ha!  She is probably late 50s, crazy poofy hair, and her parents are from France.  She is a convert, and, the first time we met with her, she told us about how her parents hate the church and hit missionaries with their car once.  But, she did clarify that the missionaries didn't die (I think I told you guys about this already, but I'm not sure ha).  Anyway, this time we talked about revelation through the Book of Mormon.  She told us her conversion story and all the opposition she faced.  But, she knew it was true, so she knew that she had to push through it.  The Spirit was super strong!  And after, I bore my testimony that was the most personal and direct testimony I've ever shared.  The Spirit was absolutely amazing in that room!  I don't remember what I said, I just remember the Spirit guiding me through it, and how personal and direct the Spirit had me testify.  It was an amazing experience!  That was about all for this week.  Tomorrow, I think another apostle might be coming for our devotional.  But, I'm not 100 percent.  I'll let you know next week ha.  

I just wanted to thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve a mission!  I'm not even out of the MTC yet and I have grown and changed so much!  Also, I wanted to let you know that I love you and I love this gospel!  My favorite name for the Plan of Salvation is the Plan of Happiness, because that's why this gospel is so important; it brings true happiness and joy into our lives when we follow it's teachings and follow our Savior.  I know that, through Christ, we can be eternally happy and we can have an eternal family!  Thanks again!  I love you so much!

Je vous aime avec tous mon coeur,

Elder Jessop

Word (Song) of the Week:  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Ma Tete, Les Epoules, Les Jeneux, les pieds, les jeneux, les pieds
Ma Tete, les epoules, les jeneux, les pieds.
Les yeux, les oreilles, la bouche, et le nez.

(I don't know how to spell these because I've never actually looked at the words ha.  So, they could be way off...but that's how they may or may not be spelled ha)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sourissez, l'église est vrai!

Ia Ora Na!

How are you guys going?  I hope the fires have calmed down and everything is fine.  Thanks for your e-mails and letters!  I love reading them!  Thanks so much for the doughnuts!  I shared them with my district and the other Tahitians, and we all loved them! Thank you so much!  Sounds like you guys had quite the week ha!  That flash flood sounds crazy (You should have tried to swim in it;)!  So jealous of the Japanese food ha!  That place was amazing!  I can't ever remember my dreams, but I'm sure I've dreamed about it before ha!  It was just too good!  I'm glad you guys are safe and having a lot of fun!

Elder Jessop and his companion, Elder Gilson
This week was...different? ha.  A sister in the other Tahitian district went home last Monday, after I emailed you.  She has been going through a lot of problems and we've tried to help her and give her blessings.  But, Monday she just decided that she couldn't do it anymore.  It was super sad to see her go, and it got even more sad for her on Tuesday.  Elder Scott came for our Tuesday night devotional this week.  He gave an AMAZING talk about prayer.  But, I thought about this sister throughout his entire talk.  I felt like it would have been just what she needed to hear to get through her trial.  I felt like if I could have helped her stay just one more day, she just might have been able to have a full, amazing mission.  So, that's been kinda hard.  But, I know that Heavenly Father will still help her get through her trials and make her the best person she can be.  Some of the things I liked from Elder Scott's talk were: "When He withholds an answer, it's to let us grow our faith...Express gratitude for His trust in you.", "Our Father did not put us on the Earth to fail, but to succeed GLORIOUSLY!...He's your're His PRECIOUS child who He WANTS to help.", and "His purpose is our eternal happiness."  He also gave us two apostolic blessings to help us learn our languages.  Our district felt like it was specifically for us because we are learning two languages and he blessed us twice haha.  The Spirit was SO strong!  As soon as he walked into the room, everyone knew it was an apostle of God.  We had no idea who was speaking, but, because of the Spirit, we knew it was an apostle!  

Yesterday, an old professional football player came and talked.  His name was Vai Sikahema.  I guess he was a 2-time probowler and he played for the Eagles, Packers, and the Cardinals.  Also, he played for BYU in college.  I guess he ran a famous punt back for a touchdown in the "miracle bowl" when they scored like 21 points in like 3 minutes or something like that ha.  He's Tongan, so I basically felt like he was my island brother ha.  He was really funny and really spiritual, as well.  He talked about his mission and brought one of his converts to speak a little and bare his testimony.  He also told stories about how he is a missionary still now.  He went to South Dakota on his mission, while all of his brothers and parents went back to Tonga on their missions (they're Tongan, but moved to Arizona when he was young).  He talked about how he wasn't very happy about his call, but came to love the place and people.  He said that his heart is South Dakotan and you could tell by how he talked that he really loves it!  I'm so excited to get to know the people in my mission!  I truly believe that I will become Tahitian on my mission.  Every time we talk about Tahiti, my heart gets super excited!  But, it's not because it's an island or there's good fruit.  It's because my Spirit knows that's where God wants me to go.  My Spirit feels so connected with the people and culture already!  I can't wait to see the joy of the gospel come into their lives!  

One of my "investigators," Vetea, struggled to keep his commitments for a couple lessons in a row.  So, when I taught him this week, I went into the lesson a little bit...I don't know what the word is ha lacking hope maybe?  But, he read and prayed finally!  I got pretty excited, and felt the Spirit pretty strong.  Then, I asked him about how he felt as he read and prayed.  I didn't understand what he said, but by his body language and low key personality, I was thinking he probably said he didn't really feel anything, or I don't know (pretty typical Vetea answers haha).  But, I asked him to please repeat it, and he said, "J'ai ressenti la chaleur dans ma coeur."  Which is, "I felt heat in my heart!"  And my heart was immediately filled with la chaleur!  We were sooooo excited for him!  He NEVER smiles, but, when we starting talking to him about it, he had the BIGGEST smile on his face!  His heart was smiling so big, his face had to, too haha!  I felt so much joy in seeing him and my other investigator progress this week!  It got me that much more excited to help real investigators, not just people trying to act like investigators they taught on their missions, because the joy will be so much greater!

Well, I have to go.  But, I hope you guys have a great week!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

Tahitian word of the week:  Parau Mau- "true word"
   -I don't know any Tahitian yet, so the word of the week is pretty lame haha.  But, it's Parau Mau (you say it fast, so au sounds like ou in the word ouch).

French phrase of the week:  Sourissez, l'église est vrai-  "Smile, the church is true."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Faa Ito Ito... Take Courage!

Ia Ora Na (I can't remember if I have said this before in an email, so, just fyi, it means hello/good day)!

Thanks so much for the emails and the letter!  It really means a lot!  I love hearing from you guys!  I can't stop smiling ha!  Sorry about the fires, though.  That's soooo crazy!  I hope everything's okay!  Also, thanks for the quote and scripture!  They're both way good!  Being at the MTC, I need God's help in everything I do.  I'm constantly praying for His help, and I can see the changes He is making with me.  He is truly making my weakness way stronger than I could EVER do on my own.  Are you guys getting ready for school yet?  That's really weird to say ha.  At the MTC, it doesn't feel like there is school or anything outside of here ha.  It kinda feels like this is how my life has always been and everything before is a dream...kinda weird ha.  And Mom, I think the exact same thing every time I eat the fruit here.  If I'm in love with it this much here, it's going to be INSANE how much I love it there!  This week I actually discovered the salads here ha.  They have a poppeyseed dressing and a raspberry vinegarrete that are way good!  Also, they have parfaits for lunch and dinner that I have at least one every day ha.

This week, we did a lot more teaching than usual.  We now have two "investigators" that we each teach twice a week and then we teach two lessons at the TRC, too.  This was our first week going to the TRC.  You go talk to French speaking volunteers (usually members) and share a short message.  It lasts 20 minutes each lesson, but most of that is trying to get to know them, which is actually the hardest part of French right now.  We're doing pretty good in our lessons, but we don't know how to have very good conversations.  So, it helps us a lot!  One lady we taught was way funny ha!  She was wearing a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shirt with cows on it and then told us a story where I think her parents (nonmembers) hit a missionary with their car?!  She did clarify, though, that the missionary didn't die, so that's good ha.

We also got new missionaries in our zone this week, so Elder Gilson and I worked with them a lot.  We got four international missionaries on Tuesday that we got at 4:00 and helped them out for the rest of the day.  They are all way cool!  Two are from England, one's from Denmark, and the other is from Japan (but he's caucasian and doesn't speak any japanese ha?).  Then, Wednesday, we got 14 other elders in the new districts.  We met them at 7 and were with them until 9 that night.  One of the elders was Elder Nelson.  He was one of the kids who came to Europe with me!  So, it was way cool to see him!  I've also seen Elder Fukui, Elder Skinner, Elder Miller, Elder Jensen, and a ton of other people I know!  Anyways, we also subbed in for our branch president, President Mangum, on Thursday because he was in China on business.  So, Elder Gilson and I taught a like intro lesson/preparation thing to the new elders that night, as well.  It was a lot different because my district only has one elder that's 18, but they're all 18 except for two elders that were in the military who are 21 and 24.  They're still way fun to be around and are great elders, they just do stuff in a different way.  Brother Barker (branch presidency 1st counselor) had Elder Gilson and I bare our testimonies at the end of their testimony meeting, too.  It's so crazy to bare your testimony as a missionary.  I've always felt the Spirit super strong when I bare it.  But, ever since I got set apart, when I bare my testimony, I feel almost like power in my hands.  It's really hard to describe, but it feels like I'm a superhero haha.  It's incredible!  I love it ha!

Also, I've watched two videos of Elder Bednar talking at previous MTC devotionals so far, and he's just amazing ha.  I've always liked him, but these talks are so blunt and powerful!  They've changed who I will be as a missionary a lot!  Also, being a zone leader has helped me become a better missionary.  I was obedient before I was zone leader.  But, now I feel like all the new elders look to my companion and I and our district to be huge examples of how to act at the MTC.  The old zone leaders were huge examples to me and made me really feel comfortable here, and I want to do the same to all our new elders.  So, I've stepped up my game a lot ha.  I'm really trying to become the misssionary that the Lord wants me to be, and I can already see His hand changing in my life.  Also, at the end of Elder Bednar's talk, he said, "I witness and testify" that Christ is our Savior.  And, those words hit me pretty hard.  I felt like he knows the Savior, personally.  I can't say for sure, but I really feel like he literally knows Him.

I don't need anything right now, unless you want to get me a microfiber towel or a lava lava haha.  A lot of the Tahitians have those towels, and they say they're fantastic with the humidity.  But, I'm good so whatever ha.  Thanks for all you do!  You guys are amazing!  Je vous aime!  Na na (bye in tahitian)!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

Word of the Week:  Faa Ito Ito- It means take courage (They use it a lot, and it's our teacher's favorite Tahitian word)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Life at the MTC

Bonjour ma famille!

First off, I'm so sorry to hear about grandpa.  Before I came to the MTC, I told you I would rather it happen after I left; but, now that it has happened, I wish I was there to help.  I felt really helpless.  But, I know that the only way I can help is to go to work for the Lord, and he will bless my family with everything you need.  So, that's what I did.  I worked sooooo much harder this week than I ever have in my whole life ha.  My brain constantly feels like it's going to explode haha.  But, it's so good!  I love it so much here!  The Spirit is so strong, and I love my district and zone so much!  Today, our old zone leaders left to Paris and the Congo.  It was way surprising how fast they became a second family to me here.  My district and zone are both super close!  We're all so different, yet exactly the same (which makes no sense, but it's true ha).  So many things happen with our district and zone that are absolutely hilarious!  Like two days ago, I cried like four times because I was laughing so hard!  So funny ha!  We have a quote wall full of sticky notes with hilarious things we say ha.

My District on our first Sunday at the MTC
This week, my testimony of faith and God's love has increased like crazy!  I've seen so many tender mercies here!  I can't remember if I told you in my last email or not, but the second night I was here we had a zone meeting for the new missionaries.  And, the entire time during it, someone was playing one of the songs that Carson always plays on the piano ha!  I loved it!  Also, I saw Elder Ensign on my first day here, and I saw Elder Kidman at the airport when I was flying to San Francisco and he was flying to South Korea.  Every time I start getting a little frustrated, a tender mercy happens and I remember the Lord.  I remember that this is His mission, and He chose me to serve the people of Tahiti for Him.  I know that He will prepare the way for me, as long as I have faith in Him and do my best!  I really liked what one of the MTC presidents said the first day we got here.  He said, "This is not your mission, it's His."  He talked about how God chose us to stand in His place, and we need to fulfill that responsibility by doing what He would do.  I had never really thought of it that way, but I know it's true.  And, I know I can do this, because God knows I can, and He will help me!

A lot of things happen at the MTC that I didn't expect.  For starters, their pineapple and bananas are AMAZING ha!  I eat like three bananas and like four bowls of pineapple every day!  Just too good!  Also, hygiene is really weird.  The bathrooms are super clean, and, apparently, they have really high standards of cleanliness because my district failed our room cleanliness check and our classroom cleanliness check, even though they're both super clean and organized ha.  Yet, some things are super disgusting.  Like the blankets and sheets they give you....disgusting ha!  Girls must have used them before us because there are 2-3 feet long hairs EVERYWHERE!  I've been here almost two weeks and I still find them ha!  I feel like I'm going to get a disease.

Both districts going to Tahiti
So, yesterday my companion and I were made the new zone leaders.  We had to help the Montreal district with some drama and respect issues, and a girl in our district needed a priesthood blessing.  And our District Leader didn't have any oil, so I gave him mine.  Thanks Carson!  I'm already using it ha!  The blessing was a really good experience though!  The Sister started feeling better immediately after the blessing!  I know that we're God's children!  I know that he loves us so much!  I know that He wants us to be happy, and if we pray and follow his guidance, He will lead us in a way that we will receive the most joy!  I know that this is His church and His gospel!  I love Him so much, and I'm thankful for the wonderful blessing to have this knowledge and this joy!  I'm so excited to help others come unto Christ and partake of this amazing joy!  I love you all so much!  You're all wonderful examples to me!

Je vous aime!

Elder Jessop

P.S.  Our box number is #138 for mail.

Fun Fact:  Tyson found out that he can't take silk ties to Tahiti because they will ruin all his shirts, so now he has to send home his ties with silk.....just Polyester and Cotton for him!  

Word of the Week:  Happy Birthday- Mahana oaoa no'oe!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trip to San Francisco

Bonjour ma famille!

Sorry I haven't sent you a letter or an email yet... I wrote you a letter the first night, but every time I got a chance to get letters to mail it, the store was closed.  Yesterday, Monday, was my p-day.  I didn't email you, though, because I was with the first group that went to San Francisco to apply for our visas.  We had to get up at 1:30 and didn't get back until super late, so I didn't have the chance to email or do laundry and stuff ha.  San Francisco was a way good experience though!  We placed six pass-along cards and found someone who wants to learn more and meet with the missionaries in San Francisco.  Also, I had the best breakfast sandwich EVER in a little shop down the street from the consolate.  But, I'm sorry, and I will be better!   

Anyways, my companion's name is Elder Gilson.  He's from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.  He's dapper as all heck (direct quote from Elder Gilson).  There are four other elders in our district and six sisters, too.  I love my district so much!  We all get along so good!  We are a family at the MTC.  I love it here!  The Spirit is so strong and the people are amazing!  It probably won't make sense, but within the first half hour here, we felt like we were all best friends and had been here forever (but not forever in a bad way)!  We have so much fun and help each other be better! 

For the first six weeks, we are learning French.  Then, for the next six weeks, we will be learning Tahitian in French.  So, I only know a few things in Tahitian that we randomly looked up.  But, we're learning French a lot faster than I thought.  The second day here, during our first French lesson, we learned to pray.  Then, the next day we learned to bare our testimonies and had our first lesson with our investigator Vetea Teihoarii (pronounced Vay-tay-a Tay-show-are-ee).  My comp and I were super scared, actually.  But, as soon as we started teaching, the Spirit rushed in and we were super calm!  For how little we know French, I think our lessons are going really well!  We've now had three lesssons with him, and we've been happy with how they all turned out!

Sunday, Elder Gilson and I found out that we are going to be the new zone leaders, starting next Sunday.  I felt super overwhelmed and inadequate, but the Spirit confirmed that it's what God wants to happen.  That night we watched Elder Bednar's talk called, "The Character of Christ."  It's a talk that he gave at the MTC a few years ago...and it was AMAZING!!! I've never heard him speak like that before!  I realized a lot of things that I need to improve on!  Also, I knew that, honestly, I can't be a good zone leader.  I'm not adequate.  But, as I do my best and rely on God, He will bless me with the capacity to be the zone leader that He wants me to be.  That same advice helped me with French, as well.  I've been wanting to learn French faster than I feel like I am.  That same advice helped me know that as I do my best and rely on God, I will know all the French I need to know at that time.  Well, I have to go, but I will make sure to email and/or write you regularly.  I love you guys!

Je vous aime,

Elder Jessop

P.S. One of the Tahitian things I learned was Hakuna Matata (don't know if I spelled that right).  In Tahitian, it's Aita Pea Pea (pronounced Eye-ee-te Pay-a Pay-a).