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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

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