Elder Josh Garff

Monday, August 31, 2015

"Bits of Pieces" and Learning to Crack a Coconut

Hey everyone! I hope that you have all had a great week and that the first week of school was great for everyone!

In Tahiti, things have been busy! We are currently covering 2 areas, so there are tons of lessons that we teach every day! I am still pretty lost with the language, but things are getting better and I am actually able to understand little bits of pieces here and there! It is a little sketchy though when someone raises their voice and you have no clue what they are saying ha ha ha! We didn't have a convert baptism this week, but we did have the chance to attend 2 other baptisms in the ocean! I was a witness for one of them and it was awesome to see and participate in that! We have a lot of potential in this area! The ones that are pictured underneath are some of my favorite investigators and they came to church this week!!!
Funny Story: I had a Tahitian girl come up to me and in broken English ask me if I wanted to marry a Tahitian after my mission... I think my basketball coach, Coach Bunting, would describe this as: Suspect.
Also, on the same trip, I learned how to break open a coconut, I wasn't very good at it ha ha ha!

Not very much time, but, make sure to give Michael Hicks a shoutout, I heard the EFY Medley here in Tahiti!
Also, everyone here knows Peter Lamb, make sure to tell him he's a celebrity here! Atiu is one of them
And I live in a place where we hang our laundry (so the shirts are not wrinkle free ha ha ha) and it's actually pretty nice!
I really eat rice, chicken, bread, raw fish, and chow mein because I am in a rich area of Tahiti. The weird foods will probably come when I am transfered... My companion is Elder Borgothous and he is in the last transfer of his mission! He is from Idaho, pretty strong, and knows French fluently! He definitely has a bigger knowledge than I do about several things and has served in the Marquis, Tahiti, Bora Bora, and many other islands. The language is still getting there, but I am able to pick out little bits of conversation, like Grandpa was saying, so that's good!
Spiritual thought of the week:
We all have the same amount of time each day to do things. What really matters in not how much time we have, but how we will use our time. At the judgement, God is not going to ask us how much time we had, rather, He will ask us how we spent our time. So, with a mission, job, or school, make sure to be using your time wisely!
That's really all I have time for, see you!

Elder Garff

Monday, August 24, 2015

Raw Fish, Coconut Milk and Spiders...Oh My!

Hey Everyone!

This week was an awesome week! We had 4 baptisms and the Spirit was very strong with all of them! It was awesome to see what effects the Spirit and baptism can have on a family and it is so evident here how important the Gospel is in our lives! I don't really have any background stories on the people I am baptizing (because I can't really understand them yet...) but those will come once I actually know what is going on!

The food here is really simple: bread, rice, and chicken. It's awesome! All of the food so far has been great and there is no room to complain! There are the fun delicacies though that I have been able to try including: raw fish, coconuts (seen below, I drank 1 liter of coconut milk in 1 minute ha ha ha!), and assortments of desserts! The people are all very friendly and it is funny to see the little kids realize that I can't speak French and try to talk with me in English! I was able to understand a little bit more of the languages this week, but I still have lightyears to go. Hopefully it will come quickly! The heat is also something new and I think my fear of bugs has really gone away. The fear of spiders though... There was a huge one at one of our dinners, and the hosts told me to flick it... I was way too scared and after laughing at me, the host casually flicked away this huge spider!!! Definitely not to that level of culture immersion yet!

Spiritual Thought of the Week:
A quote that we learned in basketball was a quote which said "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going". Several times I have wished for a shortcut with the language, but everytime I have to remind myself that if there was a shortcut, it wouldn't be worth going on a mission. Whether it is school, learning an instrument, playing a sport, or serving a mission, we can't afford to take shortcuts. All of the most desirable things in life require hard work, not looking for ways to shirk.

I hope that all is going well with school and everything back at home!

Elder Garff

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hello From Tahiti!

Hello from Tahiti! This week was definitely a crazy week to say the least! And pardon my mistakes if they are any, the keyboard is all messed up here, tons of letter switched spots ha ha ha!

So, I definitely didn't understand a whole lot of French, or Tahitian. When I bore my testimony, I told the congregation that they were from Utah, and I was trying to say that I was from Utah ha ha ha! Everyone speaks very fast here and it has been a struggle to listen to what people are trying to say. I am hoping that that changes fast and by the rate that things are going, I think it will come! Right now, we are covering é areas, so our schedules every day are crazy packed! There literally isn't an hour of the day that isn't filled with study, teaching, or meetings! My trainer, Elder Borgothaus, is almost at the end of his mission, and it has been awesome having him as my trainer! I've already learned a lot from him already!

Probably the biggest news of the week is that we had a baptism! "Ko hi" (I can't spell her name, but that's how it is pronounced) was baptized and when she was baptized, I definitely felt the Spirit and am excited for the baptisms that we have lined up for next week!

Well, that's all for now, I have to go, but my Spiritual thought for the week is patience. I always thought that I had patience, but I found that I don't. As people spoke this week, I got to the point where I was sick and tired of not understanding and not being able to speak to them. But, in Ether 12:6 we learn that it is only after a trial of our faith that we receive the blessings. I don't know how long I will be in the dark with the language, but with God, anything is possible and I just need to try my best and rely in Him!

Elder Garff

Monday, August 17, 2015

Letter from President Bize


Brother John K. and Sister Amy A. GARFF

3501 South 2700 East

Salt Lake City, UT 84109

United States

Dearest Brother and Sister GARFF,

We would like to let you know that your son Elder Joshua Robert GARFF has arrived here in the Tahiti-Papeete mission safely and is fully engaged in the work of the Lord. 

We are blessed to have your missionary serving here with us. He has Elder BORGHOLTHAUS as trainer that will love him and help him to be engaged in serving the Lord with all his heart. He had a long first day and was a bit tired but he is doing well. He should e-mail you on Monday. They were transferred in Punaauia area and affected in the parish of Vaitape/Faanui (Bora-Bora).

If you want you can check from time to time online at “Pierre and Brigitte Tahiti Blog” on Facebook to see some pictures and news about the mission.

We already express our love for your son.

May God Bless you and your family.

                  President Pierre F. BIZE - Mission of Tahiti-Papeete


Sunday, August 16, 2015


Dear Parents,

I'm Sister WILLIAMU missionary service assigned to the Tahiti Papeete Mission in charge of the secretariat.

you'll find enclosed a letter from Pésident Pierre F. BIZE and 3 pictures.

Good reception.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Last Week in the MTC :)

Hey everyone! This week has been a great one! We have started to freak out a little bit because we are leaving on Monday and at this time next week, my district will all be in Tahiti! I am way excited for it, but am also a little sad and scared to leave!
Sad in the way that I will miss the devotionals. Each week, we have the opportunity to hear from leaders of the church who give us advice about our missions and who give us counsel of how to be better missionaries. I have loved the talks given by Elder David A. Bednar (both of which were reruns) which have inspired me to look outside and not inwards and to give all of my effort all of my time during my mission. I'm on the Lord's time, not mine, and I need to make the most of it! This week it was awesome to see Elder Haws, Elder Anderson, Elder Greene, Elder Holding, and countless other missionaries! Next week we're having a crazy cool Skyline picture get together of all the Skyline missionaries, should be awesome!
Scared in the way that next week will be a crazy experience because I have a ways to go in both languages that I need to be speaking fluently pretty soon! I just have to have confidence that through the Lord, all things are possible! My goal is to learn the languages as fast as possible so that I can be the best missionary for the Lord that I can be!
The Spiritual Thought that I had this week was that we all have time on this earth and we also have the choice of how we will spend our time. We are all given the same resource but the only difference is how we use it. As a missionary, I have 2 years to serve a mission like every other Elder who serves a mission. But, the difference will be how I spend my time. Will my time be spent serving the Lord? Or will my time be spent serving my own pleasures? I have found that as I give 100% of my time serving the Lord on my mission, I have been the most blessed. And know that at home, you have the exact same time that I do. I would encourage you to look at your day and make a conscious effort to make every second of every day count. We only have so much time to prepare to meet God and at the end of our lives. God is not going to ask us how much time we had on earth, but rather what did we do with our time?
I don't have any pictures this week, but next week will be an awesome one for pictures, I promise :)
Elder Garff