Elder Josh Garff

Monday, January 25, 2016

"It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like February"

Josh thought he would share a "Deep Pondering Missionary" pose.  He mentioned that it was a "pretty legit study spot".  Surely you realize how serious he must have been while taking this...
Hey all!

I really hope that I spelled these words right, words like February and begining are a little out of my head right now! And with French spell check, not the greatest source of help ha ha ha! And with the title, I am thinking that I am going to love February a lot this year, because not only is January over, but tons of cool stuff will be happening in February!

This week was a great week! This week was more of helping people with baptism dates get ready for the interview for baptism and for the baptism itself. They will come in the future, but know for now that we have a lot of great people who are ready to be baptized, stay tuned! As they get baptized, I will post it, just to try your patience huh? :)
Chopau: "A bread roll with mystery meat on the inside.  Got to love it!"  For a kid who elected not to eat anything at scout camp, this shows tremendous growth.
And also this week, we had transfers, and Elder Peel and I are staying together in Maraa! We are really starting to click right now and the area is picking up! Before Elder Peel, it was ok, but now with him, the area is rocking! Definitely thanks to my college missionaire et Notre Père Céleste! C'est quelque chose grande qui va passé avec le pouvoir de Dieu. Nous sommes rien sans lui, mais, grace a lui et son fils Jesus Christ, on peut faire toute chose! C'est grande ça!

I hope you like the French ha ha ha! Maybe here and there I'll throw in some sentences i roto te reo Tahiti aore ra i roto te reo Farani. No reira e nehenehe ia ratou ia haapii mai te mau reo mai vau te huru! (And sorry, there isn't Google Translate for Tahitian :) )
The Caves of Maraa - A Little P-Day Field Trip
But, just know that all is well here! The area is great, we're doing great, and Tahiti is just maitai roa!
Culture Shock: Goes to the ice cream we had the other night! Ice cream here is very expensive and is far from a day to day pleasure here! Something I'll look forward to in 1.5 years ha ha ha
Funny Moment: I have started a juice collection. I don't know how much exactly, but I have consumed over 18 liters (pictured to come in other weeks!)
Spiritual Thought: Charity is the pure love of Christ. If we want to have this pure love, we need to act. We can either wonder if we have charity and worry about it, or serve and show our charity.
Stay tuned for next week!

Elder Garff

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cockroaches, Beetles, Lizards, Flies, Spiders and Mosquitos at night...Oh My!

"Something you might not be seeing in Utah this January"
Hey all!

I hope that the snow is treating you all well! Here, it is hot, and getting hotter! I think that the members and people here are starting to identify me by how much I sweat! On bike, crazy hot weather, and long distances don't help matters either! Each day my sleeves are covered in sweat and sometimes have to peel them off ha ha ha!

This week went by really well for us! We fixed 4 baptism dates for February, and it should be great! We are working with a lot of great people and there are tons of cool stories here! I will tell you about them as they happen, but right now we are working with a cool family which has touched me beyond anything I have felt in my life. Though it sounds cheesy, it is true and I love this family to death!

And, everything else has been going well! There is no room to complain. There is nothing better than going to bed tired (except of course the feeling of waking up the next morning with tons of energy, if not, the going to bed tired thing isn't as cool ha ha ha!). We'll just keep working! I love you all back home and hope that when you are in school or the weather is less that 0, you'll think of Tahiti ha ha ha!

Culture Shock: I think this week will go again to the insects. Because the houses here generally don't have air conditioning, the insects like it. So, at night, it is not uncommon for us to see cockroaches, beetles, lizards, flies, ants, spiders, and mosquitos. Something I don't think Utah has with all the snow!
Breakfast Elder Webber Style

Funny Moment: So, this week, Elder Webber is going home. So, in honor of him, I had the breakfast that he had every morning: Milo (liquid chocolate), crackers with Nutella Spread on them in sandwich fashion, together to form a chocolate wonder... And he is skinny still, unbelievable!

Spiritual Thought: This week I have thought a lot about Self Mastery. If we can't control ourselves, who is going to control us? God will let us choose, but Satan will do all he can to control us. This is why we must master ourselves, if not, Satan will be our master and thus lead us by his chains to hell. So, this week I studied how to do master myself, and I found the answer in Alma 37:33-37, awesome scriptures there. The answer is faith. If we have faith, we will be able to conquer Satan, we will be able to master ourselves, but only if we rely on Christ. So, the challenge I have for you all this week is to develop faith in Christ, so you can master yourselves.

Ua here vau ia outou!

Elder Garff

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fish Eyes - They Almost Made Me Throw Up.

Hey all, this week was awesome and crazy at the same time!
So, big news, we had 2 baptisms this week for Heirani and Jayson! Heirani is the mom and Jayson is her son. Her husband, James, is not quite ready for baptism, but he is so close! Just have to wait for certain things. But, with this baptism, it was very touching. To get baptized, this family gave up: coffee, cigarettes, got married, and all of that in just over a month! This family, I love to say, has more faith than I have ever seen in my life before. The power of faith, the fast, and the will of God are powerful, no denying that!
Baptism of Jayson and Heirani
In addition to that, we found a lot of new investigators this week who have a lot of potential for the baptism! A lot of them could even have baptism dates set next week! So our area is definitely on the "rising stage"! Lots of good news to come!

Culture shock: Definitely goes to our Tamaaraa (eating appointment) last night. The mom said that with fish, only true Tahitians eat the head (sucking out the eyes and tongue of the fish), so naturally Elder Peel and I had to try it! I unfortunately sucked too much out of the eyes and tasted an eye ligament that almost made me throw up... Gross
"Uncle Rick, I Think I Conquered My Fear of Fish!"
Funny Moment: This morning, Elder Lewis got out his shoes for a hike. The first shoe had tons of spiders. After cleaning it out, he cleaned out the other shoe, filled with 10 live cockroaches. Needless to say I hid my shoes after that!

Spiritual Thought:
With the family Teriipaia, I have thought a lot about the power of faith and fasting. With our faith, and with our sacrifice of the fast, we can accomplish great things. Things may seem impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible. He just asks us to believe in Him, and whatsoever we will ask Him in faith (nothing wavering), He will give it to us in His own time and His own way.

Love you all, don't suck too much of the fish heads you eat!

Elder Garff

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bonne anne'e and Ia orana i te matahiti api - Happy New Year!

Hey all!
I hope that you all had an awesome New Year! It was definitely weird for me to look at the calendar and see 2016!
But First.... A Toast!
Here, the sector is doing well! We continued to work crazy hard this week, and even with all of the crazy partying on New Years, we had a fair amount of lessons and progression from a lot of investigators! In the next few weeks to come, I hope that I can send their baptismal pictures! Truly the Lord is here at Maraa! If we continue to work hard, we'll continue to have success! Especially with the holiday over, I am excited to get back to normal work!
And everything else is going great! Elder Peel is definitely a great companion and we have tons of things coming up this week! This week, we had a baptismal interview that President Bize was there for, we will have a zone conference also that he will be here for, an interview with him, then another multi-zone conference next week. A lot of President Bize to come!
Karaoke with Elder Peel
Culture Shock: So, whoever created the "Minions" must have served a mission in Tahiti. "Minion" in English means "cute", the Minions I swear speak Tahitian, and like the people here, the Minions like Karaoke ha ha ha!

Funny Moment:
So, my bag strap has been breaking constantly. So, I decided to buy a Minion jumprope and that has served as my strap ha ha ha! Defintiely a little different!
The Minion Jump Rope Strap - Awesome
Spiritual Thought:
This week I have really thought about goal setting. With goals, if we set too many, there is no motivation to get them all done because it is impossible! If we set too few, We won't have a ton of motivation after we accomplish them. I finally decided to set 6 main goals, with the intention of making the small goals as the year and my needs progress and change. So, my challenge to you all would be to find 5 big things that will take all year to change. Then, after that, keep these 5 big things in a place you can see all day and make the little goals every day/week/whenever, to accomplish the 5 big things you want to see a change in this week.
Love you all! Hope you are all gearing up for school again ha ha ha!
Elder Garff
Yes, this is a picture of a pig farm just down the street from where Josh lives.  I am grateful for each picture Josh will send, but it did not really fit into the context of any of his letter, so, it has become bonus material.