Elder Josh Garff

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Happy Fathers' Day Dad! and Happy Birthday Bubs!

"For Katie - it reminded us of the oso"
Hey everyone!

I have to start by saying Happy Father's Day to my favorite Dad! Thanks for all of the times that you helped me out in my life and for always being there. Even when I hit a pole and busted my car 40 minutes away from home, you came (even though it probably wasn't the most convenient for you!). Thanks for always being there for me! And Katie, Bubs. I would have sent you a huge birthday present, but because you have your future husband,9 Luke Reeves, I'll leave it to him to give you a birthday present.

So, the biggest news of the week is that we are having a transfer! After 6.5 months in Maraa, I am getting transfered to Raiatea! It is an outer island right next to my first sector Bora Bora, and I have heard that it is just as beautiful! I am excited to head out there and start a new chapter! But, I'll first pay a tribute to Maraa by listing my favorite 6 things that happened here.
1. The baptism of Catherine: One of my favorite baptisms ever! Living proof that though change is hard, it is possible through the Atonement of Christ, a Divine Heritage, and efforts on our part.
A Favorite Family to Teach!  Catherine, Rainui and Poerava.  Tough to say goodbye!

2. The baptism of and times with Benjamin! I will never forget this man! A convert who was with us 24/7 and who was key in our last few baptisms. I love you Benjamin!
3. All of my companions: Elders Peel, Davis, Putoa, McLelland, I love you all! Thanks for the opportunity to serve with you!
4. The ward members, especially our Ward Mission Leader, Bishop, and people that ate with us every night! Tamaa Maitai!
5. Living in a house that had amazing sunsets, which helped me appreciate again the beauty of Tahiti
6. The Teriipaia Family.  This is another favorite family of mine.  Theirs were the first baptisms I helped with in Maraa.
Another Favorite Family.  The Teriipaia Family were some of the first baptisms I helped with in Maraa. 
Culture Shock: On bike, you see much road kill, and not road kill you'll find in Utah, so, if you are squeamish about that sort of stuff, skip the first picture!
Why did the chicken cross the road?  Actually, he didn't.
Funny Moment! The whole time in Maraa, I have been using a day by day cat calendar that my loving family gave me. Every week, we picked a winner and the runner up. The winners formed a castle, and of course you have to have a good foundation to build upon right?
I am sure that in the Kingdom of God, Jesus will love the cats too
Second Place Cat Pictures.  All part of the Game.
Hundreds of Cats. Thousands of Cats. Millions, and Billions, and Trillions of Cats!

Spiritual Thought: This week, Elder McLelland and I listened to a talk about grace. The speaker, Brad Wilcox, gave an interesting analogy to the piano. Mom pays the piano teacher to give lessons to her child. But, she tells the child to practice. Does the child's practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child's practice pay the Mom? No. Rather, we have all been saved by grace and the price is already paid. The question is will we practice? Will we keep the commandments of God and continue to try even after we make mistakes? If we will keep the commandments and follow Jesus, we will be comfortable playing in the presence of God. If we don't follow the commandments, do you really think you'll feel comfortable in His presence? Do you really think you would want to accept the grace of the Savior if all you did was trample His teachings? Live your life so you will feel worthy enough to accept the grace, already paid for, at the last day. Perfect Practice makes Perfect.

Love you all! See you next week living the outer island life again!

Elder Garff
Goodbye Maraa!

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