Elder Josh Garff

Monday, July 25, 2016

Always Fun Taking a Boat to go on a Split

Hey Everyone!

This week was a great week! We had an awesome hike on Monday (you all saw pictures from the last week), and after it was a chill P-Day :) Then, this week got crazy.

So, Elder Paulsen and I went on splits with the Elders of Fareatai, which was great! I was with Elder Ivie, and after the split, Elder Lasson gave me a haircut, which he had to finish the following morning because the clippers ran out of power :( Then, we went to Haamene, which is at Tahaa, an island next to ours. we took a 15 minute boat ride and met with Elder Eperenia and Elder Opuu. I was with Elder Opuu and it was awesome to serve with him for 10 hours ha ha ha! So, thanks to these splits, I slept in 3 different houses, served in 3 different areas, and went on boat, car, and foot this week, a little change of pace!
Josh with Elder Paulsen and the Elders of Tahaa, Elder Pouu et (and) Elder Eperenia

For me and Elder Paulsen, though we weren't really in our sectors this week, it was still great! We made a lot of progress with our investigators and are excited to welcome our members back from Tahiti! Over 50 percent of our members went to the temple at Tahiti, and we are excited to actually serve with them again!

And, always fun when the Sisters call and ask you to change their flat tire! We were a little perplexed by it all, but in the end, we got the spare on and are heading over to their house today to put the repaired tire back on!
Question:  How Many Elders Does It Tiake To Change A Flat Tire?
Last of all, shout out to my Sister Bubsy who is going to serve her mission this upcoming week! Next week there will be more about this, but, if you see her, make sure to give her a big oso hug for me! :) And throw a lot of water balloons at her, she can't really get wet during the mission... (JJ, this is a BIG hint)

Culture shock: The names here are not really like the names back home. Many people have an American name, but their family name is usually long. Check out the name of the lucky Tahitian man who won a car below...
Try Pronouncing That Name
Funny Moment: This will probably go to the car. Their jack was stolen, and our car is much lower to the ground than their car. So, not paying attention to the jack, we exceeded the limit and broke it. Good thing it is in my blood to sell cars, not to fix them :)

Spiritual Thought: I have been thinking a lot this week about the power of change. I know I have said this before, but this week we encountered a lot of people laughing us to scorn because of a baptism that we fixed (set up). It is amazing what changes can happen when we look at our lives and the lives of others through Heaven's eyes. Why would we want to waste our time looking at the condemning past of a person if they have changed or even want to change to a exalting future?

Love you all, enjoy having my sister in Utah while you can!

Elder Garff

Utah vs. byU
I wanted to have us holding up our fingers to show the score of the last Utah byU game (35 for me, and 28 for him), but Elder Paulsen wasn't too happy about that

Taking a Ride in a Sketchy White Van - They didn't offer candy though:(
A Little Carbloading...
To J.J.:  I Wonder Who Will Win - It's not stacked at all...

Monday, July 18, 2016

You'll Never Guess What Came Back...This Means War!

Tahitian Sunset - Enough Said
In My Bed
In My Suitcases

Hello everyone,

This week the ants restarted the war. As you all know, these vicious creatures have infested my: shirts, pants, helmet, bike, proselyting bag, and now: my bed and suitcases :(

This week though was a good week! Elder Paulsen and I were crazy busy in our sector and all over the island! We unfortunately had to say goodbye to Sister Olsen in our zone, but, we got Sister James! Who is another Sister from my MTC Promotion! Awesome to see her again!

This week, we also went with Elder Lasson and Elder Ivie to celebrate their 1st baptism fixed! When it is accomplished in September, it will be their branch's first baptism of the year! Congrats!!!

Lastly, this week was just full of miracles. Always a miracle when a 80+ year old adventist papi comes to church and is making progress to baptism!!!

Culture Shock: So, apparently Energizer and Duracell switched mascots? I thought Energizer was the bunny and Duracell was the battery... I guess I am a little behind on the times, but, I guess that's what I get for being on a mission, in the middle of the ocean...

Funny Moment: Definitely will go to pizza night with all of the Elders on Raiatea! A reward for Elders Lasson and Ivie for fixing a new baptism!
Elders' Night!  Definitely had a blast eating pizza with Elder Paulsen, Elder Lasson and Elder Ivie
Spiritual Thought: In one of our lessons this week, Elder Paulsen and I were explaining to an investigator that to see all the world has to offer, you need to go to Christ. How can you see the "colors of the world" (his term) in the dark works of Satan? Christ is the light, and only through His Gospel can we see the colors that the world has to offer. During the lesson, Elder Paulsen and I, not planned before, shared a scripture. I was talking and asked to turn to Alma 41:10. I looked over, and Elder Paulsen was already there, and we could tell by looking into the others' eyes that the Spirit was guiding us.

Search the Colors of the World in the Christ!

Elder Garff

This on eis for J.J.: We went on a hike as a district, and look who we saw destroying the town!
Our District Spelling Out RAROMATAI - Don't Judge!
The District!
Had a craving for vinegar!  One of the only times I have been able to eat Salt & Vinegar chips!!!!!:D

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Not Every Day You Fly In For Meetings...

These are the Raiatea Zone Members.  Sisters: Sanchez, Noho, Kenny, Ladd, Olson and Mendenhall.  Elders: Paulsen, Garff, Lasson and Ivie.  The other members of this zone are found on Huahine and Tahaa
Well, this week was pretty awesome! It was definitely a change of pace and was crazy!

As a said last week, we had a 4th of July BBQ with our District on Raiatea and it was awesome! I love all of our zone and we are doing our best to keep the work progressing on this tiny island!
Plane Buddies - Best part of the flight: the free pineapple juice:)
After, Elder Paulsen and I had the privilege to go to Tahiti for leadership council, and, as the title says, we got to fly in! Definitely not something you can say every day! And the best part of the plane rides, definitely the free pineapple juice! The conference was good, and we also got to go to the temple! We got to go to the last session, and we got some amazing pictures of the Tahiti temple! It is small, but beautiful!
Awesome view of the temple at night huh?  E mea nehenehe tera!
After, for the rest of the week, we ran a lot of errands, did a lot of contacting, and gave a formation at our zone meeting (See the spiritual thought below). Things are going well in our sector, and we are always trying to improve! We talked to many people who have a great baptismal potential, we'll see how it all works out!

Culture Shock: Always a great moment when you don't have utensils and you realize you bought raw fish. What could get more Tahitian than eating raw fish with your hands?
Raw Fish for a Raw Man (Does that even make sense?)  As a family, we have decided that it does not.
Funny Moment: Will go to me and Elder Paulsen rocking out in the truck, with our sunglasses, at night, radio blaring and top speed and us singing at the top of our lungs "God Bless the USA". After the mission, this sneak peek will be available :)
Thanks for the toothbrush holder Katie:)

Loved the Package - Thanks!

Spiritual Thought: I don't know if I have shared this or not, but I was impressed to give our formation on finishing. President Monson gave a talk in 1983 called "Finishers Wanted". In it, he states that we need to have 6 things:
1. Vision
2. Effort
3. Faith
4. Virtue
5. Courage
6. Prayer
I am a strong witness that as I have developed a vision for me and my sectors, as I have worked to make my visions realities. With faith it was possible, doing all I could to be clean to have the Spirit, making decisions without fear of the result, and praying with all my might.  I have seen success.  For all of us, we need these 6 steps to be finishers in our lives. There are many who start, but few who finish. Do you want to be known as a quitter? Or a finisher? There are only two options. Choose today.

Love you all, don't do anything I wouldn't do! ;)

Elder Garff

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

I'm Proud to be an American, God Bless America!
(I am convinced, however, that Tahiti was a close second in the election for "Promised Land")
Probably the theme of every missionary serving right now, but it'll be my only chance to say it before I get back!

I hope that everyone is enjoying all of the parades and all of the music! Here, the entire month is a party! It is definitely interesting to see how all of Polynesia has shut down due to the "Heiva".  We party hard in America, but Tahitians party long and hard. Which makes missionary work a little difficult, but still, we had a lot of success today and were still able to do a lot of work with our members and investigators!

I don't have a lot of time today, so it'll be a little brief, but I love this area! The land of my mission fathers and companions! I have run into people who have loved my old companions (Elder Borgholthous, Elder Webber) and it has inspired me to do the best I can here, to have a legacy like theirs!
I was told that by French and Tahitian pronunciation was bad, so I have to read the Book of Mormon in the 2 languages with a pencil shoved in my mouth as punishment.  Thanks Elder Hauata:)
For the 4th of July, I'll send pictures of our American party next week!

Funny Moment: Definitely will go to our dogs. I'll take a picture next week, but every night, we have 2 dogs who wait for us to give them food. There is a black one, Lasson, and a shriveled brown one, named Gollum. Gollum literally moves like Gollum and I love every night watching the two ha ha ha!
Chao Pao
Culture Shock: I will give it this week to the Chao Pao! It is a little bread ball with things inside of it. Our last P-Day, we learned how to make chocolate Chao-Pao! Literally a bread ball stuffed with Nutella!
A little grapefruit too - it can't all be chocolate Chao-Pao I guess
Spiritual Thought: As we were driving to the church this morning, Elder Paulsen and I blasted patriotic songs. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Battle Hymn of the Republic was close to getting us in accidents (as I got carried away in Patriotism behind the wheel!). but, as I was driving, I thought about how lucky we are to live in America. No offense to other countries, but America is my home, and America is the land of promise of the Lord. As I have spent my last 13 months in Tahiti, I have thought of how many things we are lucky enough to have in America, and how blessed we all truly are. I am grateful for the noble and great ones who helped this country be a God fearing and blessed country. To men like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, James Polk, I salute you. And, as the scriptures counsel, if we keep the commandments we will be prospered in this land. With Helen Keller, I add my testimony that the world isn't just moved by the mighty shoves of mighty people, but by the little pushes of each honest worker. I add my salute to each one of you in America who keep the commandments. You are as big of heroes as our leaders, and thanks to you, we all can prosper in this great land.

I'm proud to be an American, God bless America!

(But a 2 year mission in Tahiti has me convinced that Tahiti was a close second in the election for "Promised Land")

Elder Garff