Elder Josh Garff

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Best Christmas Ever

All of the "Old Promotion"
Merry Christmas Everyone! 

Josh and his "son", Elder Davis!
I hope that you all had a great Christmas and that you enjoyed the snow! I liked having a warm Christmas so it was great here :) 
The best parts included Skyping with my family, the first time I have ever done a 4 way Skype! It was great to see my sister who is in Bolivia and to see my family who is doing great! My brother JJ still has a ways to go with his muscles, but he is getting there ;) 
Congrats Jimmy! And a big thanks to Manea (far left) our member integrator! 
The other best part was that we had a baptism! His name is Jimmy Dexter, and we met him 3 weeks ago. We fixed his baptism on the first lesson, and ever since we explained the Plan of Salvation (his girlfriend recently died) he has wanted to be baptized, so he can see his future wife again! He was a miracle, and now, he is asking us to do lessons with all of his kids! A great miracle that came from God, and the second great one was Manea, who came with us to all of the lessons! He is a great member integrator! And without him, it would have been impossible to accomplish this baptism! 

In all, this week was a crazy week with a lot of exciting news! The best parts though, without a doubt, were the Skype and the baptism!

Funny Moment: Because we are Elders, we can't cook very well, but we tried our own Christmas feast! It wasn't the best, but it is the effort that counts right?
​The Christmas Feast. Headed by THE Elder Murdock 
Culture Shock: Instead of snow, there is constant rain. I don't know your preference, but I love the rain :) 

​How can you tell when there is a missionary reunion? You see an army of Toyotas.
Spiritual Thought: This week I want to focus on gratitude for the Savior and the love He has and gives to us. Christmas is really revolved around Christ, who is Love! Christmas is a time of year to focus on love, which we do by giving, not receiving. Which we do by listening, not talking. Which we do by caring, not ignoring. We all have opportunities throughout the year to keep the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts. So, continue to focus on the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Love, every day of the year (not just December 25th)!
Love you all! 

Elder Garff
Oh Christmas Tree

Monday, December 19, 2016

How Grateful I am For Christmas

​8 Pineapples for 5 dollars... Not bad :) 
Hey Everyone!
Again, I am pressed for time, but, I will try to have a better email today!

This week was great! Elder Nelson and I have been working hard to change around our sector and have seen some success! We have been trying to build a great relationship with all of our auxiliary leaders, who continue to work with us even during this season of Christmas! This ward is great and there are miracles to come!
Also, this week, I was able to call my old companions Elder Piazza and Elder Peel at Raiatea (the sector that I just left). There are so many miracles happening right now for them and I had the best 42 minute phone call of my life! They are doing awesome! I can't wait to hear how this transfer goes for them!
​Congrats to Tetu (on the right) who was baptized last Saturday! She is an investigator in my old sector of Tevaitoa and her path to baptism was truly remarkable! Congrats Tetu! 
Congrats also to Daisy! (Sitting down in the middle) who was baptized with Tetu!
Awesome day! So happy for the two! 
That is really it for the week, I am just happy to have the chance to Skype with my family! I am pumped to see them all and hope that all of you have a great Christmas season with your families too! No matter where we are, we cannot escape the Spirit of the Lord! Enjoy the warmth this Christmas season, the warmth that will drown out the physical and spiritual cold!

Funny Moment: An Elder in our house, Elder Campbell, saw my pineapple juice and decided to take a few sips, hoping I wouldn't notice. But, as I am an expert in Rotui pineapple juice, I was able to feel the ounce difference. I formally accused him and dubbed him "juice stealer". Such a great time ha ha ha! 
Josh and the "Juice Bandit" aka Elder Campbell who is a great missionary.
He was just unaware of the fact that Josh seems to take his pineapple juice very seriously.
Culture Shock: Normally you can leave your sector to go see baptisms in your old sectors. Unfortunately, my last sector requires a plane... So I was unable to go :( But, calling them by phone was a great blessing! 

Spiritual Thought: Last year, Elder Christofferson said that the Spirit of Christmas was like a warm fire. We don't need to do anything special to feel the Spirit of Christ, we just have to sit back and enjoy the fire. I shared that last year, and share the same thought this year, with the thought to be thankful for the fire that is there. This week I have been brought to my knees every night in gratitude for the things the Savior has done for me and the people of Bora, Maraa, Raiatea, and Orofero. The Savior really is all powerful. This Christmas season, I encourage all of you to sit back, enjoy the warmth of the Spirit, and to thank God for that warmth. Words can't express the gratitude I have for God the Father, Jesus Christ, and their plan for us to return to them.

Joyeux Noel! Noela maitai ia outou!

Elder Garff 
Noel Parties in Tahiti!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

No Time!

​Last photo of the Raromatai Zone! I'll miss those missionaries! 
Hey Everyone!

This week we have literally no time! But, all is well in Orofero! I loved my time in Raromatai and they are doing great! Now, it is time to go to Orofero, which is next to one of my old sectors! I loved seeing everyone on Sunday and it was as if we had a huge high school reunion ha ha ha!
Josh and Elder Nelson
I don't have a whole lot of time today, but, everything is going well! There are miracles waiting to happen in Orofero and I am excited to work with Elder Nelson!

Culture Shock: I just realized that to end my mission, because we are on several different islands, I will not be able to see my converts and friends that are at Bora and Raiatea... I'll miss them and can't wait to return and see how they are doing!
Josh and Benjamin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D
Funny Moment: When Benjamin dyed his hair red, I died! I love Benjamin soooo much! (He was one of my converts baptized in February!)
Spitirial Thought: Again, I will talk about the power of members. Without members, missionary work doesn't work. It is only with the members that we can accomplish miracles. In all of my sectors, with all of the things that have happened, it has been 100% of the time because of God, and of those times, 90% because of the members. So, I invite all of you to participate in missionary work! It can't advance without you!

Love You All!

Elder Garff

Monday, December 5, 2016

Goodbye Sweetheart, It's Time To Go

​Last zone meeting! 
Sisters: Temataua, Teahu, Sanchez, James, Durrant, Padbury, Maa, Perrut, Toyon, et Turina (not in the picture: Sisters Kelsey and Teimaiana) 
Elders: Temataua, Tautaha, Piazza, Me, Perrut, and Opuu (not in the picture Elders Rybin and Fawson).
Hey Everyone!

This week was a bitter-sweet week. We received the transfer calls and I will be leaving the zone of Raromatai after 6 months. It has been a great time and I will never forget the expériences that I had here. Today, I thought that I would just share the 3 most prominant things that I have learned here:

1. Believe in Christ. It is good to have faith in Christ and is essential. But, we need to believe in Him. That is essential. Knowing Christ can do something is important and essential. But, believing that Christ WILL do something is just as important and essential.
2. The power of Couple Missionaries. In this zone, there are two couple missionaries. The Couple Perrut and the Couple Temataua. I will never forget their influence on me. When I came, the zone needed some help, some life. And, it started with the Couple Perrut who arrived with me. They turned a branch of 20 people to a branch of 80 people thanks to reactivation and baptisms. The Couple Temataua then came to a branch of 60 people and now, there are almost 100 with the first 4 baptisms in over 2 years happening in December. The power of couple missionaries is outstanding, and I will never forget the things that they taught me through their example and their teachings.

3. The will of God. For us, we need to do our best to live the commandments and obey the will of God. If we obey, the will of God for us will be things of great importance. If we disobey, maybe we will lose out on blessings we could have had, but, if we follow the will of God for us again, we can overcome our mistakes and ultimately land our souls at the right hand of God.
Round 2! To help people get baptized, we started the spiritual cigarette business again!
My next sector will be Orofero, in the Paea stake! It is actually the neighboring ward to Maraa, my second sector!!!! So, I get to see all of my converts in Maraa again! I will be serving with Elder Nelson, and Elder Peel, an old missionary companion I had in Maraa, will be coming here! So excited for him!
​TonTon Burger! (translation: Uncle Hamburger), hard to find a good hamburger spot in Tahiti!

This week was a great week, and a week where we got close to fixing 5 baptisms for December. I hope and know Elder Piazza and Elder Peel will get it done!

Also, shout out to Elder Loamanu, one of my favorite missionaries here finished his mission! I'll miss that Elder! Also to my Sisters :) To'u Mau Tuahine Mau :)
​Don't know why I made a fish with all of my cat pictures... But, here is the creation of my time at Raromatai!

Funny Moment: This will go to all of the cat pictures. I have saved them all... And Our house is now covered in cheesy cat pictures. Got to love it!
There are 100 Ways to Love a Cat...

Culture Shock: Well, it still isn't snowing... I don't know if it will either! Rather, everything is melting with the heat!

Spiritual Thought: I already put 3 above, but I will just put them all together here. For you couples out there who can serve a mission, I would encourage you to believe in Christ and pray to know if you should serve. Then, submit to the will of God. If the answer is yes, then Go! If it is no, then stay. You don't know how many missionaries (and in turn investigators) you will bless, change, and save.

Love you all!

Elder Garff