Elder Josh Garff

Friday, May 19, 2017

Please Join Us In Welcoming Josh Home!

Our grateful thanks to all of you who have supported Josh these past two years.  We are so grateful for your positive impact on his life, and for helping him become who he is today.
Please plan to join us  Saturday evening, May 27 at our home to celebrate his return.  We also would like to invite you to join us the next day, Sunday, May 28 for his return address.  1:00 PM 3103 Craig Drive.
With Love and Appreciation-
The Garff Family

Please plan to join us!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Te Rata Hopea, La Dernière Lettre - The Last Letter

Great split with Elder Packer at Mahina!  Loved it!
Ia ora na tout le monde!

Sorry for the delay... Normally we do emails on Monday, but, we had a timing issue and were able to write on Wednesday!

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to Grandma Anderson, Gam, all the other Mothers, the future mothers, and especially to my Mom :) And at the same time, Happy Birthday Grandpa Jay!

This is the last email as a missionary that I will be able to send to all of you! It has been a great ride and I am grateful for all of your support! I am sorry if I am not able to respond to some of your letters for this last week or even over the course of my mission, but I hope you know that I love you all and can't wait to talk to you in person! 

I would love to invite those who can to a little open house on Saturday May 27 from 6-9 PM! My address is 3501 South 2700 East, SLC, UT 84109 and I would love to see you! I will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting the next day, Sunday May 28 from 1-2 PM at 3103 East Craig Drive SLC, UT. If you have any questions, you can shoot me an email at this email address,, message by Facebook "Josh Garff", or by calling 801-463-1078 (home phone) or my cell phone 801-558-9893 (which I hope my parents haven't given away ;) )!
Got to love cleaning a mysterious water leak with sponges...
We don't know why it is brown, but honestly, we did not want to know.
Funny Moment of this week: Got to love when there is a water leak in the house and you have to clean up mysterious brown water in the house... I guess this is parent preparation? Ha ha ha!
Culture Shock: Not that I am trunky at all, but it is pretty shocking to believe that at this time next week I'll be in America! I honestly have missed America and especially have missed my friends and family even more! I can't wait to see you all!
A great breakfast burrito day with Elder Piazza, Elder Smith, and Elder Fawson!
Spiritual Thought: For the last spiritual thought, I would love to talk about the greatest lesson that I have learned as a missionary. I have learned a lot, but the most important thing that I have learned is: Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I will speak more about this next Sunday, but, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing we can aquire in this life. Faith in general is weak. Faith without actions is dead. But, Faith centered on Jesus Christ leads us to do and accept His ordinances and trust in His promises for us. Faith does not justify us for eternal life or exaltation. Faith centered on Jesus Christ which is followed by righteous actions does. It doesn't matter what words you have spoken, what promises and convenants you have failed to keep, what actions you wish you could take back, what chances you have missed or think you have missed; all of these things can be taken away thanks to Jesus Christ and His Atonement. To accept His Atonement He only asks for us to do three things:
1. Have Faith and Believe on Him. Meaning: Have confidence in His promises and ability to help us.
2. Repent. Meaning: change the desires of our hearts and change our bad actions into good ones.
3. Accomplish and Keep to the best of our ability His Ordinances. Meaning: Repenting and renewing our convenants every time we fall short, and having faith in and believing in the Redeeming Power of The Atonement of Jesus Christ and its promise to purify, sanctify, and justify us at the last day.

Have Faith in Christ! Act according to your Faith in Him! And you will be able to sing the song of redeeming love forever! I have seen it in the lives of many converts and inactives. I have seen it in my own life. And I know you can all see it in your lives. 

Of the many testimonies I have given of Christ, the last testimony that I would like to share with you all as a missionary is that HE LIVES!

I love you all, hope to see you soon!

Elder Garff

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ia ora na tout le monde!

Conseil des Dirigean
Hey Everyone!

Happy May! I hope that everyone is doing well and that no one is dying over tests and exams at school! It is insane to think that in 2 weeks I'll be able to see you all!

This week was a great week! We had Leadership Council and in it, we learned a lot about purity. See more on the bottom as I have attached a photo and put it in my spiritual thought :) It was a week full of meetings, but, they were spiritually inspiring. 
Zone Conference fin avril 2017 - Faaa Punaauia
For the rest of the week, me and Elder Piazza have fought to stay upright! With crazy hours here and there all week, we were grateful for the chance to have P-Day :) Our investigators are doing well and all of the converts here are super strong! 
Zone Conference fin avril 2017 - Mahina Arue Papeete
Funny Moment: This week we taught a 7 year old named Urahere. We taught the Word of Wisdom then went into the law of chastity. Chastity in French is pronounced "Chass te tai" and Urahere refused the commandment. The way that we pronounced it to her sounded like "Chass de té" meaning: A tea hunt! We were actually thrilled because it showed that Urahere understood the word of wisdom and knew that it was forbidden to drink tea :)
Culture Shock: Got to love when a plane gets delayed that you wait for. The thing you don't really love is the hours...
Zone Conference fin avril 2017 - Paea Papeari Taravao
Spiritual Thought: I loved the thought that was shared by Sister Bize on purity at Leadership Council. A lot of us look at the mistakes in our lives and we don't think that we can ever become pure. Sister Bize said: "The only moment when you have lost the ability to become pure is the moment when you have lost hope". Thanks to repentance we all have the ability to be pure. It doesn't matter who we are, what situation we are in, or even where we are. If we have hope we can repent. If we have hope, we can be purified, even as the Christ is pure.

Love you all, in a Christlike way :) 

Elder Garff

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Miracle of the Week: Heimata!

Heimata at her baptism! Heimata and Rauhere (little girl on the left) were both baptized!!!
Hey Everyone!

It is crazy to see that the end is near! In a few short three weeks I'll be with you all in Utah :) But, just beacause there are three weeks left that doesn't mean that there is time to be trunky! And a quick congratulations to Rachel! She just won the election for SBO President at Skyline! I'm pumped for you Rachel! Congrats!
Marriage Blessing of Heimata and Manu at the Chapel!  Such a great experience!
This week was crazy! The craziest thing that happened was that we had a marraige and a baptism! It was the marraige of Manu and Heimata and the baptism of Heimata and Rauhere (her daughter). Manu was an inactive member but, after 5 months, he is married and should be receiving the Melchezidek Priesthood in 2 months! Heimata should be having a baby next week, but still got baptized! Also, cool to know that Heimata finished the Book of Mormon before her baptism! She is the only investigator that finished the Book of Mormon before her baptism and she is super strong!

Other things that have started, we have started practices for the missionary concert and because of that, 5 hours of our P-Day are used practicing (we practice in 2 different places for 2 hours in each location). Because of that, we are a little rushed today, so I will not be able to respond to a lot of emails unfortunately :(
I found out today that Benjamin just won a motorbike!!!!!!!!!! I honestly didn't know what to say :)
Funny Moment: I died when I saw Benjamin (an old convert) with his motorcycle that he won! It was too much for me!

Culture Shock: Just the fact that it is May 2017 should be good for this one...

Spiritual Thought: I have thought a lot this week about how to be successful in life.  Elder Piazza and I did a training in the Multi-Zone Conferences this week and our focus was on how to be a successful missionary. Here are the 4 points that we had:
1. Give your will to God
2. Don't compare yourself to others
3. Have high expectations
4. Have the Spirit present in your work.
In our lives it is the same! If you want to succeed, put God first! He can make a lot more out of our lives than we can!

Love you all!

Elder Garff

Monday, April 24, 2017

Banana Splits

Split with Elder Toame!  He is an Elder from my MTC promotion
Hey Everyone!

Unfortunately, we did not eat any Banana splits this week, but we were often on splits with missionaries :) One of the responsibilities for me and Elder Piazza is to do a split with all of the zone leaders. I had the priviledge of being with Elder Thorpe and Elder Toame. It doesn't matter where I have been time-wise with my mission, I have always learned a lot from the splits that we have done. I think that these splits were more to help me than them! Both Elders are great and they taught me a lot this week! 

In other news, the missionary concert practices have started up, and though I don't think I will be able to sing in the performances, I am excited for them anyways :) There are a lot of great songs and I am pumped! 

Other than that, there is not much to report. There are a lot of great things happening and I think the only other thing that you would like to hear is the progression of our converts in Papeete 2! Tony is the Young Mens Sectretary, Vainui is the Relief Society Sectretary, Alexis will be the Secretary of the Elders Quorem, and Romina will receive a call soon! So great to see their progression!
Split with Elder Thorpe!  Great to do a split with him!
Funny Moment: We started up the game again "Where's Rick". Elder Piazza found Rick who was found in his cereal :) Because Elder Smith hid it there :)
Culture Shock: Got to love when you receive the question "Where is the mission violin?" and you have to find out which island the violin was sent to... There are only 100+ options there!
Spiritual Thought: One of the greatest lessons I learned this week was the importance of humility. You can have all the talents, contacts, experience, etc... in the world but you can still learn something from someone who is humble. I was touched this week by a man who was extremely humble and thanks to his example, I learned a lot of things that weren't said, but were shown.

Love you all :)

Elder Garff

P.S. Totally forgot when Mother's Day is... Sorry

Monday, April 17, 2017

Alexis' Baptism and Happy Easter!


I would also like to announce the birthdays of my brother JJ, my aunt Carrie, and my cousin Lily Grace :)

So, if you happen to see them, make sure to crack an egg on their heads :)

Love you all!

Elder Garff
The baptism of Alexis!
Josh also sent the following email this week:
Hey Everyone!

Sorry that the past 2 weeks I was unable to send anything! Things over here in Papeete 2 have been crazy! But, everything is going great!
In our last moments together, I taught Elder Drugeon how to make a balloon dog :)  It was pretty good!
Since the last email, I have changed missionary companions and I am now with Elder Piazza! I already served with Elder Piazza and we served at Raiatea together for 4.5 months! Now, we will have spent 6 months (a fourth of our mission) together! I loved my time with Elder Drugeon! He went to a sector in Mahina, so, we still get to see each other often!
Congratulations to Alexis who was baptized Wednesday!  So great to see him baptized!
Also, the biggest news was that Alexis got baptized! Alexis is a huge fan of weight lifting and it was difficult to baptize him ha ha ha! When his daughter was baptized in January, he said no for the lessons. But, he came to the "lessons after baptism" for his daughter. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to come to church. His family is super Protestant, but, he was converted by the Spirit that he felt. As he told his Protestant Mother that he was going to be baptized, she said "Well, I know that your wife is a good woman, if you want to follow her, I am in support of that". Alexis responded "I am not following my wife. I am following the Christ. This is His Church." Puissant!
We also had the marriage of one of our investigators!  Super fun :)
Other things that have happened, Easter! I hope that everyone had a great Easter! Here it was great :) We had an Easter Egg hunt with a bunch of Tahitian kids, and they found all the eggs we hid in seconds! So fun! 
Easter Egg Hunt with three families!  It was quite fun hiding the eggs!  They found them fast - even in the dark!
Easter Egg hunt.  These kids looked everywhere!  Even in the back of our car!
Funny Moment: Elder Piazza and I went to President Bize's house one night with a ton of keys. Keys to the car, house, church, etc... And we had a pretty good sized ring. President Bize saw all of the keys on Elder Piazza's ring and he said "Elder Piazza, do you think that you are important because you have a lot of keys? Usually, the people the most important have one key for everything!" We all got a laugh out of it and 2 minutes later, President came and showed us a ring of 400 keys! Saying "I guess I am important now!" It was hilarious! Got to love President Bize!
I heard that Elder Caraes saw my mother! (Many thanks to Tiffany Smith!)
In honor of Elder Caraes, I will send this picture of him sleeping outside when our power went out!
Culture Shock: I just received word from my mother that she saw Elder Caraes, a Tahitian Elder that is in the MTC right now! I loved living in the same house as him and he is going to be a great Elder! I hope that I get to see him when he comes back in a few weeks to sign the last couple of papers for his visa!
Spiritual Thought: For Easter, I won't overdo the holiday, but, the theme for the Church this Easter season is #ThePrinceofPeace. Something that I have taught my investigators often is that when receiving impressions from God, you must feel peace. It is true that the Spirit can speak to us in our minds, but the devil can as well. The important thing is that the Spirit speaks to us in our minds AND in our hearts. If you have a thought that is accompanied by bad feelings, it doesn't come from the Spirit!!! If you can feel peace, joy, and love with your thoughts, 100% of the time it is inspiration from God. Why? Because the devil can't give what he doesn't have. He can't give feelings of peace, joy, and love because he has none of these things. In solving problems, search for peace. You will then find the answer.

Love you all x3!

Elder Garff

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sorry - 52 Words

The following 52 words is all that we heard from Josh this week:

Sorry, today is the transfers and I am in charge ha ha ha! We'll see if I get an exception to email Wednesday.

But, I am the AP Senior and my missionary companion is Elder Piazza! He was my companion when we were Zone Leaders together at Raromatai!

Love you

Elder Garff

Monday, April 3, 2017


We did not receive much more than the following from Josh this week:


Thanks for the emails!
Sorry that we have to run, the transferts are close and we are kind of all over the place! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Birthday Mom!

I don't know why there is a huge gap... we really like these people!
Elder and Sister Thomsen, Sister Minnick, me and Elder Drugeon
Ia ora na tout le monde!

I need to start off by wishing my Mom a happy birthday! I hope that everyone cracks an egg on her head :) Thanks for all of your support Mom! I appreciate it and I know that each one of your kids does too!

Unfortunately I have to be short today, but, I'll try!
My Split with Elder Malca
This week we had a split with the Elders of Mahina and of Papeete. It was great to be with Elder Malca and Elder Tepa! I was again in our sector, and our investigators are doing really well!  Elder Drugeon and I also had the chance to ride in President's car which took a while, but was great!  Elder Drugeon and I have been preparing the conferences that will happen this week, and have to finalize our trainings!
A picture of Sr. Hunter's birthday cake - and a highly religious stuffed animal admiring it:)
Funny Moment: This week was Sr. Hunter's birthday! We made a great cake :) Sr. Hunter is awesome and I love working with her in the office! We sang in English and French for our Sr. Chasseur :)
This is the definition of a Spunky Postal Worker
Culture Shock: Even cat food is on sale in Tahiti.
Even cat food goes on sale in Tahiti (that's for you Dad).
Elder Drugeon and a cool cat :)
Spiritual Thought: Spiritual Impressions are important. President Bize challenged us to ask for the phone number of inactives that are coming back to church and one day, I saw the importance of it. We had a lesson with an inactive, exchanged numbers, and left. 30 minutes later, he called us, saying he got kicked out of his house and needed help. We were able to help him out and luckily, he found a home. Thanks to the impression that President Bize shared and the impression I had in the moment to take this man's number, this inactive member was able to find a home. Even if the impressions are small and we don't entirely understand them, we need to follow the Spirit! He sees the future, and He tells us what will be best for us. It is up to us to decide if we want the best, or if we want to be disobedient.

Love you all!

Elder Garff
According to Rachel's holiday calendar, Mom's birthday is Whiskey Day...
Mom Note:  Thank you for pointing this out Josh and Rachel

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Companion

Elder Thomsen, Soeur Thomsen, Vainui, Elder Drugeon, and me after Vainui's baptism!
Hey Everyone!

I asked Elder Drugeon what I needed to title my email as and he said, "My Companion". So, voila le titre :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who turned 17 on March 17, 2017. That is a lot of 17s. Thanks Gam for pointing that out :) And also to my brother King Triton! I heard that the play went really well and shout out to my brother (who, by the way, needed a costume to have muscle definition ;) Love you bro!) 
This week was great! We were able to have the baptism of Vainui and it was a great spiritual experience! She is definitely converted to the Gospel and I know that she will stay strong! A cool thing with her baptism is that we invited another couple from Utah, Elder and Sister Thomsen to come with us to the lessons! They are great teachers and we love teaching with them! In all, congrats to Vainui! 
Tahiti - Just a glimpse
...Or Two
...Or three
This week, we were also able to have splits with the Elders of Papeari and the Elders of Arue. I was with Elder Rybin and Elder Clements! It was great to be with them and to teach! Elder Clements was my companion in the MTC and we defintiely saw an improvement 22 months later ha ha ha! 
Thanks Aunt Mary!
Einstein is happy too :)
Funny Moment: Elder Drugeon at 2 in the morning asked me if the Sisters of Orofero called to leave their sector. I told him, yes, they are doing an island tour and then sailing to another island. He accepted it pretty readily, but not the next morning ;)
Culture Shock: In Tahiti, there are many things that are great. You have to love coming home and relaxing by drinking a nice cold glass of pineapple juice. That's the life :)
Another Facebook Photo.  We love this little window into life in Tahiti!
Spiritual Thought: This week, I have thought a lot about the purpose in our life. Reading The Miracle of Forgiveness has really helped me to think and to see clearly why we are here. Reading the first chapter is amazing and one of my favorite ideas is that on the earth, we are here to prepare our destiny. We must live in the present and prepare for the future. In all we do, we must ask ourselves if our activities are worthwhile and if they are approved of God. It is useless to stay in sin saying we will repent tomorrow. It is just as effective as someone saying that they will study the day after the test. I love you all, continue to aller en avant! Haere i mua!

Wish you all the best!

Elder Garff

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WAHOO!!!!!!!!!! May 23! Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!!!


Bonjour Elder GARFF,

Voici en Pièce jointe l'itinéraire de ton vol de fin de mission. Tes parents sont aussi destinataires pour organiser ton arrivée à l'aéroport ainsi que ton président de pieu pour ta relève.

Merci de servir notre peuple polynésien.

Bonne continuation,

Here attached is the final itinerary for Elder GARFF  so you can, parents, organize to pick him up at the airport and President ENCE, his release time.


Christine HUNTER
Des saints des derniers jours
Tahiti Mission Financial Secretary

Monday, March 13, 2017

Office Week

Mission trip to McDonalds!
Hey Everyone!

So, my parents complained to me that I didn't have enough photos in my email, so I will include more photos this week :) Unfortunately, we were in the office and there is not a whole lot of scenery ;)
Map of the Mission, all of the sectors and the missionaries :)
This week was a good week. We were able to work even though we were a little sick! We have been doing lessons constantly in the hopes of boosting the sector and it paid off! But, maybe because of overwork, we both collapsed Saturday and had to take a break. We recently took on another sector and we will be giving the sector back this week. Getting to know another sector well enough to show to another missionary team in 1-2 weeks isn't the easiest, but hey, with the Lord, all is possible!
According to Rachel's calendar, it was national cereal day on Tuesday :)
I would like to give a shout out to my cousin Truman and his marraige! I wish the best for them and can't wait to see the new Mrs. Ballard! Congrats Truman! Have a great Honneymoon! (I would suggest coming to Tahiti ;) )

Funny Moment: Always a great moment when you are doing reactivation work in a sector that isn't yours and, because of sickness, have to ask to use their bathroom...

Culture Shock: Probably the first bathroom that I used that didn't have doors. 
A pose that is often seen from Elder Garff :)
Spiritual Thought: Lately I have been studying two books: The Miracle of Forgiveness and Twice Blessed. Throughout my mission, I have seen the power of forgiveness for myself and others and it is truly unbelieveable to see what is possible with the Lord. With the power of His Atonement, forgiveness for all is possible. With His power, we can be saved, strengthened, and comforted, even in the darkest and hardest trials. 

Love you all!

Elder Garff

Monday, March 6, 2017

Happy Birthday Dad!

So great to see Mark and Linda Monsen!  They stopped by in Tahiti and I was able to say hi!
Mark was a hero for me before my mission and still is today!  Definitely a highlight of the week!
Hey Everyone!

Today is my Dad's Birthday! I hope that all of you wish him a happy 28th! I think an appropriate gift would be either a rum tart or a beekeeper hat. Before my mission, I remember my Dad telling me how much he loves his beekeeping and how after retiring from selling cars, he looks forward to tending another bee farm. His Number 1 Client I am guessing will be a major cereal brand:
"It's a funny taste of honey, and an Ulsifer kind of nine, Honey Nut Cheerios!" Thanks for all you do Dad! Can't wait to see you in 10 weeks here!

This week was a good week! We were able to do a split with Raromatai and I was with one of my old companions, Elder Peel! It was great to be with him again for a day and it was so fun teaching with him! I miss those good old Maraa days! Also this week, we did transfers (which turned out well), leadership council, and training for the new missionaries! Also, great to see the Monsens! They were able to stop by this week and it was so great to see them!
Kenny was found hiding in the suckers :)  Silly Kenny, suckers are for kids!

Speaking of our sector, we just took another sector so, for the instant, we have the office and two sectors! It is pretty crazy but it is all good :) Everything is going great and our sector should be having miracles in no time!

Funny Moment: At leadership council, we all posed for a picture (which I don't have yet...). Last week, in the middle of transferts, President Bize took 3 minutes to gently scold me on my head positioning in photos. He said: "In all of your pictures, you never look at the camera straight, it is always tilted to the side!" So, when we took the photo, right before, President looked me in the eyes and made a motion with his hand as if saying "Straighten your head!" I can't wait to see the result ha ha ha!
Culture Shock: This week, I was drawn to the fact of the importance of chapel attendance. Tahiti has one of the highest rates in the world and it is cool to see the faithfulness of Tahitian members!
Spiritual Thought: This comes from a question from my Mom about the importance of the "Whisperings of the Spirit". On my mission, I have found that there are three steps. 1. Search for and be open to the Spirit. 2. Recognize and understand His direction. 3. Trust in and do the things He says. If we don't do one of those 3 things, the whisperings of the Spirit are not effective and we will never be able to accomplish the will of God. So, be open, learn to recognize, and do the things you receive from the Spirit!

Je vous aime!

Elder Garff
Not much of a contest.  We all know who wins!  Got to love Tahiti Graffiti!