Elder Josh Garff

Monday, January 23, 2017

Physical and Spiritual Floods

Congratulations Marcel and Maere!  What a fantastic wedding and baptism!
Hey Everyone!

So, this week was super crazy and we were not able to email on Monday. And tonight, we have to leave soon. So this one will be brief!

This week we had a crazy flood that hit Tahiti and several houses were sunk under inches of water. People have had to throw out may of their possessions that were ruined by the flooding (books, beds, carpet, etc...). I don't have any pictures on my camera, but I will try to send some next week. Everyone is safe though and all of the missionnaries made it without any harm!
Another cool shot of the wedding
This week I was fortunate enough to hear about the baptism of 2 of my old investigators! The first was Marcel MAPU who was married to his wife Maere this week! Elder Nelson and I spent almost every day with Marcel and I am so happy that he is baptized! Congrats to him and his wife! Great to see everyone at Maraa and Orofero again too! The second was Hereiti, who I taught with Elder Piazza at Raiatea! She finally decided to be baptized after taking the lessons for over 5 years! Super pumped for her and I wish I could have been there at Raiatea for her!

This week was a crazy week, but those were the events that were the best!
Awesome to do a split with Elder Ruff!  We were in the MTC together!

Funny Moment: This will go to being with Elder Ruff again! We had a blast and predicted which of our Sister missionaries (the Sisters that came in our promo) would be married first. Seeing how they all have some sort of boyfriend, I would not be surprised to hear about a couple of wedding announcements ;)
Culture Shock: Definitely goes to the flood. You never see how devestating these floods are until you experience contant flooding and raining. Many people don't have a place to sleep because of the constant flooding. Be grateful for what you have and your circumstance!
Spiritual Thought: I have been thinking a lot this week about the principle of faith. It is the first principle of the Gospel, and, in my opinion, the least thought about, the least applied, but the most crucial. Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement is essential if we want to repent, if we want to be baptized (or take the sacrament), have the Holy Ghost with us, and if we want to endure to the end. But, all of these things are nothing without faith. Without the Atonement (which none of us can look back and watch as of today) we can't do anything. We are entirely dependant on an act that is relatively unknown and we can't see. That is faith. Believing in something that is not seen, but true. 

Love you all!

Elder Garff

Monday, January 16, 2017

Really Fast

The Awesome Zone of Paea!
Hey Everyone!

I will not be having a whole lot of time to write you all, but, I'll try my best!

This week, we had transfers and we were whitewashed! I am going to finish my mission at Papeete 2 with Elder Drugeon. I'm excited to work with him, but at the same time, it was tough leaving all of my converts in Orofero! There are a lot of great people there and I hope that I can go back for their baptisms! Orofero was a great experience and I wish them the best of luck!
Last Goodbye to Elder Nelson
This week in general was pretty crazy as many sectors in the mission changed and the entire face of the mission changed! I don't really know what to say, but, it is all going well here!
Thanks Elder Millerberg for the photo!
Culture Shock: You never look at cockroaches again when you see/hear a flying cockroach zoom past your ear. Needless to say that causes something that you'll see below.
Josh continues with his love of insects tour.  Here are 20 unfortunate cockroaches that met his broom
Funny Moment: This will go to the moment where we were at our house doing an inspection. Our house is great, except for the bathroom... The Sisters whitewashing will not be to happy with its condition...
(Mom note - this is likely due to the fact that the hot water knob in the shower was broken)

Spiritual Thought: In our lives, there will be unexpected things that come, and it is up to us to have faith in the Savior and His plan for us. With faith, we can do anything. If we have doubts, if we lose our faith, or if we lose our confidence, we'll never succeed. In everything, we must have faith. Faith in a great today and a better tomorrow.

Elder Garff

Monday, January 9, 2017

Training Galore!

Josh with Elder Campbell
Over the Eels and Through the River...
Hey Everyone!

This week was a week full of training! The highlights were definitely the Leadership Council, our zone meeting, and our Stake Training. A huge push has been made lately to bring back the inactives that are in every ward. With this push made in the Leadership Council we gave a training in zone conference on the importance of members in reactivation, and the Sisters gave the great training on vision done by Elder Peel and Elder Piazza (#RAROMATAIREPRESENT!)! Then, Elder Nelson and I had the privilege to give a training on reactivation, working with the missionaries, and vision to all of the leaders in the stake. It went really well and they all said they would work with the missionaries to accomplish this goal of reactivation (and of course baptism). The Spirit was strong and it went well!
Great to see Elder Piazza and Elder Peel
Other than the trainings, this week was a week of gathering our thoughts and helping our converts out! Several of our converts are receiving the Priesthood and are progressing in the Gospel! It is great to see the change that the Gospel can make in the lives of people, even in a matter of weeks!
Congratulations to Elder Harvard who will finish his mission soon!  He is a stud!

Not a whole lot of other things to share today, but, overall, it was a great week!

Funny Moment: Cooking spaghetti is fun, but can be messy. As I cooked spaghetti yesterday, I didn't realize that sauce was flying onto my shirt! Needless to say my shirt would not be worthy to enter into Paradise or the Celestial Kingdom...
Awesome to see Elder Millerburg on his visit.  
Culture Shock: On a split with Elder Campbell, we had to cross a crazy high and dirty river to get to a lesson! Normally it is over the river and through the woods to get to an investigator's house. But for us it is over the eels and through the river... 

Spiritual Thought: I have thought a lot this week about humility. We all need to put the will of God ahead of our own. It is pretty funny that as we ask for things that we want we rarely receive them. It is only when we ask the question "What is thy will for me?" we will progress. Now, the question, a question that I loved as I studied. "Why is it that we ask but don't want to receive?" If we ask God for His will, are we going to be too hard or too scared to receive the answer? If so, it won't come. It only comes if our hearts are 100% open to Him.

Love you all! 

Elder Garff
Yes, This is your opportunity to vote for the "Cat of the Year".
Cat 1, Cat 2, or Cat 3

Sunday, January 8, 2017

It's Been A Year Since I Last Wrote...

​Congrats to Méline and Robert!!!! 
Hey Everyone! Happy New Year!
I hope that you are all doing great and that everything is going well in snowy Utah! I don't miss the snow one bit, but I miss you all!
​Great to see Elder Millerberg again! 
This week was a great one! The best part, of course, was the baptism of Méline and of Robert! Robert is 14 years old and came back due to a miracle of a reactivation of his mother! She is a geneologist and had a dream that her ancestors were waiting for her. So, without delay, she called the missionaires, we baptized her son, and she and her inactive husband are active again! Méline is 12 and lives on another island. She was in Orofero for a vacation with her grandparents (our ward mission leader). She has followed the church for 4 years but hasn't been able to talk with the missionaries. We happened to see her the first day that she came to Orofero, and happened to baptize her and send her to the temple just before she is going to go back! (Just imagine saying that to your friends: in 3 weeks, I met the missionaries, was baptized, and went to the temple!!!) Congrats to the two!
The Zone after our "Family Night"
Other things that happened this week were pale in comparison, but it was still a good week! There are other investigators that are doing really well and the area is starting to pick up! Jimmy, a recent convert, received the Priesthood yesterday and is going to the temple on the 14th of January to do the baptism of his deceased wife. Next year, other temple ordinances! We also had a family night as a zone, which was great too! This next week figures to be a training heavy week, so not a whole lot of action and a whole lot of listening planned for this week.
​The box of liquor chocolates... The red ones were filled with alcohol and we threw out the rocky white one (champagne) and the rocky dark chocolate one (Rum). 
Funny Moment: For the holidays, we had a few members give us chocolates. Normally a nice gesture. But, we found that half of the chocolates were baked in either alcohol, rum, or champagne... Elder Murdock figured that out the hard way ha ha ha! We immediately threw out the other alcoholic ones! 
Culture Shock: As I looked at the calendar, I realized that this year, I will be seeing my family in person for the first time since 2015... 
Spiritual Moment: The baptisms of Robert and Méline were truly miracles. I am grateful that Heavenly Father gave us these miracles and for the great things that are happening here at Orofero. There is little doubt that God works in mysterious ways, and the only question that we have to ask is: Do I want to be a part in it? If not, it is your choice to have a mediocre life. If you do, get ready for the best life that is available to man.
Love you all! 

Elder Garff 
Thanks Uncle Craig and Aunt Melissa and all the Ballard family!
There is nothing like Ghirardelli hot chocolate and snowman poop for breakfast!