Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 31 2015 - Week 4

Iorana!

That's Tahitian for hello! We're still learning French, but I honestly cant wait to learn Tahitian! I know its going to be hard because its such a different language compared to French but just singing Tahitian sounds so beautiful. Anyways our teachers are way cool! We have sister Johnson who served her mission in Tahiti as well as sister Cook! They're way cool! They're teaching us French right now but they teach us the occasional Tahitian words here and there. We sing in Tahitian all the time and its absolutely sounds beautiful. According to them its the most beautiful Polynesian language but that could be biased. Anyways Soeur Johnson loves the Tahitian language and was the best sister to speak it while she was on her mission. She's so good that she translates/interprets for general conference/meetings so she's going to be busy this weekend in fact she already worked on women's conference that happened last weekend. That's how good she is. When she says the prayer, she always says it in Tahitian and she speaks sooo fast its hilarious. Yeah we have the best teachers :3 They tell us the coolest stories that happen in Tahiti. Its great.

Its crazy to think that I've been here for 4 weeks. Like if I were to learn just French I'll be leaving to go to the field in two weeks and I'd be terrified! Seriously though, I feel blessed to prepare for 11 weeks. Its funny cause when other people here at the MTC ask where I'm heading off in the MTC and how long I have to stay, other missionaries give me the 'oh snap I feel so bad for you face' then they say how they've been in the MTC less than I have and they already feel so sick of it and that they cant wait to get out. Its funny I know some people who refer this place as spiritual prison since we're literally gated in. Then Tahiti is referred to as spirit paradise :p its a really bad analogy I know but for me at least its not that bad here I'm not sick of it. not yet at least.

This week literally zoomed right by, I wish my email could be a lot more interesting but I don't even remember what happened in the past week lol. One of my fave part of the day, other than gym time, is personal study. It really is great to literally just sit and feast upon the words of Christ. My zone found this cute spot to study here at the MTC. Since its been so nice sunny and warm here (That's right Vancouver) We try to study outdoors as often as we can. Seriously though, my classroom feels like it keeps getting smaller and smaller we practically live in there. 10hrs sitting in the same small classroom everyday can make you crazy. But yes its spring that means the cherry blossom trees are out blossoming and one of my favourite things to do is to grab my scriptures and just sit and read under them. Lately I've been studying over what I feel my ami de l'eglise (investigators) need. I've learnt lately that since I'm out here putting my time off to the Lord's I need to ​​turn outward and think of the people who I serve and get in the habit of always doing what i can to help them come closer to Christ.

I've been appreciating the book of Mormon way more here on my mission. I love it. I wish became even more familiar with the Book of Mormon before I left! So I've been inviting my ami de l'eglise to come watch general conference so I exhort you all to come listen to the words and the loving guidance of our prophet. I seriously cant wait for it! For my friends who aren't members of the church, twice a year our church leaders come to speak to the world with messages that can strengthen our families, and our relationship with God. You should go check it out, its happening this weekend! You can check out the live broadcast at lds.org. I love this time of the year, I heard this cool analogy about spring and i never thought about it that way! So during spring, flowers bloom and its a sign of rebirth. Its also the time of when the Saviour was resurrected and because of Him, we can be renewed and cleansed from His atonement. I thought that was cool. Spring is now my fave season!

Well I should head out, my companions been so patient with me :3 haha
Have a fantastic general conference weekend!

Sister Arielle Bamba
Tahiti Papeete Mission


Tahiti Papeete Mission

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

March 24 2015 - Week 3

     Wait did I get that right?! has it actually been 3 weeks? where did the month go like seriously! 

This week flew right on by I don't even know what's going on anymore! As like most people say here at the MTC; slow days but the weeks fly by! Well last Wednesday two new districts came to fill in our zone! we got 10 elders and they're all going to France! Its funny because last Tuesday, we came to pick up an international missionary who's from Singapore who got called to Paris France, mandarin speaking which he already knew how to speak,(on top of that English, Cantonese and Malaysian) anyways we asked him if he was excited to learn French, and he told us that he want going to learn French because on his call he said he only had to speak mandarin, well on my call it said I only had to learn Tahitian but now I had to learn 2. anyways he found out later that he did have to learn French after all ha-ha poor guy. He had no idea, that's cool though he'll have 5 languages down by the time he comes home from his mission.

Anyways there aren't any  new sisters coming into our district for a while :( there was supposed to be one sister coming from Vanuatu, but apparently there was a huge cyclone that wiped out like 90% of their buildings D: I hope it's nothing too serious and that she's ok, that sister wont be coming to the MTC until June so like after I leave!  Anyways we've had awesome devotionals lately and last Tuesday devotional Elder Don R. Clarke came to speak to us and he gave a talk on 10 truths that every missionary should know. If you want to serve a mission or knows someone who is going to, listen up:
 
1) Love 
He said the days you'll be happy are the days you care about other people more than yourself. He also asked the congregation to stand if we knew anybody inactive/less active to stand whether it be a friend, a cousin or your mom. Before you know it, everybody stood up. He asked us what we would do to help them come back unto Christ. He then told us as missionaries to look at people we serve as somebody's father, or child, etc. and to love them and serve them and do the best we can to help them. 
2) Importance of the Book of Mormon. 
He said that there shouldn't be a day when you don't search in the book of Mormon. Everybody should know what page they're on.  
An elder in my district, err sorry the only elder in my district had me read a story about a lady who had multiple PHDs in religion and philosophy, whose written multiple educational and scholarly books about religion and how the missionaries found her and baptised her 8 weeks after! Its an amazing story its called "Do we really know what we have?". That lady bore her testimony and said she was in a famine all her 75 years of life and finally found the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Then she went on how significant the book of Mormon was and that as members, some of us don't appreciate it as much as we should. You guys should check that story out!
3) Joseph Smith 
He shared a story of how a missionary tried to memorized the story of Joseph Smith, then after the lesson was over his companion grabbed him by the knot of his tie and pulled him and said "don't you ever tell the story of Joseph Smith again. Do you really know the story of Joseph Smith?" and the question is do we? Do we actually have a testimony of it for ourselves?
4) Obedience
If there is anything that I've learned here at the MTC is that 
OBEDIENCE BRINGS BLESSINGS AND EXACT OBEDIENCE BRINGS MIRACLES
5)Faith
Faith is an action word 
therefore be Diligent in our works and have faith and trust in the Lord. He knows what's best for you and that he called you to Tahiti to learn 2 languages for a reason.
Diligence > Intelligence
6)Holy Ghost
He talked about how our mission will be full of red seas to divide.
So make sure we know how to listen and to FOLLOW the spirit.
7) Family
As missionaries, we want to remember to email our families about our spiritual experiences so they will profit from your testimony. :D 
8)Remember who you really are. 
We given the power to heal in this "sick world". We are instruments of the Lord and he works through us. 
9)The worth of Souls.
And that there shouldn't be a day when we as missionaries shouldn't be busy. There are people everywhere.
10) Enjoy the Journey.
Nobody else can determine your happiness but you. Don't let anybody else determine that.
Love them. All you need is love.

~ This will determine who you are. God will reveal his love for you even through little things.

For example for the past week I've been feeling quite insecure about myself. I've never really picked up great study habits at school nor did I have super high confidence in myself. Anyways this past week my companion and I had to teach/lead quite a bit of meetings and classes. For instance we had to do an orientation for the new elders in our zone with elder Reese( he's the only elder in the zone other than the new elders who just came in this week. Anyways he cant be a zone leader without a companion therefore as sister training leaders we have to fulfill that leadership role), then us 3 had to teach priesthood and relief society, then my companion and I had to lead the discussion for District meeting. Anyways my mind doesn't work as fast as it should, it wanders off often and I tend to forget things easily. But as for Soeur Stosich(my companion) and Elder Reese, they are literally on top of everything. They always have scriptures and stories to share and they just practically just go off the entire lesson while I just sit there quietly in the corner (if there is anything you need to know about my companion and elder Reese, there known for the ones always on task, the goody two shoes and probably has the next best thing to photographic memory. Like seriously though). Don't get me wrong I love being around those guys, they're so spiritual they just fill me up, but for the longest time I thought that I wasn't feeling the spirit because I wasn't being prompted to what to say like those other two. Anyways last Saturday night, before I went to bed I prayed and felt like I needed to fast for the day after. Next Day, Its Sunday. It was probably the best day of my life here at the MTC so far. I felt like the Lord gave me the comfort that i needed and literally everything i learnt that day felt like it was meant for me. That whole day I learn more and more about the Saviour and His atonement in terms where i never really thought of them before. Not only will he make up for our sins, but he will lift us up with an outstretched hand and help us with our weaknesses and struggles filling in that gap where we aren't capable of fulfilling. He is there. He loves us with tender mercy and knows exactly what we go through. I also got to watch a talk by Elder Bednar its called "the Characters of Christ" and its amazing! I literally want to watch and listen to that talk over and over again! I love learning more and more about our Saviour its so great! Its funny because at the beginning of his talk he says to not write notes and just listen. He said to write the things that the Holy Ghost is trying to teach you not what you hear but I ended up writing a full page of notes. Trust me you learn a lot! and it was exactly what I needed to learn! 

Well I hope you guys are doing well! I  love you! So does the Saviour Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father!

As they say in Tahiti
Na Na!

Sister Arielle Bamba
Tahiti Papeete Mission

 
Soeur Stosich my companion <3 

Sunday Funday. Just after the temple walk. I love Cherry Blossoms!

March 17 2015 - Week 2

      This week was crazy but highlights were definitely singing in the choir for devotional then having Elder Cook an apostle to come speak to us! I loved his talk! One of the things he said was to open your mouth when you feel the promptings of the holy ghost and I've actually received a lot of revelation to do so cause being quite shy times I don't always speak what's on my mind. I have so much trust in the Lord, but its just trusting him so that even though I don't know what to say, when you feel prompted to say something just say it and he will bring things to your mind the things you need to say!

The rest of our zone left yesterday to France! it was so sad! We literally only knew them for 12 days but we got so close to them, lets just say there were lots of tears! For our last night with them, a Sister from our zone that was leaving to Leone sang a rendition of Saviour Redeemer of My Soul and it was absolutely beautiful. She sang it for Relief Society for all the sisters in the MTC, I love that girl so much! She was Our Sister Training Leader <3 So she sang that song so then our whole zone and the other French zone could hear her sing. After My district sang a rendition of Joseph Smiths First Prayer in the tune of Come Thou Fount in a 4 part harmony as a goodbye gift for all the missionaries leaving to France that morning after which was yesterday. First verse we sang in Tahitian, then second in French, then the last 2 in English. Working on this song was so great for my district as we became even more unified (and trust me, my district is probably as close as it gets). Ahhh I love them all! So as for there's only 1 district for each 2 French zone at the moment. There's a district in the other zone of 3 missionaries going to Montreal and our district in the other French zone going to Tahiti! 

We have a bunch of elders coming in tomorrow! Which I'm sooo so sad about because there we don't have any more sisters coming for a while! I'm sad because my companion and I just got called as sister training leaders for our zone which is awesome I was so excited and couldn't wait to act like a mama (that's what I called my sister training leader) to new sisters. But its okay! Hey did you know sister training leaders and zone leaders in the MTC get to carry a phone? I didn't know that! Can't really do anything with them though, they're ancient.

As for the French its coming along! yesterday, our teacher said that we weren't allowed to bring any sort of notes except for a grammar sheet to bring into our lessons D: Which I never really liked reading off a script to teach but still its not like I'm fluent in French or anything! Oh well. Oh funny story, so the first investigator we had to teach, after giving him 5 lessons, he showed up to class in a suit in tie one morning and found out that he was going to be one of our teachers. Haha. not really. He's really transparent about giving  back feedback to us as he wants us as companions to talk over our lesson to improve on it. But he's an awesome teacher! He's from Tahiti and speaks English, French, Tahitian, and Spanish! Anyways he's only taught us for the past 3 study sessions and they've all been awesome because he takes us outside as part of his lesson. So on the first day he brought us outside and told us to bring out Book of Mormons and he basically pointed out an object (ex. bench, brick, dirt, roof, etc.) and he'd get us to look up a scripture that related to the object in the book of Mormon. The next day he got us to share our fave scripture to random people outside then yesterday he got us to bear our testimony to more random people - but all in French of course! He wouldn't even give us a warning he's just tell us literally minutes before but its such an awesome experience! I love the MTC so much! I seriously do! I don't know how I'll feel about it though after 12 weeks but as for now I'm enjoying every minute of it so far!
 
Soeur Bamba
Tahiti Papeete Mission

The relationship triangle. As missionaries, we try to focus on strengthening on the relationship between Heavenly father and the investigator.
 
 My zone! The other two districts left to France yesterday! Miss them already!

March 10 2015 - Week 1

     Soooooooo much has happened in the past 6 days I honestly don't know where to start! The MTC is amazing, I love it sooo so much! My district is way cool we get along so much, probably too much its scary! We have 3 sister companions and poor Elder Reese who's a solo and doesn't have one and has to deal with all of us girls. No but seriously though on his name tag it says "solo" on it. My zone consists of 2 other districts and they're all going to Leone France for their mish. There aren't any other districts going to Tahiti which is so sad, but we'll have fluent French speakers coming within 5 weeks to learn Tahitian with us.

The spirit here is soo strong! I remember on the first day that I was here, we had a group lesson session where a group of  like 50ish missionaries watched other missionaries give a lesson to an investigator then we would pause the lesson then the newbie missionaries would have to carry on that lesson and we would just sit there in the room just sharing and feeling prompted to what to say and just writing notes and one time I was prompted to say something and I have never felt the holy ghost so strong just telling me what to say.

Anyhow I got through the first, it day was craaazy, my flight was delayed so I didn't get to the MTC till almost 3am! Then I had to get up at 6:30 then follow the schedule that day. It felt like the longest day of my life, but I ended up loving it so so much. I remember the first time I walked into my classroom, my teacher literally spoke no English we were strictly immersed in the French! 

Its only been a week and I have people in my district who have like absolutely no French background but are learning so much so quickly! Like the gift of tongues is real! I'm just waiting for it to happen to me ;) But I'm actually surprised how much I can understand, I can almost understand everything, its just the speaking part.

My companion is cool and all, but there's this girl in my district named Soeur Smith, and she is too legit to quit! I mean for real I wish we could all be on her level in every way, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Also, she has a boss companion! I love these American girls! This week with them has been the best week of my life!

Soeur Bamba
Tahiti Papeete Mission

I just love this picture of my district, we can never get a really good picture together....
{ L-R: Soeurs Bamba, Stosich(from Montana), Gray(from Arizona), Shariotmadari(from Seattle/Utah), Lavalua(New Zealand), and Smith (Idaho). Oh yeah there's Elder Reese at the Bottom( from southern California) }
 
Here's  better picture of my district <3