Monday, November 23, 2015


This week has been crazy! The flight took FOREVER, first of all. As We were descending, Elder Edmunds and I were guessing the temperature. I got closer, and I was twelve degrees too cold. It was 85°. As I walked out of the plane, I was hit with a blast of humidity. We went in the airport and we were the only ones there, unlike LAX, the airport we left from. We walked out and were greeted by a bunch of people and heis (a hei is a Tahitian lei). I realized that at some point in that jumble I shook the mission President's hand, and before I knew it we were in a car headed for the temple. We stayed in the temple housing for the night, and I woke up at 3:30 to roosters. The sun rose at about 4:30 and we walked up to the President's house for breakfast. We had bread with Nutella, hot chocolate, Kool-Aid. Very Tahitian. Just kidding. We also had croissants and Tahitian bananas which are WAY better than American bananas. We talked with the President, had lunch, which was slightly more Tahitian: bread, rice, a sauce with potatoes and meat, and a corn, lettuce, carrot salad. Delicious. After talking some more, the trainers came in. We had a map showing where the trainer would go, then the Trainee would be called and come up. My new companion is Elder Millerberg. He's been out for 18 months, and he's from Utah. He's super cool.Out of all of us, we're the only companionship with a car. I had three hopes:

1. to have a Tahitian companion
2. to be a bike mission(I don't want to get too fat)
3. to serve in an outer island

I got none of it, but that's okay because I love the mission anyway. I'm serving in Papara. I think there are six of us on Tahiti and the others in our district are in other islands.

That night, we split up and I went with my new companion. He said that we were teaching an investigator and that I was going to commit her to baptism. The lesson was on baptism. At the end, I talked about baptizing my little sister, and then committed her. She said yes. We walked away, and my companion acted like nothing unusual happened. I was pretty excited.

For dinner, we had a dinner appointment, a faatamaaraa, get cancelled, so we were dropped off some rice and chow mein. Again, what a Tahitian meal. That's the end of day one. I won't go into detail with the other days, but we've continued to teach investigators, and we have a few who just need to decide when they will be baptized.

 A few days ago we were looking for people to visit with the DMP (ward mission leader). We ended up talking with this mami for I think an hour and a half. She mumbled and talked quietly, so even if I could understand the language I had no idea what she was saying. Elder Millerberg told me at the end that she told the same story six times. That's a Tahitian in a nutshell. They can just go off for a while, not talking about anything in particular. it's hilarious!

Some of the biggest things I noticed here are the nature, the culture, the animals.
It's super green here. We have a  coconut tree in our yard, and a banana tree is trying to grow. The ocean is beautiful, the scenery is beautiful, the mountains are awesome. They're sheer and have lots of waterfalls in them.

The animals. There are lots of animals that roam-chickens, cats, dogs. Very few of the animals are friendly or are clean, so you usually stay away from them. The dogs are afraid of humans and hate them, so they sometimes chase you. You just pretend to pick up a rock and they will run away. They also walk wherever, so you just drive and they will move if they don't want to be run over.

The culture. Take off shoes before going in someone's house. Every time. All the windows and doors are always open, so usually it's slightly warmer inside because the hot air doesn't escape as well. Driving cars is weird. You just avoid hitting things and you're good. Everyone likes to run in Tahiti, so lots of people are on the side of the roads. You just try to avoid them in a car.

On Thursday I got to go to the temple. It's super small. I had a translating device but ended up just listening in french. I'm pretty proud of myself. Oh, speaking of languages, that's pretty hard for me right now. I've been trying to figure out why I could understand french before, but I'm lost right now. I'm thinking it has to do with the accent, the fact that they mumble more than a french person. I think a big thing though is the fact that I've been learning to teach people the gospel, not have conversations, so that's something I'm starting to work on. I can't communicate as well when I'm not actually teaching a lesson. For lessons and stuff Elder Millerberg does most of the talking and I basically just throw in my testimony when I can. 

Oh! For our first faatamaaraa we had poisson cru. Delicious! Everyone needs to try it. I don't think I've had any Tahitian food that I didn't like so far.

When people get to know me they ask where I'm from and how old I am. Each time they're astonished. Everyone thinks that I look french, and I've gotten that I look between 20 and 25 years old. Huh. I wasn't aware. 

Did I mention that the humidity is bad? It took me like three days just to not feel claustrophobic. You are constantly damp, whether from the humidity or from your sweat. You think you'll be fine for a little while after you take a shower, but you never actually get dry. It's something I'm still trying to get used to.

Now about he bug bites. I think they attack at night, and for some reason they concentrate on my ankles. I have about twenty five bites on one ankle alone, and about fifty altogether. I guess that's another thing I'll need to get used to.

Life is great here. Hard at times, but great. I'm learning a lot and  have really cool experiences each day. I'm still getting used to the new culture, the new weather, still trying to understand the people, but between all of that I'm becoming a different person, and as long as I try to do good things and persevere and be obedient, I know the Lord will bless me and help me become better.

Here are the random thoughts of Elder Lewis in the past week. Enjoy.

Elder Lewis

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