Monday, April 23, 2012

  We we were in between our classes so we thought we would go sit in the sunshine.  This just happened to be the day that the new missionaries arrived.  They just kept coming.  The week that we started our training at the Mission Training Center (MTC), we had 35 senior couples, 10 senior single sisters, and about 180 young missionaries.  The following week there were 95 couples and I don’t remember how many young missionaries.
 We were visiting with a member of the MTC presidency and he said the numbers at the MTC will grow substantially during the summer months after school is out.   The MTC feeds over 2000 people 3 meals per day.   You never have to worry about being hungry.  The food is cafeteria style food but not bad.  Some of the missionaries take full advantage of the all you can eat and drink policy.  We had all the bagels and flavored cream cheese you could ever want to eat.  Cold cereal measured by mountains. There is plenty of fruit, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, donuts, muffins  and much more at breakfast.  Lunch and dinner had various themes.  You might have orange chicken on one end and hamburgers on the other end.  The design your own wrap or salad bar was open both lunch and dinner.  Wednesdays and Sundays are Ice Cream days.  Gallons and gallons with hot fudge, hot caramel, marshmallow cream as well as the nuts, cherries, M & M’s and various other toppings.  Fridays are pizza day.  They order out and bring in hundreds of pizzas from a local Papa Johns.  And one Friday they order in Teriyaki Sticks.  Well back to class we go.

  These 2 ladies are our tutors for French.  They are both return missionaries going to school at BYU.  The Mission Training Center employs hundreds of students.  Positions in the kitchen,  MTC teachers and language tutors, maintenance, security, grounds, audio visual, computers, secretarial, book keeping and every kind of office position.  There are also hundreds of volunteers as well.  This is a very organized and well run facility.  The missionaries also sign up for service opportunities each week.  When we arrived there were a group of Elders just waiting to unload our bags and take them up to our room.  These are photos of the new part just finished at the MTC, senior housing.  We had room that looks like a hotel room.  We did have to bring our own bible. Our room over looked the area where you could pick up your make your own sack lunch if you didn’t want to go into the lunch room area, as well as a mountain and garden view. 

After spending a week studying Preach My Gospel we were immersed into the wonderful world of office management – iMOS (internet missionary office system). Whoa. We had 4 days of intensive training & then we had 2 days off. The first day was a reminder why we’re glad to be in Tahiti.

 Yes we had snow in Provo.  But it only lasted for part of the day.  Since we were free, we went to the Provo Temple. The MTC gives the senior couples rides up there & comes to get you when you are through. Nice service when it is snowing, otherwise just a short walk.
Monday, April 9th finally arrived and they got us loaded onto a bus.                 
 Not the nice big blue one but the smaller school bus-type bus. I got 3 elders to help me bring our bags to the bus. They were very eager to help.

We flew from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. We checked 4 suitcases, each weighing 50 pounds from Salt Lake all the way through to Papeete Tahiti.  We also got to bring a missionary’s bicycle with us. He forgot it at the MTC. Talk about a hassle at Salt Lake, LA and again in Papeete (customs issues.) We finally got checked in at Air Tahiti Nui. (Nui means big in Tahitian.) 

So here we find 2 eager passengers waiting for their flight to Papeete.   One of them is even carrying her Time Out for Women bag. 

 I guess Time Out for Women has a long, long reach.

Da  Plane!   Da  Plane!

Here we have our last look at the United States for 2 years.

 up up and away,

 still on our way,

and almost there after 8 hours.
We were met at the airport by President and Sister Sinjoux, our mission president & his wife plus the Arnolds, the proselyting couple that has been helping out at the office until we arrived. 

 We also had the Temple President, President Moody and his wife and the Peterson’s who serve in the Temple as well.   Everyone looks perky for 11 pm. 

At this point we had been up for 21 hours give or take a few cat naps on the plane.

Tuesday Morning Kay took these photo’s from our balcony.

This is the mountain on the island of Moorea which is about 20 kilometers west of Tahiti. 

 This photo is looking north at the ocean.

 Tuesday evening we were able to catch our first sunset.  And we plan on watching a few more from our balcony.  


The Arnolds were kind enough to take us shopping. We went to the French equivalent of Walmart, which is called Carrefour.  Me & my wares and the crazy shopping cart.  The carts here move forward and sideways with ease.  Thus making it difficult on an incline to keep the cart going the way you want it to go.  Kay was laughing like crazy while trying to take a photo of me and this crazy shopping cart.  When you have a large enough space I think it is easier to hold on to the side of the cart and push it.           

After our shopping experience the Arnolds took us on a drive.   

Sunday church started at 8:00am.  We have a beautiful building with a wonder breeze way between the chapel and the classrooms.  I think this is traditional design for island settings.  We were told to expect air in the chapel but not in the class rooms.  But so far the rooms we have been in have all had air conditioned.  And as expected the people here are very kind and friendly.  In Relief Society the sisters made sure I knew I had to come to their activity on the 28th of April.  We are making pearl rings, straw Sunday bags (scripture bags), and flowers made from tapioca and cornstarch. (I am thinking this may be their fondant, I will see).  I am looking forward to getting to know the sisters here.

After Church we went for a walk around our neighborhood.  And as always, Kay had her camera in hand.  We took a few more pictures.    Flowers, flowers and more flowers she can’t get enough.  Oh, and then there is water.   Don’t you just love (hate) those hats, we are still looking for some better ones,  these were some extras at the office. 

     Well as we continue on our walk around the neighborhood.  We found plenty of bananas as well as other fruit.  

 And more flowers.  This tree has been grafted to have 4 or 5 colors of flowers.  Check out the base and you can see where the different plants are woven together.  Sure makes for a beautiful flowering shade tree.  Nice for a little rest out of the warm sun.



We found a great place to relax out of the sun. Terry thinks that maybe he could enjoy this on a regular basis.  Padded chairs and sofa, table, ocean breeze, palm tree leaves for the roof all we need is some lemonade.  I feel a nap coming on.


Well this is the end of the first week.  We hope to get caught up on the photos’ and the posting to the blog soon.  We may even find / take some more photos and make comments later today.  We do not have an internet connection at the apartment so we are hoping to cut and paste this from a word document.  It may come out as a mess and we will have to start all over but we thought we would try it this anyway.


  1. Mo loves your hats! That water is just screaming for someone to jump in it. Mo says we can come visit!

  2. I'm so jealous. You guys are too cute. Glad to hear you're having fun. Love you a lot!!!

  3. If I had a view like that from our balcony I don't think I'd leave the house! We're enjoying your experiences and pictures. Just think - you don't have to make that plane ride again until you come home! Have a great week.

  4. Becky has made it possible for us to enjoy your mission with you. What a wonderful place to serve.