Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 9 June – 4 July 1915

Venus in Tahiti: 9 June – 4 July 1915

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 07, 2013

(Previous installment)

Wed. June 9.

Had the sewing machine agent come to the house to repair my machine and found him to be a Salt Lake boy, Chester Reynolds, a nephew of Will Willis the druggist, and a graduate from the Lowell school.

Thurs. June 10.

Conducted the usual sewing class. Embroidered sofa pillow tops of checked gingham.

Fri. June 11.

Bros. Otto Stocks and Albert Shaw were to have left for Hikueru for a years stay. They waited all day for the boat to leave, but all the sailors were drunk and couldn’t be found. As Bro. Shaw was very much down in spirit and loathe to leave on account of having heard so many bad reports of the conditions there, we afterwards felt that they had been detained for a wise purpose. For when they returned to the house for the night, Mr. Rossiter and I talked with him an hour or so trying to encourage him and gave him some faith promoting series to read after which he went to bed feeling fine and with a determination to surmount his difficulties.

Sat. June 12.

Bros Stocks and Shaw left at daybreak, the latter feeling fine and displaying an entirely different spirit than of the previous day.

Sun. June 13.

Held our usual Sunday meetings. I was appointed secretary of the Sunday school, in which capacity I had been acting for the past month. Our friend Tima Mapui remained after church and had dinner with us again. We are pleased to note an increase in our attendance averaging 12 as compared with 4 at the time of our arrival.

Mon. June 14.

While Mr. Rossiter and Bro. Davis were tracting, Tima came to the house and brought a lot of cakes and candy, remaining to eat dinner with us. I mention this because it is a rare thing to induce a native to eat with us, for they are usually a little backward about showing their bad table manners. But Tima has been to New Zealand several times and is a little more accomplished in the art of using a knife and fork than the average native.

Tues. June 15.

Today being the Governor’s open day, Mr. Rossiter went to appeal for the reopening of our schools. After waiting one & one half hour she was told that the Governor could not see him that day, but made an appointment to hear him the following morning at 9:30 am.

Wed. June 16.

Mr Rossiter was given a hearing by the Governor, who although he would not give us a written permit to teach public school, said that we might teach the natives to read and write in their homes. He also asked that we prove to him satisfactorily that we received our money from America, as he had been told many times that we amassed great amounts here and sent it away and had therefore made up his mind to banish us from the country if we could not prove to him otherwise. However Mr Rossiter took all of the American money that we had on hand and our annual financial reports to him to see and promised to show him all we received in the future as a prove [proof] of our ascertions. He was satisfied with our accounts, and said that he was glad to have his mistaken ideas corrected for the false reports had been coming in for years and because the Mormons had never attempted to inform him otherwise, he naturally thought they must be true.

Thurs. June 17.

As there is no school on Thursday I decided to organize a singing class for the children and commenced today by teaching them “Put Your Shoulder To The Wheel.” In the afternoon we held our weekly sewing class for the women and girls.

Fri. June 18.

Our friend Tahiri asked me for a small wooden pillbox to put his pearls in during the divine season. In the afternoon he came back bringing me t[w]o small pearls packed carefully in cotton batten [batting].

Sat. 19

Usual Saturday cleaning and baking day.

Sun. June 20.

At our April Conference held in Takaroa we baptized Ashio Hong a Chinese, who as far as we know is the first of his race to become a member of the Church. He has been diligently investigating for the past three years not have [having] missed a single meeting during that time. He has also stopped the use of tobacco and has closed is place of business on Sunday, which is rarely done on these Islands, for Sunday is the busiest day of all for the storekeepers. He is very zealous in his duties and takes great pleasure in bearing his testimony. He is especially desireous that more of his countryman should hear and accept of our faith. Today at our afternoon services he spoke for a short time. After church he gave me a large black pearl in appreciation of a little kindness I had shown him. Called to see Moupha a member who was ill.

Mon. June 21.

It is very interesting to seethe natives climb the tall straight cocoanut trees which grow on an average of [blank] feet from the ground without a single branch excepting at the very top where they form sort of [a] canopy or umbrella, from 25 to 30 feet across. tying his feet together so as to form sort of a brace he leaps up the tree in bounds holding his body the length of his arms & legs away from the tree.

Tues June 22.

Wash day. Besides our regular washing we washed and stretched three pairs of curtains.

Wed. June 23.

Ironed 21 pairs of sash curtains besides the other clothes. In the evening went with Mr. Rossiter & Bro Davis to call on a Seventh Day Adventist family they had met while out tracting several days before. We found them all sitting around the table reading the bible as was their evening custom. They were above the average native in illectuality [sic] and cleanliness. Everthy [sic] thing was clean and in perfect order & the children, four of them, were under excellent control of their parents, which is very unusual in Tahiti. They greeted us warmly and we spent several hours discussing and explaining the gospel to them. During the evening some of their friends came in, who also seemed interested in what we had to tell them. After singing a hymn and having prayers with them, at their request, we left feeling very happy after our evenings experience.


Held our usual singing and sewings classes.

Fri. June 25, 1915.

Ashio Hong our Chinese member has been busy working among his fellow countrymen and has several interested investigators, one of whom he brought to see us to-day.

Sat. June 26.

As we have Saturday to ourselves after the cleaning and baking are done, we spent the afternoon developing and printing several dozen pictures. Studied my verses for the Sunday school lesson during the evening.

Sun June 27.

Held our usual Sunday meetings, Mr. Rossiter presiding and conducting. After church we called to see another Seventh Day Adventist family and spent several hours discussing our principles to them. They were very nice people and seemed very glad to see us and asked us to come often as they were impressed that that which we told them was true. One of their eight little children kissed me, when she came in, first on one cheek and then on the other after the French mode of greeting.

Mon. June 28, 1915.

The 4th anniversary of our marriage. Mr Rossiter gave me a beautiful hand made Brussells lace handkerchief as a token of the day. Spent a greater part of the day writing to the dear ones at home.

Tues June 29.

Wash day, and house cleaning.

Wed. June 30.

Ironed. In the evening called to see our Seventh Day Adventist family and found them as usual at their evening worship. We stayed only a short time however for there was a little new born babe at their house.

Thurs. July 1, 1915.

Conducted the weekly singing and sewing classes. During the sewing class elders Morgan, Jensen & Beesley from the New Zealand mission, arrived and called to the house.

Fri. July 2.

Entertained the New Zealand boys at dinner and later went to see them off on the steamship Marama.

Sat 3.

Cleaning & mending. In the afternoon Tahe and Ioane called to see us, they having come from Vairoa to Papeete to work in one of the hotels.

Sun. July 4.

Held our usual Sunday school meetings and I attempted for the first time to teach a Sunday School class. After a short talk on truthfulness & honesty (corrected many times by the children in the language) we practised singing an English and a Tahitian song. It being our national holiday a few American flags were in evidence which were always accompanied by the French flag as it is required by the government to show equal respect to the French flag. We waited anxiously all day for the boat signals, but as soon as it was sighted at six o’clock in the evening, we went down to the sea shore and sat on the beach for two hours, waiting for it to come into port. We were very anxious as usual to get our mail so Mr Rossiter & Davis went to the post office & waited for it until 11 pm. It was 2 a.m. before we had finished reading and talking about our letters.



  1. I feel sad that just after I discover my ggggg-Uncle Otto, he’s suddenly gone for the next year.

    Comment by iguacufalls — April 8, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  2. Venus was a successful missionary in part because she was the first of the American mission leader wives to be willing to travel among the smaller islands and live on them, sometimes for months at a time because transportation was so sporadic. Don’t be surprised if we run into Elder Stocks again!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — April 8, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

  3. Elder Stocks again —- The Suspense!
    What a delightful journal.

    Comment by Stephen Taylor — April 10, 2013 @ 6:05 pm

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