Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 1 August – 23 August 1915

Venus in Tahiti: 1 August – 23 August 1915

By: Ardis E. Parshall - April 21, 2013

(Previous installment)

Sun. Aug. 1. 1915.

Held Sunday School at 10:30 am. And just a short Fast meeting at 3 o’clock so that we could get to the wharf in time to meet the new missionaries we were expecting to arrive on the Marama. As soon as it landed we went on board in search of them and found Bros. John Monk of Cowley Wyoming & Geo. Burbidge and Albert Touse of Salt Lake. After their baggage was inspected we all went to the mission house and had dinner, Terai & Pupure coming with us. After visiting with our new companions for awhile and reading our mail, we all took a walk down to the seashore.

Mon. Aug 2, 1915.

Helped the new boys to get settled and assisted in preparing the mission paper for mailing.

Tues. Aug 3.

Spent the chief part of the day cooking and baking. Mahana called to spend the afternoon with me and ate dinner with us. I combed her hair the same as I do mine and she certainly looked pretty. She is the most affectionate girl I have ever met, hugging and fondling my hands incessantly. In the evening we all went for a walk and returning to the house held a class with the new boys.

Wed Aug. 4.

Washed in the morning. Studied & wrote to my husband besides preparing the meals. Also starched and stretched two pairs of curtains for Terai. In the evening we held our singing practice.

Thurs Aug 5.

I conducted the weekly classes, today beginning instruction in French embroidery. Mahana and Pupure came into spend the evening with us.

Fri. Aug. 6.

Bros Davis & Monk and myself went shopping to buy supplies for Mr. Rossiter and the other boys in the upper islands where variety of food is so difficult to obtain. After dinner Bro. Davis and I wrapped & packed a large box of oranges to send with the other things. At six thirty we took the new missionaries to call on Mr. Dean and his family, our Seventh Day Adventist friends, and spent a very pleasant evening discussing baptism & the Sabbath day.

Sat. Aug 7.

After our usual Saturday work we all went down to the wharf to see Bro John D. Monk off on the S.S. St. Francois for Takaroa. I also sent some food & several baskets of oranges to the other missionaries at Takaroa. We passed the market on the way back to the house so I bought and took a basket of oranges to Terai, our native mother, whois a widow & has to wash & iron for her living. At 7 o’clock we went down to see Mahana the young Protestant girl, who has been coming to see us so much lately.

Sun Aug 8.

We had a good sized turn out at our meeting to-day for the natives are always anxious to see the new missionaries. At the afternoon services Bros. Touse & Burbidge spoke in English and Bro Davis translated as they went. After church we and some of the natives called to see Tahuhu one of our members who had a bad cold.

Mon. Aug 9.

Spent the morning reading. After dinner we went fora walk on the mountains and took some pictures of the great upheavals of lava rock and the beautiful canyon valley where little white houses were dotted here and there, almost hidden from view by the dense tropical growths. Soon after we arrived at the house, Pupure brought us an immense stock of bananas sent by Mahana, our young Protestant friend. In the evening we went to see Mr. Poroi and his family. Each time that we visit them we seem to leave a stronger impression and are always invited to return.

Tues. Aug 10.

Washed in the morning. Studied & took pictures in the afternoon. At sunset we went for a walk along the beach. One of our members who works at a bakery shop, gave us some cream puffs when we called at her store

Wed. Aug 11.

Ironed and visited with some natives girls who called to see me. Conducted the singing class at 7: pm.

Thurs. Aug 12.

Studied & sewed. No one came to my sewing class, but Mahana and one of her friends rode up on their bycy[c]les in the evening to tell me they had forgotten it was Thursday.

Fri. Aug 13.

Friday the thirteenth. Had planned with some native girls to go bathing, but such a high wind came up that we thought it wouldn’t be safe as the sea was quite rough. Called to see Mahana, Tuerau, Kuhi and Marie, later going down to watch the boys bathe and take some pictures of them

Sat. Aug 14.

Cleaned, baked, studied and printed pictures.

Sun. Aug 15.

Held SS. at 10:30 am. and Sacrament meeting & [at] 3. pm. After Church Bros. Davis, Touse, Burbidge & I went with Terai to call on Moupha who could not come to church because her feet were broken out with running sores. She had been to the Protestant church, just a few steps from her house, and the head missionary had given each one present a verse to learn for the following Sunday when they were to bring offerings. He told them if they didn’t pay anything the Lord would be displeased with them, and if they would pay 50¢ be [he] would be pleased, but would not bless them. But in case they pay two dollars or more he would be very pleased with them & bless them. Moupha brought her verse home and read it and took it back to him again, and told him that her missionaries were not after money like they were, but preached for the love they had of the gospel. Her verse read “Inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me.

During the day I rubbed with linement and bound up a sprained thumb for Tepo.

Mon. Aug. 16.

Wrote several letters, after the morning work was finished

Tues. Aug 17.

Helped with the washing and mended. Ione came over to make a native oven and cook some breadfruit and feis for us. During the afternoon Mahana brought Manua one of her girl friends up to meet me.

Wed. Aug 18.

Ironed and started to make a silk dress. I was not in need of a new dress, but silk rots so quickly in this climate that I thought I had better make it & wear it a little before it got too fragile. Mahana called again with two of her friends and I spent an hour or so helping her play the organ. Ihiro [?] one of Timas boys came over from Dr. Williams island for food supplies and bought a Bible, Book of Mormon and two hymn books.

Thurs. Aug 19.

Sewed and studied all day. While we were eating dinner Ioane brought & planted an avotu tree in our yard for us. At about 9 pm when we were sitting on the up stair porch we heard some one come in the front door and called out to see who it was but as we got no answer we hurried to the stairway to investigate and found to our surprise Mr. Rossiter & Wm. Orton, from Takaroa, they having come back to Papeete because they could not make boat connections from Takaroa to Hikueru in time for Oct. conference.

Fri. Aug 20.

Torahi sent for me to come see her so Mr Rossiter & I went together and found her quite ill with pains in her stomack and back. I hurried home and fixed up some hot ginger tea for her, and she immediately said she was cured. The Josephite woman with whom she was staying was sick with indigestion so I prepared some medicine for her too. No matter what we missionaries do for them when they are sick they have so much faith in us that they are very readily relieved. About noon Elder Shaw surprised us by returning from Hikueru. In the evening Mr. Rossiter and I went down to Teai’s to deliver a letter from Otto, later going down to the wharf to see a new schooner that Maphui had sent down from Takaroa to be masted & rigged.

Sat. Aug 21.

When the Sat. work was finished we held a splendid priesthood meeting with Elders Davis, Shaw, Orton, Touse, Burbidge & Mr. Rossiter and I present, each one giving a report of their work since the last meeting and bearing their testimony. Just before our meeting was finished Numea a handsome young fellow from Takaroa, came in and stayed to have din[n]er with us. Later we all went with a party of young folks for a bath in the ocean.

Sun Aug 22.

We had a much larger attendence at our Sunday School to-day, chiefly young people from other islands. In my class I had three new boys about twelve years old. Tane a Toai and Emil & August Statt, two half caste boys. After Sunday School we held a spirited singing practice. Mr Rossiter quite surprised us by occupying most of the time in the Sacrament meeting speaking in the Tahitian language. After church we called on Mr & Mrs. Drollet, who treated us fine and invited us to come again. When we returned to the house the boys informed us that Numea had come to the house drunk, and wanted to see Mr. Rossiter, so he went with Tavi to give him a good talking to and take him back to Maphuis boat which he had brought down from Takaroa.

Mon. Aug 23.

Studied all morning. Last Wed when [blank] came over from Dr. Williams island, he told us the [that] his boat had overturned with him on the last trip and spilled all their food supplies in the sea. He says he knows it was because he owed the missionaries a dollar, so as soon as he arrived in Papeete this time he came straight to the house and paid his debt. He also bought a Bible and two new hymn books, and is looking for better luck on his return trip this time. The[y] are surely superstitious.

(To be continued)


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