Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 2 June – 2 July 1916

Venus in Tahiti: 2 June – 2 July 1916

By: Ardis E. Parshall - July 28, 2013

(Previous installment)

Takaroa Fri June 2nd, 1916.

The Manihiki returned to Tekei with Mapuhi & Elder Monk, so President Rossiter [decided] to go with them & stay for a few days. Held class at 7: pm with very few in attendance.

Sat. June 3rd, 1916.

I held a Primary meeting instead of on Thursday on account of the fast meetings.

Sun. June 4, 1916.

Held our regular Sunday meetings with Elder Pierson presiding and conducting. Kuraigno [the] insane woman is much quieter and lies singing from morning until night. When the Ditemar returned from Papeete it was loaded with oranges & bananas & it surely seemed good to taste a little fruit again after four months.

Mon. June 5, 1916.

Went visiting with the native lady missionaries. I also took a basket of oranges down to the sick girl and she ravenously devoured three one right after another, squeezing them through her hands & then rubbing it in her hair.

Tues. June 6, 1916.

Pres. Rossiter returned from Tekei. The boat was sighted in the morning, but the sea was so calm that it didn’t arrive until evening. two of the native men rowed about two miles out to sea in a small canoe, to bring Pres. Rossiter in and he was surely thankful for it was so terrifically hot standing still out on the boat. He brought with him a nice mess of sea crabs, & several large gorgeously colored cocoanut crabs to preserve & mount. At 7: pm we held gospel class.

Takaroa, June 7, 1916.

Spent the morning visiting families with the native sisters & conducted song practice in the evening. Took a basket of oranges and some iitas to the insane girl.

Thurs. June 8, 1916.

Conducted Primary meeting and attended Relief Society. Also took pictures of both & a group of native missionaries.

Takaroa Fri June 9, 1916.

Left on a small sailing vessel the “Ditema” for Tahiti. All of the people of the island gathered at the wharf where we held a short meeting before leaving. Huri and his wife gave me a shell hei and a silver& pearl breast pin. Unna gave us a young pig to take with us. In the late afternoon we stopped at Takapoto, where our friends Tu & Teura prepared supper for us. They also gave me some native jewelry & some shell heis. When we left they gave us a native basket full of fresh bread. The sea was a little rough and I was quite seasick. Several times I was drenched with the waves coming up on the boat.

Aratika Sat. June 10.

We stopped at Aratika to get a supply of haares & fish, and to collect some money for Tuikua. While we were going through the pass, the boat went on the rocks, but the boat being practically empty and through the quick work of the sailors we managed to get off again before any damage was done. Had the boat been loaded we surely would have been battered to pieces & washed out to sea, because the water rushes in and out these passes at a terrific rate.

Sun & Mon. June 11 & 12.

Fine sailing. Fine weather. Just at dark Mon. we arrived at Tautira, and as the captain wasn’t a[c]quainted with the pass, we anchored just outside & waited until morning.

Tautira, June 13, Mon.

During the night we had drifted several miles out to sea & as a dead calm had overtaken us the sailors had to row us in which took them several hours. At 11 am we landed and went to Tukuas daughters, where they prepared breakfast for us and se[n]t to the hills for all of the oranges we could eat. From Tautira Pres. Rossiter and I took the automobile stage to Papeete which is several hours drive through beautiful country villas, small native villages & groves of cocoanut trees. On one side of the road is the sea and on the other arose higher perpendicular cliffs covered with moss and a net work of green vines with now and again a tiny water fall making its way down to the sea. The little black native children along the way darted out of our road like a lot of little chickens. About five p.m. we arrived and [at] the mission house & found Bro & Sister Compton and Elder Orton feeling fine.

Papeete Wed. June 14, 1916.

Spent most of the day arranging our room and called to see “Dear old Terai.”

Thurs June 15, 1915.

Sister Compton and I went to nearly every store in town to get some things to send to Ruita in Takaroa. The “Ditema” came round from Tautira so we had Po, Teariki, Temanaha & his two boys at the house for dinner & supper.

Fri. June 16.

The men brought our trunks up and we were kept busy most of the day Emptying them and putting everything in its place.

Sat. June 17.

Cleaned the house, made some ariai syrup for Teata’s baby & some boracic wash for Hina, whose body w[as] broken out with running sores. I also trimmed a hat ready for Sunday.

Papeete, Sun June 18, 1916.

We held Sunday School with 9 present and Sacrament with five present. My but it did seem terrible after being up to Takaroa where we have such a lot of fine Saints. Pres. Rossiter & I were the speakers at the afternoon meeting.

Mon. to Sat June 19 to 24, 1916.

This is my week in the kitchen. Was also kept busy washing ironing & working around the house in general.

Sun. June 25.

Tukua & Heia who had come down from Takaroa with us came in from Tautira on the automobile stage to stay at our house until Wed. when they were to have a hearing in court about some land trouble.

Mon. June 26.

Heia made me a Tahitian dress & Tukua mended some of the Elders suits. A young native couple brought their two week old baby, who was ruptured at the navel, to the house for me to attend to. Sister and I bathed it in carbolic water, applied olive oil and bound it up well with a linen tin foil lined bandage.

Tues. June 27, 1916.

I spent the day mending Pres Rossiter and Elder Ortons clothes, as they are expecting to leave soon for the Tuamotus. In the evening Moeata and Mr. Parker called to see us. The men folks were all very busy, so Heia Tukua, Sister Compton and I entertained them. We had a long gospel conversation with Mr Parker & he became so interested that we asked to come back again another evening when the Pres. would be at leisure to talk with him.

Wed June 28, 1916.

Our fifth wedding anniversary so Pres. Rossiter furnished a dinner to the Elders in Papeete. We killed our cocoanut and banana fed pig & roasted it whole filled with dressing and had sweet potatoes, brown gravy, pork & beans, green peas, olives, banana salad & cottage pudding & oranges. Pres. Rossiter bought me a large cedar chest and a steamer rug for my wedding anniversary present.

Thurs. June 29, 1916.

Wrote letters all day.

Fri. June 30, 1916.

Washed and finished my letters.

Sat. July 1, 916.

Helped lean the house & ironed. In the evening the Moana arrived from New Zealand. We all went down to the wharf to see the people get off. Later we met Mr. Denois the governor of the Tuamotus and talked with him for a short time.

Sun July 2, 1916.

Our meetings were very much better attended. After Sunday School Temiro a Rua was baptized in the bathtub of the mission home.

(To be continued)



  1. “…cocoanut crabs to preserve & mount…”? I was going to say that that doesn’t sound like something you’d see on Pinterest, but I was wrong.

    Comment by Amy T — July 28, 2013 @ 9:27 am

  2. Coconut crabs are among my favorite crustaceans. They are a fun topic of discussion with my Science students.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — July 28, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  3. Horrors!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 28, 2013 @ 10:50 am

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