Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 5 August – 4 September 1916

Venus in Tahiti: 5 August – 4 September 1916

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 11, 2013

(Previous installment)

Sat. Aug 5, 1916.

Stamped & wrapped the mission paper for mailing. Helped with Saturday cleaning. Later Sister Compton and I went shopping and I went to Holmes to get the seko Pres Rossiter had left there to be mounted for a watch fob. Pani, one of our Saints brought us six nice crabs from Moorea. Mohi the native missionary who had stay[ed] with us for a few days left for his home in Tangiroa.

Sun. Aug 6, 1916.

Held S.S. & Fast meeting. Elder Compton blessed Hiros baby and gave it the name of Tihoti.

Mon Aug 7, 1916.

Washed, Ironed, stretched two pairs of curtains and one net bed curtain. Commenced a tub silk dress. In the evening Timitangi and the children came over, she had just received a letter from Roia, her husband, saying that he had performed three marriages and baptized six people at Tubuai.

Tues. Aug. 8, 1916.

Went to the dentist and sewed on my dress.

Wed. Aug 9.

Hung my bed curtains, mended, sewed on my dress. Later Sister and I went to town and bought a baby carriage.

Thurs. Aug. 10, 1916.

Finished my white dress & called to see Terai.

Fri. Aug. 11, 1916.

Went to the dentist. In the afternoon Martha Kausser and her baby came to visit us. Later we called to see Terai & Timitangi.

Sat. Aug. 12.

Went to the dentist. Helped with the cleaning and mended. I gave Sister Compton one of my kimonas. In the evening I commenced embroidering a baby pillow for her. Received letter from Ern.

Sun. Aug 13.

Attended Sunday School and Sacrament meeting at which Tahuhu and Timitangi were the speakers. They both with their families were to leave Monday for Tubuai. I gave Maupha, one of our Saints who has consumption, a large bottle of olive oil. About seven oclock Timitangi sent word that Hena was sick, so we went down and gave her a good hot foot bath, a dose of hot ginger tea, some physic, and some olive oil to rub on the mus[c]les of her neck and back, bundled her up in quilts and came home again.

Mon. Aug. 14.

I went to the dentist afterward down to see Hena, & she was broken out with an eruption from head to foot, making it impossible for them to leave for Tubuai until the next boat.

Tues. Aug. 15, 1916.

Went to the dentist. Felt very miserable all day so just sat and did hand work and layd down off and on all day. Toma brought us some fruit in from the district. And Vairao John called to see us.

Wed. Aug 16, 1916.

I went to the dentist, and, in the afternoon Sister and I called to see Princess Etwater in her beautiful new bungalow. She received us on her spacious front porch which is in reality an immense out of door sitting room, with its rugs, polished hard wood floor, piano with chair & couches, window seats ferns & its wealth of ancient Tahitianrelics of stone and weaving. She speaks English very fluently, in fact she had spent part of her life in America with her American husband. We spent a very pleasant afternoon and when we left she gave us both some roses. Later we called to see Mahana and found her quite ill, and on the way home we called to see Mapuhis sister who was also ill. In the evening we went down to the philharmonic orchestra practise at the Hotel”diadem.”

Thurs. Aug 17, 1916.

I went to the dentist as usual in the morning and after dinner Sister and I visited the following families to see if we couldn’t rouse them to attend to church more regularly. Mocata, Mouphi, Moina, Tahuhu, & Teata. We also called to see Mahana again to take a silk ribbon bag to her, that she had admired the day before. On the way home we called to see Maphuis sister again. At night we went down to Timitangis to try to persuade her obstinate and wild daughter Hina to go with her to Tupuai where they were to join Rua who is there doing missionary work.

Fri. Aug 18, 1916.

Went to the dentist again and while in the waiting room I had quite a Gospel conversation with two Protestant women from Haapapi. I also got into a gospel conversation with Dr. Williams. He isnt very much interested in religious matters, but he said that he had never run across a finer, cleaner lot of young men in his life than the young Mormon Elders that he met down here. The rest of the day I lay down.

Sat. Aug 19, 1916.

I layed down most of the day. Was feeling very miserable.

Sun. Aug. 20, 1916

Held Sunday School and Sacrament meeting.

Mon. Aug. 21, 1916.

Went to the dentist. The vessel for Tubuai left and we managed to get Timitangi and family off on it at last by paying their rent, boat fare and food for the voyage which amounted to $45.

Tues. Aug. 22, 1916.

Went to the dentist. The doctor called to see Sister Compton, after which we went shopping together.

Wed. Aug. 23, 1916.

We did a two weeks washing and ironing. Along about 3 o’clock in the night we were awakened by hearing voices down stairs, so we got up and went down to investigate and found Terai and Tecopu c[r]ouched, shivering, down in the dark corner, on the floor of the printing room. About 2 o’clock one of their pictures had fallen down from the wall and broken to pieces, w[h]ich they said was a sign to warn them of a death among some of their relatives. While they were sitting talking about it, the room was lighted up several times with sheet lightning, which to their native minds was another ill omen, and it was more than they could stand, so they had come up to the mission house to a place of refuge to stay until morning.

Thurs. Aug 24, 1916.

I went to the dentist in the morning, and wrote letters the remainder of the day.

Fri. Aug 25, 1916.

Went down in the morning to see the “Moana” come in. After dinner Sister & I called to see Terai, Maupha, & Marie. And met O Heiros wife on the road , who said that he had been sick for two weeks with the pupu. When we returned in the evening we walked along the wharf to see the five steamers that were in port.

Sat. Aug 26, 1916.

Helped with the Saturday cleaning and went to the dentist. In the evening to see the St. Francois leave for Huahira, and the Moana for America, on which a young bridal couple left for San Francisco to make their home besides several other people from Tahiti.

Papeete Sun. Aug 27, 1916.

We held Sunday School and Sacrament meeting. In the evening we were walking along the beach when Teata happened along in his auto & picked us up and took us for a ride.

Mon. Aug 28, 1916.

Went to the dentist and on the way home called in to see Mrs Henry, the Protestant Ministers wife. Later in the afternoon she came over to see Sister Compton’s baby clothes after which Sister and I took a short walk up the canyon. In the evening we called to see Terai, and there were two Catholic men there, and we had quite a discussion about the sacrament & they finally had to agree with us that it was an emblem and not the actual body and blood of Christ that we partake of.

Tues. Aug. 29, 1916.

Went to the dentist. We received several letters from Hikueru, but I didn’t get on[e] from Bro Rossiter, although he said in Elder Comptons letter, that he had written to me; so I went down to the postoffice & to the ship but could find no trace of it, so it must have been lost. I also took a letter from Elder Stocks down to Terai. At night I wrote to my husband, Elder Stocks and to Dorothy.

Wed. Aug 30, 1916.

The steamer “Maitai” arrived from America. At night I answered my letters before sending them to Ern. Sister after having slept with me a week on account of my heart went back to her own room, as I was feeling much better.

Thurs. Aug 31, 1916.

Went to the dentist and helped wrap the mission paper for mailing. I gave Sister two pillows, a baby carriage robe and a bib I have embroidered for her besides a silk hand-bag.

Fri. Sept 1, 1916

Went to the dentist. Helped stamp the papers. Terai had breakfast with us and also helped with the paper. When she left we gave her a basket of bananas, also one to Moupha, who called in while Terai was here. At night I wrote to my husband.

Sat. Sept 2, 1916.

Sister Compton commenced labor at 3: am, and at 7:15 pm after almost incessant labor all day, a fine 10 lb boy was born to her. The doctor having to take it with instruments.

Sun. Sept 3, 1916.

Elder Compton conducted the meeting and I stayed with Sister. I walked the floor with the baby most of the night. The milk hadn’t come yet, and Sister was having after labor pains.

Mon. Sept 4, 1916.

I am nursing Sister, caring for the baby & doing the washing and ironing while Elder Compton does the cooking. Washed all day & the doctor called twice. Princess Etwater called to see the baby. Took the baby & Sister’s picture.

(To be continued)



  1. Congrats to the Comptons! Did I miss something earlier? I don’t quite grok why there are all these visits to the dentist all of a sudden.

    Comment by Chad Too — August 12, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  2. Lot of trips to the dentist. Wonder if it was for her or someone else? The way it reads, I would take it was for her treatment. Ouch!

    Comment by David R. — August 12, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

  3. I can’t figure out why she’s having so many dentist visits — even if he were pulling all her teeth before dentures, it shouldn’t take this many trips. No clue.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 12, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

  4. “he had been sick for two weeks with the pupu.”

    Before my inner-ten-year-old giggles too much, do we know what condition “pupu” is?

    Comment by Edje Jeter — August 12, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

  5. Inner-10-year-old-Edje, come out and play. I have no idea — the online translators don’t do much with Tahitian!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 12, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

  6. Pupu-generally feeling bad all over to the best of my recollection.

    Comment by David R. — August 12, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

  7. Edje’s inner 10-year-old won’t giggle at that, David, but his mischievous outer adult might adopt that term…

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 12, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

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