Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 27 May – 5 July 1917

Venus in Tahiti: 27 May – 5 July 1917

By: Ardis E. Parshall - November 24, 2013

(Previous installment)

Sun. May 27, 1917

Nothing unusual. S.S. & meeting.

Mon. May 28, 1917

Sewing. The little Stewart children brought me a beautiful bouquette of roses, so I invited them & 5 of their little friends in & Sister & I served them with ice cream & cake.

Tues. May 29, 1917

Washed in forenoon. Later sister & I went with Elder Davis to buy a nice pearl brooch for him to take home to his mother.

Wed. May 30, 1917

Decoration day. Ironed our clothes. The electricians are here wiring the house for electric lights. Towards evening Elder Davis Sister Compton and I went down to visit a Mrs. Laurentzen the wife of a four mast schooner that was in port. Singing practice at 7: pm.

Thurs. May 31, 1917

Elders Davis & Pierson gave their farewell din[n]er as is the custom of all released Elders. Sister 7 I called to see Tetua ma, Tera & the Princess.

Fri June 1, 1917

Sister and I went shopping. Mrs. Etwater called. Also Mrs. Henry. Helped packed Elders Davis & Piersons trunks.

Sat. June 2, 1917

General Saturday work. Stretched 2 pairs of curtains for Terai. Went down to meet some native Saints from Takaroa who had arrived on the “Vahine Tahiti.” Parai & Teniko.

Sun June 3, 1917

Held S.S. & Sacrament meeting. Went down to see the boat come in from New Zealand.

Mon. June 4, 1917

Elder Ervin Pierson left for home on the Moana after a three & one half years mission. Spent the evening on board. Mr. Evans gave me a letter from his wife thanking me for the present I had sent her.

Papeete, Tues. June 5, 1917

Washed. In the after noon Sister & I walked up on the mountains with some native children & we ran on to a little Chinese hut in the center of a large patch of peanuts.

Wed. June 6, 1917

Ironed. Sister and I spent the afternoon with Mrs. Tindall & Cole. They have a lovely appartment on the water front. Their husbands are in the automobile business here. Practice.

Thurs. June 7, 1917

Shopping with Sister.

Fri. June 8, 1917

Sister & Marana & I took a walk up the canyon and gathered poinsettas in the evening, took the dress, bib & bonnet we had embroidered down to Madame Falcos for her baby. Mr. Falco is an Italian & very musical so we had a splendid time together playing & singing snatches from Italian operas.

Sat & Sun June 9 & 10 1917

Sister Compton was taken very ill & stayed in bed all day. Sunday I had to stay home from church with sister.

Mon. Tues. & Wed. June 11, 12, 13

Washed the baby clothes & cared for Sister. Wed evening held singing class.


Washed. Sister Compton received her release to return home as her health hasn’t been at all good since her baby was born last Sept. She has gotten so weak now that she can not even care for her baby, so Pres. thought it best to let her return home. Ern left at 5: pm on the Hei Teare for Hickueru & Hao.

Fri & Sat. June 15 & 16

Sewed all day making baby clothes for Sister Compton. Martha came over in the afternoon. Took medicine to Terahi several times during the day. Tuahine one of our saints from Apataki took din[n]er with us. Took medicine over to Terahi.

Sun. June 17, 1917

Held S.S. & Sacrament meeting. Took a walk along the water front.

Mon. Tues. Wed.

Cleaned house, washed & ironed.

I gave Sister Compton a beautiful native woven pillow cover.

Thurs. June 21

Closed my fasting which I began Tuesday. Finished making 3 dresses & one petticoat that I had embroidered for Sister Comptons baby. Went down to Mahanas & then to Tevaites to see if we could hire their horse to go around the island.

Fri. June 22, 1917

Sewed & mended all day. Called on Mahia & the Stewart family in the evening.

Sat. June 23, 1917

Saturday cleaning. Hei & Ruai called in the afternoon & we all went down to see a wedding procession at the Catholic church. On the way home I had a spell with my heart, so we stopped at Madame Falcos to rest a little before continuing home. Sister & I each bought a native woven table cover & sofa pillow.

Sun & Mon. June 24 & 25

Nothing unusual.

Tuesday. June 26, 1917

Washed. The Tupuai boat came in and Taivi sent us up a large bundle of popoi and a bundle of piere or dried bananas, tied up in dried leaves. Sister and I also bought two bundles of piere to send home to the folks. In the afternoon Sister & I & the baby had our pictures taken together. In the evening we took a large bowl of popoi down to Tindalls & spent a very pleasant evening. Martha came over during the day & invited us to go out to Afahiti to spend the weekend with her.

Wed. June 27, 1917

Ironed & prepared to go round the island. Held song practice at night.

Thurs. June 28, 1917

Left Papeete at 7: am on the auto stage and rode 50 miles around the island to Afaahiti to spend the weekend with Martha. It was a beautiful ride with the sea on one side & the high almost perpendicular mountains covered with a dense growth of tropical vegetation on the other. We arrived at Afaahiti about noon where we stayed with Lola, Martha’s half sister, & her husband Taroa & their three little children. There was also a native woman, Pairu, staying with them who waited on us hand & foot. They had a nice dinner waiting for us which we ate out in the dearest little bamboo thatched roof summer house. They have a nice five room (little) cottage in a center of a large cocoanut plantation just at the foot of the mountain. After din[n]er which consisted of pork, canned beef, feiis, eggs & bread. After dinner we went down by the sea & lay from an hour or so on a pile of palm branches in the shade of the cocoanut trees, feasting our eyes on our surroundings & day dreaming while Marama played in the sand.

Later we all walked down to Martha’s mothers place & went out on the rocks hunting for small shell fish which we ate raw & alive. I could hardly do it but I was game. The rest of them we cooked in the shell on red hot rocks & when cooked they tasted somewhat like an oyster. Returned home and after our supper of orange leaf tea we sat around & sang hymn[s] until we were ready for bed, while Taroa went out to catch shrimp for our dinner next day.

Afaahiti, Fri. June 29, 1917

After breakfast sister & I went down to our pile of palm branches down by the sea, & waited for the little boat that calls at all the districts carrying fruit & other native products to papeete to be sold. Taroa the man with whom we were staying was going to the city with $65 worth of copra he had made during the week & while we were waiting I had quite a long gospel conversation with him. After our shrimp din[n]er we went down to an orange grove to spend the afternoon & feast. The trunks of the trees were covered & hanging with beautiful green mosses & ferns. On the return trip Phil a young half caste boy & his mother over took us with the carriage & rode us home, for which we were very glad, for it [is] surely hard work walking along the hot sunny road with a baby over your hips native fashion.

We spent the evening listening to the women tell native legends & afterwards I told them the story of the Book of Mormon & showed them how they themselves were descendants of the tribe of Israel through the American Indian.

Sat. June 30, 1917

Sister & I remained at the house, while the folks went out to speak fish. After din[n]er, Martha Phil Sister & I & the children took a long ride through the Vairao & Taravas districts.

Sun. July 1, 1917

Fast Sunday. Sister & I layed in bed late & talked. Rode out to the Tautira river & called to see Temoe a Praputu & Marthas mother who had beautiful heis made of roses & tiare waiting to give us. This being the last day of our stay they killed a suckling pig & childrens [sic], made poi & had a regular Tahitian fast ready for us when we broke our fast at 6 pm. Taroa returned from Papeete & at night the neighbors came in and we sang native songs & hymns until about 9: pm.

Mon. July 2, 1917

Got up early & went out to gather ferns to take back to Papeete. Martha & Phil cut a large fern that was growing in the dead branch of a tree for us to take also. We ran out of gasoline & stopped about one hour at Paea, while the chauffeur hunted for a new supply. Papeete seemed so dry, dirty, dusty & hot after our stay in the country. After lunch Sister & I went down to get our photos & called in to see Mrs Henry who told us that Mrs Falco had given birth to a baby boy while we were gone, so we called over to see it. her husband had presented her with a pair of elegant pearl ear rings when the baby was born. Later we called in to see Terai who was not feeling well.

Tues. July 3, 1917

Washed & went shopping. Called to see the princess in the evening.

Wed. July 4, 1917

The “4th.” Ironed & made pictures during the day. Evening we bought a lot of peanuts & candy & celebrated. Also called on Terai.

Thurs. July 5, 1917

Went shopping with Elder Davis to buy supplies for one of the native missionaries, Rua. Called in to see Lena & her new baby on the way home. Rirava called with some fancy patchwork p0illow covers she had made for Sister Compton.

(To be continued)


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