Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 19 March – 20 April 1918

Venus in Tahiti: 19 March – 20 April 1918

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 09, 2014

(Previous installment)

Tues. March 19, 1918

Elders Monk, Orton, McCullough, Bensen, Steedman Pres. Rossiter and I sat for a group picture.

Wed. March 29

Made guava jelly in the morning. In the afternoon I attended a luncheon given by my artist friends Mrs & Miss Edwards of Australia. A Mrs. Silver wife of the owner of the cocoanut oil plant, was there, and invited us all to her house.

Thurs. March 21

Was set apart for fasting & prayer in behalf of Elder Monk’s eyes and Elder Orton anointed him with oil & Pres. Rossiter sealed the anointing. Mrs. Bella Walker sent me four slips of the beautiful Bougainville vine to plant.

Fri. March 22

Called to see Mrs. Etwater & Terai. Mrs. Etwater is planning to leave by next steamer for Frisco, where she will go into a sanitarium for her health.

Sat. March 23

Cleaned house. Held Priesthood meeting.

Sun. March 24, 1918

Held regular Sunday meeting. Prs. Rossiter & elders McCullough & Steedman had arranged for passage on one of Mr. Nicola’s boats, but it went off & left them. They did the same thing just a year ago. He is a strong Catholic & apparently doesn’t like to carry Mormons on his vessel.

Mon. March 25, 1918

Washed. Tecopu started organ lessons. Sophie brought me a bouquette of roses.

Tues. March 26, 1918

Ironed. Gave lessons. At night took dinner with Pres. at the Tiare Hotel.

Wed. March 27

Lessons to Daha & Tecopu. I have had a severe pain in my right side for two weeks past, and it seemed to be getting worse all the time, so Elders Monk and I were administered to by the Elders (he for his eyes). Pres. Rossiter left on the St. Francois for Makemo where he hoped to be able to hire a small boat to get to Hickueru in time for April conference.

Thurs. March 28

Called to see Madame Falco & she fixed a nice little lunch for us. She gave me a glass of jelly when I left. Terai & Tecopu came up in the evening.

Fri. March 29

Made a kettle of guava paste that I had learned of at Madame Falco’s yesterday. Mahana arrived from N.Z.

Sat. March 30, 1918

Took my mail to the post office and sent a package of piere to mother & Margaret, also a grou picture of us & the Elders. Called to see the princess (Mrs Etwater) who was leaving for America, & gave her a photograph of Margaret, Marama & me. Went down to see the boat off with Madame Falco.

Sun. March 31, 1918

While in Sacrament meeting the native translation of ‘Some Time We’ll Understand’ & ‘Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd” flashed across my mind, so I borrowed a pencil from Elder Orton and jotted them down, before they were lost to me. Translations for songs often flash upon [me] in just such extraordinary times and if I don’t write them instantly they are lost to me. Once when I was traveling to Hickueru on the St. Francois the words to ‘Aloha Oe’ & “Jesus Wants me For a Sunbeam’ came to me in just such a way. Other times I have gotten up from my sleep in the small hours of the night, to jot down a song I have dreamed out.

Mon. April 1st, 1918

Gave music lessons in the morning. In the afternoon I had Mrs. Falco, Lucy & matilde Drollett in for tea. Served them guava ice cream, candied guava paste, cocoanut macaroons & limeade. Later we spent the evening with Mr Falco on the beach chatting with friends.

Tues. & Wed. April 2 & 3, 1918

Gave lessons to Tecopu, Vairao, Maupha, Teraro, Daha & Madaline. Received a card of departure from Madame Etwater. The ship from America was sighted about 4: pm so Elder Monk and I went up on the hillside to watch its approach. Paloona anchored at 6: pm, but he did not receive our mail from the poste-office until midnight. Remained up until 2: am to read it. Received a letter from Sister Susie Y&. Gates, asking me to prepare a sketch of the history of the Relief Society of the Tahitian mission to be printed in the Relief Society magazine to-gether with picture of our officers, places of meeting etc. also received a letter from Sister Amy B. Lyman, with a copy of the March R.S. magazine, which contained the report of our work during 1917. Also clippings from several Salt Lake papers of the little write-up she had published concerning our unique means of obtaining Society funds, and a copy of our Annual report. Also received a picture of Anna Borqquist, Mollie & sisters were leaving California for home after a two months stay there.

Fri & Sat. April 5 & 6

Usual daily programm. Nothing unusual.

Thurs. [April] 4, 1918

Since I have commenced giving organ lessons, parents of children from all denominations are coming to me, to teach their children. And almost every day when the Elders are out tracting someone asks them to induce me to teach their children, but at present my time is pretty well occupied teaching our own children.

Sun. April 7, 1918

Fast Sunday. Held regular Sunday meetings. Terai had dinner with us.

Mon. April 8, 1918

Washed clothes, mended several pairs of garments for Elder Monk & gave lessons.

Tues. April 9, 1918

Ironed. Lessons. Called to see Mahana, Terai & Madame Falco. Mahana was ill with a spell of heart trouble.

Wed. Apr. 10, 1918

lessons. Mended mission house sheets. Ran down to Terai’s in the evening.

Thurs & Fri & Sat, Apr. 11 & 12 & 13

Lessons. Rest of days spent in hunting through mission records for material to write a historical sketch of the Relief Society to be published in the R.S. journal at the request of Sister Susie Y. Gates. Konea a Moki arrived from Vairoa & Martha came in from Afahiti, so I called on the both for a few minutes.

Sun. Apr. 14, 191[8]

Held regular Sunday Services. Mrs. Stewart and children called in the afternoon.

Mon. Apr 15, 191[8]

Washed & gave lessons. Martha Krausser gave me a fairly good sized crude Tahitian green stone. It resembles very much the emerald when cut and polished. Called on Konea & Taha.

Tues. April 16, 1918

Ironed. Gave lessons and in the afternoon walked out to Hamuta with the Elders to visit and take some literature to Mr. Wm. Walker, who has been investigating now for nearly three years. He is a descendent of one of the earliest London Missionary Society missionaries who came to Tahiti in 1773. Mr Walker has brought us a stock of bananas every week for three years from his plantation.

Wed. April 17, ’18

Searched Church records all day besides giving music lessons besides other daily duties – cooking – house etc. Received a letter form Ern, parts of which were written at Raiatea, Apalaki, Takaroa, and Makema, where he had left the steamer & had arranged to take passage on a small sailor to Hickueru for April Conference.

Thurs. April 18, ’18

Dentist. Lessons. About dark I was very lonely and disturbed in mind, so walked around the yard for a while and then slipped unseen into the church, where I gave vent to my feelings in hot tears. It was quite late and the moon was high when I came out again but before doing so I had knelt on my knees in the dark church, to receive comfort from on high, & my prayer was instantly heard for when I was so uplifted and cheered that I spent a happy evening, singing & talking with the Elders & some native friends who had come in.

Fri. April 19, ’18

Busy with lessons & other duties all morning. Spent the afternoon sewing & singing down at Madam Falco’s. While there learned from Madame Goupill, that some of the members of the local Reorganite Church were suing Mr. Ellis, their presiding white elder, because he had ordered the natives living at Tarano, to pay rent or remove their houses form the land which they had formerly bought but which he was trustee in trust for.

In the evening we held a short service at the home of Moina & Reno, who had lost a little grandchild in the afternoon.

Sat. April 20, 1918

Held funeral services at 7: am for Mahini, a little child. It was buried at the “Pawisni.” Bought a frame for Ell & Bob’s picture.

(To be continued)



  1. The entry for April 18 is especially touching.

    Comment by Gary Bergera — February 9, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  2. I have been away from Keepa for a while. It is sure nice to get caught up on Venus’s activities.

    Comment by Jeffery Johnson — February 9, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

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