Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 19 June – 23 July 1918

Venus in Tahiti: 19 June – 23 July 1918

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 02, 2014

(Previous installment)

Wed. June 19

Gave 4 lessons. Ern & the Elders commenced painting the porches, also varnished the staircase & wood work in the hall & parlor and all of the parlor & dining room furniture. Ruita Estall commenced organ lessons.

Thurs. June 20, ’18

Australian transport anchored at Papeete. I showed several soldiers through the Church, and gave them some shells & fruit. Had a talk with Daha, entreating her to be a little more particular of the girls she associated with, and to remain home more of her time.

Fri. June 21, ’18

Attended the military service at the Caserne. In the evening Ern & I called on Falcos. Ern repotted a lot of my ferns & repainted all the tins, plant stand & we bought a nice strip of hemp matting for the front porch, and altogether it looks very nice & cosy.

Sat. June 22, ’18

After dinner went to the hospital to visit Mahana. Also called to see Mrs. Edwards. Miss Edwards was making a yellow tulle dress to wear to the Gov. reception in the evening, so I remained an hour or so to assist her. Mrs. Edwards presented me with a new cook book. Arie Ae made me half dozen embroidery hoops of green bamboo to take to the upper islands to the girls of my embroidery classes.

Sun. June 23, ’18

After our regular service Mrs. Stewart invited us to attend a service at their church which was to be conducted by the Army Chaplain from off the British transport which was in port.

Mon. June 24, ’18

Varnished the furniture in our bedroom and put some pretty new matting down which it was very much in need of.

Tues. June 25, ’18

Washed, and stretched curtains & bed curtains, besides washing. Gave several organ lessons & called at Hospital to see Mahama.

Wed. June 26, ’18

We received a letter & picture from Hickueru showing how rapidly the new church house there was being erected.

Called on Maupha & had the Dr go and see her, who said that she had cancer of the stomach & her life was just a matter of time.

Thurs. June 27

The mail arrived from America but no letters from mother or Margaret. Received a picture & two magazines from Mrs Grant Benson, Elder Bensons wife, also picture from Helen & letters from Zina & Sister Woolley.

Mrs & Miss Edwards who are leaving by this steamer for Australia called to see us & present me with her picture & a book of poems. I gave them each a fine strand of shells a blister pearl, several pipi patoe, and some pipi pearls. They also gave me a bottle of smelling salts.

Fri. June 28th, 1918

A contingent of young Tahitian soldiers left for the front. Also our friends Mrs. & Miss Edwards for their home in Australia.

Sun. June 29th, ’18

After Sacrament meeting Ern & I walked out to Tepaepue to visit Mrs. Smith. She was much interested in our gospel conversation and we left her 8 tracts.

Mon. July 1, ’18

Gave usual lessons all morning. Ern and I went to the hospital to visit Maupha and Mahana. Maupha looks much better, but poor Mahana was in a very bad condition. One weeks time since I saw her last shows a great deal fo change in her. Rec’d letter of thanks & taking leave from Edwards.

Tues. July 2, ’18

Gave lessons & wrote letters to send home by an Australian vessel which was leaving for America. Called to see Mahana again. Also90 finished translating hymns for the new song book.

Thurs. July 4, ’18

Celebrated with a parade in the morning & Mr. Layton the American consul received all day. I made a freezer of ice cream & invited Terai.

Fri. July 5, ’18

Mended & patched Ern’s boxes & trunk.

Sat. July 6, ’18

Ern left by St Francois for Hickueru.

Sun July 7

Fast Sunday. Called to see Mahana.

Mon, Tues & Wed

Busy with lessons & cleaning house. Madeline gave me two very pretty seed heis.

Thurs. July 11

Called to see Daha, Terai and Mahana who were ill. Wrote letters.

Fri. July 12

Called on Mrs. Coles, Mahana & Terai. Received a letter form Mrs Edwards by the Paloona which was posted at Rarotonga. In part she said, “I had the priviledge while on board to do a little defending for the Mormons & Mormonism, and I concluded with statements I had heard the British & American Consuls at Tahiti say in regard to them – I think I shall have to apply for a decoration of some sort for my championship of Mormonism, eh! When I have my pearls made up I’ll call it my M. Decoration. But if this thing goes up I’ll apply for a star or a crescent to attach to my broach.”

Sat. July 13, ’18

Mended curtains, also clothing for myself and Elder Orton. to-morrow – Sunday – being the French national holiday, I made a cake and a freezer of chocolate ice cream today.

Sun. July 14, ’18

Held regular Sunday services. Elder Orton & Heslop called on the Gov. with the other American people of Tahiti. Terai remained for dinner & we sat up on the porch & listened to the Band concert over at the square.

Mon. July 15, 1918

Gave 4 lessons towards evening called on Pahano & Tahirima.

Tues. July 16, ’18

Lessons. Shopping for mission house. Called to see Mahana.

Wed. July 17, ’18

Called twice to see a sick child at Maupha’s. The Elders & I house cleaned 3 bed rooms.

Thurs. July 18, ’18

Called to see the sick child Timi again, his mother informed me had thrown up a worm 14 in long. Housecleaning.

Fri. July 19, ’18

Called twice to see Timi, he was burning up with fever. At 11P pm the Elders were called to administer to him, after which he went to sleep & slept until morning, while previously he was delirious with fever. A large Swedish cargo stopped at Tahiti having been afire for 12 hours while at sea. It was carrying a cargo of flour & the fire is supposed to be of German origin.

Sat. July 20, ’18

The Moana arrived from New Zealand. I called to see Terai, Mahana & Timi the sick child. The day was set apart for fast & prayer to receive a special blessing.

Sun. July 21, ’18

Held regular Sunday services after which the Elders Terai & I walked down to see the burning Swedish vessel. Received a letter form New Zealand from Mrs. Edwards.

Mon. July 22, ’18

Received answer to my fasting & prayer.

Tues. July 23, 1918

Spent the week hemming sheets & table cloths for the mission house & making p8illo cases from the good portions of worn out sheets, besides visiting the saints & sick friends. Thurs. Elders & I walked up St Amelie canyon & visited the Protestant school, while there we watched the St. Francois come into the harbor. Also made a dress for little Veneta Takangua a Tauhura.

(To be continued)



  1. A worm 14 inches long? Yikes!

    Also, is this the first installment not to have any mention of going to the dentist?

    Comment by Gary Bergera — March 2, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  2. I fire of German origin?

    Comment by Carol — March 2, 2014 @ 5:12 pm

  3. I mean “A fire . . .”

    Comment by Carol — March 2, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  4. Seems like it, doesn’t it, Gary? :)

    Suspected sabotage, Carol — Tahiti is French, so Germany is the enemy during World War I.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 2, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  5. Oh, duh. I was trying to connect it to flour. If it had a cargo of ammunition I would have caught that.

    Comment by Carol — March 2, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

  6. It is nice to spend my Sunday evening with Venus.

    Comment by Jeffery Johnson — March 2, 2014 @ 11:36 pm

  7. “the fire is supposed to be of German origin”

    Of course, but it may or may not have been, since flour is dangerously combustible.

    Comment by Amy T — March 3, 2014 @ 9:12 am

  8. I suppose everything that went wrong anywhere was suspected sabotage during the war!

    I worked for a fire department for several years, and learned there about the combustibility of flour, and sawdust. Anything that burns, burns faster when it’s in smaller pieces, so flour and sawdust are practically explosive as the spark jumps so quickly from one particle to another. Ouch!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — March 3, 2014 @ 9:38 am

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