Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Woof what a crazy week.  Tell Justus congrats with cross country and I'm excited for him to do Squaw Peak!  Tell Tristan good luck in drumline.

My French is a ton better now.  I'm starting to pick up more and more of what people are saying.  I'm reading Te Buka A Moromona and understanding a little of it.  Frere Patu is now the First counselor for the Young Men, how cool is that?!

Guess what?  It snowed!  Not.  It is still 90+ degrees all the time.  The members here are always asking me about snow because they have never seen it.  Oh, I set up my mini tree and have my Nativity scent out now. This last week was really rough.  Out of 30 planned lessons, we taught 14.  Everyone else cancelled or wasn't there.  So we did porte a porte (door to door) with no  avail.  There are so many kids in our ward, and they love the missionaries.  The people are so kind here.  All day all we hear is IA ORA NA ELDER MA! (Hello Elders!).  There is a guy in our ward who says his mission companion was and Elder Heaps from Lehi.

I sent a letter to Alec and Whitney about two or three weeks ago so it should be there soon.

I have been having marching band and music withdrawals lately, you know it is bad when you are whistling your marching band show from your sophomore year.

Well I must be going.  I love you all and am excited to hear from everyone!

Faaitoito! Ua here au ia otou!

Elder Fitzsimmons

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 26, 2012

 Mama!  I am a little jealous of the cold weather you are having.  It is always 90+ with 100% humidity, so at the end of the day we smell rank.  Our shower is an old garden hose outside; I love it!  I missed everyone at Thanksgiving, that was the day of our zone conference so for lunch we had chow mien, salad , and ice cream.  I'll attach a picture of my Thanksgiving dinner which consisted of pear from Raiatea.  haha.  So it is official, we have a wedding and baptism for Louis on the 15th of December and the same for Jean on the 22nd!  CRAZY!  It has been difficult because we are supposed to be teaching about 30 lessons a week and this week we only taught 16.  What a bummer.  We do at least one blessing for the sick or for comfort a day, and sometimes we do ten a day.  We are for sure busy.  Every night we either eat fish from the lagoon or chicken with rice and fruit.  SO much food!  The raw fish is o.k., it will take a little while to get used to.  The first thing I'm doing when I get back is drinking water from the tap and mowing the lawn! hahaha. But, that will have to wait, we've got souls to save.
So I hear Colby is getting married in March?  Don't ask mow I know, I have my sources haha!  Be sure to tell him and Danaca congrats for me.  Oh, last week we were going door to door trying to find where someone lived (there aren't addresses here) and we found a man who, get this, looks EXACTLY like Freddie Mercury!  Mustache, teeth and all!  Woot!  I was going to ask for a pic with him but I had left my camera at the house that day.  What is new in the good ol' town of Lehi?  How are brothers?  Dad?  How is the ward?  We wear our pants here, and sandals with socks.
Well, I must be going.  Have to build the Lord's kingdom!  I can't wait to hear from everyone!  Faaitoito!
Elder Fitzsimmons

November 19, 2003

Eaha parau api?  What is new?  I miss you all so much and I am jealous that you are all going to Phoenix without me!  Have fun and give everyone a hug from me.
After this week we should have eight investigators with baptism dates and a whole bunch of wedding dates!  Woot!  We started teaching a young girl named Marania.  She is the daughter of one of our investigators and wanted to be baptized.  We also have a baptism scheduled for the 22nd of December.  My French is still improving and I can read and comprehend everything.  I'm starting to pick up more of what people are saying as well.
I placed two Books of Mormon this week!  On Saturday there was a baptism meeting for the two other elders on the island - two new members of the Church!  On Sunday Elder Bluker, the Bishop and I conferred the Melchizedek priesthood to Frere Patu.  He is such an awesome man and is very kind.  His kids love us so much and always yell out the window of their house when we pass by on our bikes.  We teach almost all of our lessons on the beaches because the people's houses are right there.
Every night we have a faatamaaraa (dinner appt.) with a member family.  SO much food all the time.  We were eating with our DMP (ward mission leader) and his family and I had eaten four plates of food and he asked me if I was paia (full)?  I said yes and they said not a problem, EAT! hahahahaha.  Even with all of this food I've lost a bunch of weight.  My shirts are all big on me especially my t-shirts.  I would definitely love some socks and shirts and a hat in a package.
I spend so much time on my bike, so I get to think alot and I miss my brothers and friends; so I peddle harder!  We have our first zone conference this Thursday on Raiatea.  I'm super stoked.  Oh, tell Jeni Bodine that I found her Tahitian twin!  If she will write me I'll tell her all about her.
Well, that is about it for this week I do believe.  I love you all very much.  It is crazy that I'm almost four months into my mission!  Hug Mary Jane for me.

Elder Fitzsimmons

November 12, 2013

Mama and Family!
Woof.  What a crazy week.  Every day we bike around the cost from Vaitape over to I think it is called Anau. 
Our house is pretty much a large house made of plywood with a tin like roof, but compared to the other houses, it is a castle.  I love it here on Bora Bora.  We have running water but can't drink it because we will get sick from it, so we buy bottled water.  
Two of our investigators have wedding and baptism dates set for December and January.  We help with weddings.
We have a church building, it is an open air building which means that the walls are pretty much windows that open and there are a bunch of fans.  We don't drink a lot of Coke, mostly water and something that is like Kool Aid.  It is a liquid syrup that you mix with water.  The people here have the most and the strongest faith I've ever seen.  That is why we are able to work miracles here.  In one of our lessons three neighbors were blasting Tahitian dubstep and the wind was out of control.  It was impossible to feel the Spirit, let alone hear the investigator.  I said a silent prayer while Elder Bluker was trying to teach and instantly all of the music and the wind stopped.  The investigator's name is Ernest and he and his family committed to have family prayer and come to church.  I know that if we humble ourselves and ask God, if it is in His will we can achieve all things.
I love you all and can't wait to hear back from you all.
Elder Fitzsimmons

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, November 6, 2012

Hello Mama!!
Ia ora na from BORA BORA!  It is so so so beautiful here!  My first dinner here was with a recent convert family who is so kind and funny, the Patu family.  We had rice, chicken and a whole bunch of pineapple and mangos!  My companion's name is Elder Bluker.  He is such a kind guy and he is an amazing missionary.  We placed our first Book of Mormon together next to one of the beaches here, and my first lesson was with Louis.  He is Tahitian and lives in the sticks.  We hiked up to his house and taught him overlooking the lagoon.  We read Mosiah 24 in Tahitian with him and I told him about why I love the Book of Mormon in Tahitian.  The gift of tongues is real.  Today, we went with the Patu family on a hike since it is our p day.  We went up the mountain here.  On the top there are two cannons that the U.S. put here during WW2.  The Patu family brought a permanent marker so we could all sign our names and dates in them so when we come back with our families, they can see them.  My area is the whole southern half of the island.  It is very hot, about 90 degrees and 100% humidity.  I absolutely love it here.  The water here is bad for our health so we have to buy bottled water every day.  Please put up the address for the mission home here so I can get letters from everyone!  I love you all and I can't wait to here from all of you!  Oh,and I have officially had fresh coconut.  We have a coconut tree.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good morning Mama!  I got the package that you and dad sent and I also got a delicious package of pumpkin bread from Aunt Julie.  So, this week is our LAST WEEK at the MTC (THANK GOODNESS) we started to learn how to "contact" in Tahitian.  This is possibly the most difficult thing I've done in my life.  In French it is so easy.  So contacting is where you greet a random srtanger on the street and you try to get them interested in the Gospel and ask for their address and phone number and set up a time for a lesson.  A possible opening line would be something like this... Ia ora na!  E aha to oe Huru?  E mau missionare maua i te ekaresia a lesu mesia i te feia mo'a i te (restored.  I can't remember the word for it.  It is very long) evanelia no lesu Mesia.

Woof! Crazy huh?  I'm glad that Alec and Whitney came over to visit.  How is family?  Tell Tristan good luck for me down in St. George, they will do awesome.  Tell Justus he doesn't hinaaroo (need) to worry about those stinky girls.  I absolutely love the Nativity that you sent.  I was so excited for when we fly into Tahiti because I would be able to see it from the plane but, I then realized that it is going to be about 5:00 in the morning when we land there.  GUH!  that is o.k., maybe I'll get to see it on a transfer.

Well I need to go switch my laundy now.  I love you all so much.  Can't wait to here from all of you!

Much love,

Elder Fitzsimmons

So far this week, I've been getting very, very nervous about going to Tahiti, because of the language and such.  We know how to communicate about the Gospel, but that is it.  I've been wondering if I'll have the experience like in the best two years"that's not the language they taught me at the MTC!"  AHHHH!

When I get there, I'll tell you where my assignment will be.  How cool would it be if I was put on Bora Bora?  I don't care where I'm assigned at all.  They are all God's children.  E mea oaoa i te evanelia si lesu Mesia ia vau.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes me happy).

Look at me!  I have three months under my belt now!  It is CRAZY how fast that time has flown.  I am so exited to be with the people of Tahiti.

Ua here au ia oa!  E parau mau to Buka a Moromona e i te ekalesia ato'a!  Ua here au i tei nei ekalesia!  (I love you!  The Book of Mormon is true and the church also!  I love this church!)

Stay safe and don't forget to floss!

Elder Fitzsimmons

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hello again!  So, official travel plans, I depart from the MTC on November 2nd and leave for the airport at 4:30 p.m..  It's almost time!  I'm excited for the warm weather, but just thinking about all the snow that will be here soon breaks my heart.  All of our zone that came in with us left Monday and today.  It was difficult to say goodbye to so many friends at once, but we all got each others contact info. so we can catch up after the mission.
How are you mama?  Any new news?  When does Tristan leave for St. George?  Tell Justus to tell those girls to stay away!  hahaha.  I would love a phone card for the airport.

I have yet to be called up to give a talk on Sunday, it kind of bums me out.  I've prepared all these small talks in French and Tahitian, and I haven't gotten to use them yet.

We were talking with one of our branch presidency (he is new so I can't recall his name right now) and he was telling the Elders that after a month we will lose about 20 lbs.  SWEET!  He said this is because of all the biking that we will be doing and all of the fruit and rice and fish.  I've been running and lifting weights every day here, but no weight loss.  Because of the food here, everthing is fried or covered in gravy.  So no need to worry about me being unhealthy.

Tell Tristan and Justus that I love getting their letters.  They always make me laugh.  How is Mary Jane?  How is dad doing?  How is the ward?

Thanks for the CTR rings mama!  My instructor said that the kids that I teach will love them!

Well, I have to get going, I have lunch and then a haircut today!  I'm kind of freaking out about it a little because it is my first one that hasn't been from mama.
I love you all so much  I can't wait to hear back from you.

Ua here roa vau ia oe!

Elder Fitzsimmons

Friday, October 19, 2012

Change of travel plans!


Change of travel plans!  Today I received my travel plans and I leave for Tahiti October 31st!  Tell everyone if they want to hear from me before I leave that they need to write soon.  

Much Love,

Elder Fitzsimmons

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Hello once again family and mama!
It has been a wonderful week!  Last Tuesday for the devotional, Elder David A. Bednar came and talked to us.  One of the coolest experiences ever.  Other than that, nothing much new has happened other than we are teaching full lessons in both French and Tahitian right now.  Sometimes it's difficult to think in one language and then shift to the other.  Just because they are so different.  But I LOVE them both so much.  I was reading my Patriarchal blessing yesterday and I came across a small part that I never remembered reading before.  It said that he (President Ellsworth and God) bless me with the courage to open my mouth and what will need to be said will fill my mouth and that because of this people will trust me because they will know that what I am telling them is right.  I can't begin to tell you how true and real this blessing is.  So many times in our lessons my mind goes blank.  Even though I've prepared so well.  I say a quick little prayer in my heart to ask God to help me fulfill His will and BOOM, I open my mouth and suddenly French and Tahitian is coming out.  Sometimes words and phrases that I don't remember learning.  

How is the family doing?  What is new in Lehi and the world?  How are you mama?  I told Whitney that she needs to come visit you with Alec.  Less than three weeks and I'll be in TAHITI!  That is if we get our Visa's...We still haven't heard anything about them yet.  We  are all a little worried.  I'm so excited to get to Tahiti and serve all of the beautiful people there.  This is going to be such a blessing in my life.  Oh, I'm also so proud of Bryce!  He wrote me and told me that he is starting the process to put his papers in!  WOOT!  It is very possible that the trapezoid (me, Kyle Newbill, Paul Struthers, and Bryce Fueston) could be sharing our Lord's Gospel to the world at the same time!  That would be so cool.  What is even cooler is that Tristan and I could be serving together at the same time as well.

Thanks for everything that you all do.  I love you all and can't wait to hear back from you!

Keep your baptizing hand strong

Elder Fitzsimmons

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello again Mama!

How are things going?  I'm still loving it here at the MTC.  Not much to report, other than we are starting to understand the Tahitian language.  At first, it was the hardest thing I've done. It is a completely different way of thinking and now that we know how it is structured, I love it!  Every night we sing together as a district from the Hymn book in Tahitian - like five or six songs.  Last night our last song was Love at Home and all 13  of us were shedding tears.  The Spirit was so strong, it was incredible.  Speaking of the Spirit, this last Sunday was Fast Sunday.  It's the same as the regular testimony meetings at home except...... It is in your mission language.  At first I told myself that I wasn't going to get up and bear my testimony, and with 10 minutes left I had a huge prompting to get up.  So, like the obedient missionary that I am, I went up to the front and in French and Tahitian bore my testimony of the Restoration and the power of the priesthood.  I was also prompted at the end to tell the story of when Dad and I gave Scott Hicken a blessing at the hospital.  I don't know why, but I went ahead and did it anyway.  I know that this is the true church and it is the only church with God's restored priesthood.  I also know that the Priesthood can work miracles.

I love you all and can't wait to hear from all of you, especially brothers.
Well, I'm off to choir rehearsal for the devotional tonight.  (Fingers crossed that it is Elder Holland!).

Love you!
Ua here au la oe!

Elder Fitzsimmons

Learning Tahitian

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hi Mama!  How are you this week?  We have officially finished learning French and we started learning Tahitian yesterday!  Tahitian is such and awesome language.  How is everyone?  How is Dad feeling?  How is the marching band doing?  I just want to get out of the MTC and out to Tahiti!  I love it here but I know it well be so much more awesome out there.  So about general conference: they are not having a missionary choir this time because they had one for the last time because David Arche- however you spell it was here.  Poop.  Oh well.  I am sorry that this letter is a little shorter than usual, the computer was freaking out and wouldn't let me log in.  How is Lehi?, and MaryJane?  Tell brothers hello from me and give them a big hug.  I love being able to go to the temple every week to do temple work.  Be sure to play some Queen for me in the kitchen.  It is so cool always having the Spirit with me.

Tell Justus Congrats on his cross country meet!  That is cool that he is doing so well.  Tell Tristan good luck at his marching band competition.  They will be great this season.

I love you Mama

O thanks for the hand soap and the licorice!

Love Elder Fitzsimmons

Learning Tahitian

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2013
Thank you so much for the video of MaryJane!  It was so good to see her healthy.  This has been such a good week.  On Sunday, we watched a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland titled, MISSIONS ARE FOREVER, talk about some powerful stuff.  He shared a poem that went something along the lines of
"Come to the edge" He said.
"No, we are afraid"
"Come to the edge" He said.
"No, we are afraid"
"Come to the edge" He said.
"No, we are afraid"
"Come to the edge" He said.
"We came, He pushed us, and we flew".
I thought that was one of the coolest things in the world.  God has and will prepare a way for us to succeed no matter what he has called us to do.  He never intended for any of his children to fail.  He wants ALL of his children to return to Him in the Celestial Kingdom.

This week we were teaching our investigator Tom.  Elder Ollerton and I were talking to him about how his weekend had been since we had last seen him.  He told us that he was doing well because he had gone fishing that Sunday.  We then started the lesson and I felt a huge prompting.  I stopped my companion and told him that we need to tell him the story of the Fishers of men.  Tom didn't really want to be there and didn't  understand why we were there to teach him lessons.  He was only there because his wife wanted him to.  We explained how we are so similar to these Fishers of men and the whole reason that we are here is to bring him safely to Christ by sharing our message and invite him to come to Baptism.  Woof.  It was a crazy moment.  I somehow told him the whole thing in French.  I have no idea how to explain it other than an answer to my prayers for the Gift of Tongues.

I love it when I get letters from everyone.  Please tell all my buds to write me!  I would love to hear how they are doing!

Only two more weeks of French and then we start learning and preaching in the Tahitian language.  I am SO excited!

Give brothers a hug from me.

I really miss Dr. Pepper.

Elder Fitzsimmons

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bonjour mon famille!
I miss you all so much!  This week has been a hectic one.

As soon as I set foot in my district room we started learning french.  Complete immersion haha!  Frere Lindsay only speaks French to us, so there are times that we get frustrated.  We are all praying, bearing our testimonies, and teaching full lessons in French (how exciting!).  The Gift of Tongues exists!

Last night my companion Elder Ollerton and I taught our investigator, Jake about the Great Apostasy and the Restoration, all of it was in French, How insane is that?!  I read the story of the First Vision to him in French as well.  He also gave a closing prayer and asked to know if Joseph Smith really did talk to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

How are brothers doing?

"I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head above the brightness of the sun.  which gradually descended until it fell upon me.  It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.  When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.  One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other - "This is my beloved Son, hear Him!""


I know this church is true, I know that it is the only church with the restored gospel with the power of the holy Priesthood.


Say hi to Alec and Whitney for me.  I miss everyone so much, but I know that I am doing what is right.  Oh, the food is great and there are nine people in my district.

Much love family

Tell everyone to write!  Use

Don't forget to choose the right and sing a hymn.

Elder Fitzsimmons

p.s.  I saw Elder Struthers!  Like Alma the younger we rejoiced when we saw our brethren were still strong with the Spirit.

p.s.s.  My P days are on Tuesdays.  It makes our day when we receive physical mail!  I keep them in my journal so I can read them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Today was a wonderful, emotional day for our family.  Cotton entered the MTC today.  First our family ate lunch at Brick Oven.  The waitress gave Elder Fitzsimmons a goodie bag with two cookies and two suckers for him to share with his first companion (luckeeeeeeeee).  At 12:45 p.m. we pulled up to the curb and Elder Fitzsimmons was greeted by missionaries who helped him with his bags and escorted him away.  Cotton was nervous and excited, he spotted two friends among the missionaries who were greeters and this comforted me.  What a blessing to give Elder Fitzsimmons back to our Heavenly Father for two years to find those who are prepared and waiting to hear the glad news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Cotton's favorite scripture is Jacob 4:6, take a minute to read this and feel comforted that he is right where he has prepared his whole life to be.

Farewell Luau

Welcome to the Black Pearl Mission.  Cotton Michael Fitzsimmons is called to serve in the Papeete, Tahiti mission and has asked me his mama to keep a blog for friends and family to visit for updates. 
Last weekend Cotton's dad hosted a luau for Cotton to say goodbye to friends, neighbors and family.  Mama Fueston attended, as well as 135 others to wish Cotton the best and to have roasted pig!  You can see my cousin Trenton in the background sporting a lei and tending his pig.  Trenton started roasting the pig Saturday morning at 2 a.m. and began serving it to guests at 7 p.m.  It was delicious.

Tristan's friends had fun.  

Cotton handed out sugar cookies with his MTC address while hugging his friend Jenny (pronounced Jennay, please refer to Forrest Gump for pronunciation), while Heather sports her headband.

 Aunt Lori, Aunt Julie, Grandpa and Grandma Amanda, and others helped out with serving everyone who attended.  I know Cotton enjoyed connecting with those he loves before leaving.  We love you Cotton and know you are where you should be at this time.