Rutena's Journal

O. Rudeen Allred (Rutena)

L.D.S. Missionary
Tahitian Mission

Papeete, Tahiti
Society Islands

[Transcribed by Gregory Allred]

Letters home before departing and on board ship:
3 April 1938
30 April 1938
4 May 1938
9 May 1938
11 May 1938

 Island map

Sailed From Ship Tons Islands
Stopped at
Destination Date
Hrs. on
Dis. Sailed
Time on last island M / D Pop. of last island Ele.
May 10, 1938 Los Angeles "Tolton" 5348 None Tahiti May 24 360 3000 mi $123 yes -- -- 7,291 ft
June 25 Papeete "Tereora" 140 Takapoto Takaroa, Tuo. June 29 101 349 150 F yes 1 / 1 10,000  
Sept. 12 Takaroa "Ramona" 60 Manihi, Apataki, Kaukura, Niau (7 days in Niau) Tahiti Sept. 23 69 400 200 F No (?) 2 / 12 225 7
October 5 Papeete "Gisborne" 80 Anaa, uninhabited, Reitoru Marokau-Hikueru Oct. 11 135 375 300 F No 0 / 13 218 7
Niau (16)
December 24 Hikueru "Gisborne" 80 Anaa Papeete, Tahiti Dec. 28 89 375 375 F No 2 / 17 10,000 7,291 ft
January 11, 1939 Papeete "Potii Raiatea"   Huahine, Raiatea Tahaa Jan. 12 17 120 80 F No 0 / 13 2,000  
February 10 Poutoru, Tahaa A Potii 6   Raiatea Feb. 10 2 8 10 F No 0 / 24 1,000 -,0--
April 8 Uturoa, Raiatea "Potii Raiatea"   None Huahine April 8 3 22 20 F No 1 / 29 2,000 -,000
May 26 Fare, Huahine "Hiro"   None Papeete, Tahiti May 26 10 90 60 F yes 1 / 18 200  
June 12 Papeete, Tahiti "Moana" 180 None Anaa, Tua June 15 60 200 150 F yes 0 / 17 10,000 7,291 ft
August 28 Anaa, Tua. "Moana"   None Marokau, Tua Aug. 30 38 195 50 F No (?) 2 / 14 400 25 ft
October 22 Marokau "Florence C. Robinson" 90 None Hikueru " Oct. 23 13 39 40 F No (?) 1 / 24 90 12
November 26 Hikueru "Gisborne" 80 Anaa Papeete, Tahiti Nov. 30 84 375 125 F yes 1 / 4 200 "
April 26, 1940 Papeete "Tamarii Tahiti" 15 None Moorea April 26 2 15 17.50 F yes 5 / 0 --- ---
April 30 Moorea " " " " Papeete, Tahiti April 30 2:40 15 17.50 F No 0 / 4 2,000 7,---
July 2 Papeete "Hiro"   Huahine, Raiatea Tahaa July 3 17 120 75 F yes 2 / 2 10,000 " "
July 10 Raiatea Poti 10 None Tahaa July 10 3 10 5 F No 0 / 8 2,000 6,000
July 13 Tahaa Vaa 1/2 " Raiatea July 13 2 7 12.50 F No 0 / 3 1500 6,000
July 16 Raiatea Poti 10 " Tahaa July 16 2 10 -- No 0 / 3 2,000 6,000
July 17 Tahaa " " " Raiatea July 17 3 10 5 F No 0 / 1 1500 " "


Author... Rudeen Allred

This is a daily record of events that happened throughout my Missionary journey throughout the Tahitian Mission. The time of writing dates back May 24, 1938 to completion of my Mission.


May 24, 1938
About 11:30 A.M., I saw the Island of Tahiti. We had been on the "M.V. Tolton" fifteen days, and land was a very welcome sight. Soon after seeing Tahiti, Moorea was sighted. It is a large Island just West of Tahiti.

At 4:30 P.M. a "pilot" boat came to meet us, aboard was someone to steer our ship through the reefs. Soon after, two officials came aboard to check our passports. At 5:00 P.M. we docked at Papeete.

While coming through the reefs, I saw some of the most beautiful and inviting land ever. I knew that I was to enjoy my Mission immensely.

 Papeete harbor
This shows the usual scene at Papeete harbor. Quite a contrast between Tahiti and a
picture of the reef on a Tuamotu Island. The largest ship shown here is one I rode
from Marokau across to Hikueru in. It is quite a large ship in comparison to some of
them. This also shows the waterfront drive. It surely is pretty!

Soon after the ship had docked, Elders Dena Palmer and Beni Winkle came aboard. They took charge of our luggage for us, for which we were very grateful.

At customs, I had to answer a few questions and open one suitcase. No duty was charged. From there we went through town to Mission Headquarters.

The "Home" is very nice. It is surrounded by many shrubs and trees of various shapes and sizes. Flowers everywhere. A beautiful view can be seen from any place here.

Ray and I were assigned a front bed-room up stairs. Our door opens right out onto the veranda. From there we see a glorious view of the hills. The veranda is our place of study and lounge. A desk, a writing table, rocking chairs, chairs, swinging sofa, and various plants in pots, comprise the furnishings. Very nice place to spend the evening.

Everything seems new, but I know we will like it immensely. The Elders got supper ready for us. A fruit diet seems very popular. We also met Elders Johnson, Greene, and Mack. Very glad to go to bed; a very tiresome day over. Happy to be here.

May 25, 1938
Last night was very long. I'm not used to a soft bed after the bunks on ship; I couldn't stay settled very long. The roosters also crowed from mid-nite until after we got up, it seemed. First the one in the back yard, then the one next door, a half block away the next one, and so on for a half mile and then they started over. I would like to have a dozen roast roosters.

Went to the Post Office to get mail with Beni. Out of over a hundred (50 maybe) letters there was only one for me; that being my remittance. I was disappointed that my friends didn't write so that I would get mail in Tahiti.

In afternoon Ray, Ezra and I got a haircut. I had mine cut real short; nearly all waves gone. Much cooler that way, as the heat is quite bad here. Pleasant at nite.

I also ordered my suits. 1 cream (2 cream pants, 1 cream coat), 2 white (2 white coats, 4 white pants), and 2 brown (2 brown coats, 4 brown pants), 915 F.

In the evening a party was held for Elders Mack and Johnson, as they are leaving for home Friday. Ate all the ice-cream and cake I could take. Quite tired when bed-time came. Slept good.

Just a couple of greenlings in front of Home. May 28, 1938.
First morning in Tahiti. Ray & Me.

May 26, 1938
This morning Ray and I took a short walk through the surrounding foothills. We picked our first banana off a tree. The countryside was very beautiful. Coconut trees and banana.

After returning to Home, we borrowed two bicycles and rode all over Papeete (quite a ways, anyway). Again we were thrilled with the sights we saw. We rode for three hours. On returning, we wrote letters. I wrote to Bishop, Ena, Grandmother Allred, and Verba, and finished my "Diary" to Barbara, Eldon, and my dear Folks.

For the second time I tried to see the American Counsel; he still isn't in (For Bro. Compton). We walked all around town, just curious. A person if he speaks English, Tahitian or French, he gets along fairly well. We can make ourselves understood fairly well.

Beni opened a green coconut for me tonight. I was so full, after indulging in fruit all day, that I didn't care much for it. The "milk" is just like water only with a sweeter taste. There wasn't any "meat" worth eating. All in all I consumed 15 bananas, 6 oranges, besides 3 meals.

May 27, 1938
This morning I helped Rota (our cook) with the breakfast dishes. We then went to the P.O. and mailed our first letters from Tahiti. I bought 14 F 50 C of stamps.

Ray and I each bought us a straw hat. I don't like to wear them much, but Miss. must be Missionaries.

We all went to dock to see Elders Mack and Johnson off, but half their crew are out with native girls, still drunk. Postponed until tomorrow.

This evening a few native girls (Saints) came over and cornered Ray, Ez, and Me. They talked to us in Tahitian, trying to make us understand. We got along fairly well. We had to tell our names (Re, Etera, Rutena) to them. They had quite a time trying to make us understand, but finally did. They sang to us and we had to sing in English to them. First time I ever "soloed" in my life. Later on, after we had attracted quite a crowd of young folks, the other Elders joined us and we had a good time singing (?).

 Palmer and Winkle
Dena (Elder Palmer — Acting President)
Beni (Elder Winkle — Miss. Secretary)
Tahiti pape haari Beni
Beni in one of his Favorite acts.
Pape haari.

May 28, 1938
The two Elders' boat was to sail at 6:00 A.M. so I arose at 5:30 and went to the dock with them. The boat was delayed again as the machinist was still off. While waiting, Elders Dena (acting Pres.) and Beni went on board to look around. Meanwhile the machinist had been found and when the two Elders were looking around inside, the plank had been drawn up. There was quite a commotion when they were found aboard. I guess it was too much trouble, but they wouldn't lower the gang plank again. We had a very good laugh at them while they were trying to figure out how to get off. They finally did by means of a rope-ladder. The boat finally left at 8:30 A.M.

The afternoon was just spent in window-shopping. At 6:00 P.M. I began printing from negatives I had developed. I printed 21 prints for Re, 4 for Etera, and 32 for myself. I worked far into the nite drying them; never again will I attempt so many just before bed-time. I'm tired. Big Day.

May 29, 1938
My first Sunday in Tahiti! I was late getting up, the breakfast bell awakening me. I surely rushed. Made breakfast just in time. Went to Sunday School. Gee, it's different here. There are only but a few people; I was disappointed. Some of them come to Church san shoes. Looks queer to me, but I like it. Church is quite monotonous; just try to get anything out of it. They sing a lot, but I just hum. (Priesthood meeting was held before S.S.; I attended.) Before and after each meeting the Miss. have to shake hands with everyone present. I had to close the S.S. with prayer. I said my first "public Tahitian" words. E te Atua te Metua Mure Ore, and then I went on into the prayer in English. I stopped so many times that I thought, "How will they know I'm through?", so when I did finish I closed with Amene. Then they knew I was through.

We then had dinner, and then back again for Sacrament Meeting. I spoke for about three and one-half minutes, Dena interpreting. I wasn't scared, but I didn't feel just right. Was glad when that was over.

Etera and I were here alone all afternoon. He went to sleep and I just wrote. We ate a whole Pineapple between us.

The evening was very pleasantly spent. We went to M.I.A. in the Church-house, and afterwards we gathered a few young folks around and sang. Teumera played her guitar, and we three Am. sang English songs. They sang for us and helped us speak a few words. Yvonne taught me more than I ever knew before (Tahitian words). Soon after Elders Dena and Beni joined us, we broke up. I enjoyed the evening very much.

May 30, 1938
This morning I had to get breakfast. I guess I'll have to learn to cook. After breakfast Rey, Etera and I played catch. Then we went to town and bought our boxes. I also bought 95 envelopes. All told now I have 145 envelopes, and Marcel printed on them for me; all for 5 francs.

In the afternoon I got out my Tahitian Grammar and studied. One of the native girls assisted me. I would read and if I made any errors in pronunciation, she would correct me. I got so I can read quite fluently, but very slowly. These natives are certainly the best teachers. (nice too.)

I weighed myself on the Drug store scales today. With clothes on, I weigh 152. Hope I continue to gain.

The bananas in the shed are getting riper. So far I have eaten fifty-four since arriving in Tahiti.


This evening I began keeping accounts of expenditures in the back of this book. The itemized statements may someday help another Elder understand about Tahiti. After finishing that, I went to eat supper. Immediately following, Ray and I sat on the back porch. Soon a few shy native girls came around. They started us once again to say a few words after them. Before long we were all singing and having a good time. I got Fifi to write the words of their songs down for me and then we were enabled to sing along with them. We learned one song completely, and were able to keep up by reading the words on the other. Dena sent them all home at 9:00 P.M. We retired early.

May 31, 1938
Assisted Beni getting breakfast this morning. Ate pickled raw fish; very good, prepared as only Roti can prepare it. All morning I spent in studying grammar and pasting pictures in album.

Today we were to have had our first lesson on Tahitian Grammar, but Beni was so busy in the office and in town that it was just forgotten.

We (Etera, Re, and I) just lounged around all day with practically nothing to do but eat bananas. This I do remarkably well. I ate 17 today. The Samoas are better than the Tahitian, but to an amateur they are all the same.

In the evening Re and I got out the projecting machine and for the first time in our lives, we were enlarged upon the screen. We cut pictures of ourselves out of "snaps" and ran them through. They looked pretty good. After that we played Tahitian recordings on the phonograph. Retired early again. Wrote letter to Dona and Kenny.

June 1, 1938
The first day of a new month. I hope it will be just as exciting a month as the last was. I am sorry to see May over with. I have been away from home nearly a month and haven't felt the least touch of homesickness.

It has been raining all last nite and all day today, not hard but quite a light, steady down-pour. I assisted Roti with the dishes this morning. Have been eating bananas quite steady.

After breakfast Re, Etera, and I folded the printed pages of the Church's Tahitian Newspaper. It even had our names in it. We then took our customary walk to town, and called on the American Counsel and had our Passports registered. I also saw about the Birth Certificate for "Bud" Compton.

This evening we had our first lesson on the language with Beni as our teacher. It really helped us in our punctuation and accents. The language still seems impossible though. We attended another meeting tonight and it is all "Greek" to us. Afterwards one of the native Elders had us repeating after him our facial frontispieces, clothing, etc. It all helps, I hope.

As yet, none of us know where we are to be sent. I hope it is soon, and again I would like to wait until mail comes in. Everything is still indefinite. Dena is very secretive; Beni too.

Now I guess I will write a letter home before bedtime.

Re, Beni, Etera, Rutena, e Dena
i Papeete. June 2, 1938.

June 2, 1938
Today has been very much the same as yesterday. Has been quite damp and drizzling off and on. This morning I looked through a "Cougar" yearbook for 1936. There was only one person I recognized in it. Emily Merrill; quite a nice looking girl.

We again folded printed pages today, only these were hymn book sheets. By the looks of the bundles left, we will be busy every day for a week. This morning we folded 1000 among the three of us. I guess our initiation is still on; we surely have all the funny work... wiping dishes, folding papers, breakfast, etc. It's worthwhile though. We are able to learn things in everything.

This afternoon I spent in packing my books in the little box. I don't know what I'll ever use to fill both boxes. I also put a cover on my uncovered books. Every one I brought is going to be a big help to me... if I ever get the language.

Dena took us through our lesson tonight. Those Articles drive me crazy. I still will have to study that 2nd chapter all over again before I get anything out of it.

Wa Sing brought my kacki pants over today. I am certainly glad to take my suit pants off once and for all and pack them away. My white suit isn't back from the laundry yet so I have had to wear my hot suit pants every day so far. And today I changed into a cooler suit. Surely a big difference in coolness.

Our girlfriends don't come around any more at nite; they must be afraid of the rain. We retired early after more study. Oh Yes! We were given our Monthly Statement, showing how much we had in bank, how much spent, and balance. For the month of May I spent 85 F for box, 5 F for birth Certificate, 15 F for baggage brought to Home, 119 F Commissary, and 199 F for personal expenditures. This leaves me with 2990.75 out of 3420 F.

June 3, 1938
This morning immediately following breakfast, we had to fold more song book pages. I folded exactly 1000 sheets, a total of 2000 folds, as each had to be folded twice. That took from 8:30 until 11:30. After dinner we took pictures. My white suit came back from the laundry today, and so we all just had to take pictures; Etera and Re also had theirs. I used one complete roll of film on different scenes so that I might send them home if they are good, and two other pictures. Surely enough things here to take pictures of.

The large stock of bananas in the shed are ripe. After taking a few pictures of them, we really feasted on them. Surely good.

This evening I began my packing of my box; I also packed away in my trunk all the clothes I will not use for a year or two. I have a hunch I'll be leaving for the Tuamotu Island next week... I hope. I hope my packing isn't in vain.

Today I found out that I have the distinction of being the youngest Missionary in this Tahitian Field of Labor, and also the tallest.

My weight today on the Drug Store scale showed 155 lbs. If I keep gaining I'll have to have my suits tailored over again.

In the evening I wrote a letter to Barbara and my folks.

 Tahiti girls
Yea, I got talked about by The Relief Society
for this one. Teumere and Yvonne.

June 4, 1938
Immediately after breakfast, Ray and I went to town. On the way we stopped to see the Counsel again; he said come back Monday morning before boat sails and he will have it ready. From there we went up to the Oceanic Developing store and got our negatives. Then we store-shopped until about noon.

Upon returning to the Home, we darkened our room and proceeded to develop exposed prints. Nearly all turned out fine. After dinner we each had to fold 1000 more songs.

This evening we once again had our old crowd together... singing, talking, and having a good time. Yvonne offered me her ring tonight but I refused. I'm sorry if it hurt her feelings, (which I'm afraid it did,) but I couldn't accept. These dear people would give you anything they had if they knew you wanted it. They surely like the Mormon Missionarys. Dena again sent them home at 9:30 P.M.

I wrote on back of the pictures I sent home, caught up on Diary in small book, and retired once again.

June 5, 1938
Second Sunday in Papeete. It has been quite a day. Priesthood Meeting at 8:30, Sunday School at 11:00, Fast Meeting at 1:00. I and Etera administered the Sacrament in Sacrament Meeting for the first time in Tahiti.

Following S.S. I got Teumera and Yvonne to pose while I took their picture, then I took a picture of all the kids, including Ray. Then came a picture of Teumera, Yvonne, and me. I with each of them on one side. Hope they turn out good.

In the afternoon, after lunch, I took a bicycle and rode over to Ani's place. He showed me a few of his handicraft works. I bought a pearl shell pen knife and a ring. 20 F for both. After coming back from there, I practiced singing with Beni, Teumera, Josepha, V. Rii, for tonight. We sang for about one hour. Secret Prayer.

In the evening, we all attended meeting. We five sang our song before the congregation. I had to sing the verse in English, but when it came to the chorus, I sang as loud as anyone. And after that, the Pres. of Mutual announced that the three new Missionarys would speak in Tahitian, next Sunday night. Imagine! Well, there's nothing else to do, so I guess I'll prepare a short speech.

We didn't sing tonight after Church; too much work to be done. I studied scripture and marked passage for two hours. On the radio, we got K.S.L. and heard how swell the Security Plan was taking unemployed "Mormons" off "relief" work. Also heard a little dance music... made me have a touch of homesickness.

June 6, 1938
Have surely been busy today. I began folding my 1000 song sheets before breakfast. Then following breakfast, I folded more, and then prepared my letters for the ship. Surely glad to get that business of Bro. Compton's attended to. Mailed letter to Bobby with ring in it. Mailed the letters on board ship.

Following dinner, I finished folding songs. Phew! From there, I went outside and played ball with Rei, Etera, and Beni. After working myself into a good lather, I came in and showered and took another short look into my "little red book". After learning the vocabulary for today, I helped Rei fold the rest of his sheets. I wonder if every new Missionary goes through this initiation. I guess that is what is still going on.

Three more stalks of bananas arrived tonite; I welcomed them by eating eight. We were out all day yesterday, and I really got banana hungry. While stringing them up, Etera dropped one stalk. We had to eat the bruised ones in order not to let them spoil. The big stalk is very green, but once it ripens, it won't last long.

This evening I wrote out a speech for next Sunday on Church Temples. Beni translated into Tahitian and I have to learn how to read it good enough to read in meeting. I don't know but what he put something in that I am not supposed to say.

After a brief summarization, I retired to bed.

June 7, 1938
Began folding music before sun-up. At 6:30 A.M. I began getting breakfast. Immediately after eating, I returned to my work. One hour elapsed; Roti was ready for me to help her with the dishes. After doing that, I returned to my work and soon finished my folding.

The rest of the morning I spent in mixing chemicals for developer and hunting bottles. Of all the hard places to find small bottles and corks! I finally found enough, ranging from hair oil bottles to beer bottles. (Our peanuts came in the beer bottles.)

After lunch I again helped Roti with the dishes. After that, I began developing and developed all afternoon; the prints are very good. Then came some more baseball throwing... seems to be all the strenuous exercise we get.

Bananas cost about 30 ¢
a stalk. These are Samoan.

This evening I have just been drying pictures and of all the luck! First the developer touched the prints and turned about three of them brown... just the borders. Next the fan, that was drying them, fell from the table and bent all up. I got that straightened so it would work, and then the ferro type plate blew off and bent the corner. Next the fan fell once again... I almost blew up. Studied and went to bed.

June 8, 1938
Completed folding songs first thing today. Now I wonder what we will do with them next; wish they'd burn them.

Upon completion we obtained permission from "Pres." Dena to go bicycle riding. We tried all over town to rent a good "bike" but had to be satisfied with old iron "horses" that a person almost needed spurs plus a good saddle to ride them. The seats were made to look like the raw-boned horses they have here in town. ^ inverted "V" shape.

We three then left town and headed up a country road towards the mountains. We traveled until we ran out of road onto a cobbled trail. This was the highest point we have been on yet. From there we could see along the shore-line for quite a number of miles back into the harbor; a very new and beautiful sight. Each day we find something more beautiful and enticing about Tahiti.

Coming back we just about wore ourselves out. The pace was terrific coming down hill, and then when we hit the road that kept a small steady incline into Tahiti, we still tried to keep it up. It took us just twenty minutes to get back from a distance of six or seven miles... two-thirds either level or up hill grade. When we arrived back home, we were just soaked with sweat. Etera's face looked like a blushing school-girl, and mine was as bad.

Following dinner we showered and then studied for an hour. Meanwhile a large French-liner had docked. We went down to see that. It is the largest ship I ever saw in my life; surely pretty. We walked all through it just looking around. And of all the nice looking passengers... Oh boy!

This evening I put in four hours good hard study. I had gotten my white suit dirty and wet on the bike trip, so I had nothing to wear to meeting tonite; Wah Sang better hurry with the rest of my suits. The white one I sent to the laundry. Beni drilled me on words tonite and also my speech this coming Sunday... tired and ready for bed...

June 9, 1938
Today has really been different. Not once have I left the house... only to go the shed for bananas. Immediately after breakfast I began studying Tahitian. I was at that for one hour and a half, and then I studied scriptures for three and a half hours. By that time lunch was ready, so I went down stairs.

Immediately following, I returned to my room. This time it was changed; one and one half hours on scripture and three and one half on Grammar. Supper time.

Returned to room and continued work, listened to radio, and retired. Mentally tired.

June 10, 1938
Another big day of study. Today my Missionary report read Work 3 hours; Study 9 hours, with Saints 1, Gospel conversation 1. First time I ever studied that long in my life.

I finished making a copy of the Tahitian alphabet tonite. I'm glad there are no more words than there are in it. A good sized job even at that, to copy them all in a day.

This morning Re, Etera and I took turns reading verses in Tahitian from the Buka A Moromona. This went on for thirty five minutes; there's a case of persons talking for a long time and not knowing a word of what they are saying. Sounds rather "preachy".

Really, if those roosters around here crow any more all nite, and the dogs continue to fight and bark, the cats howl, the hens cluck, and Ray crowds any more in bed, I'm going to hire a gun. Wow! Such a nite as last night was! I slept almost about five hours. And such dreams; I wish Bobby would talk to me. We never get along, it seems. Rather discouraging.

Tonite I am really just about asleep while writing......

June 11, 1938
A little more peaceful tonite than I was last. For once I got in a fairly good nights rest, but just as soon as daylight began to show, I was awake. I arose early and helped Etera with breakfast.

From then until noon I either studied the "little red book", covered books, or read "Te Buka A Moromona". And after that much mental exercise, I really ate a hearty dinner. We had some carbonated water, and I can truly say our limeades were as good as I ever tasted.

After dinner, we had our class in Grammar; I found out a few more beneficiary things. After class, I just looked at pictures, Beni's souvenirs, etc. Beni sold me one of his brown suit coats and swimming cap.

This evening I did my first native doctoring. Our laundry-woman's boy (about 12 years old) had been bitten by a dog. One mark was quite deep. Dena and I washed it out good with potassium permanginate (?) and then swabbed it good with iodine, and bandaged it. Poor little fellow; surely took it good; not one sound did he utter, yet he was sniffing, and wiping his eyes. I surely admired him. He also had a large boil on his head. This had to be lanced and drained. I always thought that I couldn't do such things, but it wasn't bad at all.

This evening we engaged "Pres." Palmer in a discussion of where he was going to send each of us, but still he says he isn't sure. I may get a trip alone, so he says. Let it come; I'll be ready.

The radio here surely gives a good reception. I really enjoy listening to it. K.S.L. comes in as good as any station. Once in awhile I get a yearning to be back. I listened for a while tonite; maybe I hadn't ought to.

After a discussion of experiences of life, I retired to bed.

June 12, 1938
Another busy Sunday! The first thing I did after breakfast was take a few pictures. Then Etera and I walked down and ordered our meat for dinner. We just got back in time for church.

In Priesthood Meeting I closed with prayer. That seems to be the only words I get back at these Saints. I have to listen to them talk and never understand a word they say, so it gives me a little satisfaction to know they can't understand me.

Immediately after P.M. I came into the house and studied The Way to Perfection for awhile. Next came Sunday School. This passed peaceful enough.

After a fine Sunday dinner, we returned again to the Church-house for Sacrament Meeting. This was also very peaceful; I almost went to sleep.


In the afternoon Teumera posed again for more pictures. I'll bet she is the most photographed girl of Tahiti. She really is the best looking native girl around here. Then for awhile, a few of us practiced our singing.

And then came evening. This nite is really going down in my history. I gave my first Tahitian talk. It wasn't much, but it surely broke the ice. For the first time since I've been here, the natives understood what I said to them... I think they did. They certainly are an appreciative lot of people. They acted as though they really understood and liked it. What a nite!

After listening to radio, filling out report, grammar study, book writing, and parau, I retired to bed.

June 13, 1938
Again it came my turn to prepare breakfast. I really cooked some good oats too. First time, I think. Following breakfast we held the first of our "after breakfast" Gospel Study classes. Each day one of us gives the lesson.

This morning Dena did most of the talking, but three new Missionaries found out how little they really knew about certain questions. And then I was assigned the lesson for tomorrow... I always get picked on first. I don't mind at all; that is the best way to learn, and I must learn before I can teach. Subject: Dissention between Paul, Barnabas, Jews and Gentiles. I have it prepared tonite, I think. I spent most of the day on it.

Today Dena informed us to pack away our trunks. Here's hoping something is in the air. I would like to receive mail from home before leaving, but the urge to get out and start working is stronger than the mail prob. Everything is practically packed now, so I am ready.

This evening I pasted pictures in my album and used Beni's white ink to write under them. Someday they may prove well worth while.

After the "same as usual" procedure, I retired once again.

June 14, 1938
Just another day. Early this morning Rei, Etera, and I began preparing breakfast. Wow! Of all the flat, hard, heavy, lousy pancakes. I never tried to eat worse. Never again will we do that. Even at that they were as good as Beni's.

I gave my lesson topic this morning, and was assigned the full lesson for tomorrow. Oh me! I'm either dumb and have to learn fast or else..... Well, I'm glad they like to hear me talk.

After class, I printed more pictures. They all turned out very good. This kept me busy for four hours.

Again a grammar class was held. This time I was quite well prepared, and had to do most of the question answering. Tonite I learned the vocabulary in ten minutes. The first one I ever learned took me two days. I'm learning.

After studying more, writing in books, and listening to radio, I retired.

June 15, 1938
Arose at 6:15... just in time for breakfast. Soon after, we held our Gospel class. I had to give the lesson again. Immediately following class, I printed more pictures for us. This took me about two hours.

After lunch, we again had a grammar class; for this I was fairly well prepared. Following, Rei and I went to town. Upon arriving at the shoreline, we saw a good-sized French battleship at anchor. We walked to the side of it and more or less participated in the ceremony of the captain leaving the ship and joining the governor of Papeete. All accidental of course.

 A few francs

From there we walked into town and spent a few francs. This evening we attended meeting. We sat through an hour of nothing but Tahitian, and then as we were waiting for them to hurry and close, the fellow in charge called upon Rei and me for a duet. Of all things! We hadn't practiced any S.S. songs together. We tried though; Rock of Ages. I furnished alto, and a fair one too, and Ray took a good lead. I think they are cured of ever doing that again. So are we.

So with that spirit, we three left for our first moving picture in Tahiti. First I better tell about the theater building. A large rippled sheet of tin served as sides and ceiling, supported by wooden beams and rafters. The exits were large doors about like a stable door, eight or more in number. They opened out into the street. The floor was rough lumber, and the seats hard as rocks. A haze of smoke drifted throughout the building almost shutting off the light.

And now the picture. Wow! It was all filmed in England with English actors. "A Romance In Old Heidelberg" or something. The picture went on for about two hours and ended quite abruptly. The lights went on, and two dogs in the aisle in front of us engaged in a good loud fight. We, thinking the show was over, left the building. Upon arriving back home, we told Dena what we had seen and how funny the show had ended. He laughed, and told us we had left at intermission. Imagine! Breaking off right in the middle of a love scene (???) for intermission. I'm cured of Tahitian theater productions.

June 16, 1938
About 4:30 A.M. Elders Devy and Heuser awakened us all by "sitting" on the door-bell. They had just arrived from Tubuoi. I didn't get up, but lay in bed listening to them talk with Dena and Beni until time for breakfast. As it was my turn to prepare, I had to get an early start. The two Elders are very fine fellows.

After breakfast Gospel study was again held. Rei had charge of the lesson. A few more good points were discussed.

During the remainder of the morning I studied grammar and helped Roti with dishes.

Following dinner, grammar class was held. I'm surely dumb on pronouns. We have to take the same lesson over again, as we weren't well prepared.

This evening has been spent with Saints. Singing, etc. and looking at pictures. I showed my album to the native girls. Teumera remarked "He likes girls under his arms." Wow! No more pictures of her and me. And then we retired.

June 17, 1938
Once again I was up before breakfast; this time to help Etera prepare. After eating, class was attended again.

As soon as class was over, Dena told me to begin preparing to go out, so Beni and I went on a shopping tour for me. I bought medicines (castor oil, argyrol, permanganate potassium, alcohol, vaseline, vicks, lysol, cotton, oil of cloves), and pareus (2), soap, soda, ginger, and table scarf for mother. This should prepare me now for a long stay.

Everything is still "dark" as to where I am going. I'm afraid I'll be disappointed as to getting Elder Heusser for a companion. Dena thinks I am a little more capable of going on a long trip alone (Due to Elder B's appendicts.) to meet an Elder than either Elder McEntire or Benson. Well, I'm sure everything will turn out for the best. My hunch now is that I'll leave next week to Makemo and there I'll tie up with Elder Machen. Elder Chugg, Machen's companion is coming in as bookkeeper so that is why I think what I do. Let it come, I'm ready.

In the afternoon Elder Devy gave the lesson in Grammar. Following that, I went into town and met Houreta, and we shopped around for a while. I think a lot of him.

"Haurata", Elder Howard Heusser

The evening was spent with Elder Heusser showing me all his souvenirs from Tubuoi and Hikuero. After shower, I retired.

June 18, 1938
For the past three days they have been painting the Church House and Mission Home, both inside and out. Therefore, our class following breakfast was missed this morning. I used all of it to print more negatives. Today I used all my paper, and am surely glad. My chemicals have been stored away; I wonder if they will keep? I care not.

Following dinner, my good friend Houreta and I went to town again. This time to buy him a guitar. We looked in every store that carried them practically, and had almost given up finding a suitable one. Joseph Atem was last. We looked over his supply, and when we left the store, we each had one. Buying a guitar was the furtherest thought away from me for a year yet, but that is how easily changed I am. However, I doubt very much my ever being sorry. It cost only 150 F. Houreta said we both got a bargain. Mine was priced higher than his, and by buying both, I got mine just as cheap. Am I foolish???

This evening I strummed around and learned four cords and can sing one little "ditty" along with the cords. Ha!!

I also joined the group for song practice; singing with the young folks again. However, most of the evening was spent in study. I still think I'll go to Makemo, alone.

June 19, 1938
One more Sabati gone by. This morning Rei and I prepared breakfast for seven. After eating "we three" walked to town to see a Chinese boat come in. Oh! did I see an underexposed picture! I'm beginning to believe the stories of Tahiti.

After a short stay at the dock, we again returned to the Chapel and attended Sunday School. Following, I strummed my guitar for one hour, and then back to Church again for Sac. meeting. I passed sacrament for the first time in Tahiti.

Dinner today was very delicious. Just for remembrance I shall write down the menu: Sweet potatoes, avocados, chicken, chicken gravy with noodles, lettuce and water cress, radishes, spinach, ice water and limes equaling limeade, bananas, string beans, and bread and butter. For dessert we finished off with ice cream and cake. This is merely a regular Sunday dinner. Nothing special.

After eating, Houreta and I lay on my bed and talked pearl-shell diving for two hours. After that we went to the piano and practiced a quartet with Rei and Beni in case we get called on to sing. We did all right, but just Rei and me. I wonder if they want us to make fools of ourselves or if they really like our singing? It was the M.I.A. pres. that called us.

When that was over, a group of us once again gathered in the front room and sang... Teumera on the guitar. She's certainly a wonderful player and a good singer. This went on for two hours. I am tired (why? I don't know.)

June 20, 1938
This morning the information came! I am to leave soon for Makemo all by myself aboard the Vahine Tahiti. Although I would have liked to got Elder Heusser for my companion, I am really thrilled about my assignment. The boat leaves about Wednesday.

This information came out during Elder's meeting this morning. Elder Benson has been assigned to tract this Island with Elder Devy, and Elder McEntire is to go to Takarava with Elder Heuser. I think I got the best of the deal.

After meeting, I indulged in study for three hours. Just for fun... and maybe practice... I held my breath to see how long I could do it. The first attempt netted 2 min 15 seconds, the second 1:55, and the third 2 min. In case I should dive for pearl shells, I would like to know how far down I can go.

Following dinner I studied awhile and then went down to the dock to see the "Vahine Tahiti". It is a boat about the average size here. Weight 50 tons. Just the size to get my first real dose of seasickness. Swell!! I'm out for anything... more variety the better!

Tonite I wrote a letter to my folks. In it I told of my assignment, and just a general scope of the past few weeks.

"Wah Sang" brought over Chop Suey for our supper. Say! Those Chinese can surely cook the real thing. I would like to know all that was in it.

After writing in books and finishing letter, I retired again.

June 21, 1938
Today hasn't been so heavy except that I have been packing and getting ready to leave. Following breakfast, class was held with Houreta giving the lesson.

Following class, I received my first "Missionary" haircut. Elder Devy was the clipper wielder. He did a very good job just the same; much better than Elder Heuser cut Rei's. Then until dinner time I studied Grammar.

This afternoon I have been preparing for my journey. I built a rack in my box, and then repacked according to usefulness. My books, medicine, and literature just about fill one box and clothes fill the other. I never had such a swell wardrobe in my life. Six suits. This is quite a problem figuring out just what I will need for no telling how long. An Elder here is expected to shift for himself. I understand why it has the reputation of being the hardest Mission. Yet, I love it. If a person has any good in him, this is the place to "make" him.

I learned today my boat will leave Thursday. I'll surely be at the Lord's mercy. No other person aboard understands English, nor I Tahitian. Quite an adventure ahead.

This evening I have merely strummed away at my guitar. I heard it was worth 400 F so I figure I got quite a bargain. Even Elder Heuser wants me to trade, but I think not. We sang more together again tonite. These dear people are great lovers of music, and if they can get an Elder to sing for them, they certainly are pleased. We like to sing for them, too. (If only I had a melodious voice... and could play guitar! Oh!)

Now I guess I'll begin a letter to Barbara and then retire.

June 22, 1938
This morning during Elder's Meeting it was announced that my assignment had been changed. I was quite surprised, but it was a very pleasant one. Now I am to go to Takaroa, leaving tomorrow alone. From what I have heard of Takaroa, it is a very fine place; best in Mission. I am leaving on the same boat so I still travel alone. The rest of the morning I studied Grammar.

This afternoon Etera and I engaged in knife throwing; the result... I bought a new one. He and I went to town to listen to the Joe Louis-Max Schmeling fight. One measly round; not worth going for. I won the satisfaction of picking the winner over most of these other Elders.

Tonite we all attended Haapiiraa. Rei and I didn't have to sing; I think we cured them last time. Tonite I ate the last ice-cold pieces of watermelon I expect to get in quite sometime. I really ate too. Must prepare for ship ride. After that, I printed and painted my name on my boxes.

After changing my two letters home, and writing in books, filling out report, and doing a little washing, I went to bed.


June 23, 1938
Arose this morning early in order to get everything settled before leaving for Takaroa. After breakfast I went to the Police Station and paid my Tax. From there Elder Heuser and I went to the dock to see just what time the boat was to leave. Imagine my disappointment on learning that it wouldn't go out for two days more. My! Such service. However, I continued to finish my packing in order that if I have to leave in a hurry, I shall be ready. Said "Goodbye" to Elders Devy and Benson. They left.

This afternoon we saw the real swimming beach of Papeete. Rei and I rented bicycles and went for all afternoon. We watched a few people swim for awhile and then struck out for the lighthouse. We reached that just at sundown. The swimming beach is four miles out of Papeete. While there, Rei broke the sprocket in his back wheel, and my tire went flat. We pumped back to town and Rei exchanged his for another and I had mine pumped up again. Once again we retraced our steps those four miles. From there we went another ten miles to the lighthouse.

Today I really saw some more of the beauty of Tahiti. The beach, the mountains, another little "town" over the hills; oh! but I love it here. Very, very beautiful.

Upon returning to town we ate a good supper of ice cream, watermelon, sandwiches, and ice water. At least we don't want for anything. We then listened to radio and retired.

June 24, 1938
One month today since arriving in these islands. It seems only yesterday. How time flies! And tomorrow I leave Tahiti for (?) time. The Captain of Vahine Tahiti   made a special trip up to tell me they sail in the morning.

Today has been a bit different. I really got a taste of how I expected this Mission to be. Roti was sick today so we had everything from making our own beds to cooking meals and washing dishes. Whew! If Roti is going to be sick, I'm glad I leave tomorrow.

Time has been wasted more today than should be. I only opened my Grammar for one hour. The rest of the time has been spent talking, printing "Orometua " on my two boxes, painting over my name, and cleaning up.

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