The Missionary Journal of O. Rudeen Allred (Rutena)
L.D.S. Missionary, Tahitian Mission


 Passage on the Ramona

Monday, September 12 to 22 incl.
These next few pages are copied from my "black book".

On ship once again from Takaroa to Papeete... Ramona . Left Takaroa at 3:00 A.M. Sept. 12. At the present time stopped at Takapoto. Don't exactly know just how to say I'm feeling, anyway the boat is rocking and bucking, and as we just passed through a rainstorm, I, my peue , and blanket are all wet; very uncomfortable. 6:30 A.M.

Left Takapoto after about three hours. Just sighted Manihi, our next Island. About two hours before sundown at the present time... have eaten five crackers today... haven't dared get up and go eat. Been to the end of ship twice without getting sick however. Gee, we're surely bucking.


Arrived in Manihi a little after dark. Was met by Vairau and Mr. "Martin". They took me to Martin's house and there treated Royally. Ate a good hearty meal; first since yesterday. For once I feel I know a little about the language. I have been able to get along swell talking with these people. In Teneta's letter to Martin he told him to speak slow and distinctly and I might understand all he said. Well, I have and practically every bit. Answered every question put before me.

They gave me their bed tonight to sleep in. Non-Mormons but surely swell people. We have had visitors all evening; I must be a curiosity. Martin surely appreciated the picture of Teneta & me that I gave him. Now for bed; I'm tired.

Sept. 13---Awakened early by the boats whistle. I hurriedly dressed and left for the ship. Said "Ia orana " to people I'll never see again.

Apataki--Still on my back on the high seas. As yet I haven't tried getting up. Don't feel as though I could hold up. This gas makes me feel close to sick. As yet I haven't said a word of English. No one aboard speaks Eng., Island ahead.

Passed through pass into Apataki lagoon. Been most of the day coasting around looking for copra. Ate a very hearty meal of octopus tenacles and beans. First food today; feel better. Landed in Apataki, ate good hearty supper, and got some boys to show me the Island. No Mormons on Island, all Cath. & Kainites. Slept on ship at night.


Wed. 14. This morning we left Apataki early. Stopped at Kaukura and picked up more pufa . No wharf so I stayed aboard. The old sea is high and ship pitching, but I'm still holding on.

Took on a lady passenger at Apataki. She's right next to me on the deck. First time I've ever gone to sleep with a girl that close to me. Not bad for a Tahitian true-blood either.

Just had a close call. The boy said come to dinner so I thought I'd take a chance. I went below, sat down, grinned kinda funny, took a bite of potatoe, got up, grabbed a handful of crackers and here I am again. In one door out the next. Not sick but, boy! a person can surely feel it coming! Whew.

 Mars Stella ?
Te Vahine Tahiti off the reef at Niau, Tuamotu.

Went on land at Niau. No wharf, but I climbed aboard the little boat and went ashore. Was then escorted by a maiden fair to a Mormon's home and treated swell. A bed was brought (I suppose from some other home) so I could rest.


Gee, it's hard for a guy to be around so many people and not be able to talk or understand much. One fellow suggested I hold a meeting tonight, but I made him forget that. Preparations are going on now for food for me and water for a bath. My! But Miss. are treated swell--- again I say it!!!

Aue  !! The guy finally talked me into a meeting tonight. Gee, what am I going to do; just read something to them I guess. Goodness! All alone in a strange country, among strange people speaking a strange tongue, and me with a lesson to give. Will I pull through????

Just finished with the Haapiiraa . I gave three sets of questions out of the vea  and hoped they were answered right. If it didn't sound just as it was written underneath, I read the answer myself. I gave the closing prayer also; first public Tahitian prayer for me. All Mormons on the Island attended but one. (7 all told) We had our regular opening song, prayer, song, lesson, prayer. Very satisfied with the proceedings.

Oh me!! What a trip! I just learned I am to stay here in Niau until Tuesday. The boat is making a return trip back to Manihi and will stop here going into Tahiti Tuesday. I feel kinda funny. Lonesome as heck, and stalled here for six days without a word of English.

After meeting we just sat and talked.(?) They told me how riri  roa  the Kainitos were at having Mormon Elders come to this Island. I said, "Noa'tu ", and that surely pleased these few Mormons. Aue! Rutena itil?!! 

Sept. 15. Just finished a good breakfast of hot-cakes, jam, 2 eggs, and "Ti Moromona ". Very good. Slept in "Church-house" last night; same place we held meeting. Bed was swell. Feather mattress and all the trimmings. What next???!

 Niau gal  Niau shell
The "gal" of Niau... but what
a picture.
Stranded on Niau

Took a walk down the seashore about a half mile, then returned and talked to a beautiful young girl and the old Lady, ruau . Gee, the gal's swell looking. Wowee!! I could almost go for a girl like her. She posed so sweetly while I snapped a picture, real close up. I then showed them my souvenirs and pictures from Takaroa.

Straightened out a question of dead fish for Etara and Otare. Ate another swell meal prepared by Katupu. Been sitting on seashore just thinking of home and Bobby all evening.

 Niau - Tara
Food and company in Niau. Old Hutia
and Tara. He is holding a Komaga  and
the fish are on rocks.

Sept. 16. Another good nights rest and I am ready for another day. Started out by watching Etara cook his fish and komoga  upon rocks. They didn't look very appetizing but when they were done I just had to try one of each. Of course they hadn't been cut open and cleaned, just baked whole. I carefully ate the fish and Etara broke of the shell of the crab and brought to me only the white meat. If I hadn't known what it was it would have been better. Then I was informed that Katupu had breakfast ready for me. Ah! (thought I) Now to get something to eat to hold down the crab. I sat down at the table. Katupu walked over and with a big smile of satisfaction, she threw off the cloth covering the food! There lay three big Komagas , nicely cut down the middle from the tip of it's head to the end of it's tail thus showing a half of every vein, etc. etc. in it's body. I looked once then looked up into her smiling, expectant face. A long "ahhhhhh" went out. She took it as an "ah" of satisfaction so she dropped the cloth and went away happy. Well,... I started, trying only to look at the white meat not surrounded by stomach. When I finally finished I had eaten two (four halves) of Komoga , nearly a loaf of bread, for a weighter downer, and two cups of water for a pursueaser.

The funny part about it was I had arrived at her house still chewing at the piece Etara had given me. I showed it to her and said "E mea maitai tere maa Puomotu ", thinking of course I had see the last of it. Oh me!

Tonight as I sit writing I can't help but think of the big-heartedness of these people and the simple manner in which they live. I don't have to eat native food. Katupu, though poor, gets me anything that she thinks a white man eats. Tonight she got a big can of sardines, jam, bread, fish and ipo  while they themselves ate very simple food.

The old lady and her son are sitting outside on the ground now eating the warmed over fish they had had this morning. Two meager meals of fish. Oh yes! They have some bread baked on rocks. Flour and water mixed to a batter and baked. I feel so sorry for them. They surely will get their reward in Heaven these people who are so sincere and kind hearted.

I must remember this: Hutia.. the old crippled lady, Otara... her son. Katupu... a sister to Tareva in Takaroa; she is the one who does so much for me. Pupure... the swell sleeping man of K. who is the earner of what I have been eating. He's swell. Etare, the guy I don't care much for. A Mormon but not a friend.

Last night I told K. how difficult it was for me to leave Tak. She cried and said how much she hated Miss. to leave this Island. She's swell!

Sept. 17. Phew!! Morning after the night before. Wow!! What a night. Never again will I eat sardines, ipos , etc. and then go right to bed at 7:00 P.M. I tossed, twisted, and turned all night. Nightmares and all.

Just finished a "Shipwrecked" letter to Bobby, and then took a long walk down the shoreline for about 2 hours. Returned to find my living-quarters rearranged and clean as a whistle. Pape haari  waiting to be drank and Katupu waiting for me.

Been reading Tah. B of M. and Ve'a all day. Made assignments for Tomorrows meetings. Dinner tonight consisted of pork chops. Mmm. They surely hit the spot. Had a short talk with "tane ruau " and retired.

 Pupure i Katupu
Pupure, Katupu, and me in Niau

18 Sep. Sunday... just finished with a very successful Haapiiraa Sabati . Otare gave the first prayer and lesson, the women led the singing, and I closed with prayer and also the talk I gave in Takaroa. Afterwards we sat around and sang songs from the Himene Buka .

Just had some visitors come in. About seven young "babes" came to give the Orometua  the "once over". After satisfying themselves that I was human and didn't have horns, they departed.

A chicken dinner awaited me when I arrived at the cook-house. Surely did justice to it.

Evening... another meeting over with. Each time it gets easier to lead the group. I'm glad it's over though. Tired and weary.

Sept. 19. Another day of wait... wait... wait. I took a long walk towards the West today though I'd swear it was East. Gee, I'm just turned around completely. However, I enjoyed the walk; ate six utos  on the way.

Company came again today... very boring. They just sit, afraid to talk and me too so I'm glad to see them leave.

Poor old Hutia! Gee, it's pitiful what she lives through. She eats perhaps twice a day, her meal consisting of one thing and pape haari . This morning she was hand a pan of cooked flour and water. Really, I don't think a pig would eat it. When it was brought in I wondered what it was for. A little sugar, no cream. My!!! That worthless son of hers! Tonight a pan of rice and sugar and that's all. I believe her son is actually trying to get rid of her. He wants to go to Hikueru and dive and as long as she lingers on he can't leave. Katupu brings food once in awhile but she has none too much herself.

Sept. 20. Well, I can just settle down to another night on Niau. Just to show how much you can trust these ships, the Ramona  did not arrive. Just the same I'm glad! I have been able to help in a little way this dear old lady ruau . It dawned on me that she hadn't eaten today that I know of. I got talking with her and found out the reason. "E taata ino roa, Etara. E mea riri roa ona ia'u. " Well, I just couldn't take that. When she said how hungry she was and for me to tell her daughter in Papeete that she died, well.... I went to Katupu and gave her money and told her to see that the old lady was taken care of. She kindly consented to cook. By golly, anything I can do for these people won't be enough.

Today Pupure and I took a good walk, and I discovered something I didn't know existed on this Island... a wharf and a large beautiful lagoon making it a beautiful Island after all. A big lagoon in the center completely surrounded by land. No pass.

Had a good discussion with Pupure tonight. Getting a little better at catching a few things.


 Departing Niau
Looking back on Niau as I sail on to Headquarters.

Sept. 21. Once again on the ocean. Ship arrived, finally while I was dressing this morning. The rest of the day I anxiously waited to get going.

Katupu prepared me another swell chicken dinner. Hope the chicken is a good sailor.

Surely a wild ride this. We just passed through one very big heavy spasm of waves and rain and heading into another. The native fellow my age next to me just finished pihaaiho (ing); glad I outlasted him. Still feel fine and ready to fight to the finish. Wheeeeeee

Sept. 22. Passed a weird night. Didn't sleep much on this ocean of waves. Hungry but dare not eat. Been up once since yesterday afternoon. Hang on, kid.

Tahiti Sighted! Gee, I'm as glad as the day on the Tolten . My body is tortured enough for one trip. I ache all over. We won't be in for eight or ten hours but I feel I can still take a little more. Have eaten 14 crackers since yesterday's chicken dinner; no water. It's really a task for my body and me to take ocean rides.

Surely came close to making the chicken give up her nest today. Got up, and when I returned I had to get the pan turned over and about propped myself up. Darned if I didn't say "Don't give up the ghost" (of the chicken I guess) so I made myself kind of laugh and then I lay back. So once again I hung on; to the tail feathers this time. Wheeee, again.


Friday, September 23, 1938
And now back to normal again. Got into Tahiti one o'clock A.M. Walked up to Mission Home enjoying every step of the way. The feel of ground again, the cool air, the sweet perfume scent in the air,.. Oh! It's great to be back!! I was glad to leave, but glad to return. How good it tastes to be here too!

Woke the Elders (Chugg, Stevens, and Taylor) up after "sitting" on the door-bell. Talked, showered, went to bed 3:00 A.M.

 Elder Nile Chugg
Nile. Elder Nile Chugg.
 Elder Ralph Taylor
Ralefa. Elder Ralph Taylor.

Up at 6:00 A.M. ready for another day. To begin with Ralefa and I broke up a fight. After a big squabble of words, a woman (Vahine iti ) came running through our gate with a man behind her. He knocked her down and grabbed her hair, swinging her around on the ground a few times. Of course quite a few people were attracted to the scene, including an elderly German. He, being a white man, grabbed the man by the shirt and pulled him away from the girl and they began swinging fists. By that time we had our pants on and were rushing down to the front of the house. He grabbed one and I the other and put them outside our lot. If they wanted to fight it was all right by us, but they weren't going to do it on our property. By that time they had cooled off and the party broke up. Peace-loving people... Bah!!!!

Spent most of the day just straightening up things, buying supplies for natives, and reading mail. Letters from Bobby 8, Mother & Dad 2, Ena 1, Mark 1, LeMoyne 1 Dale 1, and Vern & Fern 1. Gee, I'm surely proud of my friends and relatives who wrote me letters. I surely appreciate them.

Joined a club tonight as they wanted me on their basketball team. We practiced for three hours. Stiff??? Between that ship and ball, well, guess? A big day!!!

Saturday, September 24, 1938
Another day of rush, rush, rush... Spent all morning settling accounts with Elder Chugg, putting things away, getting ahold of practically all Ralphs medicine, and eating of course. All in all just busy.

Met Elders Miller and Mortenson today. Seem to be just another couple of Elders this Mission is made up of... Grand fellows. They have been across Tahiti working; came in for Sunday.

This afternoon Ralph and I indulged in the sport I am so fond of. We have been given memberships into the club now enabling us to all activities we care to play. Private tennis, basketball, etc. Our team (hithertofore hadn't won a game) beat the so-called fairly good native team 64 to 16. Ralph played guard & I center with three natives other places. For two guys as soft as we are that was really work. My shoes, too little for me, surely left the blisters. But it was fun.

Tonight we went to a French show. This was better than the last English one here that Etera, Rei and I attended. Didn't understand anything but the pictures were pretty.

Surely tired! I'll sleep sound tonight, for a change.

Sunday, September 25, 1938
Sunday in Papeete again which could mean only one thing... I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. My good pal Ralph wrote it out for me as I dictated in English. Then I read the Tahitian version without much trouble.

In the afternoon we all went to an old fellows house for a repentance. Viriuma Perry.

Spent the evening after church with my little old sweet-heart girlfriends around here. Darndest, sweetest kids anywhere. Surely enjoy talking to them. After a while with them I was called into the house by my Tubuai gal friends. Wow! When you dream of them, they must be worthwhile. After a long discussion at night we retired.

Viri, Ralepha, Rutena and Eledona swimming in fresh water at Fautaua

Monday, September 26, 1938
This morning negotiated a deal with Ralepha for his big box. As usual he insisted that I get the best of the deal. What a peach of a chap he is! I'm proud to call him "Companion".

After getting the box I switched my belongings and used the day (morning) cleaning things up a bit. Afternoon Ralph suggested we go for a swim. About four hours was spent in that pleasant pastime.

Evening spent in reading letters for a second time and writing a little on letters out. The radio is a big help tonight; puts me in a good mood for writing. Even consented Iosepha writing to Bobby; in fact I coaxed him.

Coming home from swimming today we stopped in to see "Tubuai" again. Poti and Nina. What gals!

One more day speedily sped by.

Tuesday, September 27, 1938
Used all the morning in binding song books. I surely thought I had seen the last of those things, but here I am binding now.

Ralph and I went to town to see if I could find something for Bobby. Not a thing that I could see worthwhile. This is the hardest place to find anything for a present. Finally ended with placing an order with Ani's wife to make a table cover. Hope Bobby likes it.

Seems as though I should send a picture of the Miss. in Tahiti now (that is four of us.)
Elder Chugg & Stevens aren't in this. Reading from Left to Right: Elder Ralph Taylor...
Never a nicer or cleverer Fellow than he. Wyley Miller.. Home Town Product that Boy!
Eldon Mortenson.. A cattle-man from Colorado. Plenty Good. Me.. The Author

Came close, very close, to going to Tubuai with Elder Miller. Hope that won't be the last time or chance I'll get.

Evening in writing letters... finished B., Mother's, Verb, Bishop, and Grandma's. Radio of course was heard too. This war threat is getting very serious.

Wednesday, September 28, 1938
A rush all day (morning) helping the two Elders get off. They had quite a time before they finally secured passage and finally left. Alternating with Iosepha binding song books also used up a lot of time.

Then going to the dock to see the boys leave again constituted an hour or two. From there we came home again. I began reading "Added Upon" and practically finished it. Surely a good worth-while book.

This evening was "Haapiiraa " night (I prayed) so we all attended. After a long meeting, we went to see a baby that had died earlier in the day. A cute little kid too. Elder Taylor took charge of a little meeting for the benefit of the Mother and friends. The mother is living "faaturi ", but just the same it was hard to lose the child.

After that meeting we came home and listened to the radio for a couple of hours. War is about over again.

Thursday, September 29, 1938
Called for my pictures today. They were fairly good. I then got out the old printing frame and chemicals and printed enough to give to Ralefa, Iosepha, Nile, and a couple extra for "give aways". This used up all morning except the time I took for breakfast (which I prepared), attended Primary, and finishing my book.

Not much else. Things have slowed immensely it seems. Tonight I shall continue trying to get all my letters answered in between radio broadcasts. Surely enjoying the radio.

Elder Stevens and I went to Punaauia, held meeting and returned
the next day. This guy tried to show me which road to take but,
though I look green, I didn't fall for it. Punaauia, Tahiti Oct. 1, 1939.

Friday, September 30, 1938
This morning we held the funeral for the little baby. After a nice meeting we all went, walking, to the cemetery. Another nice ceremony at the graveside.

While eating dinner, the news came that President ma  had arrived. Nile and I went to meet him. We met him about half way to the house and returned with them. The next couple of hours were spent in talking.

Then Iosepha and I got out the bikes, took a book or two and our blanket and headed around the Island for Punaaiua. There we tracted a little and in the evening held a meeting before a large number of non-members. They received us pretty good. We stayed alone that night in the home which is being rented for our purpose. A very nice evening it was too.

Saturday, October 1, 1938
One more month gone by speedily. Will they never stop? Shucks, I don't seem to get much done before a new one starts. I'll be glad again to get out to another Island.

This morning we pumped in from Punaauia. Just took our time as Iosepha was afraid of his side. Took about 2 hours.

Not a very active day. Just moseyed around doing nothing. Had a good rub-down and exercise with Ralph at night.

I'm just waiting now, wondering if I'll get out before Conference. I'd surely like to know. My speech needs studying. (Put one over on Iosepha & my crowding last nite.)

Sunday, October 2, 1938
Sunday has been interesting. With the Presidents talk, Totare's, testimony meeting and the young girls taking charge at night, I really have enjoyed the day.

During the afternoon Elder Taylor and I just spent the time talking and reading... he reading and I showing pictures to Yoyo.

Got about ready for bed tonight, and Ralepha suggested a trip to the kitchen to clean up the cake. Four of us easily did just that besides oranges, milk, bananas and a sandwich. He's more fun. It's a wonder we don't get in "dutch".

Tonight I wrote and practically finished my letters. Although I heard I probably won't go out until Friday, there's nothing like being prepared.

Monday, October 3, 1938
Pres. gave me instructions to buy food, etc. and prepare to go out. "Pa" and I spent the morning shopping.

After dinner Elder Stevens and I visited Viriamu Perry. While there he asked us to administer to him so I annointed him and Iosepha sealed the annointment. After a short visit we left. He certainly was glad to see us. We then went to visit Roti and Nina who have measles. I hope I have had them otherwise I probably will have.

This evening Ralepha and I wrestled around just fooling; surely worked up a sweat. He's strong! Retired quite early after writing to "Pa"'s girlfriend.

Tuesday, October 4, 1938
Went to market with "Pa" for first time this morning. Surely a sight worth seeing; all the people buying food. From there we finished up my shopping and found out my boat is leaving today or tomorrow for Hikueru. Paid 300 francs for my ticket.

Surely been busy packing boxes with little things here and there. I'm really "filled" up. Almost no room for a letter to a native.

Wrote to "Pete" this last minute and sealed my letters to home. Won't be long now.

Wednesday, October 5, 1938
To continue with yesterdays story: after a big last minute rush on account of the Chink saying, "We're leaving as soon as the cargo is loaded", which wasn't much, I finally had everything and myself located on board. Pres. & family and the Elders all came to see me off. Just before dark the motors were started and the whistle tooted, at intervals, and then no sailors could be found; all gone to have a good fling.

Well, to make a long story short, it is three o'clock in the afternoon now and we're still here. I spent last night sleeping on board for fear they would leave. Today I have left the ship only for breakfast and dinner at the Home. These darn Chinamen don't know the score. Each time I ask when we will leave it is always advanced a couple of hours. I dare not leave the ship 'cause sure as I do they'll leave without me, and with me missing a swell conference just because of their saying we would leave.

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