Malo e lelei!!!
A whole 2 days down in the Provo MTC and I'm still feeling good :). NOTE: FRIDAY IS MY P-DAY.
I got to the MTC and i think my escort from the curb was a little scared because my eyes were sweating like nobody's business. The next 20 minutes were just standing in lines and letting people hand my things. i got a ginormous yellow bag of books (mostly in tognan) and my name tag. My MTC branch president says that wearing the name tag makes you stand a little taller and he was right. I noticed that at soon as i put it on. i sat in a classroom for a while and waited for the rest of my Tongan district of new missionaries to arrive.
My district has 8 missionaries and only 2 of us are going to Tonga. the rest are going to New Zealand or Australia (tongan speaking). My companion is Sister Hosea! She is AMAZING! She is half Tongan and half Samoan, but she is from Salt Lake City and she is going to San Jose CA (Tongan Speaking). She knows a few phrases in Tongan and TONS more about the culture than me, so I love learning from her. She is 21 and like me, was a student athlete before she came here. She played basketball at a school in WY and she did a year at UofU as well. Like most of the Polynesians in my zone, she has a BIG personality. She talks a lot, but it's good because she helps me get out of my comfort zone and talk to everyone too. We sleep in a room with the 2 sisters that are in the other tongan district (Sister Reid and Sister Medina). We all get along really well.
I think Dad was wondering about this: yes, missionaries from all over the world come to the Provo MTC even if they are going back to the area of the world they are from. Example: my zone has lots of sisters from tonga and samoa who got visas and came to the US for the MTC, but they will be going back to the pacific to Fiji or Australia for their mission.
Important stuff from Thursday-
My branch president is SO COOL. He actually looks like Gordon B. Hinkley. he also had a pretty impressive career. At one point, he was the president of General Mills (yes, that General Mills.) He held an awesome training session with the 17 new Tongan speaking missionaries (oh and and just the 4 of us are sisters. the rest are elders.) He really motivated me to be the BEST missionary ever. I mean HOLY COW, i have given up a lot to be here. there is no way i am going to waste a second of these 18 months. He is really great at bringing the spirit into the room as well. Hmm... other than that, I can't think of anything else important about thurs EXCEPT... we were given our first investigator and lesson. We are teaching "Elisepeli" TODAY in tongan. Yeah. I only have a few phrases memorized, but I guess the most important thing is that Sister Hosea and I have the Spirit with us.
Stuff from today- we went to the temple this morning... that was cool :) I ran into my Bishop's wife from my BYU ward. I love that woman. Other than the temple, we are doing laundry and trying to cram as much lesson prep as possible in! yikes.
Other stuff that I just thought of:
Yes, I have seen a lot of old friends here. Mostly people from my freshman ward at BYU and some i saw bethany from my track team at BYU. I even jogged with her and my companion during exercise time. Seriously. Heavenly Father has blessed me sooo much with my companion! She is very sweet and she will even exercise with me. Fact: i think I have prayed more in the past 2 days than I had in the past 2 weeks before i got here. i think it's helping though because I haven't gotten homesick yet and I and I am learning a lot. i think the language will come eventually... I learned like 20 new words yesterday and I am hoping to double that today. I know I am supposed to be here and I know the lord will bless me with everything I need to be successful . i just have to work really hard. I love the tongan people already! we sang in a tongan hymn yesterday and I almost cried! they are soo beautiful! Well i have a lot to do today so i better wrap it up.
Spiritual thought: love is the most powerful motivator of all. Many missionaries come out of duty, which is fine, but if you love something or someone, you are willing give everything you have and are to that thing or person. I LOVE my mission already and I LOVE Tongan and the Tongan people. Everything I have and everything I am is now devoted to those things and those people. John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for i do always those things that please him.
Last words: WRITE ME!! also, MOM- i left my water bottle in the car :( it would be AWESOME to get it in the mail. I love you all very much!! I'll try to answer any questions you have if you email me. and i forgot my camera so i promise i'll send pictures next week.
'Ofa Atu <3 <3 <3 ( i love you)
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission