Friday, September 25, 2015

Te u ALU KI TONGA!!! (I am GOING TO TONGA!!!)

This sista just got her travel plans!!! I leave the MTC at 1pm next Sunday! The bad news: I am the travel leader so I get to be the nagging mom for day and a half for my group of 9. More bad news: We will miss the last session of General Conference. The good news: we get to spend almost a whole day in New Zealand!! (i think it will be mostly the airport... not sure what the rules are on that.) More good news!!!: I will finally get to serve those beautiful people in that beautiful country.

This next section will be a mixture of answers to everyone's questions, and cool highlights from this past week...
First of all, being a sister training leader is great because you get to be the first one's to greet new missionaries when they arrive at the mtc. This week we got a new batch of missionaries going to Fiji. Only 2 sisters, but they are both GREAT :). One is straight from Samoa, and the other is straight from Tonga! Our tongan speaking dormitory room had 2 extra beds, so they are both rooming with us for our last week. I know it will be a huge blessing to have Sister Lokotui (from Nukualofa, Tonga) in our room because she has agreed to help us all with our Tongan and we get occasional cultural tips from her too! Sister Hosea (my comp) is teaching me a lot about how to show love to the sisters in our zone. She is naturally more of an affectionate person than I am, so through her example, I have learned to give more hugs and not flinch when someone kisses me on the cheek! lol... only sisters have done that to me so no worries.
Dad asked about our ward/ branch- It is honestly the best one in the whole MTC. I may be biased but people who aren't in our branch think so too. We sing hymns in the languages of all the islands, our branch president is the closest living thing to Gordon B. Hinckley, and the poly's are all so loving (and kinda loud) but they have such strong testimonies and they sing beautifully. I have not had to give a talk in church yet, but the speakers are always called on the spot, so I prepare something to say each sunday. This Sunday is Fast sunday because of conference so i think i'll get up. I still need a little work on my Tesitmony in Tongan, but it will be fine. The language is going well, my sentences are still pretty broken on the spot, but if I have time to think, I can usually say something that sounds proper. 
Devotional this week- the Speaker was Elder Cardon of the 1st quorum of the seventy. He is one smart man. Almost the entire talk was given without notes and he just taught from the scriptures the whole time. Impressive. A little monotone, but impressive. And i felt the spirit.

Ahh yes. I am sure many of you heard about Elder Scott passing away. Kinda sad. But I am actually really happy for him. His adorable wife passed away at about the time I was born. He loved her dearly and has missed her terribly for 20 years. I know they are together and very happy now. 
Thought for the week--
I am trying to study the atonement more in depth. I am starting to read Jesus the Christ. Oiaue!! (oh my goodness!) good book. very long. BUT this week I was studying the concept of mercy specifically. I don't remember where, but there is a scripture that talks about how the atonement satisfies the demands of Justice and Mercy. Somewhere in Alma. So i looked for info on Mercy. It turn out, the Mercy Seat, on the Arch of the Covenant, in the Old Testament, was Jehovah's meeting place with his people (BD) and so I thought about that. Hmmm... Through the atonement, Christ meets us way more than halfway to cover our weaknesses with mercy. I am so thankful for that mercy. I have hope dispite my imperfections because of the atonement. 

Ofa lahi atu :) <3 

p.s. pics- the trip to the temple this morning, bethany Knighton and I (from BYU XC), Hannah Albrechtsen and I (from BYU XC)
--
Sister Emily Bever

Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission


With Hannah Albrechtsen from BYU XC team.


With Bethany Knighton from BYU XC 


Trip to the temple this morning


Love this picture :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 4-Ngaahi Faingamalie (opportunities)

Malo e lelei!! I have been trying to come up with other ways to say hello in Tongan, but everyone that I've asked says they just use "Malo e lelei" or "hi." Ugh.

But for reals. I love the tongan language. Once you get past the fact that everything sounds like an awful swear word, it's really beautiful! :))

News for this week:
- One of our tongan elders left the MTC on Sunday to head out to the island. There is a picture of him attached. they cut his time in half because it turns out he was almost fluent already when he got here but he didn't tell anyone. Goodbye elder Nonu!!
- On Tuesday, there was a fantastic devotional and i sang in the choir again. The choir had over 1,000 missionaries. Rosemary Wixom, the general primary president spoke with her husband. 
- After the Devo, the branch president met with my comp and I, and we are now the Sister Training Leaders for our zone! Whoa. I am very humbled about that because every sister in our zone has such strong faith and I am pretty sure I will always learn more from them than they will learn from me. I really love them all. They are AMAZING. There is one picture attached of a group of those girls, mostly the fijians who are leaving on monday :'( and there is another picture of me with the two adorable sisters who sis. Hosea and I took to the temple last week. Sis. Vuvute (from Fiji) and Sis. Wamura (from Papa New Guinea). 
- The language is coming along, and my comp is very encouraging even though I still know she is can understand other people speaking more than I can, but that is super helpful when we teach lessons. I am SO grateful for her. I think the most helpful thing so far has been SYL (speak your language). We just try to use as many Tongan words as possible whereever we go. I can speak in full sentences now during lessons, but most of them are very broken. But I am juts happy i don't have to stare at notes the whole time anymore. 
-Our district hosted the new incoming missionaries this last wednesday, and i got to see Kenzie Weir and Hannah Albrechtsen from my BYU team!! I also met a Sister Makasini who came in! She is from Cali going to Kentucky and she said Tevita and Losepei are her great aunt and uncle! 
- Oh! I saw Zane yesterday! apparently he has some fancy job at the MTC that allows him to look up my profile and find out where I have class, etc. So he randomly popped in last night :).
That's pretty much all the news. Time is flying by. I can't believe I get my travel papers in 1 week!

Now for the spiritual thought of the week :)
So in the Book of Mormon, I have been reading about the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi and holy cow they were incredible. I kinda forgot about them before now. They not only turned their lives completely around to serve God whole heartedly, they vowed never to kill, fight in battles, or use their weapons ever again. Even when their enemies charge at them with a giant blood thirsty army, they remain true to their promise. They kneel down and praise God while the armies attack and kill them. Those people definitely earned their reward in the next life. Not only that, but their enemies were astonished by their faith in God and many of them were touched so deeply that they were converted unto Christ. I may not have to give up my life to help others come to Christ as those people did, but I know I will have to give up other things. That's okay with me. Sacrifices bring the blessings of heaven. 
I also found a beautiful scripture that kinda describes how I feel as a missionary- Alma 29:1 " Oh that I were an angel and could have the wish of mine heart, that i might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance to every people."

The End.

Ofa Lahi Atu!!!! <3 <3 <3

--
Sister Emily Bever

Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission

Goodbye Elder Nonu!!


With Sis. Vuvute (from Fiji) and Sis. Wamura (from Papa New Guinea) who Emily was their escorts through the Provo Temple


Here is a group of girls in Emily's Zone, mostly the fijians who are leaving on monday :'( 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Learning to Listen

Male! (apparently that is the shortened version of hello)

HAH! a miracle just happened!! I figured out how to get pictures on this email because the nice sister next to me showed me that you need this memory card adapter to plug into the computer and she let me borrow hers. So to explain the pictures- most of them are just from trips to the temple and temple walks. I ran into Emily Kenney-- a friend from freshman ward who is going to japan and I took a pic with her. Other pictures were from my first day with my comp and sister reid and sister medina who are going to Tonga with me. The weird picture of two little piles on the floor is a really cute and funny story!...
There is a girl here at the MTC going to the phillipines and she came straight from Tonga. Her name is sister Saafi. She is SO sweet! And people have not been exaggerating about the generosity of Tongans. About a week ago, she found out that our room had 3 palangi girls who were going to Tonga and she has been giving us stuff ever since. One day she dropped off two tongan dresses for sister Reid and sister Medina because she knew they didn't have any. The next day she dropped of a skirt for sister reid. The next night, it was quiet time and we were about to turn off the lights and go to sleep when i heard a bunch of little knocks on the door. I opened it and sister saafi was standing there and whispering something in broken english and then she shoved a bunch 2 paper towels full of random treats into my hands. the paper towels were full of an odd collection of stale mini cookies, pieces of bubble gum. and a few red vines. It was sooo adorable! I know she didn't have much, but she just really wanted to give us whatever she had.
That's all for stuff about the pictures.
Other events of the week-
Bishop Causse of the presiding bishopric came and spoke with his wife tuesday. They were adorable and I love their french accents and he even played a piano solo as part of his talk. I sang in the choir for that devotional. 
Yesterday I was sick. Yuck, but thanks to a much needed nap, cough drops, and grandma's essentail oils, I am feeling a lot better. But i still sound like a man. 
Good thing I was feeling better today because I got to be an escort at the temple today!!! 2 new sisters who came into our zone this week came from countries without temples. (papa new guinea and fiji.... okay the fiji temple is closed.) They got their endowment today and it was such a good experience for them! I was honored that our zone president asked my comp and I to be their escorts. Those girls have sacrificed sooo much to be on a mission. They don't have much, but they give everything they have to the lord. One is the only member in her family and she was baptized 2 years ago, and the other left a family who relied on her for financial support and now she doesn't know if they have money for food anymore. I am so humbled to be around them. All they talk about is how much they love God and how much they love me and my comp and all the other sisters.
Okay I am out of time... but scripture for the week! Look it up: 1 Nephi 13:37 It's a good one and I don't have time to quote it. 
I love you all and miss you all, but really, there is no place else I'd rather be.

Til next week!!

Ofa atu <3

--
Sister Emily Bever

Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission

Emily with her roommates Sis. Medina, Sis. Reid  and Sis. Hosea


Emily's companion, Sis. Hosea from Salt Lake who is going to San Jose Tongan Speaking Mission


With Roomies


I'm sure Emily is telling someone how to take the picture ;)


Gifts from Sis.Saafi who is from Tonga going to the Phillipines


Trip to the temple


With Sis. Kenney who is a friend from Freshman year at BYU

Saturday, September 5, 2015

8 days down and lovin' it!

Malo e lelei from the Provo MTC!

I had some camera difficulties... So i don't have that much time left to write, but hopefully i will figure out how to send my pictures next friday. I'll let you imagine the photos in your head instead- just picture me... the awkward Palangi with a bunch of fun, loud Polynesians and that's pretty much it! I had a lot of cool experiences this week... Elder Oaks came to our devotinal and I was sitting pretty close up! that was cool. I can now pray completely in Tongan! that's fun.... and I love having an hour for personal study each day. So now I'll give you a sample of some experiences-
My companion and I were teaching a lesson to our investigator "Elisapeti" who is really just our teacher pretending to be an investigator and I read a quote to her for the lesson in Tongan and i was just feeling like a failure because reading tongan takes so long for me because the words are wrong and I don't know how to pronounce some of them.. and then i said a prayer out loud to close the lesson. As soon as I said "E' Tamai Hevani" I just got this warm comforting feeling, as if someone was saying "it's okay. I'm still proud of you. You don't have to be perfect." and yep you guessed it. I lost it. the tears came and i'm pretty sure i scared "Elisapeti" because she had no idea why I was crying but I think the Spirit was definitely there so that can't be a bad thing. 
In personal study the other day, I was reading the Book Of Mormon in Mosiah  and it was talking about Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah. Mosiah 28:3 "Not they were desirous that Salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." I thought that was pretty cool because if I really believe that missionary work is the work of salvation, AND I DO, then this is literally saving lives in a spiritual sense and that is pretty cool and SO important. There is no way I am going to be that person who meets an old friend in the next life and has to answer for why I didn't tell them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ that could have helped them in life SO much and I had it the whole time. Not gonna happen. I think we should all ponder that possibility every now and then and make a few changes if necessary. 
Other cool thing- when missionaries leave from my zone, the whole zone sings to them in every language! We sing in Tongan, Samoan, Mashallese, Kiribati, and Fijian. It is sooo beautiful. No offense to the other languages, but the tongan songs are seriously the most beautiful by far.

 Out of time. That's all for now. 

Ofa Atu <3


--
Sister Emily Bever

Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thank You!!


 Thank you Bro. and Sis. Makasini (and cousin) for helping Emily
 with the clothing she needs to wear in Tonga.  We are so grateful to have you in our ward!


Here is Emily trying on her new clothes before she left.