Thinking back on this week, I have seen the hand of the Lord a lot. I still struggle with the language, and the food still freaks me out a little, but I am happier because I am trying to focus on becoming a consecrated missionary. I read a talk on it by Tad Callister. It pretty much means to be willing to give up anything if it will help you serve others and accomplish God's will more fully. So yeah :)
Fun Tongan facts for this week:
- Tongans take the Sabbath day of rest very literally, so after church, visiting people and teaching is hard because almost everyone sleeps ALL DAY LONG. I really don't know how they do it, espeically because it's hot in the middle of the day and I have the hardest time sleeping if I am too hot.
- The churches here have services throughout the week at weird times.... like early in the morning, and late at night so there are always bells ringing to tell people when to come, but they pretty much sing the whole time and because they can sing very loudly, we hear it and it is actually very beautiful.
- I think everyone secretly watches us all the time... this week a lot of people said they had seen us fakamalosino (exercise) and they know what time we go, and watch when we leave our MQ and where we have fafanga (meals) and yeah... so i guess it's really important that we are always being obedient and Christlike, because we are ALWAYS being watched... pretty much everyone is always up in eachother's business.... and they also spread rumors a lot, but that's a different story.
Hmmm now time for some investigator stories!! First of all, let me introduce you to Viliami! He is married to a member and has 3 little kids with another on the way. He has lived in Tonga his whole life, but has visited NZ and AUS and he speaks really good English which helps me a lot. He avoided us for a long time, and then one day we caught him! Over the past 2-3 weeks, he has become a new person! He used to deal drugs, smoke, drink, do drugs, and he was mad at God for allowing his father to die when he was a boy, but now since he has been reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, praying, and pondering it all, he has decided to get baptized! Not only that, but he has given up all of his substances, he realizes that he shouldn't hang around with his old friends anymore, and he even said he wants to go to New Zealand and get his Tatoos removed! The last one was completely his idea and its super expensive so idk if he actually will... but He is just such a determined guy and I am so inspired by the changes I have seen in him. He just looks so happy now! He is getting baptized next Saturday. We also found this guy named Niki. He has lived in Tonga and Australia but he speaks mostly Tongan. He is catholic, but he has really never had a conviction to his religion, and we have only have a couple short lessons with us, but he is so eager to learn and he understands that it's really all his choice to progress or not. After our first lesson, he was like:"so if I want to come to church, where do I go?" My comp and I were thinking: "Is this guy serious?? we have to usually have to beg people to come to church." It's a really big deal around here for someone to switch churches because everyone knows which church everyone goes to and they all gossip about it. BUT Niki just has soo much desire to learn! He doesn't know very much yet, and he actually couldn't come to church yesterday :( but I still have a lot of hope for him and I'm praying for him like crazy.
This week were are going on exchanges because we're sister training leaders... we are going to a place called Mu'a... we'll see how that goes.
Okay last thought: I am very thankful for the scriptures this week and this is the one I have been ponderizing, so I hope you gain something from it!
1 Tim 4:12
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
I love you all more than you know. Remembers what's most important :)
Ofa Lahi Atu Moutolu!!
Sista Piva (Sister Skirt)
p.s. I almost forgot! because we can't speak very well, we sing a hymn in Tongan as part of a spiritual thought, but now word has gotten around and they want us to sing in front of everyone at stake conference coming up... ugh.
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
Emily with her companion, Sister Wunderlich and a local sister.