Where to begin??! It has certainly been a week of ups and downs. To start, as Sister Training Leaders, my comp and I get to go on Vilahoa (exchanges) with sisters in another area every month. So, we went to an area called Mu'a on tuesday and wednesday. There was a sweet MQ and the area is huge, and much more urban than my area so i was slightly jealous at first haha :) but they don't have the incredible ocean views found in Navutoka. I I learned a lot from the exchange, and i one of the members there fed us american style pancakes and french toast and lemonade for breakfast!! i almost died. But i don't want to make this a travel log. Moving on. Here in Navutoka we have had some great progress! Viliami (or Pila) is getting baptized on Saturday and Niki is leaving for Australia for a month in a few days... BUT he is really excited about the gospel and he wants to get baptized as soon as he gets back after Christmas. We also met a new investigator names Mele (everyone is named mele) and she was really touched by the spirit and she has family members who are active members so she has some positive feelings about the church already. We will teach her again this week and I am really excited about her. I am sending a few pictures from this week. One is of some cute kittens. As mentioned before, there are TONS of cute kittens and puppies here, but i have to resist picking them up because they are crawling with flees... same with the little kids... haha. The other pictures are of this ADORABLE family we started teaching. The Hafoka famly. They were super inactive, but since we have visited them and talked about the blessings of eternal families in the temple, they have come to church!! They want to get sealed in the temple, and their baby was blessed this sunday. Oh! and there are other tongan girls in those pictures-- they are our dynamite vilahoas that live the the next town over. They are preparing to go on missions, and they have such strong testimonies! they walk all the way from there town to vilahoa with us every wednesday. We get vilahoas a lot because they help us explain things in Tongan and they help us to have members in lessons.
This week we also had the opportunity to work with the senior couple that serves in our stake, the Va'enuku's. They are the sweetest people. Both from Tonga. Sister Va'enuku is very passionate about charity and service, so she bakes all day and then goes around with her husband and they drop off food and clothing and other necessities to investigators and other people who are in desperate need. They often ask us if we have people they should visit, and we always do, so we get to go drop off food and talk to people and make their day! One of the families we visited this week was the Liu family. They are very poor, there is often a drunk man sleeping on their floor, and they have about a dozen kids running around with dirt and snot caked on their faces... haha. The kids LOVE us of course, but it's totally superficial because they just like touching the really white skin on the inside of our arms. They ooooow and aaaaaww and then hug our arms. it's hilarious! and 2 of the girls who are almost the same age did this dance show for us which was SO FUNNY. They know how to say a few word in english, so they try to sing english songs while they dance and i am kicking myself for not having my camera with me that day to take a video. I will get them to do it again so I can record it. They always walk around saying "excuuz mee!" because that is one thing they know in English. We are working on teaching them "I am a Child of God" but the "ch" sound is a struggle. ANYWAY, the adults in there family are warming up to us so we might be able to teach them and get them to church. Okay... a valuable lesson I learned this week:
I read "The 4th Missionary" (look it up and read it if you haven't) and it is all about how to become a missionary who gives everything to the Lord. I have been trying all this time to forget myself and be completely consecrated and all that jazz, but that talk helped me realize that I just need to focus on 1 thing and not worry about ANYTHING ELSE. Literally nothing else. If I give my whole heart to the Lord, everything else will work out and i won't have to try to forget about the things i left behind because everything that I will want will be what he wants. It's easier that way than trying to fight with yourself in your brain about all the things that you miss. So, what I want now, is to love the people of Navutoka like the Lord loves them, and I think i am getting there... slowly but surely, as noted in the subject line.
Well that's all folks! Or, as the Tongans say: "ko ia pe."
I love you all <3 <3. Also, here is a fav scripture of the week for you all: Isaiah 41:10
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
The town of Mu'a
On exchanges (Vilahoas) teaching the Hafoka famly
Cute kittens with lots of fleas