Kalisimasi Fiefia Atu Moutolu! (not a tongan saying, but thats as close as I could get to "Merry Christmas")
This week was all over the place! BUSY days and DEAD days. I love being a missionary when I feel like I am making a difference, but some days when all of our appointments fall through and we walk a lot, its a little harder to be excited... but I received a lot of comfort this week when we had MLC on Wednesday and a taki faifekau temple trip on Tuesday!! Last time I went to MLC was my 2nd day in the mission, so I was brand new and I hardly understood any of the tongan, and I was disappointed in the other missionaries. This time was MUCH better! We have a new AP who is maka (rock... like a really strong missionary) and even his Tongan is not pro so that made me feel better about myself :) and there are a lot of new goals for the mission for the new year that everyone is a little overwhelmed by, but mostly excited for. Next year marks 100 years for the mission in Tonga, so Pres. Tupou has prayerfully set a goal with all the Stake Presidents in the mission to baptize 100 new converts in every stake between January and June. I am glad that it is an inspired goal, because we are gonna need some MAJOR heavenly help to accomplish it. We are over 2 wards here in Navutoka, so we will have 6 new converts each month! wow! I have a lot of faith, and I a working on getting even more of it before January rolls around. Yesterday was fast sunday and i love fast sunday because I understand pretty much everything people say in their testimonies and there are NEVER awkward pauses between people who go up to talk. EVERYONE wants to share. There were a lot of powerful testimonies borne about missionary work and so I think the wards are really wanting to get on board! I also went to my first ward council meeting yesterday. We are working on explaining the importance of having those 2x a month but its a process... hah.
As for investigators and teaching this week, it was a little slow, but I am really excited about a progressing investigator named Sela, and a new family we just found-- the Fuahala family. Sela is hard to get ahold of, but she is a super nice young single mom who has a lot of sincere desire to do what's right and she is starting to recognize the promptings of the Holy Spirit telling her that our message is true. She is very active in another church though, so she will need strong faith to follow through with a baptism date and leave her other church. The Fuahala family is very promising! The dad grew up in the church in Hawaii but fell away as a teenager. He came to Tonga in 2011 and got married. his wife is Catholic, but wives here pretty much always follow whatever religion their husband says even if they dont agree with it. The kids are all non-members and most of them are little. So, our task is to help the wife receive a testimony and the husband already knows the church is true, he just feels unworthy to go back. I know the lord can work major miracles for this family! If you are looking for a way to help out, please pray for these people :).
I love this Christmas season, and i am glad I am on a mission during this Christmas, because I can't think of a greater gift to give the Savior for his birthday than to try my best to serve him by feeding his sheep with the gospel her in Tonga. A lot of the "sheep" here struggle to understand that it DOES matter what church you go to. I think Christ is probably just as unhappy about this issue as I am. There is a great scripture in 3 Nephi where he explains the answer to this dilemma very clearly, and its a good reminder to all of us:
3 Nephi 27:3-10
It pretty much says... what should we call the true church? duh, take upon yourselves the name of Christ. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one true church of Jesus Christ on the earth, but not only should the church take his name, but as followers of Christ, each person individually can take the name of christ upon themselves and do everthing as he would do it. thats what im working on now, and probably will be working on forever... haha :)
Anyway, that's all for now. Love you all! Remember what's most important this Christmas and make some gingerbread houses for me!!
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
I drank my first fresh coconut! Then someone turned this one into a monkey (ngeli) :)
Me and the Beautiful tahi (ocean) today :) i love seeing my favorite color every day.
okay this is not my best photo personally, but this is a cute family we had an efiafi fakafamili (FHE) with! The mom is a member, but thats all, and the little girl wants to get baptized :).