We had early transfers! I am still here in Navutoka, but I have a new companion- Sister Emisi (Emch)!! She is very sweet and cute and she is from Riverton, UT. She has been here for just about 6 months and she switched areas with Sister Wunderlich (my last comp). Neither of us are very pro at Tongan, so I am taking the lead in most of our lessons so far, but I can already tell that Heavenly Father has put us together for a reason to help both of us grow. She is very dedicated to being obedient and we hope to set an example to the rest of our district so that they will do the same.
I super excited to skype on Saturday, but before then, we have quite a few other exciting things planned too! But, before I forget, I will skype on 12/26 here (12/25 there) at about 8pm your time PST. It will be about 5pm my time. I think we are only 3 hrs different right now because there is no daylight savings here.
So, this week i finally got a taste of true Tonga summer weather, and people tell me it will still get hotter! I guess January and February are pretty bad. It is AFU AUPITO! that just means very humid/hot. I love the rain here though because it cools down a ton and the air is much drier after the rain.
blah blah blah, enough about the weather!
This week we will have a musical fireside on Wednesday for Christmas, and we hope to have LOTS of mamalohi's and non members come. Sister wunderlich got permission from the mission pres to come back to navutoka for the fireside because we are singing! hah. We also have a zone baptism! There should be at least 3 investigators getting baptized, and maybe a 4th. We taught a young guy a while ago named Toni ( i think he is like 22) and he was the most disinterested investigator I have ever seen, but then he moved into the home of one of our members and he started coming to church regularly with them, and when we started teaching him again last week, he was really sincere and we set a baptism date for him! Woohoo! If he is ready, he will get baptized this week, or we will postpone until the next week. My FAVORITE thing ever is to witness a life changing. Toni is yet another example of that. We gained a few other investigators this week, but none close to baptism yet.
Lesson learned this week: Be REALLY REALLY careful teaching kids. This last week, a member in our ward had a lot of family visiting from out of town and she was really excited because there were some older kids who had "been to church before" and "all of their parents gave them permission to get baptized." So, we went over and started teaching these kids. Turns out, most of the them had never been to church before, and our member was trying to set of this papi for them and then I go talk to the dad of one of the kids and he had NO idea any of this was going on, so I reapeatedly apologized and we are NOT doing a baptism for those kids. I learned that from now on i will always go STRAIGHT to the source first. This actually happens a lot around here because the members want to help with the missionary work, but so many of the adults are already baptized. We are now working on talking to the members about the importance of Baptism and how it is a serious covenant, and we will only baptize those who are prepared to make it. Anyway, thats my rant. done.
With this new transfer happening and Christmas this week, i have been especially aware that the Lord is constantly putting me in places where I can grow the most! My new assignment to work with Sister Emch is an example. This morning I was reading in my Tongan scriptures in 1st Nephi when nephi beholds a vision of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus and I realized how much I love that little baby, born in a manger so long ago. I would not love him so if I was not called to this mission at this time where I have been forced to rely on him every day. I take a lot of comfort in this Christmas season of Miracles. If there is any place on the planet with enough faith for miracles to happen, it is Tonga. I will see them if my faith is adequate.
Thank you to everyone for the continual prayers, love and support. You really have no idea how much it means to me. I love you all. Merry Christmas <3 <3 <3
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
The lizards in our house had babies. exhibit A.
a faiva at the Siasi Tonga right next to our house. we are not allowed to go inside of other churches, but this was outside so we just watched for a few minutes and took a picture! They practice a lot for these things and there are TINY little kids that memorize their little routines that last for like 10 minutes.