Happy New Year everybody! Guess who saw 2016 first?! Me! Hah okay maybe not. I didn't stay up till midnight, but I'm pretty sure Tonga is the first country to see each new day :). New Year is a pretty big deal here, but that just means LOTS of church for the other religions and lots of feasts. This whole week-- I think they call it like week of prayer or week of church--- they go to church every day and have feasts every day.... so it might be harder to get our appointments with investigators... we'll see. I have a confession... I know this is kinda bad, but whenever I see a house having a feast or a church having a feast, i tell my comp we have to take the long way to walk around it because they ALWAYS insist that we come eat!
Other news for this week- ooh yeah. from the subject line, we had a Cyclone warning on Saturday and Sunday. Honestly i don't know what all of the drama is about. It was cancelled after a few hours and its really just a great time for us missionaries because A) Its really cool and lots of wind so im not sweaty B) Everyone is at home because they are all afraid of the cyclone coming and we can go visit everyone! Yay :) win win. As for our investigators, we set a baptism date with a cute girl named Fe'ilo leka. She is a very smart 9 year old who comes from an inactive family, but we are teaching her and working on reactivating her grandma at the same time, so we expect good things. Also, Toni, one of our converts bore his testimony for the first time in church yesterday!! I was soo proud of him :). I think my favorite experience from this week was a lesson we had with a part member family. The dad is from Hawaii and was raised in the church and wants to come back. We talked with them about the importance of following the words of the prophets and coming to church. Sister Emch shared her testimony about the importance of putting the Lord first and an experience she had with tithing. It was exactly what he needed to hear. Then i felt impressed to promise them immediate blessings that they are currently lacking if they will come to church. When I made them the promise, I felt the spirit SO undeniably. Unfortunately they didn't come to church this week, but I am not giving up hope because I know they felt it too :)
Spiritual thought for the week-
2 Nephi 27:23 "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith." I read this today and it helped me because I have been worried about accomplishing our mission's goal to celebrate the 100th year of Misiona Tonga-- 100 baptisms in every stake by May 31st. BUT i know that God is STILL a God of miracles and if we have the faith, he will work a miracle and make the goal happen.
Love you all more than you know! Happy 2016.
Sister Emily Bever
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
Calm after the storm :)
kids playing in ocean... here in Tonga the kids swim in normal clothes or no clothes at all. They only people who wear swimsuits are the ones visiting from Australia/ NZ/ USA