Monday, February 29, 2016

WOOHOO finally got an email out!

Sorry people, the internet at our chapel in Navutoka has been broken and today we went really quickly to the chapel in a different village so we could email. We are in a place called Nakolo which is the highest point on Tongatapu and it has a beautiful view of the Ocean from above. Updates-- Today I found out that I have lice! It's kind of a right of passage around here and not a huge deal. We are getting the lice shampoo and comb today. 
The Cyclone a week ago was pretty cool and it didn't really hit this island, but it was REALLy rainy and windy. I also felt an earthquake while I was sleeping! cool. 
After the cyclone, sister Emch and I got this aweful rash all over our bodies that itched really bad. 
Anyway, the power is going on and off here so I am just gonna hurry up ans send this. Sorry, not much time to write, but i'll explain everything next week!! Love you all very much!! Oh! And we had a baptism this last week for a 59 year old man named Nicki! It was pretty great and I felt the spirit strongly during the baptism. It looks like everything is going well at home. okay the end. Spiritual thought-- just read John 21 and REALLY ponder it and tell me what the spirit teaches you. OFA LAHI ATU. the REAL end.

-Sista Piva

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tanaki lolo (Add oil)

Hello Everyone! And Happy Valentine's Day <3
To explain the subject line, we went on a vilohoa on Saturday with a sister who just returned from her mission in Hong Kong and she kept saying "add oil" as like a "go get 'em" type of encouragement phrase and I guess it is a missionary thing in a lot of other places in the world so I am picking it up because i just like it and there are like a bajillion analogies you can apply to it, so i'll leave it up to you all to think of one on your own. 
Yes, Tongans do celebrate Valentine's Day. Its not a big deal, but they know about it. Yesterday was V-day for us and our fafanga (meal) was a cute family of a man named Hame-- a widower whose wife died less than a year ago, but he just got remarried last week and his new wife is the cutest thing!! so loving! So I just appreciated the opportunity to see some cute (older) newly weds on Valentine's Day.  This last week was interesting. We were supposed to have a baptism saturday but it didn't work out because our investigator was busy all week trying to sell stuff in town and he didn't even come to church on Sunday! Ugh! I was disappointed, but then we taught him yesterday and he felt really bad for being so busy and we set up his new baptism date and he was probably the most sincere I have even seen him as we learned about the law of tithing. Other than that, many appointments fell through, but we also found many new investigators and lots of good things set up for this coming week! oooh one quick miracle... our most difficult investigator who can't get over something he read on the internet about Joseph Smith and plural marriage finally accepted a Book of Mormon and I know he'll read it because he loves to read, and anyway, I know the spirit was there in the lesson and I could totally see it working on him. Tui ki ai!!!! 
Anyway, spiritual thought for the week-- still trying to finish the BOM in Tongan! I'm in Alma, but last week I read a verse I loved in Mosiah 23. Verse 21- the people of Alma have been showing such great faith, they abandoned their old lives to join the church and just when they are finally prospering in peace, "Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." No fair, right? Well, that's kinda what I thought, but it just goes to show that hard things come for our good to make us more patient and more faithful, not just to punish us. I know the Lord does this to me all the time, but I am growing closer to him everyday as he does so. The good times are not as good with out the bad and we never become stronger until we know how it feels to be weak. Well, I'm out of time, but I love you all and keep the prayers coming :) <3

-Sista Piva

the first shrimp i have eaten that still had eyes! yummy all the same :)

the side of our house SOOO flooded. rained all day today.

Sister Emch wading through our yard today.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Holo 'i Navutoka!!

Another week here in Navutoka! It is getting REALLY hot and humid, so we are really trying to notice the little blessings to distract us from the miserable weather... oh and side note, in Tongan, weather is just "ea" which is a tonganized word for air so i was super confused for a while about that. oooh and the weather report is fakamatala ea or air explanation. Okay, sorry. not important. But, my subject line is inspired by all the reasons why people in Navutoka should be holo or losing weight right now-- one of which is the weather. It is the kind of humid where you just sit and sweat and collect lots of water on the peach fuzz on your face that you didn't even know you had. We are blessed to be at the beach where there is always a slight breeze, so EVERYONE goes to the beach all day to lay in the shade and pretty much just sleep. So, reasons why people are holo-
1. sweating buckets
2. food does not sound good when you are soo hot, only cold drinks
3. Fakamalohisino Friday is still going here and this week i taught a bunch of line dances to the ladies which was a huge hit! although there were only like 8 people there...
4. I think the heat or the food got to us again this week and both Sister Emch and I had a mind over body battle to put food in our stomachs and walk around. I was pretty okay, just fatigued. Let's just say Sis. Emch's stomach is easily emptied. 
5. The Elders in our district are all going home soon so they all want to lose weight! hah. They keep asking us what they should do because they saw us jogging one morning. 
Maybe that's all for the list. 
We are supposed to have a baptism this week but our investigator lost his clothes and didn't come to church yesterday :( he has come to church before, so there is a possibility he will still be baptized in the coming week. Another investigator who had a baptism date for the same day told us that he doesn't want to get baptized and he believes in a lot of the things we have taught him but he likes his church just fine. That was sad. Agency is my best friend and worst enemy. I know he used his agency to only half halfheartedly keep commitments to read and pray and the spirit can't bear a powerful witness to a heart that is only half in. We again testified to him and left him with a final commitment to FIND OUT with real intent or else always wonder what would have happened if he had tried. We may have lost a couple investigators this week, but we also gained 7 new investigators! That's quite a lot for us. Favorite moment of the week-- walking by a group of 5 or 6 younger men (20's) and asking them if they knew someone who we should go talk to, and by surprise they let us talk to them! 3 were less actives and the rest were non-members but they all had many sincere questions and real desire to know the truth. Definitely a little miracle... also turned into a hard lesson learned because we went back to meet them the next day and they weren't there right on time so we assumed they ditched right away when in turns out they were waiting nearby and they called to us by we didn't hear. You gotta have faith in people no matter how many times you have been let down before. That's how the Savior deals with all of us when we fall short. My favorite scripture of the week: Jacob 4:7. Verse 8 is also good. Look it up. no time for me to write it all out.  Ofa lahi meiate au kiate kimoutolu!!!! <3 Keep the prayers coming.  

Sister Emily Bever

Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission

now if that pic doesn't make boys come runnin after the mish, i don't know what will!! Those are Sister Emch's glasses...

me and one of our best friends-- Tangiloto! She is our ward mission- leader's daughter who goes to lessons with us every Saturday... at least most weeks...She just got off the bus from school at Liahona. She is wearing their uniform.