Tongan Beach

Tongan Beach

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 7: Tonga- Arrived!

Dear kau kakai, 

Hello everybody! It's me again. This is quite different form last time I emailed. Right now it's about 4:21pm, Saturday the 21st. I'll email on Saturday's from now on. So life here is awesome! I love it! When I got off the plane it hit me for a second, like what the heck am I doing in some dinky little island in the middle of the Southern Pacific, but then I got over it. I went through customs just fine and met President Tupo. He's a big guy but super nice and friendly. I was still kind of freaking out so I didn't say much. Everyone was still speaking English to us, which was nice. We drove to the mission home, had a little snack of pineapple and tuna sandwiches, and then went to bed. We woke up early, and starting packing stuff. We are only allowed to bring one suitcase with us wherever we go, so everyone took like half of his or her stuff and we put the rest in storage. Then we had breakfast in President Tupo's house. It was all American food still except for fried spam. That was new. After that we interviewed with President. It went well; he said he doesn't normally do this, but I was assigned to be an office missionary with this Palangi (White) guy. His name is Elder Anderson. He's super chill; he's been out a year so he speaks well so that helps. He's from Riverton, Utah. Anyways, I’m learning a lot, but I can barely understand anything.
We got to our MQ (mission quarters). It's pretty ghetto, so totally missionary worthy. It's an offshoot from a member’s house. We live exactly next door to the temple. It's got 3 rooms; bathroom, bedroom and front door room. Yeah. Anyway, I’ll give you the square footage next week and I’ll put pictures this week. It’s small. Actually just yesterday they put a hot water heater in. It's a classic job; they wired power from a nearby light, and then put a new outlet and the plug for the water heater right above the shower. It works really well!! Except it flips the breaker for our whole house every time we use it. I think they are fixing it right now.
Anyway, so I work in the office. I work there until 5 then we go preach. The weird part about our area is we don't have any non-members. We teach in a little neighborhood and the Liahona high school. (Church high school). There are 0 nonmembers; 100% of people are baptized. We have 1 inactive family, and we teach a guy who works at a guard station. It's not too bad; the members are awesome. To teach, we ask members to bring in friends and non-members and we teach them. So we almost always have a member present. The first lesson we taught was funny enough, in English. This lady understood English better. She brought her boyfriend though who was fairly anti-Mormon and tried to argue to whole lesson. We decided not to bring him again. The other person we teach a lot is S. He works at the guard station and he's a champ! Before i got there, they asked him to pray about the Godhead being 3 people, not the Trinity. He got an answer to his prayer and now he's super teachable and prepared. We teach him in Tongan and he loves to learn. We challenged him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I also invited him to be baptized after he received an answer to his prayer. I didn't understand him, but he said, according to my companion, "Why are you asking? Of course I will be baptized if I know it's right! That’s why I’m here listening to you!" That's awesome. All right this email is too long, I’ll send some pictures. 

'Ofa atu!

Week 6: MTC- Accidents Happen

Dear people who wanted to hear from me,

I am sorry to report that this is last time I will write you from the MTC. I say this because I am leaving this safe, English-speaking place for a couple of islands in the middle of nowhere. And I couldn't be more ready (not). I'm actually quite nervous, but I'm going to go with a good attitude! I'll smile the whole way down if I can. I was talking to a friend I met here who's been in Fiji for two weeks. He said he's been fine and even though the language is hard, it's a good time. So that gives me hope! Nothing super funny happened this week that I remember. That's just life ya know? Oku ou ikai ke mateuteu, ka te u fiefia. It's crazy to think I’m actually at this point in my life.
Anyway, so about my week. I was able to do hosting. That’s where you pick up new missionaries and show them to their room and class. That was fun; I met an elder from Weston, Idaho. Other than that, it's just been class. I taught my last lessons to my fake investigators, and my last Skype session is today at 6.20. I'm going to chat with real Tongans this time. Last time, the weather or something was bad in Tonga, so we Skyped our teacher’s friends who were returned missionaries from Tonga. I'm not very nervous for Skyping anymore because if I can't understand them, my companion and I will just freeze and pretend the internet doesn't work or we can't hear them or something like that. I'm kidding, but the thought has crossed my mind. I've tried to talk to people here from Tonga, there are a lot of them, and if they speak slowly I do okay. If they speak quickly it's like a whole other language. Luckily, since I’m Palangi (it means like white man or American), everyone will understand that I am bad at speaking and stuff. Supposedly they will love me like crazy and help me if I am trying to learn, so that's comforting.
We are supposed to teach people to have enough faith to be baptized. I'm trying to teach myself to have enough faith to go through with this. I know it will all be fine and God will watch out for me, but it's a lot to take in haha. This morning I had a serious surprise when my dad "accidentally" went to the same temple session as me. It was great though and now I feel a lot better.

Elder Sitaki

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 5: MTC- Welcome to 'Murica

Malo e lelei hoko famili!
Today I decided I’d try to mention some of the funny stuff that happens here. Usually at night we stay up talking and laughing our heads off, so there's always that. Before they left, the elders going to Fiji pulled a prank on someone. They woke him up and told him it was morning and he needed to get ready. They all were fake getting dressed and stuff. The sleepy elder then woke up and got in the shower and came out in missionary attire and then discovered it was 1am. It was great! Also my district has turned into a shaving cream battlefield. We get free left over shaving cream from the residence we clean, and then we sabotage each other after class. It's almost impossible to take a shower or use the toilet without some crazy Asian spraying shaving cream all over you. (The toilet is annoying because you have to take a shower usually to clean it up). When the guys from Taiwan get you, they sometimes yell, "Welcome to Taiwan!" in response of course I get to say "Welcome to 'Murica!!!" Yeah, so that's fun.
So since last week I’ve been doing fairly well with my Tongan. I can speak the whole lesson without notes or anything, and I can understand a little and answer questions and stuff decently. That’s a blessing I’m sure because languages are a pain in the butt!! Today I have a thing called TRC. That means Training Resource Center. What they do is they bring in people who speak your language and you teach a short 20-minute lesson or whatever. Well so I’ve done that twice and my companion and I did fairly well the second time. Now, as in today, I Skype someone in Tonga right now, like a native Tongan. It’s a 40 minute lesson and I’m pretty scared because I barely understand the teacher who speaks really slow and simply so we can understand. I’m not ready for the full force of Tonga, anyways so wish me luck!!
We had a new set of Elders going to Fiji come in. they are pretty cool, one of them is all the way from India! Did you know they send missionaries to India? I had no clue. Anyways yeah he's pretty cool. He went through the temple for the first time today. Luckily he speaks English pretty well, so he understood it, I think. I'm not his companion though, so I don't really need to worry or anything.  I’ll send an email with some pictures and I’ll write the stories behind them. Other than that this week went by pretty fast. On Tuesday we had Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy. He had some good points and answered a question of mine I prayed for. 

I love all you guys!! Have a great week

Apparently there is a sacred trust between Tonga and Fiji where we share all of our food when we leave

My zone

One of the singing parties that always seems to happen in our room

All of the Tongan speaking missionaries

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 4: MTC- It’s like a challenge

Heyyy! What’s up my family? How’s is y'all doing? Any funny stories? Any terrible accident's I’m being inconsiderate of? I’ve been doing well this week. I’ve been kind of crazy up and down, but not too bad. I think I’m subconsciously stressing out about going to some island in the middle of nowhere, where I can't speak the language and everything will be stolen, but if I don't think about it I’m fine. The language is come pretty decently. I’m going to be terrible when I get there. I taught a returned missionary from Tonga and I didn't understand a word he said so.. Yeah. I can bear my Testimony though! oku ou fakamo'oni atu! oku ou 'ilo ko 'e 'Otua ko 'etau 'e Tamai Hevani 'ofa. oku ou 'ilo oku ofa 'e he 'Otua kiate kitautolu. oku ou 'ilo kapau te tau lava 'o lotu, Oku tali 'e he 'Otua. 'I he huafa 'o Sisu Kalaisi Emeni. Short but sweet!
So this week has been a roller coaster! I teach a bad lesson and the whole day is ruined, or I then teach a good lesson and I’m a champ. I don't know what to think half the time. When I get to Tonga I’m going to be so quiet! Exercise wise I’ve been going crazy with the cardio, that's all I do now. Just run on the track or do a machine or something. I’m like paranoid with how much the feed us; I don't want to be fat. I’ve dropped about 8lbs already from when I got here so that's good!
It’s starting to get cold in Utah, not bad, but just a little chilly. Really loving those sweaters we got from the thrift shop! Totally worth it for the 6 weeks I’m here.
I had some really spiritual experiences in the temple, but I don't want to talk about that via email. Otherwise the Spirit is kind of just here. Prayers are being answered daily and you really gain a testimony that God is there and answers prayers. Also, you know you mean it when you feel the Spirit when you’re testifying in Tongan because half the time I don't even know what I’m saying. We had Neil L. Anderson come give a devotional! That was really good! He was answering prayers left and right and I swear he was always looking at me, or at least in my general direction when he said the stuff that I needed. The devotionals are the best! I love hearing what these guys have to say. Another cool thing is my Branch President looks exactly like Gordon B Hinckley. I asked him and he said he is President Hinckley’s nephew. His granddaughter is going to Nicaragua Managua north too, pretty cool! Not bad looking either. ;) But I don't have time for girls. 
Now that's I’m starting too see the big picture of the mission I’m starting to realize how much work it is. It’s a lot by the way. If you’re dedicated it's not going to be fakapikopiko. That means lazy, now if you want to serve with honor you need to work hard. It's totally worth it and I’m excited. It’s like a challenge; can I work hard for 2 years? I don't know. But I’m gonna find out and it's gonna be fun! I love writing actually postal letters so if anyone wants to mail give me your address and I’ll write you! I’ll send some pictures too!
For some reason my room is the party room. Literally anytime anyone who is somewhat Tongan is about to leave; there is a huge party in my room. Someone always bring the Ukulele, Everyone is singing and making up songs and laughing and eating candy and food and whatever. I'm totally fine except it happens all the time and they don't leave until like midnight. Mission rules are lights out at 10:30 and it gets missed all the time. I’m so tired our whole class falls asleep a lot. We will get elders from other buildings coming over to sing and stuff. The Spanish room beneath ours gets pissed too and they have written us notes telling us to be quiet.

Love Elder Sitaki

This is a Prank we pulled on the New Elders. We snuck around at night, Whole zone, and moved all the furniture in front of their door. Classic. Same thing happened to us when we got there except we stay up way late talking and so we caught them in the act.   

This is a picture of Elder Kannon and I. He's going New Zealand but he's like my best friend here.