Tongan Beach

Tongan Beach

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Week 15: Office- Averagely Awesome!

Dear friends and family,

 Thanks for writing me this week! My week was average, which is to say, averagely awesome. It's never really boring here, especially with learning a new language. It’s really fun to be able to talk to people and learn new things. I'm doing better and better each week. I ran to the blowholes this morning, which is right over by a little town called Houma. (home-muh) The blowholes are sweet and the tide pools are wicked cool. We got totally soaked because I was standing over one of the holes and the wave came up and it was way bigger than I thought and pretty much engulfed me head to toe. I was like crap; it looks like we went swimming! But we dried off and everything was good. I saw this sweet snake; it's called a banded sea krait. It went and hid under a rock before I could get a picture though and they’re really poisonous so I didn't want to grab it if you know what I mean. 
In the office life has been going good! Always busy, I’m taking on more and more responsibilities. I'm even learning how to do the financial stuff when I have extra time. This week I accidentally broke the printer. Well I didn't do it, but it broke while I was operating it and we got a new printer for a couple days until it's fixed. The new printer is huge!!!! Its on wheels and it's the size of medium file cabinet. It can do so many cool things! It’s weird to be excited about this, but now that I’m office staff these things are a big deal to me. Without the printer I’m a dead fish in the water. Ain’t nothing happening.
So I had a cool thing this week. I was finally able to meet the prince of Tonga who just got baptized. There is a family in my ward who live way in the back and they have a big farmyard and the prince and his buddies are friends with them, so they come over to shoot guns. We came over after one of these hangouts and kind of just talked. Our time was limited but I got to shake his hand and talk to him about missionary work and stuff like that. After meeting him, I decided one important thing. I really like the Ford Raptor he drives and I want one when I grown up. Man that thing is sweet! But nah, it was cool to meet him. He was thinking about bringing his older brother the crown prince, and we were really excited because we might be able to teach him, but he didn't come. Maybe next time?
Lastly, lets go through some Tongan culture. First off, tattoos are super cheap, lots of times completely free; everyone had tattoos. So the word, yo, like YO what up bro? I think it started here in Tonga. The word io, (ee-oh, ee like in key, oh like oh no!) You say it together, eeoh, it means yes in Tonga. When you pass someone on the street, you say it really fast and it turn into yo! And every time almost always when you pass someone you say YO! It’s not a joke or anything but pure culture. That's how Yo started I think. Tongans went to America and said yo to everyone. The other thing is Tongan standard time. This means when someone says they will be there at 6pm, you should expect them at 8 or so. There is no rush in Tonga, you can be as late as you want and it's fine pretty much. If someone say's "oh I’m already on my way" it means they haven't left yet and won't for like half an hour. If they say "I’m fifteen minutes away" usually they just left their house and it will be an hour. It was really frustrating at first but I’ve learned to plan with it, and now I am able to stay busy and it works out really well. That's all I got today, I’ll send a picture of some scenic stuff.

Ofa atu

Elder Sitake

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 14: Office- My Christmas package came!

Dear Family and friends,
Thanks for all the emails this week, especially thank you for the pictures! I love seeing pictures of snow and cousins and stuff like that. News wise, I heard Bricon is moving to Nampa. Is that true? It sounds pretty cool!
My week has been pretty good, pretty uneventful. Actually that's a lie. We got some missionary work done! I was really excited. During one of our days we were visiting members and everything was falling through, so we decided to go to the last person we planned to visit. I had felt good about it for some reason the night before when we were planning so we decided to pay them a visit. There was a person staying there whose older sister was active and baptized into the church, but the younger sister wasn't. She was really excited to talk about the church however. She's 12 year's old and her name is L. We are going over there later tonight to teach a lesson. Hopefully it goes well.
         A cool thing about Tonga; I'll have to get a better picture, but they have big bats here that come out in the evening to eat. They are about the size of a small Jack rabbit. The people call them flying foxes because they are so big. I'd say they have about a 2 1/2 foot wingspan. You see them every night all over the place flying around. I tried to hit one with a rock but I missed. I'll get a good picture if I can.
We got the storm this week. Man it rained a lot. There was a couple times I would come home just soaked to the bone, dripping wet. When it rains here, it usually rain's sideways, and man it’s a lot. It was only a couple days so I liked the change from hot to cold. Also, it can get really cold when you’re drenched and the wind is blowing. I don't care how warm the rain is, it's freezing!! Other than that it's been an average week. I got my Christmas box. I loved everything in it!! Thank you mom! The best gift I got was the photo album with the pictures. Now I have stuff I can show my companions about how crazy I was before my mission. Lots of you don't know the stories, but there are some pretty awesome and not so awesome things that happened. I finally took a picture with a member, I’ll send it and you can see some of the people. The older guy is Brother V. He's super cool! The other guy is a maybe investigator. He said he was already baptized, but with everyone here we have to check their record because a lot of people don't submit records and we don't know if he's been baptized or not. This is salvation, so we don't take chances.
That's all I’ve got for the week! I love it when you send me emails, mail, and pictures. Someone should take pictures of the Job sites for Bricon.

Elder Sitaki

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Week 13: Office- Who needs ice cream cones anyway?

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you all for writing me and talking to me. Sometimes I sometimes get terribly lonely being in such a different place. Everyone’s humor is different and nothing is the same but it's fun and I’m adjusting! Thanks to the young women for sending me their letter and from the Brice family. I'm sorry to hear about Grandpa Ray and I will pray for him! Hopefully he get's better.
I miss the SNOW! I heard we got a lot of it in the motherland. I'm sitting here sweating bullets, but that's okay! We have had some crazy wind recently, there is a big cyclone doing a bunch of work up in one of the northern islands of Tonga. We haven't gotten very much rain yet, mostly just wind. Sometimes the power flickers on and off but that's okay. So the big thing that happened this week was the arrival of new missionaries. We got a plane full of them on Tuesday and it involves a LOT of work! (Well for the office people it does.) We were doing stuff all over the place; I didn't get to go to my area for 2 whole days! The day they arrived I didn't get home until 10:40, which is super late for a missionary. Luckily we were allowed and weren't just being disobedient. The second day we didn't get to go to our area, but were running to and fro places delivering food, dealing with luggage, meetings, and all the fun stuff. Afterwards we kind of just relaxed and began our work again.
Tongan culture of the week, I learned when I got here that they eat bread in loaves, or half loaves. You don't really get slices very often. They also eat ice cream with bread, which was weird, but now I’m converted. The half a loaf of bread idea works really well, you carve out the inside and make a sandwich. Its really convenient and I’ll include pictures.
For a late Christmas present I was able to go into the Liahona welding lab with a senior missionary guy and work on a welder that was acting funny. I finally get to use some skills!! Yippee, anyway, I found out humidity kills welding machines when they are not in use and being taken care of, so there were a lot of dead machines. Other than that it was a really slow week; not much happened. We are working with members trying to get investigators. Our guardhouse friend S has disappeared and we have only seen him once recently. He told us he was drunk at Christmas, so I guess were starting out back at square 1, oh well! That's all I got, I love when people email me, Remember to tell me what's going on! LOVE YOU ALL

Elder Sitaki

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Week 12: Office- First Christmas in Tonga

Dear Family, friends, and girls,

I'm really glad you all had a wonderful Christmas, and if you didn't, I really hope you will have a good New Year. We are all children of God and he loves us, so you’ve got that too. I had a pretty good Christmas I guess. It was very different. So normally around Christmas you feel the excitement in the air, and everyone is a little happier. Everyone here is a littler happier too I guess, but it's quite a bit hotter and that's all you feel in the air. I've sweated more than I ever have before during Christmas, but it was good! The highlight of the week was probably getting to talk to my family! I miss you guys so much, it didn't seem like I got to talk very long but that's okay. I should be obedient to the rules and that's a good thing. After I Skyped I went to the Bishop's house and had a huge meal. We had lots of meat, raw fish, and kumala. They even had turkey!!! Turkey is really, really expensive in Tonga and hard to come by. It's supposedly a family tradition of theirs to bring turkey to friends and family during Christmas. After we ate a lot, we got some presents! The bishop's family gave us a Tongan T shirt and some candy and some other stuff! I was super happy and I’m very thankful to the F family. I should've taken a picture with them, oh well. We planned for our next week and then visited some members that were home.
As far as missionary work this week, I don't think much happened. I hate to say that but we didn't really find much success. Our investigator's kind of disappeared and everyone was busy. However, we are very excited because we have a new goal! The mission president and stake president worked out a goal from now until May, of 100 people to learn and be baptized per stake. I'm really excited to talk about this with members. We did the math and it’s about 1 baptism per family per ward. That's entirely possible! We know that our mission president is inspired of God and so we are going to have faith and work really hard to achieve this. We planned out how to talk about it and use it with members in our weekly planning session and we had a lot of laughs because my companion kept saying "THE GOAL" in a Batman voice. We talked about how we can use it all sorts of places and it was really funny, good times.
 Anyway, I have to tell everyone, sorry, no I haven't had the opportunity to eat horse or dog yet. A family I know had dog for Christmas but I missed it because I was at the bishops. Horses are really expensive as I’m sure you can all guess and Tonga isn't overflowing with money, so it's a very special occasion to eat horse and I haven't quite had it yet.
That's all I’ve got for right now. We had some pretty killer sunsets; I’ll send pictures so y'all can have backgrounds for stuff. Y'all should write me about how your Christmas was and what's going on!


Elder Sitaki

Some members gave me raw peanut to eat (they are delicious) and I planted one for fun. It's growing into a great plant and it was my Christmas tree this year.