Tongan Beach

Tongan Beach

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 23: Office- First Baptism!

Dear Family,
 I have a lot more time this week so I can maybe write a longer letter. So, to begin with, right after the service project I realize that I got roasted! Man, I was sunburned so badly. So painful; Ugh!
On Saturday we did a thing with our investigator from Wales. We took him to one of our member's house. They have a really good family and spirit about them so I wanted to take M there. We made Topai and then we sat down and had a family home evening about who God is, our purpose in life and we talked a lot about prayer and that stuff. The Spirit was definitely there and I managed to squeeze out some tears when I shared about my dad and how he relates to my Heavenly Father. I really hate crying and I try to avoid it as much as possible because my voice gets all weird and I can't speak well. I tried to show M how much I care. We set him up for the Triple Kill by inviting him to church and then a lesson in the waiting room of the Temple here in Tonga. Church didn't end up going as awesome as I liked but I thought it was a good experience. On Tuesday we took him into the temple, just the waiting room mind you, and we shared the 3rd lesson with him. Helping us out was a senior couple, Elder and Sister Deakin. It was super spiritual and the temple itself has just such a wonderful spirit in it. We talked about Christ and His purpose and repentance and forgiveness and baptism and the Holy Ghost; all the good stuff. At this point he needs to start acting, because we are giving him all we can. To make that one quote, 'I'm givin her all she's got, Captain." But literally, I’m doing everything I can to let him have spiritual experiences; it all depends on him right now. I'm persistent and stubborn but I can't take his agency so hopefully he will use it effectively.
We also spent some time with this week with a guy named E. He lives way far away, but comes to Liahona everyday for school. He's on his last year of high school. We had been teaching him for a while and he was progressing wonderfully! He was praying about the church and he felt really good about it and we had him set up. He didn't tell him parents though, and this later caused a really big problem. He ended up telling them like 2 days before he wanted to be baptized and they said no. They said they would talk about it later and they did. When they talked about it they pretty much shut him down, telling him that he wasn't ready and giving him all these silly reasons why and he pretty much got scared and started doubting and now he doesn't believe it anymore and it's really frustrating. I have only known this kid for a couple weeks but he is really cool and he's an awesome kid! He just needs to trust and I know it's probably really scary to change from your family and parents, especially when you don't know everything and can't answer what you believe, but this is salvation!! Luckily God is merciful and will give him plenty of chances. Maybe I am just a step in a bigger plan. I care a lot about him and I know this will help him, but that's life. I'll keep trying my best.
I don't have any amazing Tongan culture things today. Kind of just regular. Oh wait; one thing, Tongans will sometimes wear slippers on the wrong feet. (Slippers = flip flops) They do this so it wears down the slipper evenly and gives you maximum use. I have embraced it and sometimes I wear my flip-flops on the wrong feet and my comp thought I was crazy until one of the Tongan members told me I’m almost a real Tongan now. BOOM! Snap crackle pop I win!
So the other big thing is I had some success this week!! I was able to baptize 2 children of God. These guys are from a town called Tofoa, they are next-door neighbors and they work for the same guy. The guy they work for lives in our area, we have been teaching and working with them for about 3 weeks now. We pretty much go there everyday at 5 for the past three weeks. We have had some struggles, smoking is one of them. They both a habit, but we have been working through it and hopefully it will never be a problem in their life again. Even if everything failed, we have blessed their life with health from not smoking. But they are actually really awesome people; I have a lot of faith they will become strong steadfast members. Plus, there is a lot of missionary work to be done with their families, which are non-members. Both are fathers; in one family the wife is baptized but inactive, and the other family no one is member. I am really excited to start teaching their families also. After the baptism one of the guys came up to me and said "thank you man." He speaks Tongan but knows a little English. He was so grateful and said he felt like a new man. It really made me so super happy; I’m glad I can be a part of his life. And I can see exactly how the Lord prepared him. He was part of church with his family and they split into two different churches, so his family followed one of them and he said, "I’ll find my own church" and they we met him! Look at that. He said he's really excited to bring his wife and kids and we will start working with him and teaching them. The baptism was awesome too. It was raining like crazy, so I was standing there, facing into the rain holding this guy, arm to the square, saying....Kuo Fakamafai'i au, e Siisuu Kalaisi, pea oku ou papitaiso koe... what a good feeling and experience.
The last thing I want to talk about was the family from the beginning of the email? On Thursday, we found out it was the little girl’s birthday on Monday, and they weren't going to celebrate the birthday for a couple months until they could get to America, because the didn't have very much money. So the AP's, M and us teamed up and got balloons, cake, candles, and drinks and went over and gave them a surprise birthday!! It was so awesome and very happy and there was a ton of cake to share. They were laughing and loved all the balloons we blew up; they children thought it was hilarious to pop them, so they were all gone in like 30 seconds, but they loved it. That’s about it. Ofa atu!

Elder Sitake

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Week 22: Office- Service Project

Dear kakai,

How are all of you? I've been doing wonderful! Actually, that's a lie. My life has been full of wonder, but sometimes it's the bad wonder; like I wonder why I’m so stupid, or stuff like that. I forgot to write down from my journal what happened this week so I will do my best to summarize, but I’ll be missing lots of stuff. Let’s see, no crazy food, but I learned how to make Topai. It’s like boiled flour and coconut; kind of weird- not tasty at first, but man, now I like it. I ate it until I was like 98% sure I was going to vomit….like I could feel it coming. I can't wait until I am home and I can make all this stuff for my friends and family. You will all probably think it's gross. Everyone should see if there is a way to get green coconuts in Idaho; like the husk is still green or old ones, those work too. The Tongans use coconuts in everything they cook so it's a useful ingredient.
We got to do something that was exciting. We got to vilo hoa with the AP's, which means companion exchange. I got to go to another village and meet lots of new people and talk and experience a little bit of actual Tonga; its way way, way different then were I am at currently. I can't wait until I’m out in the field! Life will be awesome. March will be a really crazy month; we have people coming in and leaving and changes and it's all so crazy. I will be at the office for hours and hours this month. On the bright side, it has AC.
We did a cool service project today, which is why I have very little time to talk. We went to a part of the beach and cleaned up all the trash from it. It was a place where people would drive down and dump all the trash they had and just leave it. It was a total dump; I picked up like 4-5 bags just full of used diapers that had been sitting there for like a year! Man, that stunk. I also got roasted!! The sunscreen was not effective!
Spiritual experience for the week: Well, we planned a really awesome thing with our investigator from Wales. We are going to do a thing with a family who is working on getting sealed. We will go over there and make some Tongan food then have a family home evening. We prayerfully studied about what we wanted to talk about and during our planning session; we fit it all together and made this awesome plan. I could very clearly feel the spirit and I feel like this will be really good! We will anticipate changes from God, but it's His will we want to do, not ours. So that's totally fine! I have a lot of faith and I’m excited to do this!


Elder Sitaki