Tongan Beach

Tongan Beach

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Week 32: Vava'u- The Good and Bad

Good afternoon ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to start of this email with a round of applause for... ahh crap I forgot his name. Oh well. Lets begin!
So kind of a re-cap: No, I did not get trunky from talking to my family on Mother's Day. Everything fell through that day, but I can promise with a certainty I gave honest effort to the work! However, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of the next week I was pretty homesick, but for different reasons. We did some good work during the week; I forgot to bring my journal to remind me what actually happened. The days blend together so it's hard to remember when stuff occurred. I guess I’ll start off with the big thing. I had a lot of adversity this week. Most of this came from my language skills and culture differences.
I guess the first thing that I really struggled with was my companion. We had an instance where he was Facebooking while we were walking around (on some member's phone he got earlier) and we were about to visit this guy, so I told him to stop Facebooking. I even said it in a joking manner, but maybe I sounded really harsh. He was kind of cold the rest of the night but I didn't really notice anything different. The next day we did our weekly plan and after we did companionship inventory. (Comp inventory is basically where you hash out any problems and fix them so you can work well together during the week) During comp inventory my companion got really quiet and finally expressed that I made him really angry with that comment, that he didn't want to work with me because of it; he would train himself from now on, and it drove the spirit away. He also said I should just worry about myself and let him be. I asked how could I follow the rule to "correct your companion when necessary" and not make him mad. He didn't give me an answer and just told me to pray about it. Well, I’ve been doing that because this really frustrates me. It makes the work really awkward and not enjoyable. I guess in Tongan culture to tell someone to stop doing something is really tapu, like forbidden. And they get really mad. But that's what the rules tell me I have to do, plus my Mission President told me to help him to stop doing these exact things. So I’m confused... if I correct him all the time, he will be angry and the work will fail because we have no spirit. If I don't correct him, he will do whatever he wants and president has said if we use phones inappropriately and listen to music and watch movies and whatnot the Spirit will go away. So... yeah. Figuring this one out. I’ll keep praying. As of yet all I’ve received is I need a better way of correcting so he doesn't get angry. ko ia pe.
The next adversity I’ve been facing is the language barrier. After our little thing on Friday it was way awkward... we went around and talked to people, but I didn't have the heart to work. I was a little trunky remembering the good times back home where I didn't have to worry about what I said or did. It was just good times with friends and laughing and being stupid. And without the heart to work, my language sucked. I didn't have the drive to think in Tongan and pay attention to what people where saying. So I pretty much sat around in my own thoughts all day. Really bad of me.
Saturday however, I decided to make a change and I tried really hard to do the language but it was just so difficult. I had a lot of times where I went into people's houses and they would joke with me and or make fun of me (I’m not sure which), but I would just smile and say "Uhh, what did you say?" I felt like I regressed like 6 months and I couldn't speak at all. It was really disheartening.
Okay time for the good stuff. So, someone told me the mission is a big test of faith. Whether or not you will work and live like you believe. So I was like hmm... OKAY. I'm gonna do just that. So I’ve been trying to have a good attitude and love whatever happens. I know if I keep trying to learn the language, I will eventually master it. I still do my language study every day and that's got to be helping. I liked Bailey's advice of reading the Book of Mormon and maybe around the end of Alma the language will make sense. I’ve already started on that cause.
Other cool things: I got a new scripture bag thingy. I had some lady lalanga (weave) it and it's pretty legit. I’ll send a picture. I also got a new Ta'ovala because my other one was almost shredded. I'll send a picture of that too.
This is a really negative email I guess, but I’ll finish it on another bad thing. Yesterday I was super sick; probably food poisoning. I woke up with a nasty fever and my whole body was sore and aching. I performed the helicopter maneuver by both puking and expelling diarrhea. That was less than pleasant. I wasn't really able to leave the house so we just sat there and I loved life the best I could. (That’s why I didn't email yesterday). Kind of miserable but I’m relatively happy today and I’m excited for a new week! Like. Bring. It. On.

Ofa atu,

Elder Sitaki

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