Tongan Beach

Tongan Beach

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Week 71: Niutoua- We baptized a family!


            We just finished a mountain of laundry. So in Tonga there are absolutely no dryers, they just use the sun and wind and it works pretty well.
My big news this week is that we had a huge baptism on Saturday. We have been working with this family and they are awesome. We met this family while I was doing an exchange with my old companion from Vava’u, Elder O. We were doing the planning for the next day and I was praying about where to go. I got an impression to visit a house that we had never gone to before. I couldn’t even remember the address, except that I knew one of the member’s that lived close. So that’s what I wrote in my planner- to go visit this member. Well, Elder O and I were going about our work, getting cooked by the sun and no none was home, a classic day in Niutoua. I kept thinking about this house that I felt prompted to visit, so we started walking towards it and we stood outside and called out to them. In Tonga it’s really rude to knock on doors so you stand outside and yell out to them to see if anyone is home. A teenage girl came out to see us and told her mom that the Mormon missionaries were here. The woman came out and she looked really busy, like she didn’t really want to talk and like she might be a little bit angry. She said that she was busy getting ready to go to a funeral and couldn’t talk for very long. We said that’s ok and asked where the funeral was. She said it was in Vava’u, which is really interesting because Elder O and I were the zone leaders in Vava’u and know most places. She said that she was going to a town that we worked personally. I was like, what the heck? When we told her that we worked there, her whole face changed and she went from being busy and irritated to happy and excited. We talked for about ten minutes about all the people we knew in common. I came up with my best phrase ever, not sure why I said it, but I said that we are basically family. Anyways, this family was Catholic and not interested in the church, but because we have been in the same areas she said that we could come back on Thursday after she got back from the funeral.
So later when I was back with my regular companion, Elder M, we stopped by and met with the dad. He said that we could come by anytime and he would clear his family’s schedule to meet with us. We set it up to have a big family home evening on Monday at 7:00. We double checked the time, but because the time changed, one of was wrong and when we got there at seven, he had already left. He said that he had waited around for a long time, but then he had to leave. So, that was a bust. But the good part is that he said we could have another chance and we made sure we didn’t miss this one. We went the next week and brought two other couples with us. This family accepted our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and listed to our lesson. We set up another lesson for the next week and we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ from the Book of Mormon. The dad said that he wanted his whole family to be baptized. This never happens! We kept meeting with family and finished our teaching and on Saturday, they were all baptized. Well, the mom, dad and the three oldest kids. There are three little kids that just got blessed. It was really awesome! The mission president even came to the baptism and he was teasing us a ton for being late to the first lesson, though I still don’t think it was our mistake. But anyways, It was a really great week. I could end my mission now and feel pretty happy. It was a really magical experience. No one baptizes whole families in this mission. I think that since I’ve been here there have only been four or five complete families join the church. So this was really special. Oh, and the president said that he will let my comp and I go to the temple a bonus. I’m excited.
On Friday, we have the apostle, Dale G. Renlund, coming with a member of the presiding Bishopric. I guess I should start repenting now. Haha. I don’t know what else to say, we have spiritual experiences every day. You just have to look for them. I’ve learned a lot about praying with faith. You have to have real intent and then it takes your prayer from just a prayer to something far more powerful. It’s like you’re on fire. There is a quote that the President said that helps me be more motivated. He said that “Obedience is the price, Faith is the power, Love is the motive and Christ is the reason.”
 But that’s enough of that. I have a highly dangerous, epic water balloon fight to engage in with my district. I’m not sure I’ll survive. I love you family!
Ofa Atu,

Elder Sitaki

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