Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 12 on Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

It was really good to hear from you guys this week too. It was nice to
see all of you and hear all of your voices again. I missed it.

I don't have much to say either this week because I think I
pretty much talked about everything during our video chat. Oh yeah, Im
not moving anywhere this transfer. Erickson and I are still here for
now. About new years goals, I dont really have any asides from make it
to next year right now. I think I might shoot to read the book of
mormon seven or eight times in english this year and three times in
tongan. I’m thinking that’s doable and after I read the Book of Mormon
in Tongan all the way through I should be fluent. So that’s another
goal I have. Unfortunately my journals kind of not completely finished yet. Its
been a really busy week so I still have to type some stuff up from my
notes. I’ll probably do that sometime today.

I’ll try and send over some good pics though.

Love you all, Hope you’re doing well.


Love Tay

Taylor sent lots of pictures without much explanation this week so here are some of them with my guess of what they are. Next week I'm sure I will find out ifinterpreted them correct or not.


Exploring the Island on his P-day



Smiling for pic with sun in his eyes?

Haircut time!

Guessing one of the members out there, that teaches with them?

Elder Erickson and Elder DeSpain on the Main Island?



Mission quarters for their short stay on the Main Island?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week 11 on Island of Eua

Hey guys,

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes and for the box! I opened it on my birthday instead of Christmas because they said I had another big box in the office. Thanks so much for all of the cliff bars and beef jerky!!! That made my day. My birthday was pretty good yesterday. Eva Pisope made me a huge feast and lots of cake and ice cream and decorated the walls with balloons for me at our fafanga yesterday. It was really good, there was so much food and I was so full of chicken, but I saved just enough room for a couple pieces of cake.



This weeks been interesting. Lots of cool things have happened and lots of weird
things. I’m doing pretty well though.

Sounds like shyba is going well and you guys are having fun. I miss
playing shyba right now. It seems crazy that a year ago I had just
gotten home from a surprise paintball outing. I can’t believe its
already been a year. Dad said that its prime golf weather, Have you
guys taken advantage of that yet? And Star Wars has been reviewed as
the best of the series so far? That seems kind of crazy. Makes me
excited to go see it when I get back. Man I wish I could see it. I’m
surprised you guys haven’t yet.

Loved how mom suggested I make a trial run of cookies because she
lacks confidence in my cooking abilities and then tries to make it
sound better by saying she’s sure they will turn out fine haha. Thanks mom.

Good to hear that Brinkley is doing a lot better too. Hopefully you
guys get some snow sometime soon. I’m sure Luke’s dying.
All of the pictures that you guys sent were great too. I really
enjoyed looking at em all. I miss Gus.

We went to our fafanga after studies and walked down this long road right next to the beach. The beach was really cool. Two butt naked thirteen year olds came swimming over to us, they weren’t embarrassed about it at all, weren’t afraid to walk right up to us and talk. The beach had white sand and the water looked crystal clear.



The fafanga was at the Eua’s Resort, it was a nice small building with some beach chairs and a path to the beach. It was a nice little place, very peaceful. Here are some pics for you.


Eating eggs for breakfast to the sounds of waves crashing down in the background was nice. After breakfast we headed back to Ohonua where we started our vilo (splits) I was paired up with elder Finau. We went to a members home and talked with a guy for about an hour. After that house went to another members house, but this time we stayed for two hours… It was fun there, lots of stuff was happening. I learned how coconuts are cut open with a machete and got to try it out myself, learned how they get coconuts down from the trees, how Tongan rope is made, how the coconut shell that first comes to mind when people from the states think of a coconut has gotten to and from its housing, and how some Tongans joke around with their kids haha. That was actually pretty funny. It was a cool house.

Anyway my birthday presents were as great as I could have asked for all the way out here from my family. Thanks guys I hung up the stocking above my bed too.


We went to a non members house to teach a lesson with a member, the whole family and others in the house were asleep, we could see them through the windows. Our member friend didn’t care he just kept banging on the door, and then he just decided to open the door and walk into the house and wake them up. So I guess I can check off breaking and entering on my mission. Needless to say the lesson didn’t go so well.

Transfers are going to happen soon but won’t know for another week what is really going to happen.

I love you guys and hope that you have a great christmas this year. I
cant wait to skype all of you and see how you’re all doing in person.

Love Tay


Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 10 on Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

I had a really great week, President Tupou came to meet with us on our P-day. So my P-day this week is on Tuesday. The meeting with President and Sister Tupou was incredible. I never thought I could learn so much in such a short amount of time. President Tupou is very wise. He changed the entire way that I view conversations and how to teach in general not just for missionary work. The meeting was really really cool. He’s a great teacher, I learned so much from him today. I had two full pages of notes that I took throughout our meeting. In the middle of the meeting the Pakalani family brought us a feast. A crab the size of our area book, a bunch of chicken legs, chop Sui mo moa, kumala, watermelon, fish, this weird Polynesian strawberry looking fruit with a pineappleish hard outer shell you had to peel to eat (the inside was clear and mushy and tasted somewhat like a grapefruit), and pineapple. The meetings we had with the President were great. I felt really good afterward. Elder Erickson and I get to fly to the main Island for zone leader training. Its going to be great we will be fun to see all of the office elders again, plus we might go to a temple session afterwards.

Before our lesson the other night I was standing outside of the house with the coconut trees in the background, and I was thinking I’m really glad that I got called to Tonga. It’s crazy out here and a lot of things are really inconvenient and so on, but it’s really an awesome experience. Serving here has already taught me so much, and I love it when I sit down on the floor in someone’s house, look around at the curtain doors and woven mats, and think about how I got called to probably one of the poorest semi-developed countries that there is. I’m glad I got called to a place that’s been able to help me understand how blessed I’ve been my entire life and how grateful I should be.

I’m excited about being able to skype with you on Christmas Day. We've been scouting out member laptops for a while now so we'll be ready. I can’t give you a definite time though. It will be Christmas day for you guys. I’ll probably have an hour or an hour and a half to talk.

About your package you sent, the office elders said that they thought
they saw a package for me but President didn’t come with it yesterday
so I don’t have it yet. I’ll find out for sure next Wednesday when I fly into
Tonga.

 Dad, I really appreciated what you had to say about me making an impact on
people everywhere, and my influence while serving here. Thank you. I thought about you a lot this week. Specifically early Saturday mornings in the suburban or maxima on the way to baseball tournaments. I miss that, I miss those conversations. I’m glad we had all of those. Some of my favorite parts of playing baseball growing up was just talking to you in the car.



I love you lots and hope you guys all continue to do well.

Love, Tay


                      I had turtle for breakfast.



Bananas that grew outside our MQ. They are so good out here.



Sunsets




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 9 on Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

Unfortunately the internet hasnt been working today and now its finally on and we dont have much time, so my emails are a little shorter. Hopefully my journal will upload and you can read it and see pics. Glad to hear that you guys are doing well, I am doing well too.

Love and miss you guys too.

Love, Tay

Here is a couple things from his journal:

I baptized Sio and Kulisitofa today in Ohonua. I taught Sio, so I consider him my first baptism, even though he's not getting baptized into our ward. 



More exploring on the Island on my p-day







One of the members houses that we were doing some teaching at had just returned form fishing, he had only caught 17 today, but said that most days he catches around a hundred.



Pineapples are really good here, they are a bit smaller as you can see they fit in my hand. The next picture is some papaya coconut soup.



We got a ride home from a member after going to the bank. And the look of fear in the guys son was priceless. I took a picture, gotta love being white.





Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 8 on Island of Eua

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’ve had a good week and yeah I know pretty crazy isn’t it that I’m starting week nine in Tonga already, week 15 in total, and 96 days since I was dropped off at the MTC. Time is flying.

I’m glad mom had such a fun time in New York for the parade.
I bet that was a ton of fun, but thanks for having it for me because I
know I’m probably never going to be caught dead at huge parade like
that. It made me happy reading about all of the things you were able
to do this week in New York with Angie and back at home with
everyone.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving I am grateful for, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and his church, my childhood, growing up in conditions that I was fortunate enough to have, my life experiences so far, my family, and my friends. I’m so grateful for all of these things. I been really blessed, although I didn’t necessarily realize just how much until I started serving out here. I’m thankful for all of you guys. Fafanga was good, we stuffed ourselves full of sapa sui and chicken. Probably as good a Tongan Thanksgiving as they come.


I wish I could see the Christmas lights all strung up at home. This week we found what may be the only Christmas tree in all of Eua at a super tiny store, and bought it before anyone else could with the rest of the money that we had. We may not have enough money for food if a fafanga falls through but we have a Christmas tree and lights so who cares. Check it out!


My body feels pretty good. I’m feeling much better, just getting acclimated to the food still I guess. I’ve been craving mint chocolate cliff protein builder bars really bad. I’m doing well and Iove all the pictures you guys send. Keep em coming.


I am doing well. This weeks been really good. I had two really cool teaching experiences this week. The gift of tongues is awesome. and the scriptures are great. Personal study is the best.

Love ya, Tay



On the way to Fafanga we saw some amazing clouds, they are so cool



At one of our appointments Ray decided to climb a tree and get us some coconuts, we were glad he didnt fall.