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

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.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Week 7 on Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

How are you doing? I’ve had a pretty good week this past week. I’m
sending some more pictures today but they are not as great as last week. I’m glad that  Angie was able to visit and that mom you get to go to the Macy’s  Day Parade. I know you’ve always wanted to do that.

We actually are buying a Christmas tree out here too. We found one at the tiny mini stores they have here, and Erickson has Christmas lights for it.

The language fast that we started last week has gone well. I can tell that it is helping me to learn the language quickly. And every night I give thanks for everything. Tonga does that to you. Living with nothing, and people that have literally nothing makes me really grateful for everything that I grew up with.
The simplest things that you would never think of are incredible luxuries out here, like drinkable water, or a roof, or a floor, or a bathroom, a tennis ball. I was really lucky growing up. Kids play with sticks and spare tires for fun here.

I love you Mom and Dad. I’m glad that you guys are doing well and Mom I hope that you have a blast in NY with Angie this week.

Love, Tay

When one of our appointments had fallen through, we stopped to sit on a cement thing in a coconut tree field to figure out what we were going to do. I was thirsty so we grabbed a fallen coconut and cut it open with Elder Ericksons pocket knife. I think it is cool that we can just grab something on the ground and drink it without much trouble.

The food was dang good, the fish was probably one of the best tasting fish I've ever consumed. It was a whole fish too, scales, teeth and all. I'm getting really good at gutting fish with my hands. Check it out, after I ate the mouth muscles I made chomping movements with the teeth and remaining jaw towards Elder Erickson hah. It was really good.

Another picture of one of the houses out here.

Fuahau started eating our flowers. He seemed to enjoy them so I decided to give them a try, and they were pretty good. They tasted sour like how a not quite ripe small blueberry would taste.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 6 on Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

I’ve been doing great. Well I’ve been really sick this week for a good
portion of it but I’m doing well. I’m having a lot of really cool experiences.

This week/transfer I am starting a language fast. No English at all.
It’s going to be really hard. But hey, that’s a part of it. I want to be
able to speak as well as possible, as quickly as possible. I feel like
that way I’ll be able to be a much more effective teacher. I’ve been
learning a lot lately about how to teach more effectively but the
language is a big obstacle in being able to quickly do that.

Elder Erickson (my companion) thinks that after this transfer I’m going to be training. I kind of hope so, it would force me to do most of the talking and I’m sure I would progress a lot. Hopefully but, who knows.

I’m learning a ton in Jesus The Christ too, Talmage is the man. I
really love that book, it’s awesome. Personal study and language study
are probably my favorite parts of the day as of right now. Teaching
usually is but this weeks been slower. And my stomach hasn’t felt the best.
I’m doing well though. I hope you guys like my pictures and videos from
this week. They are pretty good.

Alright I’m going to email the bros now.

Love You Lots,  Tay

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 5 on Island of Eua

Hey Guys,

I was really glad to read all of your emails and see all of the
pictures that you sent this week. I miss you guys. This week has been
a lot rougher than usual. I was glad to hear about how
much you guys liked my journal and everything. I had some really cool
stuff happen yesterday. A mute man wouldn’t let go of my hand and
started crying when we had to leave and I asked the woman if it would
be okay if we gave him a blessing, but they said no. So we left and I
felt awful. Fifteen minutes or so later I said we needed to turn
around and go back to give him a blessing. So we got back and I asked
a second time and they said yes and I gave him a blessing of comfort
and when we left he smile and wasn’t crying or groaning or any of the
things he did the first time. It was really cool. You’ll read about it
next week probably because I didnt have a lot of time this week. Im
sorry about that. Oh yeah Im getting a ukulele on friday which is
awesome. I’ve been really sick today. I think someone gave us unfiltered water yesterday and I am really not feeling well at all.

This weeks been good overall though. A lot slower than
the past weeks. The internet here is really slow. Its taken me like
fifteen to twenty minutes to get this much to show up. All of the boys
emails were shorter. Ill make sure to try and send you guys the
journal in a little bit once it loads.

I love you guys,

Love Tay 

 Here are some pics for you

                                                          trapped in the jungle

 A bit he sent us from his journal… 

Ok so the ward activity was awesome. A ton of members brought their non- member friends and we taught the restoration to everyone. Beforehand I prayed for the gift of tongues and the gift of discernment for when it came to my time to speak. Those gifts are real. My companion turned to me to continue the lesson after he finished teaching about the apostasy, all of which I understood somehow, and then I taught and asked questions and replied to responses for a good five to six minutes. I didn’t stutter or take long pauses to think how to form sentences or anything, I just spoke. It was awesome. I went over the restoration through Joseph Smith and the translation and production of the Book of Mormon. And then at the end I testified of everything we taught and the power of sincere prayer. It was great. I walked out of there and felt amazing. Heavenly Father really does answer everyone’s sincere prayers.  I’ve also noticed in the Book of Mormon lately that everything happens according to the faith of the people, or the person seeking whatever it is they are after. God works according to faith. I’ve felt that working here too. Anyway, that lesson went really well and I felt awesome afterwards. My companion said my grammar was great as well. I definitely had some help in there.

The people here just sit in random places to do things, so I decided to give it a try.