Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week 16 on Island of Eua

Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your emails this week. I loved seeing all of the pictures of you all outside enjoying the snow and the pictures and videos of the dogs. I'm writing this one to all of you instead of
individuals because the internet is turning off and on because of the cyclone, I think. Apparently it was supposed to hit us really hard but it passed by and nothing happened. We experienced a pretty sweet earthquake though and the APs car got swept off a bridge by the ocean waves in Haapai with them inside it on Thursday.  They are fine of course but how cool would that be. I think Tupou broke his ankle but he's good. I'm
trying to think of what other crazy things happened this week but not much is coming to mind. Had a really really good lesson on friday with this lady named Sulieti. We pretty much only taught with
questions, had her think of all the stuff on her own and it was great. We completely veered off of what we were planning to do with her too, and felt like we both should talk about something else entirely. I started the segway and didnt know why I was doing it but it went really well. That was really cool. We had a meeting with mission president on Thursday too, and got to eat actual american chocolate cake. That was nice. I'm probably not going to be able to get my journal to load
unless some miracle happens so thats why I'm saying this now. It sounds
like all of you guys are doing well though and sounds like the snow is fun. I'm sure Lukes dying to get on the slopes with real snow. Thanks for the package too. That stuffs going to come in handy when it gets here. 

I'm doing well. Hopefully I'll be able to get the journal to you guys the internet hasn't died in a little while now.

Love, Tay

We waited and waited but Internet must've shut down. No pics this week and no journal. Short and sweet, always happy to hear he's doing well. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 14 cont'd and Week 15 on the Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,

This weeks been good. I’ve felt better. Not sick anymore. Don’t worry
about that haha. I was just really messed up for a while, and the mission Dr. sent antibiotics and stuff to me from the main Island.

The projects dad has worked on at the house that I’ve been able to see look awesome. The cabinet in the kitchen and the window seat look professional. I miss working on projects with him.

Good to hear that Jacks been running. I hate running right now, since my shoe inserts were stolen I feel like I’m wearing cement cinderblocks for shoes. Mom you should run another marathon. Glad you are training for the 50 mile race again in Utah, that will be fun for you and your brothers and sisters to do together again. Good to hear about Jack and Hogan playing basketball, and Luke snowboarding too. Sounds like everyone’s having fun.
I loved all of the pictures you sent this week and the one of Gus jumping on Mom haha. I miss the dogs.

 I can’t believe Hayden got called to Honolulu. He is so freaking lucky.
And he doesn’t even have to learn a language, what the heck. Not fair. That’s so cool.

I’m happy for Kyle, hope he's doing well. The wedding was in The Fingerlakes right? Probably was pretty fancy. I also liked hearing about the Bakeys. Bakey's a good kid. He’s a good friend. I’m sure he’s getting straight A's at Villanova too.

This week was a lot better than last weeks. It’s been good. The
language is coming along better and I’m speaking more. It’s still really
confusing at times though, so primitive. I wish they had a costco
here, that would be nice, or even a grocery store in general, or a store
that has more than kapa pulu and juice, but  whatever, it is what it is. I’m doing

Hopefully you guys have a good week this coming week too. Thank you Mom for telling me how proud you are of me, I wanted that this week. And Dad thank you for the letter you wrote me and sent with me, I read it often.

Love you, hope you all are doing well.

Love, Tay

and- don’t worry about my health. I’m fine

Here are the results of my haircut I gave last week. Elder Erickson told me this is the most important haircut you will ever give, because if it turns out bad, he's not going to want us to teach him anymore.
It took me an hour and a half but his cut was perfect. I did a great job blending it all. I even gave him a shape up and trimmed behind his ears and cleaned up his neck. Maybe I should just drop everything and go to cosmetology school when I get home and open up a barber shop with my mom. It was lots of fun, now I just need to get Erickson to trust me cutting his hair.
He told me he wanted it to look exactly like mine.

Naita gave us some sugar cane it's really good but it feels like it's breaking your teeth.

Another trip to the Main Island, stayed in the mission dorm in the building over the offices. It was really nice, we actually had AC, carpet, a couch, bed and closets it was great. We even had warm running water in an actual shower. I will never take that for granted again. 

We had our Mission Leadership Conference while were here that was in last weeks blog post. I really love these MLC meetings and all the zone leader meetings that I've been able to have with the Mission President. We also got to do a session at the temple while we were there, and spent some time with Elder Anderson and Elder Starks, we worked out together one morning and they brought over stuff to make pancakes. It was great. 

When we got home we spent some of our P-day rearranging our MQ. We cleaned with baby wipes and sprayed all over for bugs. I've gotta say our MQ is pretty awesome now. Our new arrangement opened up the room a ton. It's great and I even made a really cool piece of modern art with my grandmas favorite quote and our wall clock that's above my bed. Our MQ almost feels like we don't live in a third world country.

We have had a good week, we've been teaching lots of lessons and feel like everyone is liking what they are learning and want to know more. Always have some road blocks here and there but for the most part it's all going well. We were able to use what we learned at the conference, and have taught by asking more questions.

At Fafanga the other night a chicken was walking around the floor before all the food was laid out. Then food was set down and the chicken was trying to eat out of Ericksons bowl, that's when the family shoo'ed it away. The weirdest part about that actually was that we didn't even think anything of the chicken walking next to us and trying to eat out of our bowls. It made a little ruckus with its wings and finally was gone. That's when I thought to myself a chicken just tried to eat our food, inside the house, that's not normal. But it didn't seem to feel like it wasn't normal. That's just life out here.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Week 14 on the Island of Eua

Hey guys,

Sounds like you've all had a pretty good week. I bet its nice to finally
be able to go snowboarding and that shyba's started. It stinks that schools already back in swing. Good to hear that you found out what was wrong with your shoulder dad. Hopefully it will feel even
better soon. Hopefully Luke recovers quickly from whatever he's got. I've been really sick too most of this week. I'm good now though. The internets going in and out so I'm going to try and keep it short.

Love you guys. Hope all is well.

Love, Tay

Another trip to the Main Island-
Some pics posted from the Mission President and his comments about the Mission Leadership Conference-

January MLC: Tutored by the Spirit: we sing, pray, recite, learn, role play, discuss, eat, learn, role play, sing, pray and then it's time to apply what we learned. These are times never to be forgotten!  We are covenant makers, covenant keepers and goal achievers!

Elder DeSpain and Elder Erickson with the Mission President and his wife.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 12 cont'd and Week 13 on the Island of Eua

Hey guys,

The internet is really slow this week because of the hurricane. Its been turning off and on for the past couple hours and I'm not sure if this will get to you all or not. I've been reading my emails in the old
html website for a little while now but everything is super slow. My journal has been loading, but at a snails pace. Hope you're all doing well. Hope this sends.

Love ya'll,  Tay

We did get his journal this week from the last two weeks, this weeks blog will be mostly pictures and his description of them.

The flight to Tongatapu was nice and short. Seven minutes in total. Our seats were at the very front of the little plane, right behind the open cockpit, first class seats. I took some photos and my camera did something way cool with the propellers, and the palm tree fileds look really cool from the sky. Check it out.

First truly American meal since sister Tautua gave us pizza that second night after arriving Tonga in Liahona. It was delicious. Second picture is us getting pizza again on this visit back to Tongatapu a couple days before Christmas.

We stopped at the office and picked up a couple things I've been wanting, a thing of gel scripture crayons, the official Tongan-English dictionary of Tonga, and I got a Tongan name tag too. I showed it to one of the members and she told me it was better than my English one so I switched it out today. I'm officially Elder Sipeini (spaini).

Here is some pics of us getting ready for our Christmas day deliveries. Thanks to a package I received from Hartlines back in PA we were able to deliver cookies, a message, and toys to all the children we visited on Christmas Day. Erickson and I are so pumped to hand out all of the toys and cookies and play the ukelele for everyone.I'm so happy the Hartlines decided to ship all of those out, these kids are never going to forget this Christmas.

The day after Christmas we baptized Tonga, the water was freezing. We were both shaking afterwards but all went well. She was very happy. 

Explored a bit more of the Island on our P-day. December 28th, the ocean was beautiful and the sound of the water crashing up against the rocks I could sit and listen to all day.

We stopped by to see if I could get a haircut, Mikolo was taking a nap.
So we took matters into our own hands, this is my awesome cape and the finished product.

We had fresh fish and two whole octopus. Octopus is way good, it was awesome. It's cool too, you just eat it as is, skin and all. There's no bones and its basically all meat, hardly any fat. The little suckers taste pretty good too and give some nice texture. I ate six tentacles. Fafanga was great.