Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 25 on the Island of Eua

Little bits of Taylors journal:


I listened to President Monsons last conference talk about keeping the commandments while eating breakfast. Then I saw the biggest lizard I've ever seen outside of a zoo, run into the bathroom. This lizards body was as thick as a half dollar and probably 7 inches long. We found the momma. It's kinda freaky that those pretty much own the place. The last half of personal study I read chapter 22 in Jesus the Christ. I'm almost halfway through now. It was really sunny, really humid and freaking hot, we placed our sweat rags over our heads to keep our heads out of the sun. Sweat was dripping off of my fingers. We walked all the way to the Stake Center. On our way we walked by Pakalani's store and she gave us 2 corn dogs and some water bottles. It was about a 40 minute walk, we got to meet the new sister missionaries. Sister Beterich and Sister Pouhauhau. The meetings went well. The AC was turned on really high, it felt really good until all of our sweaty clothes made us cold. After the meetings we waited out a downpour and headed back to our MQ where we got changed to do some service work in Houma. We then walked to Sione Kauvakas to get a ride. The whole back of the truck was filled to the brim with wood,so there was nowhere to sit except for on top of the truck roof itself, and then it started to rain again, hard. The truck ride was way fun. I don't think I'd be doing this anywhere else but here. Going 40 miles per hour on top of a truck roof, it was flipping fun. 

We got to Houma and found out that no store on Eua had any nails. So all we did was unload the wood. Alisona ordered some nails and we are going to come back Thursday and build the fence. When we got back to our MQ I found that massive lizard above my bed. So we went on a lizard hunt, he's a big one. 

We had another lesson with Mele, we sat down under the pavilion and she got up and made us some fresh squeezed orange water. I asked her how her prayers went and she told me she sometime feels like she should read the Book of Mormon but doesn't because she doesn't want to replace the bible. So we explained to her that it's not a replacement. We then read some scriptures and she said she liked everything we read. We taught  her for a while reading scriptures, explaining repentance, forgiveness, baptism, and the Holy Ghost and how she can have its companionship after baptism. She was really excited and felt so good about all of it. That she said she would definitely read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. It was a really great lesson, I could feel the spirit and I could tell she could also.
Later on we had a meeting with the stake president, he had us load a bunch of wood into the back of his truck, and we took it and dropped it off in Kalamas back yard. We're going to build a fence with it for their new pig farm (Sunia is going to give them two pigs to start out). We almost died at Sesililis, 4 dogs came sprinting at us with the straight devil in their eyes. I wouldn't be surprised if those things were possessed. They are freaking terrible. Sesililis wasn't even home. We left there, and went to teach Ma'ata's to teach Isi. That appointment fell through.

Later on we went to Filia Vave's and Mele told me to come in so I could get my new Ta'ovala they had made me. It's awesome, way nice, I wore it the rest of the day. (the ta'ovala is what he wraps around his waist, on top of the skirt or tupenu)

Then we went to the church activity but not many of the less actives or invitees showed up. That was our reason for being there. So we left to try and go and visit some of them. On the way there the sunset was awesome. The picture really doesn't do it justice at all. The clouds in Tonga are really cool.

Our Fafanga was at Vili Puafisi's house. He lives on the way to Houma. We got there and Vili and two other guys were roasting two tunu puakas on a spit. That was awesome. I figured out how to take night pictures with my camera. A bunch of kids were there jumping on top of a mattress on top of a van and joking to throw each other off. We found out that it was Vili's daughters 1 yr old birthday. That's a big deal in Tonga, and that's why they switched our Fafanga for that night so we could be there. They brought out a big cake. They asked me to bless the food and the girl when I said the prayer. Then they sang "happy birthday" and then "happy long life to you". Haha a little different than I've heard before. Food was great afterwards Vili gave us a ride and set up an appointment with his neighbor for us to teach him on Wednesday. Then we helped him get his car rolling down the hill so he could jump start it in reverse.

My other flip flop broke. Here is the latest fix with duct tape. Starting to think these may not last my whole mission. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 24 on the Island of Eua.

Hey Guys,

 Our time is short on the computer today, and will be from now on. I've been able to read everyone's emails though and I'm glad everyone is doing well. Here's a little bit of what's happened here this week. 

Love you guys,

Love, Tay 

We set out to search for the road in Pangaii that goes down to Tufu, because we were still trying to get to our appointment even though we were really late. The rain had turned everything into mud, which also meant that the roads were full of puddles of pig and animal poop smeared everywhere, deep too. There was no escape. Our feet were filthy and it was super slippery. I nearly turfed it probably ten times. That would've been really bad. I would've smelt like crap, literally.

We finally found the road to Tufu though and followed that down the mountainside into the Eua Jungle. 

We got there two hours after planned. It was awesome though. We sat at the tables under the pavilion before the hall out front, and I asked Mele if she had read the Book of Mormon at all, to which she responded that she hadn't. She then went on to tell us that she wasn't going to read the Book of Mormon because she had a bad feeling about it, and that she had tried many times to read it but she never can. It was kind of weird. Then she started telling us that she enjoyed our visits and really appreciated us, and all of this stuff, but that she wasn't going to read it and she felt sorry. I told her that was alright that obviously we want her to read it because... but we aren't forcing her and it's her decision. Basically we told her we are here to invite her not to force her. Then all of a sudden I had the weirdest impression that I should ask her about if she had already been baptized in the church and what she thought about it. That seemed really really odd to me, especially considering it was completely out there and she was basically  telling us that she wasn't interested anymore. Who asks someone about being baptized when they just told you they aren't interested? Also it was weird because I felt like asking her if she'd already been baptized or not, when I already knew she hadn't been. Weird. Well anyways I did haha. "Have you been baptized into this church already? What are your thoughts about that?" Then she responded "no, but I almost was when I was younger." - "oh yeah why was that?" - "my grandpa was bishop in the Mormon church, and sometimes when I needed it, he would put his hands on my head and say a little prayer". Boom, gold! It turned into a great lesson about what the Holy Ghost does, how she can recognize him and about sincere prayer. It was really good. The spirit was really strong too. The visit went from us being dropped by her to her making sure we came back on Tuesday. And she said "ok I will definitely pray about that". Before we left she insisted on making us a squeezed orange drink. It was a cool visit. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 23 on the Island of Eua

3/7/16 P-day
We are going to email a little early today because we are going to Siomatanga afterwards. We dropped off our laundry and then went to the church to email. On our way to Tongamamao a guy handed us a plate of horse meat to eat. Horse meat is delicious. Tevita then picked us up and asked for fifty dollars for gas. Jeesh. The ride to the cliffs was insane. The truck bed didn't have anything to hold on to, the back was open, and the sides were about 6 inches tall, if that. It was crazy because he was going so fast, we were trying not to fall out. The dust on the way down was really bad, dirt pellets were hitting our ears as we tried to avoid not being hit by nearby bushes and overhanging bushes.

The cliffs were breathtaking as always. The wind was so nice and the trees look like something out of a hobbit film and the rolling hills are awesome. It's really out of this world.

There were wild horses roaming around and the wind felt so good and the trees were amazing.

We went and saw the smoking sinkhole thing again and the small ovave tree. 

Afterwards we went to get ice cream but the store was closed. Sister Vaa'i told us not to worry and then she took us to the best store ever, that I have actually seen on my mission this far. They had actual American products. It was like finding a diamond in the rough. We all got good vanilla crunch flavor ice cream. We then got dropped off at our MQ so we could get ready for our lesson with Cindy. 

We started down the road to Houma, and decided to take the road less traveled. We went off road, down a super steep forested valley, hiked through and up to the other side. I think it saved us 20 minutes but it still took us an hour to get there. 

We apologized for being late because we usually get a ride, and started our lesson. First we went over the last two lessons before starting lesson 3. She really liked the lesson, and at the end she scheduled her baptism for the 2nd of April. So now we have 6 baptismal dates. After, we went to Uluaki Ma'ake's from there. We sat down and talked for a longtime I got to know a lot about him. We talked about temples and the Book of Mormon. I basically asked him questions for 40 minutes. After that we headed back to Ohonua, we got a ride standing up in the back of a truck, looking out at the ocean horizon with all its awesome clouds and coconut trees. Sometimes it hard to believe I'm not on vacation.

3/13/16- Sunday 200th day out
Spent the morning finishing my talk. Went to church elder Tafoya and I both spoke in church today. They both went well. Later that day we were asked to go to the prison to teach the prisoners. Haha what?! So we planned to meet at the church 40 minutes from then after we'd all eaten and go to the prison. We booked it from the church to Mele and Sai'ia Haisia's for fafanga, and found a whole tuna puaka waiting for us!

It was delicious, roasted, tender and chewy puaka. I think I ate almost a third of the pig. It was great. We ate really quickly so we could get back to the church on time. We rode in the back of Pisopes Uta truck. Set up 12 folding chairs in the back of the bed of the truck for the ride. It was the greatest ride ever. The kids in the back and all of us got a little wet because it was raining. Watching all of the kids was pretty funny. I sat next to Fili Napa'a and Tafoya sat across from me. Jokes were flying everywhere, tons of laughs and just a really good time. I took a bunch of pictures and everyone was trying to get in them. 

Our whole ward was going to have church at the prison. We had a caravan of about 4 cars or trucks but most everyone else was already there. The ride to the prison past Ha'atua was beautiful. It felt like a safari, the scenery was constantly changing too, one minute there were huge fields of coconut trees, and long grass, cows and wild horses, the the next minute we were in a somewhat dense forest, then we found ourselves between mountains and long somewhat empty grass plains going out to sea. It was beautiful. When we all got there we held the church meeting. Elder Tafoya bore his testimony and I got up and talked about the mercy of Christ and his atonement. I read from Mosiah 26 and Alma 36 and expounded on the joy of Alma after he received a remission for his sins and so on. I also bore my testimony. After the meeting we talked with the prisoners one of them looked exactly like Russel Wilson Doppelgänger, I felt like I should ask for his autograph. We asked them if they would want to talk some more sometime. They were all in agreement that they would want to. Hopefully that will workout. 

My favorite little house, it is so cool, look at the hammock through his door.  Its something you would expect to see on the cover of a travelers digest magazine or something. I call it the kuzco house because it reminds me of the disney movie- The Emperors New Groove.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 22 on the Island of Eua.

Hey Mom and Dad,

How've you been? I've been busy and tired. This weeks been packed. I
taught sixteen lessons with a member present, got 7 less actives and, 7 new investigators, and we have five baptismal dates right now. It's going well I just get
flipping tired. That's good that everything is going well, things running as usual, sports and all. Hopefully all goes as hoped for with tryouts this week for Hogan and Jack.  Too bad that Luke can't snowboard anymore, hard to do without snow. Thats sweet that Hogan's basketball team is in the championship. Who is his coach? Hopefully Jack's team will make it also.

The plaque is cool, except I'm thinking that I'm probably going to get home in July with all of the transfer changes now. I dont even remember that picture being taken either. Oh that's right its from here in Ohonua isn't it. That Opa's place, it looks good though.

Thank you for all of the pics. They are great. I miss the dogs, especially Gus. I doubt you're going to get any pics of me from the mission president anytime soon as I'm not going into MLC anytime soon,

at least not until Tafoya is done being trained.

I hope you guys have a good week this week and that everything goes
well. Love you All!

Love, Tay

Some bits from his journal, no pics this week of Taylor, just of his feet and his attempts to fix the flip flop that he is determined to wear his whole mission. Also above I sent him a pic of his plaque hanging at the church, I finally ordered it and thought I should send him a pic of it.

After our appointment we went to the church to print out Joseph Smith History for Jen (one of our investigators) and then went to take it to her.  While we were there I asked if there was anything we could do to help her. A while ago she had mentioned some projects she was working on. We spent the next 45 minutes going over all of those things. She took us to the schools library to show us all that needed to be done there, and then showed us around her house where she wants the wooden fence for the garden. The library is maybe four shelves big, and only has little kid books. It was super tiny too and the school is literally falling apart, the ceiling is missing pieces and the wall was falling apart on the left. It will be nice to be able to help her out. Also makes you realize how fortunate I was growing up where I did and everything we had available to us.