Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Week 42 in Tonga

Hey everyone, 

Life is good. We're really busy. Lots of Teachings. I'm loving it out here. 

Last monday after we finished some laundry and other planning we headed to the beach for the afternoon. We played volleyball with Tuikolovatu, Vailea, Betteridge and Bever, and then some 2 vs. 2 rugby with the other elders. It was lots of fun afterwards Vailea climbed a coconut tree for us and got us a bunch of coconuts to break open and drink. A littler later we got to go to a Tongan wedding celebration for an old AP in the mission, the one that trained President Tupou, so that was really cool. There were dancers and delicious food and the place was at a beach resort so the view was amazing too. Plus we got to talk to President and Sister Tupou again. 
     We had a family home evening this week at the Sitalekis. They have an awesome family. Leki is such a great head of the household. I have so much respect for this guy, he doesn't speak much but he is wise beyond his years. He's very quiet, observant, and humble. Great example and just a really cool guy.  We had lots of other family home evenings this week as well.
     We had a couple more lessons this week with a friend of Leki's. The lessons went really well. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Me'eki accepted our baptismal invitation. He will be baptized on August 6th. He's great! 
     We drove to the northern most tip of Tonga. We took some really cool pics, it was really pretty. You could see the Northern Islands from the tip, looked beautiful. 

Things are good. Miss you all. 

Love all of you guys, Elder DeSpain

P-day beach time. 

Coconuts Elder Vailea climbed to get for us. 

Pics from the ride to the Northern tip of the island. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 41 in Tonga

Hey everybody,

This weeks been crazy. Really fun. Lots of stuff happened. I love it out here. I got my new companion Elder Tuha, he is from New Zealand, and has been out for 19 months. He speaks better Tongan than English so that should be good for me and help a lot. He's pretty cool, easy going. 
     We've been super busy all week long and its been great. We cover Kanokupolu and Fahefa now, which are separated by three other areas that the sisters cover, so we also have two phones and two MQs to choose from to use. Sleep in Kanokupolu when we are up there, and Fahefa when we are down here. I got my Tongan license and we have a car! I thought it would be weird driving on the opposite side of the road but everything feels the same. I forgot how much I missed driving. Having a car is way nice, and I love all of the things we have to do or coordinate or figure out that come up randomly to us. I'm loving it right now. Our new district is really cool, and the zone is pretty tight.      
     Yesterday it felt like we had a thousand meetings. We got to meet some stake leaders and so on. The Te'ekiu stake president is awesome. We got a new investigator with a baptismal date already set up. On Sunday we were both asked to talk and introduce ourselves to the ward. I talked about enduring to the end, spoke for about 5 minutes, spoke from the heart it felt really good, had the members smiling. Then Tuha got up and spoke and he gave an awesome talk. Met and visited with the members after the meeting. 
     Yeah, I'm loving it here. Not much else to say. Really busy. Today we are going to p-day at one of the beach resorts with our district, and tonight we are going to go to a wedding reception for one of our members who was the AP that trained President Tupou. So I'm hoping to eat cake and ice cream with Prez tonight. 

Life Is Good. 

Love all of you guys, Elder DeSpain

Pics my comp took of me talking to the AP's

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 40 in Tonga

Hey Everybody,

This week has been fun. Bunch of really good lessons and so on.

On monday Elder Enos was able to save my flashdrive. A virus got downloaded onto it the week before from a members computer, and seemingly deleted all nine gigs of my videos and photos from the beginning of my mission. So I was super pumped to get all of those back, and super lucky to have an elder in my vahe that knows how to open up flashdrives with fancy coding computer stuff. So that was awesome. On tuesday we had a bunch of appointments fall through, but one of them was a teaching at the tongan sports hall of fame. Olympic medals and trophies from international tournaments all over the place. The cool thing though, was that Tongans I guess either don't understand the value of these items, or don't care, and so everything was left out in the open, no locks, no security, no anything. Literally an open building with no people and all of these medals just lying on shelves. 2008 Beijing Olympic Bronze medals.... You could say I was more than a little tempted to put one in my bag. I met the new mission President on Wednesday, and he's awesome. Super cool guy. 

On thursday I went on a vilo hoa with Pritt, and we found the Tongan national boxing team practicing behind the hall of fame building. So we taught the entire team for maybe thirty minutes. At the end the coach got up and thanked us profusely, with many tears haha. It was really cool. They left on saturday to go and represent Tonga in Fiji. 

On saturday we walked to the far end of our area called mata ki eua. You're supposed to be able to see my home island of Eua from there, but thats not true. However, the prince's palace is right there, and so we walked up to the side and got a good close look. I didn't think we were supposed to be there though, trespassing maybe, so we left quickly. That was cool though. 

Yesterday was pretty crazy too. The zones called and told me that I'm going to be moving to Hihifo to be the zone leader there... I just got to Tofoa, just started to get the ward excited with some new ideas and programs, got a bunch of new people to teach, some really cool investigators, and now, right as things look to really be taking off, Im leaving. Great.... Being a zone leader and having a car will be fun though. And my bro Elder Moala is in my new zone, and so is Sister Betteridge from Eua, so it will be good to see them again. Crazy week.

Love all of you guys, and hope you are all doing super well! 

Ofa Atu ka moutolu, Elder DeSpain

Elder Hau and I have lots of fun, going to miss him.

On our walk to see Eua from this Island, which is not possible

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Week 39 in Tonga

Hey everybody,

This weeks been pretty good. Lots of new changes, lots of laughs, lots of things to get used to. Still miss Eua a ton, but making the most of this concrete world here in kolo. 

We've done a ton to help the work over here and since district meeting last week our district numbers have gone from 0 new investigators to 18 this week, and 3 lessons with a member present to 11, so I feel like we're doing something right and things are improving. 

My new comp, Elder Hau, is the best. I love this guy. We have so much fun and the days are going by so quickly. I feel like we spend most of the day just laughing at each other. 

We've also been able to lift every morning... with real weights, a bar, a bench, and so on. I cant tell you how nice it felt to do a powerclean again, or a snatch or overhead squat. So nice. 

Not much else exciting stuff, lots of cool pictures though. Climbed some trees. 

Ofa Lahi atu ka moutolu! 


Elder Hau my new companion.

Doing a little shopping

Climbing some coconut trees

                                                                      Ice cream break

Elder Tafoya really enjoying his ice cream

                                                                Some cool sunsets

Actually got to have hoagie sandwiches for fafanga! So good.

I buttered some toast and cut it into strips to dip in our milo, just like hot chocolate and toast back home.