Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 51 in Tonga, 10 months to go!

This week went by really quickly. 

Stuff that happened this week:

Monday- I washed some laundry in the shower. Gotta do what you gotta do.  After netting we drove over to Utulau to join in on their pday. There was music and volleyball and, two whole pots of freshly umu cooked dog. It was delicious. We left there with four extra plates full to share with the te'ekiu elders. Haircut. Lessons fell through. Talked with and ate dog with Te'ekiu that night.

Tuesday- Weightlifting in the morning, fafanga fell through so we ate at liku'alofa resort after district meeting. Lots of teachings lots of lessons, distributing needs.

Wednesday- I interviewed three people for baptism in Lakepa. That night we had a ward missionary activity that we set up to watch the first vision with investigators and member friends and so on. Started our vilo hoa with the Vaotu'u elders. Elder Enos is awesome.

Thursday- Vilo'd with elder Enos the whole day. It was really fun. Great discussions. Talk about his desire to be a chef, and the culinary arts. We had to run by te'ekiu that day and we got there and found that the kolo zones were at the mq. They had to bring a mandarin speaking missionary over. So I got to talk to Clay there for a long time about a bunch of stuff. It's been forever since the last MLC so its been a while since I've seen him. Elder Enos reminded me of Nick a lot to on that vilo hoa. We got to play an awesome game of chess that night. First time in forever. Also taught a bunch of good lessons with Enos that day. 

Friday- Bucket Showers. Trip to the mission office. Good talk with Sister Tui'one. Love Prez and his wife so much. Theyre awesome. Talked with Elder Gardner about all the pranks that Prez plays on them in the office. Hahaha i'd share but I dont think itd make sense to you guys. Prez is the best. I love that guy. Prez reminds me a lot of my Dad in some ways. He likes to mess with people. Oh yeah, when I found out that Gardner is going to Niua I called him and made him leave a note for Prez from me that said "I would love to be comps with someone that rhyms with todner in a place that rhyms with siua" (it was supposed to be a secret that gardner was going out there). When prez read my note he busted up laughing. Haha good stuff. I also got to talk with a Wesleyan priest on friday, and I got to talk to my recent converts Lupe and Se in kanokupolu after driving up there to talk to those missionaries. They're doing great. Lupe and Se are even bringing another whole family to the church. Awesomeness. 

Saturday- Got up at around five thirty to get ready for the temple. We took our recent convert from Fahefa who we baptised two weeks ago, to go do baptisms for the dead. The tongan temples baptistry was soooo awesome. Favorite temple baptistry by far. It was soo cool. Reminded me of an amazonian temple or something out of the tv show lost, except for nice and well lit and cool. Idk it was awesome. We did the confirmations in tongan. Oh yeah, I also met the first agnostic person on my mission. Shes a peace corp volunteer. She knew Jen from Eua too so that was cool. Somehow I got her to admit that there is a noticeable and evident spiritual part of the world. Things in her own life that she couldn't explain and so on. Cant wait to see how far her teaching goes. On the way to Kala'au after talking to her, we passed some kids slingshotting rocks at bats hanging from a giant mango tree, the bats have a wing span of 2 feet. 

Visited a home that night and an old lady, that was truly in unparalleled poverty. Some places snap me to reality and its like dang. This is crazy. I've been so blessed in my life.

Sunday- Sunday was a good good day. I love it out here. Love the people. It's fun. 

I'm doing well. 

Ofa atu,  Tay


only good pic on my camera this week. Sorry not a lot

Friday, September 23, 2016

Week 50 in Tonga

This week was busy. Fun. Tiring. 

On monday we went and did a service project at prince Ata and the crown princes homes. We cleared all of the trees and bushes that seperated his yard from the beach, so now they can look straight to the ocean instead of at the trees. It was a fun service project though. It was just our zone and President and Sister Tui'one and the APs. I got to drive the giant uta truck around too since im the only one allowed to drive in the zone. It was stick shift, so that was nice to finally drive one of those again. 

On thursday we got a phone call from President asking us if we could present an award to the crown prince of Tonga for his birthday. So we got some missionaries together and drove up to his home where we had a little presentation ceremony thing with the crown prince. Prez wasnt even there. It was just us and our stake president. So that was cool. Haha, during the opening hymn the princes two puppies were playing around on the mat, then they started "playing around" on the mat right next to the princes feet. haha pretty funny. I got to shake the crown princes hand too. So someday I'll be able to say that I shook the hand of the king of Tonga. Cool stuff. 

Those are the coolest things done this week. Not much else besides regular missionary work. We've had a ton of awesome lessons. Soakai and I are teaching lots of lessons out here. Its way fun. We set up 6 new baptismal dates this week, and should have another baptism come saturday. The work is fun. Really busy, tiring, but fun. 

 Love you guys, Tay

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 49 in Tonga

This past week was pretty good. Very busy. and ate cheesecake for the first time in over a year.

Monday: Pday was at the beach in kanokupolu, beach volleyball with the district, nice shade, climbing coconut trees and drinking coconuts. Good times. 

Tuesday: Had zone conference. It was good. First zone conference I'd ever even been too, and we were the ones doing half of the teachings. We led the first forty five minutes of the meeting, and then the APs finished off with roleplays on street contacting. Later tuesday night, we went on a vilo hoa with the APs. Hosea and Soakai stayed in Fahefa and Kilary and I worked in Havelu and in Liahona. I saw Tili matakaiongo at the temple in liahona and that was awesome. Love that guy.

Wednesday: Smashed a raw egg onto my clothes because of a magic trick gone wrong with the local kids. Haha they were so embarrased, started wiping me off with their shirts. 

Thursday: Helped an old man named Laulea do his gardening. 

Friday: Taught all the kids at the tiny elementary school nearby. Hahaha that was flipping fun. Fafanga was bread and butter... We vilo'd with the ward kids, bunch of lessons. Nancys baptismal interview. Did baptismal interviews for the sisters in matahau. 

Saturday: Went to fill up the baptismal font in teekiu for nancys baptism. That was a problem. The water was only like six inches high and we had two hours to go. So we got out the buckets. Too slow, said a prayer, and then right afterwards the pisope of the teekiu ward showed up to help us with the bucketing. Then we took the other firehose (we were already using the one to try and fill up the font) and cut that off from where it was connected, to drag it to the other side of the church to attach it to one of the faucets we were using for our buckets. Tongan ingenuity with knives and rubber and so on... But the baptismal font was ready. It all turned out great. Nancy gave a cool testimony too. I baptized her. Good stuff. 

Sunday: Confirmed Nancy a member of the church. Lessons. Ward council meetings. APs called and told us that our zone is doing a zone service project at Prince Ata's house tomorrow. 

Oh yeah!, Elder Brown and Mahe somehow got captain crunch!!! So we ate good american breakfast for the first time in over a year. Delicious. 

Good week. Busy. Ofa Atu, Elder DeSpain 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Week 48 in Tonga

Hey guys, going to make this quick because we're trying to hurry to go play some beach volley, but here's a brief explanation of what went down this week. 

Monday:  We went to Ha'alalo for the zone pday we set up, and ate dog over there. Delicious. Everyone loved that.

Tuesday: District meetings, district meetings, district meetings. Then we stopped in on Ha'alalos district meeting and found prez and sister Tui'one were in on it over there. That was great, after the meeting sister Tuione took the sisters to get food and we took prez back to the office. Haha I love prez. He is funny. I asked him about going on vilo hoa's with the kau tau (non DLs) and he just said "ko koe e lava ke ma'u fkha ki ho'o souni, faiteliha pe koe" I love prez. He said we should do whatever we think would be best. He's awesome, he spent an hour talking to church membership service center thing in tongan trying to figure out a membership number for our recent convert so that they can go to the temple. Then some "senior missionary named Elder Phelps" called and said that my visa didnt go through, I called Lisiate out on it in like five minutes though and then the office elders all started laughing. Thought I heard President lauging in the background too.

Wednesday: Woke up and drove to Nukunuku to play basketball for exercise with those elders. Good time. Ran out of phone credit so Elder Enos became our zone secretary for fafanga haha. Found out that the customs charge took fifty pa'anga out of my ninety pa'anga msf., whatever haha. Office trips for zone with gardner and pakalani to storage. Haha found out that pakalani can make his voice sound exactly the same as presidents and that he fooled me on the phone a couple times apparently when I thought I was talking to prez. Love those guys. Lots of new investigators be simply calling out "Sione! Sione!" on the road until someone told us where Sione was. Or "oh wei ikai ko sione ia?! ko Pita ene hingoa?...Pita! Pita!" found ya hahaha. Planning seems to always take us an hour until everything is full. 

Thursday:  Met a deportee who is really funny. Had a great lesson with our investigator named Nancy, it was awesome. I taught things that I didnt even understand until they came out of my mouth. I learned more about baptism and its dependency on the atonement in that lesson than I ever understood before or even thought about, and I was the one that taught it. Really cool. Left the lesson and was like "what the heck just happened, all of that stuff is true, but I never even knew that before" cool experience. Also an awesome family home evening with a siasi tonga family. Super awesome. Miss Eua so much. Brown and Mahe treated us to mint chocolate chip icecream before our vilo hoa because of my year mark. That was fun

Friday: Awesome Vilo Hoa with Elder Brown. So many great discussions about cool doctrinal things. Learned a lot, and thought about a ton of really cool things. Great day. Brown told me that one thing he learned is that he needs to plan better. Successful vilo. 

Saturday: Fasts. Decided I'm going to name one of my kids after one of the member kids here. Siope. He's probably the coolest, most mature, most helping, awesome fifteen year old kid I know. He made fafanga for us this morning and vilo hoa'd with us all day saturday. Such an awesome kid. Want my son to be like him. Leki does a hecka good job raising kids. Leki is the coolest ward mission leader ever.  Found out we will be having zone conference next week from the APs. Funny, I've been out over a year now, and my first zone conference will be one that I'm likely conducting. 

Sunday: Had probably the best lesson 1 teaching of my entire mission during church. It was awesome. Met with stake presidents and had a meeting with all of them and the bishops in the te'ekiu stake and proposed to them a new missionary program for the stake, which they agreed upon and gave us dates for us to distribute to the missionaries to be a part of. That was cool. The Te'ekiu stake president is awesome. Probably my favorite stake president to work with so far, and I never thought I'd say that cuz of prez Ma'u, but P. Langi is the man. Good week. 

So many more things happened than that but overall it was a great week. Went by so fast. 

Love you guys, Tay

Eating dog on our p-day. 

Another awesome sunset!