Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Week 68 in Ha'apai

Good week this week. 

Monday- Found a room full of baseball bats and catchers gear at the stake center. Got some swings in. That felt soo good. Interviewed with President before our meeting Tuesday. Monday night we taught a guy named Sione at our Pisopes house. Interesting guy, and interesting questions.

Tuesday- Woke up to a phonecall from the Uiha elders asking me to do a baptismal interview for them an hour from then. So we walked to Pangai to the PPO to meet with the missionaries there before the interview. President Tui’one called us into their place and President Fetani pulled out a pig from the oven for all four of us to eat for breakfast. So that was great. I love President so much. He's the man. Our zone meeting that day was awesome too. At the end, President Fetani brought out his clippers and had all the missionaries whom he thought had long hair sit down and get a buzz cut. Only in this mission. Our Presidency is the best. Later that day we followed up with one of our new investigators, the cool story about the lotofefeka couple that we found last week that got deleted in the email last week, they kept their commitments, so that was sweet. Have I mentioned how awesome our Pisope is? He’s great, so helpful. Later that night, we had the opportunity to teach a family about the restoration. Sina’s family, I think I wrote about them before. Anyway, that was awesomeeee. I love teaching so much. Teaching people like this is one of the most fun exciting things I've ever done, If I could just teach the gospel to people like them and get paid… forget college, I'd be perfectly happy to just do this for a living the rest of my life. I love teaching so much it’s the best. 

Wednesday- Paita told us “I just don’t want you guys to go around tiring yourselves teaching about your church all day long, and then go to hell anyway” hahaha I love hearing people like that. Funny. We passed some girls around the church and I asked if they were going to the church dance later in the night, and one of the girls responded “if you guys will be there” hahahaha. 

Thursday- Talked to a boy at a door side, who was being the spokesperson for his mom in the corner out of view, I finally asked the boy what his moms name was and he turned to her for an answer and then responded to me “fefine” (woman) hahaha. So I said Hey, Woman, how are you? Would you like to… etc… and she yelled NO louder than ive ever heard before. Dang. We ate a really good fafanga at the CafĂ© in Ha’apai, and even got a new investigator out of the owner there. Shes a golden investigator, its awesome. What else is also awesome, she told us to teach her every Wednesday night, and that before we talk they will make us free dinner (three course meals!!!) so awesome. Haven't eaten food like that in a while. The appetizer was like sashimi. Delicious. The food I'm going to miss most from Tonga is ota ika. So good. On the walk back, I saw the guy that I talked to for forty minutes on the plane ride over to Ha’apai three months ago and talked to him again for a while. That was a cool run in. 

Friday- Met Troy Palamalus personal pig preparing man. He gave us twenty bucks. That was cool.

Saturday- Learned a ton about really cool revelation doctrine. Personal revelation and visions type stuff. Great talk. Joseph Smiths Prophetic Ministry has been regularly listened to this past week. Learning so much. 

Sunday- A little boy showed up to church wearing a “Help the economy, Legalize marijuana” t-shirt. Thought that was pretty funny. Our WML gave a speech on missionary work, and it was insane. Little bit crazy. We have a very very very passionate ward mission leader. His talk was loud, insane and very straightforward. Some people were laughing because it was so crazy and wild. We’ve got a great ward mission leader haha. Our pisope is the man. So awesome. Called us at 10:15 pm to tell us that he just finished talking to the stake president to get him to fellowship one of the investigators we just told him about. Great pisope, very good week. Love being a missionary. 

Love you guys,  Tay

Going to miss these Sunsets

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 67 in Hihifo, Ha'apai

This week has been great. Brief overview:

Pday- I was able to put all of my pictures and videos from july to now onto the new harddrive last pday, so that was great. Finally dont have to worry about losing all of the flashdrives and memos I had gathered up. I put 68 gigs onto it. Then later that night, I cut Grants hair. I didnt tell him it was my first time cutting a white persons hair, then the clippers we were using sucked, so after taking off a chunk of his head, I had to finish the job with a pair of scissors and my own two hands. I'd seen mom do it a bunch so I figured that it couldnt be so hard. You wouldn't have been able to tell by my face that I'd never done it before, I just acted like I cut hair with scissors all the time. I dont think Grant noticed. It turned out pretty well. Grants head looks very nice right now. Later that day we ate roasted puaka at our fafanga.. delicious! and then getting back to the mq, I decided that my own head needed a haircut, but I didn't trust Grant to do the job. So I cut my own hair with just scissors and a mirror. Ended up cutting off a ton of hair. But it turned out really well. I'll include a pic if I can. 

Tuesday- Sneaked into our members massive walk in ice maker machine thing again because it was soo hot out. A girl in a nearby tree asked us "Hey! Whats your name?!" and then followed with "What's name your mom?!" -Becky. Kind of funny/interesting.

Wednesday- Here's the coolest part of the week, extract from my journal- sorry guys, just spent thirty minutes typing this all up and then the net crashed and can't get it back. All in all it was a really cool testimony experience with two people that just wanted to bible bash and it was awesome and we left being best friends. 

Thursday- We ate a whole cow leg on a plate for fafanga.

Friday- We witnessed a dog fight that was out of this world. They looked like lions trying to kill antelope, it was crazy. Found out from our Pisopes wife, that in Tongan weddings, the grooms uncle on his mom's side, He becomes the chair for the groom for the whole wedding. He literally sits cross legged and the groom sits on top of him for all meals and everything. Interesting/weird. So be ready Stan. Haha

I also got a letter from the Biermanns? thanking me for my service. I have no idea who they are, but apparently they just converted to the church back home. So that was cool. 

Saturday- Confrontation with a naked drunk man who wanted us to go and get him a small bottle of kava. I also found out that President Tupou had a rule that missionaries could only travel on steel or carbon fiber boats while going over the ocean cuz it can be so dangerous. So my trip to Nomuka on that tiny tongan wood boat was truly one of a kind, at least for the last four years. Thats cool.

anyway great week. Love you guys, Tay

Also sorry, internet is taking forever and dont think I'll get a pic out. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Week 66 in Hihifo, Ha'apai

Hey Everyone,

Brief run down of the week. sorry, short on time and energy:

Monday: Had an awesome lesson with a small family of four in our ward mission leaders home. It was great. We taught the plan of salvation and the woman seemed to be consuming every word we spoke. That was really cool. That night we ate Lu puaka!! Delicious.

Tuesday: Made the goal for no more tv watching when I get home.

Wednesday: My packages came! with everything inside too! That was really nice. Consumed the Mike and Ikes and Beef Jerky and chocolate faster than I thought possible. So great. Mikes and Ikes are my favorite. Very grateful for that package. All gone now. We went to go and help this guy build his house, but we got there when they were having lunch break, Kuli ki ai!!! delicious. We had to leave after that though so we basically just went to a service project and ate great food... Later that day Gardiner gave me the Skinfills christmas card, that was nice to hear from them.

Thursday: Slept on a mattress that felt like it was made out of solid wood. Elder Tautua'a mixed up a real mattress for that stuff you put a mattress on top of... So thats nice... I don't mind it anymore though. Also thursday, we found a refrigerated shipping container on the road at the side of one of our members houses, crept inside and chilled in there for a bit, felt like heaven. It was pitch black inside though, then one of our members opened the door to get something out of it and was startled to see us both standing in the entrance hahah. That night we rearranged the mq to make more space. Grants bed is in the closet now hahaha. First closet I've ever had on the mission before btw, it actually works out really well as weird as it sounds, much better.  

Friday: President Tonga'onevai instructed us how to make lu. That was fun. Later that day I got sick, we got back to the mq and listened to the book series "Tennis shoes among the nephites" until around noon the next day when I felt like not throwing up. That book series is way good btw. Grant and I are listening to book #3 now haha. 

Saturday: Ran into the crazy viliami guy again. This time he walked with us to the intersection and then stopped and turned to us "Is it okay if I talk to you guys?" - "yes"- Then he stopped, took his hat off with both his hands and held it in his arms in front of him, looking down he said  "I, I, I am so sorry guys. I am just so sorry... I am so sorry because I have sinned. Sinned a lot."  Grant and I were happy to hear that he wanted to talk to us and tried to help him.

Sunday: Felt like my face was going to melt off. Sooo hot and humid over here. So hot that it looked like we just got out of a pool in missionary attire. At one point in the day I said "Grant, we are so sweaty I can see through your shirt. Thats your nipple right there, and then I pointed at it and grant looked down and was like yupp, that is my nipple indeed." Soooooo incredibly hot. Ridiculously hot. If people say that you get a more beautiful wife for working in the rain, I say I should get twice the beautiful for working in this heat all day. The rain would be nice. 

Oh yeah, another thing, we've averaged a watermelon a day since we've gotten here. Ten watermelons have already been given to us in under two weeks. Thats got to be reaching a record of some sort. We're going to see how far it goes. 

So thats life right now. Love you guys, Love Tay 

Sorry no pics this week, I'll try again next week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 64 in Nomuka, not able to email. Week 65 in Hihifo, Ha'apai.

Christmas celebration in Pangai

Hey Everyone,

Happy New Year!

I've been transferred from Nomuka, my experience there wasn't bad. The branch over there was great and it certainly made me realize how fortunate I've been. The water in our shower came out green, so we had to shower outside everynight. I ate a lot of raw stuff, it was a cool experience. Made me very grateful for civilization. 

Man I missed you guys a ton over there. Still miss you guys a lot. 

On Christmas, just before our phonecall, we baptized three kids in the ocean. That was cool. It was sooooo awesome to hear all of you guy's voices, especially Hogans (Sheens from Jimmy Neutron). Transfers were announced that night, and it was one of the most nerve racking nights of my whole mission by far. Especially when the rumors and phonecalls started from other missionaries. Finally--- the APs called us and gave us the transfer. We both left. I was told "you will be serving in Hihifo in Ha'apai, with Elder Kalanite". I was so freaking happy to hear that. Kalanite btw is Elder Grant, the third Elder from Westlake Highschool that I've been comps with now. Erickson, Tafoya, and now Grant. He's the guy whose mom posted that cool pic of the stars. So that was awesome to hear and I was super pumped about that. 

Last P-day, our ward in Nomuka went on a ward picnic to a different island across from Nomuka. That was soooo freaking nice. Nicest beach I've ever been to in my entire life. The sand was so fine and the waters were so clear and sky blue. So awesome. We put up volleyball nets and one of the guys climbed coconut trees and got coconuts for everyone, it was great. Some guys went diving and came back with fish for us to ota. This time, literally just being handed a fish straight from the ocean with some lateral knife cuts on the side... I felt a lot like gollum while eating it. But it was good. We saw a water snake on the boatride back to Nomuka that was cool. That night we got on the shipping boat at 1:20 am to go back to Ha'apai. Fell asleep on the floor outside next to the railing with everyone else riding the boat. Woke up and Tutone was gone... so I had a great conversation with my neighbor aisle sleepers until he came back. As we were pulling into the Pangai harbor tuesday morning around 8, we saw a whole family of dolphins swimming and jumping out of the water alongside the boat. Soooo cool. Wish I had gotten it on camera. Probably thirty or so dolphins. Met up with Grant, dropped people off at the airport with Gardiner and hung out with him for a good while. Pizza!! And then eventually Grant and I got dropped to our new MQ. It was freaking filthy, disgusting. We went straight to the store and bought as much cleaning supplies as we could. Then cleaned for upwards of four hours. I learned the real power of wet wipes and determination. Scrubbed the walls and floor of the bathroom for so long and so hard that they went from stained mustard yellow to white, and my arms were sore for the next two days. 

On Wednesday we met our Penticosi neighbors, and I saw that they had a misini Fo, so I decided right then to get really close with them. We went over and talked to Paea there for a long time and got her to like us, so I asked if they had anything to "hoka fo" (idk what thats called in english, stab clothes?), and then boom, "oh you guys can just use our brand new laundry machine anytime".  So that was a great win this week. Met a lot of really cool new people, had a bonfire from the last elders that just left everything here. 

That night, we went to the store to get a whole bunch of stuff, and got a truck ride on the way back... Man it felt so freaking good. The whole walk and the truck ride back reminded me sooo much of Eua. Its the best. I feel like the type of missionary that I was in Eua and it just feels like Eua. It is the best feeling ever. I've missed that, I love it. 

The rest of the week has been great. Getting to know everyones always fun. Listened to a lot of awesome lectures too. The lectures on faith, a five hour discourse by Truman G. Madsen about Joseph Smith, and other really cool stuff. On Friday, on our way back from the wharf, we got to an intersection and I saw a seventh day adventist church and something made me think about the referral that Gardiner gave us the other day that we hadn't been able to contact yet. So I decided that we'd turn at that road and look for him. Within literally three minutes we were sitting down talking with the guy inside his house. That was cool. Our visiting was great, it was so spiritual, I hope he will be baptized. 

Saturday morning was great. Gardiner came and picked us up for breakfast. We made bacon and eggs and sausage and blueberry pancakes at the church buildings management building thing in Pangai. BEST breakfast and time I have had in forever. It was the best. SO much fun. And such great food. It was sooo awesome to eat that type of stuff again. "Think about how many americans are eating this right now and taking it for granted". I can't wait to be in school with Jack. Hopefully we are close by during school, and can do a ton of stuff together. I'm as excited for that as much as getting home. 

During church I thought about my Dad and John Digiondominico texting each other during conference calls and giving each other odd/funny words to say in the conference call hahaha. Our stake president is awesome also. He's the man. Going to teach me how to make lu on friday. Also ate four lu's at his house yesterday, really good. I'll make lu for us all when I get home. I'm so excited  for the future and college and dating and so on, going to be fun. 

I'm loving it right now and doing really well. I should be getting my packages tomorrow morning off off the boat too. That will be good. 

I'm way excited for this coming transfer. Also, Grants really cool. Feels like being back with Erickson almost. Good stuff. 

I hope everyone back home is doing great.

Love you guys, Tay

Service project the week of Christmas