Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hey family and friends, 

Sorry, no long email today. I'm working in Ha'apai, in the outer islands, and we just came in for Zone Conference and then we are about to catch the boat back, so I have lots of things to talk about in a very short amount of time.

1. Gita: We went to the church and camped out for the hurricane. My town was on the west side of Tongatapu, so it wasn't as affected as the rest of the island. But basically just about every tree in Tonga fell down and a lot of houses had a lot of damage. Afterward we had a week of straight service.

2. The next week I was transfered to Ha'afeva Ha'apai.  Ha'afeva is an outer island about a 2 hour boat ride from the main island of Ha'apai (depending on the boat). We cover Vahe, Lulunga which is basically 7 small islands (Tungua, O'ua, Ha'afeva, Nomuka, Fotuha'a, Matuku and Kotu),and all the islands have an average of  about 80 people on them. Each island is about an hour apart from each other. I've been to 4 of the islands and it's been sweet. This is a very beautiful area and we have a boat called Moroni that we can use sometimes. I'm companions with Elder Mahe, who I came to Tonga with. We are doing a lot of work and it's good to be with somebody who's exactly obedient and works hard. 

3. The outer island life is really slow and really chill. I eat a lot fish. People here in this area are super nice. A lot of them are already baptized and the others are very strong in their church, so work has historically been very slow, but we are trying our hardest to change that. Right now we have a plan with the Kaingalotu to read the Book of Mormon.

Random things:

- Ate 3 pigs last week
- People play tennis here too! 
- I have seen sharks, dolphins, and flying fish.
- I'm insanely tan and so happy that I'm not super white anymore.
- There's a b-ball hoop and I just got a net sent in from Tonga, I'm set - 3 months to dunking.

I love you all.  I testify the Church is true. Sorry this is so short, but the boat is waiting on us. I have had a lot of spiritual experiences out here and they all come from reading the Book of Mormon, so read it!

-- Elder Wilson

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Note: It appears that Elder & Sister Kapp are single-handedly trying to keep the missionaries in contact with their families through Facebook. We'd heard that Levi had written a short email, but couldn't remember our email addresses, so we contacted Elder Kapp directly and an email came this morning.  Levi mentioned prior to the storm that he thought he might be going out to the island of Ha'afeva at the next transfer, so he may be out there where internet is already dicey. It should be an interesting last 4 months of his mission!


From Elder Kapp:

I am so sorry this took so long to get to you.  Thank you for contacting us with your email address. Elder Wilson is doing well.  He is such a good missionary and a great friend.  You should be very proud of him.

Elder Kapp

Hey Mom, 

Life is good over here and the hurricane wasn’t too bad over where I was. We have been able to do a ton of service and it’s been good to get closer to the people. I’m at one of the couples' houses right now and typing a quick email. I don’t know when I’ll be able to email again because all the other power is still out.

Love you and thanks for your prayers. Ofa atu,
Elder Wilson

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No word from Levi yet, but we've been following the blog of Senior Missionary Couple who, because of a generator, had/have electricity and internet. After the storm, the Kapps went around the island taking pictures of missionaries and posting them on their facebook page for parents to see. Below is the picture of Levi and his companion during clean-up. We also learned from their blog that transfers, which were to take place the Monday of the storm, happened a week later instead. We are looking forward to seeing where Levi is when he has a chance to write.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

There will be miracles in Tonga.

A friend of ours has a daughter scheduled to go to Tonga this summer with an HEFY group. This is the letter and pictures the participants received from the director yesterday.

Hello Tongan Builders,

For the past few years, we have sent 4 HEFY groups to Tonga each summer. This summer, we felt we needed to do more. In October, registration filled up quickly for the 10 trips we will be taking to Tonga. Even though we didn't know how it was going to work having 10 groups go to one small island, we felt strongly that it was the right thing to do.

As some of you may be aware, a category 4 tropical cyclone catastrophically hit the main island of Tonga earlier this week. Forty percent of homes lost their roofs, there is massive flooding, and the majority of homes don't have electricity or clean water. To put this storm into perspective, it was stronger than hurricane Harvey when it hit Texas last fall. The country is in a dire state and will be rebuilding for the foreseeable future. 

I have been thinking about the HEFY theme for the year: There will be miracles. When we heard the news of this natural disaster, we were reminded of the inspiration we received so many months ago to increase the amount of groups going to Tonga. The Lord has perfect foresight. You are going to be miracles for the people in Tonga. You are needed there more now than ever. I am currently coordinating with our local partners to plan your projects for this summer to help rebuild their country.  

Thank you for your willingness to serve. We love you! 


PS. Here are some pictures so you can see what Tonga looks like right now:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cyclone Gita

Parent note: Levi's mission changed, at least in the short term, when Tonga was hit by a Category 4 storm, Cyclone Gita, during the night of February 12th. We haven't heard from him yet and don't expect to soon, but we did receive this from the Mission President yesterday:

Dear Parent/ Guardian,

We do apologize for the delay in communications, which were a result of a power outage and subsequent internet failure.

Cyclone Gita has been an experience to remember and something that we will be talking about for a very long time. For some of us it was the longest night of our lives. The Cyclone has left our Island Kingdom of Tonga, and although much foliage, many trees and various houses were destroyed, I’m please to let you know that all the missionaries in the Nuku’alofa Tonga Mission are accounted for. Each of them are safe, healthy and pleased to be serving the people of Tonga in this time of need.

It will be a very busy week and month for us as we will take part in the cleaning up and giving of service to others in need. This will also be an opportunity to build our love for the Lord and others. Due to the major destruction caused by Cyclone Gita, the power on the entire Island has been shut down so please expect some delay in communications for the time being.

We will do our best to keep you updated as long as we are connected to these services.

Kind Regards,
President and Sister Tui’one

PN#2: Judging from the fabulous time he had in Tonga with HEFY, we're sure Levi is happy to be helping the Tongan people rebuild. Below is from HEFY 2015.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hey everybody, 

The theme of this past week is same old same old. Not a whole lot is happening over here on this side of the hood in Ha'akame.  All of our investigators live in other places on Tongatapu, so don't live in our area and our "fellow-shippers" have been having a hard time getting through to them. But life still goes on in Ha'akame. 

It's been really good to be with my companion. It's pretty cool that I've learned to understand Tongan behavior and language so much better, so now it honestly feels quite normal to be with a native Tongan. Elder Mohulamu also gets the award for most funny English, not that it's bad but he will randomly speak in English at the most random times and says the funniest things.  

We had a program with the YSA and Elder Cox in my district and I were able to teach another palangi Peace Corps worker. It was a good teaching teaching experience, but it's weird to think how many white people believe so much in science. Teaching white people is strange because every Tongan has such a good grasp on the concept of God. It's always amazing talking to Tongans about other teachings because they are always confused when we talk to them about their concerns. 

I had a good birthday, My comp surprised me after our district meeting yesterday. He had his family get a tunupuaka (roasted pig) and this awesome cake. Dang my life is 1/4 over. 

I balled out this morning, I'm trying to ball out every Wednesday and Saturday.  Weight check 178.4.

Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Wilson

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Hey Everyone,

Sorry about last week. We had a Mission Leader's Conference and I had to skip the big email again.
Life and work have been going  relatively well this past couple of weeks. Ha'akame is a very, very small place but it has a lot of members so most of our work is trying to go through the members.  There were a lot of investigators before I came to Ha'akame, but it seems as if the fakafeohi (fellowshippers) haven't been able to find times to meet with them, so it's a little slow.

In 2016 (2 years ago), I taught a Peace Core worker in Nukunuku and guess who I ran into at church this week - the same Peace Core worker named Darbie. It was really fun to talk to her and we were able to teach her twice this past week. She has a lot of questions about a lot of things and it's been fun to try to answer her questions. Especially since we don't usually get a lot of questions in Tonga.

Love you all and have a good week,
Elder Wilson

A couple of older pictures: