Monday, July 24, 2017

Malo tau lava,

This week has been an up and down week and another transfer. We had three baptisms planned for this past week but unfortunately two of the investigator's parents didn't give them permission to get baptized which was a really big bummer. Neumai and Lui had such strong testimonies of the church and were very educated. Our other investigator Lavili was able to get baptized on Saturday. She is crazy smart, knows English almost perfectly and has an amazing voice. It was really fun to teach her and get to know her.

After 6 weeks in Longolongo I am getting transferred to... the next town over in the same Stake and same District. President called me yesterday and asked if I would serve as a zone leader in Hofoa and Puke. My new companion is Elder Teutau from Tonga. He's been out over a year and we already know each other really well cause we were in the same District. As a zone leader I get to cover the "Motu" (island) of Atata - the one I talked about last week. I think we are going to try to get out there once every week. 

I really am going to miss Longolongo and Halaovave. It was kind of a bummer that I was only there 6 weeks. I got pretty close to some people and the work was starting to get really good. But I'm in the same Stake so I'll get to see everybody again.

I love you all. The little things make the big differences, so read the scriptures.

--
Elder Wilson

Monday, July 17, 2017

One year down!

Hey Everybody,

This week was pretty memorable and I got to do some pretty sweet things - including burning a shirt on the island of Atata. Thursday was my year mark of entering the MTC. My district surprised me early that morning with a cake, then we had a water balloon fight. Then my comp and the Zones went to ATATA, which is a small island right off the coast of Tonga. There are 3 things on the island - a resort for tourists, a super small village, and uta (bush). Unfortunately I believe my SD card reader is broken so I can't sent pictures but I would look it up because it's way beautiful. We were supposed to take a tourist boat out there but they were going to charge us 70 bucks each, so we proceeded to suto (hitch hike) and find another boat going to the island. The boat ride was super sick. It was about a 40 minute ride on a boat that was very small. We filled it up with the 10 people that went over.


The Church goal of Atata is to start a branch there. There are 10-20 members on the island and church is held in the home of one of the members. We knocked all 25 houses in Atata in about 30 minutes.  Literally nobody answered us. When we got off the boat I think a minster in another church saw us and told everybody not to talk to us. But all the kids followed us around and we gave out about 30 pamphlets out to all the kids. Planting seeds. We walked all around the island in about an hour, made a fire and then slept at a member's house. Going to Motu (islands) is so fun. It always makes me feel so privileged to be in the coolest mission in the world. 

On Sunday we had a fireside for all the youth in the stake, but everybody was invited. President Tui'one came as well as the temple president. The H.E.F.Y group was also there. The last speaker of the night was the Stake President. I actually got to know this president when I first came to Tonga on the H.E.F.Y. trip two years ago and apparently he remembered me. So as soon as he gets up he says,"will the missionary who attended the HEFY trip please come up to the stand," in front of the entire stake. He then made me bear my testimony in Tongan. It was super funny. I made a joke about eating dog and everybody died laughing. It's really cool to see the connections I made from the HEFY trip.

We currently have 3 investigators who have baptism dates for this Saturday. Two are unsure because of their parents but we are going to pray and fast for them this week. We have gotten a couple of new potentials and have been working with some less actives, so work is going fine here.

Love you all.
Do good things!

Ofa atu,
Elder Wilson


Monday, July 10, 2017

Hey everybody! 

It's been another good week in Longolongo.  The last two weeks have been Rugby weeks and teams from Samoa and Fiji came to town. We live in the area right outside of the small stadium Tonga has for events like this. Tonga beat Samoa 30-26 and then lost to Fiji 14-10.  It kind of stunk because everybody was either at the game or drunk watching the game, so Saturday was kind of useless.

We have two more investigators from the ward and have found a couple of Mamalohi (less active) family's in the area to visit. Something I have learned to ask less actives is," ko fe ha taimi te ke foki hi he siasi'ni" (when will you return to our church)? The answers I have gotten are:
- When my husband goes to another Island
- When my husband's dad dies
- If I can go to America.
That's Tonga!

Elder Woods and I get along really well. But a side note is that my English is terrible. I sound so fob, and my comp just laughs. We had zone conference this past week which went really well.  I've learned that I need to use the area book more in trying to find new investigators.

I saw the H.E.F.Y group that just came to Tonga and talked to them for a little while. The trip leader for my H.E.F.Y. Tonga trip was Maddie and she came back again, and it was really cool to see her and the rest of the group. It's crazy to think that I was in Tonga two years ago.

Right before I started my mission Peter Wilson [cousin] gave me a letter. This letter is actually considered pretty legendary in my mission because it had some good advice. One time Peter was is a subway station surrounded by Japanese and felt overcome with a love for the people. Last Monday Elder Woods and I went to a fakafamili (family night thingish) with some less active members. As we sat in the one bedroom house, with the one light in the house hooked up to an old car battery I felt so much love for this family and the people of Tonga. It's insane that I'm hitting my year  mark this Thursday, time flies! I'm excited for another year in this country, especially now cause I kinda know Tongan.

Oku ou fakamo'oni oku mo'oni ae siasi pea e lava a kitautolu ke a'usia 'ae ngaahi tapuaki i he taimi te tau mo'ui aki ae ongoongolelei O Sisu Kalaisi. 
Ma'ulotu, lau ae ngahhi folofola, ofa ki he kakai kotoa pe.

Ofa Atu, 
Elder Wilson

Monday, July 3, 2017

Hey everybody,

This has been a fast week and great in terms of the work.  We had two baptisms, Nisi and Leatu'u and both went super well. I had the opportunity to baptize Nisi while Elder Woods baptized Leatu'u. Both were very solid investigators and we are now trying to work with them to get to the temple. 
I'll try to send you a picture of the baptisms next week.
 
I have been trying a lot to TALK TO EVERYBODY. I think I did a good job of talking when knocking on houses before - I would always tell my comps when knocking on doors that their eternal salvation is more important than their food - so I tried really hard to talk to people on the street this past week which is probably a skill I have been lacking. It turned out to be a good experience and we have a couple of potential investigators because of it.

Yesterday we had a lesson with a Wesleyan family of  about 30 persons living in one house. The lesson went well despite the fact that about 4 babies were crying at the same time.  One thing that sometimes frustrates me being a missionary in Tonga (and being in a companionship with two white guys) is that people are super, super respectful and have no desire to offend us at all.  But they also don't ask questions a lot of the time because they are worried about offending us. So basically every time I invite someone to be baptized they look around at the rest of the the family and say, "wha, what?"  I explain that it's their freedom and their choice, that they need a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the church for themselves. Tongan Culture is the best in the world but sometimes it's hard to express how important our message is against it. 

School's out for the Tongan kids for two weeks so we are going to do a lot of Vilo Hoa's(exchanges) with the youth.

We ate dog on Friday and are going to eat it again today. 

Ofa Atu,
Elder Wilson