Monday, April 18, 2016

Tribute to Tonga!

April 18, 2016

Tribute to Tonga🇹🇴

Yes, the seven week transfer is coming to an end. Along with that, my
4.5 month stay in the Tongan ward is coming to a close. I have learned
more here about missionary work and the essence of the gospel than I
think I could have learned in any other ward.

Memories from the Tongan ward:

- Driving to mutual or church and only seeing hummers, suburban’s, and mini-vans.
- Ward council, priesthood meetings, and sacrament meeting all conducted totally
in Tongan.
- Family dinners that turn into rugby matches
- Driving up and down Killingworth St. Hitting up all he good food places.
- Teaching lessons sitting on woven mats or by the light of one lamp
because that's the only light fixture in the house.
- Being told that I'll be more spiritual if I eat more.
- Taking priests out street contacting every Sunday to give them
mission experience
- Knocking every house that has a really nice driveway, because a
Tongan probably did it.
- Ward parties with 500 plates of food left over
- Our fridge constantly full, not going grocery shopping a single time
- Members constantly asking us for Books of Mormon to give away to
their friends.
- Eating at Mongolian Buffet every week. About 2-3 times each week.
- Being offered Kava on multiple occasions ha.'s a controversial topic
- Members starting to take their seats for sacrament meeting an hour
and a half before the meeting starts
- Constantly looking for and creepily following cars with Polynesian
looking bumper stickers.
- Barbeque almost weekly with practically the entire ward. Always
complete with nonmembers and either rugby or kickball.

This ward and these people have learned to call upon the powers of
heaven. It is apparent to any observer that the gospel works for them.
What is the key? What makes this ward so incredible? A lot of things,
but mostly I believe it can all be tied in to charity. They don't care
or judge, everyone is part of the family. Anybody who wants to worship
Christ with them is their brother or sister in Christ.

Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed to be leaving. But we have the
baptism of Frank next week that I can go back for, and hopefully one
of our Chuukese families will get baptized soon after that. I'll be
going up to Vancouver and my new companion will be Elder Petitta. I
don't know much about him except that he was trained by Elder
Davenport, who I trained ha so that should be fun!

Have a great week!
~Elder Paul Thomas

- Enjoy the pig brain eating video

 Giving our ties to this departing missionary

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