Week 8 – Talihau/’Utungake

My other suitcase finally arrived. I had to leave one behind in Tongatapu because I didn’t know about the weight limits for luggage on the plane. They said they’d get my suitcase on that Wednesday’s ferry to Vava’u but it didn’t come until the Wednesday after that. So yeah, I had to wear the same clothes for a week and a half because I didn’t have time to repack at the airport and I decided I’d rather have my books, pillow and toiletries. Still not sure I made the right choice on that one, but it’s nice finally having everything.

Since we’re trying to work with less-actives more we asked the pisope (bishop) in Talihau how many members are in the ward here. His response was about 800, which blew us away. There’s probably not even half that number of people living in the village. We assumed there must be a lot of records that haven’t transferred to other wards, and a lot more people who have been baptized than we thought. Yesterday we got the actual number, which is more like 190, from the ward clerk. We still have a lot of work to do with less-actives, although it’s not quite so bad as what pisope led us to believe. I’m pretty sure he just made up a number to get us to leave, haha.

One of the things Elder Letoa talked about last week, and I think he cited it from a talk by Elder Bednar, was about how the homes of less-actives are golden for missionary work. Last week we found our investigator Senalita, and then this week we found another investigator, her friend, in the same house. Her name is Lavinia and while we talked to Senalita she started asking a lot of questions about the temple, the Word of Wisdom, Joseph Smith, etc. After a while Senalita left to take care of the kids and we realized Lavinia was the one we needed to focus on. So though we came with the intention of giving Senalita a copy of the Book of Mormon, we found a new investigator who needed the same message. I think as we keep focusing on these “golden homes” of less-actives, we’ll keep finding new people to teach. It makes sense too, usually if someone here is less-active it’s because they have family and friends in another church, so by visiting their homes we’re more likely to meet nonmembers.

To quote Amaleki in Omni 1:30 – “And I make an end of my speaking.”



Author: Elder Patrick Watts

I am serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission.

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