Week 22 – Talihau/’Utungake

I wasn’t able to post last week’s blog update so I did that just now. Go back and read it.

I finished reading the Old Testament this week. Some of it is slow, some of it is repetitive, and some parts I will probably never return to unless I read straight through again, but overall it is amazing scripture and valuable context for the rest of God’s revelations. I’ve received so much insight into the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and even the hymns. There was one time Elder Hopoate and I were singing hymns in English and I read the line “our shadow by day and a pillar by night” in Redeemer of Israel. I have played, sung, or listened to that hymn probably hundreds of times and the meaning of that line finally hit me. It’s really cool how a lot of hymn lyrics are inspired by ancient Israel, you can almost imagine marching to battle with them while singing Hope of Israel. My favorite books in the Old Testament were Isaiah and Daniel because of the clarity of their prophecies, especially given latter-day revelation to help interpret them. Daniel’s interpretation of “the stone… that filled the whole earth” is so relevant to our day and missionary work especially.

I got kind of sick again this week, all because I ate a bad banana. Part of it was mushy and dark which I was a little suspicious about but I decided to eat it anyway because that’s what a Tongan would do, right? After experiencing some weird symptoms like foul banana breath and a constantly bloated stomach, I’ve realized that no, Tongans are just as picky about not eating rotten food as anyone else.

Christmas is coming up soon! One family has lights up around the house. I’ve noticed that most of the American Christmas traditions are absent but the feeling is still the same. Hopefully you guys get to enjoy some snow back home. Ofa atu!

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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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