Week 25 – Halaleva/Pahu

New area: Halaleva and Pahu

I think I was more homesick leaving my first area than my actual home… haha. Combine leaving Vava’u with calling my family for Christmas and I was actually kind of bummed out the day of transfers. One Elder told me a lot of missionaries start crying when they have to say goodbye in their call home. No, I didn’t cry but it affected me afterwards more than I expected. It’s like the mission completely fills your life, and then the phone call home reminds you there’s a big piece missing and you feel a little empty when it’s over.

Thankfully my new comp and I hit it off super well from the start. Elder Teutau is a native Tongan just one transfer our longer than me. This is also a new area and his second, but he actually lived here until he was about twelve so he’s familiar with many of the people and places. Elder Teutau went to Liahona High School and studied “electrics” as he calls it. I can tell it’s his passion because he has three or four gadgets in the MQ which he either built or fixed. The coolest one is a portable water heater he made just from scrap parts. He also brought his guitar which he’s been teaching me how to play in our downtime.

Which reminds me, I finally got to play a real piano for the first time since the MTC. We found it while we were visiting members’ houses, so I played their upright for about twenty minutes and then talked with the mom. She said one of the boys started taking lessons but he was too lazy to practice (familiar story). It was so nice playing a piano with more than half the keys and the pedal working. I’m thinking we’ll have to focus on that family for investigator referrals so I can have an excuse to play more often.

It’s surprising how different Halaleva is from my first area. While we drove to our MQ for the first time I almost thought we were in a small American town because of how developed it is compared to Vava’u. I feel like the Tongan here is easier to understand too. A lot more people speak English and I think it influences how they structure their speech in Tongan. They also throw in more English words when it’s convenient. It’s pretty cool listening to the kids talk to each other in a mix of the two languages, using whichever one is easiest to communicate what they want to say.

I put my New Testament study on hold so I can read the Book of Mormon in Tongan. I’ve waited way too long to do that. To my relief it’s incredibly easier to read now than when I first tried a couple months ago, which is interesting because I didn’t do much Tongan reading during that time so I know it all came from speaking and listening to the language.

Feliz cumpleaños to my little brother serving in Nicaragua. Hopefully you got some cake.


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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