Week 36 – Lapaha

Transfers were yesterday! I left Fasi and am now working in Lapaha in the Hahake Zone, or the east side of Tonga. My new companion is Elder Hirinuki, and he’s also new to the area so once again I’m coming into a whitewashed area. That’s not bad though, it means we both have no previous expectations for the area so we’ll start working hard from the get-go.

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is my relationships with my companions. I feel like your relationship with your companion is actually the most “normal” one you have with someone on the mission and best reflects your commitment to follow Jesus Christ. It’s pretty easy trying to set a good example and serve the people living in your area. The true test is when you come home and it’s just you and your comp. When you return to “normal you” mode, will a different person come out of hiding or are you really the person you show to everyone else? I think the way you act around just your comp is closest to how you were before the mission, but also reflects how you will act after the mission. There have been times where I’ve been angry at my companion but tried to stay happy around everyone else, but it just doesn’t work. I can’t be selectively angry at one person and love everybody else. I think this has helped me understand the meaning of Christlike love, which has no respect for persons and is sent out equally to all people. Christlike love is more like a state of being than the way you treat someone, and it is based on your connection to the Spirit.

There was one time my comp and I were walking to an appointment, and the whole time I was mad about something my comp had said just before we left. The whole time I was planning how I would take control of the lesson and teach how I thought the lesson should be taught instead of teaching as an equal companionship. By the end of our walk I realized I needed to do the hard thing and forgive my comp so I could be spiritually prepared to teach. When I brought it up, my comp didn’t even realize what he had said annoyed me and asked, “Was that why you didn’t talk the whole way here?” We said a quick prayer, then went inside and taught a great lesson. Man, sometimes we get mad over the dumbest stuff, haha! I believe that even though the people closest to us can be the hardest to serve and forgive, if we are to be true disciples of Christ then we must be impartial and exhibit Christlike love and mercy to everyone. Otherwise the Holy Ghost will not be present when we need the strength to preach and testify.

It was really satisfying finishing off the last transfer with two baptisms and now I’m excited to work in a new area. I should have a lot to report on next week. Ofa atu!




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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