Week 47 – Hoi

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Nuki and I at a family home evening. That’s my lou’akau bag in front of me which I traded for with another missionary.

This week we moved to the MQ in Hoi while the zone leaders took over Lapaha. President wants them in a town near the center of the zone so that’s why we made the switch. Now we only have one ward in a fairly small area. I like the change because before we didn’t get to work as much in Hoi because of the distance but now we can focus completely on this area. We really want to meet all the less-actives and at least get to know them, if not bring them back to church. I’ve been working on a map of the town using the satellite image from Google Maps to trace all the roads and houses. Then I just ask the kids to identify each house on the map, since everyone knows everyone here, and cross-check those names with the ward directory. Nobody can hide from us!

On Saturday we met a couple new investigators. Actually we had met one of them before, a lady named ‘Ofa, who talked to us on the street about two months ago because she found out we had visited her brother who lives out in the farmland. She asked if we could all go visit him together sometime because she’s worried about his kids and grandkids not going to church. She also said she had a question for us but didn’t tell us right then. The visit to her brother never worked out but we talked to her a couple other times on the street. Then on Saturday we decided to visit the house just to ask what her question was. Surprisingly we ended up talking for over an hour with her and her daughter about various subjects she was curious about. They are both Pentecost and their knowledge of the Bible is impressive. Thankfully ours is decent too so we had a really interesting conversation on LDS beliefs and how they compare with the Bible. I love talking to people like them who are well-read in the scriptures and listen respectfully with an open mind, not just trying to bash us. By the end we were just having a good time and even laughing when the daughter kept calling out her mom for going off-topic. Even if they remain strong in their current faith I am happy just to discuss our beliefs and start friendly relationships with people of other faiths. On the other hand we had a not-so-good experience with another church. One of our investigators told us this week we could no longer visit them because they had been reported by their congregation for allowing us in their home. They have a calling in their church and the pastor threatened to release them if we kept visiting. It’s sad that some churches imprison their members in such a way.

That’s all for this week. ‘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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