Week 49 – Hoi

Yep, I’m training. My son’s name is Elder ‘Eukaliti (even Tongans have a hard time saying it) from Nukunuku, and he’s just waiting here until he can go to his assigned mission in Papua New Guinea. To be honest the first day or two was kind of stressful, which reminded me of when I was being trained. The whole week before I had been going between areas while I waited for my new companion and busy with ward and stake programs. Then Thursday hit, I got my new comp and the work was kind of dead after being left untouched for a week. No appointments set up for the first couple days, which I felt bad about because I remember being disappointed when the same thing happened to me when I met my trainer. I think the main stress of training is that usually you and your comp rely on each other to make a whole working companionship but now it feels almost like I’m the whole companionship by myself. Of course the goal of training is to bring your trainee up to a level that they can do everything on their own and you’re back to a normal companionship. I used to think training a palangi would be easier back when the language barrier was stronger but now I’m so thankful to train a Tongan because he’s already comfortable in his own culture. I’d hate to deal with a palangi like me when I was being trained, unable to speak and always getting sick, haha.

On Saturday all of the missionaries in Tonga had a meeting with Elder John H. Groberg, or more popularly known as Kolipoki. He and his wife shared some experiences from when he was serving as mission president about fifty years ago. Most of Elder Groberg’s talk was in Tongan which was really cool to listen to. For probably not speaking it all of the time he still sounded almost like an old native Tongan, especially the way he expressed with his hands and voice while telling a story. Elder Groberg is an amazing example of hard work and obedience.

This weekend was also stake conference and all the speakers were just great. Elder O’Riordan from Australia came to preside and spoke at every session. Something he said that benefited me was that our invitation to others outside of the church is simple: Come bring the faith that you already have and we will add to it and make it stronger. This Church is the only one with the fullness of the gospel as established by Jesus Christ. Anyone who joins this Church will experience an increase in faith and happiness. President Tui’one also attended our stake conference and shared a story about how the Book of Mormon even helped his 10-year-old son be content with moving from New Zealand to Tonga. The Book of Mormon has the answers not just to the big questions in life but also the small daily problems we encounter. That is why we are counseled to read it every day.

Happy American Father’s Day! Ofa lahi atu ki he’eku tamai!



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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