Elder Brown Last Email

Friends and Family,
Your love, prayers and support of Elder Brown over the past two years means more than we can express. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Feel free to find a nice Tongan to translate his final message, or use the Hawaiian setting on google translate for a loose interpretation :)

'Ofa atu,
Jennie and Jim

ko ha ākonga au 'a Sisu Kalaisi, koe 'Alo 'oe 'Otuá. Kuó Ne ui au keu malanga 'aki 'Ene folofolá 'i he lotolotonga 'o hono kakaí, koe'uhí ke nau ma'u 'ae mo'ui ta'engatá. 3 Nīfai 5:13

'Oku ou lau 'eni ko ha tāpuaki mo'oku koe faingamālie kuo tuku mai 'e he Tamai Hevaní keu 'omai ki Tongá ni 'o hoko ai ko ha faifekau taimi kakato. 'Oku ou fakamālō mo fakafeta'i kiate ia koe'uhí ko 'ene tataki mo fakahinohino'i aú 'i he'eku fonongá. Neongo pē 'eku ngaahi tōnounoú kā he 'ikai pe ke ai ha taimi ia 'e 'osi ai 'ene 'alo'ofá mo 'Ene katakí

'Oku ou tuku heni ha fakamālō makehe ki he'eku ongo matu'á koe'uhí ko 'enau 'ofa lahi mo 'enau poupoú. Ka ne 'ikai ko kinaua, mahalo na'e 'ikau keu lava 'o 'ikuna'i 'ae ngāue ko 'ení. 'Oku ou fakamālō foki ki he'eku tokouá mo fanga tu'ofafiné koe'uhí ko 'enau fakalotolahi'i aú. Fakamālō foki kia Pisope Meyer, kae uma'ā 'a palesiteni Matsunaga koe ngaahi tokoni fakalaumalié kuó na fakahoko mai kiate au. Faka'apa'apa lahi foki kia palesiteni Tupou pea mo palesiteni Tui'one, kae pehē foki he kau faifekau kātoa ne tau ngāue fakataha. Na'a mou hoko kotoa ko ha ma'u'anga tokoni kiate au 'i he'eku ngaahi faingata'á.

He 'ikai ke ngalo 'iate au 'ae 'ofa 'ae kakai ko 'ení; koe kakai Tongá 'ae kakaí ia 'oku ou mālie'ia taha ai, pea oku nau hoko ma'u pe ko ha fiefia'anga kiate au. Fakatau ange pē 'e ma'u ha'aku faingamālie keu feohi ai mo ha kau Tonga 'i he ka ha'ú

'Neongo kuo 'osi atu 'ae vaha'ataimi ko ia na'e vahe'i ai aú keu hoko ko ha faifekau taimi kakato, kuo te'eki ai ke 'osi 'eku ngaahi ngāue fakafaifekaú. 'I he'etau hoko ko ha ngaahi mēmipa 'oe Siasi 'o Sīsū Kalaisi 'oe Kau Mā'oni'oni 'i he ngaahi 'Aho 'Kimui ní, koe fatongia ia kiate kitautolu ke 'oua na'a tau tuku ke holomui 'ae ngaué ni, tatau ai pē pe ko e fē 'ae feitu'u te tau 'i aí. 'Oku ou 'ilo fakapapau kuo 'osi hina 'ae ngoué ki he utu-ta'ú.

'Oku ou 'ilo ta'e toe veiveiua 'oku mo'ui hotau 'Eiki ko Sisu Kalaisí. Ko 'Ene ngāué eni. Kuo toe fakafoki mai 'ae ongoongoleleí ki mamaní 'o fakafou mai 'i he palōfita ko Siosefa Sāmitá. 'Oku 'i ai ha palōfita mo'ui he lolotongá ni pea mo ha kau aposetolo ke tataki kitautolu. Koe ngāue eni 'ae 'Eikí, pea 'oku ou laukau'aki 'ae faingamalie na'a ku ma'u keu hoko ko ha me'angaue 'i hono to'ukupu 'i hono 'auhani 'oe ngoue vaine ko 'ení.

Ngāue ke ikuna, ikuna ke fiefia, fiefia ke ta'engata

'Ofa atu

Elder Brown

Elder Brown 2 October 2017

Malo e lelei!

Yet another good week, despite some shenanigans on the part of our investigators.

Salome, the investigator I wrote about last week, pulled a fast one on us and ran away on Friday to go get married. She should be off to Niua some day this week. We called Elder Pakalani in Niua and told him the info, so hopefully she and her new husband will be baptized soon. They haven't had a baptism in Niua for a long time, so I hope they're grateful.

On the bright side, Her older sister came to church in Feletoa and she said she'd be interested in talking with us. We will go visit her tomorrow and see what we can get done!

Earlier today, a teenager was driving irresponsibly near Saineha high school and hit a couple of students, so President Makai asked us to go to the hospital to see what we could do. I didn't end up needing to give blood, but we got to see one of the boys who got hit. There were'nt many workers, so they asked us for help pushing him around and lifting him on and off various tables and carts while they did tests. He has a neck brace on and some scrapes on his hands and he's pretty drugged up, but other than that he seems fine and is expected to walk again.

We went to Feletoa and were supposed to teach a class to some nonmembers and less-active members on Sunday evening, but nobody showed up. We had a great scheme to do a short class on Wednesday evening and then have a volleyball session shortly thereafter. We think we'll be able to get a lot of people to come; even if they skip out on the lesson, everyone will still know that it's the place to be. We'll see what happens!

We will watch conference next week because of the date and time difference and because they need to translate it into Tongan, but we cheated and watched elder Holland's and Elder Uchtdorf's talks on youtube. We're excited to see it next week

I fly back to Tonga Wednesday next week, so this will be my last full week of missionary work until I'm an old man, which is a fun thing. Kind of sad. I want to make the most of it. This has been the happiest part of my life and I've learned a few things.

I know that Jesus is the Christ. We can be freed from our sins and mistakes. He was perfect and suffered and died for us. He rose again on the third day and broke the bands of death. 

We are the children of God and he loves us. He answers our prayers. He will protect us and strengthen us as we obey his commandments. The Holy Ghost will sanctify us as we live worthily of its companionship.

God called the prophet Joseph Smith to restore the gospel to the earth. The Book of Mormon is true. We have living prophets and apostles on earth and they show us the way.

Tongan people are my favorite people. I hope I get to be around them wherever I end up spending the rest of my life. They have been a source of happiness to me during the hard times and I will remember their love forever. I will miss it here.

I love you all!

'Ofa lahi atu

Elder Brown

Elder Brown 18 September 2017

Malo e lelei!

The zone leaders flew back to Tonga for a little while, and they asked us to teach one of their investigators, a 9 year old girl named 'Ofa from Ha'akio. She was baptized on Saturday. Her parents were just divorced, and her mom grew up in the church and wanted her baptized, but her dad said no. Now that they're divorced she's started coming to church again, and since her daughter is 9 years old she needed to be taught by the missionaries before baptism. She's a great girl and she was a lot of fun to teach.

This week I read the Book of Mormon (the one after 4 Nephi) and it really impressed me how much Mormon's life stank. He literally had to stand at the front of the Nephite army and watch his people fall apart. They were past the point of repentance and their downfall had been prophesied since the time of Nephi, so he knew what was coming and couldn't do anything about it, but he kept on trucking and got the records passed on like a man.

Compared to Jesus, anyone's bad day seems pretty good. I love him. As time goes, study time always seems to turn into that. It's all about Jesus and I love him.

I wish I could go to some little island somewhere where nobody'd heard of the church yet. Every time we go and teach someone, with the exception of little kids, it seems like they already have a good idea of what we're about and they have a good idea of how to say 'no'

I love it here, and even though I know the coming months will be a lot of fun it will be hard to leave this behind. I'll never forget this people.

I love you!

Elder Brown

Elder Brown

> Malo e lelei!!
We had a good week this week. The work's still slow, but we're trying our best to be fast anyway! I will be staying in Mataika with my comp, which is welcome news. We were hoping nothing would change. I left my last area without a baptism, so I'd really like to find someone before this is all over. I'd better hurry and find someone; I only have 6 weeks left and the last 6 weeks have gone by insanely fast.

My companion's birthday was on Tuesday and we had a crazy blowout party after district meeting. We had heaps of pizza and cake and chips and he felt the love. I love that guy and he's made the last 6 weeks a blast for me. Happy birthday Elder Nau!

Yesterday we got to participate in a stake musical fireside, which was beautiful. We had been practicing for a couple weeks and were a little shaky, but we ended up sounding great. There were many spiritual talks and a lot of beautiful music.

We've heard about a guy in Feletoa who really wanted to be baptized, but had to go to Tongatapu for a while. He has returned and we'll go and hunting for him tomorrow after our district meeting.

We made a map on our wall and we want to fill it up before I'm done. Mom and dad have been writing me and giving me my travel plans and we're trying to nail down the schedule and itinerary, plane and boat tickets etc. It's pretty surreal. I'll be back in Hawaii with a job looking for a wife in a couple of months.

I love the Lord, this is great and I love it here. This is the true church and if that sounds crazy then ask about it!

'Ofa atu

Elder Brown

Elder Brown 28 August 2017

Malo e lelei!

We had zone conference this week, which was cool. President should be here until tomorrow, and we're going soo to a P day activity with all the missionaries in Vava'u. I'm really excited; there are a lot of people in the other zone that I haven't seen in a while, so it will be fun to see them again.

Zone conference was great. President Tanner from BYU was here in Vava'u on Thursday, and he got to come and speak. They came with a couple of major donors to the university, who have a sone who served in Tonga from 2013 to 2015. He's held on pretty well to his language and it was a lot of fun to talk about some of the old guys from the mission who've already finished. Time sure flies.

I want to get a baptism before I leave! I haven't had one in months; I'm sure there's someone somewhere who's ready. We just need to find them!

I'm going to head out; if I can, I'll check later this evening if anyone else writes.

I love you!

Elder Brown

Elder Brown Pictures 21 August 2017

1. Elder Tupou and I on mount Talau after our district meeting 
2. Elder Brown with the '8 weeks left' look on his face
3. Flooding at Sione Latu's house
4. The beach down in Feletoa. It's a bit of a walk but it's sure pretty here.
5. A pretty view indeed. There's an old white guy that supposedly lives in that little house way in the back, right in the middle of the water. It would be fun to see how he's doing.

Elder Brown Pictures 21 August 2017