Malo e lelei again!
We began formal language study on Saturday. It's been great; I've learned a lot of Tongan by accident and my ability to understand Tongan speakers is improving. I'm getting there.
We've taught "Vili" 4 times so far. Vili is actually brother Diehl, one of our teachers. He's like 5'4", 140 pounds, super white, blond hair, blue eyes, etc. so It totally caught us off guard when he told us he wasn't actually Tongan. He sounds like a professor of Tongan, however; he was nicknamed "Shumway" by his trainer for his ability to speak Tongan pretty much fluently after only a couple months (his trainer was my district leader's cousin). We took three lessons to teach him about the restoration. The first one sucked; I had to read almost everything and my companion didn't bring any notes and started speaking English, which Vili didn't understand. He had perhaps too much faith in his Tongan abilities. Out of our 8 minute lesson, probably 5 minutes were spent in awkward silence. Our second lesson went better. We taught him how to pray (like we had tried to do the first time) and challenged him to pray for guidance. Bad, but not horrible. Our third lesson was better still; we taught him about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, gave him a Book of Mormon and had him commit to read and pray about it. Our most recent lesson sucked as well; Vili must have figured out we were getting more confident, so he started speaking Tongan at normal speed and with unfamiliar words. My companion shared something weird and I found myself unable to cover for him, and we spent a lot of time arguing about the trinity. It sucked, just not as bad as the first time. As a companionship, we made a goal to do our next lesson without notes, even if it ends up being like 2 minutes long.
We are the only companionship without any Tongan speakers. My companion is half Tongan, but he might as well be white as far as the language goes.
The district is continuing to do great. We all want to be here, and most of us are completely focused on missionary work. My companion's lingering tendencies to 'pick up chicks' makes me slap him sometimes, however; he's made some pretty locker-room-type comments about some of the sisters over the last few days and it really kills the spirit. I'm adding it to my "what not to do" list.
I've been sold on the law of consecration. The other Elders in our district have received care packages and donuts from their loving parents, which are all thrown in a pile on the table and we all eat whatever we feels like. I have received no such goodies. I would appreciate some fishy crackers etc. from the bottom of my heart. Tongans love to share, but they aren't the biggest fan of aku birds.
I'm going to the Temple in maybe 15 minutes. We'll do initiatories and be back in time for breakfast.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. We had elder Oaks come and speak to us about Thanksgiving type things related to missionary work. It was a great talk. I haven't been feeling especially well, so I didn't eat much.
I'm off to the temple, as soon as my laundry is done drying. I still have some family names , so we're going to do initiatory until breakfast starts. Then come back and do some more studyin.
'Oku ou ilo oku mo'oni a tohi a molomona. 'Oku ou ilo ko e palofita mo'oni a Siosefa Samita. 'Oku ou ilo ko e siasi 'o Sisu Kalaisi 'o e kau ma'oni'oni 'i he ngaahi 'aho kimui ni ko e siasi mo'oni pe taha 'ihe mamani. 'Oku mau fakamalo ki ho afiona koe 'uhi 'ae faingamalie ke ngaue fakafaifekau.