Malo e lelei!
We worked hard this week, but everyone with a baptismal date seemed to fall through at the last minute. One just didn't come to church, the other two were kept from coming to church; we're still disappointed about this one, but we've been working since yesterday to make sure it doesn't happen again. It would be a funny story if it didn't involve keeping people from baptism.The two kids in question, Mele and Salesi Tamoepeau, have been going to a Presbyterian church for years. An old couple from Korea serve as the ministers. They hold church meetings in their house.We were supposed to meet the two investigators at 12:00, so we had time to walk to church by 1:00. We got there and Mele was ready, but Salesi had gone to his old church (because he was hungry, he later told us) a couple of hours prior and hadn't returned. She convinced us to stop by and pick him up. It wasn't far away, and we had plenty of time, so we stopped by. When she went up to the door, the wife grabbed her and took her inside, while the husband came out to yell at us. He doesn't speak Tongan, only Korean and a little English. He told us they were his members, that they'd been coming to their church for 5 years, and to go away.A 10-year-old recent convert, who walked with us and was a former member of that church, decided to go in and get them, but the ministers wouldn't let him in because he'd been baptized in the LDS church. They pulled him aside and told him he was going to hell if he went to Church with us, etc. and they tried to pull him inside. He started yelling, so we ran up and helped him. We went all D&C 121:43 on them, testified of the truthfulness of the gospel, and went on our way.We went later that day to follow up with them and to give their father a priesthood blessing. We went back to our house to get some ibuprofen for him, and when we got back the crazy Koreans were there telling the parents that they would all go to hell if they came to our church. We were way mad at that, but felt impressed not to make a confrontation out of it. We walked down the road a couple hundred yards, and felt impressed to apologize to them for interrupting their church service. We did so, and they yelled at us for a good fifteen minutes in front of the whole family. We told them we loved them, and asked if we could come back today to talk, and to resolve some issues they brought up. We were way mad for a little bit, but I think we handled it nicely.We returned this morning at 10:00, listened to them yell some more about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc., shared the message of the restored gospel, responded to comments as appropriate, and explained our motives in inviting their members to our Church. It may not sound like we accomplished anything, but they understand us better as a result of that meeting. We made it clear that Mele and Salesi wanted to be baptized, and that we would do all we could to help them. They weren't especially thrilled about that, but at least they know our intentions up front.We taught 15 lessons with members this week, which is a lot of improvement from last week's 6. The previous companionship's record was 9. We have a baptism on Wednesday. We've been working hard. The language is coming along.Ofa lahi atu,Elder Brown
By the way, I said I was always hungry on my first email. That was supposed to be a joke.
I can't tell is I've lost weight, but my waist has gotten like three inches smaller. A good sign indeed. I'll keep the work up.
Pizza is like 60 bucks in Tonga. They also have pineapple fanta, which is very nice.