> Malo e lelei!
We went to town with the zone leaders last week and got a few blocks of cheese and tortilla ingredients, so we make quesadillas from time to time. At first they weren't very good (we were using some pretty sharp cheddar which kind of threw things off) but now that we've gotten the tortilla making technique down and the cheese balance right they're a thing of beauty. Cheese is by no means a part of the Tongan diet, so our members and investigators haven't had anything like it before and they love it. The members will remember me as the guy who introduced Mexican food to Tonga!
We spent a lot of this week doing zone conference related stuff, and (unfortunately) spent a lot of time waiting around at the house.
We were told at P day on monday last week that President Tui'one would be interviewing us the following day. Our phone had been broken so we were told to stay in the house and wait for him to show up. We normally leave at 10, so we waited and waited till 2 and got sick of it so we went out and got something to eat and waited at a member's house by the road. We ended up peeking out the window every five seconds to see if President and the crew would come through, and by about 6 o clock we ran out of steam and called president on a member's phone, only to find out that he wasn't coming.
The next day was Zone conference, which was a very good and rousin' meeting. Once again, president told us to go home and wait at our house for the interview. The meeting ran a little long so we got home at 4 and waited for president, but no one showed up. Eventually it got dark and we're out of money so we had to go steal (borrow) a box of crackers from our neighbors so we wouldn't die.
Then we went out and did our thing on Thursday and got interviewed! I had an awesome conversation with president and although he was short on time I felt like I got across exactly how I was doing/feeling in less than 5 minutes. He gave me some promising transfer news (secret!) and told me he'd put me in a situation where I could go out with a bang! Tu'anekivale has been great.
This week Friday my last 12 weeks start, which is surreal. The last couple of months have flew by so I know this will be done before I know it.
We've been teaching and visiting a less-active man named Sione. He and his wife have already been sealed in the Temple but a couple weeks afterward he started smoking and drinking kava again. We've shared a lot with him and last week his wife shared with him the parable of the prodigal son, and for the first time since we've started teaching him regularly he's opened up to us and told us he needs help. He shared that he feels like he's eating with the pigs and he's too embarrassed to try coming back to church. It was a really emotional lesson and we got to sit there while him and his wife had a good talk and sione promised he'd quit smoking. He wasn't here for church yesterday but hopefully he'll start showing up. He's a good guy and we love him.
Good week this week! I'll be on a little later to email family!
'Ofa lahi atu!
What a treat for Elder Brown to meet Elder John Groberg and his wife Jean. Elder Groberg's experiences serving as a missionary in Tonga inspired the film "The Other Side of Heaven".
He returned a few year later and served as Mission President, organizing the first stake in Tonga!
The population of the Kingdom of Tonga is now 107,000, with 65,000 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Malo e lelei!
I missed last week so I knew I had to make this letter super good, but I'm low on time and a little under the weather so the creative juices aren't flowing the way they should. We had a good week and got work done!
On Saturday we went on splits with the district leader, Elder Nonu. He is done in three weeks and this was his first area so he was really excited to come here. We'd hoped that he'd be able to make it for fast and testimony meeting on Sunday, but president said no. He was super excited to come back and I swear he opened like 5 doors to us that we haven't been able to get in before. Normally when we visit a referral or go knock on a door they tell us to come back next week, that they're busy, etc. and this game seems to go on indefinitely. Elder Nonu was here for over 7 months so he taught a lot of people and I'm really happy he got to come here. He only got to stay from like noon to 8 in the evening, so we get to go again on Tuesday. Him coming here was an answer to prayers.
I'll probably be able to get on in a few hours in Ta'anea to read any responses, sorry I'm short on time. I love you all!! Thanks for all the support!