I am Elder Jake Rose, and I am currently serving in the Tonga Nuka'alofa mission. I left to the MTC January 5, 2011 and will arrive back to my home in Utah in two quick years.
This is my story and the stories of the people of Tonga.
Hello family and friends! It's pday so that means writing letters to you all all day! Woo! Well last p day i made it to the temple session which was really good! I like going to the temple! I can't wait to go to the one in Tonga! It's gonna be sweet! On the 21st We watched a movie clip of elder bednar who talked about knowing the promptings of the spirit which was good. He said stop worrying about knowing if it's the spirit or not. just act on promptings. at the end they sang army of helaman oh man i want to sing that song so bad at a devotional. I love that song! We havent got to yet :( that same day Elder Unga hit the desk next to him cause he wanted it to pop up cause these desks you can make them go up so you can sit in your seat. kinda like in college or something. anyway he hit it and it broke off and flew through the air and he just stared at it with the blankest look on his face. It was so dang funny! We had a TRC on the 24 which is just practice teaching a volunteer acting investigator. We had to do the whole into and greeting before the actual lesson in tongan. It was way hard because the guy we talked to talked faster than the speed of light in tongan just to show off and we stared at him like what and he would explain super fast in tongan what he meant. It was so frustrating. Tongans don't talk that fast. All who have been there have said. Anyway then our lesson with him was like talking to a brick wall. he was no help at all. I didn't learn anything. His feed back was that my companion talks to fast in english. But this guy knows english cause he lives here. And he just sucked. But I didn't care I got over it. Hopefully the one this saturday is better. On the 23rd we went on a temple walk. It was way way fun I loved it. Took some neat pictures. but then i met back up with my comp who was talking to one of his friends who is here. And this kid just started to show off and was raggin on everybody and the spirit was just totally gone. But it made me realize ive really had the spirit with me the whole time ive been here. they sometimes say you should recognize when you have the spirit but i like the saying you should recognize when you don't have the spirit, better. that day was actually really spiritual. it was awesome. I was studying the beginning part of the second lesson just about like jesus christ at stuff and i read the BOM intro page and some other things like the witnesses testimonies, and it's so cool how little things would pop out at me. Just the smallest of things and the spirit would testify it was true. such cool little things like that happening have really strengthened my testimony over the last three weeks. Had some spirtual talks with elder unga and michael too that day about temple experiences and just about the gospel. The gospel really is so true and i know that for a fact! We had a devotional that night too and it was really good. The guy was way funny. His name was stephen b allen. He talked about repentance and not going home cause your homesick. And he talked about how satan is real and will push your buttons and tempt you in the mission field. He told a funny story about how he was getting a drink at the drinking fountain and then a little kid came next to him to get one and he would push his water to make the kids go down and so the kid would bend down to get it then he'd let go so it'd splash the kid in the face and repeated it about 8 times and the kid couldn't figure out what was going on. He was pushing the kids buttons. Satan will do the same to us and we won't always know it's him. But we must do the right thing and endure to the end. on the 24th we learned about the nasty boils we'll get in tonga. I'm so thrilled.... so please send lots of anti bacterial soap!!! on the 25th we had a devotional again and this guy talked about alot but the thing that stuck out most to me was acting on promptings. SO landon when you read this. Will you get me tyler lincolns address please and send it in your next letter? but Cool things happen when you act on promptings. Well I'm still doing great! I love it here still! I'm getting the language pretty good! Can start to say some things i want to! My friend elder thompson came in yesterday and is going to samoa and is in my zone and his class is right next to mine and his room is on the same floor. I went and talked to him last night and he said he did good all day untill he got to his room and had time to think about home. I tried to help him the best i could. I just told him to have fun and focus on his purpose here and follow the rules. It really is fun and if he needs anything I'm here to help him. I hope he makes it. I"m gonna keep tryin to help him out. I love getting letters from you all! I'm tryin my best to respond to everyone! Don't get mad if you don't get letters for awhile i just don't have as much time as i'd like to write! But i'm doing my best! I appreciate all your letters though and your love and support! If I can help any of you at all just let me know and I'll do what I can! I've got some funny pictures. Like almost 400 so far! So when I send my card home in a few weeks you can see what I've been up to! I bought a shirt with the Tongan flag on the front that is really cool! I'm wearing it in one of my pictures! Hopefully you will all get to see them! I'll try bearing my testimony or some of it in tongan. oku ou loto keu vahevahe eku fakamo'oni, oku ou 'ilo oku tapuekina a e ongoongolelei o e ngaahi famili, oku ou 'ilo ko e ngaahi famili koe uho i ai o e palani a e otua, that said i like to share my testimony i know the gospel blesses familes, i know families are central to gods plan. But don't try to translate it because you will fail haha. But I'm running out of time. I love you all and miss you but I'm doing great and look forward to my adventure still to come! keep having fun and i challenge you all to sincerely read the scriptures and really try to get something out of them. not just read them cause you should or cause I said to but comprehend what you read. I know the spirit will testify of it's truthfulness. I know this gospel is true and joseph smith translated the book of mormon. Be safe! Ofa Lahi Atu! Love alot at you is the direct translation! Til next week!
It's been 2 weeks! Time is flyin! I got this great idea to carry about this little note book with me to write down the things I want to put in my letters make things easier!
Well after day 2 i got made Senior companion. I found out i fly outta here Mar 8th! Can't wait! I hear more stories every day and i get way excited! Last thursday we went to the temple. But good smart old me forgot my recommend so me and my companion went back and got it then we did inititories while everyone else did a session. But it was really good! I wont forget my recommend today! My class is in the Heber C kimball building, room 135. I havent been able to dry clean my suit yet. I get to on monday. We couldn't last p day cause it takes til the next day after you drop it off at 430 and We are busy so the only day i can is monday out of monday wednesday and saturday. Something that has been popping up in my head while i've been here is maybe trying to walk on at WSU for basketball and try to get a scholarship. I hear in tonga you give everything away so I'll send some stuff home I want to keep. They ask to borrow stuff and you give it to them. or if they say like that's a nice watch just say you can have it! just part of bein a tongan! It'll be cool i think! Haha on the third day my camera broke. I took a picture then it automatically turned off and the lens stayed out and just got stuck. So i broke it to fix it bein the handy man i am! It works great now! My companion is never on time and we spend more thime in the bathroom than studying. I swear everythime we pass a bathroom he says i gotta go haha. It's crazy. We get to go talk to tongans from tonga sometimes that are here and going stateside. It's fun and pretty cool. Just so you know you were all wrong and I won't gain weight I'm just going to get muscular haha so sorry. No 100 pounds added! :) We got a new MTC presidency on the 14. so made history haha. On man on sunday I had a wonderful experience. We watch the joseph smith movie after the devotional and it was amazing. I've seen it before but when I watched it it hit me so hard and the spirit testified to me that everything in that movie is true. I have a strong testimony of joseph smith now and i love it and everything he did in his life for all of us. I read Joseph smith history after that and that was really cool too!! one of the guys in my district, elder fotu-tau'aho made me realize what I'll miss about UT. and how much i take temples and temple square for granted. He's from cali and he's never been there and he want's to so bad and i was like i can go there whenever! and I just realized I take it for granted and i shouldn't. I'll miss it! I find myself alot realizing how excited it is to me to study the gospel. I learn so much every time and it's really fun to do! I was thinking the other day. The last days I was home were very special. Getting to go to the SLC temple to do a session with all my siblings was way special to me and I loved doing that. And then the day i got set apart going to do baptisms with 2 amazing women in my life Jenna and Kendra really meant alot to me and memories i keep very dear. They were great experiences. We do these zone teaching things which are really cool. Just with guys in the zone who act like people they know without the gospel and i was totally lead by the spirit in one. One guy acted as his brother who fell away at age 15 or 16 and all he did was loose his faith and i realized how important faith is. He also had just got engaged and didn't know what he believed about the after life. I was looking up a scripture i had read about the three kingdoms a couple days earlier in d and c but came upon a scripture that talked about both the after life and temple marriage and how important it is. I know that was something he needed to hear. Tuesday we had a devotional and had my testimony grow about the BOM. the guy put up a picture of a excerpt from one of the books oliver cowdrey wrote on the projector. I was like it would be so cool to see that! But the thought popped into my head instantly. it said " you don't need to see that, you already have it and it's the exact same thing" It was a spiritual experience and realization to me. He also talked about how people have proven the book of mormon is true true science and facts and stuff. I can't remember exactly what he said though. I realized also the best way i learn is when i look back and reflect. In my life things i go through i don't really learn why imediately but when i have passed it and look back i realize why and i think that's what life is all about. Yesterday i got on the church website during MDT to look at all the temples and i found out i really love the SLC temple. it's beautiful and so unique. I started to learn caligraphy from elder martinez! I wrote some in my tongan bible and took a picture! I did it by myself so when i send pics back you can see! After the first day elder palavi and tulimaiau moved out of our room so it was just me and elder michael. But yesterday we moved in with hettig and martinez cause it was only those two in a room as well and we didn't want to be put with new people. We liked martinez and hettig. Martinez is becoming one of my closer buddies here! yesterday in class i had my pant leg up cause i was hot and this janitor pokes his head in and points toward me and says that's nasty and i look around to see what he ways pointing at and i didn't know so i said what is and he said your legs. haha it was so funny. he has huge glasses and his face was scrunched up. It made me laugh. I'm doing good though! I hope everyone is doing well! Keep sending letters! not emails. I don't have time to read emails! Sorry but I'll do my best to write back to letters! I challenge you all to watch the joseph smith movie and pray about it and maybe read JSH! I love you all and can't wait to hear from you all! Til next week!
Yay it's finally p day! My time in the MTC has been great! I've been doing really good! I'm used to change in my life so adjusting wasn't to hard! I've been having fun! My companions name is Elder Jacob Aaron Michael. Kinda cool huh? He has an explosive blatter we spend alot of time in the bathroom haha but I love him. He's from L.A. We get along pretty well! We have a way sweet district. Elder Trower, Fotu-Tau'aho, Pau'u (that means naughty in tongan), Howell, Unga, Chandler, Hettig (from New Zealand. Sweet accent), Martinez, Fisher (from St. G and my friend heather told me about him. He's a cool cat.) and Leavitt (from Boise) We are all way close already it's sweet. My teachers are Bro. Yates, Payne, and Williams. They are all cool too! The language is comin along. I can pray and say basic sentences in Tongan and yeah. I hope I start to progress faster! The first 4 days were way way slow but since then it has flown by!! And now it seems like i've been here forever! I like it here. The food isn't to bad either. It's definitely blessed because I go poop like 3 times a day and that is how much you are supposed to if you are healthy! The blessings start there haha. I'm In the Dan Jones building! Room 235. I think kevin and jake hamblin were both in it! I've seen alot of my friends here and it's cool to see them! I really have had a great experience here so far. But i'm still so excited to get to Tonga! At the devotional on tuesday night we got very blessed. Elder Holland came and spoke to us. He's always been one of my favorite speakers and he spoke with such passion. It was amazing. My testimony about the savior grew. He talked about peter not doing as the lord asked until after three times he said do you love me, feed my sheep and leave your fishing! The spirit was strong. He said that we need to be the best missionaries the church has ever seen. No pressure or anything huh? The routine is the same basically every day. wake up eat class eat class gym. The norm. playing basketball here has been fun in gym. Things I need: 4 more pairs of drilux garments jersey kind. not the round neck. small bottoms and tops. Baby powder. stamps the FOREVER kind. and i don't know what else. I'm likin the candy I've gotten from grandma n. I love the dearelders. Those are great. My wrists hurt from typing. The night We got here we went into this room and an investigator named bobby jamison came in and all we were supposed to do as a big group was get to know him and not really teach a lesson. I really felt the true love of christ in the experience. I loved him and I wanted to help him so bad. he was so loving towards his children but rarely got to see them. We've been having fun in our dorms as a district! Im excited to send my sim card home so you can all see my pictures. It's crazy how many people you meet here and where everyone is from! They come from all ends of the earth! Brother Yates was telling us about his mission in tonga. He got back in april. He's my favorite teacher by the way. I'll basically wear a lava lava the whole time. He didn't wear his suit once. I'll get to wear flip flops all the time. It takes about two weeks for letters to get from tonga to home and then two weeks from here to tonga so that will be fun! I'll have email on the bigger islands but some of the smaller ones wont get internet so sorry about that. But letters are great! I like them lots! Everyone is jealous cause I've gotten mail like every day and some people havent gotten any yet. That's the great thing about lots of family haha. I love letters though. keep them coming. How are the jazz doing? How is everyone? anything exciting happening to anyone while I've been gone this past week that has seemed like a long time? haha. I'm doing my laundry now. i'm glad to finally have p day and have a break. The beds kinda stink ahaha one pillow is not enough and two is too many. but I get the ground in Tonga so that will be fun! haha. Mom I'll send your tape back today. I have to go talk on it haha. it was fun yesterday seeing all the new missionaries I feel old already haha. But i still have 8 more long but quick weeks! Im excited though. I need to get my real intent of being here though is to serve people and save their soul. Right now it's just cause I wanna see tonga haha but I'm changing it. Tonga is just a sweet place to go! I hope I can help you all while Im out here serving the lord with all i have! I don't have much time to think about home cause they keep us super busy! That's why i haven't been able to write anyone back yet! Sorry all! I'll be better! I love you all and miss you all and can't wait to keep hearing about all that's going on! You are all in my prayers and thoughts when I have time to think about things other than the language and the gospel. But that's what I'm supposed to do right? I love the gospel and my love for the savior and desire to serve him grows more every day. We actually taught people in our zone the first lesson and I feel like me and my Hoa (companion) do really well at helping people with what they need to hear even if we don't get to teach all of the first lesson. We get deep with people and that is how we will be able to touch them most. I love it. I love to help people. It's so satisfying to see happiness in people eyes because of it! I hope all of you are trying to grow closer to the savior with me and challenge you to do so if you havent. Read and pray often! I love you all! Ofa Atu! Til next week!