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.
Another week flown by here in tonga! I swear i just wrote you all yesterday or something but i guess not haha. I loved all your emails this week!Thank you for them all! okay i'll just hop to it! 4/15 We had a big meeting all the missionaries on the main island with the area president. Elder Callister. It was good! We just talked about how the Book of Mormon restores all the plain and simple truths lost in the bible! It's pretty sweet! I didn't bring my notes so i can't tell ya. So i'll just say it was good. Then after that I got mail! Got a tape from mom! So don't loose hope that your mail is lost. It hopefully will eventually get here! Then later that night we went over to the church. The ward chior was practicing cause they were performing at stake conference! Which stake conference goes like this. Preisthood saturday from 2-4 and then the real meeting from 5-7 then on sunday from 10-12. it's crazy! 4/16 made a big realization. came up with a theory and even tested it! So whenever you walk past people, which is alot you just say like alu koe ( go you) or toki ha'u it( just come it is the literal translation but it's like did you just come from there) and people respond by saying yo. well i think people just make noise and people just act like they knew what is being said. So i tested it. Someone walked by and i just made some noise and they responded by saying yo. Point proven. Tongan is just jibberish and acting like ya know what's goin on ;) haha. anyway i helped my comp upload some of his pictures to the computer. Then we went to kolomotu'a for stake conference. it was really good. One of the guys that spoke i could actually make out almost all the words just couldn't make sense of the sentence. but that shows improvement! Then they had a guy from australia! He spoke and after each sentence a guy translated to tongan so i was able to understand! He talked about spiritual crocodiles and how temptations can just come out of nowhere. but we need to be strong. I really felt the spirit there. 4/17 wen't to kolomotu'a for conference again. Again the Auzzy guy talked to us and he talked about the spirit and how it can work through us. i actually talked to the guy after and told him i was from kaysville. He asked if i knew any martineaus I said i did ( nick martineau) He said when he comes to utah he stays with them. I didn't think i'd meet anyone here who knew people i did haha. crazy he was from australia. anywho then we went to our fafanga and ate good. The guy told us about his mission here in tonga. he started crying when he talked about the miracles he saw happen here. It was good. Then we went to a recent converts house and visited the family. They were very thankful we came buy and we looked at alot of like family photos they had. When we got home the ZL's said to pack cause i was bein transfered tomorrow (transfer day) but they didn't know where. So i packed and cleaned and then wrote in fale's rememberance journal and he wrote in mine. Fale was mad when he found out he was stayin in Longolongo. He wanted to move. well 4/18 Transfer day! One transfer already done! only like 16 left! we woke up and got ready and waited around for someone to come get me! I just read the BOM and talked to fale. After a long while fale said we should go call the ZL's to see what was goin on. so we did. This transfer was weird. All that was happening was me and elder unga were switching. I was only moving a town over. So I came to Kolomotu'a and elder Makasini is my new comp. That was unga's trainer and unga went with fale. Kinda weird but i was happy cause i already knew makasini and i liked him. He's funny. I still have P day the same day and will throughout the mission. He has already helped me more in the language than fale did. He knows what i have to go through cause he didn't really know tongan either so he's helpin me alot! Well after i got to kolomotu'a (means town old) we went to visit some members and talk. then we went to our fafanga and they just took us to get food and so we went to eat with fale and unga. Then us 4 went to that recent converts house again and talked to them and made sure things were good. That night me and makasini talked til 2 am. haha. 4/19 woke up and did the kolipoki thing. English and tongan reading the BOM. Then for comp study we did the same thing and maka was just explainin stuff to me and helpin alot Then we went to district meeting. it was good. 2 of the elders in our district didnt show up but we did it anyway. We finished a little early so me maka fale and unga just did like doctrine questions we had and helped answer them til time was up. Then after that we came back. Maka took a nap and i kolipoki'd again. WHen he woke up we set up the baptismal program for the girl that's bein baptized saturday that him and unga taught. Then we went to our fafanga! It was such a nice house! actually a millionaire. They had carpet! First time i saw that here! The lady grew up in the states and is actually going to her sons wedding in utah next week! She said she'd take a letter for me. so i'll send a little package with my sim cards in it so she can send it from utah to kendra! Then we came back home and talked with the family who's property our house is on. They have a little kid named george who is so cute! He's so fat! We call him huluka (hulk) He loves to eat haha. Then it started to rain so me and maka went inside and talked til 12 haha. 4/20 i woke up and kolipoki'd again. I found some scriptures and thoughts i'll share now. Helaman 5:12(scripture mastery) 23-24 and then alot of the rest of the chapter. It talks about nephi and lehi being surrounded by a pillar of fire but not being harmed. You guys can read it on your own, the whole chapter to get the details, but my thoughts were just that our hearts take courage when we have the protection of the lord. And things seem easier. I dunno that just stuck out to me and i really liked it. Then later that day i practiced teaching a principle to makasini and we went to teach a girl who was recently was baptized but she wasn't home. She was at sport. HOly cow this is huge in tonga. They have what is called sport which is like a big track event that goes for 3 days from all the schools in tonga and like the whole island goes to watch. it's crazy! then we went to our fafanga. it was cool cause we ate and then the dad came home from working at the temple. He does every wednesday and fasts for his family every wednesday. When he gets home at 8 they all break his fast together and then like have a spiritual something. They all quoted the first 5 articles of faith from memory together. I thought that was cool. Well that's about all! I love and miss you all and am thankful for you! Take care and until next week! Love, Elder Rose!
Hello everyone back in utah, i think you are all still in utah. Who know's? haha. I want you all to know I enjoy all your emails and all the love, support, prayers, and help you all offer to me! It blesses my life greatly and and am truely grateful. Alrighty. it is 725 pm on thursday night here in tonga. This will be the last email from me for this transfer! Just dandy aint it? Already a transfer gone by! This last week was probably the fastest one i've had here! anyway i'll now get to the details of my days. 4/7 After i emailed you all last time i had our baptism service for 2 of our investigators! Sione and Atimata! I was lucky enough to perform the ordinance for both of them! haha here is how they went... Atimata went first. She is so shy. She put one foot in the font and was 99% sure she was going to jump back out. She was scared of all the people watching. she slowly went down the steps and just waited at the last one. She finally came all the way in and wouldnt' stop bouncing up and down. But i just said the prayer and she went down and came out and that went smoothly! Okay now Sione's turn. He is about 6 3. The water in the font wasn't really filled to high. That's great. I say the prayer and i go to get him down but he stops and like slips up! we have to do it again. I go to dunk him and yet again he stops. Everything under but his arms. and comes back up. Have to do it again. 3rd time is the charm right? Well we do it and he stops at the same place. But this time i shoved him under hard and he lucky went under! haha what a wonderful day in tonga. luckily he is a really smiley guy and didn't seem too embarrassed. I love that guy he's way awesome. well that was my baptism! 4/8 I read the Book of Mormon alot that day. We are really blessed to have that book. It contains so much! I love reading it. anyway so we went out and about and i started to feel a little sick but we kept going. We went over the the Kolomotu'a elders house and talked with them for a bit. The longer we stayed the more sick i felt. I started to get a pounding head ache and i felt my forehead and it felt really hot. Then it came time to go to our fafanga and i really didn't want to go. I just wanted to go home. But we went. I didn't really eat alot and the people kept saying "kai Lahi kai lahi" which is eat lots eat lots! I said oku ou feinga pe. I'm trying. haha. anyway so we finished that and i came home and checked my temp. Just a little warm at 101.1 F. Then elder fale told me something that Lomio said. We blessed Lomios wife last week. I guess when we blessed her a miracle happened. Well after we took our hands off from doing the annointing and before we put our hands back on she said she felt someone elses hands already on her head. That was cool. Then the next day someone called her saying he could help but she said no it's okay. Lomio went to the temple that day and felt she should go to this guy. She remembered in the blessing my comp gave he said that if she wants a blessing she should go find it. She decided to go to this guy and he was able to help her and heal her. Pretty cool huh? Well now we get to 4/9. Probably the best day of my life. I woke up at 5 and felt worse. I just layed in bed all day. the Zone Leaders came and called sister west, the nurse for me. She came over at about 5 o clock in the evening. i had to get up and sit in a chair while she checked my blood pressure and pulse and temp and stuff. So basically my blood pressure and pulse plummeted. and lucky me my fever was now 103! Hey that rhymes! haha. anyway she said she'd take me for a ride to cool me down. When I got up i got real dizzy. she had elder nai (basically hulk in disguise) help me to the car. Pretty sure if he wasn't there i would have passed out, or if the car was further away. i just about did by the time i got to sit in the car. she said i wasn't going to sleep there tonight but in the office elders house with air conditioning. she got me a coke and a felt a bit better. Basically when we got the the house i had some chicken noodle soup and crackers and slept. she got me some anti biotics for the soar throat i had too. She said you wont tell your mom about this right i said she was a nurse and would just tell me to suck it up. :) Love you mom. anyway 4/10 i woke up and felt a little bit better. i layed around for a bit and i got lucky. I got to go to the mission office to watch preisthood session in english! That's all the conference i got to see though. But President monson was funny. It made me excited to get married too! Oh and guess what! I got a letter! I got it from Grandma and Grandpa Neilson. I went through SLC postage Mar 7 and Tonga postage April 7 haha. So i guess stuff takes about a month to get here. I hear it kinda varies though. Kevin you asked if i can buy stuff here. I don't really get a chance to go into town really. Kinda sucks. All i get is 20 bucks a week and i always spend it on like some crackers so i can eat something in the morning but if i'm able to get to town more i'll let you know. Hopefully i get the other mail soon! I read a book called missionary miracles. It was pretty cool. I read one where a kids mom had breast cancer and knew she'd die like 2 months after he left. Thier goodbye was as you'd imagine it would be. She died while he was gone. Made me really appreciate everything my mom does for me. So mom just to let you know I'm thankful for all you do for me and I love you very much! I get to call you in a month! anyway. 4/11 I read the Book of mormon more. Felt pretty good. We waited in the office for the zone leaders so they could take us back home. Nothin else really happened that day. 4/12 We woke up to find a key to open the church for district meeting. at district meeting i gave the moto and purpose. then we just did laundry and i organized all my stuff. Then we went to our fafanga and after that visited a recent converted family. They were doing good! Yesterday 4/13 we had our quarterly interview with prez. I love that guy i could talk to him forever. just basically makin sure everything is okay and if we needed anything. After that I have a needed nap and studied the language. Then we went to our fafanga and Lomio came. He's a funny guy. We went and listened to the ward choir. Basically the whole ward kids and all. They sound good! Maybe I'll record them! Well after that we played tennis. We basically do every night to exercise. so I might go to wimbledon when i get home ;) haha just playin. but i did beat my comp 6-3, 6-0 i was happy cause he usually always wins but my inner roger fedderer came out. haha. then today which happens to be day 100 of the mission. we went and played volleyball all day. Guess what? I ate my first dog! It's good! kinda like pig but way more tender. It's good. I'm just glad i didn't have to watch them kill the thing! Made it easier to eat! Anyway That's about all! Until next week! I love you all and miss you all! Thanks for all you do! Who knows i might be on a smaller island next email! Ofa atu Elder Rose
Hello all! I am glad to get some emails from you! Still no hand mail or anything just so you know im pretty sure dear elder only works if im at the mtc. They won't send it to me here in tonga. sounds like that's what some of you have been doing. Also sounds like i'm going to be getting quite the sum of mail sometime within the next 21 months or something or who knows maybe when i get back you can just hand deliver it ;) Thank you to you all. First off i'll start off this email with some items i need they may not be in the many packages.. aloe vera would be quite the treat, as i was purple by the time last thursday ended. i have sunscreen.. just forgot to put it on on the day we were outside most, oops. also one of those scrubby shower things would be nice while i shower from a bucket. I think that's all. Well i have alot to write so i'll try to fit it all in. and i hope it makes sense. 3/31 after i emailed you we went to Havelu and played volleyball like all day, apparently i was good cause everyone said i was the best american that had come especially for never really playing. I was able to get some good spikes. it was sweet! Then we played a little touch rugby after but not for long. i was a different story trying to play that haha. 4/1 I died. April Fools!! haha anyway so you may have noticed that in the subject i put "a blessing a day" You will realize why. We were going around trying to get reports from everyone in the district. We got on a bus to Havelu and right as we get off in front of the elders house there we find they aren't home. But boy does God direct our lives for good. Right after we found out they weren't home a car pulled up. They asked if we could go to the hospital and give a baby a blessing who was having a surgery. We did. They gave us a ride to the hospital and we were able to give the baby a blessing. I guess it's intestines or something were really messed up and twisted and flipped and what not. it's the same thing that i think my friend willis had surgery for awhile ago. Isaac tell willis he isn't alone. I figured we were meant to give a blessing. My comp did the annointing and sealing because i didn't know how to do either of these in Tongan yet. But after the blessing we felt the baby would be okay and surgery would go well. the people took us back to the elders house and they still werent there so we got a bus back to longolongo. my area. We went and talked with one of the members in the ward. He was asking me about temples and told him there were like 10 or something in utah maybe 13 and from the draper one you could see 4. he was amazed. Yet again another blessing i would take for granted had i not come here. Please take advantage of the temples around you. They are amazing places. His wife served in south dakota which covers like 4 states haha. It was kinda funny when i'm talkin about temples and look over and see the first naked being in tonga. 2 naked little boys just playin with some other kids. Not how it works in a america haha. Then that night we went to a baptism. and then walked to a restaurant for dinner. 4/2 we went and taught Atimata lesson 3 and i taught the faith in christ principle. I felt i did well and really tried to prepared something good for her. The lesson ended up going well. My faith here grows more and more every day. Then after me and Fale and the Kolomotu'a elders found a big ol beetle and played with him. You'll see some pics of that sometime hopefully within the next 2 years. Then we had to get rid of trash, the tongan way, either just throw it on the ground or burn it. We chose the latter. How thankful i was for hairspray or we'd have never been able to burn that pile with a match. haha. Then we went to do a baptismal interview for a lady who had been baptized but her record was lost i guess. I think that went good. So you all know how forgetful and stuff i can be at times. After we arrived back home from the interview i realized i'd left the key inside the house. we were locked out. But you also know that i am an eagle scout and always prepared. I had my handy dandy cabellas pocketknife with a screwdriver so we took of a screen and removed the Luva (glass) and i climbed in the window. Pretty cool. haha. we get to say we broke into our own house. 4/3 we taught atimata again during church the last little bit of the lessons. She understood so it was good. Fast sunday in Tonga is interesting.. All the kids run up to the stage. I thought they were gonna sing or something. Nope every single one bore testimony haha. But if an adult wanted to say thiers they were able to go up and say it. It was way funny when an older man just stood up and said his testimony right where he was sitting. it was way funny cause one of the kids went up to the pulpit after his went longer than like 3 minutes cause he wanted the guy to hurry but the guy went for like 7 more minutes and the kid just stood at the MIC. it was funny to see. Then we had our fafanga where i ate a whole chicken and 4 hot dogs! It was needed. The guy there grew out his hair for 18 years and just cut it last year. They made it into a thing to wear around your waist. it was crazy. I took pics so you'll see those too hopefully. Then later we taught Sione. He is a 17 year old who apparently been baptized and everything but no record. Right then and there we taught him the first lesson and said he'd be baptized on the 7th. It was cool. He's a cool cat. 4/4 we woke up and did service by cleaning the church. after service fale talked to this one buy there forever! Like 3 hours! I played with a tennis ball haha. Then we went to get some stuff from other elders and then came back. I did my hair spiked in front for the first time since like the 3rd day in the MTC. I felt like the old me. Haha it was an interesting feeling. Then we again taught Sione and Atimata and they were doing good still preparing to be baptized today (7th), Then that night we started doing our laundry and got a knock at the door. It was Lomio (the guy who was talkin to me about temples) He said his wife didn't feel well and asked if we'd give her a blessing. We said yes and got ready. Again Fale did all the stuff and i just helped be there. I felt the spirit thought. Most people in this mission have only given about 4 blessings their whole mission from what i hear. anyway so we blessed her and i saw her last night and she was doing okay. She went to the hospital and they said one of the viens in her brain is blocked. I have faith she'll be okay though. 4/5 3 months on the mission! Can you believe it? I can't. We had a district meeting where i was supposed to give a spiritual thought and fale was supposed to report for us. We get to district meeting and he did the thought. I was taken by surprise cause i didn't plan to do the report. Oh well haha. I seemed to do okay. people understood. Then after that we taught sione again. He's good man. He understands everything and is just a happy camper. Oh man then we had a fafanga and i ate a ton. I had a whole chicken again. A plate of kapa pulu and 4 butter and jelly sandwhiches, each slice of bread was about an inch or a little more thick. Holy moly it was alot to eat. But i did it. Then we made sure sione understood all the baptismal interview questions and he did. so things are good there. After we got in that night fale got really sick and was like freezing and his leg hurt. He asked for a blessing. So i gave him one, in english. He went to sleep freezing and i hoped he'd be okay. So far that's 3 blessings. 4/6 Fale woke up feeling fine which was a relief to me. We were studying when we get a knock at the door. one of the bishopric said a lady in the ward asked if we'd bless her baby. what? 4 in a week? we got ready and a quickly memorized how to annoint in tongan. We get there and I did the annointing which worked out good! then fale blessed. I had a feeling that the baby also would be okay. So that was all the blessing i did this week. And it's really neat because of something in my patriarchal blessing is coming to pass by this happening. So later this day i finished reading Other Side of Heaven. What an amazing story. I hope I have that same faith he does that i would be able to endure and over come those things if it happened to me. I encourage all to read this. It's way good. Then Sione and Atimata had their baptismal interview. Right before atimata was interviewed she said she wanted to wait til may and we didn't know why. Later that night we visited her at her house and her aunt who is taking care of her. Fale asked why they wanted to wait and said cause they would be busy and they will do it when it's her birthday next month. Fale said it's their choice but we probably wont be here and she was my first investigator. I guess they felt bad and said they could attend today. I don't quite agree with making someone feel bad to get baptized but not alot i could do because I couldn't understand. But I get to baptize 2 investigators today! Pretty neat! Something the aunt said while we were there hit me. She said that she heard a story of someone who went to bolivia and they had mud houses. She said when she heard this she felt rich. Her house isn't much more than mud it seems but still hit me. Us mostly in America are worried how many rooms and running water and an electricity. She is saying she feels rich with a roof and walls. It made me grateful. Okay now some stuff I want to share i've got from reading scriptures this morning. I read alma chapters 7-23. It was so good! Just some thoughts i had while reading. Ch8 v 10 he says he wrestled mightily with god in prayer. This is alma who already knows god is there. My thought was, if he is doing that, then why aren't we or investigators who don't have such a knowledge of God as Alma did, doing the same thing in our prayers to recieve answers or anything like that? Just a thought. second. ch 13 The whole time i just applied it to a mission call. It's a divine and holy calling. I really liked V. 28 and 29. ch 14 Alma and Amulek suffered so much just for the church. How much are we willing to suffer for the church when it really comes down to it? Ch 17 v 7 The sons of preparing for mission. They prepare that stuff and we need to prepare ourselves with the scriptures, testimony, PMG, the Spirit, etc. V.9-11 They have to work hard to have the spirit with them. it amazes me how lacks some of these missionaries here are. Watching movies and listening to music they aren't supposed to and expect to teach by the spirit. I want to tell them to read 2 nephi 33 v 1 and tell them to do that they must be obedient. some missionaries here have rated r movies and watch it on a portable dvd player. Pretty sure it doesn't state watching movies is in the missionary purpose. especially those movies. anyway sorry back to thoughts while reading. Ch 17 still just throughout it. here are some comparisons i made. Ammon- represents christ, Lamanites- Satan and followers, sheep from the flock- us, some sheep scatter and Ammon and the rest of the servants work together to get them back- we with christs help try to get the wandering people back on the path to eternal life, the servants circle the sheep and make them not flee when the lamanites try to scatter them again and Ammon (The freakin man) goes to work and kills some and cuts off arms- We with the power of christ is unbeatable. He will take care of us if we take care of his. That was the reading I did this morning and the events of this past week. wow that's alot. Hope you enjoy and try to find some stuff in the scriptures this week as well. I'm doing good here. It's really stormy rainy right now. Weather has been really hot. but I'm doing good. I hope i grasp the language soon. It's tough. But it will take time. I just need to be patient. obviously something the lord wants me to have, from looking back and seeing the events of my life. haha. anyway i love you all and you are all in my prayers constantly. Stay safe! Until next week! HOpefully i have some of your mail by then! Love, Elder Rose