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.
Elder Jacob Aaron Rose
Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission
P.O. Box 58
Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
Monday, April 11, 2011
1 month in Tonga and a blessing a day
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