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 again family and friends! Man these weeks go by fast i don't realize it's time to write you all again til the day i get to which is good! But i always look forward to it! 5/13 Not alot happened, we helped build an umu, underground firepit oven, and helped prepare the meal for the fathers and sons they did here. 5/14 We got some Ta'ovala stuff called Tangai for a lady to weave elder Makasini a new Ta'ovala. Also the nurse came cause Makasini hurt his ribs and we didn't know if it was cracked. She said it was probably just bruised which is good. That night we tied together some of the Tangai for the Ta'ovala to help the lady out. 5/15 Man, woke up an hour after i fell asleep to puke my guts out. Everything I ate on the 14th. Chunkiest puke i ever had. It hurt. Then woke up again 4 hours later to do the same thing! I wasn't feelin well. Puke, diarhea and a headache. The neighbors said that that had been going around and lucky me got to hop on the band wagon! So needless to say another great day in bed! Wasn't to great. But felt a little better by the end of the night. 5/16 I woke up feelin good. Did the morning program. Jogged down to the ocean to watch the sunrise but we were a little early to see it actually come up before we went to play basketbally. Then we went around all day lookin for referrals and just people to teach in general. We went to 1 house for referrals and there was a kid there who goes to our ward fixing his bike. he's from australia but been living here the last 2.5 years. Anyway we talked to the lady and she said this kid wasn't baptized yet. He's probably 14 or so. So we talked to him and his parents are members he just didnt know if he wanted to be baptized. So we spent a few hours talkin to him while helping him fix his bike and set up a time to talk gospel for the next day. We walked around to the bishops house and asked for the lisi mamalohi, the less actives list, he gave us 9! Good start we thought haha. While we were going around Makasini said people said even though i dont talk alot when i do, in tongan, i sound good like i've been speaking it a long time. That really helped me. it's good to hear that sometimes. It helped motivate me to talk more. So we went to a few more houses trying to find people. One of the older ladies in the ward we talked to for a bit. She is missing a leg due to diabetes. That is killer out here. Then we bought a pizza and ate it with the family next to our house then had family home evening with them. Instantly felt the spirit. It was cool. Peni, the man of the house, asked me to do the poupou Fakalaumalie, or the spiritual thought. I didn't have anything prepared for that but was able to whip somethin together and the family is really good in english so i did as much as i could in tongan then what i couldn't in english. I shared DC 38 v 7 with them. I like that one it's a comfort scripture on the mission. Then me and makasini had comp inventory which was good. We both agreed we would just try harder and be as obedient as we could. We hadn't had much success in the area so that's why. 5/17 Hey guess what? Woke up sick again! Everything the same as before without the throw up. But I still did all i could. I woke up on time and went to the basketball court so makasini could play but i watched. Makasini played for bout 20 minutes then said 10 more and we'll go. Until people came i didn't want them to feel they wasted their time. I said i was exhausted played for the past 40 minutes but they were like come on play. SO i did. Hard to hold back bodily fluids that like to forcibly come out while playing basketball. I didn't feel good still when we were done. I went home and napped during study time and asked makasini for a blessing. I bought a sprite to drink cause out here they said that would help. Makasini blessed me in tongan. All i really understood is that i'd have strength to do my work throughout the day. Then i napped the rest of study time and after study time i woke up and got ready. I felt like i could go out. We went to our district meeting which after the long walk there i didn't feel the best again but finished up my sprite and it helped. I was asked to recite the purpose and read the motto. I did and then we did reports and watched a clip from "The District 2" about the power of the book of mormon. It has a part of Jeffery R Hollands Book of Mormon talk from like 2 conferences ago. It's really powerful and strong. I liked it. I was asked what i saw in the clip and a started in english and maka said try in tongan and i did and i was able to say half of what i wanted to in tongan and everyone understood and i said the rest in english. After the meeting we walked to our appointment we set up from the day before but the kid wasn't there. We walked around to a few more houses asking for referrals. Then went home and i cleaned while maka slept. then went to fafanga and came back home. We decided we'd fast the next day. so i studied language a bit then went to bed. 5/18 This was a really good day but very hard. I think it was the hardest time i ever had fasting. I woke up hungry cause i wasn't able to eat much at the fafanga the night before because my stomach was small from being sick. So it was hard really being hungry all day. But it was good. First off we did our morning program and studied some language. Then we did lots a walkin! We went to a guy named lucky's house to teach him but he wasn't home. Then we went to see what was going on with that wesleyan guy who i found out is really the preacher for the church of tonga. But we went there and his wife said he was sick. So we set up a time to come back on friday at 2. Then she gave us a referal for her neighbor. We went down the street to a house that we got refered to by bishop. We talked to a guy named viliami but said they didn't have time to talk cause they were leaving so we set up to come back in the evening, that didn't work out eventually and you'll see why. Then we walked over to the church and sat for a minute and got out of the sun. Why is it that food comes up on fast sundays. For some reason we kept talking about fruit and these stories maka had in vava'u about all the pinapples. needless to say my mouth was watering a little haha. Then we went across the street and talked to a member in the ward and asked her if she knew where anyone lived on the list we'd got from bishop. She told us the one she kenw. We headed that way and came to a guy named manase vilingia who i thought was a strong member cause when i'd seen him before he was happy and always smilin and telling me to keep smiling and it'll help in the work. Well i guess he is pretty inactive haha. so we visited him for awhile. I didn't say much. It's cool though. This day i was able to understand more than i ever had whenever we talked to anyone. And if i can even pick out one word i hear a couple of times in a conversation between makasini and whoever. I feel like that is progress and i was able to do this alot this day and ask makasini later the meaning. I really felt the lord helped me in my purpose. Then after we were deciding if we should go to D's or go home. I said lets just go to D's since we are out. Well we got there and were told he just left to Peni's ( peni is the guy at the house whose property our house is on). Maka said i was stupid for choosing this. haha just kidding but we were like dang shoulda just gone home. So then we go home and D wasn't there. that's okay though it wasn't a must to see him. We took a little break and tied some tangai together for maka's ta'ovala. I decided something i miss i didn't know i would is scouts and mutual. It was way fun and maka and i talked about alot of good times we had. I'm really glad i was also pushed to get my eagle! Thank you! I really hope i am involved with the youth in my church calling. I also thought that i can't wait to go to scout camp with my own son. It will be cool to do! Then we hard our longest walk of the day over to josephine and taught her lesson 3. For the first time I saw her make eye contact for longer than .3 seconds! And she answered more! Still nothing more than one word but more than silence! It was good. She always seems happy to see us too which is good. Then the lovely and waited for time came to go to fafanga to eat. We were hopin to eat good. It was another long walk to our fafanga so by the time we got there maka and i were just drained. Maka explained it as he couldn't hold a smile on his face anymoe. It was a tiring experience. So we get to the house and they had forgotten about us. Well they gave one of the kids money to go to the store to buy us something but they said oh you should walk with him. We were thinkin walk more? Let alone backtrack from where we just came? Man we might not make it there. But we did and then the member that was supposed to feed us pulled up and picked us up. We got the money from the kid and they took us to a restaurant we go to quite a bit. I got chicken nuggets which is a new item there and maka got curry chicken. Still not as good as a home made meal but we would take anything at that point. so then they dropped us off at home and maka and i broke our fast and we ate. It was glorious. It was a very good experience though. We felt blessed by the lord and know he loves and cares about us and know he appreciated our sacrifice and faith. It was hard. Well after we ate there was a visitor next door. it was the sister of Peni. She lives on another island and maka knew here when he worked on that island. So we got stuck talking to her. So we didn't make it to meet with Viliami. But we will probably do that tomorrow. Then after that we went to D's. He's funny. He helped Makasini with some really good scriptures for lessons. Then we came home. All in all it was a very tough physically day but definitely a faith and testimony builder that fasting and prayer with a purpose works. Oh, on the way to fafanga i was able to memorize a spiritual thought seriously in like 3 minutes. It was really cool how fast i was able to, not by my self could i do that though. Only with help from the lord. Too bad i didn't get to share it! well we have two teachings set for friday, one with that church of tonga minister and we find out today we have zone conference, we have to reschedule. I wish things out here were a little more thought out and planned out better. I don't like rescheduling especially after it took so long to get the appointment. But it will all work out. Hopefully we can help this guy. Okay one last story for you all. So there was a guy out here whose son died. He went to the temple to pray. Well he was in the celestial room and he was kneeling. A worker came up to him and kindly told him that no one is allowed to kneel but they are more than welcome to sit and pray. Well he took major offence to this. He got some people together and on TV he told about everything that goes on in the temple. I Mean EVERYTHING. It's crazy. He wanted to destroy the church but all it is doing is helping the work. People here ask about it and we just say its sacred and there are covenants we make with god that we cant reveal. So they say well how do i do that and yeah. Gets them really interested. This guy wanted to talk to the supervisor to ask why he couldn't kneel. That guy happened to be D. The guy in our ward. But crazy huh? Hopefully that guy figures it out and comes back and realizes honestly how stupid he was for doing that. Well i think that's it for this time! I hope you enjoyed and i didnt bore you to death! I love you and miss you all and pray for your safety every day! Thank you for everything you all do for me! Love, Elder Rose
Hello again family and friends! It was good talking to alot of you the other day! It made me really happy! I miss you all and glad you are all well and healthy! I'm gonna cut back on my emails so they aren't as long. I don't think you need to know every step i take haha so i'm just gonna write the somewhat important to important or interesting things! 5/6 There was a ward feast for ward conference. It was pretty cool. So we went around inviting people to it. One of the people we invited, he is a member, but when his dad died he took over as the preacher for the wesleyan church, but he's been through the temple and all so we hoped inviting him to this would help. Then we went and set up lots of tables and chairs to get ready for this. When it started families showed up and all sat at the tables and they all brought food to feed themselves and really whoever wanted some of their food! Well we sat with this one family and my meal consisted of raw fish, octopus, and dog! The dog and octopus was way good. Not a fan of the raw fish. It made my stomach hurt haha. We never saw that wesleyan guy there either. 5/7 Not much happened this day. at the church there was another thing goin for ward conference and we sat in with some guys talkin about what the clerk does and about the budget. I didn't understand and i just looked at a world map the whole time haha. But afterwards we got some good ice cream! So it was worth it! 5/8 Happy mothers day! Had some speakers from our neighborhood speak and waiting for the next ward we are in charge of to start we practiced our lesson. When sacrament started for the next ward we sung with all the kids for mothers day haha. 5/9 I got to talk to you all! It was very fantastic! It really helped me refocus myself and commit to working harder! so thank you all! I actually heard thunder for the first time too! I didn't see any lightning though. I hear it looks pretty cool out here! While i'm thinkin about it. I figured out how western union works. You go there and you say how much money you want to send and where and give them the name of me. Jacob Rose. and they will give you a control number thing. You tell me what that control number thing is and i go in and give them that and my ID and they will give me the money! Hope that helps you out if you happened to maybe want to send some money this way. it'd be helpful especially if i went to a little island and they don't have an ATM but i guess they have western union on the smallest island so that would always work. 5/10 Happy 2 year anniversary ken and lance. Crazy you two have been married let alone together for so long. Glad you are doing well and enjoying all your new things! We had district meeting this day and it was same as usual. Just reporting on the week. After we did an activity where we all were sitting there and a guy pointed to someone and they start a lesson, he points to another person and they pick up in the lesson where the last one left off and so forth. This happens at any random moment. I liked it because it helped me listen, comprehend, speak, and know the lessons better. All this was in tongan so it was good! I also got a letter from chet sent march 7. A stamp on the front of the envelope said, " your mail was missent to boroko papua new ginea" glad it made it to me and all that other mail isn't doing the same thing haha. I also attemped to get a hair cut. One of the elders just cut the sides with scissors and then said he'd finish thursday. I wasn't walkin around lookin like that. So when i got home i cut the front with scissors so it looked a little better. Anyway we got a basketball that day and played horse with some kids! It was fun finally getting to play! 5/11 Oh some asked what my address was so i wrote down the address that was on a letter i've gotten. Elder Jacob Rose Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission P.O. Box 58 Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga South Pacific Hopefully that helps. We just walked around trying to find a dog to eat for Pday this day. 5/12 We checked to see if the guy got us a dog. He didn't. We went to longolongo and played basketball. Then i got my haircut. A guy was there cuttin his hair with clippers and then makasini got his cut and they said i was up. I said okay. The first guy again just cut the sides and then had to leave and said we'd finish when he got back. Well he chopped the sides bad. Then elder fale tried cuttin the top. Did decent but left the back on top long. So right now i got a wierd cut. Then Vaka, who started at the very first with the scissors came and asked if i wanted him to fix it. I said yes please. He made it look pretty decent. Pretty short though. Had to be thought if it was gonna be fixed. So after 3 different people goin after this white guys hair. It looks alright. Haha one guy said i look like a soldier haha. can't expect pro cuts by people who never cut white people hair. Oh well i'm sure i'll get worse haha. but we spent the day playin basketball and volleyball and it was fun! We got poured on with rain on the way home in the dark haha it was fun. Well that's about all! I love and miss you all! Thank you so much for everything! Til next week! Love, Elder Rose
Well hello there FAMILI mo ngaahi feleni!! it was nice to hear from all ya'll as usual! Sounds like you are all just grand which is good to hear.besides having to stay in a laundry room to endure a tornado! Sorry Mandy and Lorin and Jonah! Well I am just gonna get started with this! Okay so last pday not much happened. At 1030 the bishop came over and said a lady in the ward needed a blessing! So we got back into our clothes and went on over to use our coolness of ability that we are quite blessed to have! anyway so i annointed again and Makasini blessed her. Then we came back home and i gave the guy some chewable pepto bismal and a few anti diahreal to give to the lady. Haven't heard how she's doing yet. She was crying while talking on the phone when we got there. I quickly wanna apologize in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors. Kinda turnin into a FOB (fresh off the boat) My english is really declining like i almost spelt phone fone. So yeah sorry! Kae kehe, (anyways), 4/22 We went to longolongo to find fale and unga to tell them about the baptism on saturday. They werent there and we checked around and they weren't anywhere around. as we were walking past their house to go back i said a prayer in my head to have them be home this time or to come home soon. Ha, i love the lord. He was so kind to answer that little prayer of mine, a person in their ward came drivin up with them in there! Oh yeah! They were at the beach with the ward playin with the members, rugby on the beach, I was jealous. But we got to tell them about the baptism. Then we left to make sure saturday was alright for the girl being baptized. She wasn't there but we asked one of her neighbors to tell her. Then me and Maka watched the District 2. Dang, those movies are sweet and way spiritual. Anyway, then our fafanga picked us up and took us to a chinese place. I got some fried rice and sweet and sour chicken! It was good! I like having something different every once in awhile. Then we came back and finished watching the district. Then we taped up some cool pictures on our wall. I read a cool scripture in Helaman. Chapter 12 vs 3! I hope you take the time to read the scriptures i give you all and are able to feel how i do when i read them! okay now 4/23 we went over to the church to fill up the baptism font used some hoses. There were kids there so we let them hold the hoses, they eventually started playin around with it so we had to hold them. then a guy made them all leave. Honestly, i was relieved haha. Then We went to the house next door and had some romen noodle. Then we came home and i read the Book of Mormon more. Then we went to bishops to make sure it was good for him to have the baptism that day. He said yeah. Then we went to his counselor and they said yeah and had already bought ice cream and rolls for it. Well when we were there the girl getting baptized came over and said she cant get baptized cause she was sick. We said are you sure she said yeah and left. The people who had bought the stuff were mad. So we went back to bishop and told him what she said. Well some background, she was supposed to get baptized the thursday before but she said she was sick then too. so bishop was mad. He said to go to her house and talk to her and if she said no then we werent doin the baptism at all. well we went over there and we kinda figured but confirmed she'd been on her period. I figured she could still get baptized but we talked to her and she just said no. We asked her if she thought baptism was important she said yes. Then we asked her other questions like what she thought about it. she wouldn't answer. we sat there for like 7 minutes looking at her and she looked away then we asked her another question. then the same thing happened. So we were like if we can find someone that has your same problem and they say you can be baptized will you? She said yeah. We asked her aunt and cousin right there. They found out she should be done that day and she was scared to wear a dress. So we went back to bishops and asked if they had anything she could wear. They said theyd find something. Then we went to the church and left it up to the lord to bring her there or not. People started showing up but not her. Then after like 15 minutes after we were supposed to start she showed up. and then we did the baptism and everything went smooth. We are here to find the lost sheep and will do all we can to help them. Oh i really hope you all help the missionaries. Give them money or feed them or give them rides. It is way appreciated. I definitely am gonna help out the missionaries the best i can when i get home! Well after the papi we did a vilo hoa comp exchange because unga had someone in my area being confirmed sunday and i had 2 bein confirmed on sunday in his area. So I slept back in my old bed that night. and just talked to fale. 4/24 Happy Easter all! Totally forgot/ didn't know when easter was til like this weekend haha. well we walked to kolomotu'a to get a birth date from the girl that was baptized for a record. She didn't know it but the aunt did and the aunt was on her way but we had to go so we had makasini and unga get it for us. I saw kyle smith in a picture with a tongan elder in washington, those of you who know him. Then we went to our church. Atimata was confirmed but for some reason they didn't do sione, the ZL's showed up about half way through sacrament and then after sac we asked bishop why they didn't and he said they will copy his sisters records cause they were confirmed the same day before. Then we went to our fafanga and it was good. Then we came back home and i read the Book of Mormon more. Then we walked to Kolomotu'a again and made dinner with the family next to our house. Made breadfriut fries. It was good! Then me and Makasini went inside (oh we exchanged back) and just talked. 4/25 I woke up and read BOM again. Then me and maka went to the church and i tried to memorize what i was going to say on the faith principle to teach this girl. We stayed there for a bit me tryin to practice. Finally got it down so we went to the girls house but she wasn't home. Dang. So then we went to remind our fafanga about us. We did that then were gonna go to the longolongo elders to see where our district meeting was tuesday. Ran into elder Vaka and Ma'afu who were doin the same thing, then the ZL's came and they finished goin to longolongo cause they ahve a car and checked for us. We were to have our DM in longolongo. Then we had our fafanga and i ate a chicken and 'ufi and some lu stuff. It was good. 4/26 Went to district meeting which was same as usual. Report on the week. Then we went and bought food and waited for a bus for a long while. When it finally came it was full so we decided to walk home. On the way the electrictian guy who was supposed to fix our water picked us up and took us the rest of the way. so he looked at our stuff and didn't do anything and left. well maka napped and i read BoM. Then we went to our fafanga and i ate aton again, like 8 hot dogs, 9 pieces of chicken, some crab salad stuff and some ufi. And was still hungry but no more food haha oops. Then we played a card game called trumps with the family for a little bit. I'd never played but did okay it was fun. Then we stopped and talked to D in the ward for a bit. Then we went home and the ZL's came with a pillow for me and my 40 bucks for the 2 weeks. I slept good that night. then me and maka talked forever as usual.4/27 It was christmas! Got a package from mom sent the 1st! it had a tape and nutrigrain bars and stuff! Much needed Maka got one too with a bunch of candy! I listened to the tape it was good. and we ate candy! Then we did our laundry from a bucket. first time i really did it. Then I shaved with a razor for the first time on the mish for fun. Well guess what everyone?after I showered i read the BoM and at 530 I finished readin the Bom for the 2nd time. Dang that's a good book.I challenge you all to read it. I did in a few weeks and am busy so you all can too. Now i'm goin to try it in tongan. anyway I want to leave you with my thoughts and stuff. I decided Ether 12 is a way dang good chapter. and Vs 6 and 27 are my favorite. They were just really comforting and just felt the spirit reading it. Then the last few chapters of moroni are really good too!! I bare my testimony that it is a true book. I promise if you will read it sincerely and try to understand and look for the good in it you will find it and understand it. Dont think about other things while you read. Focus on it. I promise you will know it is true and feel a deep gratitude for it and feel the spirit. I have never had an overwhelming conviction i know it's true. But i know it is because this time when I read it, I was able to feel the spirit and just the little things that stuck out to me. Just reading it made me happy and I learned alot and my testimony really grew. I just cannot deny it. It is true. I know it is. I hope you will all read it very sincerely if you haven't but not cause i challenged you too, but because you want to. I say that in the name of jesus christ amen. Well after i finished I talked to Maka about it and we enjoyed talkin about how true it was. Then we went to our fafanga with the lady who was supposed to be goin to utah. She said she cancelled her trip. That was a bummer for me. and she forgot we were comin to eat. She gave us 20 bucks to buy somethin. Well right as we came out Lomio passed in his car with fale and unga. So they went and bought us curry chicken and we all ate at lomios house. We talked to them all for awhile and then we left. Then me and maka went home and just talked more! Then today, it was pday. We woke up i did some ab workouts and some pushups then we were goin to go eat but lomio was outside and we went with him. We went to get the dog we were going to kill and eat today. Well We got to the house and waited for fale and unga then the guy left to get something. Came back with a gun and i watched him shoot it in the head. It was sad. Hopefully i don't make you sick with the next part. Blood streamed out of it's head out of the bullet hole and it fell to the ground tail wagged for awhile and it twitched and you could see the heart beating way fast. Well if eventually stopped and we put it in a bag and took it to lomios. Then they cut the throat and then we got the umu ( underground firepit) ready. Then they cut off the bottom half of the legs and the head. Then they put it in really hot water and take it out and the hair just falls off. it's very...different from the states. Then they just put it in the fire and fry it up. Then we went to Longolongo and played tennis and rugby while it cooked and played some cards. It was a fun p day. Then they brought the kuli (dog) and manioke (tapioca) and we ate. Dog really is good. I didn't get to eat alot cause i was fanning the flies and had one hand to tear the meat off and no one would help me but oh well. Then we continued playing tennis then everyone stopped but me and i played with these old guys who were pretty good. 2 on 2. I'm not that good still haha but it was really fun. Then everyone left and i helped clean up and now we are here and I'm exhausted and will sleep dang good tonight. well That's about all. I hope you enjoyed the email! I love you all and miss you and hope you all stay safe! i'm doing good and loving doing the lords work in tonga and will continue to work hard to help these people. I love God and all he does for me and blesses me and you all with. I hope you may all grow closer to him as I am doing. He is truely amazing and so is Jesus Christ. I know he came to that country and ministered to the people. His doctrine is true. We need to all do our best because we will all return to live with God one day and at the judgment bar we don't want to fall beneath it but rejoice for the amazing chance we have to live eternally happy with our creator again. I know it is true and hope i can help you all with my testimony which grows as long as i do my best being obedient and what he asks even when it is hard. Keep persisting and keep going. Love the lord. Don't let Satan get to you. I pray for you all daily and always beg for your protection. May God be with you til i hear from you again. Elder Rose