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.
Hey everyone. Sorry i'm a bit late. In this new area i wont always have access to internet and had to come to a different town to get it so sorry about that and on thursday i got real busy. This email is gonna be a bit different and probably kinda short. This email I'm going to focus on all the life lessons i've learned this past week. Instead of sayin all the complaints i could say i'm just gonna keep this positive like i've been trying to do here. So first lesson. Impatience is selfishness. My companion was doing something that i thought wasn't as productive as we could but i couldn't come up with anything better than i just wanted to get home so i could get my package. That's lesson one. Impatience always comes through our own selfishness and not putting others first. Second. Esteem thy brother. My comp is a bit different from the ones i've had and doesn't neccissarily like to keep to the rules per say. Well i was getting frustrated and was reading DC i think it was 38 24-25 and it said esteem thy brother. Looked up esteem and it said also love and respect. So that's what i've been working on lately! Third lesson. I really have found joy in this gospel and hope you have too! This mission sometimes can get spiritually draining but i took refuge in the ensign with the conference talks. Read the whole magazine. Man, we are lucky to have all those talks. So reflecting back over this past week i've realized how much i've grown over the last 7 months. I realized how many things i took for granted such as church and seminary, i could have gotten so much more out of it before the mission. I really regret not doing that. If only i were a wiser teenager. But now i look at my future and see how many things i'll be doing differently. How much more my life will be influenced and lived by the gospel and fulfilling my callings in church better. There are lots of stuff i reflect on and can see change and i'm truely blessed to be here on the mission. I love it! Well i'll throw in some quick updates. After i emailed last i got some mail. One dear elder from jenna sent mar 11. one letter from grandma and grandpa neilson sent mar 14 a dear elder from merrit sent apr 4 and a couple others! oh and i also got a package from grandma and grandpa neilson sent kinda recently with some cereal! It was awesome, too bad i got it with lots of missionaries around and when they see you have a package you open it in front of everyone and share haha so lets say cereal lasted about 10 minutes if that. Real quick, since i don't have alot of time this week sorry if i don't email you personally! I read all the emails though! Thank you they mean alot! Had to speak again in church on sunday, the bishop asked us right before sacrament. So i just shared a spiritual thought and my testimony and that was it! There is a reference to my name in DC 49 24! On thursday we had interveiws with president. Those went good. I like talking to him, after that we had a baptism! His name is tevita it went good except the font was a bit difficult. Wish i had time to explain the difficulties with it ahaha but it was good. And another update, today is my 200th day on the mission! So that's about all for this week sorry it was short! I hope you enjoyed it though! If anyone has any update on if isaac is doing his papers i would like to know cause i never hear from him! Thanks for all the love and support! I love you all! Elder Rose
Hey everyone hope you're all well! I gotta start makin these emails a tad shorter so i'm sorry! 7/8 We went to a birthday of a couple kids in the ward. It was good! we got some delicious sherbet ice cream It was great! 7/9 Not alot happened. Caroline was still in Vava'u so we never really got to progress with her. it was sad. I was really looking forward to see where she would progress too. 7/10 We ran into a guy from cali that asked what we were doin. She said we were on a mission. And he was like what's that like? We said just sharing a message. and he was like what's the message so we told him basically christs church has been restored. He was pretty interesting. He started throwing all these scriptures at us from the bible and everything and we were just like wow haha. it was a interesting experience. We told him what the book of mormon was about and he was like oh. We didn't want to bash with him cause we'd never see him again so we just let him talk and say what he wanted. Then we wanted to gather in a circle for a prayer right out there in the open outside with his 2 buddies and us. We were just like alright (not many people were outside so we accepted) but we both wanted to say, doesn't the bible say not to pray inpublic? But we figured his intentions were probably good. He even threw som specific verses in his prayer too. It was odd wish i could explain better haha. well we went to church and gave our talks. They went well. It was on m russle ballards talk in conference about finding joy in loving service. I just read a few paragraphs from that and read about how members are missionaries to and told everyone we need their help finding people, they know where the people who are ready live and we use alot of time on people not ready so their help would be grand. and i did a little object lesson with them haha. It was good all in all. Everyone after asked if our fafanga was able and made sure we could eat. Funny how they do that after you ask for some help haha. well that night we got a call from zl's and said Makasini and I were both leaving Kolomotu'a. I had been there since April so like 3 months there with Makasini. I didnt sleep real well that night. All i knew is we were leaving. We don't know where or who our comps will be until we are actually like, there and moved. I also finished my first missionary journal! 7/11 we got ready cleaned the house and waited to get picked up. the zone leaders came to get me. Said bye to the family next door and to Makasini. Man it was going to be weird without him. I loved my time with him in Kolomotu'a. well my new companion is elder Langi. Tongan from here. Speaks good english though cause they have to at school. We are on the very east side in Niutoua. I'm lucky to be able to be emailing right now. There is like no where to internet so i got lucky that the stake center here a couple towns over has it and we could get on. I was really worried i wasn't going to be able to. I love emailing so much and it means alot to hear from everyone and i just always look forward to it. But there will be a time to come when i won't get to for awhile. So if I don't get to at any time, i'm sorry, i'm not dead, there just is no email. But that doesn't mean you cant still email me. I'll write letters when i don't have email. I just got lucky this time! Anyway got to my area and we get to have bikes! We went for a ride, my chain came off, langi cut in front of me and i ran into him and hopped off the bike haha. No injuries. then on the way back his bike didn't work, he couldn't peddle. in my area there is this thing called the Ha'amonga. You might be able to google it. It's like stonehedge. No one really knows how it got here. They are rocks from fiji. It's pretty sweet. And i'm right by the ocean, man i love it. It's so pretty! I'm out in like a jungle area too. They call it the bush. Just lots of trees and stuff! I was really worred abou this transfer and was having a hard time this day. But i'm good now. 7/12 a much better day. and went quick! lots of the day i spent reading the liahona in tongan. Our district meeting got cancelled. yet again my comp is the district leader. So far all of my comps have been. I decided i really love reading these magazines. So that's the challenge for this week. Read the church magazines. They have some great stuff! I got a haircut! It's a 4 on my whole head. I look like a soldier. but i think it looks pretty decent! 7/13 we fixed the bike! we rode i swear it was the whole island but it wasnt'. needless to say my butt is sore! right now we have 3 in our companion ship because one is waiting for his companion to come from another island. Well that's about all! I love and miss you all! Thank you for your support! Love Elder Rose
Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing well! Thanks for all the emails! Just want to tell my buddy Mike Mac Happy birthday! Well here are highlights of the week! 7/1 happy july! We visted Finau Moana, she's doing good. Still hasn't come back to church but we go and make sure everything is good with her and invite her to come. But she's still doing good even though her husband left her. We also visted Fa Holani. She's also good. I met her boyfriend for the first time. She's still trying to finish her divorce so she can marry this guy. I thought about giving her like 20 bucks to help pay for one of her papers. It's 20 bucks a paper and work out here so far i heard a good paying job is 3.50 an hour. So i can see why that's not easy to do. Then we went to the baptism of Seini's daughter. It was good. It's good to see Seini get back into church. Then that night started a comp exchange with Elder Thompson. 7/2 We spent all day trying to find this house we heard had people interested. Well asking around everyone was giving us different directions. We'd go to where we were told and then the next person would say it's right by where we just came from and so after doing that half the day we just gave up. Had dinner and then that night visited and shared a spiritual thought with 3 families. one with the tu'ivais. Semisi's family. That went good. Well a moment you all want to hear. Every missionary has this moment. Well in our area there is this house with a fence around it....and they have 2 dogs. one just like normal dog and another one that i'm pretty sure is on steriods or something cause it's one of the biggest dogs i've ever seen. One side is open all the time and there is another side with a gate that is always shut. Well, thompson and i were walking on that gated side that we always walk past. Well it was dark and i told thompson about this huge dog at this house we were gonna walk past that allways comes up to the fence to bark at us with the other one. Well, we come up to it and they start barking, and we walk past the gate that seems closed but...it wasn't. The big huge dog came out like right next to me and barking and i was like trying to walk away from it, running over thompson while i was at it, who was trying to pick up a rock, well it almost ate my hand but we kept walking and were gonna just be on our way well we were about to go up the other side that is always open cause the dog is never there. Well a car past before we got there and that beast went and started barking at that car! Needless to say we went around the whole block to avoid going that way haha. It was fun. well then we visited another house that had been less active and just reminded them of church and then we went to seini's house and shared a message with her. Thompson made her promise to go to church and told me to tell him if she didn't. 7/3What a grand day this was.. well we went to ward 3 and in priesthood opening excersices they start saying how the month changed so they are now feeding missionaries at night. Well some people were like they never come and sit and complain about us and basically embarrass the heck out of us when we haven't missed going to a feeding yet. And the guy that said it was our fafanga that day. We weren't really happy. We needed to vent to each other. And we'll just say i didn't go bear my testimony. Well Seini did which was awesome to see her do all on her own and trying to come back to church. Well after sacrament one of the bishopric come up and he was part of the whole thing saying we don't show up to fafanga, well when we went to his house he didn't even know he was supposed to and we knew that and so we just said we were visiting people so we wouldn't embarrass them, anyway he comes up after sacrament and asks if we'll speak next week on service. Did he think that would make my day? Cause it didn't. I don't know tongan well enough at all to do that. But us being missionaries of course accepted and didn't show how frustrated we were with everyone. So i get to talk. I'll tell ya how that goes next week. 7/4 Happy fourth of july here! Realized i missed that and really liked going to fireworks with everyone haha. Nothing to exciting. I ate octopus again. It was good. 7/5 Happy fourth of july to you all! Hope it was just fantastic! We had district meeting. The AP's came and i did the spiritual thought. The meeting went 45 minutes longer then supposed to haha. I knew it would as soon as Elder Taumalolo (AP) stood up to speak. Well then we walked alot. To sopu then to Hofoa then to Puke and in puke we taught lesson 4 to 3 kids with Elder Tafea and Unga. Then Makasini interviewed them all and passed for baptism. Then walked all the way back to kolomotu'a for fafanga and ate with a family we love. And i shared a spiritual thought with them about prayer. They said they'd been slackin on that so they'll do better. Then at home i got a package from mom! With some candy and a tape. Got here quick! Sent June 23 got here July 4! Since i seem to be getting most of her mail here is the address she sends to: Elder Jacob Aaron Rose Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission P.O. Box 58 Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga South Pacific Hope that helps! oh and it was my 6 month mark this day! 7/6 We were wanting to teach caroline, She was still in Vava'u, puts a damper on our progress with her. We did a baptismal interview for Unga and Tafea and that's about all for that day! Then today 7/7 we woke up and there was a tsunami warning, nothing happened. We went and ate and played a little volleyball in Hofoa and i got a dear elder letter from kevin sent march 21. haha I guess dear elder does send them out? Who knew? anywho, That's about all! thanks for everything from you all! It's been a great 6 months here and look forward to the 18 left! I'll keep working hard and you all keep doing your best in all you do everyday! Love you and miss you all! Elder Rose
Landon i just wanted you to see the subject line you don't need to read this email except this first line haha. Kinda an inside joke i got with Landon, i mean Elder Egan. Well everyone i hope this email finds you all well and happy! Cause this life is about experiencing joy! So why not make the best of it even in hard times! Stay postive! Things will always get better! Well to start off first congrats to cortnie, my step sister, she was engaged last week. That proves miracles really do happen from missions. ;) just kidding cortnie you know i love you! You had to expect a line like that from me! That really is good for her! Well last thursday 6/23, gave a missionary a haircut! I did a good job haha. First haircut complete! Man, a baptism had to be delayed cause one of the tongan missionaries didn't fill the font, he made up that someone else was doing it. That should never happen. It wasn't to good. but the baptism eventually happened. 6/24 we talked to the lady in charge of visiting teaching. no one is really doing their home or visiting teaching to the less active so we are trying to help get that going again. Then we just tried to set up our baptism all day for saturday. Then we interviewed misi that night. well the zone leaders did. Everything was good except he told them he didn't want to get baptised the next day. We were like huh? What? That kid was Pau (certain) I only know how to explain that in tongan really. like he was sure to get baptized. 6/25 what a busy day. woke up at 630 run to misi's and talk to him. Ask him why he doesn't want to be baptized, he said he just didn't want to, we both bore testimony and tried to help him see how important it was. We asked him again, still he said no. We told him he had his agency but we asked him to pray about it and we'll come back at 1030. We went home and we both said an out loud prayer to god. he works in mysterious ways. after we prayed we did some study. I came across 2 ne 21. That's a cool chapter. All symbolism from joseph smith but also the pioneers. In like verse 15 it says they were spoiled of the east and headed west towards moad. Well i was thinking, just thoughts, might not be true but these were my thoughts. Well wasn't the first temple operating st. george temple? And at that time it was probably called like moab territory or something. I dunno just my thoughts. I'd like to hear feedback. i just thought it was cool. Then we tried to figure out what the 7 streams represent! well then we went to misi's house at 1030 our plan was kinda to talk to his parents to see if they knew anything. we talked to his mom, after like one minute he comes out quickly and interupts "Missionaries, i will be baptized today, Right now?" haha we were like well that's awesome but we'll do it at 530 tonight. Well our prayers were answered and this is how. After we left that morning he told his mom we were coming back and she asked why, he said cause he told us no to baptism, well last week he went with his oldest brother who is catholic and was bound to scare him of getting baptized or something and just told him not too. Well his mom was mad and she gave him a good whap/slap. Well i guess if ya can't listen to the small prompting of the spirit ya listen to the loud prompting of mama's hand haha. he really did want to be baptized he was just scared. well we had a miracle happen. We had to get him to agree to baptism before we could tell anyone so once he did we had a busy day and were worried about filling the font. So right after we left we went to the font, it was already filled! Wow we are really wondering how it happened but that made us way less busy cause it takes a few hours to fill! That was so nice! Then we went around all day telling and inviting people and gettin it all set up. well we went back to the font after we did, at like 330 just to make sure it was still filled. Some kids had gotten in it and put bread and rocks and wrappers in it. We cleaned out the wrappers and bread best we could and pushed all the rocks to the side without getting in it. Then we went home to wait for our ZLs. Well there is always a new experience with me as makasini says. They came over and we got invited to a 1 yr old birthday at 5 so we were gonna go show for a sec then go to our baptism. I didn't want to take my baptism pants and towel and extra shirt so i asked if the ZLs could bring it at like 515. They stayed at our house and said they would. Well we leave show up to the Birthday for a sec and then go to the church, 530 comes around and everyone is there except the ZLs. We were thinking wow they fell asleep. So we went to the bishops house and called them. I guess i closed the door to our house when we left. It locks from the outside. Im just used to doing it when we leave so they were locked in. Well our neighbor who had come to the baptism took us back to get them out. we get them and the stuff and the rest of the baptism went smooth! It was good! I baptised Semisi Falefa Tu'ivai. he was all smiles. And caroline, the white lady, showed up just in time to see it. It was cool. 6/26 well we waited for misi to show up to church, he came the class before sacrament. We gave him one of the ties grandma sent me in the MTC to wear. He liked it haha. Well we were filling out his record during sacrament and we get his birthday 7/25/2002. Do the math. Makasini turns to me and is like rose, if i did the math right we just pulled a super 8. I count it up. MISI ISN"T 9 TIL NEXT MONTH! dang it haha doesn't count as a convert baptism, but we found that out right before we have to go up on stage to do the confirmation. Well we didn't stop it we did the confirmation and all was good. Nothing is wrong it just doesn't count as a convert. They said he was nine. Oh well we just get to hear that we pulled a super 8 the rest of our mission haha. But he's a good kid. He'll be like the first tongan prophet! Then we went to carolines that night. Talked to her for awhile. She loves the plan of salvation and we talked to her all about that. She loves reading the BOM already in Mosaiah. But, she has a hard time believing it, joseph smith, and jesus christ. She thinks joseph smith wrote the BOM. So we tried to just talk to her about it. And we are going to try to watch the JS movie with her. She left to Vava'u and doesn't come back til monday. We've been praying she'll be touched. We also asked her to pray and she agreed to. Hopefully we can baptize her before this transfer is over next week and we might move. We'll see. She's way ready and very well educated about the religion. I hope she feels it's right. 6/27 It was the rainiest day so far. We couldn't do anything all day it was raining so bad. We came to a members house and did our wash and stuck around there basically all day. 6/28 we had district meeting again. It was just like usual. we tried doing a baptismal interview for the longolongo elders but it wasn't able both times we went. we went to havelu to have fafanga with the havelu elders. we went and the guy gave maka 20, uasila'a 20 and me and hyer 50 to split! That guy was loaded! So we got some pizza! We also did a comp exchange with the havelu elders. Maka stayed there with hyer and uasila'a came to kolomotu'a with me. I was way worried just cause he is tongan from here and didn't know if i'd understand him. well it actually went really well. I was able to understand alot of what he said and he's really funny and cool! 6/29 uasila'a and i visited a few houses. Uasila'a talked to both of them for a long time. One of the houses we went to i asked uasila'a to share a spiritual thought to this less active guy. he said okay. Wel they talked forever and i saw Uasila'a wasn't going to so it was silent for a sec and i asked if i could share. So i did. It went well, shared alma 37:37. Well after that Uasila'a and him talked alot longer haha. Man we were there way longer then i expected! Nothin else to exciting happened. We exchanged comps back that night. it was good. then today 6/30 We got the opportunity to again go to the temple. It went really well! Was able to understand more than last time which was good! It seemed almost like instead of it sounding like it talked faster than the speed of light it sounded slower to me. I hope that someone just didn't slow it down and iwas able to really just pick up more. I am still tryin! It's all i can do and it will come eventually! But then also today we interviewed someone for longolongo elders. Ofa Maile, She was one of my first investigators if you remember said she'd get baptized but not til her husband comes back. Well she is gettin interviewed on saturday! That's way awesome! Hopefully it helps her husband come back! Well that is about all i think! Thanks for all you all do for me! I'm very thankful! I am thankful to be here as well! it's an amazing experience. I love and miss you all! Love, Elder Rose