Holy cow this week went by way fast! We lost more than half of our zone, which was really sad. The Samoan, Marshaleese (??), Samoan, Kirapitz (??) and 2 Tongan missionaries left for the field! Leaving only my district and 2 Fijian sisters. It was very sad that we could not fill up our entire lunch table and four-square was also not as exciting. But that's okay because 11 Samoan missionaries came and filled the gap. There were 4 international elders from Tonga and Vanuatu and one of them was able to go through the temple this morning for the first time!! He needed a translation and the only available translation was a SUPER ancient video. In Sacrament Meeting our district sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again in Tongan as a farewell for all of the missionaries. It was very emotional for them and I had a hard time keeping it together as I sang...but I did!! I love singing as zone which we do occasionally after long days when the presidency comes to visit. Polynesian songs and voices are so beautiful and it makes me excited to be singing with an entire congregation of them.
So to answer your question Mom we have been doing a bit of singing and what not. Sister Moreno and I were called to be the ward music coordinatersso that is pretty fun to find all of the missionaries with musical abilities. We forced everyone to go to MTC choir practice this week and sing at the devotional. LOVED it!! But I forgot to write down what arrangement it was that we sang. Sorry Mom!! I'll make sure I do that next time. Too bad they don't broadcast them to BYU TV as well as the other MTCs! Elder Evans and his wife came and spoke. They both talked about using our gifts as we've promised and church callings. As members and especially as missionaries, our callings change pretty rapidly and we should do our best in each calling because God has personally called each of us. We will get something out of it and those we serve will also be blessed as we do our absolute best! This spoke pretty strongly to me as I have been struggling with patience this week. I now have a stronger determination to be more loving and selfless. Back to music though...I will be accompanying Sister Moreno on the piano . She has a BEAUTIFUL voice and I insisted she sing so we are doing an arrangement of Come Thou Fount.
As we have been getting better at speaking the language our lessons have gradually been getting better! Brother Fisa is nice and lets us speak Tonglish because we all know that God is fluent in Tonglish as well as Tongan. Sista Fotu, however, is a little more hard-nosed. Love her!! But if we speak even the slightest bit of Tonglish in class or in our lessons, she makes faces and says "Heh?? Don't understand faka-palangi (english)" in Tongan. So that's a struggle, but it is pushing us to learn it faster! Dad, I LOVED the quotes you sent me, especially the one by Nelson Mandela. I read it to the class as a spiritual thought and they loved it too so we wrote it on the board for a little motivation (: The quote is "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." It relates to us as we teach in a different language, but it also relates in the sense that we should be teaching people and not lessons! Earlier this week we had an awesome experience with an investigater (gold-tag progressing investigater) outside. We were studying outside and a lady from Guatemala came up to me asking about what language I was studying. It then turned into an hour-long conversation about the places we were from, why I decided to serve a mission, and I was able to bear my testimony to her about my purpose in life and share with her a scripture from the Book of Mormon. She is a devout Catholic and was trying to convert me haha. But we asked if we could meet with her again(today). Well, this morning she didn't show up..We were pretty bummed, but we saw her later on today and I don't know what happened, but she wants to meet with us again ! Apparently the Fijians that were here before we came met with a hispanic catholic and she is getting baptized next week! I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'm excited for this experience to teach and talk with her.
To answer some questions.. As far as my Tongan name goes, no it does not have any special meaning haha I WISH! It is just a direct translation. Since the Tongan alphabet has only 16 letters, they just don't know how to pronounce english letters so they substitue their own letters with certain English letters. That's where Kolipoki comes from. It means Groburg in English. Tricky because we have to learn all of the Tongan translations for any name. Like Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, etc. So my zone calls me Petelisi, but I am still Sister Betteridge so letters should still be addressed to Sister Betteridge (: And we are not allowed to wear our Tongan uniforms yet (unfortuantely). MTC dress code is very strict about that kind of thing!
Today we have to move all of our stuff into a new building which is kind of a pain. That's okay because we are upgrading from living on the 4th floor to living on the 3rd floor! That will be very nice especially as it is getting extremely hot here!! Oh and I ran into Rozi (Sister Larsen) and we are living on the same floor! It's so nice to see a little bit of home here at the MTC through her and Elder Lybbert. She is going to be on some documentary. I'm not sure when it will be coming out, but they started filming her and her companion, who are both going to Australia, today! So look out for her on BYU TV!
Well I love you all so much. Thanks for the love and support!! Oh and don't worry mom about not sending me packages. Sister Stokes gets packages at least once a day and among the sisters we have already accepted the Tongan culture idea of sharing everything. We are very blessed with love and goodies (:
'Ofa atu <3