Malo e lelei!
Well these first few days have been SUPER busy and tiring, but I'm still alive and SO happy! It's crazy to think that it's only the third day here because I feel like I've been here for weeks. No kidding. But like I guessed, my companion, Sister Mo'unga, IS Tongan, but she's not from Salt Lake. She's from Pleasant Grove so I was close! She is so awesome along with everyone else in my district. The Sisters in my district clicked really fast which was a relief because that was one less thing to worry about on my chaotic and overwhelming first day. Our district consists of 6 sisters and 2 elders. There are 4 of us sisters going to Tonga, 2 Tongan and 2 white. Sister Mo'unga and Sister Fifita are Tongan and from the states which is such a blessing because they already speak the language and have been helping the rest of us as we learn it ourselves. Sister Emch is the other white sister and apparently we are #3 and #4 to go to Nuku'alofa. The first 3 white sisters to serve in Tonga just barely left for the MTC 3 weeks before we came. The last two sisters in our district are Sister Stokes and Sister Moreno and they are serving in New Zealand Tongan speaking. I love working with all of them; they have been a HUGE blessing to me. We all are living in the same room so it's super fun! But it's no sorority..we're working really hard don't worry!
Last night we met our branch president, President Willes, and his counselors and their wives. President Willes (side notes: He is Pres Gordon B. Hinkley's nephew and looks sooo much like him!) talked to us about being an effective missionary and such. I have only met him once, but I already look up to and admire him a TON! He said something that really hit home for me. He talked about how we were called to this work before we were born. We promised God before this life that we would proclaim the gospel and that when we felt prompted to serve a mission (especially the sisters who needed to make that decision), the spirit was remindign us of the promise we had made. SO. COOL. When he said that the spirit confirmed his words to be true and the feeling was so prominent. I am so excited to to teach the gospel and be the Lord's missionary and disciple. I feel the love for my Savior on a regular basis and I know that he loves every one of his children just the same!
This morning we had the opportunity to go to the temple as a zone and wat ch Elder Perry's funeral. Our zone is the Pacific Islander zone so there are Elders and Sisters going to the Marshall Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, and probably some others that I can't remember. It's cool to see our training leaders who just have one more week in the MTC and see how much they've progressed from where we are to 5 weeks in the MTC. They are awesome and great leaders!
Tonight Sister Mo'unga and I are teaching our first investigator! It's in English, thank goodness. Our Tongan lesson fell through, which is probably for the better since the only Tongan I know is numbers, bearing my testimony, and a few random phrases that Sister Mo'unga and Sister Fifita have been teaching us. Unfortunately, they might be leaving for Tonga in 2 weeks because they are so much more advanced than us. Well unfortunately for us, but not for them! They say they want to stay and help us, but I think they just don't want to hurt our feelings and really are dying to get away from us palangis and get out in the field! Anyway, the investigator who we are teaching tonight is named Ralles. We are teaching him about the Plan of Salvation and Christ's atonement. We'll see how it goes! And I'll try not to inflect my voice like an American missionary Ben. So far I've been doing solid though haha.
Well I hope life and preparation for the move out is going smoothly! Enjoy the beauty of Washington and Anderson Island for me since I am stuck to the scenery within the walls and boundaries of the MTC. haha I love you all!
Sister Petelisi (My Tongan name)