Monday, September 21, 2015

Dear Family,

We had a neat experience with a less-active lady in the ward this week--Toa. She served a mission in Tonga awhile back, but hasn't been to church or opened her scriptures in over 13 years. Since we've been here we've tried to work with her and she always tells us--Man you two are the lucky sisters that will get me back to church because you work so hard and I just feel the spirit when you come. But usually when we've tried to share a spiritual thought or invite her to church she's sleeping, or sick, or busy, or her kids are sick, etc. When Sister Moala and I started planning and making the agenda for the musical fireside next month, we both thought of her as we were thinking of who should speak about faith.  When we invited her to speak, she was very opposed to it and kept asking questions, like--"Why are you having me speak on faith? Is it because I have no faith?" "Which one of you picked me to speak?" "Lemme see the other speakers you chose...hey, you picked all the weak members to speak huh" As we kept talking with her, she slowly started warming up to it and started asking about where to find specific stories in the scriptures about faith. It was cool to see the change in her in that small amount of time. But still, she made sure we knew she wasn't speaking for longer than 3 minutes cause we said 3-5 min. We went back to her house a few days later to give her the Bible she asked for and when we walked into her house it just felt different. There she was watching a movie about JOSEPH SMITH. She had rented it from the store and she said she started reading the Book of Mormon again. We asked how her talk was coming along and she asked how long it needs to be and when we said just 3-5 minutes is good she said--WHAT?? That's nothing, I need at least 10 minutes. How am I supposed to talk about faith in 3-5 minutes. It was awesome. We knew she had so much potential. It just took a little bit of reminding for her to remember the testimony that she does have. On top of all of that, on Sunday she came to church. As Sister Moala and I stood at the door shaking everyone's hands, we see her car pull up and her get out with her entire family! We were SO happy.

It is fun to see our small ward begin to actually look and sound like a ward. Many of the less-active families we have been working with are starting to come again every Sunday. 2 of our investigators--Toni and Pua--are preparing for baptism. Toni came to church for the first time yesterday and I think it gave him a lot to think about. But he is genuine in his search for the truth so I know the Lord will bless him with a greater testimony and strength as he makes this life-changing decision.
Oh and don't worry mom, Mani didn't find me a husband this week. When we went back to his house we found him in his usual place--sitting in his wheelchair outside and reading our pamphlets we give him. It's so cute. We came and he said he wasn't able to find me a husband yet and we laughed, saying it was okay and that he doesn't actually need to find me one. He then looked a little upset and asked--why?? are you already married? When I told him I wasn't he didn't believe me....and due to the weight I've gained he now thinks that I'm married and look pregnant. He's a little hard to work with haha but it's okay he's awesome.
Love you all!
Sister Petalisi

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Malo e lelei!  

Last week we had mission tour!! Elder Pearson and his wife came to talk to the mission and it was an awesome experience. The week before had been a little bit of a struggle for my companion and I so we did lots of preparing for it. We learned SO much. Elder Pearson is awesome. One of my favorite quotes from it was actually from Sister Tupou--our mission president's wife--"Stop fearing and stop worrying, God loves you." It was really good to hear that. I think sometimes we stress out too much, think we're not good enough or that we aren't doing enough. Just do your best and stop worrying. Because God loves you. Another thing that I learned was that success does not come from just succeeding once, but from continuing to improve and learn from your failures. We all have failures. But we can't let them drag us down. We have to strive to do better and if we continue to learn from them, we will be successful.
We've been teaching an old man named Mani for awhile. He is so cute and funny. Every time we see him he ALWAYS reminds us that we need to find a Tongan husband for me. We just laugh and say yes Mani we will don't worry! Then one day this week we went to teach him and after the lesson he said he was going to kolo (town) to find a husband for me and he would bring him to the next lesson. We both looked at each other and died because we realized just how serious he was. Too far Mani! Who knows, maybe it will be a teaching opportunity or potential investigator?
Last P-day we got a car! It's a blessing because it saves a lot of time, but also a curse for obvious reasons. We are a lot more busy running errands for other sisters but being busy is always a blessing! It is starting to warm up here, which is nice! But ohhh man I can't imagine what it's going to be like mid-summer. The work is hard, but it is so worth it! Too blessed and TOO LOVED to be stressed. Love you all, have a wonderful week!
Sister Petalisi

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hello!                                                                       Sept. 7th. 2015
This week was full of disappointments and challenges, but positivity and diligence is always key in missionary work. There are many investigators we have started or continued to teach these last couple weeks. One of the challenges we are facing right now is helping them with their concerns they have. Many of our investigators love talking with us, keep all of our reading commitments, love the Book of Mormon and our messages, but just don't think that it's as important as the Bible. Or they don't understand the need to be baptized again. Or they understand that there there is only "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism" because Tongans really love and know their Bible, but it's okay that there are many churches on the earth. Another challenge is the problem with parents who are very strong in a different church. There are 4 girls that are either really interested or want to be baptized, but we can't formally teach them because they aren't 18 yet. Despite the hardships, mission work is awesome and I know we are planting many seeds in Pea!
The gospel is true and it is beautiful! How amazing is it that God sent us here so that we can become like Him and receive all of His blessings. The coolest part is that He has shown us the way to do so, we just have to keep His commandments. He gave us our agency so we could grow and ultimately, choose eternal life. Heavenly Father truly loves each of us!! We must strive to have an open mind and heart so that he can continue to teach us. Doctrine and Covenants 136:32-33 - "Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; For my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly."
Ofa atu!!
Sister Petalisi
Malo e lelei!                                                                                                  August 31st.  2015
We had a few neat experiences with some of our investigaters this week. Sister Moala and I have seen much improvement in our teaching and the power that we have in teaching. We found 5 new investigaters this week and 3 of them agreed to be baptized which was exciting! One of them is Makaleta Mokoi who we have been trying to teach since the first week or so, but haven't been able to because she is super busy with her responsibilities in the Catholic church. Her whole family is very strong in the Catholic church, but her younger sister is serving a mission in Tonga and we've had a vision for her since we started talking to her. We were told that she has never been interested in the church, but felt impressed to continue to try to teach her. We finally caught her at a good time this week and after invited her to baptism she agreed. It was a very neat experience because I saw the power of the spirit work a miracle within her. She couldn't deny the truthfulness of the message even though she didn't want to leave the youth in her church. We shared 1 Nephi 9:6 and promised her that because God always prepares a way for his works to be accomplished, He can prepare a way for her to be baptized. By the end of the lesson we were all crying and laughing and it was a beautiful experience. We had a similar experience with another woman who we taught the first lesson to and then invited her to baptism. Other than the investigators we are working with, we are working towards many less-actives. We just found out that 2 of them in our ward are preparing to get married and we are so excited!! I am hoping that I can be here for their sealing next year!
Love you all and have a great week! Remember to continually strengthen your faith because everything else in life relies on faith. We can do ALL things as long as our will is aligned with our Heavenly Father's. Ofa atu!
Sister Petalisi