Sunday, March 27, 2016


Well after a 7 minute plane ride I made it to Eua and it is BEAUTIFUL. So sorry I didn't take any pictures this week to send but I will definitely try to send some in the weeks to come. The obvious differences between Eua and Tonga is that it is smaller here, it is not as humid, and it isn't completely flat. There are mountains and they are beautiful! Apparently there are many sights to see in Eua, including the Eua tree that the tree in Avatar was based off of, and lots of hikes, caves, cliffs, and waterfalls. My new companion, Sister Reid, is a palangi from Orem, Utah. She is wonderful! I know we are going to get along really well for however long we are serving together. There are 8 missionaries in Eua, 4 sisters and 4 elders. The ward we are serving in--Pangai--is made up of 4 different villages--Pangai, 'Esia, Angaha, and Futu. It's huge. At least in comparison to Pea, where I just transferred from. We walk so much more than I did in my last area and there seem to be lots more non-members to work with.

The ward here is awesome I am really looking forward to working with them!  Right now we don't have very many investigaters that we're working with, but we had a ward counsel last night and just in like 2 minutes we set up around 7 or 8 appointments to teach at a member's house and they will invite whoever they are thinking of or currently trying to work with. Apparently just a couple months ago something happened between the sisters here and the members and the members quickly lost trust of the missionaries. I kind of feel like we are working to gain back that trust, and it has been wonderful! Right now, I'm obviously working on getting to know everyone in the ward, but I already feel so much love for them. 

Sorry it's so short today but I will try and make it better next week! We are about to go hiking wiht the district and see some of the sights. 

Love you all. Have a wonderful week.

Sister Petalisi

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hello family and friends,

Well transfers have once again rolled around but this time I am not staying. Tomorrow I'll be transferring to Eua! Which is a smaller island south of Tongatapu. Unfortunately, the past two weeks were the last two weeks for me to work in Pea and after how many months of working in this place and I'll be missing our ward conference by 1 week. Everyday this week there will be a different activity during the week starting with one for the Relief Society, and then the youth, and then a dance and so on...up until Sunday which will be the conference, kai pola (lots and lots of food) and a fireside. Timing not so on point but that's okay it just means great things are waiting in Eua. 

The past couple weeks we haven't had as much success working with our investigators and finding times to teach them and finding new investigators but we have been working lots with less-actives and have found a few more families to start working towards! Overcoming drinking seems to be the reoccurring problem with all of them and we have been doing a lot of visiting and goal-setting to help them stop drinking. One of them is 29 year-old Vine who comes from a part-member family and has been drinking since she was a teenager. After getting jumped pretty bad, she was ready to make a change in her life. We stepped in and started making her a focus for the past couple weeks to help her stop. She made it 2 weeks without drinking! We were also able to go to the Relief Society birthday party with her on Thursday which was super fun. Consisted of beautiful songs from each of the wards that started out very nice and spiritual and then turned into women getting up on their chairs and singing for the crowd. Of course, because there was cake being served, there were TONS of women from our ward that went and sang. I've actually never seen that many women in our ward in attendance at any church gathering. 

Two of the other families that we have started working are both in a similar boat. Young couple with kids. Dad converted to the church in his teens and less-active now and struggles with the word of wisdom. Mom grew up in the church but is also struggling to come to church. Both of these families are so happy that we came to them and really really want the strength and help to come back to church. I am going to miss working with them but I know that they are in the Lord's hands. Excited to see what comes of it as Sister Brown and her new companion continue to work with them!

Sister Petalisi

Annoying goat interrupting our lesson.

Last vilo with Piola :-(

Diana Mataele at the Fine'ofa Birthday Party

Monday, March 7, 2016

Hi Family! 

This week felt like a little bump in the road as we are struggling with those we are working with and feel pretty desperate to find more people to teach! We have been teaching Semisi nearly every day for the past month. It has been so much fun working with him because he would read a new chapter in the Book of Mormon every night and would have so many questions for us. He kept all his commitments, but he struggled with coming to church and giving up his drinking. This past week, he let us know that he was really grateful for all we've done but that we don't need to keep sharing because he already understands and it's up to him now to decide. Of course,  we were pretty devastated because it feels as though he has given up and has no hope for himself. But we continued  to keep visiting him and the older lady he stays with every day. On Sunday, he made it to church!! And we were so shocked but very happy. It's very sad sometimes as a missionary when those you work with don't seem to be progressing as fast as you feel they should be or anticipate for them. But one thing I've learned from it is that I can't just make up my own agenda for someone else and then become frustrated when it doesn't happen the way I had hoped. I've realized how grateful I should be in the opportunity I have to see others make steps towards the kingdom of God, even if it's just little baby steps. Whether it's gaining a testimony to the Book of Mormon, or being baptized or entering the temple, they are ALL precious in his sight. 

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Ofa atu ka moutolu,
Sister Petalisi