Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hi Family! 

Wow lots happened this week so I'm not going to be able to talk about most of it but I will try to do my best giving a little snippet. 

We started teaching a young mom, Seini, who is very open to our message. Her parents are the Hou'eiki here and started the Westlyan church here so she attends that church but is pretty open to all faiths and enjoys listening. We found her visiting an older couple that was an older investigater I had yet to teach or talk with really. We got there and they were very nice but before we could share anything they got up and announced they needed to go to the store down the street and we could teach their friend that was just visiting them and lived down the street (Sela). Hola ki ai! After we explained the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it she said something like "Well yeah I'll just read the book and see if it's true" very casually. She always tells us about all the people that talk bad about the church to her (which is usually why people drop us or start running away). But she does not care which is a wonderful thing. She talks about all the bad/crazy things they say and then asked us "Did you know that people hate your church?" Haha yeah kind of a world-wide thing. We committed her to baptism on Saturday after teaching her the Plan of Salvation. We asked her what she can do that she hasn't already done to prepare to live in the Celestial Kingdom and she said something like "Well I should probably just do those 5 things that you were talking about." She's so on point! 

These past few days have been busy with Stake Conference. There was a Saturday night session for the adults, Sunday morning, and a fireside last night and they were all wonderful! 5 of our investigators came to the Sunday morning conference and 2 of them were new investigaters invited by our members. We taught one of those a little bit ago- a mexican from california. The only terrible thing about it was that their was a "kai pola" (feast) after each of these three meetings for the leaders and special guests that had been invited and they made us come to each of them. I don't think I've ever been as bloated as I was that day, but fortunately I'm still alive. 

Well, I wish I could go on but due to the time, mahalo ko ia pe.
Ofa lahi atu,
Sister Petalisi

Pualani at Stake Conference

Monday, April 18, 2016

Family and Friends,

This past week we've really started to see some progress in the area
and feels like the wheels are starting to spin a little faster as
planned lessons are starting to fill up our days and members are
lining up to have us come teach at their house and have family night
with them. I love this ward they are a dream.

Right now we are continuing to work with Timote who is trying to be
sealed in the temple this year with his girlfriend. Since the time we
first started working with him he has progressed so much--stopped
smoking completely, prays morning and night, and reads the Book of
Mormon almost every day. He is glowing! It is awesome to see the light
that has grown brighter in his eyes as he's grown closer to Heavenly
Father and the Savior. His initial response to the invitation to read
the Book of Mormon was, "Um I don't read." He gradually started to
read more and more every day and would kind of hide in the corner of
his room so that his family, who aren't members, wouldn't see him and
make fun of him. He recently told us he gets so excited about the
stories that he stands up and reads out loud to himself, walking
around his room.

We had a neat experience with one of the part-member families we are
working with. After watching General Conference and the Women's
Conference, I asked myself what more can I do to "make a difference"
by serving locally. Having thought about it and prayed about it for a
couple days, the mother of this part-member family approached us and
asked if we could help her kids with their English because apparently
were all failing in their English tests at school. We were able to
help them for an hour this week with their English and plan on
continuing to do so every week. The parents love it and I hope that it
may open the dad's heart, who is a non-member, to listen to our
message. You'd think that me being a missionary there are so many
opportunities to serve. And of course there are, just not in the way
that you'd expect. Like we recently heard in Conference, we can simply
serve others through our love, example and the way we treat others.
And that's pretty much the extent of our service here because NO ONE
lets you serve them or do anything to help them. This gets a bit
frustrating at times. But we felt very happy in our realizing that
this is one way we can serve the people here.

Ofa lahi atu kia moutolu xoxo
Sister Petalisi

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a little crazy. As you can probably guess from the the subject, lots of sitting in air conditioned buildings and less walking around in the sun so I guess that was one blessing of the week. But unfortunately we were not able to spend much time in our area. Tuesday morning we flew to Tonga and went to the temple with President and Sister Tupou which was a-a-mazing. We stayed in Liahona right by the mission office with the 2 other sisters who are serving in motu (vava'u). Party! Our Mission Leadership Conference was wonderful. Lots of role-playing lessons and evaluating. The past few months the mission has been working on elevating the level of our teachings by using inspired questions and now our focus has changed to helping our investigators become converted through UNDERSTANDING, being EDIFIED, and REJOICING. Based off of the scripture in D&C 50:22. We came back Thursday and made back just in time because a cyclone hit hard and all missionaries were informed to kick back and stay safe.  Fortunately it didn't last very long and we went out and fit one lesson in. Friday the assistant's to the President came and we had our Zone Conference which consisted of more hours of role-playing and rejoicing haha. Saturday and Sunday we were able to watch General Conference at the church which was wonderful. I'm always sad when it ends. It sounds like things are getting crazier out there in the real world and the church is getting some heat. We feel very sheltered here in Tonga where everyone loves God and religion and especially other people who love God and religion. Too many good ones to pick a favorite but one of the talks I enjoyed was Ronald A. Rasband's. Questions are so common and so valuable when written down and remembered. Just like how a child can't make it through this life without the help of his parents, we definitely cannot make it through this life without our Heavenly Father's help. My new commitment to myself this general conference is to write down all the questions I have as they come and then study, ponder, and pray about them. 

Love you xoxo
Sister Petalisi

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Hello Family and Friends,

The work this past week has been on point! After our ward counsel last Sunday our ward mission plan went into effect of having 7 teachings set up for each week and this past week, 5 out of those 7 were lava (they didn't fall through). We had 5 new investigators as well as few families, less-active and non-member that we've started working with. One of the less-actives that we've been focusing on is a young-man from Seattle who doesn't actually understand Tongan. His name's Suli and they started teaching him a little bit before I got here. Woah huge reality check when I realized I couldn't actually teach a lesson or say a prayer in english. haha I've improved a lot in these past couple weeks. He was baptized a couple years ago in Tonga and we're trying to help him overcome some addictions so that he can marry his girlfriend in the temple this year! Since the time I met him and I'm sure even more so since the time Sister Reid started teaching him, he has come so far! It was funny to hear his side of the story when the missionaries started teaching him again. His friend Fe'au who is in the ward had told him there were 2 people at her house who wanted someone to testify to them and she invited him over, asking him if could do it. Apparently he has a little reputation for preachin' the good word or something like that. He said he was shocked when he had been tricked into listening to the missionaries but decided that he needed it and was curious anyways. Look how it may change his life now. I am so excited for him! 

I think the hugest difference transferring here is the size difference. Bigger area, lots more members, and a bigger teaching pool. The people here are the same old--super loving and hilarious. The chapel we attend is the stake center for the island and it's super nice! There is also a piano. We went early to play prelude and I also played for the meeting. I made a big oopsie at the a little too confident when the chorister closed her hymn book and began to sat down and I just went right on to the next verse.And of course it's on it's loudest volume because the Tongan voices ask for nothing less. I probably would have been embarrassed in a palangi ward because everything seems to have to be perfect. But the Tongans don't really care they appreciated the laugh haha. 

I'm pretty jealous that you all have already seen General Conference. But that's okay we will get to see it this weekend! This upcoming week is going to be a spiritual feast! But unfortunately less work. We leave for Tonga tomorrow because we were called as Sister Training Leaders and we will be going to the temple tomorrow! We'll be in Tonga tomorrow until Friday and then get back for the Conference sessions. Super stoked! 

Love you all. 

Sister Petalisi

Sister Reid and I

Going to see the sights on Pday...riding Tongan style

The district standing at the cliff's in 'Eua

Vahe 'Eua