Malo e lelei! Mou fefe hake? Ko e ha e me'a oku mou fai (ha me'a oku fai)? Te mou kai lelei ahoni? Alu koe ki fe? Basic questions you ask like 20 times a day...How are you? What are you doing? Are you going to eat well today? Where are you going?
This past week our Bishop's mom passed away. She lived at Bishop's house but hardly ever came out cause she has been really sick and was blind. Funerals (Putu(s)) are a really big deal here in Tonga and all the kaingalotu (members) will be spending time at the Bishops house this week. They hang out at the house, wear all black (to show respect), sing a lot, and eat food. Yesterday, everyone wore black to church and because Sunday is Bishop's day to feed us, we wore black too. All the members were so proud of us that even though we're from muli (overseas) we wore black to show respect. Yesterday, a lot of the family shared their testimonies of faith and love. The Tongan people are such good examples to me.
Last night, our fafanga (meal) was supposed to be Bishop's sister...so we got to go to the "Failotu" at Bishop's house (a part of the funeral they do each morning and night leading up to the funeral...which will be on Thursday). A lot of the members were there. It was a short little program with a spiritual thought and then we sang hymns. It was absolutely incredible. It is the best feeling to just be able to sing with your whole soul. Everyone just sings with everything they got. Then afterwards there were a couple people who gave little speeches. And throughout it one of the men says "Malo" (thank you) after every couple sentences. There are 3 different types of languages in Tongan...one for the common people, the nobles, and then the king. It's beautiful when they use words from the "higher/more respectful" languages and the Tongan prayers are the most spiritual things ever. It's cool because I've got to learn a lot of the Kings language to use in my prayers and when we teach about God and Jesus Christ.
Tina, Uele, Ofa, Mateaki, Palomesi, and the rest of the kids--We've been working with this family since I got here with Sister Langi and they are so wonderful. Tina is a less active and wants to come back to church but can't because of her husband (in Tonga you "have to" go where your husband goes to church). Uele, is the husband and is a member of the Wesylian church. He's hardly at home cause he often goes to Uta ("the bush") to get food. Mateaki (age 12) and Palomesi (age 10) we've been teaching every Monday night at one of the members family home evenings! Uele asked us to also help his kids with English because they've been struggling on their tests (they're in English) and it's been awesome. Last week, we had Stake Conference and they all came! And I heard Uele really enjoyed the talks but he has a couple questions about the Godhead and stuff...so one of the members are going to invite them over for a family home evening for us to teach him. But for the next couple weeks there are a ton of programs at the Wesylian church...so we need to wait till that's over. But I'm super pumped.
This next week we will be going to Tonga for Mission Leadership Conference! Aaaand Sister Tupou asked us to teach in it...so we're a bit nervous, but it will be good :) I'm super excited to go to the temple. Like always.
Also, just a funny thing: All of Tonga is out of sugar right now haha Something because of the cyclone that happened in Fiji and the boat hasn't come yet. All the members apologize that they can't add sugar to the flavored drinks they give us. But I'm so thankful cause they're already sweet enough from the flavored packet they put in it haha. The sad part though, is that Neti (one of the ladies in Ha'atu'a) can't make chocolate cake for us. Hopefully the sugar boat gets here soon!
Sorry, that was kind of a splatter of all my thoughts...hope it makes sense haha! Hope you all have a wonderful week! Never forget that God knows everything that is happening in your life and he's ready to help you and will help you endure every trial and difficulty that is set in your path, all we need to do is have faith and ask.
Ofa Lahi Atu!