Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu

Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu
The Other Side of Heaven

Thursday, January 27, 2011


dear Mom and all,
thanks for all the lettters that i recieved this week. they were wonderful, keep them coming, i only have one day to write letters so plese forgive me if it takes a while to get a response. this week was a good one, learned a lot of tongan it is coming along pretty good. i am still getting confused between spanish and tongan somtimes. i forget to pronounce my Hs and make a ye sound when i pronounce my Ls, some in my district say that i speak tongan with a hispanic accent haha.
We had a lot of fun this week, my companion and i pulled a playful prank on Elder Leavitt, we wrote him a letter and put it in the mail box. My companion dear johned him using some fake girl name and i wrote him an annyonimous poem, it was really funny. He reminds me a lot of cousin daniel gleason, really a funny guy and goood at basket ball.
One of my teachers Brother Yates just got back from Tonga in september and has been telling us what to expect when we get there, he said that there are these boils there that people get and they get really huge. he says the way to prevent from getting them is to shower using antibacterial soap, so i am going to load up on that before i leave. He also said that he did wake up one time in the Tonga in the middle of the night and a huge rat was nibbling at his feet, so it is true the movie didnt lie. but he said that was the only time so i am not scared. He also told us that they eat horse and dog over there and that they are delicasesy and really good, sorry if i just grossed you out.
Oh Mom i saw Uncle Gary coming to the MTC to volunteer yesterday, i talked to him for a little bit, it was really cool to run into him he asked about Russell and and everyone. I told him Russell is looking for a wife haha hope you dont mind that Russ. i saw Russell yesterday too, that was good. How is Uncle Ron doing, and how is Uncle Rob? Russell told me a little bit but not a whole lot.
I Elder Hilyard yesterday with his dark dot on that was really cool. He was one of my roommates at BYU and is headed to Japan, im really glad i saw him and hopefully we will have lunch or dinner together some time.
On sunday for the Devotional we had Brother Allen who works at Church Headquarters come and talk to us that was really neat, it was a very good talk. He told us how a mission is not going to be easy, there will be times that we feel like we should come home, but we cant we have to push throught the hard times and endure to the end. That was what i needed to hear, while over all i have had an amazing time here at the MTC there have been times where i have been really down because the language is not uber easy or people are just being jerks here at the MTC of all places, but i must grin and bare it and push through the hard times because i will get better eventually. Brother Bott my mission Prep teacher at BYU said that a mission is virtually one large spiritual roller coaster where you have good times and bad, but you will get through them with faith in Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel
I know i am where i am suppose to be and coming on a mission was the greatest decision i have made in my young life, thank you so much for all the support back home. i can feel your love when i read your letters and i feel the prayers that you are saying for me i hope all is well, all is well.
Ofa Atu,
Elder Michael

Thursday, January 20, 2011


dear Mom and all,
Sorry that that last email was kinda lame i hope this one is much better.
this past week was good, and it started off reallly well with my birthday being on friday, all the guys in my district barged into my room at 6:25 and woke me up by singing happy birthday to me that was really cool, they are a bunch of fun loving gospel praising guys from all walks of life there is one kid who is 23, and has been through a lot his brother committed suicide when he was just 14 years old, and Elder Trower fell away from the church for a while but then he turned his life around and is a great missionary. He is Zone leader and has an amazing testamony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. he reminds me kinda of Will lumstend because he came on his mission a little latter and it changed his life.
Any way thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes, i fell like an official missionary now that im 19, i got tons of cards from a lot of people, i got your package mom thanks a lot for that, krissy hall sent me brownies, and some girls from BYU sent me some cookies, thanks for that. sarah ortiz dearelder'ed me all the people who wrote on my wall for my birthday and that was really cool to read all those. thanks sarah!
I saw paul and rosie the first day they were in here, paul's class is close to mine so i see him like 5 times a day, i have taken a bunch of pictures and will be sending them home soon. telll people to send me pictures, i have no pictures of any one here and would like some so can you tell people to send me some, can you send me a family picture as well.
elder Rose and I moved rooms on tuesday because we were getting new elders in our Zone and would have had roommates that we didnt know so we moved in with two elders in our district who didnt have any roommates either. One of the Elders is Elder Hetig, he is really cool, he is room New Zealand and has a sweet accent and strong testamony
The tongan is coming along pretty good i got my prayer down in tongan, and i am working on my testamony. we have learned a lot in a short amount of time and remembering it all can be kinda hectic sometimes. I played alot less basketball this week, i decided that i should hone my vollyball skills because thats what they play in Tonga and if your good they respect you.
Oh my branch presiedent use to be the stake president in Uncle Johns stake and knows him, his name is President Connors and was going to try to facebook Uncle john.
Okay so thats the worldy stuff that happened this week now on to spiritual stuff
On sunday we had a fireside with the new MTC president, President Brown he and his wife spoke it was really good, they talked about our purpose as missionary work which is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and His atonement, repentance, baptisim, recieving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. it was a really great talk. right after the talk we watched the Joseph Smith movie and that was really amazing. I love that movie and it is a very moving movie the spirit was really present in the room we were watching. I know that Joseph Smith sawGod the Father and Jesus Christ and did restore His Gospel to the earth.(I can almost say all that in Tongan!!)
On Tuesday we had another devotional here and it was Elder Gong from the quorm of the 70, he gave a great presentaion of why we should be of good cheer. he talked about how there is scientific evidence that the Book of Mormon is true and the difference between perfectionism and striving to be perfect in Christ. it was really goooood. man the devos are amazing here at the MTC
My favorite thing was wedensday we watched Elder Bednars talk abouyt recognizing the spirit, and how we need to stop worrying about wheather it is us or the Holy ghost prompting us to do someting, if we obey the commandments and honor our covenants then the lord will guide us
okay i only have a min left so i ll say thanks for all the Birthday wishes hope all is well and i love you, I know i am where i am suppose to be and that the Lord has blessed my life with so many wonderful family and friends who love and care abnout me
ofa atu
Elder Maikolo

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I got all your dearelder letters. Thanks a lot for that; they helped me get through the hard days. It has been a roller coaster ride here in the MTC, ups and downs.
The Tongan is coming along well. we have learned a lot in a short amount of time. I can pray, tell people I am a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and bear my testimony. We sometimes get to talk to the Native Tongans here at the MTC and that is scary because they don't speak English very well and we don't speak Tongan very well.
Sorry that my email wasn't too good. They only give us like 30 minutes to read everything and respond. Next week will be better.
The Elders in my district are Elders Pau'u, Martinez, Howell, Chandler from Utah, Elder Hetig from New Zealand (really cool accent), Elder Unga from San Mateo, California and Elder Trower who is 23 and a really awesome guy. He is the Zone Leader and he reminds me of Will Lumsden.
I love my teachers, Brother Williams, Brother Payne and Brother Yates. They are each different but are very smart and know the Tongan language very well. Brother Yates just got back from Tonga in September and he has told us alot of what it is like over there. He says that mail takes about 2 weeks to get there and back. He also said that he never wore a suit over there and that the food is really, really good. I've eaten some gross stuff here in the MTC. I felt like I was going to throw up on occasion, like during Elder Holland's talk.
It was a really awesome talk and the spirit was so strong. I know that I am in the right place and I am where the Lord wants me to be. I know that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for me so that I could be forgiven and return to live with my Heavenly Father again.
One thing that Elder Holland mentioned in his talk was that we as missionaries, like Peter of old, can never go back to the lives we had before our missions. That really struck me. I can't go back to that life I had in high School or Freshman year at BYU where I put hanging out and partying above studying, both school and the Gospel. I don't have any regrets, but that time of my life is over. Elder Holland said that we need to feed HIS, (the Savior's) sheep forever. We need to be Missionaries forever. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to share the gospel with the people of Tonga and invite them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and by enduring to the end.

I know these things to be true and I testify of them in the Name of Jesus Christ.

I love you all...
Ofa 'atu (love you)
Elder Maikolo (my Tongan name)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

'Ofa 'atu

Dear Mom and all,
Sorry that i havent written yet my Pday is on thursday and i didnt have a p day last week, this is a reaally bad keyboard so excuse my errors they only give me 30 mins to email so can you just dearelder dads email, i couldnt read it all.
So this first week has been amazing ride full of ups and downs. my first day i felt the spirt right as i walked into the MTC doors. that was cool. I was really overwealmed that first day then in my bag of missionary stuff that they give you here Arrio had included a note about how it is overwealming but it will get better, that was a great source of comfort and since then it has been good. those first 3 days felt like 3 weeks. but since sunday time has flown thanks for all the letters from every one. i prefer letters to email cuz there is no time to read everything.
Elder Holland came on tuesday and that waz really AWESOME. man you felt the spirt so strong when he came into the room. that night had dinner i had some sourkraut and my stomach was really upset, so i didnt think i was going to make it through the whole fireside, but i wasnot going to miss seeing an apostle of the lord speak live. He bore a powerful testamony about how we need to to be the best missionaries the Church has ever seen. no pressure right? It was an amazing experience. Elder Holland told the story of Peter when the Savior came to see the Apostles after He had been ressurected, and how the Savior asked Peter three times if Peter loved Him. Peter said yes three times but it wasn't until the third time that he really understood what the Lord meant. Then the Lord said to Peter, If you love me, feed my sheep. That is what i am going to do in Tonga i will be teaching the people there the restored Gospel of Jesus Chirst.
I love my District there are twelve of us we are all fun loving guys there are only 3 tongans the rest are palangis. MY companion is Elder Jacob Aaron Rose, thats not a typo, we haver the same first and middle name, really funny. he is from Layton Utah We sing and pray in tongan and are always quoting The Other Side of Heaven.
I love Gym time, it is like our escape to reality. We all play basketball, I am too agressive on defence sometimes. i play like im playing lacrosse. i have gotten a few people upset at me b/c im too agressive, but there all like 3 ft taller then me so i have to be aggressiv. I shut this kid down the other day who was like 6'4'' he was one of those really cocky kids who things his is Gods gift to humanity. i humbled him a little. Off the Basketball court im trying to be more Chris-like haha
Churh was really good My branch President is President Connors, a really awesome man full of the Spirit.
I love the gospel im almost out of time so im gonna rush,
love you all hope everything is good and that Gpa is okay tell everyone i love them and thanks for the letters
i got the dearelder package and a birthday card from the sterlings okay gotto go
'Ofa 'atu
Elder Maikolo
PS dear elder me hillarys letter

Monday, January 10, 2011

"We are as the Army of Helaman..."

Eight missionaries from the Downey, CA Stake. Called to serve in Portugal, Colorado, Utah, France, Japan, Tonga, West Indies and New York. Sister Hillary Michael paved the way as she departed for the MTC October 20, 2010. Four more depart and then it is time for Elder Michael. The last two enter the MTC January 12, 2011 as this Band of Missionaries makes his or her way to lands far and near to preach and teach and work as Missionaries do.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Elder Jacob Michael is in the MTC

Elder Michael entered the MTC on January 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm. Russell took him to the curb outside the MTC and he was greeted by fellow Downey Stake missionary, Elder Jeremy Vallecalle.
Russell saw Jacob on Thursday and told us that Elder Michael is happy and loving the MTC experience. We look forward to our first email from him perhaps tomorrow. We will post it as soon as it arrives.

PS He turns 19 this Friday--1/14. :)