Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu

Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu
The Other Side of Heaven

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Malo lelei

Malo lelei!
Well this week has been awesome and i had some really amazing experiences.
I baptized my first person as a missionary on Tuesday, it was the
coolest experience ever, i did it all in tongan and his name was
Atunaisa Lalameipau Fa'uhiva, he is a 19 year old boy who Elder
Mafoa had already been teaching before i got here, i taught him for
one lesson but Elder Mafoa let me baptize him. there was a baptisim
in our Zone last friday and saturday, and we committed a boy we have
been teaching, Ma'afu, to be baptized next Wednesday! you baptize a
lot in Tonga! we are also teaching two other people, i cant remember
there names, i've been struggling to remember the names of peoples
names that i meet, i need to fix that.
Thanks so much for all the
emails, i am glad that Arrio is safe in Japan thanks for his email. I
emailed my friend Chad who is still in the MTC and he said his mission
wasnt effected.
its been raining like crazy here in tonga, but everyone i ask says its
pretty normal, i heard that there is might be a hurricane coming, but
Tonga goes through a number of hurricanes each year so nothing to
worry about plus coming but the Lord will protect His Servants.
I had an amazing experience on Monday, we were teaching Ma'afu at the
Mokofisa family's house for FHE, and the lesson was really great and
after the family let anyone who wanted to say anything speak. I
thanked the family for their love for missionaries and their love for
me and Elder Mafoa. They are so family oriented and loving and my
favorite family here and the nicest people in the world. I felt the
spirit so strong it was such an awesome experience. like i said
before the Tongan members are the greatest members in the World and i
am so grateful to be here. They are so full of love for the
Missionaries and the Gospel its awesome.
I didnt get the chance to eat dog this week when i do i will write
home about it. im not sure how offten i will be able to write hand
written letters, but i will try to be able to.

Well sorry this is short have to go love you lots
'Ofa lahi atu
Elder Maikolo
i will send pictures next week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Elder Michael WRITES from TONGA

Malo e lelei kainga mamani!!
'Oku ou nofo 'i Tonga!
Well after almost 5 months of waiting i have arrived in TOnga, it is
truly the otherside of Heaven, the pretttiest place in the world, i
have to pinch myself (or have a misquitoe bite me) to remind myself im
actually here. I am serving in the village of Nukunuku, on the west
side of the main Island of TOngatapu. My companion's name is Elder
Mafoa, he his from Haakame about five villiges over from where were
serving. He doesnot speak alot of English, in fact he never spoke
english before his mission so there is not a lot of communication
that goes on between us, but it okay its going to force me to learn
TOngan which is something i really need. Our house is maybe the same
size at my dorm room at BYU, maybe a little smaller. no maybe a
little bigger because we have a bathroom and shower, only cold water,
but ill roll with it. Our area covers threee wards, two in Nukunuku
and one in Fatai. we do a lot of walking, alot of walking but its all
good. i have a tavala and a kafa that i wear with my tupenu so i look
like a legit tongan. I spoke in one ward in Nukunuku on sunday i
really just bore my testimony, it was that good, i have a lot of work
to do concerning the language and PMG. but its all good Aunt Melissa
thank you so much for your advice, "Roll with it" has become my theme,
because in tonga you just have to go with the flow especially if you
and your comp dont speak the same language. If there is hair in your
drink, roll with it and drink it any way, if there are ants in on your
crackers it means you have some protien with your breakfast. the first
night here there were i think 7 cockroaches and centipedes, but there
not poisionous so i dont worry. I trust in the Lord to protect me and
so i trust in Him and roll with it. THe food here is amazing!! like
amazing best food ive ever had. The first two days we got here
before we headed out to our areas Sister Tukuafu made us a feast at
every meal, ive eaten more then i thought i could, but its all healthy
so its all good. You literally pick the fruit off the trees and brush
the bugs off(if you dont want any protien) and bite in. Ive had fresh
picked coconuts, guava, mango, mei, vi and a bunch of others that i
cant remember. realllllly good. THe meat is aweosme too, They eat
corned beef, regular beef, pig, sheep, dog, chicken, horse, bat, cat,
fish, and a bunch of other things. the other day a big spider was
running across the floor and my hoa(comp in tongan) picked it up and
ate it, yeah thats how it is here, i dont think i will be doing that
any time soon. I hear horse and dog are the best food here, i havent
tried them yet but i think i will ask some members to make it for us.
The members here are awesome, the best members in the world live in
Tonga, 50% of the entire country is already baptized but there still
is a lot of work to be done. We mostly just go and hangout with
members all day, its through them that we do all the missionary work
so its important to have a good relationship with them. I mostly just
speak to the children at the homes there are a lot of little kids here
and i love talking to them, they correct my tongan and are not
imdimidating to talk to, my tongan knowledege is also alot closer to
their level. Its horrible but i knoe that the best way to learn is to
open my mouth and speak. thats what im trying to do. the Lord has
blessed me with a hoa who can teach me the language. this is the
greatest thing i have ever done in my life, and i wouldnt be any
where else in the world. Yesterday we had an open house at a church
building in Houma
and a lot of investigators came, we taught them the Palani 'o e
Fakamo'ui (plan of salvation) i didnt teach i just stood around and
looked nice, but i felt the spirt so strong, it was one of the
cooolest things ever! i know that they all felt the spirit tooo. Ah i
love spreading the Gospel! Oh ive been to the Temple in Liahona
twice, its all in tongan but it is soooo coool, i dont understand
anything but you can feel the Spirit. the Spirit speaks alll
languages, whether its lea fakaTonga, lea fakaPalngi, lea fakaMiko,
lea fakaPortugal, or any other lea. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is
true no mattter what you speak, or where you are.
This is a much longer email because im at a ward building in Houma on
a Church computer and there is no time limit woot woot wooot, i dont
know if i will be able to email ever week i will try but im not making
any promises. Snail mail takes about 2 weeks to get here, i just
barely got a letter from Ashley Holt that was sent to me on the 25th
of Feburary. i am really close to the mission home so i should get
mail sooner then if i was any where else in the mission, in some
places where there is no internet, you go months with out mail. but
its all good because i didnt come all this way to wait around for the
mail to come, i am here to as it says in D&C 42:6 "..go forth in the
power of my Spirit, Preaching My Gospel two by two.." thats what im
here to do, build up the kingdom of God on the Earth.
I hope that all is well with everyone back home and that Arrio is safe
in Japan, we had a tusnami warning here in tonga but nothing
happened.I trust in the Lord to protect us. Dad you mentioned
something about there being two 6.0 earthquakes in Tonga, i dont think
there were, i havent felt the ground shake at all and I've asked
around and i think the Fijin new was mistaken. Everything is find and
danty here in Tonga, President Tukuafo is sending you, Mom and Dad, a
snail mail letter. I think its just to let you know that we are safe
and stuff. I hope the kitchen is goin well and that its at least
started to be constructed. Love you all more then luggage!! there is
no rowing going on down here in Tonga uncle dave and Melissa. The
weather is straight up perfect and it rains often but its like a warm
shower, wont have many of those the next two years. Oh and i might
have to buy a laundry machine like Russell did in Germany, except that
a laundry machine consists of a bucket, soap, water, and two hands.
Some one stole i mean "borrowed" our bucket. Love you lots hope this
wasnt tooo long of a letter i thought it would make up for all the
really short ones i had in the MTC.
'Ofa lahi Atu
Elder Maikolo
Ps i will try to email some pictures, i have a lot

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ELDER MAIKOLO arrives in Tonga

We believe Jacob is in Tonga! We have yet to have that verified but we haven't heard anything that would suggest he was not there.
Last Tuesday we were able to speak with him for a few hours when he landed in Los Angeles. He phoned from the pay phones there in the Terminal and when one of the calls dropped, I called the number back and to my surprise and amazement, Elder Michael answered the phone. This new arrangement meant that we would talk until he boarded the plane, or until he said goodbye. We learned how to do three way calling and got Russell on the phone as well as Aunt Melissa and her family (except for Luke, he would not wake up!). We called Dean's parents in Washington and they were able to say goodbye to Jacob as well.
During our visit, he spoke Tongan to us--sharing the things he learned in the MTC. We told him we thought he spoke really well in Tongan--of course, we don't speak it but he sounded like he knew what he was saying. He sounded happy and excited to be leaving for the mission field.
When it was time to say goodbye, Jacob asked if we could have a prayer with him--he offered it in Tongan, and we did feel the spirit in his words. He is ready.
We got to speak to him one more time. He phoned us from New Zealand==collect. Not sure what that will cost, but no amount of money can take away from how good it was to hear him. He said they were met at the airport by one of the Elder's family in their group who lives not far from the airport. The dad drives a tourist bus and brought it to pick the 13 of them up to show them around and feed them. They had an 8 hour layover so there was time. He sounded tired but excited. He mentioned he knew they were on their way because everyone in the terminal was Tongan--
Now, we are waiting to hear how it was to arrive in Tonga. The earthquake happened Friday and the Pacific Islands were on Tsunami watch until Saturday. There were two earthquakes in Tonga but were not big enough to cause any damage-however, the islanders were moved from the coast and camping out at the King's residence--so Elder Michael arrived just in time for a warm welcome.
We hope to hear from him...sometime. I am prepared to have it not happen too soon as we know the internet isn't available on many of the islands. We know he is in good hands and that Heavenly Father is watching over him. Thank you to all who are praying for Elder Michael and all the other Missionaries. I know those prayers are heard--Malo e Lelei

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Dear mom and all
Isn't it crazy that this is my last email from the MTC and my last time i will actually be on a computer in the united states for the next two years! wow it has really flown by extremely fast. sorry about last week, i completely lost track of time. i have plenty of time today and should say everything i want to say.
So this has been my last week at the MTC and i have strived to make it my most successful and productive. i'll go day by day. Last Thursday we received our travel plans! we leave for Tonga on the 8Th of March (next Tuesday) we fly from Salt lake to LAX then from LAX to New Zealand then we wait there for 8 hours before we head out to Tonga. overall it is 27 hours of traveling which is ALOT but just means more time to study the language, i think I'm going to read my entire dictionary on the plane ride. Friday there was a HUGE snow storm here in Utah. I've never seen so much snow. I'm so happy that i leave for Tonga in 5 days. We had a really good lesson from Brother Payne on Friday about caring about the needs of our investigators, and how we should always focus our study around their needs. I love Brother Payne. He is my favorite teacher and always gives the best lessons. the other teachers are great but Payne is the most experienced and really knows how to teach well. Saturday was another great day. we finished service in 20 mins again. we didn't make our goal of 15 mins but there is always this Saturday. We prepped all day for the TRC, we taught all in Tongan again and it went really well, i still have sooooo much to learn though. The volunteer we taught got back from Tonga in December he told us some really cool stories about what he ate and other things, i will have some crazy stories to tell when i get home. He said that they eat fish like an apple over there, like you catch the fish, cut the skin off and dig in. Hmmmmm sounds delicious! He also said that he had over 60!!! boils!!! i hope i don't get that many. Sunday was great, i love Sundays best day of the week by far! The fireside speaker was awesome, he was hilarious and had a very good message. One of the things that he did was have missionaries stand up. He had all the missionaries who have siblings who are currently serving a mission stand up and i stood up. That was a really cool experience and I'm so grateful to have a sibling serving a mission at the same time as me. Ofa atu Irma Michael! Sunday night i said bye to Elder Hoffman who left for Japan on Monday. Elder Makinati and i went to his residence to say goodbye to him, he is going to be a great missionary and will tear it up in Japan, it was weird to see him all packed up and ready to go b/c that's me in 5 days!!! it got me really excited about going to Tonga. Monday was great too, but i can't really remember anything that happened right now and i only have 4 mins left, sooooo Tuesday was awesome, i finished the Book of Mormon which was really cool, I've been waking up at 5:45 to read it and i really wanted to finish it be fore i left, a Haitian creole speaking district left Tuesday and it was sad to see them go. we were pretty close to them they are going to Florida Ft Lauderdale. The Devotional speaker on Tuesday was Bishop Edgley and it was really a great talk. Elder Makinati told me that a bishop from the Lynwood ward passed away it hit Paul pretty hard. I can't believe that i am leaving in 5 days.
i have loved it here at the MTC and have grown so much spiritually I love you alll
Ofa Atu
Eleta Maikolo