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