Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu

Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu
The Other Side of Heaven

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


  1. Ohhhhhhhhh I just love this so much! thanks for keeping this blog so we can be updated. We pray for these amazing kiddos every day and we love you all so much. It sounds like this is already been an amazing experience for him. He's such a dear. Keep the posts coming!

  2. Elder Maikolo, malolelei si'i fefe hake? Ko au Sisita Ilisa Johnson. I am so happy to hear the experience you have so far. Oku ou iloi e hanga e he Tamai Hevani o tokonii koe i he fonua ko Tonga. Hange koe moui a Elder Kolopoki, tokanga lau hoo folofola koe mea ia e vave ai hoo ako, pea ke lea mau pe ae lea faka Tonga. Oku ou iloi e vave ni pe hoo lea faka Tonga lelei. We pray for you and I am happy that you experience things that I experienced when I was growing up, taking a cold shower everyday, but we get used to it. I hope you doing well there in Tonga, send my love to your mission president, he is my cousin. Tell him that I come from Koloa, Vava'u. His grandfather and my grandfather there are brother. We love you and pray for you and you hoa and the rest of missionaries thoughout the world. Nofo a teu toki tohi atu later. Mau ofa atu.