Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu

Elder Michael in Niuatoputapu
The Other Side of Heaven

Friday, September 28, 2012

Elder Maikolo and Elder I

Jacob met Elder I  before he left for Tonga....in Downey.  Now, Elder I is finished with his mission.  He went straight to the mission home (from the airport) to hand deliver cookies to Jacob (that Ellen made) .  Now, Jacob will go to his homecoming talk tomorrow in Tonga.
Now that is a Tender Mercy!

Baptisms, Temple, Niua and Elder I

Dear family,
This was really a very special week, it all started last sunday when Sky, the chinese man that we have been teaching for a while was finally baptized. It was really a special baptisim, the entire ward showed up for it and even President Tukuafu was there.  That night we had a "open House" a lot like a fireside, that's focus was on missionary work. Sky bore his testimony and shared the story of when he was in Niua and how he came to know that there is a God,  it was really a great testimony and set the tone for the entire fireside. President spoke as well as another man who went through 18 missionaries before he finally got baptized.  then the 1st counseler in the Stake Presidency spoke, he is from Niua, and talked abput the missionaries that taught and baptized him there. It has a very "niua' them to the fireside. That was just sunday, Monday we were very busy teaching and preparing people to be baptized. We taught again the 'Aho family, we taught about the Book of Mormon and committed them to read it and come to ward conference this sunday.  Tuesday was another busy daydoing Office work. Then Wednes day was really a remarkable day. It started off by having orientaion meetings with new missionaries who have just come from the MTC in NZ, they are suppose to go overseas but are waiting on Visas so they will work here in Tonga for a little bit until they get there visa.  After the orientation meettings Elder Fisher and I had the marvlous  oppourtunity to witness the sealing of a family in the Temple.  The mom, Silongo, grew up in the Church and has always been strong in the Church, she is the Relief Society President, her Husband, Elivisi, is a convert who was baptized last year, (his parent come from Niuatoputapu, another Niua connection) he is a high ranking  Officer in the Tongan Army. They have 3 children whose ages are 11,13&15. it was the first time for both of us to witness a sealing and it really was a cool thing to experience. President Tukuafu was there with too.  The spirit was so strong! Especially when the children walked in, wow that was amazingly powerful all white and everything. I wont ever forget how i felt in that room.  its cool to think i will be able to experience the same thing with my wife one day.  that was Wednesday, then on Thursday we had the baptism of Hulita Vai and Peni Hausia. I baptized Hulita, It was special as I hadn't performed a baptisim since June.  Then Yesterday i was on a Vilo Hoa (Comp Exchange) with Elder Tafea, who is from Beaverton Oregon, and only has 16 days left in the mission. His family comes from Niua and he served there after me, we are really close and had a lot of fun on the vilo hoa. oh and of course yesterday Elder I came by the office straight from the airpiort (the office is right next to his house) and drops off your package, i had just left the office so i missed him, but the office elders called me back and we drove back to the office and opened it and ate the cookies,. thanks so much for that, the plane ride wasnt good for them and they had crumbly but still tasty!! they really did remind me of home.  I loved all your letters, wow things really have been shaken up in the stake, things are changing, but the Church is still true!!  Then today i just got back from Elder I's house, i was so excited to see him, and i think he was excited to see me, we talked and laughed for like 20 mins. We found him at his mom's office working on reapplying to BYU-H, here is a picture, i thought that it was really funny that last time we saw each other we were both wearing suits, pants, and shoes, but today we were both wearing  tupenus (skirts) and sandels.  he says that he feels really weird to be home, he dreamed last night that he was still on his mission. we are going to have Pday tofay at the Liahona Gym and since he lives on Liahona campus he is going to try to gome over to play with us. i am going to try to go to his Homecoming talk tomorrow.
The great week is not over as fisi'inaua is being baptized today at 6 then tomorrow is areally busy day
I love you all so much thanks for all your love and prayers!

'Ofa lahi atu
Elder Maikolo

7 January 2013

Sept. 21, 2012
Dear Family and loved ones,
         This was another excellent week here in Tonga engaged in a mavelous work.  Elder Fisher and Mine office duties have been pretty light the past two weeks and that has allowed us for ample amount of time to go to the vineyard and do some normal missionary work.  Its really paid off, in the next 7 days from tomorrow, Sunday to next Saturday, we have 4 people being baptized.  Sky, the Chinese man that i mentioned a while back is getting baptized tomorrow and then next sunday he will be confirmed and his new-born baby will be blessed.  Then Fisi'inaua  the soldier who we have been teaching since July is finally getting baptized. I have never had an investigator bear his testimony with so much power, he has changed his life around completely and now wants his family to hear and accept the Gospel.  Then the two being baptized on Thursday are Hulita a 10 year old and Peni a 25year old man who was taught all the lessons and committed to baptisim earlier this year but then he left to a different island and it didnt work out. but now he back and wants to be baptized.  The only negative thing about these 4 being baptized is that we now have no other progressing investigators, so now we have to start finding more. There is a family that we just barely started teaching, they are pentacostal and one of their sons is a member and just entered into the Mission Field, he is serving here in Tonga. they are really nice and love talking to us, we have only taught them once but will go back next monday. Overall everything is going great here in the Other Side of Heaven. Im at peace with my deceision about going back, my unconfirmed realese date it the 7th of January. the one thing im kinda worried about to going home and just vegging out on the couch doing nothing, i want there to be something for me to do, maybe i can go to work with Dad or something, any ways it doesnt matter right now.   you all sound great, thanks so much for the pictures, that really was a great one of all of you at the back to school night, ellen looks great in an ASB sweater.

'Ofa lahi atu
Elder Maikolo
PS. I have a letter here that is to Grandpa Ralph for his 90th birthday, it will go out on monday and i wrote a lot of postcards to those people you gave me addresses for. Tell Mr. Navarez 'Malo e Lelei' for me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

o'ua lahi kae kou ma'u ha fiemalie

September 12

Dear Family

 Malo moe Lelei!   Things are going great here in Tonga! today we had the oppourtunity to go to the Temple.  Even though it was raining cats and dogs Elder Fisher and I went all over the west side of the Island in the big mission shuttle picking missionaries up to take to Liahona where the temple is.  At one of the Missionary homes the road was so flooded that the shuttle was more like a boat than a car it was pretty fun to dive in haha.    right now we are teaching a lady named Tala, she was baptized 3 years ago but has not been active in the Church and has alot of questions about small little things. for example she asked why the Gold Plates weren't kept around to testify to the world that the Book of Mormon is true, or why there are not the same names in the Book of Mormon and the Bible if they are both testimonies of Christ.   We listened to her questions and the thought came to both of us that we needed to teach her about Faith.  we shared with her Ether 12:6 which talks about that faith is a hope for things that are not seen but true, that scripture helped her understand why it was not important to have the gold plates around to prove that the Book of Mormon was true, we need to walk by faith rather than sight.  It is so much eaiser to teach lessons when investigators ask questions! some of the people we teach are scared or embarrassed to ask questions and it sometimes is hard to know their needs and therefore what to teach.  that is where the importance of asking questions to the investigator comes in, asking inspired divine questions to them to know what kind of situation they are in.  We are also teaching a lady from Arizona, Elizabeth, who is 43 years old married to a Tongan in one of the Villages we work in. she is penticostal and loves talking about God. The first time we taught her we taught a bit of every lesson because she asked many questions.  I have discovered that everytime we answer a question we end up teaching at least one principle of one of the Lessons.  the Gospel truely does have all the answers to all of life's many questions.  We gave her a Book of Mormon to read and committed her to read just the introduction, but next timewe met she had read everything from the Introduction to the 2nd chapter of 1st Nifai.  Currrently we are having a hard time finding a time to teach her because she wants us to teach her together with her husband.  hopefully we will be able to teach her this Sunday and set up a baptisimal date!!
 So last saturday Elder Fisher and i had the oppourtunity to go to Eua, it is a 6 min flight away from the main island. we went over for a training meeting for the 6 missionaries overthere. we flew over in the morning and few back the same afternoon, 8am to 5pm, it was our P-day (Fisher's and mine atleast) so after the meeting we went and eva (sight seeing) to the many cool natural wonders there. we went to the very southern tip where wild horses run around and watched us as we walked to the 'Cliffs of Insanity"!! Russell and aunt Melissa can tell you where that is from.  They honestly look the same asthe movie. it was those cliffs where you can throw things off but they come back! it is quite 'insane' hahahaha i threw my tie off and fisher threw both his slippers and they both can flying back we filmed it, pretty sweet. we also saw the huge land bridge. Wind and sea spray have eroded a huge massive opening in the cliff. it is really sturdy and can be driven over, ill attatch apicture of it so you can see it, it doesnt look big but it is, our house stacked on top of each other 3 times would still fit under it.
We had a great time overthere in Eua, Fish and I got sunburned pretty bad, but now atleast we have a tan, driving around in a car all day takes away ones tropical south pacific sun-tan. 
Yep well everything is going good, we have not nearly been as busy this week as last, yippee!!!  which gives us more time to park the car at home and walk around meeting people and feel like normal missionaries again.  I have had quite an amazing mission, I am having a quite an amazing mission. this is the funniest time of my life!!!  i LOVE SHARING THE GOSPEL!!

'Ofa lahi atu
Elder Maikolo

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Elder Michael and Elder Prescott in Eua


September 9, 2012

Wow dad  isnt it so wonderful to see the tender mercies of the Lord and how he has these miricles happen all around us all the time.  That is such a cool that the Lord allowed Hillary, the Portugues Missionary and former Portugal Mission President to meet randomly on a fast Sunday in Utah. The Lord does really know everything! theres no way that someone can say that is mearly just a coincidence. 
That is so weird to me that Brenden and Luke were both baptized, it feels like yesterday they were just 4 years old and now they are both 8!  wow that is a miracle that both Grandpa Herb and Grandma Ellen were there, that is a huge miracle in it self.  
We have had some miracles here in the Other Side of Heaven.  Yesterday we went to Eua the last Island group for me to visit, it is located just to the south east of Tongatapu and there are 6 missionaries on it including Elder Presscott.  We flew over (the flight is only 8 mins, yeah it is that close) to have a special monthly training meetting.  The Zone leaders went last month but Pres told us to go this month.  We were asssigned to teach to the Elders there what was discussed at the latest Zone Council which was held with all the Zone Leaders on Monday. This month the focus is Christ-Like Attributes and inproving our selves before we can help others come unto Christ. The meeting went really well, the missionaries participated and paid attention to the lesson.   The meeting ended about 12 and our flight back here wasnt until 5 so we had a little time to 'eva or go sight seeing. We had a member and his wife take all 8 of us to the other side of the island where there are these huge cliffs where the wind is so strong you can throw things off and they fly back, i threw my tie off and it didnt even get over the edge before it was blown back.  My Comp Elder Fisher threw both his slippers off and they both blew back it was really quite amazing to see. we also went to see a huge massive land bridge that is there, it is behind Elder Prescott and me in the picture.  it was a very  fun trip to Eua. the entire week was super busy, Monday we had Transfers, Tuesday we had Zone Council, Wednesday we had a "train the Trainers' meeting for the newly called trainers and went and picked up the New Missionaries from the Airport, Thursday we had New missionary orientation, Friday we had a zone meeting then Saturday we had the Trip to Eua, things have not really calmed down since Elder Watson left.

The above is the letter i wrote yesterday but didnt get the chance to send it, Mom & Dad thanks so much for writing me, i really neededto hear what you bot wrote, i loved that you both wrote me twice, about the same thing and it really was what i neeeded to hear.  I need to stop worrying, My comp calls me a worry-wart, i need to stop worrying and put all my energy to the Work and pray about what to do and really listen to the Spirit and follow what it tells me to do.  that is what i need to do. It will all work out in the end!
I love you both so much and am so grateful for parents like you both.
Ofa lahi atu
 Elder Maikolo
Ps tell Ellen i loved her letter and will respond later, also tell her to be careful driving the Karmen Ghia!

800 Miles

September 2, 2012

Well Mom sounds like you and everyone else is in for a load of fun this weekend hanging out with family and seeing Luke and Brenden baptized, can you please send me a picture, that is truly something special to see.  Tell all the familiy i love them and thank them for all their support and love.
  This past week was wild! and very spiritual & special at the same time.  i traveled around 800 miles so it was a bit tiring and took a very big breath when it was all over.  let me break it down day by day.  on monday Elder Watson and his sweet wife flew in from NZ.  We met them and then that evening we watched with them the FHE TV program that we filmed last Friday.  It felt really weird to see your own face on TV, and really emabarrassing to see yourself when you messup, it was a big messup but i used a slang word that probably could've been replaced by a more proper term.  any ways that was monday, then Tuesday we flew out to Vava'u, i really miss working there, so that was very fun for me to go back and see Elder Fainu, my last comp, and see allthe missionaries there that i new really well.  The conference went really well. there were two meetings one for all the leaders, DL&ZLs it was a small group only 8 missionaries, Elder Watson knows alot about leadership as he worked veryclosely with the past 7 Presidents ofthe Church and he shared some very helpful and important principles about leadership. he talked about planning. he asked all those missionaries who have less than 6 months left to raise their hands. It felt really weird to put my hand in the air, i think that was the first time it really hit me just how little time i have left.  He then said to us that we need to start planning for the future, what are we going to do when we get back? That got me really thinking, i need to know what i am going to do!!  Right now i think i am going to try to go part time for winter, maybe just go to the second block of the winter semester, they start on the 7th of March and then go for Spring and Summer, i really am going to try to get a job at the MTC. those are my plans right now, i really need to remember my Net ID so i can log in and start the process.  Mom i think i signed something before i left that will allow you or Dad to access my information here is my BYU ID# 07-916-7574 talk to hillary and see if that gets you any where. its sayshere on the card that it EXP on the 20 June 2012 so maybe that wont work. but give it a try.
Kae kehe
 So aftet the conference in Vava'u we flew back to Tongatapu, the very same day, we were in Vava'u maybe 6 hours.  Then we did the same thing on Wednesday for Ha'apai, my first time really going there, it is so pretty! not mountanious like Vava'u, but has the prettiest beaches in all of Tonga, white sandy beaches on everyside of the island.  we were there for maybe 7 hours, there are only 16 missionaries in all of Ha'apai many on tiny little islands where there is no Electrcity (like niua), they had to catch a boat to come to the main Island of Ha'apai to have the conference, they are sacrificeing a lot to servethe Lord. I saw my first son Elder Lakai, i was so happy to see him i almost dropped presidents projector haha.  That was anothe great conference,  Elder Watson talked alot about the doctrine of The Father, and how He is literaly the Father of our spirits and Loves us and Knows us.  Sister Watson talked about the 13 Articles of Faith and how they apply to missionary work.  I think i liked her lesson the best. Okay so then on Thurday we had the Conferenceon the Main islandTongatapu, we had about 66 Missionaries and 20 senior couples. that was probaly the busiest day going out and picking up everyone but we got through it
Okau well we have a teachign in 5 mins so we better go do that i will try to write more later
'Ofa atu
Elder Maikolo