Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 10 in Tonga - Return to Tongatapu

We finished up our work in Vava'u on Tuesday.   Just one woman came in and there were all sorts of problems with the data in her family tree.  I spent a long time with her trying to get it all sorted out.  Because Tongan names were still so unfamiliar to me I could not tell which were men's names and which were women's.  I'd never seen no many vowels!  I had some struggle clarifying which names belonged to which relationships and got muddled more than once.  But together we persevered and finally had her family lines showing up right.


We left the FHC about noon so we could go do our final pack up and tidying of the campus house where we had been staying.  Then we were off to the airport to turn in our rental car and wait for our flight back to Tongatapu.  There is no car rental office at the airport, but we had the phone number to call the Avis rep and she came out to meet us to pick the car up.  We had been driving a red 4 wheel drive that had A LOT of miles on it (over 122,000 kilometers)  The driver's side window got stuck rolled down at first and the vehicle was a bit rough.  But it had gotten us everywhere we needed to be and we appreciated the good customer service.

After we had been waiting for a while, several of the ITEP people showed up – some senior missionaries from America and some employees of the school there in Vava’u who were all traveling on the same plane as us to Tongatapu.   Among them was the Stake Clerk who had attended our final training.  He raved about our training and said over and over again how much he had gotten out of it.   He specifically mentioned the exercise about telling family stories and connecting feelings to the Spirit of Elijah as having been very powerful for him.   He said it had been such a special experience he replicated it with the teachers at the school that he worked with.   We felt good knowing we had made such a positive impact for him.

Kepiloni L. Savou 
We landed in Tongatapu with just enough time to spare to re-rent a car, dash back to the campus to stash our suitcases and put on fresh shirts, then head out again for another training for one of the ward councils in Central Stake. We knew the FHC director there well from our previous trip and had a nice time catching up with her.   When asked if they had ever submitted a family name only two of the council raised their hands, so we were anxious to help then understand the importance of this.  They did not stay after the presentation to sign into the computers, but we got positive feedback and we challenged them to come back to the center another time to have the director or consultants assist them.

It had been a LONG day.  We were tired.  So we packed up our stuff and headed back to House 25 at the Liahona Campus to get some much needed rest.

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