Monday, September 7, 2015

Day 2 in Tonga - President Pearson's Visit

Sister Piatau met us at 8AM on Monday and we were soon on the road. Our first training that day was at Matahou, including FHC consultants and ward councils from Matahou 1st and 2nd Wards.   We had over 30 people at the Matahou training.  Afterward we went to the FHC to work with people on getting any eligible names submitted for temple work.   We also showed them how to check for and correct duplicates and how to resolve data errors.


After the training we were all tired and hungry, so we went in search of lunch.   Once away from the main town of Nuku’alofa, there are few places to find food.  We knew we would need to come better prepared for the rest of our travels on the island.  Fortunately, we were able to find a spot for lunch that day.  We had a nice break to recharge – although we all got a bit wet as it had started to rain.

Next we moved onto West Stake  to train Te’ekiu 1st Ward Council.  At this training one of the members provided translation services so all members could understand what we were saying. From that point forward, Sister Piatau provided translation.  In many places a lot of the folks spoke some English, and a few spoke English very well.  However,  in nearly every case there would be a small handful who would not have understood our message without the translation.

This is the sister who did the translation for us

We had no trainings scheduled that evening, being a Monday night.  So, we were able to attend a Family Home Evening for all the Senior Missionaries who were assigned to the Campus.  We enjoyed a delicious potluck supper and were blessed to hear Elder and Sister Pearson speak. (The Area President and his wife just happened to be traveling in Tonga doing a Mission Tour at the same time we were there.)  Both talks were very uplifting.  We particularly were touched by Elder Pearson’s statement saying that we are always moving in one direction or another – either toward deeper conversion or further into apostasy.  There is no neutral ground.  That gave us much food for thought!


Both Elder and Sister Pearson emphasized the importance of regular study of the Preach My Gospel handbook.  They reminded the Senior Missionaries that no matter what our specific assignments may be, even though we are not designated as proselytizing missionaries we are all representatives of Jesus Christ.  As such, we should keep our lives close to the spirit to be guided to know what to do and say in all aspects of whatever our individual activities may be.   We were promised that if we studied this book together daily in addition to our regular scripture study, we would feel closer to the Lord and to each other in ways that would be very dear to us.

We very much enjoyed being with the other senior missionaries to be taught by these special servants of of Heavenly Father.

Other nuggets from the Pearsons’ talks:

> Sacrifice & Consecration – we must rely on personal revelation to know what God wants of each one of us.  We are entitled to this by living worthily.

> The world is changing very quickly.  Those who stand for righteousness will soon become the minority. The world is increasingly offended by truth.  Wards and families may be as split as Lehi’s family was, based on who hardens their heart and who remains true.  We must frequently do a self-examination of our own hearts and be willing to stand firm in the face of opposition.

> Getting people to change their behavior is hard.  Teach correct principles but always error on the side of Mercy when dealing with those who stumble.

> Email and phone calls are great, but write some real letters home to your family.  Tell them both the blessings and the challenges of your mission.  Know that your families will be blessed with tender mercies of the Lord because of your sacrifice.

He expressed deep appreciation for the sacrifices we make to be here and said he knew our lives would all be made richer for these experiences.

We could not agree more!

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