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Sunday, November 6, 2016

November 2016

Our Sunday, Novemebr 27, 2016 / His Monday, November 28, 2016

I am hanging in here in Tonga!

I have pictures this week, and I am able to send them to you through my new fancy cable that you sent me. I did not even realize it was thanksgiving back in America. It is weird being in a different country during thanksgiving because no one celebrates it other than America and Canada. So when the day came, everyone treats it just as another day of the week. People here are starting to prepare for Christmas. Some people are putting up Christmas trees and lights. However Christmas is not as big here as in America. Although I’m not sure anywhere is as big as America’s Christmas.

What did I do this week? To be honest I am not sure what really happens. We walk a lot. Probably around 8 to 10 miles a day. I eat a lot. Anywhere from 2 to 7 times a day. I sleep from 10:30- 6:30. I try to do as much work as I can.

Oh I also had a baptism this week. It was pretty easy teaching her because she grew up with some pretty strong members of the church in her family. Nonetheless, we were only able to contact her by asking someone for a referral. This relates to lots of our lives. We each have many blessings in store for us. Lots of times we need only ask other people for help for our Father in Heaven to help us with our needs.

It is almost Christmas! Mixed feelings about this one coming up because it will be my first one away from home in a completely different country. But I have people offer me to make anything I want on Christmas and they will do their best to make it. I might have to take someone up on that offer!

On our p-day (preparation day), we don’t need to prepare anything for the week accept get haircuts really. All of the members take care of us. We give them our laundry, they feed us, if we ask they will sew us new clothes. Mission president said to not schedule work till 5 because he knows the importance of p-day. I could go play volleyball but it is really hot right now.

Everything is going well. It is getting hotter in Tonga but that is the only real thing I can complain about.

Elder Bethke

By the way Missy, Masima in Tongan means Max. Masi means boy. But people often shorten Masima to Masi anyways. It seems that I was meant to go to Tonga because you called me Massi before I was even called on my mission!

"Pictures from our baptism."

"Me eating my beloved chex mix."

Our Sunday, November 20, 2016 / His Monday, November 21, 2016

Let’s see...We moved the puppies when they started to walk around and out of under our house. We put them in the neighbor’s yard. We told them before that they had puppies under our house but we just kept them until they could walk out.

This week was the start of a new transfer out here in Tonga. This means that transfers are on Christmas, well your Christmas not my Christmas. So it might be hard to contact everybody that day. But we will just have to wait and see. Not much happened this week but I’ll just tell you about a couple of my investigators.

Remember the man that I baptized a while back? Well now we are teaching his daughters the missionary lessons. Nikola (the father) has really become a strong member in the church. He has received the priesthood and has just started blessing the sacrament last week. And as I said before, he invited us to teach some of the rest of his family. So far we have taught both of his daughters twice and we have a baptismal date set in the future. 

Another investigator we have was pretty random and pretty cool. We went around all three wards we work in and committed all the members to search for an investigator for us to teach. So it comes to be Sunday and someone comes up to us at church and tells us "I have an investigator for you. I think she will be ready to be baptized next Saturday." We told him we will maybe be ready to baptize her then, there is still a lot she needs to do in just one week. But we taught her once and she is pretty cool. Her name is Neila.

Everything is going well in Tonga. I hope everything is going well in the States.

Elder Bethke

Our Sunday, November 13, 2016 / His Monday, November 14, 2016

Everything is going well in Tonga! My first transfer is over and I am staying in Ha'ateiho for another transfer. This is a nice area though, I like the members here.

For about the past weak and a half it has been raining super hard in the mornings and then by 12, the sun comes out and makes everything super humid. It is quite annoying because we have to walk through puddles and mud and we get our tupenus all dirty.

We went to the temple this week and it was a lot of fun to go to the temple again. It was nice to go back after a couple of months. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to go. The temple was in Tongan, but they have some English Tongan speakers there that were able to help me. It was way cool.
I got to go to a feast this week at someone’s house. They had a feast because one of their daughters graduated from high school, one of his sons got married, and it was his wife's 50th birthday. The guy that threw the feast got a silver medal at an international Taekwondo tournament in Korea. He represented Tonga in the tourney. It was a lot of fun to go to his house and eat food.

Some of my investigators:

Maki- he is a teenager and so far we have only taught him one lesson. We met him at a program one of the wards set up to play volleyball every week. It is a cool program. People just play volleyball and bring their friends. I play volleyball and teach after. It’s quite cool.

Nikola's two daughters- we baptized Nikola a little while back and it is kind of a Tongan tradition to follow your dad’s church. So we are working on building the desire to be baptized.

Malekai- we finished all the lessons and are just waiting for the parents’ approval. However we have been waiting since the beginning of last transfer...

Tali- He is a 9 year-old who has ADD, so it was tough to keep his focus on the lesson. We have finished the lessons, however, one of his parents said no to baptism...unfortunate.

Tonga is really pretty. It rains a lot. It is getting hotter. I am still learning the language. I am doing my best. I am happy.

Elder Bethke

P.S. We had pig brain at the other day. Some people will tell you it tastes good, well they are liars. I do not recommend it. I'd say a 2-star rating at best.

"I got to see my district at the MTC at one of my 12 week training meetings​."

"My companion walking on water after a heavy rain in the morning​."

"Uta (farm land)​"

"At a beach in our area​."

"​Our district at the temple​."

"Me and Elder Fiso in front of the temple​."

"This is at the feast. They had different carved watermelons on all of the tables. It was pretty cool.​"

"Some of the food I ate at the feast. Not sure what that red shrimp thing is but it was pretty good.​"

"Me feeling the refreshing breeze​."

"Sunday afternoon traffic​."

"My neighbor's yard​."

Our Sunday, November 6, 2016 / His Monday, November 7, 2016


I wouldn’t worry too much about my Tongan visa because if I don’t get it in 6 months, they send us to work in New Zealand until I get my visa. That would be pretty cool.

Not much has happened this last week. And unfortunately I’m unable to send pictures this week, but I will next week, hopefully. I do have pictures to send. Next week is the end of my first transfer. I have a feeling that I will be split up with my companion because we are covering another ward that is not originally in our area. We think one of us might move there. I could also go off onto an outer island which I think would be a lot of fun. Maybe serve in the same island as Kolipoki. If I do get transferred there, I’d either have to take a 22 hour boat ride, or fly. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

My companion and I are working hard with a couple of our investigators before our transfer ends. We think we might finally get the parent’s permission to baptize one of our investigators which would be great. We are currently teaching 3 kids and all of them are pretty sweet. Should be an eventful Saturday.

I am sad because I didn’t get to eat bat last week. I hope that I get the chance this week. I’ve heard people say it’s really good and also some said that it is terrible. I will be judge of that.

All is going well, working hard.


Elder Bethke