So 30 years ago my dad served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints to Tonga. My parents are back visiting the Tonga Islands for the first time since my dad served there as a 19 year old boy.
Internet there is really slow so I will pass along the updates for the rest of the family to see (grandma, Leisa, Su, Terry and any other family that knows about this blog :)
Here is the first update.
Maloeleilei from Tonga. Well we have made into our second day on Tonga. I can't say it has
easy for either of us, but that's just the way it is. We didn't get much sleep on our all night flight
over to Tonga so we were pretty sleep deprived when we got here. Karen got in a little nap during
the day, but I didn't sleep at all. Last night we got almost no sleep. Between the rain storms,
fighting pigs, roosters, cats and dogs fighting and barking most of the night. Then at 5:00am the
church next door starting beating huge drums to call the worshipers to meeting and several other churches
started ringing thier bells to call thier worshipers to church.
Last night we went to the Temple here and it was amazing. I have been to many temples and this
is absolutely the most beautiful temple I have been in.
Tomorrow we fly to the northern Island group of Vava'u for three days and two nights from there on Saturday we will
fly to the middle island group of Ha'apai which is the most primitive and probably the most beautiful island group.
There we will stay for 4 days because that is the home island of our host and his family still lives there. They have
many small primitive islands with beautiful sandy beaches and Karen wants to spend some time relaxing on the sandy beaches.
After Ha'apai we will be returning to the capital city of Nuku'alofa. I think we will rent an apartment across from the
temple for that last couple of nights so that we can spend more time at the temple. The apartment has air conditioning,
a fridge and a washer and dryer.
The family loved the clothes that we brought. They are all immediately wearing them and enjoying them. One huge hit was
Hershey's chocolate candies they were devoured immediately
Karen is taking after her daughter Kaylee as the only thing she wants to eat is pastries and ice cream from the shops in the capital city.(Hehe when Kaylee and I went to Europe she was scared of the food and would only eat pastries and gelato, she missed out on a lot of good food and made herself sick. silly girl.) Everything is very expensive here. A single scoop of ice cream is $3. A three gallon container of ice cream
One story before I go on to the pictures. When we got to the airport in LA for our flight out we were standing in line to
check our baggage and get our seat assignments. We were in line behind a gentleman and his wife. They were both dressed
very nicely. He told us to go ahead of him as they were waiting for family members. I suspected that he was Tongan so in
the Tongan language I asked him if he was going to Tonga. He said yes and asked me if I was going. I told him that I was.
He asked why I was going. I told I was going on vacation with my wife and that I had served as a missionary there and my
mission president was President Hopoate. He looked at me and said "I am President Hopoate". We were all completely shocked
and hugs and tears ensued.
Now for the photos. gmail won't let me attach the files so look on Facebook for these files if I can get them on there. ( we didn't get any pictures attached or on facebook but I still liked the descriptions of the pictures, when/if we get them I will add them!)
3915 - My former mission president and his wife.
we flew from LA on the same flight
3922 - Our host Nalesoni Vimah
3982 - Friends that I ran into in town from my mission
3944 - Girls from our host family
3949 - Pigs in the front yard of the house. This isn't farm country
this is in the middle of the capital city
3971 - Me walking toward the beach
3973 - The boat that we go fishing in (honestly)
3986 - karen and David posing with guards at the Royal Palace.
3991 - Price of some items in town Cream cheese $20
4000 - Ran into some missionaries in town. The one on the right is from Houston Texas
4002 - Produce at the local Market. These are white yams
3012 - Karen helping with the cooking in the kitchen.
4020 - Karen drinking a coconut.
4028 - The cooking house of our hosts
4030 - The washing machine
4031 - Inside the shower. Only cold water.
4032 - The outside of the outhouse and bath house
I am so happy they finally went! I am sure they are having an amazing experience! I just wish I was there too! If I get any more updates I will let you know.
I just got off the phone with my parents they were able to call for a little bit. There was just a bit of a delay in the phone but they are having fun! I could hear pigs in the background. It is 6:30pm tomorrow over there right now and 11:30pm here in Texas. They were preparing a big dinner at my dad's old mission companions house with his family. My mom said their little 8 year old kept running by in one of my shirts that fit her and that she was not to sure of my parents but they keep giving her candy so she is warming up to them. She said they don't speak too much english so my dad does a lot of translating. Except for there older daughter who is 20 speaks great english because she went to the LDS high school in Tonga and they teach in English there. My dad's old mission president is now the Tongan Temple President and gave them a tour of the whole temple last night, they loved that. My dad says he is getting some great pictures and can send them tomorrow, so check back I will post them!