Friday, August 30, 2013

The Tongan Experience


Mom, I'm surprised you actually let that lady in the house since you're such a worry wart-but that's a cool experience, though.  (We found a lady in our church parking lot who was going to be sleeping in her car and she had a mental illness.  We were going to let her stay overnight with us, but ended up contacting a transient bishop who put her up in a hotel for the night.  It was an interesting experience).  The Smith's experience at the Hill Cumorah Pageant is pretty cool.  It's interesting to see how the Lord puts people who are prepared to hear the gospel in our lives.  We ended up not having the baptism because the funeral was the same day and they were related somehow, so it got moved back to September 14th.  This week was interesting since that lady passed away.  All of our lessons for the week dropped since the majority of them were related to the Makasini clan-so lesson were super low.  At the same time, it turned out to be an alright week.  We did quite a bit of street contacting and found some potential investigators!  We also got in contact with some less actives.  Since it was a Tongan funeral, they had a BBQ every night this last week and it was super good!!!!!  They said they would go late into the night.It's so family members from all over could come over and bring things like money, food, and handmade Tongan mats.  It was pretty interesting.  They had the wake (viewing) on Friday night, but we didn't go.  The reason they call it the wake is because they stay up all night.  Then we went to the funeral Saturday morning.  It was good.  It was the first funeral I have been to and it was a Tongan funeral, so it was different I guess.  They focused a lot on the Plan of Salvation and missionary work, which was cool.  We skipped the burial since it was too far.  We did go to the lunch party afterwards and ate really good food!  (Shad always seems to bring up food!)  They mostly spoke in Tongan, so I didn't understand it, so we talked to Brother Makasini and he translated some of it, but then we talked with Bishop Fletcher and while talking to him, he asked what we were doing during Sacrament tomorrow.  We said, "Taking the Sacrament?...Bringing people?...Speaking?"  He was like Ya, you guys have revelation.  I just thought Oh Dang IT!!!  We only got the night before notice-great. We still had stuff to do that night.  So we briefly made our talks before church on Sunday, went to ward council, then spoke and surprisingly it went well.  He said those were some of the best talks he's heard and people came up afterwards and told us good job.  I'm not sure if people were just being nice or not-haha.  It went pretty well for preparing it a couple of hours earlier.  After church, one of the Makasini's daughter-in-laws came up and basically said she wanted to probably start taking the lessons.  The missionaries before tried to have her take them, but she said with the death of her sister-in-law, she felt sad and saw that those that were members had hope and a positive outlook about it and she wanted that, so hopefully, that will pan out.  Even though she passed away, it was kind of a blessin to soften some family members' hearts that we have been teaching!  On Thursday (sorry I'm jumping back) we had Zone Conference and that was pretty good.  President Watkins shared a good scripture for less active work in Luke 15.  That whole chapter is really good and I had never thought of it that way, but Zone Conference was great.  The missionaries from my last Zone were there, so it was cool to see them.  A lot of them asked me if I had gained weight-OH DANG IT!!!!!  It's only been about 3 weeks since I transferred.  Anyways, that was some of my week-it was pretty good.  It sounds like you had fun this last week.  Hopefully, all goes well with school starting and everything.  I know this is God's work and he He has prepared a way for all of us to share it one way or another!

Love ya,
Elder Whaley

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good/Bad Week


My new companion's name is Elder Dalton from Arizona.  He is not Tongan.  L. Taylor served a Tongan speaking mission?  Lucky!  I have learned a couple of words, but I don't know how to spell them.  It's interesting to learn about the Tongan culture.  They like to fight a lot-I know that.  I absolutely LOVE it here!  I got the package you sent-Thank you for that!  This week went pretty well until about Saturday.  We had quite a few lessons, got a baptismal date for hopefully this next Saturday, and visited quite a few people.  Last Saturday hit and it was a dead day.  All of our appointments cancelled because they were all from the Makasini family and their daughter had just passed away Friday from cancer and she had 5 or 6 kids with one on a mission in Tonga.  So, that was sad and made it so we had a difficult Saturday.  It seems like they're doing alright. They came to church on Sunday.  We are trying to see if we can help them out with anything.  Other than that, everything is going well here.  The ward is GREAT and the area is nice.  Hopefully, all is going well back home.  It sounds like you have had fun and good luck with school starting!

Love ya,
Elder Whaley

*I don't know anything about these pictures.  I'll have to try to get more info. from him.  I'm assuming the pics with the families may be families they've reactivated.  He mentioned that they have reactivated 5 families in his last area.

Headin' out for the day?

His apartment balcony?

"Some" of the stash that a member gave them.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Transferred to Redwood City


Well, I have moved to a new area.  The Redwood City 1st Ward in Redwood City.  Our address is 450 Redwood Ave. #20, Redwood City, CA 94061.  My companion is awesome!  (He didn't bother to give us a name.) He is 6'7", so taller than me, from Arizona and goes home next transfer, which kinda stinks!  This week was great.  All the people we visited this week were all Tongan except 1 family.  It's awesome!  (Shad really wanted to serve a mission in Tonga, so this is as close as he'll get).  I'm going to get fat because we get fed a lot.  We had 3 dinners the other night!  We are in a car 3 or 4 days out of the week and bikes the rest of the time.  The area is nice.  We cover Redwood City, part of East Palo Alto. and San Carlos.  This transfer should be good.  I'm excited!  We have quite a few people ready to be baptized!  I'm really liking the area!  Oh-before I left my last area, I got an electric guitar and amp at a flea market for $50, so now I have an electric acoustic guitar and a ukulele that I'm learning to play from my comp now!  He is really cool and I'm excited to serve with him.  We should be able to do some really good work in this area and he really wants to work hard and finish off strong before he goes home in September.  All the Tongans here are awesome.  They feed us so much here and they are really helpful.  All of them ask me what I am nationality wise or if I'm from New Zealand or they say that I look like Blake Griffin-haha.  This week was good.  We had quite a few lessons with investigators this week.  All of them are super cool, so hopefully this next transfer we will have some baptisms!  Other than that, nothing super exciting or super crazy has happened yet, but who knows, it's a mission.  I'm excited to serve in this ward-it seems really good so far!  It sounds like all is going well at home.  Hopefully, it continues to go well.  Love ya!

Elder Whaley

Playin' the guitar with his new companion?

Shad with ? family

Shad and Elder Carpenter with ? family.

Shad (in the cowboy hat and glasses) with some Elders


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Six month mark!


I am getting transferred, but you won't find out till next week since I won't find out until tomorrow.  If you could tell people to not send me things to my apartment, I would appreciate it.  Yesterday we basically went around to members' homes to say good-bye and we'll probably be doing that tonight.  I still have to pack.  Crazy!  It should be interesting to see where I end up.  I'm excited, even though I will really like the Moorepark ward!  It's time to move on.  It sounds like you have all been busy, which is good.  I don't think I've heard the talk about Lessons from Liberty Jail from Elder Holland.  You'll have to send it to me.  Well, nothing too exciting has happened, but this next week should be interesting.  I hope everything continues to go well.  Love ya!

Elder Whaley

Elder Whaley and Elder Vance with the ? family.

Elder Vance and Elder Whaley with the ? family.

Elder Vance with the ? family.

Elder Whaley and Elder Vance with the ? family.

Elder Vance, Bro. Paulsen (ward mission leader),
and Elder Whaley.