|Sione (John). He has tattoo's completely covering|
his right arm and his hair was not pulled back.
We thought he looked just like the character Maui
from the movie Moana.
We pulled into the gas station to fill up the van and saw this man sitting there. I told Becky that I would love to have his photo and she told me to go ask. I wasn't sure but what's the worst that could happen???? So I ventured over and asked, "Are you okay if I take your picture"? His dour face lit up in a smile as he said, "Sure". I told him why (see photo caption) but he insisted that I be in the photo and had one of his friends snap the shot. Unfortunately, by this time he had pulled his hair back and he is turning a little bit sideways, and you can't see his right arm, so it really doesn't do justice to the way we first saw him (this Sione is not a member or the Church).
The very next day we were walking down the hallway in the building where our old office was located and we ran into this very large Tongan. We loved the shirt and thought it was one of the most appropriate "meme's" we had seen in a long time so of course we had to take the photo. He is about 6' 4" and as you can see, pretty solid. He also had the Tongan scowl ... which lights up into a smile for any photo op. I probably should have had Lepeka stand next to him so you could see his size as well.
|Left, Elder Timote Kau (Mr. Tonga 2015) Right, Pres. Tui'one|
Not a small man himself.
|I added this just to give a little more perspective to Mr Tonga 2015 (far left)|
|L-R, Elder Lavaka (Australia) and Elder Takelo (Tonga)|
|Elder Lavaka (near)|
Elder Takelo (far)
I mention these men in this blog for a few reasons; I have found them all to be very humble soft-spoken men who have one purpose in life right now and that is to serve the Lord. From large to average to small, the Elders and Sisters here in Tonga are serving because they have testimonies of the Gospel and want to do the right thing. I have seen them in action, they are bold and yet respectful. Their real desire at this time in their life is to bring others to Christ.
|Loto Road ... one of the main roads that runs|
right in front of the Liahona campus. This tree
is about 1 mile East but as you can see, it hangs
over the road.
You frequently see cars with dents and broken windshields (from falling coconuts) everywhere. Most of these occur when the cars are parked in an area where the trees are unavoidable. It is not uncommon to see cars driving around with these broken windshields as long as there is still some clear spot for the driver to see where they are going. I'll try to get a few photos to include in a future post.
Mother's day is almost here so I want to take just a few lines to publicly thank my mother for the wonderful person that she is (Yes, I will still call her on Mother's Day). I love to hear her share her testimony which she does to me regularly now in email. I am so thankful that when she heard the truth, she did something about it and was baptised. Not once have I ever known her faith or testimony to waver. I always felt so loved by her and dad (even when I may not have deserved it). She always made my friends feel welcome and is the first one to include any and all who have touched her life into her family circle. Step children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, ex-sons and daughters-in-law, neighbors, people she met in foreign countries that she grew close to and just about anyone who needs a friend. She never speaks ill of anyone. She has made and donated so many homemade products to charity and to the needy. She built a house in El Salvador (she provided the way and donated thousands herself). She has had to slow down a bit in recent years but she has not stopped giving. I could go on and on because she truly is the most Christ-like person I know. I want to emulate so many of her wonderful qualities and her example of service is definitely one of the main reasons I am serving a mission with my wonderful wife. I love you mom!
I have also been blessed with a wonderful wife. We have always been best of friends since we were married over 22 years ago but we have really grown close spending all day every day with each other. We have had some others tell us that spending 24x7x365 with their spouse can really get to them at times. I can honestly say that has not been the case for us (Lepeka may have a different take) but hey, I'm writing this. I love spending time with her. We laugh and joke, we share spiritual experiences daily that bring out tears of joy. We kneel and pray together many times each day. We see and take care of the sick and injured missionaries. We also often see people in the Tongan community who have health issues and our hearts aches for them. She helps me teach technology to others without complaint and even waits on me as I work to solve issues that can take hours in some cases. We drive literally thousands of kilometers each month cooped up in a car together. Yes, we literally spend 24x7x365 but we are never cross or irritated with each other. I love her ... she is my eternal companion and I want to be worthy of her so I try hard to always do the right thing and do my best to become a better person every day. I love you Lepeka!
I'll close this blog with a few random photos that I hope you enjoy.
|Lepeka's new hair dresser. Haircut and style is $15.00 TOP (about $7.00 USD)|
She always gets a tip too. Hair color by Miss Clairol is a bit more but Lepeka
has been doing that herself at home (don't tell Heidi Raso).
|Tongan sunset just outside our front door. You can see the men's dormitory for |
Liahona High School.