Our Mission Call
We have been called to serve in the Nuku'alofa mission in Tonga for 23 months. Becky will be serving as the mission nurse and I will be serving an ICS mission (technology training). We received our call in early September of 2016 but did not tell anyone until November (family). We didn't tell anyone in the ward until we spoke in Sacrament meeting on December 11, 2016. We thought it would be easier to just start preparing without any distractions until we got somewhat closer to our departure date.
When Becky and I received confirmation from the Spirit that we were supposed to serve a mission ... now! We started the process of preparing and submitting our paperwork in May of 2016, We had not even discussed the possibility of serving a mission at this time in our lives as there were still many reasons we felt we should wait. We had talked about the possibility of serving a family history mission or even working in a local mission office in a couple of years but really thought we would stay local and live in our home.
We felt guided and directed as we explored mission opportunities in the medical and technical areas that would match up well with our timeframe. When we submitted our papers we did request serving in Tonga but only because it seemed as though we were directed there. It was an amazing time in our lives as we felt very close to the Spirit and knew we were doing what the Lord wanted us to do.
When we received our mission call it confirmed our promptings and we immediately started taking weekly Tonga lessons via Skype and found that to be a fun and exciting process. Our first introduction to our instructor, Sister Pulupuna, was an email she sent us saying, "Hello, I'm your new best friend". Sister Pulupuna is such a wonderful bubbly and positive person, you can't help but love her right off the bat.
We also had the opportunity to experience a Tongan emersion experience at BYU for 5 days in late November. Where we had much more in-depth language training and learned everything from Rugby rules to Tongan dances. We met so many wonderful Polynesians during the week who volunteered their time to meet with us and teach us. What a wonderful and spiritual week.