Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tongan Devotional and Pickled Mangoes

Today was the Tongan Devotional. Each of the 6 villages holds a devotional every year. June is always Tonga.

We missionaries have come to love these events. There are always talks by the students about what they have been learning by going to school and working here in Laie. They are so humble and inspiring. We Americans forget how blessed we are to have the plenty that has been poured upon us. These students speak of living in poverty, many times without electricity or running water. They talk about the opportunity to come here, and how difficult it is at first to live in a completely foreign society, but also how wonderful it is to have a piece of home with them every time they come to work.

Here are a few pictures of today's devotional:

We started with a flag raising ceremony

We sang hymns in Tongan

We listened to speakers.  Siope Tafuna spoke on mamahi'i me'a, or Loyalty. He related how King Taufa╩┐ahau became the first Christian ruler of Tonga and the courage he displayed when he placed his people under one God. The King stated, "God and this kingdom are my heritage."

Siope Lani Tautua'a spoke on loto to, or humility. She joked that she is known as the loudest and most talkative one of the village, but then she spoke about Queen Salote, who humbled herself while attending Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and how that humility and love of country helped others to become interested in her beloved island nation. She stated that she was very grateful for the examples of humility that influences her as she serves at the PCC.

The subject of Faka'apa'apa or respect was handled by Etuate Cocker who conveyed how he learned to recognize through working at the Tongan village how much his father sacrificed to raise him and his siblings. His father's love and care was a true example of respect for his family.

Akanesi Ahonima presented the virtue of tauhi va or maintaining relationships. This could be your relationship with God, with family and friends. It could be everyone around you. How can you accomplish this? By loving one another. There is no other commandment greater than this.

After we were greatly inspired, we were greatly fed. Elder Jones and I are getting used to all of the various Polynesian dishes. Hey, I even ate Tongan raw fish, and LIKED it! There was also this amazing coconut bread in a caramel sauce. Soooooooooo good!


One other fun activity happened last weekend. I was given the assignment to pick mangoes and make pickle mangoes. Normally this is not a difficult assignment, but I had to take it a step further and try different varieties, menus and methods.  I now have pickle mangoes coming out of my ears....or at least my fridge.

Here's the funny part.  I appears that Elder Jones has a bad reaction to mango sap. This is actually not unheard of....except by us.  The mango plant is from the same family that gives us poison oak. So, for the last week Elder Jones wakes up, takes a shower and (don't ask me why it happens this way), comes out looking like Popeye - one eye squeezed shut, tingly lips, and itching like mad. Benedryl keeps him sane, but let me tell you, we are SURROUNDED by ripening mango, so I am trying to keep things clean, clear and away from him. For those who know him, you will know that the most difficult part is keeping HIM away from the mangoes. He loves em! Swollen lips be danged!

He's so fun.

Anyway, I blogged about my experience making pickle mango, along with providing two recipes for them in our Shop! Polynesia online Food Blog. Take a look if you are interested:

We have a big announcement in a couple of weeks and I will be blogging about my upcoming Scuba Diving certification class (Elder Jones conned me into it....and yes, I am a nervous wreck!!)

We're still having a GREAT TIME over here. Drop us a line sometime!

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