Been in Tonga now for a week and it's definitely a SHOCK! So I'll start from the flights, the flights were on time and worked out good. It was awesome to call home and hear how everyone was doing and hearing your voices! The 14 hour plan ride to new Zealand wasn't that bad, I was going have a whole row to myself but then this buff guy came and sat at the window, turns out he was an UFC fighter. his name was Patrick Berry I think! But we seriously talked for like 5 hours! He was hilarious, way down to earth and we even got talking about the gospel a little bit. but then we both took Nyquil and knocked out for the rest of the plane ride so that was fine! So we arrive at the Tongan airport and it's one where you like walk out onto the runway, so very small. we had to wait in this huge line for immigration stuff and it was so hot and humid, their AC here is just fans! which is ok if you are in the shade but all in all you are ALWAYS sweating! So we meet the mission president and his wife and went to the mission home to eat and rest up a little bit. That first night all the newbees just slept in the mission home and then the next morning we were assigned companions and our areas.
I am serving in the area LongoLongo 1st ward. I'm still on the main island so its pretty civilized but definitely very poor and third world! I'll show some pictures. but my comps name is Elder Hefa. He's from Ha'api and barely speaks English... I was and still am struggling with communicating. BUT I was blessed right off the bat with this kid named Mone, his bishop has asked that he basically live with us and come with us everywhere and he went to Liahona School so he knows English! But basically I'm teaching myself EVERYTHING because my trainer won't and can't do anything for me. It was honestly a struggle the first couple days because I was just thinking I wasn't ever going to get the language and be able to fulfill my purpose as a missionary. I spent the first couple of nights praying for the gift of tonges and a way to be comforted! the culture is so different and is hard to get used to. BUT I have changed my attitude! I have felt peace and comfort, I know that is from your prayers! so just please please please keep them coming! I seriously need every bit of help I can get.
The work is good, we have two investigators and both were previously committed to baptism so we may be having two here in the next little bit which is kinda cool. Lessons and talking with people I still have no clue what is going on half the time so I"m working on that and the food has surprisingly been way good! haven't gotten sick or anything like that so that's been good but yeah the members here really take care of you.oh yeah that's the other thing, missionaries aren't allowed to cook for themselves. theres a set list for you to go to a member's house for lunch and dinner, there isn't a breakfast here so I'm always hungry in the morning! We played volleyball today and when they say that I could play and hit they all screamed " YOOOOO PALANGIIII" (the word for a white boy) haha it's funny! but its growing on me, already got a tie stolen from me and I called the guy out on it haha don't know if that was good or bad to do but I let him keep it. but other than that things are rolling. still feels weird that I'm a missionary cuz this isn't ANYTHING like how I thought a mission was gonna be so it's been tough but I'm trying my best to make the most out of what the Lord has thrown my way! I love you all and hope everyone is doing great! I miss ya guys and hope that Christmas will be great! its weird knowing that it's snowing there and I'm sweating here hahah oh well gotta get used to it! cant wait to hear from you guys next week!!
LOVE ELDER LARSEN!!!!