The work is progressing... Tali is really shy but we are continuing to teach him, Tama is the man and is helping us out heaps. We have contacted most of the referrals from the youth activity but not a whole lot of success yet. We did meet a man named Kelemete Makalio this week though he goes by Kele (Kelli). He is definitely ready to receive the gospel. We thought he was a member at first and he even bore his testimony in Gospel Principles on Sunday with us. We had a lesson with him and he wants to be baptized on the 7th next month along with Tali. Definitely a blessing.
A whole bunch of things happened this week; we went to the movies, we had a mission conference with Elder Nielson of the Seventy, and I got a new companion. It is amazing how fast things can change in a week.
So before we went into the movie on Monday we received a call from President Balli. He asked to speak to Elder Johnson and we knew what was going to happen. He asked Elder Johnson to be a ZL in whangarei (fawnga ray is how you say it). He didn't seem too excited but we still managed to enjoy the movie with the Tuimualas.
My new companion is Elder Lloyd. He is from Cedar City. He grew up on a farm and wrestled in high school. He has been out for a year and a half. He was just serving on the Island of Rarotonga and that is mostly what he talks about which is definitely understandable. The island sounds awesome and seems like a completely different mission.
Before transfers, Elder Johnson and I spent Tuesday and Wednesday mostly saying goodbye to members that he knew. He had been here for 6 months so the members really loved him. We visited heaps of people but one visit was definitely my favorite. We went to see the Tuivai Family in the Tongan ward. They are a wonderful couple with no kids and they are crack up. We went over to their house and I was able to meet them both. Brother Tuivai is deaf and Sister Tuivai doesn't speak English very well. If anyone could have seen this visit I imagine they would have laughed there heads off. Just picture us in this small little flat, Elder Johnson is doing his best to keep up with Sister Tuivai speaking mostly in Tongan, and at the same time I am getting to know Bro Tuivai. Well, I don't know sign language and he can only lip read tongan so you can imagine how difficult it was - though not nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. He is 42 and his wife is 51. That day he read his Book of Mormon, took a nap, and they went to go to the store to get some fruit. On the way there they saw a SWAT team with 4 separate vans and a police helicopter circling in the sky. The police had guns which he had never seen before (guns are really rare here). After shopping he came home and worked in the garden with his wife. He took a shower and was just getting out of the shower when we got there. We were knocking but obviously he couldn't hear us so we just sat outside for a while until his wife came around from working in the garden. He explained to me that they had a doorbell specifically just for him, when you press it it turns on a blinking blue light on the ceiling. We hadn't pressed it so he didn't see that we were there - that was pretty cool how that worked. Over the course of our conversation I was able to tell him that I am from America, I am 18, I grew up in the church, and Elder Johnson was training me. I told him Elder Johnson is 21 and he asked if Elder Johnson ever hit me. I was confused and explained to him that he didn't and then he told me that since his wife is older than him, she always hits him. She realized what he was saying just then and got mad at him. It was hilarious. This guy was even cracking jokes - it was awesome.
We managed to communicate all of these things through a series of hand gestures and occasionally some full body gestures as well - definitely a lot of movement involved. Later I realized that the gift of tongues might extend to charades as well. He was definitely the Charade King and this was definitely another situation I never would have imagined myself being a part of a year ago. Man, I loved it!
Pretty fun week this week with a lot of new stuff. Change is hard but at least it doesn't feel as much like Ground Hog Day anymore that's for sure; new companion, I am now leading the area, and I am not really sure what is going on but that is okay.