Sunday, March 23, 2014
INTERESTING EXPERIENCES (TENDER MERCIES)
While we were in the Service Center one day this week, we ran into Lavenia Fonua. She is one of the Public Relations people for the islands. We work with her a lot. She had a lady with her that we didn’t know. When Lavenia introduced us her friend, the lady got this look on her face and then she asked Alan if he had served a mission in Tonga when he was a young man. When he said yes she got so excited and said, “You’re the one!” Alan asked, “the one what?” She asked him if he remembered Sipa Saekona from his mission. Alan remembers him well. He was his favorite mission companion. This lady is related to Sipa and she told us about a young man in their family, Sipa’s nephew, whose name is Webby. He was named after a palangi missionary who served in Tonga with Sipa. What are the chances of ever meeting this lady and of having her tell us that story. It was a tender mercy and what a thrill for Alan to know that there is a Tongan man out there somewhere, named after him. I loved it!!!
Sister Feahoko is a wonderful Tongan lady that makes beautiful Tongan crafts and jewelry. I had ask her to fix a cord for me so that I could wear my mother’s wedding band on it as a necklace. I have almost lost it twice over here. Before I got back to her shop to pick it up a couple of the senior sister were in her shop looking at jewelry. They saw a necklace that they loved and one of them wanted to buy it. Sister Feahoko said that she had made it especially for me so she wouldn’t sell it. When they told me how much they loved my necklace, I was confused because I knew I had not ordered it.
On Tuesday Alan went out the see President Feahoko, the Stake President who is Sister Feahoko’s husband and while he was there I asked him to pick up the cord necklace for me. I hadn’t told him about the other necklace because I really didn’t know much about it. I gave him $10.00 to pay for the cord and off he went. When he got there Sister Feahoko asked if he had come for the necklace. He said yes and asked how much he owed her. She said, “one fifty”. He handed her the $10.00 and waited for his change. She gave him the necklace and a funny look and then said, “It is one hundred and fifty.” Alan about fainted. He was so embarrassed, he didn’t have that much money with him. She explained to him that it was a necklace she had made especially for me from black coral. Black coral is very rare. It is only found deep on the ocean floor and now it is no more. It is found hundreds of feet below the surface and only scuba divers can get to it. Now it is forbidden to bring it up. This was the last black coral that she had. In the past she sold a necklace like the one she made for me for a lot more money, but she wanted me to have it at a good price. Alan was so shocked at the necklace and the price, that he forgot to ask about the cord that I sent him for. He promised to come back the next day and left.
I went with him to pick up the necklace. It is gorgeous! I asked Sister Feahoko if I had ordered the necklace and she just looked at me and said, “I made it especially for you.” I guess I will never know how this all came about, but knowing my mother and my grandmother I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some devine intervention. They both loved beautiful jewelry and this piece is certainly beautiful and unique. They probably thought that I had to have it. So somehow it happened. It may take Alan a little while to get over it. He doesn’t usually give me jewelry but this is a perfect 40th wedding anniversary present. I really love it!