Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saturday, Feb. 22nd

We did the normal Saturday things, washing, cleaning, shopping and even found time to relax a little. The big event for today was the cultural night for Elder Andersen. I will kind of be glad when this weekend is over and we can get back to normal. The power washers have been going non stop on the Liahona campus. All the curbs and fences have been repainted, all the lawns mowed and bushes trimmed, flower beds have been replanted and everything is in tip top shape. It is amazing the amount of work these people go to when a high ranking church official comes to Tonga.

We went to the Ateli Stadium tonight for the Cultural Celebration. It was amazing!! Over 3,000 youth danced traditional Tongan dances for Elder Anderson and his wife. The costumes were beautiful and the music was fantastic, but the best part was the light in the eyes of those young men and young women. You could feel of their goodness and it was powerful. Along with the chuch authorities, the Prime Minister of Tonga came tonight. He spoke after the dances. He was very impressed and very moved by what he saw. He talked about the importance of the young people in the Tongan culture and how they needed to be good like what he saw there tonight. His son came out with one of the stakes. They introduced him as “not a member - yet”, but he has been attending mutual at one of the wards and he wanted to participate in the program tonight. It was a little hard to tell how his father felt about that, but everyone is hopeful that the son will join the church. After what he saw tonight, perhaps the Prime Minister will not be apposed to it.

Elder Anderson told the youth that when he gets back to SLC and tells President Monson how wonderful this celebration was, he is going to say, “I wish I had been there!” He was so impressed with our young people and he was very complimentary about everything that happened tonight.

When the evening was over, we went out to get in the van and go home. While we were in the celebration, the AP’s came and took the van to pick up some elders from the boat. They weren’t back yet. We stood outside -- in the heat-- and watched everyone else go home while we waited for them to come back. We asked the Mission President, as he left, if we could get in the back of one of the big trucks that was going our way and ride home. He said, ”NO!!”  He got right on the phone and got ahold of the missionaries. It wasn’t too long - only about a half an hour - before they were back. We had fun saying good-by and good night to everybody as they left. All in all it was a good night.