Malo Elele!

Hello my friends!

Real quick. I’m loving the Tongan Stake and I lied about the
boundaries. The Stake goes really far, but we only cover 5 of the 21
wards. We just cover Tooele, Magna, and West Valley. We live in a
Senior Living Center- it’s pretty sweet. We go to the gym every
morning as Vasa, which is nice- it means I won’t get “feti”. The first
couple of days I didn’t really like this area, but that was mostly
like a culture shock. Just the way they think is different and the way
they communicate. I’m starting to get it though. One problem is that
half the time my companion is speaking to the people in Tongan and I
have no idea what’s ever going on, haha. I’ll hear the, say palangi
(white person) and I’m like “oh, they’re talking about me” then they
laugh, then I feel self conscious. I am too “si’i si’i” or small, so
they all tell me I need to eat more. On that note- I love dinners
here. In one week we’ve received $200 instead of people feeding us.
The first day they gave us a fifty. It’s crazy. They are all very
giving.
I love church, everyone sings loudly and does a lot of harmony- good time.
My grammar has also gotten a lot worse. Like I gave a talk in one of
the wards, and I said things in the wrong tense and mix up words, but
I was realizing I was just picking up how a lot of the more
traditional Tongans speak.

I’m having a good time and loving life!
We had a pday Activity and it was all focused on being vulnerable and
opening up- it was awesome, but so awkward. A guy came in and he has
designed a program for work places and such (a missionaries is meeting
with him, so he offered). We had to do things like tell someone your
deepest insecurity, or what’s something that is an internal struggle.
Man, crazy stuff got said. We also had an exercise where we had to
stare into another persons eyes for 4 minutes. It was awkward. The big
thing I pulled from it though is that we’re all so flawed. We all have
huge struggles and we put on these masks, because we think others will
think less of us. If we could be more open I think we’d all be a lot
more happier.

Ofa atu! (Love you in Tongan)
Elder Palangi Dolan

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