Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where in the world is Elder Brooksby?

Hello Hello Hello!!! Where in the world am I? A very excellent question to be asked! I'll give you a hint... I'm ordering a name tag in a different language muahahaha! I've been transferred to the... Newtown 2nd Tongan Ward in the Waipahu Zone! So I'm now learning Tongan haha Woot! It's pretty fun trying to pick it up because all the meetings are in Tongan and everyone speaks Tongan but everyone also understands English so I'm good for a little while. I'm doing language study every morning and basically just trying to get the basics of a greeting down so far. Fe fe hake? Saipe? Saipe! Fe fe famili? Saipe? Io! Hakeha'o Eleta Brooksby(by the way nobody can pronounce our last name out here)! Ofa'atu uh? Io! Fakatumala Tokes! Lates. Whew. It's a tough one to get. There's a lot of diction work and some diphthong action and every second-to-last vowel in accented unless otherwise specified. And the "T" at the beginning of every word always sounds more like a D than a T. I've decided that I will learn and I will learn fast, because I really REALLY hate being the only "Palangi" (white person) in the ward and the only person wearing a translation device during meetings.

It's a very interesting area to serve in because since we cover all the Tongan's around here we cover over half of the island. So far I've seen a lot of the ghetto such as "Pu Town" (a sketchy area where there's a lot of gang activity and all the streets start with Pu, ie. Pupupua'ole, Pupuhake etc.) and "KTP" (a really big set of apartment complexes that are all bright pink).

And that brings up my first funny, or scary (take your pick) story of this transfer.

I always carry with me a blue bandanna in my back left pocket to wipe my hands, wipe my sweat, you know, all the glorious things bandannas are used for. So we go to meet these three kids who are all recent converts and all former members of the Tongan Crypts Gang. As I'm talking to them one of them he sees the blue bandanna poking out of my back pocket a little bit and says "Ho, you reppin yo colahs?" I realize he's talking about my bandanna and I say, "Nah I just keep it with me to keep dry." he says "Aw bad move brah. You get shot fo dat in here." I go "Oh for real Tokes? (tokes is an abbreviation for the Tongan word for brother Tokoyua)" he goes "Io, Eleta! (io means yes, and Eleta means Elder)" so from then on, as long as I serve in the city I will no longer carry the blue bandanna with me.

But I really enjoy working here, the members LOVE the missionaries and do a lot of missionary work themselves. In fact we go on splits with the young men every day. And there's a lot of work to be done here. I feel very blessed to be here this transfer because we've already had one baptism, and two more are set, and three more in the works! Because we're on Oahu we get to go the the Temple at General Conference time and in addition to that we get to go to the Temple again in two weeks to see one of our recent converts receive their endowment! It's a very special time here in Waipahu:)


Eleta Brooksby

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Big News!

Well, the big news is that Jared is being transferred off Molokai onto Oahu! He doesn't know where on Oahu he'll be going yet - but he's hoping for Laie!

Jared's not too happy about the timing of the transfer because he and his companion have 12 prospective baptisms this upcoming transfer, 3 of which are already planned. Also, he says that he's really going to miss the people there a lot.

He is especially sad because the father of the family they've been living with is at a wedding in Utah and won't be back before Jared leaves, so he won't get to tell him goodbye. Jared said that he's learned so much from him and that he's been treated like family.

Jared said that he now understands what Glen was talking about in a letter that he sent him. Glen talked about how you really miss everyone as soon as you leave the area. Jared said that he feels the same way - he will miss the people he's grown to know and love. But he also understands that such is the life of a missionary.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello from Molokai

We got an e-mail from Jared late Monday evening. He said that it's been a little depressing this past week because he'd think "Oh I bet Brett is going into the Temple right now!" "Oh I bet Brett is actually married now!" "Oh I bet the reception is awesome!" "Oh I guess the reception in New York is happening right now, and everybody that I know is going to be there!"

He said that he just couldn't dwell on it, and that he knew he was where he was supposed to be, and that he couldn't possibly expect life to press pause for him while he is gone.

Jared said that they have a couple who "already have a few keikis together (it means kids by the way pronounced cakies)." that have committed to be married and then baptized which is has made him really happy. He also said that they have some other people committed to baptism as well. He said the work is going well and he and his companion are working hard together.

Jared ended his letter by saying: "I guess in closing I ask that everyone remember how important family is with 9/11 a day ago and remember the things that truly matter in life and remember that you'll have to forgive someone pretty much everyday, so start practicing anticipatory forgiveness:)"

He asked that we give his best to those who are struggling with the weather right now, and who have lost so much.

I could tell by his letter that he misses friends and family right now. So if you've thought of writing a letter to Jared, but haven't quite done it yet - now would be a good time to do it.