Elder Pili's mission parents, President and Sister Fehoko, greeted them, fed them, and orientated them all on the first day. Elder Pili was able to call home to let us know they arrived safely. The excitement in his voice ensured us he was ready to get to work. The weather was beautiful, the drivers were crazy, and he was happy to be there. Thank you Fehokos for taking care of him for the next 2 years!
The missionaries were in for a long trip. Left the MTC at 2pm on August 1st, left SLC at 6:50pm, left Los Angeles at 11:15pm (+ 2 hour delay) and had a 15 hour flight to Brisbane, then a 5 hour layover in Brisbane, then a 6 hour layover in Port Moresby = arriving 6 1/2 hours late to Lae.
Dad and Elder Pili
Surprise! Jojo, Baby Jojo, Lauryn, and Dad surprised
Elder Pili on the Front Runner
Mom and Elder Pili
The Pili Tribe - one last time for 2 years
Twinners! Lauryn and Elder Pili
PNG missionaries with the mamas
Elder Pili with Pili girls (and Tiena)
Elder Pili and his parents
PNG missionaries ready to leave Utah
Missionaries in Port Moresby airport
A flight filled with missionaries - SLC to Los Angeles
Basically two more days here in the MTC and i'm so excited!!! It's been an amazing experience here and i'm very grateful for what i've learned here. Everything here is going well. The Branch President and the MTC President came to my room one night, and i assumed they were there to give me an assignment or something until they pulled out their wallets and said "How much for that tie?" haha we chatted for a while and told jokes all night then I just gave them whatever ties they wanted lol the next day they came back with all these nice ties for me lol so i have some pretty nice ties now @ tolu and dad! On wednesday I was able to be a host for the new Missionaries and that was such a fun experience, not only because I wasn't the "new guy", but also because I got to leave the MTC for a whole 15 minutes haha I hosted a kid from Tahiti, a kid from Fiji and a girl from australia. That was SUPER cool! The two boys couldn't speak english, but the girl spoke french and fijian so she had to translate for me because my french and fijian is kind of rusty lol so since then, we've been eating lunch with them and hanging out with them as much as we could, and then one day, the girl from australia comes up to me and tells me that the boy from Fiji wants me and Elder Ulu'ave to know that he's been praying for a friend because his only friend back home had passed away, and that when he met us, he knew that his prayers had been answered.
One morning, we had a knock on our door at 3am...we opened it and it was Elder Latu. He expressed to Elder Ulu'ave and I that he leaves to the airport for Atlanta, Georgia in a few hours and that he was so nervous. We knew something was wrong and so instead of kicking him out (lol) we got up to talk to him and he soon asked for a blessing. Giving a blessing is something that i've always been scared to do, but the spirit was so strong as we gave it and neither of us were nervous do be doing it. When we were done, he told us that he feels a lot better and then we just stayed up till he had to leave. Like i said before, the spirit here at the MTC is amazing! The spirit has you do things and promise things...and when you say it, you KNOW that those actions and those promises aren't coming from you. When they say the Lord speaks through you, it's SO TRUE and i can't wait to be able to feel the spirit in PNG next week!!! There's actually a girl here from PNG and when we told her where we're serving she said "ohhhhh. Make sure you pray a lot." hahaha for some reason, everyone keeps telling us that lol
I miss all of you and I hope everyones doing well. I pray for you guys every time i pray, which is about 39 times a day lol I take everyone through the temple with me when i go and i know that the lord will be there for each and everyone of you. A cool quote that Elder Holland said is "There is absolutely NOTHING a group of people can't do, if one of those people is the Lord." I can testify that that's true and that whenever we keep the lord with us in whatever we do, that anything is possible. I love this gospel and I LOVE the spirit that it brings. I love you and i truly am so grateful for the letters, the packages and the prayers that you send my way. TALK TO YOU WHEN I'M IN PNG!!!!
Elder Pili, Elder Latu (cousin), and Elder Uluave (companion)
Elder Pili's district at the Provo Temple
Sis Tenney and Elder Pili sending his mom a shout out!
PNG missionaries by the PNG picture at the MTC
Elder Pili, "investigator" Cousin Theo, and Elder Uluave
The companions! Uluave and Pili
Proud PNG missionaries with the PNG flag
Sis Seiuli, Elder Pili, and Sis Dodd - Purcell cousins
My first week and a half in the MTC has been nothing short of AMAZING!! I've made so many new friends and I have learned more about the church than I have in 19 years of my life lol it's so true when people say that the lifestyle here feels like you're in a different world!! I love being around so many people from all around the world with so many different stories who all put THEIR needs and wants aside to accomplish one common goal together. The spirit here is so strong...so strong that it makes teaching investigators fun! In fact, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with an AWESOME guy. His name is Elder Bednar...I'm sure you all know about him (with the exception of lauryn lol) and one thing he told me that my companion and I have really been trying to apply in our long days here, is to pray about "corner opportunities." When he told me that, I had no idea what he was talking about. I assumed that it was like an old person thing until one day, my companion and I were walking out of the MTC and ran into a lady on the corner. After talking to her for a bit and getting to know her, we soon found out that she wasn't a member but that every day she walks past the Provo Temple and imagines what the inside of the "White Building" looks like. We talked to her for a little bit but she was in a rush so unfortunately we weren't able to teach her. The next day, we went to the same corner and she was there again. Luckily for us, she wasn't in a rush and we had to opportunity to sit down and have lunch with her and talk to her a little bit about the church. She's so interested in this gospel and even accepted our invitation to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Elder Ul'uave and I look forward to our second meeting with her tomorrow afternoon. That was definitely the highlight of my week and a half being here!! Constantly teaching investigators here, whether they're "role play" investigators or real investigators has taught me a lot and has made me so EXCITED to get out to PNG. I've fallen in love with all the investigators that i'm teaching and I just can't wait for the people of PNG to have the opportunity to be as happy as I am with this gospel. As for my talk, it went very well. I was still SUPER nervous, but it wasn't too bad. I still can't stand talking in front of people yet lol but i feel like i'm getting more comfortable the more I do it...also because I have no choice when the MTC president enjoys giving me so many opportunities to talk lol
Anyways, I miss you all. I'm so grateful for all the pictures and packages and letters that I get from EVERYONE!! Because of you guys, I've quickly earned the rep of THE MOST SPOILED MISSIONARY lol EVERYDAY I have something so people don't ever ask me "Did you get anything?" Instead they ask "What'd you get this time, Elder Pili?" lol My room has become the hangout spot because it has the most food!! So thank you for that. I'd love to see more pictures of everyone at home. Ou sent me a few and I have them above my bed. lol
I'd like to share my testimony that this church is the only true church on this earth. With great joy I can humbly testify that heavenly father loves us, knows our desires and has a plan for each and everyone of us. Heavenly father loves us so much that he sent his son down to go through the atonement for us ALONE, so that we didn't have to. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet called of god and that he did what he said he did and that he did see what he said he saw. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it IS the MOST correct book and as we continue to read it and pray about it's truthfulness, we WILL be drawn closer to Heavenly father. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with the best family!
I LOVE AND MISS EVERYONE! thank you for everything!!