Sunday, August 10, 2014

Church in Tongan

If I could re-pack my bags, I would bring:

  1. More sweaters. I know that in theory 70 degrees doesn't sound cold, but sometimes it is much more comfortable to be wearing long sleeves, especially with how windy it gets.
  2. More underwear. Doing laundry less often = an additional 5 years to my lifespan
  3. Aquafresh toothpaste. Colgate is just not cutting it for me, so I don't know what I was thinking when I brought it.
  4. Disinfectant wipes/more hand sanitizer. No explanation.
  5. Smell good spray or lotion. It just would have been nice not worrying if I smell like a wet dog.
  6. Long pants. I've been fine without any, especially because skirts are light and breathable, but sometimes I miss a normal pair of pants.
  7. A water bottle with a filter on it. No explanation.
  8. A hard copy of the pocket size scriptures. Sometimes I feel weird just having the scriptures on my phone, and it would be nice to know I have a Book of Mormon to give away if needs be.
  9. Earplugs. Roosters and dog fights all night, every night.

Things I am grateful I brought along:

  1. Spotify. Music at home was already always calming, so here it is even more so.
  2. Headphones. They have been my replacement for ear plugs.
  3. 2 towels. Less laundry when I go swimming in caves and when I go to the beach.
  4. My pillow. I think getting used to sleeping in a different bed has run much more smoothly because I brought my own pillow.
  5. My parents' Chromebook. I hadn't realized that my phone doesn't let me video chat at all, so having the laptop with a camera has been really nice. I would have been very sad without it.
  6. Three adapters instead of one. I can keep one in the wall, one in my bag, and an extra just in case.
  7. An open mind to trying fish and other food. I have tried fish twice since being here and I'veactually really liked it both times.
  8. Lotion. I thought I wouldn't need it, but I'm glad I packed a small bottle because I've needed to use it a few times.
  9. Starburst candy. My host family likes it, and it's fun pulling out a few pieces for them sometimes for a treat.

Today I went to a ward here. I went by myself, so I had no idea where to go or if I was there at the right time. I just stood out in the hallway for a few minutes, deciding if I should be bold and just walk in to where I thought Relief Society would be held. Finally a young man saw me standing there and showed me where to go.It was interesting being at church not knowing what was being said. Plus, I was the only palangi there. I have never experienced either of those things before, so it was definitely something really new for me. But after Relief Society, a girl named Charlene came up to me, introduced herself, and asked if I wanted to sit with her in class. She is probably in her mid twenties, so it was nice sitting with someone my age. Sometimes she would turn to me to explain why people were laughing (it sometimes felt I was the person who doesn't get jokes until someone explains them) or what was being discussed. She also introduced me to a girl named Mary. After church, I was introduced to some other young single adults in the ward, and one, Freddie, served his mission in Utah, so that was cool. They all said that sometime they would pick me up when there's a dance or activity, or just to hang out. That actually sounded really great - it would be awesome to have something like that to look forward to, especially just to have a change of scene sometimes.
It is sometimes frustrating talking with people because it can be really hard to understand their accent. Most of the time it seems easier for Tongans to understand me, rather than the other way around. I also feel like I might offend someone if I keep asking, "What?" too many times. Maybe this experience will just help me to become a better listener - you have to listen so closely to be sure you understand what the other person is saying to you.

1 comment:

  1. Bethany! I am loving this! So envious of this awesome experience you are having. Keep posting. I look forward to reading more. Love you!