Misi is like the best little brother anyone could ask for. He came as quite a surprise when I was 9 years old and my youngest sister was 7. My parents were so excited to finally have a boy after having 3 girls in a row... he's been such a good kid his whole life. He's smart and handsome and has never done anything to get himself into trouble. 2 years ago he left to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Nukualofa, Tonga mission. What a HUGE blessing not only for our family, but especially for Misi because he gets to go back to my dad's home town and share the gospel with his family, and not only that...but he gets to learn the Tongan language. We always joke that my dad must have prayed really really hard to have Misi get his call there... hahaha. I can't believe how fast time has flown right by. He is now, since July 28th an honorable returned missionary. I just love to listen to his stories and to see and feel the love he has for the Tongan people as he shares his experiences. I'm such a cry baby and always get teary-eyed whenever the mission talk comes up. I guess it just brings back memories of when I went on my mission, 7 years ago. It's funny how similar my brother's experiences are to mine...only mine are in Spanish with my people of Chile and his are in Tongan. I told him before he left that the gift of tongues was real and that he didn't need to worry about learning the language, as long as he was faithful the language would just come to him. I remember this one time when I was in Chile, we were teaching about the apostacy and it was my turn to teach. I opened my mouth and all these Spanish words that I hadn't learned before came out and I was teaching and I made sense. The investigators would have questions and I would answer them quickly and accurately. At that moment I realized how real the gift of tongues was and I saw how much it not only helped my investigators understand the gospel, but helped me strengthen my testimony. That was the beginning of many experiences like that. My brother, now that he's home understands what I was talking about, and I think it's so awesome that we can sit down and talk about how our experiences are so much the same, but so much different.
We made a whole week-long celebration for his homecoming, which he well deserved! He arrived in SLC at about 8pm on July 28th and we were all waiting for him in the lobby of the airport...I totally could have went to the gate to meet him, but my mom wouldn't let me so I stood at the bottom of the escalaters waiting for him to make his appearance. He came down the escalater with his companions...and my mom, both my sisters and I started bawling like the cry babies that we are. He was just as handsome as ever, but a little bit thinner...hahaha! We stayed at the airport for a while snapping pictures and then he was off to get set apart. The next day, Wednesday we all just went down to the house to spend time with him. Thursday morning, bright and early we all met at the Provo temple and did a session as a family. That was so nice, and my parents were so happy to have all their children in the temple together. Patrick and Leslie, Ova and me, Lini and Marie, my mom and dad and Misi...it was such a great experience! After that we all went and ate at Chuck-A-Rama....cause you always have to eat after a session...hahaha! That night was a tribute night for Misi....Marie and Lini hosted it and it was so nice! I've never really heard of a tribute night before, but it was a chance for all the families (immediate and extended) to pay tribute or present something to Misi. All the kids had been practicing a dance for him and the preformed it that night...it was so nice! Friday was the dance and it was so PACKED!! I can't believe how many people showed up to support my brother....it was standing room only! Saturday we all just rested and Sunday was his homecoming program. He has grown so much in these past two years and now he's not a boy anymore, he's a man. I'm so proud of him and and grateful for such a wonderful little brother and a good example to my boys.
Here's at the airport...
Misi with Mom and Dad
Misi with Leslie, Pat and their girls
Misi with my little family
Misi with Marie, Lini and all their kids
Misi with our little sister Cindy Leka
Elder Makai, Elder Karrati, Elder Salt
these 3 Elder entered the MTC together, went to Tonga together and came back home together. They are mission brothers!
Misi with some of the missionary couples that served w/ him in Tonga
Misi with Uncle Daniel, Auntie Denice, McAbe and Lexi
Misi and his palangi brothers...his high school buddies
Uncle Misi and some of the kids
This was a picture of all of us at the Provo temple...family temple time is the best!
Some pictures at the dance on Friday:
Me and my beautiful cousin Sarah
Us girls at the dance with cousin Tine and her daughter
The little boy's dance for Uncle Misi
The little girl's dance for Uncle Misi
WELCOME HOME MISI, WE LOVE YOU!!!