I’m back from the dead!!!

Dear Family,

Sorry it’s been so long. So the freakin’ internet in this whole half of the island has not been working for some odd reason?? So, that’s why I haven’t been able to get on and write you guys. My comp and me walked an hour and a half to get to this church on the other side of the island just to write you guys.

Okay. So I don’t even know where to start? I have so many pics I need to send you guys but I just wont have time cause we still have to walk back… So I’m not covering the whole island–I’m in Holonga. Ummm, our area is so small–it takes us 15 minutes to walk around our whole area. Most of the people in the village are members. It’s hard because a lot of the people that are not just say they’ve heard it all. And they’re not interested. We keep trying to get in contact with this girl who says she wants to be baptized cause she’s had all the lessons but her dad wont let her cause he’s the priest in the Pentecostal church. Here it’s like everyone either likes us or they hate us.

I really don’t know what to talk about–I just feel so rushed. I wish I could just tell you all in person. The language is coming around. I’m starting to understand it a little. There’s a family called the Atoas and they’re always taking care of my comp and me. Always trying to line us up with people to teach. It’s not their job, but they’ve been a huge blessing in our lives. I just talk to the kids all the time and just play rugby with them. I think the elders who were here last left a sour taste cause sometimes people are always asking what were doing and where we’re going like they’re hecka fie poto! it’s annoying. But a lot of the members love that we’ve respected and have obeyed the mission rules. They said elders would stay up late playing cards and they would never wear their proselyting attire and they were just lazy.

We’ve gone out to the bush a few times and have helped the members with their chores. On our Pdays we just play volleyball or rugby. Nothing big. We’ve been washing our clothes out of a bucket. So its pretty refreshing putting that brownish whiteish shirt back on (; haha. My comp and me got an opportunity to go teach the kids at the school. The kids were hilarious! We just taught them the first lesson in the pmg. Most of the kids were members so they knew a lot of it. I was actually surprised cause they were 6-10 years old.

I can’t remember when, but maybe a week ago it was 3 in the morning and our door started banging and someone telling us to “Wake up, its a new day!” “Wake up, wake up, Utah and Las Vegas!” I was like what the heck is going on? Then he started pounding louder and louder and started yelling to open the door. So we opened the door and it was our neighbor down the road drunk as a duck and came in and literally preached to us for two hours! I’ll have to send you guys pics of him cause I recorded him. He thinks he’s the Messiah. He’s crazy! But he’s an X Tongan crip gangster who was deported 10 years ago from California, and he’s a big buff Tongan that I would not want to mess with. He’s got tats all over and even on his face– he’s just a crazy guy. So when he was over we tried to teach him about the word of wisdom and he kept arguing with us about how Jesus drank wine and all this jazz. One thing that a lot of Tongans (that aren’t members) think that whatever the bible says is what we should be following, but they don’t get that times have changed. I don’t know if I make any sense but this dudes crazy and I lost two hours of sleep cause of him.

So conference was a bust. Since the whole stake center was crowded that we were sitting outside and the speakers weren’t very loud. And I seriously couldn’t understand much. It was hard to understand when you could barely hear it. Even my comp didn’t know what was going on, so we just tried to feel the spirit.

I just want to say Congrats to Jake and Amy. I sure miss you guys and I wish I was there. Eli David Berry. I can’t believe I missed it. I can’t wait to come back home and see this kid! This whole month not being able to write has made me so homesick. I’ve been thinking about you guys all the time. But I know if I just do God’s work, and take care of what He wants done, He’ll take care of those I love. I miss you guys like crazy! Tell Brett I miss him and tell him I’m doing good. Tell Tika I’m proud of her as well, and I wish that I was home to hangout with her, and that I’m excited for her to get her license!! Haha that’s crazy!

Katie you should of punched the kid haha. They would here in Tonga (; I miss you and Nate. How is Nate doing? I was going through one of the memory cards that you gave me and you had it full of your mission pics and videos. I enjoyed going through them and your vids man were cracking up my comp and me.

Mom and Dad sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written you guys back. I don’t know when the last time you’ll here from me again… but I promise to give you a better letter next time guys. Sorry. Just so much has gone on I just like forgot and can’t remember it all right now.

My comp and me are trying to hurry so we can get back home. Its like a 11 and we’ll probably get home around 1ish. Just know I love you guys and I’m so grateful for everything you guys have taught me and have done for me. I don’t know where I would be in life if it weren’t for you guys. I love and miss you guys dearly. Oh and mom congrats on the marathon! That made me so happy you got a better time than all of yours before! That’s so crazy! Super proud of you! I hope you weren’t too sore after.

I’m Glad my Flyers are doing good! Gosh those guys will probably take state again! Haha I miss football so much.

Jake and Amy I love and miss you guys. I can’t wait to meet my nephew in person. Tell him I love him and I wish I were there meet and hold him. I hope you’re doing good Ames. And healthy and going good. I love all you guys and I miss you tons!! I pray for you guys constantly! My Tongan stinks but the food is great! I know I’ve been slacking on the pics, but I promise I’ll to get some to you guys. Ofa Lahi Atu! Give Cars a big hug and kiss for me! Miss my little shadow! Have a great week. Hope I can get online soon… :/

Love your Tongan Elder,

Elder Berry

Ps. Sorry mom for all my grammar mistakes. I’m in a hurry. Cut me some slack.

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Letter From Mission President

We haven’t heard from Taylor for a few weeks–we know he is safe, but we don’t know much more than that! We have heard from other missionary’s families that internet access is tough to come by on the Islands. So we will probably need to wait for a letter to arrive to receive an update. If you want to say hi to Tay, we’d recommend you send a letter as well as email. You can find his address on the right rail of the site.

We did receive a letter from his mission president a couple weeks ago letting us know Taylor is safe and being put to work.

They also included this photo:

missionarrival

Thanks for all your love and support! We will post an update as soon as we hear from Elder Berry!

‘Ofa atu,

Berry Family

In Vava’u!

Well, so the boat ride was terrible! Everyone was getting sick. it was suppose to be a 16 hour boat ride but it took us 28. all the elders threw up except me and two other elders. there was 14 of us. I don’t know how I didn’t Lua everywhere cause everyone on the boat was throwing up. there was a kid from orem he was fine then all of a sudden he woke up, ran up the stairs (cause we were on the bottom bottom of the boat), and he threw up on the stairs. then got to the bathroom, threw up and the toilet was clogged, so he ran out to the deck throwing up, and then finally got to the side of the boat and threw up. he said right when he did he felt so much better. then someone above him threw up on him and then he said he just lua’d everywhere! bahahahah it was the funniest story ever!

We stopped to two islands. I cant remember the first one, but the second one was Hap’pai? We were there for about 3 hours. Elders from that area met us there and fed us. most of the guys didn’t want to eat. When we were done we got back on the boat. We arrived in Vava’u around 12 at night. everyone was so tired and hungry. so some went to sleep, and the other half of us went to the local bishops house and he had a feast waiting for us. it was fish and dog. with like noodles. it was soooo good! like the dog here is amazing. it looks gross when you look at it but when you eat it it just tastes like soft chicken. So marley better watch out.

I have a new Comp. His name is Elder Montineko. he’s from Las Vegas. small world right? we have so much in common and he’s so tight! we just talk crap on all the vegas football teams and how we hate them. He’s such a good trainer. he thinks he sucks with the language but I think he knows more than he really thinks. He’s a white boy from a family of 11. we always talk about high school. its nice to like to talk to someone that knows the places you’re talking about, then a comp that’s never even been to America.

The area im in is called Holonga. its a small area and like everyone hates us. theres a few stakes here in Vava’u. but theres only one ward in the church we go to. We’ve come close with our bishop – he’s such a cool guy. we asked, “Fefe Holonga?” as in “how’s Holonga?” And he immediately said Kovi!, which means bad! hahaha I laughed so hard, he’s a hard working guy. he just says the members in that area can be idiots.

All the elders here are way chill! we all bond well! most of them are from Utah. so we talk about high school and football and rugby. They’re a cool group of guys. it will be weird coming back home and seeing them again.

Today was P-day and I finally went to the beach! it was fun! its so beautiful! I wish you guys could all see it! we bought chicken and bread at the store and built a fire in this huge cave and cooked lunch there. and we pretty much chilled. got our feel a little wet and just took pictures. its like a flippin adventure anywhere you go here. It’s amazing and I love this area! I hope I don’t leave for a long time. the difference here is that theres mountains and way way green! in the main island of Tonga its just flat…. So that’s why Vava’u is the most beautiful island and they call it second America, cause everyone wants to live there.

Besides that everything is going solid. I miss all of you guys! Im glad I finally was able to add Naters and Gergs to the group. I sure miss and love you guys! Im glad everything is going solid! to be honest I really don’t like spending that much time on the computer. I just get homesick. I try to prevent myself from getting on it but I have to. I was honestly going to go for like a month without getting on but then my mission president said we should repent every time we don’t write to your family especially “mom” haha. There has been one elder that didn’t speak to his family for 11 months! isn’t that crazy?! he was in Niua. that’s where kolipoki went. they said out there you wont be able to hear from your family, unless something urgent happens, then someone will fly out there to tell you. I asked how do you call home? an elder said you just ask the pres if you can get your phone call since you didn’t when you were out there. I hope I don’t have to go to Niua. they said its a different ball game, everyone loses weight cause you’re like starving out there – you eat bugs the members don’t feed you much and you just eat fruit as well. everyone said they like fasted to just get food and water. some people broke down crying and asking if god was really there. everyone says its nuts out there and it definitely changes people. they’re just not the same how they used to be. kinda trippy….

Well I miss you guys! so excited for the baby! Im glad everything is going solid! im glad to hear from Tika! tell her im proud of her. Tell Bretty boy I miss him so much! Im glad I was able to hear from all of yall! hope you’re doing good. I pray for you guys every time I pray. I love and miss you all! thanks for the blog Jake. Love you guys. BYU needs to step it up. Glad Dixie is doing solid! I can see them taking state again. alright OFA LAHI ATU!

Love,

Elder Berry