Missionary Loves His Twins, and Other Sunday Incidents

March 16, 2008 | 12 comments

On the sweetness of Mormon life

Have you ever seen a missionary trio where the junior two were both fresh out of the MTC? I hadn’t either until today. All three spoke a little to introduce themselves. The junior two tried hard to find something good to say about our dry winds and mobile homes, or at least to get us to laugh at their discomfort. Their testimonies were sweet. The senior companion began by saying . . . something. He’s Tongan, and it was apparently Tongan for hello. It sounded like an aloha filled with firework and then blown up. He said he considered new missionaries to be in some spiritual sense the sons of their trainers, and that he was the proud father of twins. He was glad, he said, they hadn’t inherited his looks. England has eccentrics, Deseret has missionaries.

Next week’s Easter music fell apart just before church started (long story). After sacrament little knots of choir members and the musically inclined eddied around the chapel, discussing ways and means. Someone said the best thing would be to move Easter back a week, if only Bishop weren’t so against it. I blanched but bit my tongue. Mormons will be Mormons.

One of our Cub Scout leaders cajoled the priesthood to volunteer for the pellet gun and archery events at day camp. He emphasized guns. He emphasized arrows. He emphasized that the Catholics were out-volunteering us. Most of the priests raised their hands. He scribbled their names in a hurry and rushed out. He came back carrying a sausage-wrapped baby, walking her to sleep. His wife just got called to something in primary.


12 Responses to Missionary Loves His Twins, and Other Sunday Incidents

  1. Clair on March 17, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Sweet, indeed. Thanks.

  2. Kim Siever on March 17, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Was it “Malo e lelei”?

    My first companion was Tongan.

  3. Jonovitch on March 17, 2008 at 2:48 am

    In priesthood opening exercises our Scout Committee Chairman introduced the annual Friends of Scouting push by mentioning the name Navin R. Johnson, which inspired a spontaneous round of Steve Martin quotes from “The Jerk”. (“The new FOS is here! The new FOS is here!” “This really makes you somebody!” “Things are going to start happening to you now!”) For those of us “old people” we all had a hearty laugh.


  4. Cicero on March 17, 2008 at 6:12 am


    Not sure on the spelling, but that’s the usual Tonga greeting- the congregation is then supposed shout it back at the speaker.

  5. Jack on March 17, 2008 at 6:34 am

    “Talofa” — Samoan

    “Malo lelei” — Tongan

  6. Adam Greenwood on March 17, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Could be, Kim S. I can’t much make out the sounds of words I don’t understand.

  7. Mark M on March 17, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I like this post! It’s kind of like “what happened at the Mormon church in Lake Wobegone last week.”

  8. Jonovitch on March 17, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Re: #7 — “Where the women are strong, the men are good-looking, and all the children fold their arms as they race through the hall to the bishop’s office for candy.”


  9. Alan L on March 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    From somewhere in Mexico: Sac. Meeting finally started 15 min. late. All 3 speakers were present and on time but the Stake Pres. showed up and cancelled one speaker and cut another to 5 min. because he wanted to speak. The primary pres. and 2 teachers away, 1 SS teacher missing. The Bishop wasn’t to be found for PH opening exercises but was around at the end of meetings. The RS Pres. from another ward passed out chocolate bars to all the women in our ward in appreciation for the good example they were setting for the women in her ward. 6 attending the temple prep class. The youth organized a missionary activity where they are passing out invitations to attend our services. For the 2nd week in a row we couldn’t transmit our financials to Mexico.


  10. Cicero on March 17, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Is that Samoan?

    Then why did Elder Moa (Tongan) use it?

    Hmm… maybe because their was a Samoan family in the ward, and he want to make them feel more at ease?

  11. jimbob on March 17, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I once trained two elders at the same time; one had been out a week, the other a month. Neither really spoke the language. But the only person we baptized in the 4 months I served there was a guy they found on the day I was travelling to the area to meet them.

  12. Dave R on March 20, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I guess we should feel glad the Christmas music didn\’t crash and burn last December. :-)

    Glad to see you\’re back, Adam. I got out of the habit of reading this blog for awhile when you took a sabbatical. It\’s good to have an excuse to visit again.


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