Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Want to be Called "Elder"--Until We Meet Again

Elder Heimuli is Tongan through and through and  proud of his heritage, but he is from a new generation encouraging and guiding the young people from the traditions that hold them back. He is a man of strength and courage who loves the Lord.  When Elder Hawley gave him a blessing he said, "My name is Sione but I want to be called 'Elder Heimuli.' "   Elder Heimuli is a Liahona High School graduate from the island of Vava’u. He met his sweetheart while attending BYU-Hawaii and performing at the Polynesian Cultural Center. He graduated from BYU-H and became a teacher for Granite School District and the San Juan School District at White Horse. But first and foremost, the name by which he wants to be know is Elder Heimuli.                                                                

Elder Heimuli is also a talented teacher who helps train teachers and kids for life.  He is artistic in fine woodwork; he has taught students at  Saineha High School in Vava'u and Liahona High School in Tongatapu to build beautiful furniture. [Display at Liahona Expo in Nuku'alofa]053 When he sings or listens to music Elder Heimuli closes his eyes, leans back, curls his toes, and taps to the beat.  Below, Elder Heimuli, President McMurray, and Elder Taua'alo spontaneously harmonize during a Senior Missionaries Fireside at the McMurrays.Elder Heimuli sings

  Elder Heimuli is a great cook especially with all the island dishes--grilled BBQ chicken, roasted Bread Fruit over an open fire, a hot coconut drink (kinda like a gruel), coconut dumplings, lupulu.  Yum!   The scissors fly when Elder Heimuli cuts hair, and he can split open a coconut and grate it in seconds;  he plays tennis on campus at 5:30 a.m. and drives the missionary van in wild abandonment (although Sister Heimuli is right there to quietly tap on his arm if he overdoes it.) 

He loves Vava’u where he was born and raised, and owns 6 acres there. Taxes cost him 80 cents a year. And, he has stories to tell!  What do you do when you have a flat tire and no spare jack?  Two big Tongans came along and lifted up the car while another fixed the tire for the Sister.  Elder Heimuli won’t buy melons at one of the takeaways just outside of Nuku’alofa.  Claims they’re “fried melons” sitting in the heat all day.  But we do love the watermelons here! 

A crab anyone? 030_thumbElder Heimuli roasts some breadfruit: nothing like it! 096_thumbElder Heimuli teaches Elder Hawley how to shuck a coconut: 057_thumbA joy in Elder Heimuli's life was to baptize Milika:010_thumb1Elder Heimuli has a wonderful garden in the bush directly behind the Navu Stake House  and he has made a nice wooden bench there for others to enjoy.  Taro is a favorite starchy tuber crop grown in Tonga.032_thumbA machete knife is used for everything from trimming trees and edging  grass to splitting a coconut or a roasted piggy.031_thumb160_thumbThe long Tongan hoe is a very effective gardening tool.  Home Depot needs to stock these!027_thumb1Elder Heimuli is holding his grandson adopted by their daughter.  Crystal lived in Tonga for 6 months before the adoption was approved and she was allowed to take this sweet little boy to his home is Arizona.003_thumb2  Elder Heimuli's barber used to cut his hair when he was a student at Liahona years ago: 025_thumbUntil We Meet Again:  Elder Hawley and I have developed a love and respect for Tonga and its people through this couple. Indeed, these two have brought a bit of heaven into our lives and so many others.  033When we said our farewells to the Heimulis at the airport, Elder Hawley, “I don’t even know your address, and soon you will be off to a second mission in the Solomon Islands.” Elder Heimuli responded, “Don’t worry. I will find you.” They'll move from Utah to AZ where their children live. Elder Hawley inherited Elder Heimuli's coconut shucker--pandana stick; the coconut grater (you have to sit on it to grate), and a striking frame he made to display a picture of the First Presidency.  [Elder Heimuli and Elder Hawley say their goodbyes at the airport:]028Ofa atu, Elder and Sister Heimuli, until we meet again.                     [Keneti Resort one Friday date night]    121_thumb046_thumb



Rachel said...

So UM I just wondering are you guys having A good time? lol :)


We love your TongaWear! So happy for your experiences there, and how they are blessing you! Much love is sent to you, and prayers, too, from the Land Eastward. [Or Westward, depending upon which route your thoughts might take.] We love our mission too, and know that as challenges come, so will come an abundance of blessings, and closer relationships with our Father, our Savior, and with the Holy Ghost. Thanks for the 'shaping" example for us Junior Hawley's to follow. xoxo the ELM Hawley's.