The Kioa family recently welcomed two of their children home from missions in California. Malakai’s mission president called him the "shaper" as he trained the elders there. I like that word! Even as our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents sacrificed much to shape our generation, we are the shapers for this century linking the past with the future . We must be today’s pioneers firm in the Gospel through the lives we live. We are the shapers not only of our own future, but also for our children, our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren in the generations that follow. We each can make a positive difference in the days ahead, and in joint effort with the Lord, we can be shapers to help build the kingdom of God here on earth.
Malakai and his sister Sela receive a joyous welcome home after serving honorable missions in California. What a dynamic duo these two are!Senior Shapers: Some of the Senior missionaries were blessed to meet with Pres. Hamula of the Pacific Area Presidency: Elders and Sisters Ka'ili, Sperry, Hawley, Elder Hamula with President McMurray (back), Claytons, Sings, Gordons, Tau'a alos, TongasSeveral of these pioneers were here when the first wards and stakes were organized in Tonga. It was a cool winter day this early August morning.Brother Pope a former BYU professor was one of the early missionaries here. He later became the Liahona High School principal. He met Mary and they adopted Tongan children and have lived here ever since. Families from the surrounding villages gathered for Pioneer Day August 25th to celebrate the missionaries coming to Tonga to preach the Gospel. Inoke Kupu enjoyed the festivities; he is the Liahona stake president and our CES country director as well as ITEP coordinator; Keith Vaitai is a sweet Primary child. Tamaline Kaufusi and Moana Kupu (Inoke’s wife) smile greetings. Although the Liahona students were on term break, several our 2nd ward families enjoy the festivities. Lots of smiles and laughs during the extemporaneous poetry competition about Pioneers: Basket weaving competition with half a coconut palm leaf:
Kioa brothers weaving baskets in record time: And the winner is--- Priesthood Power! (Tuwai Latu, Elder Hawley, Inoke, Roy) Inoke Jr. entertains some of the 2nd ward Primary children: Primary children from one of the village wards perform while members provide the music: This village group of Relief Society sisters tell the story of the pioneers with their hands: YM and YW honor the pioneers through song and dance: Baby and Gordon enjoy the celebration! Our Primary kids enjoy line dancing in preparation for their quarterly activity: Willing teachers join in the fun. (Mounga, back right, is a student at Liahona.) We are the pioneers of a new century. What will be written about us? How are we shaping our legacy? It is our responsibility and opportunity to gain a strong testimony and understanding of the Restored Gospel that we may strengthen those who follow.