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Tongan Village Celebrates LDS Church Centennial

The Tongan village of Houma is famous for its picturesque Mapu’a Vaea (Vaea’s Whistle) Blowholes.

This month the village spent ten days celebrating 100 years of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their community.

Area Seventy, Elder Aisake Tukuafu, welcomed guests including Lord Vaea, members of the town council and local Church leaders to a special meeting to mark the occasion.

A devotional was held later that evening.

                          

Ha’akame Stake President Etuate T. Toutai presided at the meeting in which Lord Vaea spoke.

Lord Vaea hosted a community breakfast on his family property. Three churches in Houma were represented. Reverend ‘Ofa Moala from the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, Father Paul Amato from the Catholic Parish and Bishops Lutaui Fituafe and Samuela S. Tupou from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The breakfast ceremony was broadcast live on Tongan Radio and reported on Tongan television by the Tongan Broadcasting Commission.

Viliami K. Cocker, First Counsellor in the Ha’akame Stake attended the breakfast.

"How wonderful it was that all the village could come together and be united, regardless of the different faiths to which they belonged," he said.

                                     

Former village residents who are now living overseas were thrilled to be at the events to catch up with family members and old friends.

They shared their talents in dance and song learned from their new countries.

Garrick Parr, manager of the administrative centre for the Church, commented to Lord Vaea, “how impressive it was to see and feel the joy and fellowship of the group.”

In response, Lord Vaea said, “yes, it was just like a family reunion.”

Lord Vaea expressed gratitude to the Church for the contributions it has made to Houma over the years.

Recently LDS Charities (the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) provided the community with a new water pump and an engine for the village water supply.

Mormons believe in fostering cordial and productive relationships within the faith community and beyond.

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