Monday, March 25, 2013

The last one...

This is it - the last one... the last email to receive from Elder Hanke as a missionary. I was afraid it would come down to this today...I chatted with Garrett for about 30 minutes… then he was outta there!  But I have to say that I understand...I’m so excited for Wednesday - I can hardly stand it!

Here’s the short message we got from him:

Man o mally thomas o mally the alley cat this is weird.

Haha who woulda thought this woulda ever happen right haha!

But I’ve got a few items of business.

What is my phone number again?

When will I be released?

What do you think about me flyin back?

And I would come back with them but half the reason for me to go would be to go to church at the branch and it doesn't start til 1, then i would need to stay back for a few hours and eat and tell stories right? (The Pike family was kind enough to offer to let Garrett go to or ride back from San Francisco with them when they take a little vaca there this weekend for spring break.)

I heard there is a flight that goes from provo to frisco for 69 bucks so if you could check on that, that would be good?

So I got him what he asked for, checked on flights, who knows what will happen.  We just kind of fly by the seat of our pants, but all is good.

I am so grateful to be his mom, and to have such amazing family and friends!  We are so blessed. 

So T minus 42 hours and counting… woot-woot!  J

Oh, and here’s an update on the homecoming! Due to scheduling conflicts and changes with General Conference, our ward had to change Fast Sunday to April 14th.  So… we had to reschedule Garrett’s homecoming for April 28th. Meeting time is 11:00 a.m., address is 1255 North 400 East.  Church is on the West side of the road.  We'd love to have everyone there!

Thanks to everyone for all of your love and support – it’s been a great two years!  Kind of bittersweet right now... we will miss having him out there so very, very much... but it will be so awesome to have him home.  We wouldn't trade this experience for anything.

Monday, March 18, 2013

And then there was only ONE P-day left...

Well folks, Elder Hanke is now the official recipient of THE TRUNKIEST MISSIONARY award.  His ”chat” (no real letter again… so I give up) was so goofy today, so I hope all of you get a laugh.  He seems like a little kid on Christmas Eve… he’s had too much candy, he’s happy, excited… but when Christmas day is over it will be a little bittersweet and melancholy – because he’ll realize it’s all done and he can’t get it back.  But he’s happy, seems to be doing well… just enjoying his P-Day to the max for sure.  He’s now writing in what I would call complete Fijian/Ghetto slang, so fair warning.  J 

First email response:


why dont you just write me a letter? life would be so easy, stop yo jokin and yo teasin, come on now you can write me a letter!  (Totally mocking me for begging for a letter…!)

Second response:

We are busy, I’m going to write you a letter that will make up for everything haha. Besides how am i supposed to focus when you and dad keep talkin about how i got justa couple days lef haha.

Third response:

hahahaha nova scotia, it’s ok we are just busy and I’m tired and we laugh too much in here fo me to e mail. But we are doing great haha. So i found out that there is a flight that goes from like  Idaho Falls to Oakland for like 60 bucks or something like that and we have a baptism on the 30th haha so the idea to come back that weekend might be back. But as for the month when i am home i have to get ready for work number one, so if we go visit family we can only really do it on the weekends because there is training during the week for the job that i would need to go to.

but what sayest thou?

And that’s all he wrote!

Can’t wait to see everyone at the homecoming… and anyone that wants to come to the airport when he flies in please feel more than welcome to do so.  March 27th at 1:15 p.m. is the date and time… then afterwards we’ll all go to dinner.  And just a reminder... the homecoming is on April 14th at 11:00 a.m.
Love to everyone…thank you so much for your continued support. I can’t believe there’s only one week left… or more accurately… 8 days.. and about exactly 18 hours from right this minute! Woo-hoo! J

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Love to get the pics....

So, we found out that Kyndra has a friend who happens to have a brother (Elder Hamilton from Rupert, Idaho) who is serving in Garrett's mission, and now in his same district since their recent transfers. Elder Hamilton sent his sister the below pictures yesterday, and she was kind enough to send them over to Kyn.  Always love to get the pics.... they do a mama good.

As of right now... 14 days... 21 hours... 26 minutes... until the plane lands...  :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Two to go...

Thought I’d get today’s email put right on the blog so that I don’t get caught a week behind schedule again… but – there’s really nothing to post.  Elder Tavoi has now reached the SUPER TRUNKY stage…. (I guess that’s what you’d call it.) 

I’ll translate the chat I had with him today… because basically he is now just writing in what must be Polynesian/American/Trunky Missionary slang, which is truly worthy of a “ha ha ha”. 

The initial email today was true to form with a

“Yo Novs, my mama, how’s it going?”…

Which I followed up with “How are you?”, and then got the reply of:

“Super good mama, super good. Thanks for asking, ha ha. How’s the jobsite these days?  But for real on the real, how are you doin? Sorry, but I don’t feel much like emailing.  Forgive me, but I’m planning on sending you a nice letter to make up for this past week, and the next two weeks, haha.” (Major translation I just did there.)

I then, of course, asked several questions trying to get any kind of an update from him, and also asked how he was planning on merging back into using the English language. 

“I ain’t gonna merge back, haha, only for those mas importante occasions”.

So…. that’s all he wrote folks!  If I get the letter in the mail, I’ll post it on the blog.  In the meantime, we’ll just be grateful for a healthy, happy missionary who loves what he’s doing – can’t ask for much more than that, right?  J

16 days and counting….

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Sorry everyone, I’m a slow poke…

Didn’t really get a “letter” from Garrett last Monday, just had more of a short chat. He’ll usually respond to my emails with a “What’s up Mom?”, and it goes from there – then before I know it, his email time is up!  So here’s what I got out of him:

Life is super good right now, we are havin a good time out here.  The best is this Samoan family that we are meeting with right now they are all super awesome and their son "Pesi" we gave him a baptism date yesterday night for the 30th of March. He is super ready and there are a couple others who will be baptized out of the family very soon which is awesome. I feel very at home with them and we are able to spend like 4 or 5 nights there a week teaching and eating which is sweet.  I thought I would come here to this area and lose some weight because I wouldn't be around as many of my kind but I was very wrong, I might end up gaining a bit, haha.

Other than that things over all are just really good, Richmond is still ghetto and is still awesome, haha. 

After a few questions from me, this is what I got back…

When I say “my kind” I mean that sometimes I feel like our family was supposed to be from Fiji, haha! And I won’t have time to e-mail again after, sorry, busy busy.

I understand a little of Samoan and Tongan but I speak less.  Just the normal stuff like hello, how are you, I’m good, I want to eat, hahahahaha, where’s the food, I’m full, hahaha.

The days are going quickly now, we’ll be picking him at the airport before we know it!

Love to everyone – I’ll try to get the new emails posted a little more quickly, only a couple to go!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Counting down.... four....

Four emails to go….. I am going to miss them…

Bula Bula Bula,

So...Rich what? Richmond. hahaha

This place is really just what I imagined, haha, but it’s chill though because all the crazy stuff that I imagined only happens at night and we ain't out at night, haha. We were walking in Richmond a couple days ago near some projects and a cop pulls up in front of us and asks us who we are then was just like, you know where you are right? And we were like ya, so then he drove off haha. Just in case we got shot he wanted to make sure that he warned us first! haha, 
jokes mom! i know you’re probably freakin right now, but it’s really not bad at all. I haven't felt weird at all, but like I said all the crazy comes out at night and during the day they are just resting from the night before.

But really is cool here, the Fijians in the new ward are super awesome and just like most I served where they grew up in Suva so we’ve gotta lot to talk about. We have quite a bit of work to do here which is good because there is a lot of poverty so there are in turn a lot of people looking for help, so there is plenty to do, plenty of lives to bless so I’m pretty excited about being here, I realized last week that we really only learn if we are out of our comfort zone putting ourselves to the test. Haha I must have a lot to learn because I am way, way, way out of my comfort zone. My last area was like Utah, really safe and chill, but here it can get pretty hairy in some places, so I will definitely learn.

Hope all is good.
Peace and blessings
ofa atu

Elder Tavoi

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lots of updates....

Yet another sweet email from Mary Tagilala… with the below pictures!  I think she is coming to General Conference in April… so I cannot wait to meet her!

I got this email first thing on Monday morning… wasn’t sure what she really meant by “I’ll wait for Elder Tavoi to email you first”, but you’ll get the gist after reading Garrett’s letter that came later.

Bula Vinaka Nova -

I'll wait for Elder Tavoi to email you first before I send you an email. I always want to hear news first from my Missionaries and I know you'd probably want that as well. Yes its P-Day today :). Mail, mail mail!! Yayyyy!. I can't wait for my 2 missionaries to email me as well :)

We love both Elder Chapman and Elder Hanke (Tavoi). They've been such a wonderful blessing to our Fijian Branch :). Thank you for sending your angels to us :).


Mary Tagilala
Redwood City, California. (SF 2nd Fijian Branch)
Missionary Mom to Elder Tagilala - NVLV Mission - 6/2011 to 6/2013
Missionary Mom to Sister Tagilala - SLC West Mission - 10/2012 to 4/2014
Soon to be Missionary Mom to Sister Oli Tagilala :)

Garrett's letter: 

So here is the dealio, haha,

Chips (Elder Chapman) and I got a call on Saturday night from the office saying that we are being transferred. Elder Chapman is going to Concord, and I’m headed again to the ghetto of Richmond (on the Oakland side again).  It’s the same place where the movie Coach Carter is based off so maybe that gives all of you an idea of what it’s like, haha.

It was super crappy saying goodbye yesterday to the branch members but on the good side there are a lot of Fijians in the Richmond area that go to the ward there so it’s not all bad. I'll be focused on tryin to find the reason for me to go there.  Hopefully there are some Fijians that we can help, it will be pretty interesting. My comp I heard is 5 foot tall, haha so that’s crazy. Our investigators are great though, when they get baptized we will be able to come back here for that.

And also Nova, Mary Tagilala is going to be bringing our investigator to General Conference with her in April, so that will be a good chance to see her and I know you will really like the other lady as well and she really reminds me of you in so many ways haha so it will be good for sure. No better way to start off my life back home.

I definitely was fortunate to serve here for as long as I did, 9 months is way longer than anyone else, haha. And our branch pres. wanted to call Pres. Meredith (the mission president) to ask him what the heck he is doing, haha. But the good thing is that I will still be able to be around them a lot and come see them often for branch parties and stuff.

Hope all is well at home.

Peace and blessings/kalougata tiko

Elda Tavoi

So I believe that the pictures were all taken on Sunday after church meetings… when Garrett and his companion were able to say goodbye to everyone. L  I know he is sad to leave them (which explains the pouty look on his face I guess), but it sounds like he’ll have lots of opportunities over the next month to see everyone. 

So – here’s the scoop:

·         Garrett flies into SLC on Wednesday, March 27th at 1:15 p.m. on Delta.
·         Homecoming date will be Sunday, April 14th at 11:00 a.m. at our church house in Logan, 1155 North 600 East.

I can’t believe it’s almost over – five weeks from today he will be home… 35 days… but who’s counting? 

Can’t wait to see everyone and have our Gar Bear back, at least for a little while.  Right now his plans are to leave around May 1st to go to Washington, DC for his summer job.

Life goes on… all is good… we are very blessed.

This must be most of the Fijian Branch members

Elder Hanke and Elder Chapman
 I think that this is the Tagilala family.
 The Elders with the Ladies, of course!  :)