Monday, 4 January 2016


Friday, December 4, 2015

Today we went to the New Zealand Temple to be with Paea Junior and Stacey to get married.  We felt very honoured that we were included.  It was a very nice sealing and a very small group.  There was Paea and Lola Ahokava, Ofa and Asi, Brother and Sister Roos and their daughter and the two  missionaries that baptized Stacey. 

Their photographer did not show up so Reed took pictures at the Temple and during the reception.  They were very appreciative.

This was the group at the Temple.  The wedding party shows up at the Temple with their reception clothes on.

Stacey was baptized just over a year ago.  She is the only member in her family.  Her Mother and Brother were there waiting when they came out of the Temple.
This is the Ahokava family and close friends.
 The Ahokava Famiy.
 The wedding line.
Tracey, Connor and Marly.  They flew from Utah to be here for Paea's wedding today and Ofa's next week.  They had not realized their recommends had expired the last day of November so they were not able to participate in the sealing today.  It was very sad.
They are the couple that lived with Reed's Mom and took care of her all during 2014.
 Reed, Nada, Tracey, Connor and Marly on the Temple grounds.  It was so nice to meet their little girls, we had not seen her because she was born after we left on our mission.
They held their reception at the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club.  It was very nice but very warm with all those people in there.
They gave each of these grooms cakes to Priesthood leaders and heads of different families.
They brought all the food out to the head table where the wedding party sat and then everyone else came into this room for the buffet meal.  They fed around 300 people and there was plenty of food.  The parents do not sit with the wedding party.  Their job is to MC and make sure all the guests are fed and taken care of.
Stacey is Samoan and Paea is Tongan.  They had money dances from both countries and speeches in both languages and in English.  It was a multi-cultural event.
Stacey and Paea watching some performers.  They did a lot of dancing themselves.  The reception lasted four hours.

It was a very long day but very nice.  We really enjoyed being part of this very traditional Polynesian Reception.  We were grateful to begin the day with the Eternal Family and then the fun and celebrations after.  The Ahokava's are very good people and have raised their children to have strong testimonies.  All three of  their children that are old enough have served missions and stayed active.
On Friday, December 11, 2015 we headed to the New Zealand Temple to be with the Ahokava family again to participate with Ofa and Asi as they began their Eternal family by being married today.  The ceremony was done in Tongan since most of the people in the sealing room were Tongan.  First time we have heard a sealing done in Tongan and even though we did not understand many of the words we felt the spirit very strongly.
Asipele Makalio and Ofa Ahokava just married in the New Zealand Temple.  Asi was our YSA representative when we were in the Saineha Ward so we got to know him well.  He is a great young man and Ofa is a very talented young woman.  They are very happy and both come from very active families.  It was nice to be in the Temple with these two families to see this young couple sealed.  Tracey and Connor were able to be in the Temple for this wedding and they were so happy to be there.
 Guests that were there with Asi.
 Guests that were there with Ofa.
Ahokava family.  All four couples have been married in December!

 Asi and Ofa so happy to be married.  It was a beautiful day.

Nada and Sister Makalio, Asi's Mother.  They were in our Saineha Ward where we attended the first six months of our mission.
This is the wedding party.  The two young girls are twins and Lola and Paea adopted them when they were very young.

We left the Temple and stopped by the Temple Presidents house.  It is on the Temple property and he has a beautiful rose garden.

We stopped at Pokenos for an ice cream cone on the way back to Auckland for the reception. It is kind of a tradition to stop at Pokenos for ice cream whenever you go to the Temple.  They have flavours you cannot buy in the stores and you get two scoops for $3.50 about half the price of anywhere else.

 They had the reception at the Ferguson Road Chapel.   Lola had decorated everything very nicely.  She had paper sacks and all these jars filled with different lollies (candy) for the guests to eat.  It looked like a candy shop.

The wedding party sat at the head table and they served them and then all the guests went to the buffet tables in the back of the hall.

At the head table and two side special guest tables they had fresh fruit, lobster, shrimp, crab salad and then taro, kumara, lu, oysters and a few other things.
Lola had made the wedding cake and a bunch of cupcakes to serve.  The whole Ahokava family had been up all night decorating and getting things ready.
This was the table Reed and I were asked to sit at.  It was for family and special friends.  We felt a little uncomfortable sitting up front with the wedding party and family but you do what you are asked.  There were two pigs on this table as well as all the other food mentioned above.

Bishop Ahokava and Brother Makalio the fathers of the couple.  They were the MC's for the reception.
Nada sitting at the side head table with family members waiting for them to introduce the wedding party. 

They play different music as each couple (bridesmaid and groomsman) dance their way to the head table.  The Bride and Groom come in last.  This is Ofa and Asi dancing their way in.  It is very traditional for a Tongan wedding and the people really get into the music and dancing.
 I really like that they have the bride dance with her father and the groom dance with his mother and then they switch off and dance with the in-laws and then finish dancing with each other. 
They have different people, usually a relative from one side then the other, get up and say something about the bride and groom and then they dance.  As they dance they slap money on the couple or the young girls dancing or in this case they took it up to the head table when they finished.  This is Lola dancing with members of her family.
 Paea Junior and Ofa dancing with other family members.

They spread out Tapa Clothes for the young girls who came out to perform and then the family surrounds them.  Most people do not bring gifts they just give money as their representatives or family members dance.

The final performers were a few of the YSA who were Asi and Ofa's friends.  Lome Pahulu is in the red on the left and is from our Saineha Ward.  She is such a cute, friendly girl.
It was a wonderful day again. This reception only lasted a little over  three hours and then we stayed and helped clean up.  We feel so blessed to know these families and be invited to participate in such important events with them. The gospel has a way of making us all feel connected and loved.  We know the gospel is true and Heavenly Father wants us to support, serve and help each other.  This is what life is all about, building Eternal Families so we can live with Him again.
Until next time, Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada) 




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