My Cave My View

Keyboard class in Tonga, led by Dee Torres.  Courtesy photo
It seems that as I look back there are two things that we remember and have made a difference in our life: teachers and primary songs.  Teaching is a calling; not a career.  So it is hard for teachers to not teach because they love learning, they love learners, and they love bringing the two...
Members of the Tonga Senior Missionary Dental Team include: (left to right) Karen Darrington, Tupou Vala, Susan Goodman, Pierce Goodman, and Heu Lafitani. Courtesy photo
When you don’t have many resources such as money or a government social safety net, you learn to rely on the Lord for basics such as health care. I have learned that Tongans pray with sincerity, frankness, and earnestness and with an unassuming but confident expectation that the Lord hears them and...
As you get older you get disconnected from familiar yearly milestones.  I swear that school and football practice just started.  Bam!  Just as suddenly grandkids are excited to graduate from junior high or kindergarten.  I swear it was last week.  If life was like a calendar year, springtime would...
Courtesy photo
In 1969 Loren Eiseley wrote: A man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up starfish and gently throwing them into the ocean.  Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”  “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The tide is going out. If I don’t throw them...
Gary and Dee Torres distributing Solar Buddy lights to students at a school in Tonga. Courtesy photo
It is cyclone season and there are 200 perilous miles of the South Pacific Ocean between where we are and where we need to be.  We are trying our best to deliver Solar Buddy lights to children on remote islands of Tonga that have no electricity.  But we don’t know the way, don’t have a boat, don’t...
If you were limited to owning only ten items, would your scriptures be one of them? Lately we have been visiting homes in small villages where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in partnership with the Tongan Ministry of Health has provided wheelchairs to people in need.  Technically,...
The Caveman and other white-shirted friends hard at work sending Solar Buddy to remote islands of Tonga. Dee Torres photo
Tonga is made up of 176 islands but only 36 are occupied.  There are about 121 small villages on these small outer islands.  Many villages have less than 100 inhabitants and do not have electricity, sometimes a store or a church might have a generator that runs a few hours a day.  Imagine that you...
Just another day on the beach in Tonga.  Courtesy photo
I have been here for four months now, and I am starting to get the lingo down.  For example, if someone says “maybe” that really means that there is a not a chance in Hades that it is going to happen.  If someone says, “come back in the afternoon,” that in no way implies the afternoon of the same...
Shrek gives the CaveGuy a Mo’Bettah haircut. Courtesy photo
We teach an English immersion class at Liahona High School in Tonga using the Book of Mormon to read each morning.  We have twelve kids that are 15 to 18 years old and have been working hard to gain their trust. They are just starting to make comments and participate.  I have also been working on a...
Tongan missionaries pose after cleaning Tupou High School in Tonga, as well as donting new desks and chairs to the school. Gary Torres photo
In the 2010 movie “The A-Team”, Liam Neeson grins, lights a cigar, and says just as the good guys win, “I love it when a plan comes together!” I had a similar experience here in Tonga the other day. Okay, I didn’t light up a cigar, but I grinned and told the Mission President “I love it when a...

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