What President Nelson’s upcoming visit will mean to 1 Tongan mother

The Helu family remembers meeting then-Elder Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy Nelson in 2007, when the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came to rededicate the Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple.

Temaleti Helu, a retired teacher and mother of the family, said the meeting was “filled with the Spirit and you just feel love, peace, and joy when you listen to his voice and his counsels.”

In a recent Newsroom article, the Helu family said they knew and witnessed firsthand that Elder Nelson, now the President of the Church, was called of God.

Meliana Helu recalls how the apostle specifically asked the family's young and only son, ʻOpeti Helu, to sit by his side, telling him he would become “a great young man someday.”

Now, more than 10 years later, ‘Opeti will be returning from serving in the Ghana West Accra Mission on the same day President Nelson is scheduled to speak to the Tongan Saints.

Read more about President Nelson's Pacific tour here.

Before his mission, ‘Opeti played for Australia’s under 18 rugby national team, having been offered a scholarship to study in Newington College, Australia, as well as to play rugby for a club in France. His mom said it took "a lot of praying, fasting, and convincing to have him return home and go on a mission.”

The Nuku'alofa Tonga Temple at sunset.
The Nuku’alofa Tonga Temple at sunset.

Reminding him of the apostle’s visit and how he had blessed their family, Temaleti Helu encouraged ‘Opeti to go on a mission. Soon after, ʻOpeti turned down the offers, returned to Tonga and went on his mission.

All of Temaleti Helu’s children served missions, but one daughter is not currently in the Church. When she heard about President Nelson's upcoming visit to Tonga, she said all she could think of was her daughter. Impressed by President Nelson's words from the last general conference, she wrote to her daughter, inviting her to come back to the Church.

Helu also extended an invitation to anyone who is feeling lost, wavering in his or her testimony, searching for answers or simply struggling in life to come and listen to the living prophet.

“We know he is a prophet, seer, and revelator and he will speak on behalf of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ,” said Helu. “(President Nelson) is hastening the Lord’s work.”

President Nelson will speak to the people of Tonga on May 23, with the evening devotional at Liahona, Tongatapu, to be broadcasted throughout the island nation.

Read the full article on Newsroom.