Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tongan princess finds joy in Church

Published: Saturday, March 17, 1990

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Princess 'Elisiva Fusipala Vaha'i, a niece of Tonga's King Tauf'ahau Topou IV, was baptized here Oct. 24, 1989.

She is the first member of the royal family to join the Church, according to Pres. 'Isileli T. Kongaika of the Tonga Nuku'alofa Mission.Princess Fusipala was taught the gospel while staying at the home of Sepiuta and Larripotoa Fehoko, members of the Santa Ana 6th Branch (now Santa Ana 6th Ward) during an extended visit to the United States last summer and fall.

She has since returned to her home in Nuku'Alofa, Tonga, where she was called to serve in the Relief Society.

"While attending Church meetings at the branch, she was overwhelmed by the love and spirituality of the members," said now-Bishop Heilala T. Finau.

She was taught the gospel by Bishop Finau, his counselors and the branch mission leader.

"At first we felt a little awkward," said Bishop Finau. "We called her husband, the Honorable Vaha'i of Fo'ui, Tonga, who said, `Let it be, but just tell her to be true to the faith.' "

She was baptized in services attended by members from all over the Los Angeles area. Afterward, Sister Vaha'i bore her testimony of the joy she'd found in conversion.

After her return to Tonga a short time later, she said that none of her family was displeased that she had joined the Church. She and her family have been invited to feasts and special Church events throughout the islands.