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Fallen Mango Tree Brings Interfaith Volunteers Together to Serve Community


About 20 men from the Sia’atoutai Theological College in Tonga were recently joined by volunteers from the Liahona Stake (a group of congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in a project to remove a collapsed giant mango tree known as “Fu’u Mango koe Tautau’anga Loto.”

The tree had been prominently located at the entrance to the college but was blown over in a storm.

The tree’s name means “the mango tree to hang the natural self.” A wooden board with the name was conspicuously hung on the mango tree as a reminder to all students, teachers, and faculty that when you enter the college, you leave your sentiments and temperament on the mango tree and come prepared to be obedient to all that is asked of you.

And that is exactly what all project participants did. Each left his busy schedule and all he had planned for that day; and all worked together to remove the giant mango tree from the gate to the college, permitting normal entry once again.

President Taufa of the Liahona Stake asked Mosese Naeata, the Church's local public affairs director, to coordinate the effort. Brother Naeata sought the approval of officials at Sia’atoutai Theological College and the Wesleyan Church and permission was received on Wednesday, 22 February, with the challenge to complete the project by Friday, 24 February.


At the appointed hour, volunteers arrived with generators, jack hammers, pry bars, grinders, chainsaws, a bobcat tractor and a dump truck, all donated for use in the project. Pieces of the tree were hauled to a vacant lot behind the college. The project was complete before sundown.


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