“Feinga Fanguna: Tongatapu, Tonga,” Ensign, February 2018
Portraits of Faith
As a wood-carver, Feinga supports his wife, their three children, and three others in their care. It hasn’t always been easy, but by putting God first, they have always had enough.
Christina Smith, photographer
When my wife, ‘Anau, and I were first married, I would carve small items and go to the market to sell them. Some days I would come back with money, other days I would sell nothing.
I heard about a man who had returned from Hawaii where a group of Maori from New Zealand taught him to carve wood. When we met, he said, “I’m not a teacher, I’m a carving man. But if you want to help build a kalia (a Tongan canoe), you can come with me.” I learned much about wood carving from him.
In my patriarchal blessing, I am promised that God will bless the work I do with my hands and that I will use my talent to help people. These promises are being fulfilled.
I’ve traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Japan, and the United States to represent Tonga at carving and art festivals.
As a wood-carver, I have been able to support my family. My wife and I have three children of our own and three others we take care of. We do what we can to help the children. We try to show them the happiness the gospel brings.
We have pigs, cows, and chickens. We have bananas and breadfruit. We grow cassava and yams that we share with others.
We are blessed in many ways. Our relatives think we’re rich. We’re not, but we have everything we need because we put God first.
We keep the commandments, go to church, hold family home evening, read the Book of Mormon and pray as a family, and we pay our tithing. That’s what brings blessings to our family.