When I finally qualified to serve a full-time mission, I was called to serve in the New Zealand Auckland Mission, Tongan-speaking. Even though I’m of Tongan descent, I struggled with the Tongan language. I had so much to say, but because I couldn’t speak the language, my words were few, simple, and broken.
I love this gospel and I love street art, so I decided to combine the two. I packed my scriptures, a sketchbook, charcoal pencils, permanent markers, and cans of spray paint. My companions laughed and asked, “What are you doing with spray paint?” I explained, “I may not speak the language yet, but I can show others my testimony.”
For the remainder of my mission, I used street art—on paper, not on buildings—and the Spirit to teach others about Christ. And as crazy as it sounds, it worked. Many people didn’t want to hear my message, so I sketched it. Doors and eyes opened when I told them that I did graffiti. They didn’t believe me. They timed me for three minutes, and I sketched the word faith while teaching them about it. Among them were many who felt judged and unloved. I could testify that with faith in Christ we can feel of His love and forgiveness, and He can help us change for the better. He helped me.
Years of preparation for my mission allowed me to gain a testimony of Christ’s Atonement and His power to help me overcome my weaknesses and use my strengths to share what I knew with others. In the end, it was worth the seven years.