During his years of service as assistant church historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Andrew Jenson toured many of the missions of the world.

In 1895, while traveling from Fiji to Samoa, he came to Tonga just four years after the first Latter-day Saint missionaries arrived from Samoa and started preaching. On Aug. 19, 1895, he sailed into the island cluster known as Vava’u and into the channel leading to the city of Neiafu which, at that time, had about 200 inhabitants. On the morning of Aug. 20, 1895, Jenson took a walk on land and climbed Mount Talau, the highest peak in the area.

Jenson recorded his travels and experiences with remarkable detail. He noted he “obtained a magnificent view of the harbor, bays, straits and the different islands of the Vava’u group” (see "Tales from the World Tour: The 1895-1897 Travel Writings of Mormon Historian Andrew Jenson," edited by Reid L. Neilson and Riley M. Moffat). He recorded that he spent a private moment in earnest and solitary prayer and then returned to the ship happy.

He then sailed toward Tongatapu, the largest island of the Tongan archipelago (group of islands) and the kingdom’s capital, Nuku’alofa. After a few weeks staying and working at the mission home in Mua, Jenson returned by boat to Neiafu, Vava’u. He assisted two elders in finding lodging and a place to meet so they could open up the work there.

On Sept. 9, 1895, he and the missionaries ascended Mount Talau. They sang “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet” together, knelt in prayer and dedicated the Vava’u group of islands for the preaching of the gospel.