Ten years before Elder Groberg served in Niuatoputapu (Knee-you-ah doh-poo dah-poo), Sione and Salote Wolfgramm were sent there as a young couple missionary by Tonga's mission president Emile Dunn. With limited foreign visas, Tongans were routinely called as couple missionaries to serve among their own — even today. The Wolfgramms were from the island of Vava'u, roughly 180 miles away. That distance was usually covered in a day's travel by sailboat.
On Thursday, June 19, 1947, 29-year-old Sione Wolfgramm, his 25-year-old wife, Salote and their three small children, four-year-old Lupi (Ruby), three-year-old Makaleta (Margaret) and nine-month-old Vili (Willie) sailed with a small group of Saints from Niuatoputapu for Vava'u. In Vava'u, the small traveling party would gather more Saints and make the 150-mile voyage further south to Tongatapu, the main island, for a district conference celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Saints' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley.