Ex-Storm winger Young Tonumaipea is eying a return to the NRL after a two-year hiatus from the game to complete his mormon mission.
The 27-year old completed range of tasks while on his Berlin mission, from preaching his faith, helping people move houses and also cleaning and working with refugee groups.
Tonumaipea says the mission has given him a different perspective on life and it has made him a better man for it.
“It was a totally different life change” Tonumaipea told Fox Sports.
“I came from playing with the Storm in front of thousands of people to Germany where nobody knows who I am.
“I had to learn another language and it was a hard decision to go and leave everything behind but it was honestly something I don’t regret, and something that I’m very proud of.
“I wanted to be selfless and go out and help other people, I’ve learned so much and gained so many experiences which I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed living in this comfortable life that we have in Australia. I realise how very blessed and lucky we are to live here.
“I’ve come across so many refugees, people from Africa who have quite literally walked from Nigeria to somewhere where they get a boat with no idea if they will make it to the other side or not.
“They land somewhere in Greece or Italy and walk, it’s the same for guys from Iraq and Turkey, places which aren’t safe, and where there are wars. They have a desire to kick on forward, no matter how tough the struggles and hardships there is a desire to have a better life.”
With his new life perspective and learning a range of different languages along the way, Tonumaipea is as ambitious as ever to make a swift return back to the NRL.
There is currently a pause on player registrations and movements because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that is expected to ease as the NRL nears a return to action.
Tonumaipea is also keen to do all he can to get back into contention for the Samoan national team and be ready to play in next years's World Cup in England.
When asked about it if he wanted to return to the Storm, Tonumaipea says he would love to wear the purple and gold again.
“It’s a case of wait and see what’s going on. I would love to don the purple again, this is where I grew up and that’s my preference.
“I know how hard the Storm work, and their work ethic is something I really loved. I play a few positions - wing, centre, fullback, so hopefully they see that.
“I started playing rugby league when I was 16, so being away has made me realise what I really wanted.
“I’m hungrier than ever to come back to the NRL and make a mark. I’ve been running a lot and I feel fresh. It’s been good to not get bashed in for a couple of pre-seasons.”
Tonumaipea played 44 games for the Storm before leaving the club in 2018 to move to Berlin, Germany to begin his mission.