Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bula Vinaka every one!  It's been crazy busy week but we've enjoyed every minute. We had 6 Elders leave this week. Elder Myer (far left) has served as an Assistant to President Klingler and will be sorely missed.  His challenge is to return home to a new state (Reno Nevada)  his parents moved from Idaho this year. The second Elder Kaneko is from the Marshall Islands, but his parents moved to Oklahoma and his father is ill,so he headed to Oklahoma and this will be his first visit to the United States.  Next is Elder Walton, who had an accent that made him sound like an Austrailian, but he's from Texas!, Last is Elder Hawk the new AP in the office.  He was here last week for a zone meeting,  flew back to the island where he was serving and returned back to Suva on a boat that took 12 hours.  He gets our patience award this week.. 

On the left is Elder Tareti (pronounced Taress the T in their language has an S sound)  He lives on an Island Kiribati (pronounced Kiribiss) On the right is Elder Seila who is from Lami, Fiji.  It must have been hard for him to watch the other 5 leave for their flight to the States.  He is 30 years old and it took him a year and a half to get his paperwork and special permission to serve, after the 26 age limit.  He was a great asset in our mission.

Elder Estill  is on the Left, he will be heading home in Dec.  He asked me again this week if I had his flight yet and when I emailed Don who arranges for flights and he said he was still waiting on Elder Estill's parents who are still trying to decided whether or not to fly out and see his mission.

President Klingler, Elder Myer, Sister Klingler  Sister Klingler dropped by the office on Friday to let me know about the help she will need next week.  Our menu says it all.  Monday FHE dinner with the Sisters we're making 2 kinds of soup + homemade rolls.  Tues special training with the sisters.  Thur special training with the elders we'll prepare bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, pancakes, & juice for 20 each day.  Friday dinner for 40 (Lautoka Stake Leadership Meeting).  Saturday we'll serve the leftovers from Fri for 3 new missionaries that will be arriving. Sister Whiting and I have been asked to do the shopping for food, I'm hoping they will have the 180  hash brown patties at Cost U Less we need because it means a lot less work for us. 

We took pictures for the Klingler's because their camera was on the fritz. Elder Hogge was teasing Elder Kaneko about his height and said "David and Goliath" Elder Kaneko is pointing at Goliath.  Just kidding President Klingler!

Friday night we had a stake social event where each ward prepared some dances. The sister's from our ward did a beautiful Fijian dance.  They had live green plants on their wrists as part of their costume and the hand movements were    beautiful and very expressive.

Some of the Indian sisters taught the young women a Hindi dance . Their arm and hand movements were also very exprerssive and flirtacious.

They had a wide variety of ages for the boys and I loved watching the shortest boy in this picture because he had such an infectious smile as he tried to keep up with the movements and follow the lead of the older boys

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Hunter, knowing how much you love bugs, especially big fat juicy ones, this is for you and all our other grandkids who like gross things. This millipede or centepede (I'm not sure which it is) was found squished on our driveway.  It was the length of my hand from my wrist to my finger tips and as big a round as a hot dog...yuck.... but better squished outside then alive and crawling in our flat, right?

We were waiting for the 3 sisters who attend our church and needed a ride so I took this cat's picture. We see a few cats on the island, but there are far more dogs, but I didn't have a chance to take any pictures of them.   

This is a common site in Fiji, it's a rack where people stack their garbage, and most Fijian's bag their garbage in the plastic bags they haul their food from the store in.  I think they try to have the rack high enough to keep dogs and cats from rummaging in the garbaqe, but the cat was eyeing it when I took it's picture.

Elder Hogge and I were asked to fill a speaking assignment this Sunday,  that President Klingler couldn't do, due to his needing to be at a meeting one the other side of the island. We  both spoke in Stake Conference today (a first for us both).  After speaking in church last week, we're both hoping to move on to new challenges.

Tuesday morning we will be leaving early, 6 am for a drive to the other side of the island (4 hour drive) to try to lease a new flat for the sisters. They have been told by members of their ward that their current flat is in a bad area and the Stake President is pretty insistant  about their moving.  After finding some nice flats over there and their only living in it a month, we were disappointed to hear that we need to find them another flat.  We will also be driving back to Suva the same day, so I've bought some snacks for our trip because unlike the USA,  it's difficult to find any kind of convenience store along the way here.
Sometimes I have to sit and wait for Richard when we're out doing errands and we both came up with a few terms that are unique for Fiji:  Lay by=law a way,take away=take out food,  car box=glove compartment overtaking lane=passing lane, lift=elevator, flat=apartment, palangi=white person, boss=friendly endearment Indian people use to address an old guy like Elder Hogge.  ahrei (pronounced R-A) Indian term meaning whatever, watanavu (sounds like wan navoo)=awesome in Fijian.
We went to the Post office the other day to mail a letter.  The Indian man who was helping us said something so fast to us that we couldn't understand what he was saying.  I leaned in and finally understood that he was telling us the cost for a "fast post"  but by then Richard  had pulled out the copy of his passport !   It often takes two of us to try and understand what people are saying.  My phone has been on loan to some elders who needed a phone until Elder Hogge could get them a new one.  When I got it back I stuck it in my purse and forgot about it because I use it so seldom.   As I was getting dressed one morning I heard a phone ringing and thought it must be the gaurd outside who often walks around the outside of our flat complex.  When it started ringing for the second time, I thought why don't you pick that up? then realized it was my phone ringing,  and when I picked it up it was some elders trying to get a hold of the elders who had borrowed my phone and didn't know their  number had changed.  At our Saturday lunch yesterday we heard a loud sound that seemed to be outside of the restaurant we were eating at.  It sounded like a fire truck honking, and we thought there must be an emergency near by.  It was Richard's phone!  He explained that he gets different signals from each set of missionaries that call him multiple times during the day and evening so as you can see, we're still dealing with getting older and often get the giggles when we finally figure out what's going onl

We drove to the Nausori airport early Monday morning to drop off  Elder Trent  for his flight to another island where he has been transfered .  He was wearing some flip flops, but I didn't say anything thinking he was just bending the rules while he flew to his new destination.  After several days of doing some serious walking out in the bush, he realized the wisdom of the mission rule not to wear flip flops and  called and pleaded with Elder Whiting to buy him some decent sandals and ship them to him because his feet were getting sores on them.  He has been serving in Suva for the last 5 months but didn't get around to buying some decent shoes.   Elder Hogge and I are dealing with similar situations with these young missionaries, they are doing well preaching the gospel, but we are often reminded that they are still young and experienced in many ways.  I'd better close we hope all of you are doing well and hope you have a good week.  Mothe  Elder and Sister Hogge

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