Monday, October 1, 2012

Hi everyone, how are you in your nice and dry area of the world?  We are experiencing a lot of rain and humidity.  I pulled a dark brown skirt out of my closet last Sunday and it had three white spots on it and I thought how did I get bleach on that? I've been so careful.  It turned out to be white mold spots, and Sister Tennis (a senior sister) said "oh that happened to me too", it's where you've spilled some food and the mold grows easier on those spots" (we don't wear our skirts once and wash them like back home because the washing machines tend to wash the life out of them fast, so we wash them after we've worn them for a while).  Brother and Sister Wells are going on a 19 day adventure next Tuesday they will be traveling to 5 different islands as auditors and trying to teach the ward clerks about managing the finances.  They've found that some of the ward bishops have a hard time letting the clerks do the finances and kind of have a chief in the village mentality about being the bishop of the ward and want to control the ward money themselves.  So the Wells have their work cut out for them trying to educate the ward leaders about the role they each play in the check and balance system that the church has set up.  One island is so small and remote that the landing strip is grass and the people and kids have to be given advanced warning to clear off of the runway when a plane is coming in!  Because there is no electricity the missionaries told them they just go to bed when it gets dark, but the Wells don't want to do that and be waking up at 2 am in the morning, so they plan to take some flashlights and play a game or two in the evenings to pass the time (something non prosyleting senior missionaries are allowed to do)  They also have to take different currency for nearly each place they go, and Brother Wells ordered $8,000,00 of one currency and then woke up and sat straight up in bed when he realized that $8,000.00 in that currency only equaled $8.00!  They are also going to take some kind of snack food in their check in suitcase so they have something to eat while traveling around.  One of the islands is also the one that the previous auditor couple told them to take their own sheets as they will be sleeping in the extra room of the sisters flat on that island.  It will be fun to hear of their adventures when they get back.

Elder Hogge has enjoyed having a truck for a second week since another of our senior couples flew here and then left for a week on another island leaving their truck for Elder Hogge to use while they're gone.  The Wells will be gone about 2 1/2 weeks and graciously offered to let us use their car while they're gone since ours is still being used by the Elders on the other end of our island.  It was decided that the truck that was badly damaged in the accident will be sold and we're hoping to get a larger car since Elder Hogge often has to transport bikes to be repaired and new washing machines to missionary flats.  Elder Hogge was busy helping transport sisters this week who were heading out to other areas on transfer day and there was a dog there that obviously didn't like men.  The sisters calmed it down and Elder Hogge was heading for the gate with the last suitcase and the dog came up and bit him on the ankle as if to let him know she still didn't like him being there.  With a good cleansing cloth and a big band aid I'm happy to report he survived his first dog bite.  He also had a senior moment when a sister who is now on the other side of the island called to thank him for the nice flat he found for them.  He then said "are you going to be home some time today, I need to come and pick up the other luggage that was left in your flat (thinkng she was still here in her Suva flat).  Whoops!

We have received several packages from family members and feel like it's Christmas.  It's amazing what it does for your morale to have some treats,spices and drinks your taste buds are familiar with.  We had a missionary receive a very small package.  It had a box of Dots candy and probably cost $1.00.  The sender paid $6.00 to send it and the receiver paid $3.00 to get it and they were going to charge another $5.00 for the quarantine fee (certain foods have to be checked to see if they're a danger coming into the country) The worker graciously waived that fee so it only cost $9.00 for a box of Dots candy.  We've been lucky to receive everything family members have sent and only be charged a $3.00 fee.

We prepared a big dinner for 40 people on Tuesday and Sister Klingler, Whiting and I came up with a great way to cook the lasagna.  We put two large pans in a large heavy duty hooded grill on the patio and placed them on inverted cookie sheets to try and lift them further from the grill.  This left the one large over in the kitchen for the homemade rolls. All went well and we enjoyed eating and visiting with the leaders and their wives, then did the dishes while they had their meeting.  Sister Whiting and I joined sister Klingler for the food preparation at noon and our husbands joined us at 5pm when the office closed.  We left about 8:30 pm tired but happy to be serving where needed.  The next morning we were surprised by an email President Klingler sent to Elder Hogge.  The trainer sister in one of the new areas on the other side of the island (4 hours away) called him at 2:30 am worried about a big storm we had that night and that her flat was going to flood.  Elder Hogge called the landlord and it turned out the sister had been overly concerned about flooding due to some stories the ward members shared with her about the flooding that happened last spring, something that tends to only happen in that area every ten years.  So things were ironed out, but we all felt for President Klingler who I'm sure was very tired after a big event like we had that day.

The Elders gave us office workers a laugh when he turned in a baptisimal record that had the birthdate as 1826!  Elder Hogge pointed out that even if it was supposed to be 1926 it would still make him 100 years old.  ah youth.  Another funny story was told to me by sister Whiting.  They live in a duplex next to the Whiteheads.  Sister Whitehead planted some tomatoes and the vines were doing so well that she needed a support and found a dry stick.  A while later she noticed leaves growing on the stick and I can report that the Casava tree is about 3 feet high with healthy green leaves on it.  The natives have told us you can stick most anything in the ground and it will grow and I can report that it's true.

These are signs by the highway to the Suva airport

The Fijians all say this instead of "no Problem" When we gt a phone call from the service center downstairs asking to speak to someone and they're not in the office they say no worries and call later.

Going to McDonalds

This is the crossing guard at the LDS Primary School
grades 1-7

The red flag in front of the house means they are Muslim
"do not inquire withing"

Here is the chicken roadside venders--
get your FRESH chickens here

Elder Hogge and I went to lunch after the other day after dropping off a bike to be repaired and he wanted to go to a local eatery but I pleaded to go to McDonalds....Yes I'm sure my grandkids are saying what?  They often wanted to go there, but we had some other favorites we preferred.  Well in Fiji McDonald's is the only American fast food type restaurant they have so we go there quite often.  We also watched some kids climb one of the huge trees that grow here and five of them clung to different branches and bounched up and down on it like a ride.  Kids always manage to have fun don't they.  Our love goes out to everyone, kisses and hugs. Grandma and Grandpa

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