Monday, October 22, 2012

Hi everyone,
     Well we went onto Fiji daylight savings time, set our clocks ahead one hour, and it's only for the next four months, and then returns to normal time in February.  We spoke in church today, and I was going to us the excuse of changing times, and show up an hour late, but Mary wouldn't let me out of the assignment!  I guess I should thank her.   In two weeks we will be speaking in Stake Conference as representatives of the mission, and our topic is "save the one", so I'm going to talk about myself.  Do you have any suggestions that I can use?  I know that Mary has been working all our married life to save me, so I hope I can pull this off.
     We have been working 8-5 M-F as our callings have evolved.  Now a lot of Sat. are used for some details that are not completed during the week.  Even some evenings are being used too.  The interesting thing about doing all this work, is the blessings we get.  I've been happy to do the extra work because associating with the missionaries has given me much joy.  The harder the work and longer the day, the better I feel.  As long as Mary can have a lunch and dinner on time, she goes right along with me, a real trooper.  Elder Bednar said it well,  The Lord walks beside the missionaries, and angels are round about them bearing them up.  Often I see this happening throughout the day.  The Lord has His hand in all that goes on with the missionaries.
      I was set apart as a veil worker on Thurs.  Each week we go and do a session in the temple, and often there isn't enough workers to help, so they need temporary help whenever we attend.  I can only do the part in English, so they are kind enough to make sure I don't have to do Fijian.  It would probably take me the rest of my mission just to learn the necessary Fijian to get through the first sentence.  Mary waits in the Celestial room for me to finish.  The temple president, Elder Davis, set me apart and his blessing was beautiful.  This only adds to how great a mission we're having.
      We are losing one of our Assistants to the president, he's leaving for home this next week. He is originally from Idaho, but now his parents live in Reno.  I think he's in for a shock about life styles.He is a very talented and friendly Elder, and all the missionaries respect him.  He plans on attending BYU-Idaho, but I won't hold that against him.  I told him a solid education is found at the U of U or Weber State, but he won't listen to an old man like me--to many jokes played on him.  We are going to miss him.  The new AP is Elder Hawk from Gilbert, AZ.  so I get to harass him a little about High Schools.
       I've got to find a new flat for the Sisters nearby in Nasinu.  The flat they are in right now has been rented by missionaries for over 10 years and the neighborhood is changing enough to make the Sisters feel unsafe when the sun goes down.  So this week is a move week for furniture and stuff.  The ZL's and DL's are getting great experience preparing them for being part of an Elders Quorum.  "Have truck will travel" is their motto.
This young man helped us at Chicken express and followed us out to our car. We gave him two pieces of chicken he we had leftover and he told us he didn't go to school this week because his dad left.  There are many challenges of poverty and single parents here in Fiji.

A president and his wife from one of the outlying areas on this island

I bought a coconut and cracked it open to find a seed pod in it. Our guide on the village tour said the seed pushes out of the 1 soft eye of the coconut shell and sprouts leaves and that's how you get a new coconut tree!

these are sections of a long narrow tapa cloth I bought from our village visit. the figure that looks like a curvy T is a depiction of a neck breaker used in earlier times when cannibalism was a common practice.

Many of the fans people take to church look like this

This represents the houses in the village

A local artist who is a member came in the office and I bought this tapa cloth depicting some ofthe animal life here.

We had a young Indian woman approach us and beg for us to buy this rug she had made. She was a single mother of 4 and trying to feed her family.  I liked the orange colors in it because it goes with the color of our wall.  We had another smaller black and white carpet that I didn't care for because of it's colors so we donated it to the Sisters to use in their flat.

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This is the ice cream boxes we use for everything from storing food, to sending home leftover with elders, sisters or senior couples.

Our neighbor's empty yard.  It once had lush bird of paradise plants, trees etc I guess it was time to really give the yard a good trim.  The large heart leafed plants are Dalo a dense starchy root plant that is a real staple food in the Fijian Diet.

river that runs through downtown Suva

A big cruise ship stopped in town on Saturday and there were tourists everywhere for a good part of the day.

What we call Fragi Pani but in Hawaii it's known as Plumeria. It smells heavenly, doesn't have many leaves and comes in several colors here.  

The beautiful Fragi Pani growing in a parking lot next to a dark and dingy building covered in mold. 

I had to capture the crazy stairs to the Elders flat. One stair is about 9'' tall the next 7" and the last about 12" it makes for strong leg muscles after you climb a few.

The beautiful flowers growing in the front yard of the Elder's flat.

The dump pile in the back yard that will be lit and burned that creates a very unpleasant smell. When our neighbors burn, we close all our shutters to try and keep our clothes and flat from smelling.

I had Elder Hogge stop at one of the many fresh produce stands so I could buy some fruit and veggies for the week. Each stack is called a heap and cost $2.00 each.  The pineapple was $4.00 Fijian.
        Give our love to everyone, hugs and kisses to the grand kids.  Loloma, Dad and Mom

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