Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bula Vinaka everyone, we hope you are all happy and well.  I'm grateful to be well again after being sick enough to stay in the flat one day last week.

It's been another crazy, busy, great , week.  I noticed on my list of arriving missionaries that we had a couple, the Updikes coming in this week and since President Klingler and his wife were gone to a meeting for Mission Presidents all this week and the AP's hadn't come into the office, I called Sulu (who works downstairs in the service center, since they process seniorsnow.  She told me that President Davis (temple president) should be taking care of them since they will be working in the temple, plus managing temple patron housing.  So I relaxed and didn't worry any further about it.  Then the AP's told me this story.  We have 2 Nadi Elders who are assigned to meet incoming missionaries on the other side of the island and help them catch the flight that takes them to our side of the island.  No one had communicated with them about meeting the Updikes, but the morning they arrived the Elders had a strong prompting to go to the air port, which they did and were in time to find the Updikes and help them catch their flight to Nausori.  The AP's weren't sure what was going on over here and took the precaution of driving to the Nausori airport in case someone had forgotten to arrange to pick them up, and as they entered the airport they were releived to see President Davis (temple president) driving past them with the Updikes in their car.  Elder Hawk said "I'm glad the spirit told the airport elders what to do", and we all had to agree.

Richard went the extra mile this week for an Elder from Fiji who had been called to serve a mission in the Phillipines.  He didn't have the means to buy a suit and after Sister Klingler checked her supply of suits that are left behind by Elders heading home to the states, and not finding anything near his size, Elder Hogge generously took on the challenge of finding and paying for a suit coat for this Elder.  He went to 3 different thrift shops (not his favorite thing to do), but with some persistance, he was blessed to find a jacket that fit the elder so he could go to the MTC properly dressed.

I had an encounter with a "new food" this week.  Elder Estill an AP offered me some sour sop.  It looked like a long stringy piece of cotton that was drenched in juice.  I took a taste and immediately scrunched my face up with new understanding of how this nasty fruit got it's name it was sopping wet with Jjuice that was extremely sour!  Yuck.

Sister Taito who manages the distribution center came over to visit me and try and order some supplies using my accout number.  Our order for Book of Mormons and other supplies we sent in August still hasn't arrived due to the church deciding that flying supplies was too expensive so they switched to sending it by boat.  All I can say is it must be taking a long time to fill the boat and start the trip!  When we found some items she needed to order I said "so do you want this?" and still looking at my screen I hear her say "un uh" so I started
to move to another part of the screen when I realized that she was saying yes.  In fiji they say un uh for yes un huh for no.  So I have to keep reminding myself to listen more carefully.

Elder Hogge went with Bishop Tilley this week to nine missionary flats to install smoke alarms and he shared this experience he had with Elder Hogge.  Bishop Tilley serrved a mission here in Fiji 30 years ago.  At that time, all the elders walked or rode bikes which took many hours of travel to meet their appointments.  One day he taught a lesson on one side of Lautoka and had a second appointment on the opposite side of Lautoka.  When he closed with prayer at his first appointment and stepped outside he asked the Lord to help him get to their second appointment that was many miles away.  He felt impressed to pray for this, and that it was important to be on time, and to keep this appointment.  They walked down the dirt road that fed into a main road.  It was dark and their was no traffic.  They waited for a few minutes and some headlights appeared on a nearby mountain road.  The driver stopped his car, and asked the Elders if they needed help and they told him where they needed to go.  The driver replied that he was going right by the area they needed to go to and gave them a ride.  They arrived on time to their appointment and found eight families instead of one waiting for their message.  All of them wanted Book of Mormons and a short time later, they baptized all eight of these families.

I took a lot of pictures this week, hope they give you a taste of what Fiji is like.
This is a burn, neighbor piles wood, green clippings and burns them, we rush in flat shut all the shudders in hopes of keeping the stink from getting into our furniture and clothes.

view from our driveway

We're allowed to eat anything growing in our backyard the ladyfinger bananas are almost ready

Baby papaya (they call it paw paw, maybe it will  bear fruit by the time we leave

Yeah, we have 2 eggs plant bushes!

Richard dropped me off at immigration, while he went shopping for  the suit coat for the elder.  It's across from this shipping yard.  Maybe one of these containers has our Book of Mormon order from August!

One of many buses we see everyday.  The green material drops down  to protect  passengers when it's raining

City worker they have wheel barrels to carry packages for you or  do road work.  All the streets are hand painted and  when they need the black top torn up to do pipe work a group of men take turns using a sledge hammer.

Lunch with the Wells

The sister's new flat Sister Vosaniyaqona, Lavaka, Nauer

One of the biggest round abouts in town

We love these big trees 

the guy in this picture helps you see how  big the tree is

I've almost finished this box and won't be buying another.  The cereal is kind of like  raisin brand flakes shaped into cubes

One of the many colorful houses in Fiji

Mokoi Area Sisters- Sister Lawenitotoka, Fanene, Maile

cute pink house next to the sisters flat

they paint these posts to try and keep the black mold away

A mature paw paw tree

Even the jungle growth is pretty

The Nausori Airport where the Updikes did get picked up

selling fish by the road next to our church

We have a truck that was damaged in August by Elders it has been in Lautoka until this week and was brought  here but no work has been done, or parts ordered.  Richard and I think that by the time they repair it it will be covered in vines like this truck!

Our clothes rack is great for drying clothes since it rains so often

This chair is one of the pieces of furniture we are storing from the AP's flat.  I think it's found a new home.

last weeks car we returned to the rental place 

this weeks car

A boat we go by dailyon our way to work.  What do you think boys, could we put that  rack on and make it a  wakeboarding boat?

This is an interesting flower, it is a long white pod, then bursts open and the petals droop

A pretty large tree we see on the way to church
Take Care everyone, love Elder and Sister Hogge

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