Monday, December 17, 2012

BULA VINAKA FRIENDS AND FAMILY!  It's been another  crazy/busy
week for Elder and Sister Hogge.  The lovely stove above (yes that's what it is)
was what the sisters found when they were transfered to a new area and into
what was an Elder's flat.  I think they cooked on it a little and then never cleaned it so
the grease and grime simply turned to rust after a while. 

This is their lovely couch.  Actually much of the furniture here is stained and dirty
like this.  Unfortunately we don't have a bigger budget but have many more flats to find for
the large number of missionaries coming in the spring so they just have to make do.

This is Elder Estill (will be returning to California) demonstrating how to fill
and eat a cream puff with one bite (a missionary tradition  here).
This was at the end of their farewell dinner and testimony night.

We have 5 heading home Sister Longley (returning to Hawaii) Elder
Mema'ofa (family lives in walking distance of the Mission home,) He asked me if
I have any neices who would like to get married and wouldn't mind living in Fiji
Elder Ikafanga (returning to Austrailia), Elder Driso (also lives in Fiji)

Group picture with President and Sister Klingler

This is a nativity carved by a man here who is a member of the church

Christmas came early for us this year.  Natalie sent
us a cute fold out Christmas tree, some holiday candy
and shock....beef jerky (The postal people normally have
you come down, open the package and if there are any
meat products [particularly beef jerky ]promptly throw it
in the garbage and give you a severe warning).  Luckily
she sent it UPS and it was delivered to our office.

This was a real favorite for grandma and grandpa, aprons with
all the grand kids hand or foot prints and their names.  Thanks Jenny
and other family members for the special effort to do this for us. One of the other
Senior Sisters was helping me when our package came and when she saw our
aprons said "I'm going to ask my kids to do that for me"  So thanks for
this gift it really means a lot to us and we will be using them alot.

Grandpa making his morning toast and protecting
his clothes with his new apron.  He has forbidden me
to tell anyone how much weight he has lost but
I can say that he's cinching in his belt a few more notches now.

Back to reality, two filters on right (before) shows how a new filter looks which should be changed
regularly using a printed schedule we post in each flat.  The two on the left (after).  The brown one shows
how dirty the water can be when filters are left in for 6 months rather then changing them regularly.  We had some Elders start getting sore throats, and decided to check their water filters, and  found
 black mold growing on them.  So some of them learn the hard way.

Wooly Bear tree next to our church

This tree is by our church and looks like a wooly bear because it is a host for a plant that is growing up it's trunk
 (I got brave and tried  to move the wooly bear picture (above)  and it ended up next to Grandpa). Some day I may figure out how to use the computer, but this will have to do for now!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Vinod Patel
a store we shop in for supplies for the missionaries.

They even had some mechanical Santa/s 

We were notified Friday that a Cyclone was headed our way and our upstairs neighbor said he found some Cyclone shutters that belonged to our apartment.  They snap in and help protect the glass doors from being damaged.  It hit Samoa Thursday and there was flooding that closed down their airport, which caused Sister Longley's
flight to be rerouted.    Instead of a stop over in Samoa and on to Hawaii, she now has to fly to Los Angele3s,
have a 4 hour lay over and then fly back to Hawaii.  We hope she'll make it home safely.  It's Sunday afternoon and no sign of rain yet, but The other office couple said that it rained so hard and long (over a week) on the last cyclone that  we might start to grow webbed feet by the time it stops raining.

Humidity is a challenge here.  When you put ice in your drink the glasses sweat so much that we have to have a towel under it so it won't wreck our wood table. The humidity causes a lot of condensation in our fridge and the water freezes and blocks the fridge from working.   When we discovered our cheeze was warm, we unplugged our fridge,  hauled all our food to the fridge in the mission office until we could have a repairman check it on Monday.  Our unplugging it melted the ice that was causing it to malfunction, and voila it was fixed.  Both Richard and I love to run the air in the car but when we get out of the car it immediately fogs our glasses because of the humidity and change in temperature.

My last little trial these days is ants.  I bought some fruit for a dinner we Seniors had for Elder Estill and his parents (they flew over to pick him up from his mission)  When I sat down in the car later that day I looked down and 6 ants were swarming all over my skirt, so I quickly killed them.  Sunday morning I sat on my bed with my purse and pulled out a small container of  nuts that I carry with me to tide me over if we're unable to eat lunch on time and looked down and 7 ants were scurrying all over my bed!  I had an ah ha moment, emptied out my purse and shook it and each time, more ants fell out of my purse.  So I immediately killed them and kept shaking until no more fell out, then sprayed the lining of my purse with premetheryne a great bug killing spray that is given to all missionaries to keep the bugs from
overtaking your living space.  Luckily I had bought a new Bula Purse for my birthday and used it instead.

Well I'd better close for now  Have a good Christmas Season everyone  Love Elder and Sister Hogge

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