Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hello Everyone, how's it going?  Things are moving right along for us as we try to find flats. We signed a contract for a flat with a sweet Indian woman named Shanti this week.  She's a widow and lives on the top flat and due to her difficulty in walking down the many stairs from her flat doesn't get out much.  The flat we rented from her is unfurnished and is a studio apartment.  The Howards will only be here several months and then move on to other islands, but as we thought about the expense of buying a bed, air conditioning unit and some basic furniture they would require we decided to bump the AP's  into this flat since they aren't allowed to have air conditioning and already have some of the furniture needed for the flat.  Their flat originally had a queen size bed, and TV which we had the Landlord move elsewhere, when the Elders moved in, so with a little finagling we should be able to cover every one's needs better without as much cost.  Our car is currently stuffed with items that will be needed for an unfurnished flat like a broom, dustpan, cleaning supplies, rags, towels, sheets, pillows, fans, pan set, dishes and utensils, for the Elders a 2 burner stove that sits on top of the kitchen bar, a gas tank, a rice cooker, microwave, to name a few of the items we buy.  When we sat down with Shanti to sign the contract she had us sit at her kitchen table.  I immediately noticed about 20-30 small ants traveling all around her place mats on an ant freeway.  I pulled my chair out a bit further so I could sit on the chair but not have to have my arms or body touch the table while I made polite conversation and  Richard signed the contract.  There was a very sweet saying on her wall and I asked if I could copy it.  I hope you will enjoy it as I did.

You are richer tonight then you were this morning
If you have taken the time to trace the handiwork of God 
in the common place things of life,
or if you have learned to count out the things 
that really do not count,
or if you have been a little  blinder to the faults of a friend.
You are richer if a little child smiled at you,
and a stray dog has licked your hand,
or if you have looked for the best in others.

Monday we will have ten curtain panels made for the flat and Richard will meet the delivery truck for the washer and refrigerator delivery on Tuesday (that's if all goes well, we've discovered that customer service is not a well understood concept here).

The Whitings who work with us in the office announced that their landlord is selling the home that's been converted into a duplex that they and the Whiteheads live in!  Luckily both of these couples are highly motivated and will do a lot of the leg work in finding a new flat.  Saturday after our lunch with the Senior Couples we went and looked at a flat the Whiteheads found and liked.  After showing us, they decided to rent it so Richard sat and did the paperwork with the Landlady. 
We got home for dinner around 7pm but it was nice to have it done and be one less thing for us to fit in during the week. 

We're finding it an ever growing challenge to remember and pronounce names correctly here, but some easy ones are Hawk and Stock our AP's in the office.  Avenish and Ravenish our landlord and the landlord of the Osborne's but the Fijian's struggle with ours too.  Our Bishop announced that Elder" Hogges" would be confirming a sister today.

We got a call late Friday night that the sisters had a baptism scheduled 7am Sunday morning and asked if I could print up some programs.  That meant getting up by 6am so we could have the programs there on time.  Richard woke up at 5am and I arose a few minutes later.  All of us were there on time and waiting, except the sisters and the sister to be baptized.  The sisters came in and asked if we could go pick up the sister which we would have been happy to do except our back seat was filled to the top with things for the flat.  We told them to take a taxi and we would pay for it.  They arrived back a few minutes later and we managed to have the baptism before the Sisters started filtering in for Relief Society at 8am.  

We dropped 2 senior couples off at the airport on Saturday, then  looked around
for  possible flats to rent.  No flats, but I took a picture of this tree I like.

Our AP's, enjoying their "Dear Elder Birthday Party Box" in Sister Whitings office

No flats, but we found a colorful fence!

L-R Sister Michael (speaks 3 languages from the Solomon Islands), new member Sister Tinai Maria Tavaita Moce
Sister Nauer (comes from Samoa, she's the sister who had parents on a boat during Cyclone Evan that were  okay)
I must say I've come to appreciate all the conveniences we enjoy back home.  Sister Irava came to me and asked if I would take 5 minutes to teach the sisters how to lead music using a practice  hymn 311.  I said sure, and tried to take a minute to see which hymn it was during the announcements.  It was totally unfamiliar to me and is meant for a woman's choir!  I decided to teach all the sisters how to move their hands to lead music for either a 3/4 time or 4/4 time or 6/8 time as we said the words, and promised to work with Sister Klingler (who has a piano) this week to learn the melody.  We have no piano at church or anyone who knows how to play if we did have one.  Richard reminded me that we're going out of town next weekend to check on flat possibilities on a small island NE of us called Ovalau, so I devised a plan to grab sister Taito who is in our Relief Society, but also works next door to us in the Distribution Center during the week and we'll both go to Sister Klingler's and learn the hymn so she can cover for me this week while I'm gone.  Richard was asked to confirm Sister Tinai Maria Tavaita Moce,in sacrament meeting (who's baptism we attended this morning).  When he went up to give the opening prayer for church he quickly grabbed the baptism program which led me to realize that he was confirming her and needed to know how to pronounce her name since we met her for the first time this morning.  There is no hand microphones here so we couldn't hear it and I had to keep peeking to see when he had finished.  How very blessed we are to have so many things that these people don't, but they do have strong testimonies of our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and that's all that matters.


  1. Sounds like some great adventures for the Hogges in paradise! We love reading your blog. Take care.

  2. Thanks for taking time to check out our blog. We enjoy hearing from you

  3. Thank you so much for sharing all of your fun adventures and uplifting experiences. We are sure proud of you! And we love you!