18 March 2013Another week has flown by and it's Monday and I didn't get to blog Sunday,so I'm attempting to write a little before the next wave of missionaries come in the office. Monday is their P-day so I only have bits of time to actually accomplish something but it's great to see them and visit with them. Elder Hogge is on a trip to Savusavu and Labasa to find and finalize contracts for missionaries that will be heading there soon. A decision has been made to not rent the Purple palace (the flat with the deep ruts in the driveway and too many non functioning bathrooms, and beautiful view of the sailboats). He flew out Sunday and called me Sunday night with news that the flat the Elders found is good and he will be doing the contract. Monday he will take a truck and drive up to Labasa where he hopes to find another flat, inspect the other flats of missionaries there, then will drive back to Savusavu, and catch a flight home on Tuesday afternoon. (he didn't make it back until Wed because their was a mechanical problem with the airplane so they put him up in a hotel and gave him a dinner and breakfast allowance)
The Samabula ward is a half block down from the Mission office and just up the street from where we live, so I caught a ride with our neighbors the Jackson's and went to their ward Sunday since "my driver" (Elder Hogge) is gone. I sat by the Wells (our best friends). The bench was so close that my knees almost touched the bench in front of me and it was hard to cross my legs or stretch them out. The benches here are heavy, made of wood with a flimsy foam cushion on them and moveable. When the members cleaned the chapel, they move the benches and didn't space them well for Sunday. In Relief Society I recognized Sister Lal, she's the only counselor to Sister Irava (our RS President in Nasinu 2nd Ward). I asked her what are you doing here? and she said" I just moved and I'm in this ward now". We will really miss her. She is such a strong, spritual woman and one of the few who express themselves often in Relief Society.
I brought a picnic cake I baked yesterday to share with the missionaries. I set it out in the copy room and menitioned to the 12 or so missionaries that were there that they could help themselves to the cake. A feeding frenzy ensued but it felt great to know they liked it. It is the second cake I have baked in my crazy oven that hasn't burned and considering we are beginning our 8th month here, you can imagine my excitement on getting it right. Sister Klingler was in the office and she even had a taste and said she wanted the recipe, yes! With everyone milling around Sister Klingler looked around at the Elders and said "you're all getting a haircut today, right?" And a few mumbled yeah... Then I caught Elder Smith's expression...he was touching the side of his head toughtfully (he had obviously had a hair cut recently and wears his hair quite short because it's curly) I looked at him and said maybe that means you'll have to shave your head! he laughed.
Then President Brewer and his wife walked in, they're over the new mission of Vanuatu/New Caledonia (islands that used to be part of our mission). They have been on their mission about the same time as us 8 months and are a great couple. Elder Tennis from downstairs walked in and it was old home week, He and President Brewer are both educators and Elder Tennis was the replacement principal at the school Elder Brewer had been principal of before leaving to run another school. Who would have thought they would cross paths again in Suva, Fiji.
With Richard out of town I'm getting spoiled by the Senior Couples. The Jacksons invited me over for dinner along with the Howards on Sunday. She is a great cook and I enjoyed visiting with everyone. That night, I watched a CD called 17 miracles and is about the Willy handcart company. I love my husband, but I think his trip provided us each with the gift of a little time to ourselves which is kind of nice. Tonight I'm invited to the Wells for dinner and tomorrow Richard will be back.
Last week we were invited to the Wells for dinner and to play some games. Joyce is adventuresome and bought some Dalo leaves and prepared some fritters with chopped dalo in them. She said she had tasted a piece of the leaf raw and it stung her lips and they were tingly for quite a while. I told her I had heard that you have to be careful when preparing and cooking dalo and if you didn't peel the bulbous root well, and cook it thoroughly, your throat can feel irritated and itchy. So we all carefully took a bite...and the fritters were great, what a relief.
I also made a juice drink out of some qumquat fruit I found on the ground at the Mekoi sisters flat. We have been served this juice several times and if you taste the fruit it's tart but with a little water and sugar it's quite tasty. We have been dubbed the ghost busters because we were sent to investigate some unusual things that have been happening at the Mekoi sisters flat. Sister Maile went to shower one morning and the hot water turned on by itself, she ran out and found Sister Fanene and when they returned the cold water was running and the hot water was off. Sister Fanene was transfered and Sister Lavatai became the new companion. Time passed by and now there have been more unexplained things like lights going on in their flat before they enter at night and strange noises. Elder Hogge and I went out and stayed overnight, Elder Hogge slept in Shirley (our small compact car) and I slept on a foam mattress on the floor sandwiched between the two sisters. All went well and we thought we were done, but they called a week later with the lights going on before they entered incident and they said they found out from a neighbor that there was a fire in their flat earlier and someone had died. The flat has been rebuilt on the old foundation, and has some updated materials, but if the Sisters don't feel safe, then the work doesn't progress, so some Elders are moving in and they will move to the Elders flat so hopefully the work can move forward. Elder Hawk one of our AP's told us that we have been averaging 15 baptisms a month which is pretty exciting.
|Sister Raloka arrived on a different day then the 15 other missionaries that came this month|
She is from Levuka and we met her parents when we were over there on the Ovalau island looking for a flat.
|This is what greets you as you walk into the mission office. Elder Hogge had 6 dressers ordered for various flats. I had|
to smile when I noticed how each missionary who came in had to check themselves out in the mirror.
|back to the office and the last dresser. (Some day I will learn how to move pictures around but not today!) The purple dividers are behind my desk. The AP's are behind there and President Klinglers office is through the door.|
|A huge anchor on the lawn, we were stuck in traffic so Elder Hogge just grabbed the camera and shot without looking.|