Friday, March 29, 2013


We got out of our car Friday morning and there was a group of  Cathoic  paritioiners going down the street singing a hymn in Fijian the one word I could make out was Gethsemane, , it was a nice way to start our day.

Annie and Tom Shery have gone home, they were assigned to the west side of our island and then finished inTaveuni,.  They will be missed.  They have a wonderful blog  if anyone wants to know what Fiji is like visit their blog at

Last Saturday March 23rd a gang of we seniors headed for a fishing adventure at  Brother Magoon's  Lagoon.
Yes, we got stuck in some soft dirt (there are ditches filled with sea water on each side of the road).
When we women saw it was going to be a man's job to get the van out, we walked up the road to
 where the house was and  left the guys to get it out of the mud.

This is a fascinating thing you see in Fiji, these are small  Mulberry trees the green is the branches with leaves and  the tangle of brown sticks are roots that grow from the branches down to the water source.  

When we arrived Sister Magoon had prepared a big breakfast  of Lemon tee, homemade Roti,/ jam and butter
paw paw, small pieces of cake with passion fruit jelly and icing. and some unique but tasty tuna sandwiches (had greens, carrots, tuna, coconut)  It was a nice feast before we went to fish. 

As we walked down to the shore Richard asked Brother Magoon if the pink house (last picture) was where he was born, and he said "no I was born in the sea" and laughed.  Then explained that a while back there was an earthquake near here and said that the land near the shore dropped 4 feet, then he pointed to the gravestones in the water and where his house used to be.  

Gravestones now under water

Matthew Brother Magoons grandson shows how the kids in Fiji swing from the palm trees

Elder Hogge and Elder Magoon

Sister Magoon, and I in their front room, I noticed all the family pictures
and she  loved to telling  me about each of her children and grandchildren.

Brother Magoon pointed to the point (behind Matthew) and told me as a  kid he and his siblings used to take their  clothes off, hold them above their head and walk through the dense growth of mulberry trees, then put their dry clothes on when they were on the other side.

We all walked out quite a distance from the shore (water very shallow with tide out)
 while the small boat  let out  sections of the net, then we all pulled a rope that gathered the fish in

Elder Hogge the maverick in our group, wanted to do his own thing.  He tried standing still until a
 fish came between his hands and tried to catch it with his bare hands, but alas it got away... and it was this big.

Matthew had the right idea, he relaxed in the boat while we fished.

These are two of the most unusul things we caught on the first round.  On left is a box fish it  had a tough
 fibrous  flat belly and two sharp horns (above it's eyes in the front and two sharp horns near it's tail).
You can see why the guy on the right is called a puffer fish.  When caught he puffs up to look bigger to the
fish trying to eat him.  When they first picked him up (belly side up) it looked like we had caught a golf ball!

Big fish a mackerel maybe, two thin fish needle nose plus some small  silver fish.

close up of the partially submerged head stone

Yes grandma held the box and puffer fish.

A better shot of the box fish  with it's four sharp horns

This baracuda was the biggerst catch of the day on the second round of net fishing

We even caught a good size gold fish.

This lagoon was the funnest  place to find seashells too.  I found some small sand dollars, a
nice change from the bits and  pieces of white coral one usually finds.

The gang, back -Hogge, Osborne, Whiting Wells, Updike, Magoon, Whitehead, Laura (E Whiting's sister) Jarman
front-Tennis, Sister Magoon (boy can she scale fish fast), Updike, Whitehead, Jarman

The fabulous fishing crew

We pulled the net onto shore on the second time and all these little silver fish
were flipping around trying to escape being cooked and eaten for lunch!

We brought dry clothes along to change into after using some rain water collected in a barrel to rinse off.  The problem with changing in the bedroom, was that the window shutters were open, and anyone near the house could see in.
So I stood in the corner between the windows and quickly changed, knowing that if anyone chose to peek in;
 they would get the shock of their life, becauseseeing an older woman'a body is pretty scary.

Some of the older boys climbed a coconut tree and and dropped four of them to the ground.  They used a cane knife to chop off the top, and we each passed around the coconuts for a refreshing drink while lunch was being prepared.

Brother Magoon has been ill and has lost a lot of weight; so when we asked if he could take us fishing, we only expected to fish, knowing that the work is getting to be too hard for both he and his wife.  In the gracious Fijian tradition, they insisted on cooking us lunch.  We had some dalo, eggplant (grayish color, okay, but not my favorite) dahl soup, fried small fish and pieces of fried Baracuda (good eating but lots of bones), chicken curry, rice, and tang to drink.
It was a great day, and a rare treat to experience fishing the Fijian way.

It's Friday the 28th of March, all of the service centre is off today and Monday.  Elder Hogge is out delivering supplies to the flat and President Klingler took his wife grocery shopping, so I have some time to share a few of the experieces we've had lately with people who come into the office.

Violet (a Fijian woman about 45 years old  came in asking why the Family History Centre (the woman who opens it wasn't there).  She shared with me that her grandmother was a member of the church and how she and her sister would ask her why she wore the funny white underwear.  The grandmother told the two girls, someday you will wear them (garments) too.  She met Sister Tui Sasa when she went to do some research on early Villages that she was researching names for in her work and Sister Sasa (the little lady who comes in our office to get lollies) told her about our beliefs.  She said it's funny, I came to do Family History, but now I'm more interested in studying (having discussions with the sister missionaries). She called the Samabula sisters and asked if they could teach her now rather than the time they had set for that afternoon. They quickly dressed and came to the office, and used the copy room for the discussion with the door closed. Violet shared with me that her sister, who now lives in Australia and was Catholic, called her and told her that she had joined the Mormon church.  She said "see you're the one grandma was talking about, but I think they both are because Sister Fanene said Violet has set a baptism date in April.  I hope we can attend her baptism.

Brother Faliagi sprays for bugs in some of our missionary flats that have been having trouble with bed bugs.  He shared how he used to carry two large cans to spray for bugs and walk to an area where he had appointments that day.  His used to play rugby, and is short but strong.  He said I'm not wealthy, but I want to help the youth here who want to go on missions, so I give them a job so they can earn the money they need for clothes for the  MTC.  He told us Filipe Loloma (the young man I was so impressed with when we went to the youth dance, because he asked every girl there to dance, even a young woman with a club foot) has received his call and will be serving in the Phillipines.  Brother Faliagi said "Filipe has really changed, he used to get into fights with other kids in the village, but his attituede has really changed since he joined the church".  I had to agree, because he always has a big smile on his face and is so loving which makes sense, since his last name means love.  What i didn't know was that he and his father haven't been on good terms since he joined the church, but Brother Faliagi has wisely encouraged the father to counsel his son before he leaves on his mission, reminding him that it's the father's place to counsel his son, in an effort to bring them closer together before Filipe leaves for his mission

My world here in the mission field is small (the four walls of the mission office most of the time, but my testimony of how the Lord is aware my needs has grown.  Sadly, we have a new Elder who arrived here March 5th and is going home today.  I knew that he was struggling when his mother called and spoke with President Klingler and I heard him counsel her that it's normal for missionaries to get homesick.  I felt like he would be okay because when he arrived he had told us that the other missionaries had been surprised at how much life experience he had.  He knows how to run a house, pay bills, keep the computer going while his parents traveled for business.  I was encouraged when he helped me figure out how to find and use an emailI I had created earlier and now use to send new missionaries a pamphlet and letter instead of typing letters, labels, and using Fiji's "snail mail" system. Yesterday when President and Sister Klingler flew to the west side of the island, the Whitings were gone on a trip with his sister who is visiting, and Elder Hogge was out of the office    I got an email asking me to scan this elders passport so church travel could arrange a one way flight home for him, I felt sad and stressed, We have a different printer that is complicated  and difficult to use.  I tried to find the notes I took from the one other time I've done a scan on this machine and couldn't find it.  I tried to just do it and it didn't work, so I prayed that the Lord would help me.  Elder Moaalii and Tausinga walked in and I asked if either of them could help me and Elder Moaalii said "I think I can "(he's 27 has a little more life experience than some of the elders).  He did all the steps I did but hit a button which I hadn't done and I was able to get the crucial piece of information to church travel so they could ticket a flight for the next day. 

 I am so grateful for the  the Lord's tender care.  Life isn't easy but I'm glad I had the opportunity to come to this earth, to gain a body, to enjoy the beauties of the earth,  the gift of families, the people around me, who strengthen me through their example, the things I am learning while on my mission among the people of Fiji. I'm grateful for the atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ and hope that you will take time to ponder about this great gift that our Savior has given us this Easter Season.

Mothe  Sister Hogge

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