Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bula Vinaka, it's been another eventful week.  Mondaywe had a farewell  dinner  for  Andrew and Teddy  Jackson.  They  worked with the young single adults, helping them qualify for the Perpetual Education Fund the church offers for those who qualify.  Sister Jackson was a brave woman, she ocassionally drove a car, loved to shop downtown by herself and would take a taxi back to the flat since her husband didn't like to shop (like many senior men in our mission) and she loved eating lamb and currie.  She also learned to cook authentic Indian dishes while here. Elder Jackson played the keyboard at the Samabula ward and knowing that he would soon be leaving recorded accompaniment for some of the hymns, but I was told the Fijians decided not to use it because it was too fast (the tempo it's supposed to be sung at.  One challenge for many of us Palangi's here in Fiji is that the people know the melody of the hymns, and sing with such spirit, but always sing it at a long slow pace which is challenging for us Palangi's.

We stopped to pick up some elders and I had to take a picture of this  Pawpaw tree (papaya).  It must have been blown over in a storm and the trunk of the tree wedged against the pole.  There is a small tuft of green leaves at the top and some small fruit that has ripened (orange)  A definite object lesson in perseverence.

This is an example of a strong healthy pawpaw tree.  The fruit grows in clusters like
 big grapes just under the green folage around the trunk of the tree.

We were invited to go to the temple with the Wells (on the right) and  Sister Howell  (middle)who they  know from back
home.  Her husband had a stroke several years ago and was in a wheel chair until he passed a way last year.  She teaches school and knows one of the Wells grandchildren who attends the school she teaches in.  Sister Howell is also a pioneering woman in that she decided to plan a trip through the Pacific.  She made all the arrangements herself and is traveling alone from Fiji, to Tonga and then on to Samoa.  She said she wasn't ready for the rocking chair yet!  When I heard she had decided to take a bus from Suva to Nadi to catch her plane which is definitely a good way to see what this island is like. However, remembering our trip to Levuka and how Elder Hogge was shoving our suitcases in the outside storage area of the bus,while I was trying to get on the bus to save us some seats and being pushed all together into the bus (Fijian's truly don't understand the concept of forming a line and taking your turn.  So based on that experience,  I suggested she may want to have Elder Wells help her.  Forturnately all went well, and it wasn't as crazy as our bus ride. . 

Look what showed up on our driveway Saturday morning.  Another fat juicy  millipede.  I was talking to Elder Anrews the other day and he told me he and his companion found one of the big millipedes as fat as this bug but with longer legs and a sting that can be really painful.  He said it was 12 inches long.  This one is only about 5 inches and big enough for me thank you.  I asked how they got it out of their flat and they said with a hanger.

This is the new 10 seater van the mission just received.  Elder Hogge  got  word Friday  that they would be delivering it
Friday afternoon.  We were due to leave at 4:30 for a quick dinner at Tappoo City and then a movie.   Elder Hogge opted to stay and wait for the van, but I told him I was going with the senior's.  I needed a break from the routine as I had been stuck in the office all day while everyone else ran errands.  The van finally got delivered to the office at 6 pm and when I got home Elder Hogge was pretty calm about the whole thing.  I think it's due to what he said recently  in a moment of great frustration.  "If they tell you it will be ready in a day it will take two days, if they tell you in a week that means it will take two weeks, if they say no worries that means it will never be done! "   We enjoyed the van for a day and then traded it with the Elders who were due to receive it.  Our gray car "Shirley was traded in for the van and we now will be driving a teal car the elders were driving.  I told Richard he'll have to think of a new nickname for the teal car, because Sister Jackson's first name is Shirley.  She was a good sport and laughed when we told her our car's nickname.

So here's a glimpse of what it's like to go grocery shopping.  The critter on the Right is a crab.  They pack these fish in ice, but I'm not daring enough to try cooking any of these.  Some of the people in patron housing
cook fish and the smells from frying them hang in the air and are not very pleasant. 

Parrot fish

fish with big orange eye might be a bulls eye 

Beautiful color parrot fish but too big for two people, at least that's my excuse

We were excited to learn that the two single sisters who are coming to work in  the office with us were coming  in time to have two weeks of training before the Whiting's left.  Then we got an email on Friday announcing that the one sister wouldn't be coming until August 3rd the day the Whiting's are leaving!  Sister Klingler said maybe she could come in and learn what Sister Whiting does and then teach it to Sister Newsom. The problem is she has family coming this next Thursday for a 10 day visit (8 of them)  So she's going to be pretty busy.

 I'm hoping that President Klingler can get some clarification from Salt Lake as to why the date change, and push for them to send both sister's at least a week before the Whiting's leave.  That's because I know nothing about finances and can be of no help to them and know things will be stressful for all of us the first few weeks.

Our Bishop gave us some good counsel in church today,  live the commandments and strive to live so that
you can have the Spirit's guidance in you life.  We3 hope each of you will feel of the Savior's love in your life
and make good decisions. this week.

Love Sister and Elder Hogge

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bula Vinaka, It's Sunday after noon and we have about 2 hours before we need to head to  Klingler's to prepare a farewell diiner for a senior couple-Teddy and Andrew Jackson.  Their replacements came this week Shirley and Alma Jackson and they will live in the flat next to ours, so we won't have a hard time remembering their last name.  This picture is from our trip to Lautoka last weekend.  These three horses were in the middle of the road, but politely moved when we approached.  It's unusual to see horses roaming free, they are usually tethered with a rope around their neck and the other end attached to a stake in the ground so they can eat the grass by the edge of the road, but these three were "horsing around"  Sorry, couldn't resist.  

The Elders in Nadi have been looking for housing near the two villages (that are part of the new area they will be serving in)  They talked with a man who has 4 flats and told them one of them was rented to Elders in years past, but sadly, all of them are currently being rented.  We stopped at a small store and some Fijians knowing that LDS missionaries are good renters were trying to talk them into going over to their village to try and find something.  Elder Olsen said Fijiians are eager to help you, and suggest you go ask this person, or that person, rather than admit they don't know of anyone who might have a flat to rent.  They found one flat on the edge of their area and we went to see it.  As you can see, it had a lot of stairs, but that's nothing to young in shape elders.    

a nice view and good breezes to keep you cool

nice living space and a large kitchen

Elder Va'ai and Elder Olsen  The drawback to this flat was the sliding glass door was broken and bent to the point that the door wouldn't move on the track and the bathroom plumbing needed some serious work, so we left them with a list of things the landlord would need to repair before we could rent it.  They will have to take a bus to get to their area where ever they live.  There really wasn't any other possibilites (open fields, rich area we can't afford ) so we were a bit discouraged not to find something for them. As you can see, they keep things in perspective and a smile on their face..

I made Elder Hogge stop so I could take a picture of these big beautiful rain trees.  There are stretches of road where they grow and overhand on both sides.  I'm sure they've been around for a very long time.

We stopped at Bulaccinio for breakfast and this carving was next to our table.  I had scrambled eggs, spinach (a spinach like vegetable here that tastes pretty good ) and sourdough toast)  Elder Hogge had two fried eggs, bacon (it's not like the bacon back home but more like a thin slice of very salty ham) and toast.  The sour dough bread toast was a treat, because we have only white bread in Suva.  It's baked every day and we get a new loaf every other day because there are no preservatives in it and it begins to get moldy quickly.  Many Fijians can't afford the sliced bread, but buy a lot of smaller thin loaves that the government regulates and keeps at a cost they can afford to  buy.(eighty cents). 

This is Elder Olmstead,  and a ward missionary who is serving with him (Elder Loloma) and Elder Hogge.  They're standing in front of our new map we have in the office.  I wanted a picture of Elder Lololoma because he will soon be leaving for his mission in the Phillipines and we will be leaving for home in January before he gets back to Fiji.

This week Elder Wells (auditor) and Elder Kennerly flew up North.  Sister Kennerly  stayed with Sister Wells and Elder Hogge got the use of a truck for a week.  By the dirt you can tell he's been out in the bush moving Elders to a new flat

and making sure they have mattresses

With sister Kennerly in town, Sister Wells planned a luncheonWednesday for all the senior sisters.  We women seldom get together without our spouses, so it was a real treat.  Then Friday, Sister Whitehead, Whiting, Kennerly, Wells, Tennis and I  went shopping for material and a blouse, then had lunch.  These wood pieces were in a display window, beautiful, but hard to see when you take the picture next to the glass!  We had lunch and then caught a taxi back up to work.  It was so nice to to go shopping on our own and just look around see everything we wanted to without being rushed.  That night Elder Hogge and I had Sister Wells and Kennerly over for dinner and played some games.
Elder Hogge sure is lucky, he got a Yahtzee both times we played, and is married to me ! (June 11th was our anniversay).

Elder Hogge found a nice flat for some Elders in the Suva 2nd area.  They have been  living in a flat
that  has problem plumbing and a  less than responsive landlord.  I liked the mosaic entrance.  

The Elders saw this nice modern kitchen and were excited, They opened the cupboard and saw nice plates, cups
 and matching utensils and were thrilled that it even had a garbage can under the sink..

It has one bed so Elder Hogge was happy that he only had to get one other bed.

Built in closet space, which means he only needs to get one dresser.

The Elders were thrilled with the condition of the bathroom and  don't  worry about
small details like pink curtains, they're just glad it has a shower curtain.

I saw the detail on the back of this car when we went grocery shopping at MH Saturday and just had to take a picture

Elder Hogge bought me a blender and it's even a brand I recognize  Panasonic

It's a good thing I know how to use a blender because a few sentences were in English, then Deutch,
Nederlands, Turkce, Italiano, Norsk, Suenska, Suomi, Dansk, Espanol, and Portugues!
It has an attachment that will chop nuts but warned me not to run it longer than 90 seconds at a time, crazy.
Next Monday we're having a meeting with 3 of our zones and making lunch for 80.  We got notified that two of the missionaries scheduled to arrive in September won't be coming and I just turned in their immigration paperwork (oi).  Eldder Hogge is busy taking care of all the flats, furnishings,bicycles and missionaries.  The time is quickly approaching when 5 missionaries we know and love will head home and 14 new ones will arrive.  The Whitings will head home (August 3) and then we will be the "experienced" seniors that will be trying to help the two new sisters who will be coming to work in the office.

We are happy to be serving in the Lord's vineyard here in Fiji and love each of you who are a part of our life.  Make this a good week and know how much we love you. -- Mothe  Elder and Sister Hogge

Friday, June 7, 2013

Hi all, I hope to do a quick note as we are heading out of town tomorrow to travel to the other side of the island.  We need to find a flat up in Lautoka and just got word from President Klingler that we will need to find two more before the July intake of missionaries (12 in this group) and 11 more flats by September (25 in that group)   I've been busy doing all the immigragtion paperwork.  The last time I went to immigration I was excited to see they had started using a number system.  The problem was it was later in the day and the guy handing out the numbers didn't know what he was doing.  He said the numbers went to 18 and gave me a low number of 6.  When the man called out 19, 20, 21 I knew this could be a long wait, then the man working at the front desk, recognized me and skipped calling out numbers.  He lifted his eyebrows (the way Fijians say next) while looking at me and I hurried up to get my one last immigration paper for the July intake checked.  I had Elder Hogge go in the line at the cashier desk so we could get our receipt before it turned 2pm because the cahier desk closes then and you have to come back for a another fun filled day at immigration.  Gratefully we got it done in time and headed back to the office. 

I was thinking about this September group and realized with that group alone I have created 75 board cards.  One for our board, one for president Klinglers office and an extra card President Klingler will take home in a book he's creating with all the missionaries he's known during the time he has been here.  I'm getting pretty fast at typing the info on the card, gluing on passport pictures or doing a color copy, laminating and cutting them all out.   

We are happy to report that we are in good health and staying busy.  I am sad to report that we are now using a rental car that we both dislike first because it has an obnoxious feature of beeping if you don't put your seat belt on immediately and the design is poor (Elder Hogge has to bend low to avoid hitting his head when he gets into the car).  Why a rental?  You may recall the pictures of the two crunched cars in our last blog.  We gave the new truck to the Elders who were in that accident and our car (Shirley) to the Elders who were sitting in their parked cars and a bus backed into them.  It's kind of humorous but I sort of have to follow Richard's lead to the car at night because we keep changing vehicles and with the errands he does most of the day and parking in different spots, I don't know which car !were driving!  

We had a new Elder arrive last week and the Klingler's took him out to dinner with the AP's.  Two Fijian Elders finished their mission also so we enjoyed cooking and eating a nice small dinner for 10.  

Next monday we have a new senior couple arriving "the Jacksons" who will be replacing a couple that live next to us.  They are leaving a week from monday and are also called "the Jacksons".

We want to congratulate our grandson Reven on his baptism.  That is such a special day and we are so happy he made the decision to be baptized.  I know that as you try to make good decisions Reven, and do what is right, you will be blessed and feel the love of your Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ.

Guess I'll have to make this short this week.  To all our children and their spouses, know that we love you all so much and are grateful for all the love and sacrifices you make to raise your children (our wonderful grandchildren) in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

To extended family and friends, we thank you for your love and support.  Please don't be afraid to send us an email, it's such a treat to hear any news from home.  Take care everyone  Love Elder and Sister Hogge
Flower picture for this week. I love the multiple color blooms on this bush in the front of our flat

President Klingler, Elder Dakunimata, Sister Klingler

Elder Dakunimata is typical of some Fijian's in that he likes to change his last name.  His name on the list from the MTC was Veivuke (on his passport) but his parents last names is Dakunimata.  Elder Whiting helped him with an application for school and he used a 3rd last name!  Kind of crazy, but they change their name at times in honor of different relatives. 

Elder Rokodakunivosa

Sister Klingler pulled Elder Dakunimata's suit jacket out of the closet and he had fun wearing it all day.  He probably won't wear it much after today because it's too hot to wear a suit here.

The Elders with the Whitings.... they will be heading home in August