Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bula Bula to Hailey, Hunter, Eli, Adriana, Lydia, Laney,  Joi, Alex, Emery, Reven, Mason, Jesse, Roxy, and Raylee from Bose levu (big boss) as the elders have named him and bubu (Grandma).  We love you all so much and look forward to when we will see you again and can give you a big hug and a kiss.  I know my grandsons are wincing at the thought of a big kiss from grandma, but I may have to give them one, since I kiss women I know here on the cheek all day long in the office or at church on Sunday.  We also want Darren-Jenny, Stephen-Natalie, Justin-Lindsay, Rob-Lexie and our extended family and friends to know how much we love and miss you too.  We're kind of at a crossroads in our mission with many new couples coming each month and ones we've grown close to leaving for home.  I've loved following the blogs of the Jameison's in Africa and Morgans in South America an who have both gone home.  We love reading your experiences (those who have blogs) and appreciate those of you who have taken time to send us an email.  Those of you who are going through difficult trials and challenges, please know that we take courage from your courage and faith and pray the Lord will bless you with his tender mercies. 

It's been another eventful week.  Tuesday our new senior missionaries the Walkers  arrived after a long delay on Elder Walker's approval letter from immigration. They are a wonderful loving couple and will be a great support to the work in Savusavu.  Sadly, there was a last minute change to their flight plan and despite being reassured by the airline, their luggage didn't come for 2 days!  They were surprised to learn that Cost U Less or any other store in Fiji doesn't carry wheat or brown rice, but she found it comforting to see some familiar name brand cereals and other products that she recognized.
There were three training meetings this week with lunch to prepare for 20.  One was out of town, so the support couple helped on that one, and we prepared an easier menu of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Sister Whiting, Walker and I caught a taxi and went shopping for a few more items after Sister Walker understood that the things at Cost U Less aren't available on the island she is going to.  We got word that the new truck they will use was ready and Elder Hogge suggested they lock their food and extra luggage in the cab of the truck that will be coming up by boat on Friday as you are only allowed one small suitcase and a light cary on on a plane.

Elder Hogge flew up to Labasa with the Walkers Thursday and drove them down to Savusavu in the ZL's truck.  He  called me last night to let me know that there are 2 flats to choose from one is the flat with the steep driveway we looked at on our last trip, and the other is the Muir's old flat which we held and paid rent on for several months for Howard's (Welfare couple) to use.  They decided they didn't want it, and found their own flat, causing hurt feelings with the landlady.  The AP's just let me know that the Walker's rented the Muir's old flat, so maybe that will help mend our relation with this previos landlady. We've found that many people know LDS, and value us as reliable renters. 

With Elder Hogge gone, I walked to work on Friday and an hour later our new office help Sister Newsom and Lindburg arrived.  Elder and Sister Whiting picked them up at the airport and are trying to make use of the week they have left to train them before they head home.  Sister Newsom's approval letter for her visa was also delayed.  We had a meeting with 2 immigration workers this week and found out that immigration is now trying to do some of the processing electronically, but sadly one of the managers who should have done the work was either out of town or in a meeting most of this week, causing a big headache for us in trying to get our senior missionaries to Fiji.

Our landlord Avenish came over last week to let us know that he was having both the Jackson's and our flat painted.  He let us pick out the colors and we both chose a neutral cream colored wall meaning no more dark burnt orange accent wall, bula! While Sister Jackson kept the front door and window trim the same (charcoal grey); I asked for a one shade darker than the wall color and love how fresh and light it is.  Avenish also let us know that our upstairs neighbors (wife is an embassy employee) will be moving at the end of this month.  The husband has been a real nit picky complainer and never seems to be satisfied.  What cracked me up was when Avenish said "life is too short, I'm glad they're going" due to all the grief he gave him and ended by saying, here he has a $4,000.00 flat with a deck that gives you a view of the ocean and they never used it! and suggested when they move out we'll have a party up on the deck to celebrate.

When I got up this morning, (Sat) I realized that these painters could arrive at any time, so I locked the bathroom door, quickly showered and dressed and by 8:00 am they were knocking on the door.  They have one bedroom completed and they have rehung the drapes.  I discovered a greasy dirt stain on the backs of all our drapes and will have completed washing 12 panels of drapes by the end of this weekend which is quite a feat in my little washing machine.

I grabbed a book to read and walked up to the mission office.  Then I remembered that I had taken my electronic key out of my wallet yesterday so the new sisters could use it and left it there!  I sat in the waiting area of the building until President Klingler came over and let me in.  I decided to work on my blog until Elder and Sister Tennis come by to pick me up to go to lunch with the Seniors at 1 pm. and look forward to Richard's return tonight at 6 pm. 

Well that's our week, we hope that all is well with each of you and your families.  

Love Elder and Sister Hogge

This is Joeli Kalougata and his daughter.  He is the man I wrote about who lost 2 brothers and his parents when they were all traveling by boat to Suva to be baptized and the boat sunk
in a Cyclone.  His daughter will soon be leaving on a mission

This is Elder Leeren and Sister Beverly Walker who just arrived in our mission.  President and Sister Klingler went to pick them up from the bus station (there were no flights from Nadi to Suva so these brave souls took the bus).  Sister Klingler greeted Beverly by saying "well hello Sharon" because her voice and manerisms are so  similar to her sister Sharon whom we both know from the Arboleta ward.  They are both so warm and loving and will be a great addition to our mission.

I realized I haven't taken a picture of Ana Rarawa who comes in every Tues and Thur to clean our office

A one last time shot of the burnt orange wall.  This is our drying rack that we dry out our
 towels and other stuff, by running a fan on it during the day when we're at the office.

A pretty pink flower I discovered when I walked to work this week.

I think this is the common variety of  Hibiscus that grows here.

This is the hybrid type of Hibiscus that blooms in front of the gaurd station entrance to the temple/mission office/service centre.  The gaurds gave me a funny look until I reassured
 them I was just taking a picture.

I looked out back and realized that not only did they paint the walls, trim and all the doors, but they painted the decorative bars to our flat which is nice because they have begun to corrode and rust.

The trim around our windows used to be a dark gray and are now a light cream which has made them blend with the walls better and lighten up the room, which is a welcome change for us.

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