Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bula Kei (life to you brother)

Hi there everybody!
     The stores are all crazy around here, they don't want to service the items they sell, so to find parts for repairs, I have to do some digging before finding them.  Here is a good example:  I went to buy a mop and broom for the sisters who live about 45 minutes away from town.  I stopped at a hardware store that sells mops.  I asked for a mop, but they only had a mop head, and no twist-on handles.  So I didn't buy it there.  I went to the next store, and they had mop heads that slide onto a handle, and a wooden handle, but they didn't sell the screws to attach the mop head to the handle, so I ended up at a third store just to get two screws!  Talk about stupid stuff.  I also go to buy bikes, but the department store doesn't carry parts (like lights, tubes, pedals, tires, etc.). Same thing goes for buying vacuums-they will sell a vacuum but no bags to replace a used bag.  America, you are the BEST.
    Also, the mission got permission to trade in two small cars for a couple of new vans to help move the missionaries around to new areas.  The Toyota dealer here had two brand new vans  on their lot ready to be sold, or so I thought.  I was told it would take two weeks for them to be delivered!  Can you believe that?  That's not the only problem, after two weeks we still didn't have them and we needed to move 70 Elders in just one 8 seat van.  Yes, Fiji time!  It was four weeks before we got them.  It's no wonder nobody makes any money here, CRAZY!  I will not miss this part of my mission.
This is a painting in the hall at the entrance to our office. It captures the wild jungle growth
that is in great abundance  on the east side of most islands in Fiji.

I love this painting that is also in the hall depicting the great love of our  Savior Jesus Christ 

Monday we had a satellite broadcast for three of our zones and the senior missionaries here in the Suva area.  Lunch for 80 went well with the giant pot of sloppy- jo mix sister Klingler made, chips, fruit cups a bottle of water and cookies 

Tuesday we had a farewell dinner for Elder Tay.   He bore a beautiful testimony that brought tears to all of our eyes.  He was an airport Elder  when 4 of our missionaries were sent home after being  given a second chance and still choosing to disobey.  He saw the pain and sorrow when they left the airport for home, and in his last Zone Conference he bore
testimony to the missionaries of the importance of being obedient.   

Elder Palmer and LeDoux our AP's, President Klingler, Elder Tay, Sister Klingler,
Sister and Elder Whiting  who will  be heading home August 3rd, Sister and Elder Hogge 

I heard a loud noise the other day while looking out the window of Elder Hogge's cubicle.
  I saw this man standing on top of the Catholic Church,  power washing the roof, it made me quezy just watching him!  

We took a trip up to Ba this weekend and stopped at the Sigatoka Elder's flat.
Elder Hogge had to check  out the new shower  heater that Elder Jack created a part for
 using a piece of hose  and some duct tape.  Elder's have to be resourceful here in Fiji, and Elder Jack
is a redneck from Blanding

This is the view from their flat of the big river at the base of the hill they live on

The gold building is a Hindi temple, the blue a church and the red above it a large home.  Houses here are colorful  

In the yard by the flat I saw this orange flower I hadn't seen before next to the  lighter orange bird of paradise

I had to include these big lacy leaves of the bread fruit

and of course this cute purple flower

We've gone back and forth to Ba so many times that it takes a bit of effort to find something new.  As we hit the year mark this month I wanted to try and capture how beautiful these large rain trees are on both sides of the road

To the side of the trees is the daily rugby game that you see being played in  many villages  we travel through

I snapped this when the car was moving pretty fast, when the Sugar cane gets
these  lacy blooms on top it's ready to harvest

We were able to travel to Ba on Saturday and have the landlord sign the papers, then drove back to Nadi and the comforts that are available at the Tanoa Hotel.  Sunday morning we met with a second landlord who agreed to do some repairs on the flat we looked at last month and completed that contract as well.  On the way back to Suva, I insisted we stop at a nice stretch of the beach and give me a chance to look for some shells. I found some beautiful red coral pieces 

Wouldn't you know it, this pretty shell was being occupied by  a hermit crab so I had to settle for a picture of it.

I don't know what this fury looking creature was when it was alive, but had to take a picture of it.

More beautiful driftwood I can't take home

I saw these fascinating flowers on our way to  Ba and quickly wrote down the village name  after we passed them
so I could make Elder Hogge stop for a picture on the way back.  I have never seen these flowers before,
and knew we wouldn't be around next year when they bloom again

We heard of Brother Magoon's passing away last week and attended the funeral on Monday.  It was his house we went to for net fishing earlier this year.  He had been steadily losing weight since that time.  He went with a group of young people who came from the United States to help install septic tanks and toilets in some of the poorer villages in Nadi, and simply died while serving these people.  One of his greatest wishes was to see this chapel full on Sundays in the small community he lived in, and on the day of his funeral, it was full of so many people who knew and loved him.  How blessed we were to know him while serving our mission.  He was a faithful temple worker, and we often would see his "Colgate smile" as his granddaughter put it when we entered the temple.

Friday we will be flying up north to Vanua Levu to look for and hopefully sign contracts on two flats.  We planned it during the time the ZL's will be in Suva leaving a truck free for us to drive from Labasa where one flat is needed after our intake next week, then plan to travel down to Savusavu where a second flat is needed for a Senior Couple that will soon be arriving and traveling to this month.   We are so thankful for the help we receive from the Lord in finding these flats and are grateful for his tender care.  We pray that all our family members know how much they are loved.

I want to thank all of you who have emailed . I'm sorry I haven't always had time to write back, but appreciate so much hearing from you, and pray that you will feel of our Savior's love for you and that he will help you in your times of trial.

Moce Kei, Elder and Sister Hogge   

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