Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bula Vinaka  It's been a busy week with two meetings and lunch for 30 to preparefor...
Sitake, Marsh, Higa, Heath, Banks
  Golson, Owens, LeDoux, R Olsen, Painter, Utaileou, Grotepas, Brower

The spread homemade french bread, spagetti/meat sauce coleslaw and a chicken casserole with our secret sauce (whipping cream, cream cheese, butter) without fail someone raves about the food whatever we put this sauce on  it.  

Sister Mauga Elderr Banks/Grotepas, Sister Laru,Alaegaelua, Maile (the appropriateness of the large print
twinsy outfits concerned us, but when we heard a member had made them for these sisters so we let it go)

Surprise, our neighbors are making some progress on their house or church.  The corrigated tin roof is done and they are putting up wood walls now.  This morning we had a lot of wind and rain and I heard a few boards crash, but it's still holding.  The father of this family can be heard practicing loud emotional sermons during the week, so we are wondering if this structure will be used for church gatherings.  It is quite common to see structures with roofs and many people sitting on the floor on Sundays.  Some people cannot afford to ride the bus so church has to be in walking distance.

I'll give you a clue this is a small shrine in Rupts that had incense burning, christmas type guessed it, Diwali is coming once again.  We've even had some fireworks at night.  I guess in anticipation of Diwali an Indian  Celebration

This is the check out ritual.  First they rang up the many panels of drapes that we ordered for 4 flats on the cash register.  This man then counts each panel and places it back in the bag, while the girl by the cash register does a hand written receip,t before they help haul it to our truck.  If you are purchasing an appliance they take it out of the box, plug it in and make sure it works which is good, since so many of the products here are cheaply made and break easily.

We had 4 Elders over for a mexican dinner Monday, I think I was inspired to set the date when I did, since Elder LeDoux just got transferred.  He's heading up North to Vuna in Taveuni and leaving Tues morning.  He's been a great AP and will be missed.  This is his last area before he goes home in December with 4 other Elders that we've grown to love.

I've come to more fully appreciate you who have served missions, and  some of the challenges you faced as I go through my own challenges.  Your examples of staying strong, and moving forward in faith have helped me when things get tough here in Fiji.  I am humbled by the Lord's tender care of me as I experience problems that are beyond my ability with computers.  More than once a missionary with technical knowledge of computers has come in the office right at the time that I need help.  I have a greater appreciation of the many modern day conveniences we all take for granted.  Hot water to bathe in, do dishes and wash clothes with.  Having enough food to eat and clothes to wear (Several times I have heard members bear their testimony that they went without meat for a year in order to save the money needed to send their children on missions, or when floods come and wipe out their crops and having to eat mostly rice and maybe an occasional fish.  Having a car for transportation is such a blessing for us, but is a luxury many people in the Pacific Islands don't have.  I've also come to appreciate what a blessing it is to be greeted with a kiss on the cheek, in the temple, at church and in the office by islanders.  Where ever you drive you see people walking long distances along the side of the road, many are young parents carrying their children on their shoulders (strollers are also a luxury) men carrying cane knives, bamboo poles or wood needed to repair their homes, women and young people waiting long periods of time for the bus.  As you drive by, they consistently smile and wave.  They are a happy, loving people and we have learned so much from their example of what is really important in life.  We love you,  and pray that you are all  in good health and find joy in things that matter most in life.

P.S.  Please know how much we love you young parents and the wonderful things you are doing to raise your children
in the gospel.  Give your children the gift of your time and a hug and kiss for us.

Love Grandma and Grandpa Hogge

No comments:

Post a Comment