Saturday Morning 10/6/12 - What a great conference!!!! All of the talks were incredible and so timely. But the two things that made it special for us were (1) seeing our beautiful Ashley and the other youth in our ward singing in the choir, and (2) hearing the age for missionary service for young men being lowered to age 18. Andrew is so ready to go on his mission, and now he won’t have to wait a year. The announcement was so timely.
We were able to watch conference live, which was great because we were not sure if we would get it direct. That meant that the first session started at 5:00 AM. The Priesthood session was at 2:00 PM. It was a different experience – no watching conference in our pajamas…
Sunday morning we were able to watch conference on BYU channel. We never know when we are going to be able to get it - so it was a pleasant surprise...
With transfers a couple of weeks ago, we got 7 new missionaries – 5 elders and 2 sisters. With the creation of a new stake a new zone was also created so we have been busy getting two new missionary quarters ready for the new zone. One of them is on the property where they are going to build a new stake center. It is a beautiful setting overlooking the ocean. It has been empty for several months so, needless to say, it required a lot of elbow grease to get it clean. The zone leaders are responsible to get the fale (mission quarters) ready but we helped because it was such a disaster. The last week has been busy just purchasing items needed for the fales – irons, ironing boards, water bottles, cleaning supplies, fans, etc. The fale where the sisters moved into had nasty drapes (mildew and sun-rot) so we made new drapes for them and hung them. During our inspections last month we fund three other fales that need to have the drapes replaced, so I know what I will be doing this next week… Sure am glad I can sew. We have had several sick elders again this week. It is amazing how the first aid/medical knowledge gained at girls camp and Scout Camp have come in handy since we have been here. In fact, we are finding out that what has been required of us to take care of these wonderful missionaries so they can continue with the work they were called to do, we have been blessed with the knowledge and know-how to take care of things. The Lord knows our talents and abilities and places us where we can best serve. We are so blessed to be in this wonderful place – how luck we are!!!
One of the young men who has been attending two of our institute classes told us last week that he had decided not to go on a mission, but after attending institute, he has decided to go – in fact he turned his papers in to the bishop last week. It is very humbling to know that we had a small part in his decision. He is a great young man and will make an awesome missionary!
We have a baptism coming up this week – a brother who has been taught several times in the last 20 years and has finally decided to join the church. Needless to say, his family is very happy… The work is progressing well and the missionaries are seeing success for all their hard work.
This week we were invited to attend the meeting of the Mesepa Village high chief and his council. That is where they discuss the needs and concerns of the village. They meet in a council fale across the street from our house. Dennis asked if we could come over and take a picture at their next meeting - but was concerned they may think it disrespectful of their custom. That is when they invited us to come over - and were very happy to let us take their picture. It was a great honor for us to be invited to the meeting, and some couldn't believe that we would be invited into the fale - especially me - because the meeting is kind of taboo to women. It was an indication to us that they know we respect them and their customs.