1/1/13 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Between Christmas and New Year’s we made three trips to the emergency room – an experience in and of itself. Friday the 28th we took Elder Hansen (our eye doctor’s nephew) to be treated for a fungal infection on his neck. Because of the humidity, if the elders don’t use after-shave, sometimes the skin becomes irritated from perspiration and a fungus develops. It looks like hives or Chicken Pox before they fester, and if it gets really bad the only way to get rid of it is with an antibiotic. We got to the hospital in late afternoon, got his medical number and waited to see the doctor. By the time we got through the pharmacy (remember there is only one on the island that can dispense prescriptions) was closed, so we had to go back the next day to get his prescription.. Then on New Year’s Eve we went back with another elder who had a boil on his inner thigh. It had come to a head and popped, but he needed an antibiotic to treat the infection. That little trip took most of the day. We spent a quiet evening at home doing paper work and just relaxing. We usually got to bed around midnight, but we were in bed by 10:30 – so we didn’t even ring in the New Year! Go figure…
New Year’s Day started out with another trip to the emergency room with an elder who had strep throat. We got all the way over to the hospital (about 40 minutes away) and I realized that I had neglected to get his passport – which he needed because he had misplaced his medical number (you have to have a medical number before you can be seen by a doctor or get medication), so we had to go all the way back home to get it. By the time we got back to the hospital, get his new card, saw the doctor and picked up his prescription it was late in the afternoon.
However, we ended the day doing something so fun. There was a young adult dance all the way over on the East end of the island. Some of our institute students told us about it a couple of days before, and they said they really wanted to go, but had no way to get there. The buses don’t run after 6:00 and none of them had cars. So of course my awesome companion offered to take them. We were planning on going over there the next day anyway to hang the new curtains I had made for one of the missionary houses for that area, so we decided to kill two chickens with one stone (you would have to be here to understand chickens are everywhere) and hang the curtains during the dance. We enjoyed ourselves so much. Watching them dance brought back memories of chaperoning youth dances. We felt right at home. We even danced a few dances ourselves. Everyone stopped to watch when we danced a fast dance – Dennis still has the moves he had when we first met… We stayed until the dance ended, and by the time we drove back and dropped everyone off, it was 1:30 AM. So even though we didn’t stay up to welcome in the New Year, we made up for it the next night!
The first couple of weeks of January kept us busy with transfers. We had 5 missionaries transferred to other areas off island, and 3 go home. We had only 2 come – the others that are being transferred to our island are waiting for their visas and they won’t be here for 2 weeks. So needless to say, our missionaries are doing double duty. We are in the RAINY season so that adds to the challenge, but the elders (and 2 sisters) don’t let it stop them. The just “put their shoulder to the wheel and push along”. They are such a great example to us! Only three of the eleven companionships have vans, and two of them are in for repairs, so we are spending lots of time in our van shuttling them where they need to go when the busses are not available, or don’t go to areas they need to be to. Sometimes I don’t know if we are coming or going, but we always seem to find our way home. We did find time to take down the Christmas tree and the outside lights in the middle of all the chaos.
Friday the mission president is coming over for Zone Leaders Conference. We look forward to those meetings every month. It is such a blessing to be able to attend.
We missed being home for Jessica’s, McKenna’s and Rhythm’s birthday, but were able to talk to them either by email or phone, so we felt like we were a part of their special day!
1/8/13 - We attended a baptism today for the nephew of Elder Jessop, the Area Seventy for the Pacific Islands. What a wonderful experience baptisms are. We never cease to get a thrill out of seeing someone baptized. After the baptism we were invited to join the family for refreshments. What a blessing to us to be in such close contact with one of the Lord’s chosen servants. His granddaughter, Lauren, has been attending our institute class, but we never thought we would have the privilege of meeting her grandfather – another great blessing for us….