Monday, June 10, 2013

Week of June 9, 2013

Sunday – June 9, 2013

The past week started out busy but somewhat uneventful.  However, it didn’t end that way!  It included the usual trips to the post office and airport to pick-up and distribute the mail.  There was a lot of mail at the post office when we went on Monday.  We ended up sending 11 large moving boxes to mission headquarters.  They in turn sent us two boxes full of items for the missionaries that were transferred to this island last week.  They are only allowed to bring one suitcase on the small plane from Apia, so they box the rest of their things and then the mission sends it over.  That means that we have to deliver their boxes to them because they are not allowed to leave their areas unless they are zone leaders.  The zone leaders can leave their zones on Monday to do shopping for themselves and the missionaries in their zones.  Monday is the day the ZLs come to our house to turn in their weekly reports and pick up their mail.
We had MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) with President Leota and the AP’s (assistants to the president) on Wednesday.  These meetings are training meetings for the 10 zone leaders and the two sisters who work with the other sisters in the mission.  They are always full of great information that needs to be shared with all the missionaries.  The AP’s came on Monday to do some training to the new trainers and spent the night with us.  It is always such a blessing to have them in our home.
Dennis has been sick with a cold and fever since May 29th (completely lost his voice for three days.) That meant I had to teach our Temple Preparation Class by myself.  We usually team-teach.  It has been two weeks since he started with a sore throat.  The prescription he was given made him really sleepy so I have had some time to catch-up on little projects including mending, correspondence and cleaning cupboards etc. 
We spent about 4 hours in the hospital with a sick elder.  We thought he might have pink eye and he also had a cold.  We didn’t want it to turn into pneumonia – he had that in January, so we felt it best for him to be seen by a doctor.  The diagnosis is always the same – no matter what the symptoms are – tonsillitis and an antibiotic….  He did have an infection in his eye so it was good we took him in.  We have learned to take something to read whenever we go.  He couldn’t get the prescription after he saw the doctor because the pharmacy (there is only one on the island) was closed, so we had to go back the next day to pick it up.  The average waiting time is 2 hours, but we have waited as long as three.  You take a number – our number was 63 and they were serving #66 (they start over when they reach 100).  That meant that there were 97 people ahead of us.
The mission has just approved use of bicycles again for the island.  Because there are no sidewalks to speak of, and the roads are so narrow, one is taking his life into his hands to ride a bike here.  Due to safety issues, they took the bikes away a couple of years ago.  However, there are some areas on the island where they are really needed, and safety is not an issue.  So we have been trying to find GOOD bikes that will accommodate the weight of some of our elders…  What a challenge.  We finally were successful in our search – then came the challenge of find helmets for adults…  When we can find good bikes, there are not helmets and when we can get helmets, there are no bikes.  We finally got smart and purchased helmets, lights and locks a few weeks ago and stored them until the bikes came.  We had success this week!!!  The elders were so happy…
We also replaced beds in two of the missionary quarters this week.  We have a recent convert making them for us.  However, he does not have a truck, so we tie them in the back of our van to deliver them.  This week we were lucky.  One of our institute students was able to get a truck to move the beds.
We put another institute student on the plane to report to the MTC in Provo.  She will be serving in the St. George Mission, and we hope to visit her after we get home.  She is such an awesome young lady and has such a strong testimony. 
Jacqueline Frost - headed to Utah St. George Mission

This week we saw LOTS of rain.  It rained so hard on Wednesday that our water Zumba class was canceled – which is unusual, because they don’t cancel anything due to rain.  But we had flashflood warnings and the said on the radio, “If you are out driving, just go home!”  There is a ditch in front of the college just down the street from us. 
It is about 5 feet deep and about 8 feet across at the top.  In two hours it was filled to overflowing on the road.  There is a waterfall (not much more than a trickle) just off the side of the road and the water was coming down so fast the pipe that goes under the road could not contain it.  It had turned to a mud fall… 
But by the next morning the waterfall was back to a trickle and the ditch had about 2 inches of water in it.  It is amazing to see that much water disappear so fast.

Several weeks ago the Juni Maeva family that we home teach asked us to attend a celebration.  They didn’t give us any details as to what the celebration was for.  Because it had been so long since we received the invitation, we were not sure it was even still on – yesterday was the day…  When we got there we found out it was threefold.  A birthday party for the dad – he turned 83, a graduation party for his grand-daughter and a wedding reception for his daughter.  We also discovered Dennis’ name on the program to give the closing prayer.  They sat us on the same table as the bride and groom and treated us like royalty.  Needless to say, they had LOTS of food.  The potato salad they served us was so good.  We found out she added lemon juice to it.  I made her promise to give me the recipe the next time we go home–teaching.   We also had the best Oka we have had since we got here.  Oka is raw fish cooked in coconut cream – usually octopus.
We attended two baptisms – and after one of them we were invited to another feast. 
They served breadfruit, taro, noodles and chicken.  We were still so full from the earlier party that we ate enough to be polite and were able to convince them that we wanted to take the rest home. 

THE POWER OF THE PRIESTHOOD…  Friday night we got a call requesting Dennis help with a blessing for a brother in our ward.  His wife is a NP and helps us when we have sick missionaries.  We love them both so much.  We went to their home and I was shocked when I saw Brother Hill.  He looked like Dad did the last couple of days before he died.  He was struggling to breath and it was hard to get him to respond.  Dennis gave him a beautiful blessing, and we saw an immediate change in his breathing.  We left about 5 minutes later and he was sleeping very peacefully.  We got a phone call about 30 minutes later to report that he was wide awake, alert, sitting up and eating.  There is Power in the Priesthood… We witnessed a miracle!!!

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