August 24 – 30

This was Back to school week at the institute, starting a new fourteen week semester with some great new classes. Two are from the cornerstone curriculum, available online: Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel, and Foundations of the Restoration. We also teach Mission Preparation, with Preach My Gospel as the student manual. It’s going to be a great semester, with great YSAs.

Just some of our institute regulars - you can't help but love them!
Just some of our institute regulars – you can’t help but love them!

I spent a few days working on attendance rolls from last semester, matching up nicknames students signed on class rolls with their full beautiful given names (usually four or five names each) that are on the records of the Church. I have to give them credit for trying to save time as they signed in, but now (I hope) they all have class credit where credit is due.

Some new missionaries held a meeting at the institute, and treated us to a song. There’s just nothing like listening to islanders sing! We also helped some wonderful prospective missionaries fill out their recommendation forms. It brought back memories of going through that process ourselves. September 7, 2014 is the day we started filling out our own papers to serve a mission – and we’re sure glad we did.

Oh, how we love to hear their island harmony!
Oh, how we love to hear their island harmony!

This was also the week I finally figured out the institute oven (it’s only off about 20 degrees), so Rachael Prassad and I were able to bake cookies all day – hooray! It was fun to listen to her tell about her family from India and life growing up in Fiji.

Rachael helping, as always:)
Rachael helping, as always:)

It was Sister Stanford’s birthday this week, but instead of us taking her to lunch she surprised us all by making lunch for us! Then she took on us on a tour of the market, showing us all her favorite vendors (Most get their produce from the same place, but some are easier to work with than others).

Sister Stanford sharing her tips for long greenbeans (cook in salt water) with Sister Alldredge, me, Sister Knight and Sister Martin
Sister Stanford sharing her tips for long greenbeans (cook in salt water) with Sister Alldredge, me, Sister Knight and Sister Martin

Friday night Samabula 2nd ward held a talent night, with each auxiliary and priesthood quorum performing. “I’ve Got Rythym” could have been the theme of the night, as everyone danced and lip synched to popular songs. Elder Johannson ended the evening saying how good it is to have fun singing and dancing and having joy in the Lord.

In our Tamavua 2nd ward, everyone was encouraged to complete their My Family booklet for the 15 in 2015 challenge, so for our ward party, members shared family history stories and heirlooms.  Any family heirlooms we have are back in Wyoming, but we did have fun showing our pedigree charts and telling a little about our family.

We found our 15 (family members) in 2015!
The Stanfords and Whiteheads showing off their 15 family ancestors recorded in their My Family booklets.

Sunday we visited Suva First ward in the Berry chapel, built in 1956 by Labor Missionaries.  One of the builders adapted this quote from Britain’s John Ruskin to express how he felt about the work:  “Whatever we do, let us be doing it with a view to the future. Let it not be for the present delight alone. Let it be such work as our descendents will thank us for…that a time will come when our task will be held sacred because our hands touched it, and that men will say as they look upon the labour and substance of them, “See! This our Fathers did for us!”

We hope that will also be said of the work we are trying to do here, helping to build lives.

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