November 23 – 29

Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_1020We closed the institute two days last week to attend Country Coordinator Training at the service center. Two administrators from New Zealand came and taught us about Seminary and Institute, and it was wonderful!

We didn’t have power at the institute for Elder Whitehead’s last class Tuesday night. Without air conditioning, the lesson did more than just warm our hearts, but that didn’t stop anyone from having fun after class.  They played pool until it was too dark to see the balls on the table!  It also gave us an appreciation for what is like for our students who live in settlements, and don’t have electricity in their homes.

Wednesday the power came on, but the wifi went out! Free wifi is a big reason why people come to the institute, so we’re crossing our fingers that the fix won’t come Fiji-time.

IMG_1021We loved meeting Nicole Hussein in the MTC, and then meeting her mother and grandmother last week in Navua. Thursday, her mother and grandmother were here catering lunch for the LDS school employees. The kettles they used were the biggest I have ever seen! It was fun to help them get the food on the table, and Nicole’s grandmother taught me taught me about ripe/unripe Bundi, “the banana’s grandfather.”

IMG_1025Thursday was our last day of class and is always one of our long days, so we didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner until Saturday, when Pres and Sister Layton invited all the senior missionaries to the mission home. We could only stay 30 minutes because of our Institute closing social, and we had chicken instead of turkey ($90 for a turkey here), but it was still fun to see everyone, and everything we gobbled up was delicious.  It’s always good to get together and contemplate our blessings.

School’s out!  This was also the last week of institute classes, so we were busy gathering make-up work and preparing records for Institute graduation. For our closing social, we all went to the Aquatic center to swim, play volleyball, and (of course!) rugby.IMG_1062IMG_1070


We didn’t get everyone in this last picture of the day, and we lost count of how many attended, but we sure had a great time.  Interesting note: the only person who wore a swimming suit in our group was an american girl.  The locals wore comfortable tops and shorts or jeans, and we were happy to see them be so modest.

We give thanks this week for more blessings than we can count.   Being here in Fiji is definitely one of them:)



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