Ula – la! This was the week of our first cyclone of the season, “Ula.” Rain did cause some flooding (a little in our flat) and we had high winds, but thankfully we missed the brunt of the storm. Our hearts ache for those who were not as fortunate. Sadly, three drowned because of the storm.
We saw another example of the power of mother nature on a Nauvua River trip. The waterfall and pool that had been so peaceful and serene when we made that trip with the other senior missionaries were brown and overflowing when we saw it with Nicole. The roar of the water was amazing! The boat ride, bamboo rafting, and visit to the village, however, were just as wonderful. Watching the women weave mats with pandanas leaves was fascinating.
Another great YSA, Jatin, has offered to wash our car for us now because Sumeet found a job (hooray for him). Jatin is waiting to receive his mission call, and is saving money to prepare to go wherever that call sends him. We’re excited. He’ll be a wonderful missionary.
Shobie, a seamstress in Lami, made a beautiful sulu chamba for Nicole… so here we are, ready for some fun in Fiji:
It was fun to see Melem and Onesina Taiou back from New Caledonia – smiling here with their sisters and little brother.
News Eve was rainy, but fun. We even got a dance in. The YSAs went from one stake dance to another all night long. One stake didn’t stop until 6am in the morning! We were hoping to see some of the traditional water throwing (washing out the old year), but with all the rain, there was enough water around.
With the Institute closed, we were able to spend time with Nicole on the little island of Leleuvia. It was such a beautiful paradise, we hated to leave. We loved the boat ride there, snorkeling was amazing, and so was being in the warm sun. Nicole did see a venomous white and black striped snake, but we all agreed we would still love to visit the island again.
We put the white handkerchiefs Nicole brought for the temple rededication ceremony into envelopes to give to the young single adults at our Institute Family Home Evening Sunday night. President and Sister Yee, the new temple president and matron, did a wonderful job speaking to 140 YSAs about the the importance of temples, and preparing ourselves for the rededication. It was so good to be together, and to see how excited these young people are about being in the temple.
The sad part was saying goodbye to our daughter. Oh, that was hard! But we are thankful beyond words for the blessing of having her come to visit. We are thankful for the support of all our family while we are here. That motivates us to do all we can to make every minute count. The minutes and days are flying by. We look forward to a meaningful and happy new year!