This was the week of the Pink Eye! We are experiencing an epidemic of conjunctivitis not only here in Suva, but in all of Fiji, Rotuma and Kiritibati. Newspapers tried to explain how it spread. People wear sunglasses when they have it (even at night), so we’ve seen them on cashiers, YSAs inside the institute, people at church, anywhere and everywhere we go. Steve was kind enough to model his sunglasses for me so we could preserve the memory of this experience. We just keep hand sanitizer handy, and hope it all clears up soon.
The power outage last week wasn’t as bad as it was supposed to be all (thank you Fiji power company), so we ended up having a very nice Easter weekend. After church we streamed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s performance of Handel’s Messiah (amazing) and some wonderful talks. Later we had a nice visit with some other senior missionaries. The Saturday before Easter we went with some senior missionaries to a beautiful little strip of beach in Nausori. We could still see some of the effects of the cyclone, but it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
Now instead of Institute Saturday movie nights, we have any day matinees! The YSAs are loving coming in any time during the day and having their own private showings, complete with popcorn.
Our Area Seventy is assigning a stake president here to coordinate multi-stake weekend activities, so our world is about to change. We expect to continue the first Sunday of the month Firesides (FHE), but with priesthood support now. Hooray!
We had a great Mission Prep class the Thursday before Easter, and have been working hard to help these students complete the new requirements for credit.
Now in addition to having 75% attendance, students are required to answer Elevated Learning questions about any course for which they want to receive credit. It is a cultural change that might take a while to stick.
Other holidays have come and gone without any attention at all, but not April Fool’s Day! People played tricks everywhere. Pita really had us going thinking he was another YSA casualty in need of sympathy. When I asked him who he crashed into, he said he crashed into April fool’s Day! What a guy.
This, however, is no joke — electric power or not, this mission has been a powerful experience in our lives, and we are grateful. Here we go for another week!