One 2016 Institute semester down, two to go! Our first semester will end with Elder Whitehead’s class this next Tuesday. We’ll have a break, then start semester two Tuesday May 3rd. Oh, how we have loved the new cornerstone classes, “Foundations of the Restoration,” and “The Eternal Family.” We hate to see them end, but are excited about more new curriculum coming up.
Meanwhile, its make-up time! Many of those who started the semester coming regularly, now have jobs or university classes that conflict, so they’ll have to do make-up work in order to receive class credit. Here’s Tetika, working out his make-up lessons with Elder Whitehead. He is one of our most faithful, willing to do all it takes to receive credit and graduate from Institute. We love him! We love to see students getting jobs and becoming more self-reliant. We’ll do everything we can this week to help them receive class credit, too.
This will also be the first ever semester for the Elevated Learning requirements, and it’s a huge change for most. We know the students will benefit from answering those questions…we just hope they get turned in.
Meanwhile, we have been students ourselves: if you’re like us and don’t eat, sleep and breath Rugby, or knew the rules before you knew how to walk, you need to know there is a difference between the Sevens and Fifteens. Fifteen players are large, Sevens players are fast. Sevens can play on a Fifteens team, but if you’re a Fifteen, don’t even think about trying to play Sevens. Sevens do twice as much running up and down the field. Fiji’s win over New Zealand in Hong Kong for the second year in a row was HUGE, and the guys at the institute made sure I understood the magnitude of it:
After all that excitement, the real play of the day though, was Manny — writing his mission acceptance letter! We are so proud of him!
It was a great moment. He will serve in Kiritibati, so will learn Gilbertese. Tetika is from Kiritibati, and a couple of the other YSAs here have served there, so Manny will have lots of help with that language.
When we went to the temple on Wednesday to do baptisms for the dead, a young man from Kiritbati joined us. His name was Tetea, and he was baptized for someone named Tetea. Then he left us and continued on performing temple work for that man. We left the temple that night at the same time, so I asked him who the other Tetea was. He said it was his father, who died when he was two years old. Although Tetea had no memory of his father, he just radiated with the love he felt for his father. Tetea is preparing to leave to serve a mission in Oklahoma. I hope the people there receive this faithful young man, who is willing to serve the Lord in spite of no support from his family, with open arms. I hope they are patient when he struggles to speak English. As we talked together on the temple steps, we had to work to understand each other, but his beautiful smile and the glow about him spoke volumes!
We’ve had rain almost everyday, and such howling wind you would think we were back in Wyoming, but things are great, and we look forward to the week ahead. “Ti a boo” for now!(Good-bye, pronounced Saw-po in Gilbertese.)