Anybody want to come serve a mission in Fiji? During training on Friday with our director Ngatai Smith from New Zealand, he instructed his secretary to post a missionary opportunity for a couple to come replace us. YAY! This is the best mission ever – please come! You have six whole months to prepare. Or, because summer break is from Dec 2 until the middle of January, you could come in time to teach next January. You’ll love it. It’s like living in paradise — especially now that another group of bright flowers are blossoming everywhere.
To celebrate our one-year mark we attended the temple with our MTC-mates, Elder and Sister Alldredge and Elder and Sister Martin. Time has just flown by –- it really does feel like we just came. We had a pleasant visit afterwards (who can complain when ice cream is involved?). We are thankful to be in walking distance of this beautiful, peaceful temple, and to serve here with wonderful people we have grown to love.
Thursday the Prime minister was up our way, so the main road was closed. That caused the early closure of LDS Church College, so one of our regular attendees led a huge group of 13th year students down the hill to come and join us for the afternoon. Some of these students (all 18yrs old) had never been inside the institute before, so it was a great opportunity to welcome them and invite them to come for classes. They watched movies in the classroom, moved couches and set up the ping pong table next to the pool table, used laptops in the front classroom, and played on a carrom board in the kitchen. We were busting at the seams, but sure had fun.
Mele came in to show us that his dislocated elbow is healing. Last week his arm was double its size, and we were worried. He showed us the special leaves he was given from the Solomon islands that cause warmth and have helped the healing process. Wish we could grow some of those in our backyard! Would rugby be as much fun if it were less of a bone-breaking-joint-dislocating contact sport? Don’t think we’ll ever find out.
Another treat was when Epeli, who we haven’t seen in months, came in to show us where he had been given a TB test in preparation for submitting his mission papers. What a happy surprise! We are excited for him.
Our YSAs are doing so many great things. First thing Tuesday Steven and a friend came in after finishing service as ordinance workers for the 5:00am endowment session.
And they aren’t the only ones getting up at 3:30am to be anxiously engaged in a good cause: during our training Saturday morning a sister from the island of Kadavu told us her seminary class BEGINS at 4:30am. (Her students start their day at a provincial school before 6am). How can we even think about shirking our duty when we are surrounded by people with such strong faith and devotion? People like Manny (hugged below by Tetika), is the only member of the Church in his family, baptized just 18 months ago, yet full of faith and excitement to go serve a mission in Kiritibati. The leis were given to him today as we all sang “God Be With You.” I love how that is done here.
Another fun surprise today was meeting up with Conor Searing, whose family lived in Colorado Springs when we did. Conor is here for a week with a group of BYU Study Abroad students. He even wore a sulu! What a small world — even half a world away.Tonight is our senior couple Family Home evening and dinner at the mission home, where our institute coordinator and his wife will share their conversion stories and testimonies. We just go from one good thing to another, and feel so blessed.