July 4 – 10 A Happy 4th in Fiji

IMG_2505.jpgOne of the guys at the institute told me he was excited about the Fourth of July. When I asked why, he said it was an important day not only for the U.S., but also for Fiji and the whole world because of the principle of freedom of religion. Without it, Joseph Smith wouldn’t have been able to ask which church to join, or restore the gospel. He told me that the whole world has been blessed by the freedoms we enjoy. How true!  We have so much to be thankful for.

This week was also Eid for Indian Muslims, and Eid Mubarak! (blessed celebration) signs were everywhere. You don’t know what bedazzled is until you’ve seen a group of beautiful dark haired ladies wearing their salwar kameez dresses celebrating the end of Ramadan. They are absolutely gorgeous.

IMG_2489.jpgOf course, you can’t get much better looking than this group of young men who attend my Mission Preparation class.  They come before 10am wearing their sulus, white shirts and ties, and some stay until our evening institute class that ends at 7pm.  They are impressive young men!

We have such a great group coming to the institute. Here’s a picture I didn’t get a chance to post earlier:IMG_2493.jpg

The first multi-stake dance was wananavu! The place was packed.  That night we met with leaders and YSA committee members from Suva, Suva North, and Nausori stakes who now plan to have multi-stake activities once a month.  Hooray!  We have great hopes for the future.  The dress that night was BULA…can you tell?IMG_2498.jpg

The refreshment committee made sure all were well fed, and I didn’t bake a single cookie.IMG_2494 (1).jpg

IMG_2500.jpgRoger Sundrup, a former missionary who served in Cheyenne, was part of a group of fifteen Help International volunteers who were stranded in Suva early this morning when a bridge was closed and busses couldn’t run. We had them over for an early breakfast and made arrangements for them to stay overnight in one of Pres Qaqa’s rentals.  I loved hearing them say they felt a special spirit in our home.  It was fun to get to know them and learn about the wonderful work they are doing.  It was a great way to start the day, and extra fun to see Roger.  Elder Whitehead even loaned Roger a sulu so we could take some of his group to sacrament meeting.IMG_2503.jpg

We ended the day singing a very teary rendition of “God Be With You til We Meet Again” to the Knights at our Senior Family Home Evening. They only have a few weeks left before going home to Texas, and since they will be leaving, Pres Layton called us to take their place as the Twilight Zone leaders!  So, here we go with another new adventure…

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