Wednesday we performed baptisms in the temple with thirteen young people from six different countries — Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Rotuma, Kiritibati, Tonga, and Fiji. Three more were Fijians of Indian descent. Of the six adults there, three were from Canada and three from the U.S. We were quite the melting pot next to the baptismal font that day!
We welcomed two wonderful new students to my Mission Preparation class this week – Elenoa and Savaira.
Kaiava will leave for his mission to the Philippines in two weeks.
Our senior missionary outing this month was a trip to Magoon’s Lagoon. And what a trip! I love Sister Magoon. Her granddaughter Nicole Hussein was in the MTC while we were there, and helped us by telling us all about Fiji. Sister Magoon has been widowed for three years. She and her daughters cater to groups who come from America, and wow, does she know how to cook! I helped her serve once when she catered an LDS Primary school dinner, and now that we have seen where she cooks it all, I don’t know how she does it.
On one side of this kitchen they prepare the food, and on the other side is an open fire where they cook it all (on the table is the roti they served us with our lunch). They fed us Fijian pancakes, scones, bhajia with a delicious tamarind sauce, egg rolls, jack fruit salad, curry chicken and potatoes, dahl soup, roti, tomato chutney, okra, rice, Irish stew (the Magoons descend from a pure Irish ancestor), green salad, cabbage salad, and fish. Of course, fish. Part of the Magoon’s Lagoon experience usually involves net fishing. Unfortunately the tide was too high while we were there, so she invited us to come out again. I would love to see a hundred fish all at one time in a net.
They have ducks, chickens, pigs, and a litter of dogs under the house.
Natalie and Thomas showed us how they catch crabs for bait, and then fish with only a hook on the end of a line held in their hands.
While some went boat fishing, Elder Whitehead organized the first ever Magoon’s Lagoon International Frisbee Golf Tournament (from their smiles, you can tell Fiji won). He also took on Thomas in Tic Tac Toe, and Thomas won the gold there, too.
It was a great day:)
Today we visited Tamavua 2nd ward, where we heard the YSAs sing “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy” to the tune of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” in sacrament meeting, and then again during Sunday School. It was so beautiful it moved me to tears and I could hardly speak when I offered the closing prayer. It was wonderful to be with them. The shorter girl with the white shirt in the front of this picture just came from China. She can barely speak English, but there she was, willing to sing her little heart out with the group.
We received an email yesterday from Pres. Layton announcing that we will be replaced by a couple coming in January! They are in for a remarkable experience. We hope to learn more about them soon.