October 24 – 30 Happy Diwali!

IMG_3091.jpgThis Indian festival of lights, light over darkness, is like Christmas, 4th of July and about three other holidays all rolled into one.  I asked Rachel how these beautiful sparkly doilies were used, and she said Hindus put them on tables for special events, or dress their idols in them during Diwali.

Kids at the LDS Primary School celebrated Diwali by dressing up in beautiful dresses and jewels or Indian outfits for boys. These girls stopped their basketball game just long enough for me to snap a picture.IMG_3078.jpg

Beautiful Salwar Kameez are everywhere this weekend for Diwali – even in the grocery stores. Sarah and Ashiyana in the picture below weigh our produce at IGA. A little different from the polo shirts Albertson employees wear at home,eh?IMG_3097.jpg

IMG_3115.jpgWe were honored to be invited by Rachel to come to her home for the Diwali sweets she and her mother spent all week making. What a great experience! She has a very gentle, loving family.

 

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Sudha and her husband also invited us to come for sweets with other missionaries. Since Sudha manages a dress shop, Sister Alldredge and Sister Edmunds decided to go all out for the holiday!IMG_3127.jpg

While Hindus and Indian Fijians are celebrating Diwali with lights, sweets and fireworks, the St Joseph’s parish down the street held a huge bazaar with a competition for the best decorated booth, and the YSAs of the Suva North stake had a Halloween dance, with prizes for costumes. Seems everyone was in the mood for a party this week!IMG_3096.jpg

This week was a big one for goodbyes: Lasarusa, Lini, Sosi to BYU-Hawaii, and Kelemana back to New Caledonia. Oh, how we will miss them! The institute will be different without them – especially without Lasarusa’s and Sosi’s music.IMG_3070.jpgIMG_3075.jpg

Sosi and David have had so much fun teasing Elder Whitehead for eating Pepita seeds, he just had to get one last picture of them eating his “chicken feed” (now they love them).

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Chicken and pig’s feed aside, today we experienced a spiritual feast at our Nausori stake conference. Seats in the chapel, cultural hall and a large tent filled early with the 1,449 in attendance. There’s nothing like singing “I’m a Child of God” in Fijian, or hearing the men in a congregation singing the Fijian style harmony to “God Be With You ‘til We Meet Again.” During the conference, Pres. Qoroya reminded us that the Lord will always reward those who earnestly seek Him. Another speaker talked about the smooth stones David used to kill Goliath, and how it takes years to make a stone smooth. Years of righteous decisions prepare us to conquer our adversaries, too.  It was a wonderful day, rain and all.

 

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