Happy Fiji Weekend! Fiji Day isn’t until Monday, but that didn’t stop the festivities from starting this week. Little boys wore their sulus to school last Friday to honor the special day, and on Saturday there were celebrations galore! There was a marching band, Chinese dragons, speeches and a cake cutting ceremony.
Each government ministry had a sidewalk display, and an award given for the best one. Downtown was again a sea of turquoise, with faces painted like the Fiji flag, and a choir dressed in turquoise singing on the sidewalk. Now that all the excitement’s over, on the 10th everyone can picnic and relax.
On Monday Sister Stanford introduced me to these talented ladies at the flea market downtown. Ma and Emily sit on the floor making bows and other crafts all day long. They are amazing women! They use a lot of masi for their crafts. Masi is tapa cloth decorated with a design of some kind. Kind of like plain cotton material being called gingham because it has a checkered design on it.
Elder Whitehead had a special experience in his class Tuesday. He asked the students what evidence of God’s love they saw in their lives. Hand after hand shot up, each student telling stories of blessings that helped them feel loved. No doubt about it – we are loved!
We also sang “God Be With You” to Jethro at the end of class. He’s on his way to the Philippines! He’ll be in our prayers.
It was fun to meet Osea and Lai, who both returned from their missions last week. We’ve been looking at their pictures the whole time we’ve been here, and it’s nice to finally meet them in person. It’s also great to see friends whoop and holler and give bear hugs when a returned missionary first walks in the door. Of all the missionary pictures on our board, now there are only two or three we haven’t helped send out. Osea, Epeli and Tetika:
Wednesday we closed the institute at 12:30 and joined some YSAs to clean the temple. Can’t think of a better place to be with these wonderful YSAs!
Tonight was our senior missionary Family Home Evening at the mission home. Pres and Sister Maiwiriwiri came and shared their testimonies. He is a counselor in a stake presidency and the temple recorder, and Sister Maiwiriwiri is the principle of LDS Church College. They lost a second child this year, and have truly been through the refiner’s fire, yet their faith is an inspiration to us all. Listening to them was a tender and uplifting way to end the day.