October 6, 2012Judy and I have had a few days with little scheduled. It's funny how when nothing is scheduled that a lot comes along and needs attention, anyway. We are able to catch up on a few things, tie up some loose ends and do some longer-range planning. We usually plan at least a week ahead and confirm our plans the night before. We also have time to update our blog. The last time was nearly a month ago.
Elder Dick and Sister Joyce Wells visited us from the area office in Fiji to do training in conducting audits and in general financial procedures for the church wards/branches. Judy and I got to go with them to help them get where they needed to go for the trainings.
We had the Wells attend a senior couples dinner (l to r Elder Ogborn, Val, Judy, Elder & Sister Wells, Elder & Sister Thorne, Sister Ogborn.
If we get to the bank at 9:00 a.m. when they open, we don't have to wait, but later in the day and on Fridays, it may take an hour to get your turn. Judy uses the time to write in her journal or play with kids in line with their parents.
They had never had a branch conference and didn't know that we were supposed to have sacrament meeting, so a meeting was put together quickly. Two people were called on to speak before they turned the time to Judy, me and President Maunga to speak. Following the sacrament meeting, they had a meal prepared for us. As usual, they had us eat first, then the men, then the women and children. That is their custom.
Elder Banks, with Elder Tarobwa, serve both branches on the island. They live by the chapel at the other branch, though, in Utiroa.
|Brentia, a counselor, President Sam, a counselor, Elder Bush|
President Shaw came for a short few days, during which we had a zone conference. Sister Bonnemort is trying to get a picture with her IPad of those standing at the front.
Front: Elder Bush, Elder Norman
2nd row: Elders Anderl, Butterfield
Sweep of room from L to R:
Elders Whippy, Tuilahangingie, Lewis, Mahe, Ulutui, unknown, Raizor, Elder Thorne, Teira, Sister Thorne.
Ant bites on Judy's ankle below, prompted a reaction on her foot, lower right.
Sister Bonnemort, mission nurse, drained the huge blister on top of her foot, which developed while she was speaking to the stake Relief Society in a fireside the night after the bites.
|Sunrise on the island of Abemama. The little hut on the left was a sleeping room I used the 2nd night -- much cooler.|
The plane holds 17 passengers, the runway is gravel, and the plane flies about 2 times/week.
|The Abemama branch that met on Sunday: the boy on the far right with blue tie was baptized in the ocean the night before.|
At right is the hotel shower (left side) and toilet (right side) that required getting a pan of water from the shower to flush. It was better than just being outside.
Elders Maddy and Ataata live in a little hut built by the maneaba that is used for the church.
Below, you see their shower and toilet facilities. They stand on the concrete slab and have bucket showers. The concrete commode at right is flushed with a bucket. The pump for the water is a hand pump outside.
|The 13-year-old boy will be baptized next month, following his parents, who joined last month. The 15- and 17-year old girls are members of the church.|
|These are the parents of the boy above. They fed us a great meal, including green peppers and cherry tomatoes they grew.|