Wednesday, June 29, 2016

1st Zone Conference

We went to our first Zone Conference on Tuesday in Labasa. This town is on the north shore of Vanua Levu and 85 km from Savusavu. I have been driving on the left side of the road for a couple weeks now and there are still no new dents in the truck. Roads are narrow, especially the dirt ones that we must use in many cases to get around. We had to pick up another senior couple, Elder and Sister Vermeeren, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They will be leaving for home in August. We had to travel about 50-60 km to pick them up when they came to our island on the ferry. The live and work on Taveuni. We came back to Savusavu for lunch and some chopping for them, there are very few stores on their island. We then went the 85 km to Labasa on Monday to prepare for the conference on Tuesday. We stayed in the Grand Eastern Hotel there and it was quite nice. The pool was nice and we were in a good location for walking the town and, of course, shopping. I purchased two more Sulu's and Sister Roberts found many things she was looking for; i.e. seeds for planting, counter cover to do her prep for baking, clothes pins, peelers, can openers, some clothes and other things for the house and some sweets for those time when you want to indulge yourself.

There were about 18 elder missionaries and 6 sister missionaries in attendance. President Layton gave an excellent discussion on the atonement. He was able to paint a picture in our minds about the process that Christ was going through. I really feel I learned some things and had my eyes opened so I maybe understood this a little better than I did before the conference. I know there is so much more to learn but I have some more information and it will be of great benefit to us and our family. The assistants to the President gave a couple presentation and it is no wonder why they are his assistants at this time. The zone leaders also presented so great reasons why we need to study the scriptures about the atonement. These missionaries are the ones serving in Savusavu. We have gotten to know them better and they enjoy Sister Roberts's baking. They know the area so we are relying heavily on them to show us where we need to go and how to get there to visit with the members and the "groups" in the district.

President Layton gave us some additional information regarding our specific assignments in Savusavu.
#1 Teach temple classes and prepare members, especially those that are preparing for a mission, to attend the temple. There is one sister who already has her mission call and leaves for the Marshall Islands (I think). She leave in October.
#2 Mentor the return missionaries to stay active and get involved in the branch in their area. They need to get a calling within two weeks of their return.
#3 Encourage them to get into school some place. And we will be getting some additional "self reliance" training in the near future to help us with this.

Labasa is a town of about 8000 people and it's major industry is sugar cane. They have truck coming down the main road loaded with cane going to the factory. Large trucks, tractors pulling trailers are loaded. They unload in the middle of town, just off the main road and traffic is very hectic. Our hotel was just a block south of the factory. Great location for getting to the main street and shopping but the noise can be very disturbing. They were also having a carnival, similar to those "Days" that every small town in Utah and Wyoming have during the summer; i.e. Strawberry Days, Steel Days, Lamarama Days,  Pioneer Days etc. Monday night is was so loud that Jackie couldn't get to sleep. I seem to have no trouble sleeping. So we went to see what the noise was about. Food vendors, games of chance, carnival rides for all ages, and some sort of concert that went until 2 am. Most sleep a bit better Tuesday night. Then we had shopping to do on Wednesday before we came back to Savusavu. I got two more Sulu's to wear. They are quite comfortable to wear but I have to learn to sit like a lady better, but when the breeze blows it is quite nice.

The elders and sister missionaries that are working in the district are so good, so humble, so willing to do whatever it takes to be of assistance, we have only to ask and they will respond. Maybe they like the idea of getting a meal from Jackie once in a while? We will be going with them so we can find those that are wanting to go to the temple. Sometimes they live so far away from the church that it is difficult to attend, but they still want and need to associate with the saints.

As we spend time with these humble, loving, accepting people, we learn that we can do with much less but we all need the companionship of the Holy Ghost and need to be progressing to come close to the Savior on a daily basis. We must be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow that we are today. The Lord doesn't care where we are on our journey, but He wants on the correct path and improving each and every day.

Look! I found the Minnow.

Very comfortable, but watch out for that wind.

This reminds me of Worland during the beet harvest.

Cyclone damage to trees and shoreline.

Elders sang a special musical number for conference.

Elder Kubers, Hilo, Hawaii; Elder Amai, New Zealand;
Elder Johnson, Holladay, UT; Elder Condie, American Fork, UT

Saw these sister at the carnival.
The sister on the left goes home in a week.

Pool at Grand Eastern Hotel in Labasa, Fiji

Phone booth with attitude.

Shopping was too much for us.

Our selfie as we travel the island.

No comments:

Post a Comment