31 August 2017
Three weeks ago Jackie and I went to a village, Nabua. It is about 45 minutes away and in a remote part of this island. We always enjoy worshipping with the Saints there. They make us feel so welcomed. Several of the sisters asked Jackie if they could come to our flat and do some baking. Of course, Jackie said sure. Then we went to another village nearby, that is a 40 minute walk for them to attend church. For one family with little children, it is very hard to make that walk, so we went to see them and visit with them. One of the sisters in the village invited us to her home for juice.
These are pictures are of the cooking lesson, carrot cake. They all seems very excited to bake. They don't have electric ovens in their homes. Their cooking is done outside in an oven that gets its heat from wood. They get to "camp out" every day.
We have been busy the past several weeks, particularly this week. Monday, August 21st, we went to Vunavesi to deliver bibles to those in the village. We delivered 80 bibles to the villagers. We still have 10 more that are on back order that we will deliver when they arrive. They are so appreciative that we got these for them, we found that the Methodist church charges $20-$25 for the bible and we got these through the service center for $3.70 each. The Methodist minister saw the bible several weeks earlier and was amazed that we "used the same bible he did." We pray that there will be many that will have a desire to learn more about the church. If someone is interested, the elders will help them get a Book of Mormon or even a triple combination if they desire. We found out that the 1st counselor in the district presidency is going to try this in another village.
Tuesday, August 22nd, we went to Rabi, an island off the eastern end of Vanua Levu. It is a 45-50 minute boat ride between islands. The drive is 45 minutes on pavement and 90 minutes on dirt roads. The "dock" for the boat is in 2 feet of water that we have to wade in to get in the boat. The boat is a 16' fiberglass small boat. If the wind is blowing it is a rough crossing. We were fortunate enough to have a relatively calm going both ways. Jackie and I have been told by the elders that we are not allowed to stay on Rabi. Not because it is a violation of mission rules, there is no place to stay except the beach. We were ready to leave at 2:00 pm and our boat captain was to be back for us at that time. He was nowhere to be found. By 2:45 pm we're getting nervous and finally call him. He stayed on our island and was not coming to pick us up. The elders then spent another hour trying to locate the boat owner of another boat to take us back across. We arrived on our island almost 2 hours later than planned. But we finally arrived home just as the sun was setting.
Friday, August 25th, Jackie helped organize the first relief society activity that the branch has had this year. Today was a cooking lesson; chocolate cake, tie-dyeing shirts, and dance instruction; country line dancing. She made chicken salad, which was very different than what they usually eat. They all tried it but I don't think they will ever make it.
Sunday, August 27th, We had a baptism of a young lady from Tukavesi. The family was in Savusavu because her mother is expecting and they came here for the hospital. The mom and dad were just baptized 2 months ago. The father baptized his daughter. It was a very beautiful sight to witness. This family walks for 45 minutes every Sunday for church. They are great examples to us for the sacrifice they are willing to make.