Thursday, July 3, 2008


It has been an interesting week which will end this weekend at a zone conference where we will meet our new mission president, President Jolly and his wife. Here are some notes from my diary.

Saturday June 28,
I have not felt well the past few days but today I am finally better. This is the first good weather we have had since the first 3 days we were here. We have to watch the weather like a hawk so we can hang out our laundry. That is what we did this morning. We also went shopping. Judy broke her glasses so we went looking for an optometrist but they are closed on Saturday. We bought a map book of the whole South Island and an adaptor for the computer so we can both listen when we talk on the phone to our children. This afternoon we watched some of our boys play rugby. It is a much faster game but doesn't have the blocking and strategy of our football. I think I have a good number of the rules down now so I can understand the game better. The NZ people are crazy about the game. The Tongans love it too. The branch Pres. plays in an adult league.
We were invited to dinner at the Branch Presidents home. They just go all out. We had some kind of steak which they never have for themselves. We had squash, potatoes, and mixed vegetables as well as a noodle soup with lamb in it. Judy doesn't eat much anyway but she did pretty well. We brought ice cream and a favorite New Zealand cookie. They made short order of that.
Tuesday July 2, 2008
This afternoon we visited a family in the ward. He is a checker at the super market a couple of blocks from their flat. It was very cold that morning. 0 degrees centigrade or 32 f. There was no heat in the house. She had a 2 1/2 year old baby. We were so sorry for them but they seemed very happy. He is in the branch presidency and a New Zealander. She is Gospel doctrine teacher and from the Phillipines.
The branch here does not have a piano player so they are pleased to have us here. We asked if we could start a choir and it was an enthusiastic yes. We started Sunday and we had over 20 people show up even though it had only been announced in Sacrament meeting. Most were men. The branch is made up of mostly Tongans, who love to sing. In priesthood meeting I was the only white man there. The teacher taught in English first and then in Tongan. Most of the brethren can speak English if not all but they prefer to speak Tongan. They all work together in the forest industry where they farm pine trees. They both prune and plant trees all day. It is a similar situation as Mexican labor at home. They make very little but are still better off financially than at home.

We have also arranged to teach piano lessons to three children in the ward. We will start that next week. We were also informed that a couple in the past taught English. That is a little scarry but hopefully we can do it too.

Thursday, July 03, 2008
We teach 4 wonderful young Tongan youth. They are typical teenagers but are truly faithful and want to learn. They didn't have school on Wednesday and came anyway. We didn't know there was no school. We told them we could have had class later in the day but they said they wanted to come early.
Today Judy and I both got our hair cut. Judy really got scalped but is happy that she will be able to prepare her hair much easier. After spending some time studying this morning I took my driver’s test and got my license. Judy will try on Monday. Tonight we are packing to go to a zone conference where we will meet our new mission president, Pres. Jolly. We are looking forward to that.
Yesterday I studied and read the last half of 1 Kings. Only thing is, I only needed to read Chapters 12-16. I am enjoying reading the old testament, at least the books we have read from Joshua thru 1 Kings. We don’t teach for another two weeks as it is winter break While reading we had a very large, 1 ½ hour, thunder storm with some heavy rain. It got so dark there wasn’t enough light coming through the window to read. I was also studying the driving rules in NZ. The person who cut our hair had not seen such a storm here.

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