Friday, September 26, 2008

An Active Week

It has been an interesting and active week. Wednesday evening we were invited to mutual to participate in a panel discussion on dating etiquette. It was a lot of fun and afterword they had some refreshment. It was great because we had one less active yw, and two non members (the mother is a member) yw in attendance. In the middle left (bottom picture) is Puta Langi, an arronic priesthood advisor, and the Sister is red in Kim Toli, YW president. Sister Toli was raised in New Zealand, but her ancesters come from the Cook Islands. Brother Toli is the YM president but was not in this picture. He is Tongan and they met in Auckland. It is really hard for the Tongan children not to mug for the camera. I try to catch them unaware on occasion, but at least one will see me and pull a face or something.

We had our usual activities of teaching seminary, piano lessons, but only one English lesson with Lesili and none with his mother. She missed because she had to work and they canceled Friday's lesson because they were hosting visitors for our branch "social dance" held Friday evening. They needed to clean up the house for the visitors. We will try to fit a lesson in today. Lesisli has a difficult time learning, but is making some good progress. Here, Sister Hoagland is using our little flash cards we made last week. He is learning the meaning, spelling and how to use the word in a sentence. I'm glad its not me.
We teach five piano lessons at the Kiniki's place. When we arrived on Wednesday we saw this picture of President watching his wife weeding a spot for part of their garden. In all fairness, he had just started pruning the pine trees in the forest for the first time in a long time and he was worn out with sore muscles. Since this picture they have planted tomatoes in this spot and are really cleaning up the yard. They have extra funiture and that refrigerator in the garage. It comes from people who move out and can't take stuff with them. They give it to who ever needs it. I think I found a book case we can use in there.
Monday is our "P" day and we took the Elders on a little hike to the coal creek falls, about 10 kilometers from Greymouth. It was a beautiful day but there had been rain the day before so the small falls shown here had some water to fall. They are Elder's Wilson from Bountiful, and Palanite from Tonga via Auckland. He has lived in Auckland since he was 9.

This was our first look at Coal Creek Falls. It was a very good day for the falls as it can have very little water or it can cover all the rocks. Elder Wilson had been here a few times and said this was the best he had seen it.
Here is the full view of the falls. It was worth the one hour hike. It is mostly down hill to the falls and of course up hill on the way back. We were a little sore the next day but we have determined to do more exercise.

We usually take a walk on days that it is not raining. The owners of our flat came by Saturday to take care of the small lawn here and told us of a walk in the "bush" just down the road from the flat. Friday we thought we would try it as it said it was only a 25 minute walk. It turned out to be an hour walk up one side of a hill and down the other. The trail was almost impassable in some spots and Sister Hoagland was on all fours climbing up some places. It was really good exercise to say the least. We were fooled by the relatively easy going the first 100 yards. We spent this morning cleaning mud off of our shoes.

On Wednesdays we have a district meeting with the two Elders here in Greymouth. We had what I consider to be the most productive so far. We actually made some goals and plans to implement them. One of our piano students, Meli, is an unbaptized child of record and there are two children in the Westport Branch unbaptized. Meli's parents are active, with responsible callings, but for some reason this child has remained unbaptized. We were assigned to speak with the mother as we feel close enough now. The Elders were to change their scheduled visits to Westport to the first Sunday so they can be there when this family comes to church. They only come once a month because of the distance from church. Their father was a non member and divorced from their mother, and did not wish them baptized. He sadly past away about 6 weeks ago so there may be an opportunity to teach and baptize them now. We also have some goals to implement new finding techniques.

Jenni has collected and shipped over 70 books for our youth and children here. We are so grateful for her efforts and generosity in getting these books to us. We are speaking in the branch on Sunday and my topic will be on D&C 88:118 "Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith. As in most wards we have a problem with people skipping SS. I will be working that in as well as the value of education. These books will be a great help in their reading skills and to these wonderful people. They will be full of words of wisdom.

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