Friday, September 19, 2008

Greymouth News

We were interested to see the kinds of sandwiches that were made by our Tongan children. We first noticed the banana sandwiches. Below is a wonderful creation, a mayonnaise and chicken flavored potato chip sandwich. It is interesting how they flavor foods here. At the super market we decided against the tomato basil tuna last week even though we love tomato basil soup. We can buy pre-cooked chicken stuffed with different flavored stuffing, such as apricot or cranberry.
We opted for the raisin stuffing. We get at least four meals out of those chickens and they are cooked to perfection.

Maui Kinikini is now being spoiled as he recovers from a broken angle after being tackled by 5 boys in his rugby game in Christchurch. It took one hour for the ambulance to arrive and three hours at the hospital. Taufa on the left played his game and his parents had to miss it. They are both important to their teams, but Maui's season is over. We won't blame it on their Sunday training sessions.

This is Silisi Langi, 7 years old. We are teaching his older brother and mother. He being so young is doing much better at English than they. The Tongan boys and men seem to be getting short haircuts for the spring.
Mele is 6 and just a little wonder. We parked our car at the curb and she held my hand all the way into their house. She can give you the names of all the presidents of the church and has learned many articles of faith. She is the best English speaker in the family.

We discovered last week that we can "live stream" our local news from KATU while having breakfast and lunch. We were also finding video clips about “Ike” to watch as we were very interested in how that turned out. We also listen to KBYU and Music and the Spoken Word. The problem is, we only have so much down load available (which we did not know) and the streaming used up all our available fast download capacity. We are now at dial up speed until next week. Sister Hoagland says we have been put in "Time Out."

While we are here in New Zealand there is another missionary couple taking care of our Air Force recruit Grandson Jeremy in Texas. They were there for him to take pictures, etc. when his parents were not able to be there. Jeff will be there the next day, Saturday, and they will spend some time together at Sea World and a football game. Doesn't he look like Jeff?

Sunday we attended church in Westport and gave our monthly talks. While they are small they have wonderful lesson in class and a good spirit. The branch president and his wife however do not like the U.S. In his opening prayer in priesthood Pres. Vandenbosc was thankful to live in a land that gets along with it's neighbors. I thought that pretty funny considering where NZ is located. According to Sister Hoagland his wife has a hard time keeping her mouth shut about America when she teaches R.S. She says "now don't let me get started on America".

We were talking to the members about the diversity in the church in this area and they mentioned that if you look at the leadership in NZ and Australia over half the names are Polynesian. In our little Nelson district we have as branch presidents one Tongan, one Dutchman, one Fijian Indian (from India), one Samoan, one Maori and one New Zealander.

Below is a picture of cape Foul wind. It is just south west of Westpost 10K. It was overcast but at least not raining.

This is a "weka hen" that runs wild all over. We were in Kumara visiting a Sister and one came into her yard. She immediately jumped up and ran to the door to shoo it away. She says they tear up the yard looking for food. It didn't scare away because she had no shoes on and it was very wet out. It is flightless and has a "thievish disposition" according to one account.

We contacted the missionary couple who served here for two years and left 9 months ago. They had taught some of the Tongan men English so they could get their NZ drivers license. They had taught English in their own academy for 26 years. On Saturday, the 14th at 7:08 am they called us and gave us some good ideas about teaching our young people and are going to send us a Tongan/English dictionary.

We had been praying about our little English class, feeling very inadequate, and their call was so exciting to us. In the afternoon a Moari sister (Sister Scott) stopped by on another matter and found us cutting up a picture dictionary we had found at a $2.00 store downtown. She is an educator here and travels the south island teaching teachers how to do their job. She was here for three hours giving us insight into the Tongan children and how they learn. While helping us cut up (she calls it chop up) the dictionary, she also gave us invaluable information about teaching. For example she said that if people are more literate in their first language it will be easier for them to read in the second language. Having them read the Book of Mormon in their native language first would help them to read the English. We really felt our prayers had been answered to a large degree.

We have been considering what to do when seminary ends this October. Our students are not real good readers, so we thought maybe we could read with them during the summer break. Sister Scott said that reading LDS youth novels would be a real good idea. Unfortunately, they are not readily available in this isolated part of NZ. We emailed our daughter Jenni, suggesting that maybe her ward would like to make it a project to provide us with some of those kinds of books. She got on to a local LDS dominated website that people can use to sell, find or give away used items. In the first day she had picked up 31 books. Tomorrow she is to pick up more and late this Wednesday afternoon she got an email from a primary teacher, (cub scouts) telling her that her pack was going to have a book drive mid October and didn't know who to donate to. Would she consider their donation. There will not only be books for our seminary students, but more for our primary age children. Hopefully the adults will enjoy them too. We are now looking for a large book case.

As you can imagine, we feel the Lord is blessing the work here in Greymouth.

Here is a picture of Sister Scott taken in July.

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