Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This is to show that winter is still here. This snow fell last night. It was really cool here today and yesterday Invercargil had snow for the first time in November in 30 years.
Elder Palanite's Uncle moved to the branch last month. He was on the high council in his stake in Tonga. He is working for President Kinikini in the forest industry. He does not like the cold.

This next group of pictures should be in reverse order. We attended a wedding this evening for Puta Langi, one of the single brethren of the branch. This is a picture of his nephew Lesili having ice cream after the feed at his brothers house. We teach him English.

And these two cuties are his nieces, Mele and Hola. Mele is 5 and sharp as a tack. Hola is doing very well in school and has taken some piano but we have some trouble getting to teach her. She does not live close to the piano available to her. We are also teaching their mother English. Mele sits in on the lessons some times and picks it up much faster than her mother. School is helping her as they don't teach in anything else but English.
Tongan men and women do not socialize at these get togethers. The women were in the house and the men were outside in the cold evening. On the left is Manase Toli, Sione Langi, President Kinikini, and George.
The wedding party.
The bride and groom. Puta Langi and Tama'a Hausia Langi. A most interesting wedding, which was more like sacrament meeting without the sacrament. Opening Hymn, "Love at Home"a prayer, two talks by friends, the wedding ceremony, and rather long talks by the bride and groom. A closing Hymn, "Families can be Forever", and the closing prayer. Everything was done in Tongan except the hymns. They hope to be married in the temple but Puta needs a sealing canceled. Tama'a speaks English and has served a mission. We have no idea how they got together, all we know is she was here three weeks ago and were informed that they were getting married.
We took a wonderful hike on the "Elizabeth Point Walk" north of town.
Here is Sister Hoagland on the trail. The first part is a walk through the bush. Very pretty. The first part of the walk is mostly up steep trails and then it is fairly level the rest of the way with only a few big ups and downs.
Here is a more open part (no canopy) of the bush.
One of the views on the trail. We met 4 people coming the other way on the trail. Three were running and the other walking. It takes 5 hours round trip if you walk from one end and back.
This view point is as far as we went on the walk. We volunteer at the public library every Monday at 2:00 for a couple of hours so we had to get back. It took about an hour and a half to get to this point and only 45 to get back. After this, the library and some English classes and we were whipped by the time we got home. Below from the lookout, you can see the small village of Rapahoe which we travel through on our way to Westport. You may also see the hiway close to the beach.
We were sad that the day turned so gray. This is from the view point where we turned back. You will notice a lack of sea birds here. We did see birds but not very many. As you can see the rocks are not covered with droppings like you would see on the Oregon Coast. Sea Gulls stay close to town.
Elder Hoagland in the Bush.
Here we are with the Elders. The Elders in the past have been very very close to the members, having been here for long stretches. This pair looks like they will be really focused on the work. We had a wonderful district meeting with them this week and made some good plans and goals. They are also getting a car because of the size of the area we cover.
Yes they do trick or treat here. These cute young ladies were the only ones to find our door. They do not decorate their homes like we do and it is pretty low key right now.
Elder Palanite at Hokitika gorge.
I was proud of Sister Hoagland who does not like bridges in general, who ventured across this swing bridge which moves up and down and side to side as you walk. It was much more stable than the one you saw at Buller Gorge.
We had this taken on the other side of the bridge. We met a couple from Germany and another from England. As each couple came at different times we were all surprised to see each other.

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