We were awakened around 12:40 am Monday morning with a tap at our door. It was Elder Palanite asking if he could stay with us that night. He had taken Elder Bair to the hospital with his infection flaring up again. They decided to keep him overnight and put him on a IV drip. When they treated his Bells Palsy they took him off his antibiotics. Not a good decision. He is a real trooper and is doing much better.
I drove 60k's east of here where I had the privilege of teaching a lesson to a members (Doug Thoms) grandson. Elder Bair's bottom was not up to the drive. It was in a beautiful valley with high mountains and filled with dairy farms. It would have been a wonderful picture taking event had the clouds not covered the mountains almost to the valley floor and if I had brought the camera. The location where they lived is called Inchbonnie, and to get to the house we had to go down an unpaved drive. Just before we got to the house we had to stop for two hundred cows to meander on their way to the milking shed. Elder Palanite had never been that close to cows before and one did her business right next to us. Elder nearly lost his lunch. These dairy farms are not like the ones in Oregon where they eat all day in a barn. Most of the year they feed only on the plentiful grass in the paddock.
The mother of our investigator is excommunicated but she is very friendly. With them living so far from town it is important that they come to church before we can make the effort to teach Scott any further. It was sad to see that he had no discernible knowledge of the bible. We have ordered a bible story book from the mission office.
This was Elder Palanite's last week here in Greymouth. He was transferred on Thursday. He as been given a district with three other Tongan Elders who have been less than hard working. He has been given a challenging responsibility to get them on track. We love Elder Palanite and seek the Lord's blessing in this assignment. We took him to the Hokitika airport Thursday and while we were waiting for the arrival of Elder Tamale, we took some pictures around town. This was taken above the airport, which is itself located on a bluff above the city.
We did some shopping at the local grocery store and also bought some sandwiches. We had our lunch right next to the beach. When we visited my brother Gary in Sedona, Ar., we went to a beautiful national monument there and found thousands of these stacked rocks along the creek. They were supposed to have some significance to a cult like group that frequented Sedona. I can't remember all the details. Anyway, here at the beach at Hokitika I found this some what delicate version of what we saw in Sedona.
We also found lots of Asians doing what we see them do all over the world. I guess you're thinking I don't have much room to talk. This is at the mouth of the Hokitika river where it empties into the Tasman sea. For those people in my ward back home, I have had to correct the spelling from Tamsin to Tasman several times. Hi, Tamsin Stubbs. I'm not sure that's how you spell your name either.
The seagulls are much smaller here and sound even more annoying. The sea was like a lake that day.
This was our good bye to Elder Palanite. When we went to the hospital to pick up elder Bair, I took the Dec. issue of the Ensign where they have a New Zealand news insert. There was an article about Elder Spencer J. Condie, Pacific Area President, presenting NZ Prime Minister Helen Clarke with her family history record. Elder Palanite remarked that he loved Elder Condie. Being surprised I asked him how he knew him. He said he often attended his ward in Auckland. Elder was working to become a regular police officer, and the police station and the church offices are right next to each other. He said he used to look through the window and wave to Elder Condie, who had told him he was glad a member was in the police force. Auckland is a very big city with many inner city problems like LA and elsewhere. He said he loved catching people.
This was taken from our driveway about 8:45 pm.
The moon was almost straight up, just a little north.
You may remember these two from Nov. 29 post (see below). This is what they were going to wear for the primary program, but grandparents in Tonga sent some beautiful native costumes. Hola's mother made these dresses. Mele is on the left.
During primary they all took a break and went outside to have another picture taken. Mele's little sister is in the stroller. My little buddy on the right is Iraiah Langi. He is left to himself most of the time and can be seen often in our pictures. We help his brother Nuku, the big kid in front, with his reading. He loves us to come and has made some good progress. My job is to keep Iraiah occupied while Sister Hoagland teaches.
Our daughter Jenni has Santa age children. Thought you might enjoy some pictures from her blog which demonstrate how wonderful this internet age is for families who are far apart. We are so grateful to have these pictures to show us what they are doing and how they are growing up. Here is Chase showing Santa exactly what he wants for Christmas. I don't remember taking the Sears catalog with me to Santa. Pretty good idea.
This is Jesse with Santa.
Taylor looks lovingly at Santa
Here is one of our Thanksgiving pictures. They each put these turkey's together by themselves, except our Zach who does his own thing. Between Zach and Jesse are their cousins Tanner and Alissa Allen.
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