Working on the lost member list may prove to be a rewarding experience. It looks like we will find several of them, but most have never lived here and were legitimately sent out. I can see we have found a couple as they hung up as soon as they knew who I was.
We visited Sophie Clough this week. She asked us to meet her at her daughter's school. That was quite interesting and it looked like Halloween there. They were all dressed as their favorite book character. When we got there they were working on making bookmarks. These were all country children and it was quite a different atmosphere from our little inner city school we work with. Even though they were the same age as our students they were all anxiously engaged in their work. We never heard the teacher give any disciplinary direction. Sophie has not been to church in quite some time. She told us she had been in Wellington visiting her sister for a month.
Our volunteering at school has been fun and rewarding. Two of our Tongan primary children are in the class we have been assigned to help. Mele (above) just turned six and is the daughter of our Elder's Quorum President. I learned while working with her in writing that she did not know her letters. She can recite the abc's but cannot identify them individually. When the Toli's left for Australia they left their piano with Mele's family. We are now teaching Mele's sister, Hola, piano again and so while we are there I am teaching her to recognize her letters.
Above are Latai, Ha'angana, and Lisa Tau. Lisa is also in our class and we teach 2 of their siblings in seminary and the older Sister Ofa in institute. Their mother is just ready to deliver her 8th child. Lisa jumped the gun last Wednesday and announced to her school class that her mother had just had a baby girl and her name was Barbie. Having just taught her siblings, Samu and Topou in seminary we were quite surprised by the announcement. Particularly the name. Of course we went right to the hospital as soon as possible to see mother and baby, but they were not there. Did the Tongans get a laugh out of that.
On Fridays the school rugby players get to wear their A uniforms. Our boys, Poni and Tim are so handsome in theirs.
We went to watch the boys play at the rugby field just three blocks from our flat on Saturday. It is a little different here. The boys that are good will play on 3 or 4 different teams before the season is over. Here they are playing on a "West Coast" team in the red and white stripe uniforms. They were seriously out classed by the team from Christchurch. They also play two different forms of the game, one called league and the other union.
While they were playing this game, their siblings were in Hokitika playing. Sione, one of our 14 year old seminary students played two games today. One rugby league and one rugby union. This country is mad about sport. On the nightly news a full twenty minutes is given to sports. It will include up to ten different sports, from boxing, running, swimming, rowing, rugby, auto racing, golf, cricket, net ball, Yacht races, American basketball, and soccer. Soccer is not very popular here so they report on English and European soccer. They also report on games in Australia, Pakistan, and India. They do cover the major US sporting events as well. Nothing is left out.
Across the street from the rugby field is a retirement home where most of the Tongan women work. This is Mafi and Ola before they knew I was taking a picture.
This is what it looked like when they knew.
This is the time of year for beautiful sunsets. Here is what we can see from our flat. This is looking southeast.
This is looking west.
Wednesday the mutual had a barbecue at Brother & Sister Puta Langi's. The temperature outside was in the 30's F. and it was so cold in that house. The Tongan's are not doing very well this year and I don't think they have money for fuel. It is sad as they have 5 children from 3 to 12. Above our boys are keeping warm under a blanket.
This group was keeping warm by dancing to very loud music. They love having their picture taken.
This is a group picture. We had two boys from a family the elders are working with. The mother and the boy in the orange shirt came to church on Sunday. When we first called on them she would not let us in, saying she had tried to have her name removed. The Elders are optimistic that the boys will be baptized. The older sisters have some more difficult issues to overcome. Everyone thought sister Hoagland looked cold, but in reality she was warmer than most because she was warmly dress.
I did a few things & answer a few questions.
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