Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nelson District Conference

We have been putting an effort into the "lost sheep" program and have found 8 people here, in Australia, Christchurch, and Nelson. We have had help from members, the Elder's and our own efforts.

Monday was a National holiday, "Queen's Birthday", which meant we had no school, library and our piano students were not home. We did have a birth. Sister Tau, the mother of our three non member seminary and institute students, had a baby girl. We visited her at the hospital around noon. She had the baby 12 hours earlier. She was home by 5:00 when we visited the family.

Tuesday we had our seminary and school activity as usual. Institute was held after 8:15 pm as Mafi had to work late. Ofa was also there but Mafi came so tired I'm not sure she was even there. As usual the teacher gains the most.

We have become aware that the four of our five Togan families have no heat in their homes. Last winter we did not get into their homes like we have the last 9 or 10 months. Sister Hoagland wore knit gloves to teach her piano lessons at the Aho Langi home this week. We go there twice in a week to teach three different students. While she teaches I have been trying to teach their daughter Mele letter recognition. She is a tiny 6 year old, and it has been slow going.

Here Sister Hoagland has finished playing a word bingo game with the children at Cobden School. I played a dice board word game with two boys. One of the real pleasures is when these sweet little children ask you if they can read to me during reading time. They are so eager to read to us.
During Piano lessons at the Kinikini's I was able to capture their new adopted baby's first steps. If you check earlier pictures you will notice that she has put on some weight in the short time she has been here. It was interesting that she was not sure about us for the first few times we were with her. They tell us that she was not used to white people.
Here is Louann on her way down.

This weekend was district conference in Nelson. We had a good group (23) from the branch attend the conference. Of course 15 were children. We had a good leadership meeting Saturday afternoon and a workshop for all members shortly after. The district booked an activity center for all member's children from 4 thru 17 during the session. They really took care of those of us who were from out of town. They had food for us when we arrived and tea (dinner) for all district members after the meetings. Then again they had lunch for us before we left for home on Sunday.
The Greymouth branch was in charge of clean-up after the evening dinner. Fortunately the locals stayed around and helped.
We stayed with a wonderful English family, the Venables. Above is Sarah, Ashley and President Rob Venables who were our gracious hosts. When we got to their home we had a nice visit with them and the branch president from Blenheim, President and Sister Prasad. Both couples have been in country nearly three years.
President and Sister Presad are a wonderful couple who are Fijian Indians. They have three wonderful children, one daughter 11, and 14 and 15 year old boys. They work for President McDonald, a member of the district presidency who lives in Blenheim. He has really taken them under his wing, providing them with visa help and we were told that he just finished a new house for them to move into. He is a farmer by trade, but Blenheim area farms have all been turned into vineyards. That raised the value of land to the point where he had to turn his farm into a vineyard as well. This caused him some concern but I understand he was counciled that as long has he produced only the grape, it was ok.
Laid out on the couch is Joshua Venables (7) and the two Presad boys, Justin and Jaron. We did not get a picture of the daughter, Jaslyn.
Manui & Aho Langi with their children. Lesili, Selesi, Hola, Meleane and Mele. Mele was named after Mele Toli, as their fathers are best friends. I think I told you the the Toli's moved to Australia last month.
Puta and Tama'a Langi were married last November. The children joined the family a couple of months ago. Instant family for Tama'a.
Puta and Tama'a are still like newly weds.
This is to show our son-in-law that his truck can be found in New Zealand as well. This is the parking lot at the Nelson chapel.

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