Last week and this week are school holidays. We are missing our students. They were all sick the week before so it will be three weeks before we have class again. Sister Hoagland was ill all last week too so we were pretty well shut down. We did have institute class with Mafi and Ofa. They are so faithful.
Today was our monthly visit to the Westport branch. We missed last month as district conference was held on the second Sunday which is our scheduled day. The day was gorgeous with clear sky's and the Tasman Sea was was a brilliant blue and like glass. The congregation consisted of 8 adults, 3 primary age boys, and us. Sister Hoagland had selected the topic of hope and had a wonderful story she found in an old "New Era magazine." I chose a topic based on 2Nephi 2:25 "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." Sister Hoagland had people asking her for copies of the story. I had people falling asleep. That's a good trick when we only have a 40 minute sacrament meeting. Oh well.
The Elders had a baptism scheduled for today in Greymouth. Unfortunately, Murray had a bout with flu this week and was in the hospital. We learned that he is also battling leukemia. We hope to have the baptism next week. Speaking of next week, we are looking forward to the first visit to Greymouth from President and Sister Jolliffe. Hopefully we can combine our branch activity Saturday with his baptism and confirmation on Sunday. The mission is having some great growth with our baptism rate at about 3 times that of previous years.
This Sister and her daughter came from Christchurch for the first birthday of Lou Ann Kinikini, the adopted daughter of President and Sister Kinikini. Lisa is 10 and will soon be taller than her mother and father.
Here is the Kinikini family, Moni, Taina (dad), Tim, Lou Ann, Taufa, Atu (mom) and Maui in front. Maui is the families official "Milo" maker. Milo is a chocolete flavored grain drink. He makes the best cup.
Lou Ann got the first bite of cake. Was she excited
The Sisters and Dad and mom.
This is a cake for the July Kinikini birthdays.
Here are Puta Langi's children braving the cold after church. Left to right Polohiva 12, Lopeti 11, Katalina 9, Osaka 5, and Etuini 3. Last winter we did not get into the homes of the Tongan families during the really cold weather. We are in each home vertually weekly now and it is interesting how they cope with the cold. They move matresses in the room with the stove in it, and they all lay around basking in the warmth watching TV. They have sheets over the door openings, they have no doors, to keep the heat in the room.
Last Sunday was a great day too. Our dry Mormon family blessed their eighth child. She is the only one with a record in the branch. Some of us thought that Mother, Noila, was a member, but the area membership department was not able to find her baptism. They did find her as the mother of her son who was baptized in Australia a year or to ago but that was all. Pray for this family that their father's heart may be softened so they can be baptized. Above is Tupou with her little sister.
We found snow!
8 hours ago