Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today I was the voice for the conferring of the Aaronic Priesthood upon Murray Paterson and ordaining him a priest. We have big hopes for Murray and he has demonstrated some real faithfulness. We hope he can go to the temple for baptisms in September when the branch has an excursion planned. It is very expensive to travel to the North Island because of the ferry cost. Our youth are beginning to do fund raising so they can go.

We are pleased that the branch president has called a new primary president. She is a very capable Philippino Sister who will makes us relieved that when we go home the primary will be in good hands. We visited a less active Maori Sister this week, hoping she would be willing to teach in the primary. She works with an agency, teaching Maori culture to school children up and down the west coast here. We explained that we had at least 20 children at primary each week, but she was not willing to help. I think if we have her teach a weaving class or something like that she may be more willing. She has not been to church since we have been here.

Sister Hoagland has been working a while on the primary program scheduled for September. She has also been working for a very long time to help Nuku Langi, a 9 year old (now 10) learn to read English. He is now a pretty good reader and is excited to see Sister Hoagland come to his house.
Nuku is in the back right. His siblings are older and in our institute and seminary classes. They are Mafi 18, Pony 17, and Sione 14.
The youngest sibling is IraPia 3. He is now attending primary and starting to enjoy it. At home he is pretty much left to his own devices, wandering the house and yard with no real supervision. He is still in diapers and when we asked if he could say a part in the program, Mafi and Sione said he can't even speak Tongan let alone English. This week we went for Nuku's reading lesson and we asked little Iraia to say his part as we read it to him. With no problem he repeated his part and was the family surprised. We have never heard him speak either. We were so pleased at how proud his siblings are that he could say his part.
This is a picture we took on the road to Blenheim not far from Greymouth. We were on our way to inspect the missionary flat there. It is an 8 hour round trip and by the time we are through with the mission it will get pretty old.

The above pictures were taken on the west side of the mountain range. It is not unlike the difference between the west side of the cascades and the east side.
These two pictures are of the east side.
We liked this pictures because of how the snow cap is like frosting on a cake.

We are teaching Romans right now in seminary. In Mondays lesson where we were talking about Paul's declaration that he was "not ashamed of the gospel of Christ." I asked our students if they had problems with people at school making fun of their beliefs and standards. Our Moni spoke up and said "no, they are all afraid of us". They are at least a head taller than their peers and considerably wider. That is funny because these kids are most tender-hearted. I have never seen them really angry at any one.


Jeff and Fawn Hoagland said...

we love all the pix! think I'll snag the one of the country and use it for our screen saver
we miss you and can't wait to see you when you get home-we're gonna try to get skype working again this week and give you a ring Thursday for Dad's and Tyler's birthdays if that's ok?
love ya
Jeff and Fawn

Jenni said...

That is so darn pretty country! I can't wait to see you guys again.