Our hard working missionaries have had two more baptisms this week. They took place rather quickly as the young men were moving to Nelson that very night. Elder Hoagland had the pleasure of interviewing these fine young men and they both had a knowledge and testimony of the gospel. They had been attending our meetings.
Their father had just received a job offer in Nelson and he was ready to go right away. They wanted to be baptized and the father was very supportive. President Kinikini was out of town and he is the only one with the key to the font water supply and heater. The missionaries did not let that stop them and used the fire hose to fill the font. It was a very cold baptism. They were also unable to locate the baptismal clothes so they made "lava lava's " out of torn up sheets.
In some ways it was like watching Laurel and Hardy. They had one towel that was damp for the three that were in the water, and Elder Schipper didn't have a change of shirt. We live close by so Sister Hoagland went home and got towels and one of Elder Hoagland's shirts for Elder Schipper to wear. Earlier in the day, they came to the flat and said they had a dilemma. Elder Vaioleti had taken both of his suits to the cleaners and did not have a suit to wear. Fortunately one of Elder Hoagland's suits was just big enough. We didn't think it would fit him in the shoulders, and he has very muscular (Tongan) arms. If he doesn't do a muscle man pose, the suit should stay together. He looks a little better than if Arnold Schwarzeneger had tried on my coat.
The district asks to have branch histories written every six months. Elder Hoagland has been doing that for the past year, but wants to train someone local. Ana (Mafi) Langi has expressed an interest in learning so we had her over and discussed all the events we wanted to put in the history. We asked her to take the list and write something about each event. It will be interesting to see what she comes up with.
Our new member, Murry Patterson, was ordained a priest a month or so ago but had not as yet had the chance to exercise that priesthood. In our district meeting Elder Hoagland asked the missionaries why he hadn't blessed the sacrament yet and they said he didn't feel ready. We asked them to go help him learn it and he gave a beautiful blessing on the bread today. Everyone was very complimentary to him.
We are pleased with our attendance at church as well. We are consistently having 60 or more in attendance. This is not a reflection on us, but they were only getting 30 to 40 when we first got here. We need to put up more chairs because families who were a little late had to sit apart. We had a new investigator family of four had to sit on two sides of the chapel.
The Elders are flying to Auckland for a funeral tomorrow. A man who helped raise Elder Vaioleti passed away this week and our mission president is flying them there and back for the funeral. They fly to Auckland tomorrow via Wellington and then return to Wellington that night and stay with the AP's, then fly home in Tuesday morning.
In our Father's Hands
18 hours ago