Monday, June 27, 2011

Christian Devotional at Nehru Primary School

 A few weeks ago a 16 year old young man, Komai Draunidalo, (Ko-my  Draw -oo- neen - dah- lo) was baptised in our ward.  He is a really nice person.  We met his parents who were both elementary school teachers, and his mother wanted us to come and speak at a school assembly for the Christian students and teachers.She teaches at a Hindu school that is just around the corner from where we live. The school allows the Christian students to have a Christian service once or twice a year.   We felt like this would be a good opportunity to make the church and its teaching more well known here in Fiji, so we said, "Yes! We would love to come.

The students lining up for the assembly.

We were surprised there were so many students.  There were about 350 students grades kindergarten through eighth.

This is Mrs. Draunidalo getting the students ready for the devotional.  She told children how important it was for them to listen to our preaching and to follow God's teachings. 

 Talking to the students

 Mike finishing up our presentation.  We felt good about our presentation.  Mike started with the Plan of Salvation and explained how the atonement of Jesus Christ could help us return to our Heavenly Father.  Then I talked about some of the commandments and told the story of the Wise Man and The Foolish Man.  We all sang the song and the kids knew the song and the actions. 

The best part about our presentation has been that we have seen 3 or 4 kids from the school around town and they have expressed how much they loved all the pictures and the stories. The kids get so excited when they see us.  We were at the store and Mike was checking out.  There was a little boy standing by the register, and he looked up at Mike and showed him a bag of chips.  He said he remembered us from the school.  Mike bought him the chips and the boy started to run off with the chips.  Mike said, "Wait!  What do you say?"  The boy replied, "Please?"  Mike said, "What else do you say?"  The boy said, "Thank you!" and went off with his chips.  We love the people here in Fiji and we feel so blessed to be here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ITEP Missionaries

  • Our ITEP supervisors The Ronnenkamps came to Fiji to check out the schools.  They work out of the area office in Auckland, New Zealand, but sometimes travel to the islands to check how things are going at the schools. They are a great couple and we appreciate their help and support in our calling.  Monday was a national holiday in Fiji, the Queen's Birthday.  So we took them on a drive to see a few of the sights of Fiji.

Lunch at The Pearl with our Fiji water.

The Fijians are very religious.  Methodist and Seventh Day Adventist are both very big religions here.  This
is the MTC for one of those religions.

Fresh crab for sale!

If your table is broken, no problem.

Thursday afternoons the students at the Church College have Cocurricular classes.  They can pick some activity, and many pick sports.  This is volley ball in the front and towards the back is a game called netball.  It's a game the girls play.  It's sort of like basketball but there is no backboard and they only pass the ball.

These students are playing field hockey.

Everybody LOVES rugby here. 

Before the Ronnenkamps left we took their picture by the school sign, and then they took our picture.  We don't have a picture like this, so I thought I'd post it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kerali and Friends for Dinner

As featured in our last post, Kerali Wyatt is here in Fiji and last week end she and some of her group rode the bus to Suva.  So we invited "the group" over to dinner.  Fortunately we have the large deck that can accommodate large groups so we were "set" (as they say here in Fiji).  Believe it or not there were 13 people in the group.  It looks like more people than that in the picture.  And when they walked in the front door of our small apartment it seemed like a never ending line of people.  I was panicking thinking I didn't have enough food.  But we did have plenty of food and everyone enjoyed having "American" (or should I say Mexican) food.  Then we sang Happy Birthday to Kerali (June 12) and had cake and ice cream for dessert.  

Kerali and her friends after dinner.
They are really a great group of young adults and are having the experiences of a life time doing humanitarian service.  They are teaching English in the schools, teaching about good diet and sanitation, helping with health services and doing a lot of good.  Because Kerali was in the first group that came they also had to "find" the places where they could serve.

Happy 23rd Birthday!

We had a fun evening with everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Melinda & Tyler's Visit

We drove over to Nadi (Nan-dee) on Friday, May 20th, to pick up Melinda and Tyler.  Many of you may know that Kerali Wyatt is in Fiji for 6 weeks doing humanitarian work.  She and 4 friends took the bus over and we had a nice visit with them.  We all went to dinner and had some yummy Mexican food and helped them get settled in a hotel. (You should have seen the back seat of our small Yaris with 4 adults in the back!)  Kerali and her group LOVE Fiji!  They are such a great group of young adults, and we had a great evening with them.

Us and Kerali (she looked beautiful)  You can see that Fiji agrees with her.

Saturday morning (6am) we picked Melinda and Tyler up at the airport.  It was a wonderful reunion!  They were tired but so happy to be here.  We fed them some breakfast and then got on a boat to go to the Blue Lagoon Resort in the Yasawa Islands. (We are so blessed to have a schedule where we can take a few days off and spend some time with them.)   
Mike and Tyler did not waste any time getting in the water after we arrived!

Melinda relaxing under the beach bure (burr - ay)

Tyler relaxing in the hammock.  This was his favorite place to nap in the afternoon (or whenever he got a chance.)

This is a funny story.  We were taking a walk down the beach and met this group of kids.  They were on their way to school.  During the conversation the tall girl on the right asked Mike how old he was.  He responded with, "How old do you think I am?"  She thought for a minute and said, "70!"  We all laughed and Mike was feeling sad that she thought he was older than he really is.  Then Mike asked her, "How old do you think he is?" (pointing to Tyler)  She responded, "55!"  We all busted up, and then Mike was feeling pretty good.  So of course he couldn't help but ask the BIG question.  "How old do you think she is?" Pointing at me.  She thought, (and I'm sure was thinking after that last answer I had better go way lower) and says, "31!"  Then she guessed that Melinda was 25 which obviously isn't too far off.  But we got a pretty good laugh out of that exchange.  Don't worry folks, I have no grand illusions that I look 31.  Kids have no concept of age.  But Mike said he forgot the rule, "Don't ask any question that you don't know the answer to."

The group after dinner.

One day when the guys were napping Melinda and I took a tour of the local Nacula village on the island.  This is Saimone who was our guide on the hike we did the day before.  He was so good to me and was really a help when we were coming down the slippery hill.  (I only fell once!)

The village welcomed us with leis and danced and sang for all of us on the tour.
Our last sunset at Blue Lagoon. 

 Thursday morning we drove back to Suva.  This young woman sold us some pineapple.  Then she offered to cut it up for us because we wanted to eat some right then.  I found out there is really an art to cutting pineapple.  She did a beautiful job.  (no nubs from the spines)  We have a hard time cutting all the nubs off and get a lot of extra fiber!  The pineapple here is sooo good and cheap too.

Saturday we went on a Navua River tour.  We road in (motorized) canoes up to a village where we were greeted by the drums of the village. This is a picture of the river which is very muddy because we had 2 days of a lot of rain.  We had a tour of the village.  They showed us how they weave their mats for the floor and how they make tapa cloth.  (It is made by pounding the bark of trees until it is very thin.  Then they stencil or paint decorations on the cloth)

This was the hut where they were cooking the lovo (feast).  Lovo is the name of the oven and also what they call the feast.

The villagers taking the lovo out of the pit.

Tyler dancing the snake dance at the village.

Melinda dancing with a villager
After we had lunch we continued up the river.  It was beautifully green and this was one of the smaller waterfalls we saw along the river.  We finally stopped and walked up a cement path to a pool where there was a big waterfall.

On our way back down the river, we had a chance to float on a bilibili (a bamboo raft that the Fijians use).  This one was much larger than the ones we saw the natives using on the river.  We saw one bilibili that was partially underwater.  There was a woman in a church dress crouched in a tiny spot of the raft trying to stay dry.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of it now.

The happy travellers

The sun sets on the happy travellers.  Good bye Melinda and Tyler we love you and had a wonderful time with you.