Thursday, June 27, 2013

Friday, June 14th
We went to down town to meet some of the military people in charge of the humanitarian supplies that are to be distributed this next week. It was amazing to see!! I’ll just post the pictures and let them tell the story. We also went out to the villages to set up translation with the missionaries. They are going to help the doctors in the village clinics. As it turned out the Ministry of Health had sent nurses to most of the sites to help. At one place a member of the Ministry was down right rude to Alan and the missionaries. She said, “What are you doing here? We don’t need you!” and she gave him a look that would kill. Alan was kind and just walked away but he wished later that he had told her where all of the supplies that they were using had come from. The doctors wanted to use the missionaries but she wouldn’t allow it. We don’t want to cause problems and if the native people can handle it then we will just support them.

The other sites were much more appreciative and welcomed the missionaries. It was fun to see what they were doing and how grateful they were for the donations of the church.

After driving all over the island, Ana took us out to lunch at Café Escape. I think that is her favorite place to eat and Alan really likes it too.

We tried to call Amberly and sing to her but after 5 attempts we gave up for today. They must have been having a great time celebrating her.

We had movie night tonight. Elder Johnson brought the movie and we watched “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies”. The movies he brought are just a little too old for me. I am ready for something a little more up to date.

It was amazing to watch as they unloaded so many pallets of donations onto the dock. We're so grateful to be members of this church!!!

Some of the school kits, loaded on a truck to take out to the schools.

The transport ship landed at the dock and unloaded all of the supplies for the work the Pacific Partnership will be doing in Tonga.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This is the King's Palace. He and the Queen are on the front porch but this is as close as you get to them. The picture is a little blury, I had to take it while I was walking.

Thursday, June 13th

Happy Birthday Amberly!! WOW, our beautiful little Amberly is turning into a beautiful young woman. How did that happen? The years are flying by!!

We spent most of the day in Nuku’alofa today. It was the opening of Parliament and it is a huge celebration associated with it. All of the school children march in a parade through town and the King rides down the street as well, on his way to Parliament. The children and the bands march by, then they stop and line the street while the King passes. Then everyone stands and waits until he open Parliament and gives his speech. When he comes back out and gets in his car to drive to the Palace all the children form up again and follow him. Then they march across the Palace lawn so he can view each school. It is quite the production. We were there watching all of this happen from 8:30 in the morning until 1:30 in the afternoon.

Liahona was the last school to march. (either they saved the best for last or they don’t like the Mormons so they put them at the end.) When they passed us they invited us to march with them. It is the only way you can ever get onto the Palace grounds so we jumped at the chance. I took pictures.

We ended our day at the Temple. It felt good to sit down, relax and feel the Spirit.

When ever there is music, there is a dancing Tongan lady! She was fun to watch. The others are of us with Lina, the lady whose family we are trying to convert to the gospel. We love her!! The last one is of her husband and some of her 7 children. They are a great family!

This is Liahona High School, some of the teachers and the band. We were proud. They were by far the best band in the parade.

There were lots more schools than this in the parade, but I just wanted you to see that every school has a different color uniform.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Look out! Does this man know how to handle a machete???

Tuesday, June 11th

OOPS!! I missed a day. Now I can’t remember what we did on this day. Sure hope it was a good one!!

Wednesday, June 12th

I had a small fit yesterday afternoon. I was in the Service Center and saw our bishop. He is the head man over the ITEP department. They do all the computer work here. I told him that we just couldn’t go on like this any longer. That we had a conference call with New Zealand today and we still didn’t have any phones or an internet that worked. I basically begged him to do something to help us. It must have worked because things began to change today. It wasn’t at a very convenient time but I am not going to complain about that.

Alan got a call from the hospital this morning. They needed wheelchairs ASAP and they had ordered a truck to pick them up at 10:00 at our old office in Nuku’alofa. Our conference call with New Zealand was at 10:00! Alan had to go, so I did the conference call alone. While I was on our CELL phone talking to the Area Welfare Manager, 2 of the ITEP guys came into the office and started working on my computer and setting up the phone
somehow we managed to get everything done. By the time I got off the phone, our internet had been switched over to the Church System and I had a phone that works installed in our office. Amazing what can happen when Sister Webb has a fit!

The USS Pearl Harbor arrived in Tonga today. Well, it is docked 8 miles out, you can hardly see it from the shore, but it is here. We will start working with the Navy within the next couple of days. They have to set everything up with the government first and tomorrow is the opening of Parliament here so I think the distribution of goods will actually start on Friday.

Our Bishop’s daughter was baptized this evening. We were invited specially so we felt like we should go. We were both ready to stay home and put our feet up, but instead we picked Sister Mitchell up and off we went. It was scheduled to start at 5:00 but didn’t actually happen until 6:00. They were preparing a feast for after the baptism and the food “wasn’t quite ready” so had to delay. It was a good thing we decided to go, they asked Alan to give the opening prayer and then stand in the circle for the confirmation. All on the spur of the moment for Alan but they had his name on the program. They just didn’t think to ask him ahead of time.

The whole thing was a little over the top for a baptism but we had a really good time. I took lots of pictures. We just felt bad for the other children in the ward. I don’t think there are any other families that could throw a feast like this one. It had to have cost them a fortune!

These are some of the amazing men in our ward. They can do anything and everything! It's the same as it is in America, they are the STP committee.

This is Alan's favorite. It is called Lupulu. It is beef, chicken or corned beef mixed with onions and coconut milk and then wrapped in taro leaves. It is sealed in tin foil and steamed for about 30 minutes.

We don't eat the roasted pig that they cook for these feasts because they are never cooked well enough for us, but the chicken that they cook like this is delicious!!

They roasted 4 pigs for this feast.

This is our Ward Executive Secretary. He is wicked with a knife!

Monday, June 10th

We had a devotional this morning with Elder Watson of the Area Presidency. Before he became an Area 70 he was the secretary to the First Presidency. He worked with 7 prophets! The devotional was wonderful. He told us stories about some of his experiences with the prophets, how he was called to be a Stake President and how he was called by President Monson to be an Area 70. He and his wife are delightful people, so down to earth and easy to be around. He is turning 70 this month and will be released from this calling in the next General Conference. He will be heading home in 2 weeks and before he leaves he wanted to come to Tonga and thank the people here for all they are doing to keep the church running in the islands. He also reorganized a Stake over the weekend. Alan made the comment tonight that the people in Tonga see many more General Authorities here than we ever do in Utah. It really is amazing how many we have seen in the months that we have been here.

After the devotional we went to our office and still had no internet, no phones and no printer. Moving to Liahona has stopped our work completely. We couldn’t do a thing today.

We were in charge of FHE tonight and I had to have Sister Bean run the information off for me. It is soooooo frustrating! We won’t know how to act if things ever do start to work.

Our topic for FHE was The Blessings for Senior Missionaries and Their Families as We Serve Missions For The Lord. We got off to a shaky start as one of the dentists and his wife came in and started ripping on the Tongan people because they were frustrated about a couple of things. But we sang “Count Your Blessings” and had a beautiful prayer and they Spirit came. The lesson went over well and every missionary couple shared at least one blessing that they have seen come into their family as they have served. It ended well and we were pleased with the evening -- also really grateful that it was over. We have been stressed about it. I made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches for the treats and they were a big hit.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday, June 9th,
We had our ward conference today and it was amazing. Almost all of the adults in the ward are in the ward choir.
  There isn’t enough room for them in the front, so they sit on one side of the chapel. Their families sit on the other side, but the kids were really good, even through an hour and a half meeting. They sang 3 numbers and each one of them took my breath away. There were 22 men in the choir and the moving parts for the men make their music so powerful. The Tongans sing straight from their hearts and they fill the room with gorgeous music. Even though the ward choirs at home are good, you just never hear anything like this in America. I wish I could bring them all home with me so everyone could hear them.

Parliament starts next week so we had 3 members of Parliament in our ward this week. One was not a member of the church, but he lives in this area and comes whenever he is invited. The other two are members and they brought him. It was a very spiritual meeting, perfect for an investigator. I am so impressed by the Tongan people. They are so humble and genuine. They don’t compare themselves with others, they just do the best they can do and they are who they are. The Stake Relief Society President talked straight from her heart and her remarks really touched me. They young man that is in our Sunday School class bore his testimony about preparing to go to the temple. He did a great job talking about overcoming his bad habits and the blessings in his life since he joined the church. It was a great day at church!

This is "Little Italy",a hotel where we celebrated our anniversary. It is probably the nicest one on the island.

Saturday, June 8th

We stayed in bed a little longer today, but not too long. We had to get the wash started before the power went off. It was off twice today so they could fix the problem with the generator and the power supply. We did one load and then headed into town. It started to rain just as we left home so we weren’t sure what we would find at the fair. We haven’t been to the fair in a month so we needed quite a few things. By the time we got there the rain had stopped but it was really muddy. We were able to find a few things, but not everything we needed. I guess we will just have to do without until the next ship comes in.

By the time we got home the power problem had been fixed and we were able to finish the wash. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies. We haven’t had them for a long time and we have FHE this week. I will make most of them into ice cream sandwiches for our treats.

I met with the two head nurses that are here from BYU this afternoon. They have been up in Vava’u this week working in the hospital. I took the list that we have been requested to fill over to them and they are going to go over it and mark the most critical items for me. Unless the church is willing to spend over a million dollars we can’t begin to fill all of their requests. They told me that some of the machines they have asked for cost over $250,000 each. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

We went out to dinner tonight with the Szoka’s. It was their anniversary today so we celebrated both of our anniversaries at Little Italy, a really nice restrauant here. Alan had a pizza and I had chicken fettachini. They were both delicious! The atmosphere is really a huge part of this place. It is clean, well decorated and right off the ocean. We had a great time. It was so relaxing!

Some of the sisters in our ward. We have a great ward and we love all of these women!

We held the dance outside and the basketball court is shiny because it was soaking wet!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Friday, June 7th

Today was moving day at the office. They didn’t do anything yesterday so Ana called this morning and they came right down. It really worked out for the best because we were there to tell them exactly what we wanted moved and then we were at Liahona to tell them exactly where we wanted them to put it. It was pretty amazing to watch. They didn’t use dollies at all. Two men came into our office and picked up the file cabinet and carried it out. They are so strong! Alan keeps saying that these Tongan men are blessed with very impressive bodies and today I had to agree with him.

When we first saw our office the other day it was dirty and not very inviting. Today it had all been cleaned and with the furniture in it, it really looks good. It has a very comfortable and homey feel to it. I think we are going to have a hard time leaving here and going back when fiber optics are up and running.

When they hooked my computer up it didn’t work any better than it did down town. I about died! But come to find out that our office is still on the school system, which isn’t that great. However we are supposed to be switched over to the church system QUICKLY!! In fact it was supposed to happen before we arrived but for some reason it didn’t happen. Hopefully by Monday!!

Elder Reynolds wrote back and said to go ahead with the Dental Project so I pushed the “Submit” button and sent it on its way. I so happy to have that one done!

I spent the rest of the day putting our office together. First things first, I had to put the pictures of
our family up on the wall. I can’t go anywhere without the family! Each time I turn a page on the calendar I cut some of the pictures off and put them on the wall in the office. I am getting a great family wall going now. Ana Ika and Ana Lupe are always eager to see “what’s new” at the first on each month.

I am hoping they will give me some touch up paint so I can spiff things up a little but it really is a pretty nice office. Bigger than the other one and a much nicer view.

We had a ward dance tonight and we really didn’t want to go. By Friday night we are both exhausted and with the move it seemed even worse tonight, but we knew that we needed to support the ward so off we went. We picked Sister Mitchell up. She didn’t want to go either but she felt the same way we did. The dance started at 7:00 but no one ever comes on time so we left at 7:30 and arrived at 8:00. Except for the man doing the music and his family, we were the first ones there! Time means nothing
to the Tongans. Not only that, but it was an outside dance, held on the basketball court. They had decorated it all with yellow balloons and just before we arrived it started to rain. There were chairs all around the edges and they were in puddles of water. It poured for about a half hour and no body came. Then about 8:30 a few people came and the rain let up a little. They were trying to decide if we should move it inside when someone saw one star so we decided to chance it. We wiped all of the chairs off and they asked Alan to say the opening prayer at 8:45. He asked that the elements would be tempered and there was no more rain. We had a great time dancing with the little kids. They loved Elder Webb because he got right out there and danced with the young girls. The little boys were having no part of that so I spent a lot of time taking pictures. Families danced together, some of the young men came out and danced and they had some great moves, but no one, except the married couples, danced “together”. They just danced. It was a fun night and by 9:30 we felt that we had “supported” enough, so we went home to bed! 

When we got back to Liahona it started to pour again. It rained off and on all night. Alan felt so bad that the rain had ruined the dance but we found out later that it did not rain one drop at the church after we left. The dance was over at 11:30 and they all knew that Elder Webb’s prayer had been heard and answered.

I don't think I have ever posted a picture of the outside of our office in Nuku'alofa. This is where we have been working for the last 6 months.

They came today and moved everything in our office up to Liahona.

Thursday, June 6th

I finished up the Dental Project on CHaS this morning and sent it off to Elder Reynolds to review before I submit it. I have pretty much finished the legal contract for the Lavengatonga Water Project so Alan took it to Sam’s Workshop, the company that will be supplying the tank and stand, so Sam could fill in his information and look it over before I type up the final copy to submit for approval.
Elder Reynolds didn’t write back about the Dental Project while we were at the office so I guess it will take one more day to finish that up.

We started packing up our office today. We should be in our new office at Liahona tomorrow. We had to decide what we were going to take and what we were going to leave and mark everything so the movers would know what to move. They are supposed to come this afternoon and move everything. We won’t know until tomorrow morning if it actually happened. We are really looking forward to being right there on campus at Liahona. It will be so much more convenient for us. (plus it means we can sleep in an extra half hour every morning!) If it is a nice day, I can run home and start a load of laundry if I want to. It is only about a 5 minute walk across the campus.

We had a really full session at the temple tonight. They had to bring in 5 extra chairs. It is ward conference for two of the three English speaking wards this Sunday and Thursday night is the only English session of the week. Everyone in both wards had been encouraged to attend that session. A lot of people came but a lot more went to earlier sessions that day.

Wednesday, June 5th,

I spent the morning working on a success story for Steve Stebbings. He wanted me to write up our experience with the village of Lavengatonga and send it to him along with some pictures so that he could share them with the Area Authorities in their Area Welfare Meeting. It was easy to write up the story and decide on the pictures, the trick was in getting them to Steve. Once again the internet would not work and when it did, all I could send was the story about the village. I knew I would have to go to Liahona to send the pictures but when I got there the electricity was out. There was a major electrical outage this morning at Liahona and when the generator kicked on it blew up. No one knew how long it would take to fix it but luckily it only took a few hours instead of a few days. It came back on late this afternoon and I was able to send the pictures -- one at a time--- to New Zealand.
We called Greg this afternoon and had a good visit with him. He is going to go to Temple Square and send the missionaries to visit with my brother Jim. I have been praying about this our whole mission and feel that I really want to do something to help him find his way back to the gospel. I am praying that they have a Tongan missionary in Pocatello. These Tongans are amazing they can find a way straight into your heart. With a lot of fasting and prayers, I am hoping for a miracle.

We called David tonight too, but right in the middle of the conversation our phone ran out of minutes. We will have to call him back when we can get some more time on the phone.  We found out that it costs $2.80 for the first 4 minutes, not $2.50 so we didn't have enough money left for that last call.  But we also learned that after the first 4 minutes we now get 1 hour free instead of just 30 minutes.  So it was a good thing that our time ran out or we would never have known.  The Lord works in mysterious ways!

Alan had been asked to be on a priesthood panel for mutual tonight so while he was gone I worked on the Dental Project. I think I have it ready to submit tomorrow. I will be glad to get that one off my mind!
Tuesday, June 4th

HAPPY 39th ANNIVERSARY!!! I can’t believe it, 39 years, where did the time go? A year from today we will be back in the US celebrating our 40th. WOW!!! Somebody’s getting old, sure glad it’s not me.

We didn’t do anything special to celebrate today. There are 3 couples who got married in June and we will all celebrate together this weekend. We are going out to dinner and then coming back here for cake and ice cream.

Ana Ika called in sick today. She has a bad cold too. We are popping vitamin C tablets to help resist these germs.

Howard Nui, the Service Center Manager told us today that we will be moving into the old Seminary offices. They started cleaning them out today and he hopes that we can be in by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. I will be surprised if they get it done that quickly, but at least now we know that it is really going to happen. That will put us on the same internet system that the school and the service center use, which is what I am using now to do every thing I can’t get done at the office. It is not a permanent move, but we can have that office until December or until they hook our old office on to the fiber optic system. We are SO HAPPY!!!

After dinner we went for a walk. Alan’s leg has been bothering him a lot. We don’t know if walking is helping him or making it worse but we need to get out and move. We walked after dark and still came home sweating. It is so darn hot and humid again. We are supposed to be going into winter. When does it cool off here?

(Oops, I put these on in the wrong order. Oh well, you get the punch line first.) After all that work they only caught 1 fish! They were a little embarrassed with all of those Palangis watching, but they were good sports and let us take pictures of their great catch!

It took 4 big men wworking hard to bring in the catch of the day.

We watched some fishermen bringing in their nets.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

As we hiked through the bush we found a beautiful view of the ocean. The trick was that not many people hike down to the ocean here and there were HUGE SPIDERS all along the path!!

This is part of the King of Tonga's throne. He would sit with his back to this stone so no one could attack him from the back. He had a long spear that he could use to protect himself with if someone threatened him from the front.

Alan stood under this giant rock formation so we could see how big it really is. We have no idea how this was ever erected.

Still smiling at the end of a very hot and humid trip. In spite of the heat, it was great fun!


Monday, June 3rd

I wanted to sleep in so bad today!!! At 5:45 the noise started. The rain had stopped so the Tongans were out exercising. They walk by our house but they don’t talk quietly to each other. They have to talk really loud to be heard over the music playing on their radios. They still carry the ones with speakers, not head sets. Then the boys in the dorm woke up at 6:00 and started yelling. It was unbelievable!!! I kept trying to go back to sleep but finally gave up at 7:30. Even though I couldn’t sleep, I could at least rest. What I wouldn’t give for the peace and quiet of Smithfield!

Today was a holiday so we had the day off. It was Emancipation Day, but no one seems to know what they were emancipated from. Not even our boss at the office. Oh well, we will take a holiday any time they want to give us one. I really needed this one.

I went to Liahona to check my emails and we received one from New Zealand saying that they are looking for a new office for us at Liahona. Not the TVET office that we were planning on, but an office for the whole Welfare team. That would be wonderful!!! It would save us a ton of money in gas and 30 minutes travel time morning and night. I guess Heavenly Father has heard me complaining and taken pity on me. We won’t know how that will all work out until later in the week but at least there is hope.

We also received a new project to work on. There is a hospital in Vava’u that has a two page list of needs and President Hamula sent it to us saying that he wants us to help them. That will end up being hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment. He wants it taken care of ASAP. Hopefully that will help us get a new office fast. It will also probably mean that we need to take a trip to Vava’u to check things out. Oh well, somebody has to do it, it might as well be us.

All of the senior couples went on a sight seeing tour of the east side of the island today. We had a great time. It was a beautiful day and I took lots of pictures.
We had a pot luck dinner tonight for FHE and then we were going to play games, but every one was to tired so we ate, visited and then went home. Elder Johnson has come down with a bad cold and Sister Johnson wasn’t feeling great either. We agreed that all of us are exhausted so we called it a night and went home early.

Sunday, June 2nd

It rained all night last night. That cooled it down a little but the humidity is awful. This morning it was still raining, cool and dark when the alarm went off. It is getting harder and harder for me to get out of bed. Even on Sunday we have to get up by 6:30 in order to make it in to town in time for church.

A lot of people were either late or didn’t come to church today because of the weather. We had a small group in our Sunday School class but we still had a good discussion and everyone participated. There is such a good feeling in that class, we are really enjoying it.

The Forsyths are here from Vava’u for some training. That is the couple that we stayed with when we were in Vava’u. We had them over for dinner today. It was fun to spend some time with them and get caught up on what is happening in that area of the mission. Elder Forsyth has a bad cold so he hasn’t been feeling very well the whole time they have been here. He seemed a little better today. We are hoping that we don’t catch it from him. Colds seem to be going around right now.

After dinner we went to talk to the Szokas. The missionaries called and said that they want the senior missionaries to teach a religion class at one of the primary schools every Friday. There are 100 kids in the class and it lasts for 1 hour. That would take a ton of preparation and non of us have the time to do that. Elder Szoka is our District Leader so we are going to let him handle it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Saturday, June 1st

We had to get up early and take the missionary money out this morning. It about killed me to get out of bed. By Saturday I am exhausted! I need some down time. But once we got going we had a great time. We love being with the young missionaries and now that we know them it is really fun to be with them. We didn’t give out a lot of Snickers today but I have raised my standards, especially when they know that we are coming. I was encouraged though, most of the MQ’s were pretty clean. The missionaries are doing better.

I had an “a hah” moment today. It seems that this mission is upside down. The young missionaries get up at 6:30, exercise, eat, get cleaned up and then study. They leave their MQ at 11:00 AM. The senior missionaries get up between 5:00 and 6:00, exercise, eat, get cleaned up and leave to start their various callings by 7:30 to 8:00 AM. What’s up with that? I want to leave for work at 11:00. We’re old, we should have an easier schedule than a 19 year old! Who do I contact about this??

We spent the afternoon doing laundry and cleaning and then decided to relax and watch a movie. We watched Baptists at My Bar-B-Q. It was kind of dumb but funny and we enjoyed it.

Friday May 31st

When we got to the office today I had settled down enough to make a call to New Zealand. I decided to call Elder Reynolds and get some help. He was so kind and understanding. I had him pull the contract up on his computer so we could go through it together. It was great, he didn’t know any more than I did so he put us on a conference call to Salt Lake. We talked to Christy who is the secretary to the big boss in the Church Office over water projects. She told me to just save the contract to the computer desk top and work on it there. I can do that but then we have to scan it to send it and we don’t have a scanner. It just keeps getting better and better. If all else fails I will copy it and send it to Elder Reynolds and he will take it from there. I was so grateful for the help. They were both so patient and kind. Elder Reynolds said that he feels so bad about our working conditions. It’s like sending a senior couple into the field and asking them to run a race with a ball and chain tied around their necks. He and Steve Stebbings are working hard to improve the conditions here. When Steve left Tonga he said, “either fix it or move them!” We will see what comes of that.
We had movie night tonight so I made a Zebra Cake this afternoon. It is a Ukranian cake and I didn’t know if anyone would like it but it was something different and it was easy. I needed easy, I have enough stress in my life right now. We watched a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie tonight. It was really OLD, but the dancing was wonderful. I loved it, Alan endured it.

Thursday, May 30th

It’s a good thing that my computer would not stay connected to the internet today because if it had I would have booked a ticket for home!!! I worked for 2 hours filling out that legal contract for the Lavengatonga project. I saved it 4 times during the process --- just in case --- and come to find out, I had been off of the internet the whole time. When I left it to retrieve the project number and then went back to finish it up ---IT WAS TOTALLY BLANK!!!!! Really, what is a woman to do? I cried.

Alan had gone to pick up missionary supplies for tomorrow so I just sat there and felt sorry for myself for a few minutes. Then I ran off a copy of the contract and started to fill it out in pencil. At least I will have a copy if that happens again. I didn’t get anything done at the office today, although I worked hard all morning.

When I got back to Liahona I decided not to tackle the contract again today. The headache I already had was sufficient for one day. I worked on my journal and put some things on the blog.

We tried to call Annette for her birthday but she wouldn’t answer the phone. We were sad to miss talking to her.

Thank heaven it was Thursday, once again the temple saved my sanity.

Wednesday, May 29th

My meeting with the Stake Relief Society President was at 10:00 this morning but she was at our office at 9:00. I think that might be a good sign. She is excited and ready to get started. Thank heaven I was prepared with everything I needed. Ana Ika came into the training and we had a really good discussion. It took about an hour to explain everything to her and make sure that we are all on the same page. We decided which lessons we are going to use and she took them with her so she can translate them into Tongan. She already has people in mind that she wants to use to help her. I was a little worried about them all being members of the church, but they are people she knows well and can trust, which is so important. That should lay a firm foundation for us to build upon as we go out and teach the villagers. We set up another meeting in 2 weeks to go through the translation and then we will be able to get started.

I also got an email from Elder Colson today with some help on the legal issues for our project. I was so grateful for his help. I feel a little better now. It was a good day at the office!

We stopped on our way home and I got my hair cut. It was curling up in every direction and if it gets a little long I never know what I am going to look like. With the humidity and rain that we are having now, I just had to have it shorter. Baby does a good job cutting it and I feel much better now.

Alan and I walked over to the FM offices and talked to Supie about a key for the Fellows office. She had talked to Sister Fefieta and new that we would be coming. No one knows where the key is or if the Fellows turned it in. Supie is going to have the locksmith make us one so it may be Monday before we actually get in there. Oh well, at least there is hope!

It was cloudy and windy all day today and that really cooled things off. IT FELT SOOOOOOOO GOOD!!! Alan and I went for a walk before dinner, it was actually cool enough to do that at 4:00 in the afternoon. When we got home I made some ham fried rice. We don’t have any celery here or water chestnuts but I found some fresh bean sprouts so I decided to go for it. I missed the crunch of the celery but it actually tasted very good. It was something different!

Tuesday, May 28th

I spent the morning getting ready for my hygiene training meeting tomorrow. I had pictures and booklets to run off and organize. We also spent some more time with the computer guys. I think they were hiding out at our office today. Those guys from America have been putting a lot of pressure on them to make things better at the schools and there really isn’t much they can do to change the internet coverage on this island. They came to our office because the CES guys don’t know where it is. We learned today that the church pays $50,000.00 a month for internet service in Tonga. WOW!! And it is terrible. That is sad.

When I went to Liahona this afternoon the 10 nurses were in the conference room trying to do their homework. It was a circus. I need a QUIET place to work. I saw Verna in the hall and asked her if she had talked to the principal yet. She said yes and that the principal thought we could use the TVET office for awhile, but that they are trying to replace the Fellows with a local couple and then we would need to give the office to them. Anything is better than what we have now so I will go talk to FM tomorrow and see about getting a key.

We were able to talk to Kimi today --- finally!! It sounded so good to hear her voice. We really do worry about her. It is hard to be so far away when she is so close to having this baby! When we called she and Mike had just finished up a Baby Shower at his parents house. She was excited about all of the fun things they received. It sounds like this will be the best dressed baby in Colorado. She said she is feeling good and she sounded good. It was a big relief to me to be able to talk to her. We have got to find a way to stay in touch with them.

I went to the relief society enrichment meeting in our old ward at Liahona tonight. They are making Tongan outfits and I wanted to make one too. They invited me back and said that I can come all the time to enrichment. I think I will, we don’t have them in our ward down town, people have to travel to far to get there. It was fun to see all of the sisters again, I have missed them! The principal of Liahona is in that ward and she was at the meeting tonight. I asked her about getting a key to the Fellows office and she didn’t know what I was talking about. She had not talked to Verna at all! Verna just made all of that up to appease me. Sister Fefeita, the principal, said that she was fine with us using the office and to go get a key from the FM. She doesn’t think that they will replace the Fellows this year so we should be able to stay there for awhile. Then she got her phone out and sent Verna an email to tell her that she had given me permission to use the office. I sure would have loved to have seen the look on Verna’s face when she got that email. It will be interesting when I run into her again.

Monday, May 27th
We had two of the computer specialists in our office all morning trying to make things work. I really think we are beyond help. Although it is especially frustrating when things won’t work -- then the specialists show up and they do work -- and as soon as they are gone they won’t work again. I often wonder if they think we are all crazy. We had some of that going on today but they also saw some of the problems first hand. We are grateful for any help they can give us. Today they also worked to make sure that everyone is hooked up with the new printer. We do have a wonderful printer! It’s not all bad.

We stopped in town to check on some missionary supplies and ran into Sione Tonga, the water project man. He had been looking for me to tell me that his aunt, who used to be in our ward before she went to America, had just passed away. I was so sad to hear that. We celebrated her 80th birthday before she left. She had a bad fall one night and suffered a lot of pain on her left side after that. She flew to California to be with her daughter and I guess they took her straight from the airport to the hospital. She was full of cancer. She was the sweetest lady. I will miss her but I am glad that she made it to America. She has always wanted to be buried by her husband and he is buried in Arizona. Now that will be possible.

This afternoon at Liahona there was a meeting in the small conference room which meant that I had no where to go to get my work done. Howard, the Service Center Manager is in New Zealand so I went to see Verna, his assistant to ask for an office at Liahona. We know that the Fellows had internet access in their office and since they went home it is vacant. We have got to have a place to go! She said she would call the school principal and see if we can use that space.

Family Home Evening was torture for me! Elder and Sister Bean were in charge and they gave us a SPELLING TEST! I hate spelling tests and I especially hate spell-offs. I hated them when I was in school and I still hate them, mainly because I never was good at spelling. It is especially embarrassing when people know that you are an English teacher and then find out that you don’t spell well. The test tonight was on words from the Scriptures, and there were some doozies! Thankfully I didn’t come in last, there are also other seniors here who are very successful people, who don’t spell well. Alan did great and he ended up in the spell-off. He didn’t win, but he got a prize so I was proud of him. He can represent us well in spelling competitions.