Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!! I am missing my family today but it is a very special experience to celebrate your birthday while on a mission.

We got up early and went to the mission home to take the money out to the missionaries. We waited in the parking lot for 15 minutes and no one else came. We began to wonder what was wrong so I called Sister Mitchell to see where she was. Her response was, “Didn’t they call you?” That is never good! Evidently the missionaries had made some mistakes in getting the money ready to go, so they decided to postpone for one day but no one got in touch with us. Since I had made muffins, I gave them to the office missionaries, the office couple and the Mission President and then we took the rest home. I won’t be making them again for tomorrow --- so to bad for those who weren’t there today!

We went into the office to check our emails and I had several from family and friends, along with 15 notices of face book posts. Most of those were from our cherished friends in Ukraine. That made for a great start to my day. Kimi sent us some more pictures of Grace and I was even able to print one off. She just keeps getting cuter and cuter!

After we took care of what needed to be done in the office, we headed into town. Alan took me shopping but we couldn’t find anything to buy. I really need a cool shirt or two before we head into summer again, but everything here is so big. I’m not really sure what I am going to do. I need new sandles and cooler clothes but there is just no where to get them here.

We stopped in at our old office to see the Beans and give them some muffins. Sister Bean’s birthday is in August too and so is Ana’s, so we will plan a lunch for the welfare team sometine this month to celebrate. Then Alan took me out to eat. We went to the Precious Stone, a Chinese CafĂ© that is quite nice for Tonga. They have good food and I had sweet and sour chicken. It was nice not to have to cook today. We picked up a few groceries and then stopped on the way home to get an ice cream cone. I didn’t get a birthday cake, but I got the ice cream.

When we got back to Liahona all of the students were out on the front lawn. Our rugby team won the championship game today against their arch rivals. It is the biggest game on the islands, they compare it to the BYU vs. Utah game. It was sad this year though, because of the fights that happened here a couple of weeks ago, they didn’t let the student body attend the game. Only the parents were allowed to go. So when the team got back to the school the student body met the bus and carried the players on their shoulders into the middle of the students. Then they had a celebration like no other. It has been 22 years since they have won this game. As we were told today, every year there has been at least one boy on the team, sometimes many, who was not living the gospel as he should. Every year they would play well and come close, even go into over time, but they could never win the game. This year the boys have been helping each other to prepare to serve missions. They make sure everyone is living the principles of the gospel and keeping the commandments. They were united in every way and they were working for a common goal. Even though this is not the best team Liahona has ever had, and they were not as talented as the team they played, they played their hearts out and in DOUBLE OVERTIME, they won!! It was huge for this school and all for the right reasons. It was really fun to see.

To end my birthday we went to the temple. To my surprise and horror, my temple recommend expired today! It really isn’t expired in America but it is here, so I was not allowed to go to the temple tonight. I have never been turned away from the temple in my life and it was very humbling. It was a powerful lesson about always being aware of having a current temple recommend. I have never been without one since I got married. I will have to get an appointment with the Mission President and get it renewed fast! I was so sad to leave and walk home all alone. Alan stayed to go to the session. I thought, ‘I hope this isn’t the way my year is going to go. It wasn’t a good start.’ I hadn’t been home for long when Alan came through the door. He couldn’t stay without me, especially on my birthday. I was touched by his love and compassion.

We changed our clothes and went for a walk. It helped to ease the pain.