On Friday we went into town in the morning. Alan went to the pharmacy and I went to the office. Alan was encouraged. A painter came to do some of the doors and the man with the spray painter was supposed to come in the afternoon to do the ceilings in the part that isn’t finished. We will be anxious to see how much they got done next Monday.
I went into the office and tried to get everything put together for the wheelchair training. Hopefully the wheelchairs will arrive in Tonga next week. We have a meeting with the Minister of Health on Monday. Ana and I went into town to pick up a present for the Beans. They will be going home in 3 weeks and we will have a farewell lunch for them next week. We bought them a really nice Tongan Crest. I think they will enjoy having that in their home when they get back to the states.
The Tongan Rugby team came back to Tonga today. Thousands of people met them at the airport and thousands more lined the roads from the airport clear into town as they made the trip into town. There was a huge crowd down town and they blocked off most of the main road when they arrived. Tonga comes to a stand still for this team. It is a huge celebration and the whole country came out to support them. There was a parade of cars, trucks and vans covered in red and white balloons and people all dressed in red and white. People were standing on the roof tops to watch them go by. It was quite a sight. We saw it from afar, we didn’t want to get caught in that traffic jam!
In the afternoon we went to the Nauvoo Stake Center to a Missionary Fireside with Elder Hallstrom. He is visiting the South Pacific and came to Tonga to do Firesides and speak to the missionaries. He is a member of the Presidency of the 70. He and his wife both spoke and they did a great job. Sister Hallstrom talked about obedience and Elder Hallstrom talked about how to receive personal revelation. Elder and Sister Tukuafu and President and Sister Tupou all bore their testimonies. It was especially touching to see Elder and Sister Tukuafu and hear them talk to the missionaries, many of whom served most of their missions under them. At the end of the meeting Elder Hallstrom bore his testimony and told all of the missionaries, including the senior missionaries, that he meets with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles every week. He told us, “You are loved, you are prayed over, you are treasured in this church.” He also told us that the missionary work of the church is a “miracle”. He told the young missionaries that they would be able to tell their children and their grandchildren that they were a part of the greatest wave of missionaries in the history of the church. It really is a thrill to be a part of this great missionary experience. We are certainly blessed to be able to witness it first hand.