Tuesday, Dec. 31st
While I was walking this morning I saw the most spectacular sunrise I have ever seen. The colors were so vivid and beautiful and I could watch them slowly go clear across the sky. It was the most frustrating experience I have ever had. I was clear across the campus when it started and by the time I got home to get my camera, it was to late!! Oh how I wish I could have gotten some pictures of that. Who knows if I will ever see another one. The conditions were just perfect today and the clouds were amazing.
Inoke Mo’unga and his associate came into our office this morning to talk to us about some of the work they are doing here in Tonga. He is a young man, late twenties, early thirties, who grew up in Utah and is now living in Tonga. He is Tongan and he wants to start up a business here. He is a real entrepreneur. He is trying to find all Tongan products that he can turn into money making products and then export them to America. He had lots of good ideas and we will set up a meeting with President Tupou so that we can introduce them. He is just the kind of person that the president is looking for to try to employ all of these return missionaries. Inoke is a member of the church and he didn’t really come to us for help, just advice. It is really fun to see how the Lord works!
As we were talking he was mentioning how many of the Tongan youth steal things. I think I have written before about how we can’t leave anything outside at night because it won’t be there in the morning. Inoke said that when he reads in the Book of Mormon about “slippery things that disappear in the night” he thinks about Tonga. It is a curse of the Tongan people. I had never thought about that before.
At lunch time, Alan ran some errands and then went home and I went out to lunch with Jeana and Sister Mitchell. After lunch we went out to the bush and visited the home of Jeana’s sister-in-law. They have a 30 acre piece of property way back in the bush. It is private and beautiful! She took us out there so we could take some pictures of the many different kinds of flowers that grow there. They have a huge lawn area with all kinds of trees and flowers and then a plantation where they grow crops and raise some animals. It was amazing to see and we had so much fun walking around taking pictures.
She told us an interesting story while we were there. The property boarding her sister-in-law’s property is a place called Hule. It is where there was a huge fortress back in the day of King George the 1st. During that time there were many battles as King George fought off other men who wanted to rule Tonga. This fortress was built up just like the cities in the Book of Mormon. They piled up huge mounds of earth and then put up tall timbers to keep the invaders out. It was a place of protection for the women and children. One day there was a major battle in Homa, another village about 10 miles away from Hule. All of the able bodied men, young men and boys went to fight in the battle. While they were gone some of the invading forces came to the fortress and massacred all of the women and children who were left behind.
Jeana’s brother-in-law grew up on the property where he now lives. He tells of a time when he was out working in the bush with his parents and he heard people working and children playing in the area of Helu. His dad would not permit him to go over there. None of the Tongans ever go on that property. He kept begging his father to let him go see the children but his father would not. When they left to go home he could see that there was no one around. No people working, no children playing. It was deathly quiet there. Later he said that he knew he heard the ghosts of the people of Hule. Evidently many people have heard them over the years. Interesting story.
Jeana’s husband was born out there and lived there as a small child but then moved a short distance away. His father had 3 different wives and 30 children.
This last day of 2013 was a good day. We received our Christmas package from Kris. She sent both of us a Christmas book and a present. Alan got a beautiful tie that he is thrilled to have. It will look really good with most of the pants he wears and it is so nice to have a change. He is getting sick of the ones he brought with him. I got a lovely pair of earlings and I feel the same way. It is so nice to have something new to wear! That was very thoughtful of her and John.
When we stopped in the mission office to pick up our package, Elder Riddle was there and he also got a Christmas box. He got a bag of jerky and he doesn’t like jerky. He gave it to Alan. That made his Christmas! Webbs can’t have Christmas without jerky.
To end the year we had a game night with the other senior couples. It was lots of fun. We played vampires and villagers, the Great Dalmoody and Uno. Everyone had a good time, even those who don’t love to play games. We stopped about 10:30 so some could go home to bed and some could go to the Stake New Year’s dance. I stayed up till midnight but Alan didn’t make it. He woke up as the new year arrived though because someone close by started lighting LOUD fireworks off. They were sporadic, but they continued until 3:00am! We would just get to sleep and then someone would light another one. I don’t know what they were, but they were sooo loud and very close. It was a long night!