Friday, April 4, 2014
Friday, March 21st
When we got to the office and turned the computer on we found our travel plans in our emails. Bless Elder Reynolds!! We will be flying home on June 2nd and will arrive in SLC at 6:11 PM that same night. On the way home we will live Monday, June 2nd, twice! That should be fun. It will be a long day and a long flight but the layovers are not to bad so we are happy about the plans. We thought we would be leaving on the 3rd, but the flights are not as reliable on Tuesday as they are on Monday. In Tonga, if the plane isn’t full enough, they cancel the flight and fill up the next one. That wrecks havoc with the rest of your connections. The missionaries seem to always fly out on Mondays. It is nice to know the plan and now we can work toward that date. Hopefully it will give us time to get everything done.
We had some sad news today. Siua, the man that puts our wheelchairs together for us, found out yesterday, that he will be losing his job the first of June. Australia-aid has been paying his salary and they are pulling out of the hospital. Donors are beginning to see that the money they are putting into this country is not getting where they want it to go and it is not making the difference they had hoped to make. More and more donors are starting to cut back or pull out altogether. We really feel bad for Siua, it is so hard to find a good job here and he is such a good worker.
Dave called to talk to his dad about taxes, but he was at work and we didn’t get to see Hendrix. That didn’t work for me, so we called Alisha at home and got to talk to her, Parx and Julie, as well as see our beautiful baby. What a miracle new babies are. He is growing already and even though we only get to get a glimpse of him and we are thousands of miles away, we love him sooooo much! Sure can’t wait to get ahold of him!!!!!
We did another musical fireside tonight. We kind of don’t look forward to doing those, because we are always so tired by the end of the day and it is just one more thing, but every time we go we come home glad that we did. The Spirit is so strong as the new converts bear their testimonies and tell their conversion stories. Tonight there was a young woman and a young man who had recently joined the church. They are both the only members in their respective families and they talked about the opposition they have faced from their family and friends. Then they went on to say how much they love their families and how they want to be faithful, go on missions and be worthy of the blessing of having their families see the truth and want to come to church with them. They want to have their families become eternal families. I thought about how hard this is for them and how much they are willing to sacrifice to follow the Lord’s plan for them, when at home, we so often take those blessings for granted. Those of us who have so many blessings should be constantly expressing gratitude for them and helping others to find that same happiness.
When the bishop, a young man who just turned 30 and has been the bishop for 5 years, got up to close the meeting, he thanked the senior missionaries for taking the time to come and be a part of their fireside. With tears in his eyes he thanked us for the sacrifices we are making to come to Tonga and serve the people here. He expressed his love for us and his gratitude for the example we are setting for him, his family and the members of his ward. How could you not feel good about taking the time to go, when you are so appreciated and loved for being there. (Another blessing from the Lord.)