Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov 11-23, 2010

We left Tarawa on Thursday. We flew to Fiji and had a small layover. Then on to New Zealand. As soon as we arrived we called Dr. Hutchinson. He is a general Doctor there and I had an appointment to see him. The Taxi driver took us to his home. They had an apartment attached to their home where a lady from Tarawa was renting from them. As soon as they knew we were from the in a Marshall mission they had her come over to meet us. She was so sweet. As we talked we found out that her daughter who lives in Tarawa is the wife of Tom’s councilor there! We had just been to dinner with them two days before. Her daughter is expecting a baby in December. It is such a small world! Then the Doctor took us over to his office so that he could check me. I had been coughing and not feeling well for about me two weeks. I had some whizzing off and on as well. He had me blow into a device to see how much what my air capacity was. I was seventy percent below normal! I guess I was almost dead just too dumb to lay down! He asked me if I had an inhaler and I do because I have athletic asthma. He had me use it and I had not been doing all the steps to get the benefit of it. I only used it when I was going walking or doing something physical. He asked me if I was a dumb blonde in my life before as I was having trouble with using the inhaler and the breathing tube! He gave me a much more powerful inhaler and Prednisone. I have been using the inhaler twice a day and recording my breathing before and after using it. I have improved some but not where I should be. I am still on Prednisone for another four days. I am so happy that I was checked because I have had the cough cold thing off and on ever since we came home from our mission in Spain. It was so nice of this Doctor to see me he then took us to get prescriptions and then to our Hotel.

The next day I had an appointment to get a chest x-ray where everything showed normal. The Rowes who are in New Zealand took us to the appointment. Elder Rowe is the IFR for the South pacific Islands. He is the one that all the Mission Presidents call when they have a problem. He is a very busy man and his wife is a great supporter and Secretary for him. They took us to the area office to meet some of the people there. Tom was able to get some questions answered and it was great to meet everyone. We then went to lunch with them. Most of the couples did not arrive until the following Monday for the seminar, so the Rowes were kind enough to take us around and to go to the Temple with. On Saturday morning we left to go to the Auckland Temple. We were so excited to go because we had not been since we left home. The Temple and grounds were beautiful. When we sat in the chapel waiting for the session to start a young couple was seated behind us. The young man leaned over and asked if we could help his finance as it was only her second time through. They were going to get married in two weeks. As we chatted we found out that he had served his mission in the Marshall Islands! He had been home since January. They both were from New Zealand. He asked us to say hi too many in our mission that are still serving. His name was Elder Thomson. The session was wonderful and full. After we left we went to the distribution center. We met some full time Elders in the store. As we were going to leave a Sister Missionary came running out. She came over and said that the Elders had told her that we were there, she has a brother serving in our mission Elder Fu’e. He is on an outer Island so we have not met him yet. He and his companion did not come in for the last Zone Conference because they had a lot of people who had been given as referrals and the area was on fire. His sister had only been in New Zealand a month. We were so glad that she found us.

We then decided to go to Subway for a sandwich. We ate and headed on our way. We were about half way home when I looked down and noticed that I did not have my purse with me. Tom had put our passports in it and my wallet with all of my credit cards. I was just sick. We turned around and headed back to Subway. Sister Rowe said such a sweet sincere prayer that we might find my purse at the subway where I left it. Right after the prayer we saw a little cafĂ© and turned in to see if we could use the phone and call Subway. The owner was just leaving and said that they were closed. We told her that we just wanted to see a phone book to call. She unlocked the door and found the number for us. Elder Rowe came out with a thumbs up and said that they had it. When we went in we hoped and prayed that everything would still be in it, and it was. Wow what a relief! The guy working said that a customer had seen it on the chair and given it to him. We then had a prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord’s watchful care. That evening we went over to the Hamula’s who had come to our mission in August. They have a wonderful place right off of the beach. They gave us icecream and we talked for a bit. We met the Nielson’s who had just got back from a mission tour that day. He is the other counselor in the area presidency. Then we walked along the beach a little ways down with Sister Hamula. They are so great. We also met their fourteen year old twin boys. It was a very eventful day!

We went to church with the Rowe’s. Their ward was so great and friendly. We then went to the Rowe’s apartment for lunch. What a wonderful couple they are and they treated us so kindly. That evening we went to eat at a Mexican restaurant with two other couples. We had such a beautiful view from our hotel window. The Rowe’s took us then to the hotel that everyone was going to stay at for the seminar.

On Monday we walked around the city. We walked in a beautiful park that was not too far from the Hotel. Tuesday morning the seminar started. How great it was to meet all of the Presidents and their wives from the South Pacific area. There were thirteen couples. We were taught by the area presidency as well as Elder Hinckley, from the mission department. What a treat to be to be taught by these wonderful men. The area president is Elder Callister. He is the author of the infinite Atonement. They taught us about the simplified curriculum that we have been teaching our missionaries. By next may the missionaries will come trained in this program in the MTC. It is a guide to help the missionaries to learn how to teach more effectively. We ate all of our breakfast, lunches and some of our dinners in the Hotel. All of the classes were also taught in the Hotel. We had a wonderful dinner at the needle which wasa restaurant that revolved while you ate. The scenery was incredibleand it took three hours to eat!

On Wednesday we met for half of the day in training, and the other half of the day going sailing. It was a beautiful day and we had two sailboats. We were on the smaller boat but it was still very big. We were supposed to race but the other boat was so much bigger thatit wouldn’t have been fair! We each got to try our hand at the wheel. Auckland is called the city of sails because there are so many sailboats there. This is a $50 million dollar sailboat in the harbor? That evening we had dinner at Tempanyaki. It was so much fun. The guy was tossing food and bowls for us to catch. Some in our mouth; others in our hands.

Thursday was a very special day as it was Tom’s Birthday. We celebrated it by being at the seminar. I wanted to go get him something but I knew that if I went out alone that there was a good chance that I would not find my way back! We talked to most of you before hand on Skype so thank you for your Birthday greetings.

On Thursday we had our classes. As we sat in different seats we had the opportunity to get to know the couples better. We found that each mission has its challenges and we would probably not want to trade places with anyone! The Papa New Guinea President and his wife were Samoan. They were so neat. They had been told not to go to certain places in their mission, because of the danger. They would go anyway because they said that there were members in these places and they wanted to meet with them. The sister said that they just put their lives in the Lord’s hand and they know they will be taken care of. One time on a boat to one of their places it was very rough seas. She said that when they were nervous about anything it seems there was a butterfly that would come and she took that as a sign that all would be well. She was the only women on a boat that nearly capsized. She said the men were all yelling but she was calm and actually laughing! We then divided into two groups the women and the men. The men talked about mission concerns and the women talked about our calling. All three of the wives of the area Presidency talked and they were wonderful. They gave us each a little bag with things from New Zealand. Some of the wives also brought some things to share. After our classes we went to the new MTC building. They just dedicated it a month or so ago. We took a tour with the missionaries as our tour guide. The two that we had were great. The one Elder was from Tarawa and the other Elder has a brother serving in our mission, Elder Afioga. Wow who would have thought! They had hung some pictures that they had asked for the different missions to send to them and our mission had four different pictures up! We then had dinner in their cafeteria. They will be receiving a new MTC President in January. It is the couple who served as president in our mission, the Bleaks. We had met them before we left and they are so great.

Friday we met for a half a day. The area presidency and Elder Hinckley spoke. They also had some of the Presidency members share a few more experiences. They had a short testimony meeting and the spirit was very powerful. We ate lunch and then each of us left at different times that day. It was hard to say goodbye because some of them will have gone home by the time we go again. They spoiled us rotten and we came away with wonderful ideas to try and a fire burning within us of missionary work. We flew to Fiji and had a short layover. We then continued to Hawaii. We arrived at 7:00 am and did Friday over again. Which isn’t a bad thing to do in Hawaii? We slept a little bit and then we went shopping. I wanted to pick up some things for the guest bedroom and bathroom. I picked out what I thought I would be happy with. The next day I changed my mind on a few things and went back to exchange some of it. Then I had another change of heart and took back some things and got I hope I will be happy with. Tom went back with me the third time and you can imagine how excited he was about the multiple trips! Luckily we had rented a car this time! Tom was so excited when he saw that it was a bright candy apple red color! You know true blue! That day we went to Taco Bell and ran into a couple (Mike & Briana) who said that they were Mormon and that they had moved there for his job. We had a great chat and took a picture of them and told them if they ever come to Majuro to look us up. We also ran into a senior missionary (Elder Boren) who is with the CES at the University of Hawaii. He told us the times of the dedication.

On Saturday we went to Pearl Harbor. It was good to go there again. There is always such a hallowed spirit there. On Sunday we had the opportunity to go to the tabernacle to watch the dedication of the Hawaii Temple. It was great as I’m sure many of you got to do as well. We then went for a ride to Pali Lookout and around the south shore. The waves were really crashing and it was fun to watch the kids on boogie boards.

We are now on the plane heading to Majuro, a five hour flight. It will be good to get back and see everyone and to have thanksgiving with them. With sunshine galore it is hard to believe that the holidays are here. We are extremely grateful for all of you. We will miss being with you so much. We hope you will feel our presence in your hearts. The Lord just continually keeps pouring out blessings upon us. We feel of your prayers and concern. We have a burning testimony of this work and its importance. We love you all Mom & Dad / Papa & Nana / President & Sister Shaw

No comments: