It didn't take us long to get right to work. There were no other options. There was work to be done! The first month was a little challenging as we tried to learn our duties, how to drive, how to get to places, where to shop to find the foods we like, how to communicate effectively with family and friends-- but the process has been so much fun.
My biggest challenge has been electronic. My computer broke soon after I got here. It took two and a half weeks to figure out that it was truly kaput. Paul was able to get me a new Lenovo idea pad with a touch screen and Windows 8 and send it with visiting family of some senior missionaries. That was slick. Learning to use Windows 8 and the touch screen has not been slick. No one here had seen Windows 8, much less know how to work it until last week when an Islander missionary from Keribati said he knew. That has been a tremendous help. Now I can finally blog some more and I am excited. I also found out that Elder Christiansen (he and his wife are new here as temple missionaries) has Windows 8 and he has been a big help.
We live just 4 blocks from the temple and our office, and that is nice. We have had fun discovering our neighborhood. Most of our neighbors are Indian. Here are a few shots: Notice the colors!
This is the house across the street with its colorful car. Next is the colorful house next door and below that is a little store and Kava House.
|Little store across from our flat|
|Kava is a narcotic drink made from a plant here|
|House next door|
This is a beautiful Asian looking house. There are a lot of Chinese here and their homes are always immaculate.
These are photos from the LDS College (High school). It is also where we attend church. The campus is on quite a slope and looks out over the bay. it is gorgeous location.
My companion planned a surprise birthday party for me. That was so much fun. It really was a surprise. She found a cake and the Assistants found me a clothes hamper that I needed. The
video I tried to attach won't work so you will just have to take my word for it--we had a good time!
I have several additional tasks that are separate from my nursing. I am the BYU application specialist for those missionaries trying to apply to any of the three BYU campuses.
Elder Sancho is from English Guyana. He just completed a
mission to Vanuatu. To get home he had to travel through the
US and so had to have a temporary visa. While he was
waiting, I was helping him apply to BYU Hawaii
I was asked to teach a first aid course to the Young Women of one ward in preparation for their upcoming Youth Conference. That was a lot of fun for me and the girls were so great. They are so friendly, gentle and appreciative.
I put together and print the 'Come Follow Me' program monthly for the youth that live in the branches since most do not have access to the internet. For the first one, I printed and shipped about 22,000 pages but the second time they decided to do it on a smaller scale had me cut it back to about 20% of that.
Here is the first printing of Come Follow Me
My companion Sis. Newsom in our office
I am in charge of ordering supplies and stocking the store room in the basement and the shelves up in the office. I have two missionaries who come in on Thursday morning to help me with that task as there are a lot of boxes to open, put away, and carry upstairs. I am amazed at the volume of supplies we go through--Books of Mormons and Bibles, the six basic discussion pamphlets, DVD's, resources books such as "Out Heritage" and "True to the Faith", the paper work that the missionaries use for reports, etc. Most of the materials are stocked in both English and Fijian and some are also in Hindi.
We have gotten acquainted with most of our neighbors, made a lot of friends at church, and of course, we have met many of the young missionaries. How refreshing these enthusiastic, dedicated young people are. What a pleasure it is to serve them. They are sooooo appreciative of everything I do for them.
This is our 4 year old next door neighbor from Sri Lanka. She is learning English and comes over every chance she gets to play on my ipad or just visit.
Many of the Indians continue to wear their traditional clothes as do the Muslims. It is not uncommon to see veiled women, some with only their eyes showing. Here is a photo of our friend at church, Sis. Singh
This is the one Fijian family who lives close
I was asked to cover the Fiji-wide Youth Conference and that was so fun. There were 600 youths from all over the Fijian Islands. I went down once or twice a day to check on the sick kids. I was really impressed with the organization and program that they had for these kids. It was held at the LDS College (high school in the US) and this was taken in the gym.
|Youth conference youth off on a service project|
One of my very favorite things is being so close to the Temple. Here is a shot of the temple I took one night at sunset just out the door of our office..
My daughter Jill and her daughter Kate traveled to Croatia in August to picket up Jordan from his mission. What a wonderful trip they had.
One of the biggest celebrations of the year in Suva is the Hibiscus Days. We went to the parade and my companion was pick-pocketed. She got her wallet returned by a taxi driver with all the cash in it. That was a blessing. She didn't have much cash in the wallet. The taxi driver found her through her temple recommend which has the picture of a temple on it.