Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

The time seems to be flying by.  We only have five weeks left before we finish our mission.  This week we were in so many meetings it was hard to get things done.  The new after school study pilot started in Vanuatu this week.  They had 41 students attend the first night (Tuesday) and they were excited to be there and learn.  The second night (Thursday) they even had more students attend and there were good homework, study groups taking place.  We hope this will really make a difference in these young students lives.

On Friday morning we went to work for a couple of hours and then headed to Hamilton.  We stopped at the church museum there in Temple View to donate a couple of woven purses from Papua New Guinea and give them some of our pictures.  We also met our Self-Reliance couple, Elder and Sister Jacobsen, to give them their new Education/Self-Reliance posters and some Tongan copies of the "Success in School Begins at Home" manual.  Then we headed to the temple for the 1:30 p.m. session.

We had one of our young women attending the temple for her first time today.  She is going to be married tomorrow.  We just finished teaching her the Temple Prep lessons.  She and her fiancé both work at the airport.  They are a cute couple.

The wind was very chilly but the sun was nice.

Leone's Mother, Leone, Nada and Nise Tafiti

Koga, Leone, Nada and Reed

Koga and Leone.  They were so happy about being in the temple together.  Their emotions were running very high.

Leone and Koga with their parents and aunts and uncles.

Leone and Nise best friends.  Both are in our YSA ward.  We were so grateful to share this special time with these two great young people.  We hope they will be very happy.  We will miss them in the YSA ward but are always happy to see these young people taking that next Eternal step.
We drove to South Auckland to attend at YSA dance at our old Saineha ward.  Loni asked us to please come to their Spring Ball so we stopped and did some shopping at the Sylvia Park Mall in Mount Wellington and had dinner there.  Then on to Ellerslie for the dance.

We arrived a half hour later than it was supposed to start and there were six YSA there and a few leaders.  They had it decorated very nicely.  The theme was YSA Vintage Spring Ball.  They had old black and white pictures and stories of movie stars from the 30' 40's and 50's.  They had decorated with balloons, streamers and paper umbrellas.  They had gone to a lot of work.  They had a DJ playing music and it was sooooooo loud.  I do not know why they have to play the music so loud.  You cannot hear the person next to you speaking unless they yell!

They had a table full of sandwiches and cakes.

These are the YSA that were there for the first hour before a few more started arriving.  Some of these are new since we served in this ward.  It was very nice to catch up with some of the ward members and with some of these YSA that we have not seen for quite a while.

This young lady came up and talked to us.  She arrived home from her mission in Texas just three weeks ago.  This was her first dance since returning home.

Bishop Akolotu, Brother Maru, Diane who is the YSA parent for the Saineha ward and some YSA taking a break.

Loni and Nada.  We have stayed close with Loni and she is the one who invited us to come tonight.

A few YSA dancing.  They just dance around in groups and move around the dance floor.

Nada, Loni and Reed.  We stayed for a couple of hours and then decided we had had enough.  We were tired and did not want to listen to that loud music any longer.  We are glad we went to see these good people.  It is strange to believe that this could be the last time we see them before we leave in October.  Really good people.  We feel very blessed to have served in this ward and learn a lot more about the Tongan culture but especially about these strong, faithful saints.

Saturday, September 10, 2016 we slept in a little because we have been going like crazy.  We got up and cleaned then went with Elder and Sister Henderson to the Sunset Chapel for a baptism.  Ameet Kumar, who we worked with in S&I and is over the TVET program for Church Schools, baptized his son and invited us to attend and Reed to be a witness.

Ameet, Anu, Aryan and Ameesha Kumar

Nada, Ameet, Anu, Reed, Aryan and Ameesha in front of the Sunset Chapel before Aryan's baptism.

Mom and son so happy for this day.

Dad and son so excited to get this baptism started.

The Kumar family.  They just bought a new home and started to go to this chapel.  They used to be in the Takapuna ward.

Nada playing the prelude music.  The pianist was late so I filled in until she showed up .That is what missionaries do.

It is Aryan's actual birthday today September 10th and he had a dinosaur cake.  He looked very handsome in his new suit.  He is a very friendly young man.

Nada helping with all the food after the baptism was over.  They had a luncheon and cake for his birthday.

President and Sister Haleck.  He is the new Area President and they are from American Samoa.

Aryan's Dinosaur Cake

He had fun visiting with his cousins, friends, new and old ward members.  They had a great turn out.

The Bird of Paradise flowers here are so beautiful.  It was a very nice day.  We were so glad Ameet invited us and we were able to share in this special day with the Kumar family.  Another one of those sweet blessings we were able to participate in.

We went home and got all the bedding in the second bedroom washed and ready for Justin and Lana to come on the 23rd of this month.  We went through some drawers and the closet to start cleaning things out because time is growing short.  It is hard to think that we need to start giving things away, cleaning things out, and start packing to go home.  We are working hard and trying to do all we can to finish up all the little projects, and do whatever else the Lord needs us to complete before we finish this mission.  Life is busy but we love every minute. 
That evening we went out to the Self-Reliance Center in Manukau with Elder and Sister Henderson and met up with Elder and Sister Jarvis and Elder and Sister Byrnes.  The men watched the All Blacks play a rugby game on the big screen and the women played a card game together.  It was a nice relaxing evening.  Reed learned a lot about rugby because Elder Jarvis played rugby for BYU and answered all the questions he asked during the game.  It was nice to get to know the other two couples a little better.
What a busy couple of days.
Until next time.  Love Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada)


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