Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pacific Adventure

Hi Family and Friends
Another episode in the life and times of the Kelly’s. It gets more like a soap opera every month           We think we have finally outsmarted the chickens with a 30“fence, so far anyway. We have some seedlings almost ready for transplanting tomatoes and lettuce, a coconut tree at 9” three pineapple, two Ginger plants, some lemon grass , mint,  Basil, an avocado tree about 2’ high, two papaya trees already giving fruit and a noni bush. All the things which grow in Ontario don’t grow down here so we are feeling our way through this year. Of course we will be long gone by the time most of the fruit trees are ready to harvest but the next guys will enjoy them. Things seem to be a little quieter this month It will give us a chance to catch up. Pat’s pile is down to an inch already, so that is more manageable. Thank you Sue Brown for offering to come down to assist with the data entry but I think we have it beat now.
We have come to our sixth month mark at the end of this month. One third of our mission over already, we are still trying to see how we can slow the time down. It is going far too fast. We have three baptisms tomorrow from our Primary class they are such sweet kids, seven and eight year olds, they are so eager to answer questions that they forget the answer and the question when we point at them to answer. It is so funny. We have a stack of surplus chairs at the back of the classroom about 8 to ten chairs high that no-one is allowed to sit on for safety reasons. Anyone found sitting on top has to put away all the chairs after class. Now the boys are fighting to sit on them so they can help put chairs away. We have to change that rule soon.
We were invited to a little girl’s birthday party last week; there must have been about fifty young guests and their parents, lots of candies as prizes for games, a very large pneumatic water slide had been rented  and enough food for an army.  So much for the quiet village life 
Pat has been suffering from fungal rashes on his feet lately; it’s the high humidity, anyway we haven’t been able to do our early morning walking. That is our excuse anyway. We really miss the morning chorus though. It starts at about 5-30am with the crickets followed by The bells from each village rung by the Matai, the village head, awaking the villagers for morning prayer, then the birds start singing followed by the cockerels’ crowing and the dogs barking. At about this time the suns starting to come up over the nearby mountain all reds pinks and gold’s. Soon the children start coming up to school in their uniforms of yellow shirts and blue tunics or lava lavas and flip flops on their feet. Each school has their own color combinations of course and they look quite smart. Reminds us of England when we were young with all the kids in school uniforms.
We took the visiting Dentist, Dr Capener and his wife over to the part of the Island that was hit the worst by the tsunami last September. There is still a lot of debris around but the foliage has come back well, a lot of trees dead because of the salt water but a lot of new growth is evident and quite a lot of new buildings have been erected. Dr Capener has volunteered to come over for a three month period to tend to the missionaries dental needs and those of the local population who cannot afford the dental costs here in Samoa. His son Randy, also a dentist is looking after his practice in Utah while he is away.  There is a lot of international assistance going on here in Samoa. As you drive along the road you see small notices advising of projects sponsored by one country or another, China, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Japan etc.etc.  There is very little industry here most food goods are imported from New Zealand  or Australia except what is grown in each families garden, known as a family plantation. So money can be very scarce but what is missing in the wallet is made up in love, humility, friendship and understanding.
We had a nice surprise on Sunday, Sister Bell from next door called over to say there was a program on BYU tv from Canada so we tuned in to find the Canadian Stake Conference broadcast from Vancouver way down here in Samoa It really gave us the feeling of being in touch with home, knowing that all our friends and family were watching the same as we were. It really was a treat and the timing was perfect as the conference closed we just had time to get to church to teach our Primary class, that was a surprise too. Two teachers didn’t show, so we had CTR 4 and 5 plus 6 and 7- 23 kids in all, from ages 4 to 8 in a room just big enough to hold them all and no room to spare. It was great fun and very noisy.
We also got our photo’s in the local newspaper. Dr Capener is a Rotarian (a service organisation) So his Branch donated a piece of equipment that measurers depth of root canals without having to keep taking X-rays, to the Dental Department at the General Hospital, which they really needed. The reason Barb and I were there was we helped set it all up in the background so had to be dragged into the picture too unfortunately.
Our biggest challenge at present is persuading missionaries to drink enough water to keep hydrated. Being so hot we all sweat constantly and should be drinking at least3-4 litres a day dependant on size, plus electrolyte replacement fluids but it just doesn’t happen, so they get sick and we get busy. We have had three missionaries hospitalized this month to be re-hydrated; one needed 7 bottles of IV fluids.
We would be a little remiss if we didn’t boast Samoa’s winning the World Rugby Football Cup during the last couple of days of May “WELL DONE SAMOA” A little Island with a big heart and a great rugby Team. So you Brits Welsh Scots & Irish better get you acts together for next year.
We are going to ask a special favour, we are facing a critical situation. We spoke before about a governmental committee that had been set up to study how the constitution can be changed to take away the people’s rights to freedom of religion. The committee submitted its report so that the rights of everyone to worship who they wish will be taken away. The head of each village, ’the  Matai’ can dictate who can worship at which denominational church in their village. Even if there is already a chapel there, some people will not be allowed to worship at their own chapel in their own way. They can close down the chapel. It may even cause all missionaries to be to be withdrawn from Samoa too. All because the three largest churches are losing discontented members who are joining other churches and they are losing money because of it, a purely political move. We sincerely believe in the power of prayer and ask you to pray for a fair and equitable result that will allow the Samoan people to have freedom to choose who or what they wish to worship in whatever way they choose. Thank you, we wish you a peaceful and happy month. Take good care of each other, lots of love Pat and Barb Elder and Sister Kelly xxxx


Yvonne said...

O.K. I'm sitting here crying like a baby. You two amaze me.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you were able to see the Stake Conference broadcast. Wasn't it wonderful.

I will pray that the government committee comes to the right conclusion and that will allow the Samoan people the freedom to worship who or what they wish to worship.

Hugs to you both. We think of you so often.

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