Bula Vinaka Everyone,
We want you to know we are still alive and well. January has been another busy month. We had a wonderful visit from Elder Christofferson, Elder Jay Jensen (presidency of the seventy) and Elder Hamula also a Seventy over our Area. It is such wonderful experience to have these men and their wives come to visit and give special instruction to the Missionaries. Once again we brought all 90 missionaries from all over Fiji to Suva. It made for a busy few days with preparation of lots of food. We also once again had the opportunity to prepare dinner for and serve the GA's. They are such wonderful people and we have felt it a great opportunity to be in their presence.
Along with Zone Conference and Visit from the GA's we have had missionaries coming in and going home. Saying goodbye to these elders is difficult. We have really grown to love serving with the missionaries. I also had 2 missionaries in the hospital at the same time. They were companions. They were probably the sickest elders i have seen. They came in from the other island and by the time they got here they had temps of greater than 104, and they were severely dehydrated. Nausea, Diarrhea and everything. They never did find out what was wrong but they think it was dungee fever or something they ate or picked up while out in the bush. Pretty scarry stuff. I feel a great responsibility for these sick elders. We have seen lots of Stress related illnesses, boils, infections. stomach aches, centipede bites, flu type ilnesses, cysts, rashes, fungal infections eye infections and even hemorrhoids. Sometimes i have missionaries come to me a tell me that what i suggested worked, the problem is sometimes i can't even remember what they talked to me about but I am glad whatever i told them worked. My latest stressful case is an elder who has been complaining of migraines and seeing white spots for the past month. Because of high intraocular pressure, the eye doctor here has diagnosed him with glaucoma, not good. Our area doctor says it may be a brain tumor or just stress. Wow what a choice. He is having a CT scan on monday. He really needs an MRI but that means going to NZ. We will make a decision about the MRI after the CT scan results. I have felt the weight of the world worrying about these missionaries. It is difficult to know how much to trust the Doctors here. I have had to rely on suggestions from the AMA, my gut feeling and promptings of the spirit to help me know what to do. Our Mission President respects my opinion and never questions my concerns. The other day I e-mailed him and asked if i could talk to the Mission counseler in Salt lake who counsels with missionaries about their stresses and worries. I told him all these stressed out missionaries are stressing me out. He wrote back and told me to take 2 deep breaths and call him in the morning! He has a wonderful way of defusing stressful times. We really love him and appreciate his good sense of humor. His favorite show is HOME IMPROVEMENT. He loves Tim the tool man and refers to him frequently.
Dave's days are filled with phone calls from the missionaries sun up to sun down. You name it he takes care of it. Dents, broken down cars. Accidents and more accidents. Closing down flats, Flat tires and problems with Flats. floods from broken pipes, broken water filters. Landlords not getting paid, missionaries needing more money for transport, special needs. He has become a master problem solver. The missionaries LOVE him and the President appreciates the load he carries. We made a trip to Nadi last week to deliver furniture for a flat and a truck and to bring another truck back to Suva. We took advantage of the trip and stayed at the Radisson at Denerau for a day to regroup. It is our favorite place to get away to. It is definitely the Paradise of Fiji.
We are both far busier than we ever imagined but we also feel the help of our Father in Heaven in dealing all we deal with. We have been blessed beyond measure and are grateful for this experience (well, most days). We feel your love and support and appreciate your letters and words of encouragement.
It has been hot and humid here, much different than at home. We miss the snow however but we are glad that we have not had to deal inversion and extended cold temperatures. Luckily no more cyclones but we have had some pretty bad rain storms causing us concern.