Okay so here is my story about "The Pearl". While we were in Savusavu we passed a Fiji Pearl farm. When the Elders pointed it out to us Dave said, "Stop, we need to go there". I was surprised but of course I gladly went along. Little did I know that he had gotten a tip from some of the other senior missionaries that if he wanted to get me something really nice while in Fiji, a Fijian pearl would be it. She had told him about the farm in Savusavu where they harvest the pearls. We stopped and went inside. It was nothing but an old wood building but they had a display of beautiful pearls. We looked at a few of them and then Dave told me to pick out the one I wanted. I was shocked at the price but it didn't seem to matter to him. He wanted me to have one. So I looked them over, discussed their qualities with the sales lady. I tried them on and picked out the perfect pearl. I was so excited. No only that I got a pearl but because Dave chose to stop and make sure I had a special one to remember Fiji. We paid $?. Well lets just say he won't owe me a birthday or Mother's Day gift for quite a while.
The following Monday I wore it with pride to our FHE with the other senior missionaries. Some of the ladies were commenting on how beautiful it was when one of the sisters looked at it and said "how do you know it's the real thing?" My heart sank, I didn't know for sure but I went by the word of the Sister that told Dave about the pearl farm. She said "you know that place is a big tourist trap!" My heart stopped. I couldn't believe what she was telling me. How could she be so course. Tears welled up in my eyes, I was devastated. Then she said, "take it off and let me look at it" I reluctantly did so, when all of a sudden she bit it with her teeth!!!! She said you know a pearl is real by how it feels when you rub your teeth against it. She handed it back to me and just looked at me as if to say "you sucker". She didn't stop at that, She spent the rest of the evening trying to convince me that I had been ripped off. Needless to say I was devastated. I fought back the tears all the way home and cried myself to sleep. I didn't dare tell Dave because I didn't want him to think he had been taken.
The next day I told the story to Sister Erickson who reassured me that the Sister who did that to me was very negative and found fault in everything. I later went on the internet and found a web site about the pearl farm. It was not only the real thing but one of the most well known places in Fiji to buy Pearls. It had a very good reputation. I was reassured that I had the real thing. I don't think I have ever had anyone offend me like she did. It has now become something we all laugh at. But at the time, It was no laughing matter. I did finally tell Dave the Story - After I knew the truth!!!!
This was just one of those stories I will remember forever.