January 6, 2013
I need to resolve one issue I left hanging. We are driving Suzzie Suzuki. We had a surprise visit from President Alvarado last week. In response to my question about vehicles he said the area leadership says the elders will drive the truck and the senior couple will drive the SUV. That settled that, so we gave the keys to the YFTM’s and we are driving the SUV. Frankly, it is just fine. In fact, it is 3 feet shorter and much, much easier to park and maneuver than the truck. The suspension is not as good, the floor mats are cheap, the seats are more flimsy, but Suzzie gets us up the hills just fine, if a little slower. She is full-time 4WD so that is not an issue when we need the extra traction going up a steep driveway. We are safe and secure and happy, and we are paying a lot less for fuel. I actually felt sorry for the YFTM’s as we were parking in a tight spot. They will never be able to do that. Besides, neither vehicle is ours. We will leave them both here when we are moved, whenever that is. Now if we could just get rid of the two 2008 Toyota Tacoma trucks. I am tired of washing them and worrying about them.
Today is fast Sunday. I love these occasions to reconvince my body who is in charge. We had a wonderful meeting this morning. The Kalama family have some some big news lately. Their two oldest girls, Hali’a and Hina, have received their mission calls. Hina, the younger, is leaving in February for a Spanish California mission. Hali’a is leaving in April for Quezon Philippines. She will learn Tagalog.
So the whole family is going back to Hawaii for their temple endowments and then they will drop Hina off at the Provo MTC on their way back to Tortola. I think Hali’a is going to work for a few weeks before she enters Provo MTC in April, a week or two after Hina leaves for California. There were some tender expressions of testimony and love in our meeting today concerning this endeavor. Our tiny branch will now have 4 YFTM’s (Young Full-Time Missionaries), and there are two more young men getting their papers in. That is more from one unit than many wards in LDS areas have. We will all be blessed for it, too.
|Hali'a, Hina, Tau Kalama|
|Krystin in the middle of friends|
Orlando bore testimony today of the effect the Church has had in his life since he joined in October. He is a good young man. He got off the education track for a couple of years so he is 18 and still has a year and a half to graduate from high school. Then he wants to go on his mission and return to study medicine. He can do it. Along the way he is setting a great example for his brother and two sisters and his parents.
Jermaine has been dealing with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for a few months. He is almost finished with the treatments. He testified that this has been a blessing to him! He said it has been hard, but that he would not have it any other way. He told of his wandering from the things he knew were true and right as a young Aaronic Priesthood holder. He expressed sincere gratitude that this illness has brought him back to what is right, and he expressed a desire to continue on the right path. He is a handsome guy, about 6’3” tall, 21 years old. His girl friend, Lisa, is about 5’ tall, so they make an interesting couple.
I will be going out Tuesday night with the Elders Quorum President to show him how Home Teaching should be done. He is really keen on getting out to visit the members of his group and he wants to do it right. However, as with most of the members of the branch here, he has not been a member of teh Church all that long. We will visit his first counsellor. Then they will go out with their own companions and carry the training to the other members of the priesthood of the branch. Gaye will be doing the same thing with the Relief Society. As my friend Doug Ladle put it, we are the starter motors, not the engine. The goal is to get the engine running and teach them enough that they can keep it running after the starter has shut down.