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Monday, May 28, 2012


The World Keeps Shrinking…
This is one of the other senior missionaries at the landing point, being silly.
One Saturday afternoon, we took a ride with another missionary couple and ended up at Christianity Landing Point, where the Netherlands Explorer Abel Tasman first landed to visit Tonga (in 1643).  We pulled up just behind another car, and watched as two American young men got out laughing and walked to the platform to take some pictures.  We got out of our car, too, and the young men started to make way for us to take our own pictures, when I noticed that one guy’s T-shirt read “Ohio Grown.”  I asked if that was really true, and he said yes, that he was from Bowling Green.  “AYE ZIGGY ZUMBA!” Jim called out, (the nonsense college fight song’s opening phrase), and they high-fived each other in recognition, laughing that here in the middle of the Pacific, two Ohioans had found each other.  Then I asked the other guy where he was from, and he said, “Oh, D.C.”  Ha!  Shake hands with the woman born at Georgetown Hospital!  These guys had been friends back in the States, and one was working here with the Peace Corps, the other was visiting.  Nice encounter, and further evidence of global shrinking.

The higher waves make for spectacular geysers at the blowholes!
The South Pacific winter has arrived a little early this year.  Don’t worry, it’s still mild by our standards – might get down to the low 60s at night, but no cooler.  The main difference has been the wind.  (Heeeeeeyyyyy waitaminit – did the San Luis Valley winds follow me here?)  The Australian/New Zealand influence here means that the winds are classified as “fresh” – that means anywhere from 25-40 mph – and it also means heavy to rough seas (waves at least 8 feet, so no small boats go out).  Jim and I try to mimic the New Zealand accent and say “freesh” through our teeth, but we can’t quite pull it off.  Whateevah.

The only way you can tell that it's been raining is the dark appearance of the sky!  
Is it or isn’t it?
So pardon me if I get a bit confused – it’s hard to tell the difference between the sound of the rain and the sound of a 40 mph wind moving the palm trees!  And then you throw in the Tongan “mosi-mosi” (moh-see), it becomes even more confusing – I call it micro-rain.  Sometimes it rains here in such tiny droplets that you can hear it on the metal roof, but you can’t see it falling, and you go outside and you can’t even feel it on your skin.  Takes about 15 minutes to get the sidewalk wet! This usually happens during a partly-cloudy day, and the mosi-mosi is confined to one passing cloud.  Every time it happens, I keep hearing my father tell me to go run between the raindrops!  Hey, Dad, I can do that here!

Having supper with the office elders on our back porch,
thanks to 2 skinny long tables and a bunch of plastic chairs!
Meds?  Bah, humbug!
I reluctantly reported to the mission nurse that I was trying to manage some asthma symptoms (my first episode in three years).  I say reluctantly because I knew she’d worry, and so would her good husband.  And of course, the day after I told them, they came over and between them, another missionary couple, and my husband, I was “persuaded” to go see a doctor. So the nurse called and made me an appointment, and her husband came back over and gathered up all three handy priesthood holders and made sure I got a blessing.  Then we drove to the clinic. So… of course, by the time I waited my turn at the clinic and saw the doctor, I had no symptoms at all…the doctor listened to my chest, heard only clear breathing, I hadn’t coughed since I’d left our apartment.  But this doctor, even though she’s not LDS, had treated missionaries before.  She knows about priesthood blessings, and the role faith plays in healing.  She just smiled, and said, “Here, I’m going to give you some cough medicine in case you need it.”  So I paid and left.  I haven’t used the cough medicine, but – haha – my husband has.  It wasn’t asthma, it was a virus! His turn!  He now has a new pet name for me – Typhoid Bea.

Heartfelt greetings to all from the Liahona campus, in the South Pacific ocean.  Enjoy the beginnings of summer, as we settle into what passes for winter here!


  1. Typhoid Bea??!! Wish my dad were here to hear about that one!! But then, bet he already! Never a dull moment, and I love hearing about all of it!

    1. Always an adventure here in the islands - whether you're prepared or not! Thanks.