Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Elder Victor Gibb the senior missionary over public affairs for the Pacific Area visited us and gave us a whole new job.  He took Pres. Misitana, who is the public affairs committee chairman of the Solomon Islands, and us to visit the media here on the island.

First we met with Dorthy Wickham, the owner of One Television, the only local television station in the Solomon Islands.  Her station is working on a shoe string budget but they are in business and struggling to continue.  They do a remarkable job and we hope for their success.  Elder Gibb had met with her on a previous visit and this time he presented her with two Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert tapes.  He had her watch a little of them and told her she could run them whenever and as much as she wanted.  He then presented her with a DVD of Church short public interest clips that she can run whenever she desires.  Then he offered her a contract for the Tabernacle Choir Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts every week.  There would be no cost to her if she qualified to sign the contract.  She is very excited and wants to sign the contract but needs to check to see if she is signed up with one of the music copyright organizations as required by the contract.  We have the assignment to follow up with her in a week or two. 

We then visited the Solomon Star and were welcomed there.  The Star said they would accept articles from us for their Tuesday addition and print them on their religious page.  Cheryle and I will write the articles and deliver them to the Star.

The am radio station for the Solomon Island Nation is the SIBC.  We also visited them and they agreed to participate with the other media in a news conference at the Airport when Elder Hamula visits later in November.  They will also cover the celebrations we have planned as the District is organized by Elder Hamula.

So public affairs is now one of our major responsibilities and will fill much of our time.

Cheryle and I took Elder Pakalani to his area in White river so he could familiarize Elder Tamihana with it before he leaves for home.

Sister Mitchell on the jungle trail to the Islands culinary water source at White River.  Note the flip-flops.  (She didn't mean to wear them that day we just left in a hurry and she forgot to change her shoes.  LOL)

Elder Pakalani, Elder Tamihana and Elder Mitchell in the jungle at White River.

As she came out of the jungle, Sister Mitchell spotted a wild boar walking across the trail near the river.  It was undisturbed and paid us no mind.

Diversion structure for the culinary system at White River.  This provides all of the drinking water for the Island of Guadalcanal.  A beautiful area high on the mountain.

Coming down off the mountain above White River we saw these great views of the ocean looking north west up the coast.

It seems we've been living at the Airport.  We took Sister Lovelyn Michael there so she could fly to Port Moresby for her interview with Pres. Fata and be set apart as a missionary.  Then we took Elder Gibb. Elders Pakalani, Gisa, Vi, and James who were leaving to go home.  Elder Parere would return to finish his mission  in Papua New Guinea in two days.

Elders Aisa, Wanopo, Bourne, and Yama who we picked up at the airport to replace those who had left.

Elder Ramo who arrived with the four Elders above as he prepares to leave Honiara for the boat trip to Fauabu, Malaita where he will serve.

We attended White River Branch for the first time to support them and see how things were going there.  They meet in a government school which like all of the schools here is in very bad need of repair.  We were greeted by 4 dogs tied up to the railing but rather well behaved.

The class room we met in like all of the others, had some serious termite damage.  The 3 gaps in the floorboards are where the termites had finished their job and boards were missing.

Termite damage to railing post.

Sister Taikanoa, the Branch Presidents wife, visiting with Sister Mitchell and children while waiting for Sacrament Meeting to begin.  36 were in attendance at the meetings and Cheryle assisted Sister Taikanoa with the Primary, teaching them songs.  Pres. Taikanoa asked Cheryle and I to bear our testimonies in Sacrament Meeting, I gave the invocation, blessed the water and the bread, and taught the adult Sunday School class.
We felt very privileged to be in the meetings and both of us felt the Spirit of the Lord very strongly in this little branch in White River.

We were given approval by the physical facilities group in Australia for new cushions for our living room.  Cheryle picked them out and they look great.

Each week we shop on our preparation day for our supplies.  The city market in always one of our stops where we can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.  This huge open warehouse is filled with vendors selling many different varieties of bananas, melons, cabbage, beans, pineapple, papaya, guava, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc.  It's always packed as you can see.

How could you be homesick when your companion is your best friend and you get to be with her all the time for 23 months doing what the Lord would want you to do.  Here Cheryle brings her talents to the Solomon Islands as she kneads bread dough.  I've been spoiled just like at home with chocolate cake, brownies, no bake cookies, snicker doodles etc. and that's just desert.  We are having a great time together and what a blessing to be so busy doing things that are important not only to these people but to the Lord.

Just the other day Cheryle said,  "you know because we are trying so hard to understand and learn pidgin we probably won't get Alzheimer's disease".  We laughed and laughed thinking about that.  I think it might be working too, because a few days later as I was driving, Cheryle told me to take a right at the next lazy susan.  I'm pretty sure she meant the next round a bout.

We think we might be getting acclimatized to the heat and humidity here.  Yes it's still 85 degrees most afternoons and 65 to 85 percent humidity, but we think we're adjusting.  Or maybe we're just getting used to being sticky and sweaty, who knows.  Anyway we are loving being here and can't imagine doing anything else right now.

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