Elder Mitchell at his trusty laptop. We're not sure whether he's hammering out an email, writing an "official" Church letter to the government on "official church letterhead" he created, or just blogging, but a typical day includes lots of time at Solomon Island central.
Let's dispel just one myth right here, Sister Mitchell is deeply involved in this blogging thing, you just don't see her but she deserves the credit. Or as Chris LeDoux would say, "You just can't see her from the road!"
Each morning these Senior Missionaries are up at 5:30 am sharp, getting ready, praying together for the Spirit of the Lord to bless and guide them and all that are dear to them. Then out the door at 5:45 am for our 2+ mile walk.
Not only was our "Security" asleep, but Sister Mitchell had to run off 3 drunks who were drinking, chewing betel nut, and playing their radio loudly at the gate while Elder Mitchell gave a "Scotch blessing" to our guard who understood very little of it. We recruited Elder Yama and Elder Bourne to translate the blessing to pidgin so it could be clearly understood. Funny thing is we haven't seen this security guard since and now have a new night man. When asked why he didn't do something about the drunks he said he was afraid they might throw rocks at him and hurt him. Wow!!!
The sun bursts over the ridge and the homes below in the valley.
The mornings are almost always beautiful. It really is worth getting up, who would want to miss this!!!!
Could you believe its a week after this picture was taken and we are now in a monsoon and haven't seen the sun in days!!
A stop on the way home to check the new property purchased by the Church for our new District Building revealed more problems with security. It seems that some local boys broke down part of the block wall in broad daylight last week while the security was on duty. Good thing they didn't finish the job and come in, we don't know where he could have hid or ran to get away from them.
Sister Mitchell buying donuts for the Elders from a local vendor. These ladies stay up most of the night to make their treats. Mixing the dough by hand and probably cooking over an open fire. Then they are out to sell them at 6 am every morning just to make a few dollars to help support their families
This is our first purchase as we have been a little cautious about vendor food, but the Elders love these roadside donuts and it will be a good treat for them before they go out to work.
Sister Mitchell makes lots of banana bread and it's Elder Mitchell's job to smash the bananas. Check out these huge Samoan bananas. One is more than enough for a batch of great tasting bread.
This is great, warm banana bread with ice cream and on top of that there are chocolate chip cookies coming out of the oven!!
Shane Palmer from the Area office spent the past week training us, auditing the Church accounts here and leaving us with a few extra jobs.
He also brought a new computer and much needed copier for us. We now have a satellite phone to call out if there is any kind of disaster that might sever our communication with the rest of the world.
We also now have furniture in the District Presidents office which we converted from one of the spare bedrooms in our house.
Now Cheryle won't have to spend hour after hour sequestered in the bedroom while Ken interviews of holds District Presidency or training meetings.
Sister Mitchell has been busy filling her assignment from Elder Hamula of training the District Relief Society, Young Women's, and Primary leaders. The Sisters are doing great and come to the training meetings. If only Elder Mitchell could do as well with the Priesthood leaders.
We now have a couple of new jobs, but who's counting? It sounds like Sister Mitchell will be running a distribution center out of our house for the Solomon Island District. There will be no inventory, but she will take and place orders for the needs here. The two of us also have responsibility for all of the physical facilities in the Solomon Islands. We will maintain the facilities and see that all expenses are paid for the Church. We also have a Church check book to make these payments with so no longer will we be purchasing things for the Church and waiting for reimbursement.
Sunday, we held Branch Conference in the White River Branch. At 9 am Elder Mitchell instructed President Teikanoa to start Sacrament Meeting with just 9 people in attendance. By the end of the meeting there were 64 people, a record number. One of those attending for the first time was a woman named Rose. She came to the meeting with a less active sister. It was apparent during the meeting that Rose was feeling the Spirit as she often nodded her head in approval during the talks and Sister Mitchell even heard her say a quiet Hallelujah a time or two. It's now Thursday night and the Elders just told us that she will be baptised Saturday. She is a highly educated woman who has quickly gained a testimony and has invited her husband and sister to join the discussions with her. It appears they will be baptised next week. What an amazing conversion!
That's been our typical week. Excuse us while we check the internet to see if this monsoon is a developing cyclone or not!