This week was a busy week. The Area ICS manager from New Zealand flew in to work with us this week. We had several meetings with local people to lay the ground work for the work we will be doing related to meeting-house technology. I will be working closely with the FM group (Facilities Management) as we inventory, add/update/repair and train. Our main focus for 2017 will be on the main island of Tongatapu. We are anxious and excited to begin this work and see how we can meld the medical and technical missions together as we support each other.
This week we were able to handle everything for the most part on our own. We did have one medical issue with a young Elder cutting himself while opening a coconut that we were unavailable to help. Becky put in a quick call to her backup for the week and she took care of it for us. Becky was great to cover everything medical this week even though she was in meetings with me. For the medical stuff, I'm mostly just a driver and missionary companion but she dove in and was doing it all. This led to some long days but we are happy to be here and want to do whatever we can to cover our responsibilities.
|Becky, Ian and Paul during one of our precise survey visits.|
We are trying to get a feel for the set-up and equipment that
currently exists in most of the meetinghouses through out Tonga.
(Becky just eats this up.)
Also, the internet is all prepaid with restrictions on usage. There are serious overage fees so you have to watch closely. I still don't have it at the house but I think we're getting close. Most meeting houses are capped at 1GB per month so there is no wireless provided in any building. One of our first technical assignments is to start working on circuit contracts and see what can be done to get better pricing and options. Hmmm ... deja vu ...
I also got a message from a frustrated Bishop that he was having printer problems. This would not typically fall under my todo list but we were home in the evening and it was only about a 20 minute drive so Becky and I decided to see what we could do to help. I called him and told him we would be there shortly. When we got there around 7:30 pm he was there (still in his work clothes) with his young son. I could tell he was frustrated at not being able to print but he was still happy and friendly. When I looked at the print queue, it was backed up with print jobs going back almost 2 months. Lots of tithing settlement documents. I can only imagine how we would be in the U.S. if this same thing happened there. He has been a bishop for almost 7 years now and is hoping to be released at the next ward conference ) in 6 months.
|Typical Missionaries Quarters in Tonga ( Church owned)|
|Typical Meeting house in Tonga. I'll show much more in a later post as they are definitely unique.|
|Gymnasiums are out doors. Often there is a tennis court as can be seen.|
|Most Baptismal fonts are outdoors, many are covered but not all.|
|For any chicken lovers out there. We see her frequently on |
our morning walks with her brood (we think there are 7 chicks)