What great week Elder Hann and I had. Jodie did have her wedding! but I will get the bad news out of the way in a hurry because I didn't get any pictures. It was a bit of an interesting situation. They had the marriage at the chapel, however the reception was else where in Auckland and Elder Hann and I could not go because it was way out of the area. Still though the wedding was on Saturday, and it was at 10am in the morning. We arrived early for the wedding. We watched and greeted alot of Jodie's family as they walked into the chapel. On Jodie's side of the family, many of them are Catholic, so it was likely their first time in a LDS building. Some of them probably had not been in a church for over 10 years, but it was funny none the less to watch them slowly walk into the building looking a bit hesitant. I don't think that I have ever seen so many non-members in a chapel before! Lorenzo was there early, and he was nervous as. Jodie came about half hour late which fits with the standard time for brides to arrive from what I have been told. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop, it was simple, and according to Elder Hann, the words that are used in the temple are exactly the same except for the exchange of "mortality" and "immortality". I am not sure my self because I have never been to a sealing. Anyways after the ceremony, they walked out of the chapel into the forier (bear with) and then began to take pictures with all the family. Before I new it they where out the door and into the Limos and we just got a "Hello" and "Congratulations" in there before they left. It doesn't bug me or anything it is understandable. Someting interesting to understand about islander weddings is that they make them a huge deal. Often times families will go into debt to pay for weddings/funerals. Family expects big celebrations with lots of Kia (Tongan for food). With funerals they will last several days or a week or more at times. Jodie's side of the family being Tongan and holding to their culture strongly expected alot for the wedding. It was unfortunate to see Jodie go through all that planning and stress but they are happy that it is simply done now!
Now we are in the week before her baptism. They came to church and then had to leave soon after words because they still had family to attend to however. This week we will likely be teaching all the lessons again. THe Baptism should be a lot less stressful for her and be a blessed experience.
Toru this week unfortunately did not make it to church, nor was he there for the lesson that we had scheduled with him. He knows what is right, we are just going to need to work with him slowly but surely. He has a lot of commitments on his plate at the moment.
The Edmonds family is doing ok. We had a few good visits with him this week. New Zealand has socialized health care so medical bills fromm what I understand are not to big of a worry for the family. The family does have a lot of support form the ward. They are familiar with a few of the members. The local school has been helping them as well when it comes to food, they often will bring surplus they have from the cafeteria and donate it to them. For the most part the family is having difficultly understanding what is really going on. Well at least the other siblings are. Jeremy is beginning to get a grasp on the situation and he has actually made a greater commitment for himself to keep the house clean for her health. With 8 kids the house is often a disaster. I have shared a bit about what we have gone through. I have given him a long story about what has happened to me and my family but I have let him know that for myself cancer has had an effect on our family. I am sure there will be more appropriate times to share more as time progresses. Their daughter is just beginning the Chemo treatments. Her hair will be falling out. I will ponder and pray what I can do to help him. It is always important to follow the spirit to know when the right time and place is.
Well there is simply to much happening this week! But I have let you know about the big events for sure!
Take Love you all,
Elder Ward :)