Monday, March 18, 2013

Cultural Event in our Ward for Ward Conference. The Samabula 2nd. Lots of Food and Dancing. Our ward is a melting pot for Hindus, Fijians, Samoans, folks from Kiribati. and some senior missionaries. Everyone participated and had a great time.

A Tongan sister getting food from sis Jackson

Check out the container of rice!

I'm dishing up salad (Cut up cucumbers and tomatoes with parmesan cheese on top

Neal A. Maxwell Qaqa(pronounced Gonga), his wife and daughter.  He goes by Max and here is their fun story.  Max's dad was a big tough talented rugby player for the Fiji National Rugby Team when he joined the church.  He was quickly 'converted', gave up a lucrative rugby career and accepted an opportunity to take a humble, low paying teaching job.  Later, his wife was in the hospital soon to deliver their second child, a boy, when he was told he should attend a fireside where some important people from church headquarters would be speaking.  He left and went to the fireside.  One of the speakers so moved him with the things he said that after the closing prayer, the still very new member of the church and not familiar with church protocol, 'rushed' the speaker that impressed him so much, expressed his feelings about the talk and asked if it would be alright if he named his soon to be born son after him.  The speaker said he would be honored and told him his name.  Brother Qaqa rushed back to the hospital and told his wife he knew what they were going to name their son.  Their son was born, and he received his name and blessing. A short time later brother Qaqa and his wife were watching general conference.  The sustaining of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles began and as they started reading the names of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles they heard the name "Elder Neal A Maxwell".  Until that very moment brother Qaqa, and apparently everyone in his small branch in remote Fiji, had no idea that the person that had so impressed him and that he had named his son after was one of the twelve!  He was so concerned about what he had done that he immediately started trying to contact 'Elder Maxwell' to ask his forgiveness.  Eventually he did succeed in contacting Elder Maxwell and Elder Maxwell assured him that it was OK to name their son "Neil".  But until that very moment, Elder Maxwell had no idea that brother Qaqa had named their son "Neil A. Maxwell Qaqa!  The best part of this story and this family is that brother Qaqa, the dad and his family, and brother Qaqa, the son and his family are all faithful, strong, stalwart and shining examples of the gospel in action and are all a credit to the real Elder Neil A. Maxwell.  PS:  Max always had fun with his name at each general conference as they would start to read the names of the twelve he would tell his friends, "Listen, they are going to sustain me as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles".  Max served a mission to California and you can imagine the interest at the MTC and the mission home when they received notice that Elder Neil A. Maxwell Qaqa will be arriving from Fiji!

Young Men President

the AP missionaries and others eating

Dad and Max doing the dance. It looks like they are all doing their own thing!

It is a dance from Rotuma.

Here come the primary kids!

Passing out candy!

Young Adults. A Fijian dance

The Young Women. A dance from Kiribati

Young Adults with sis Jackson 

Tongan Drumming and clapping

Elders Dancing

Manase Kofoa using his flip flops to drum

A Samoan Dance