Thursday, February 26, 2015

Moorea - Photos 7 & 8

 During the day we relaxed here.

In the evenings waiting for the sunset, we relaxed here.  That is Jeff looking pretty relaxed!

You might think we were in this beautiful place on a vacation.  Well, that's only partly correct.  We spent 18 months traveling throughout the South Pacific on missionary assignments for our church.  Many senior couples of our faith choose to do this after retirement, (around 5,000 couples at any given time), as a way to serve others, as devotion to our faith and as a way to do our part to make the world a better place.  We willing go where ever we are called, (we don't choose where we go although we can suggest), we do whatever we are asked to do, and we pay all our own expenses and consider it a privilege to do so.  If we are sent out of the US we usually serve for 18 months or 23 months.  We have friends who have served, or are serving, all over the world, providing humanitarian aid, teaching English and religion classes, providing medical and legal assistance or in many other capacities. 

We were stationed in Auckland, New Zealand, and in 18 months we were on airplanes over 55 times traveling to various assignments on many of the South Pacific Islands.  Sometimes we traveled on commercial jets going to large cities such as Sydney, Australia, and sometimes on tiny, rickety small planes, held together with duct tape, (really), flying into tiny little islands such as Taveuni, Fiji where the beginning of a tiny runway began and ended in the ocean!

We worked very hard, and had many challenging assignments, and we loved every minute of it.  But where ever we traveled, we also had some time to enjoy the local culture and relax from our labors.  In this case, after our assignments in Tahiti were completed,  we were able to spend a couple of magical days in Moorea.

Jeff and I count these 18 months as a highlight in our lives and one of the most meaningful things we have ever done, along with our lifelong devotion to children and grandchildren and family.  We have wonderful memories of people, and places half way around the world that we have grown to love and respect, and of faith promoting experiences that have drawn us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.