Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nov 25-15 Dec 2010

The weeks have snuck up on me and now I need to catch up on the blog! We got home from our trip two days before Thanksgiving. We have a beautiful fence that the church had put up and so now we have more privacy. The big news that we did not mention in our last blog is that Elder Bednar and his wife are coming to Majuro in January! Also Bishop Edgely and his wife, President Callister and his wife, Elder Wakolo and wife, and Paul Coward. They will be here for three days and as of right now Elder Bednar and his wife will be staying with us! We are not nervous or anything! We will be feeding all of them most of the time. The people in Majuro are so excited they have never had an apostle before. We wish they would be able to go to Tarawa but that will not be possible. They are going to New Zealand, then to Tonga, back to New Zealand, then to Hawaii, and then to us. So it is definitely a busy schedule.

Thanksgiving was great. The wonderful Senior couples had planned the whole thing and we just had to suppl y the house. All of the Missionaries in Majuro came over and we had a wonderfulfeast. After dinner we showed the movie “Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration-the one they show in the JSMB.” Some of the Missionaries have never seen it yet, and they loved it. The spirit was so strong afterwards that Tom opened it up to bear testimonies. It was a special day.

On the weekend I put up the Christmas decorations, and played Christmas music. As long as I didn’t look outside it definitely felt like Christmas! We brought a tree and there was already a tree there, so we have two. You can buy Christmas decorations here as well.

On Sunday we went to our home ward, which we have only been to two times! We had Sister Teichert over for dinner and had a enjoyable time together. Later that evening we were invited over to the Patterson’s for a little fireside. The Patterson’s work at the college and have been there for over a year. Their daughter lives in Scott and Kristy’s ward, small world! They do a a German tradition of lighting a candle for each Sunday in December. So they lit one and showed the CD of Christ’s birth with music and we all brought a goodie to share. They told the missionaries to bring investigators over if they would like to. Dad made his fudge already and it is going fast!

On Wednesday we had a zone conference. It was a great one and some of the Elders and Sisters participated. Tom has called Elder Davidson to be his executive secretary for the mission. He and his wife are the CES couple. He will be a great help. While Tom interviewed the missionaries I stayed out in the hall and chapel which gave me a chance to talk to most of the missionaries to. I have felt that I always miss out because I don’t go into the interviews and so this gave me a chance to get to know them better. The next day we went to one of the chapels so he could interview the rest of them. I had the sisters help string popcorn for one of the trees in the mission home. I was able to get to know these missionaries a little bit better as well.

On Saturday we had the night meeting for Stake Conference. It was a great meeting and well attended. On Sunday we spoke at Stake Conference. The people who speak are so gracious as they start their talks they usually say I want thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity I have to speak and express my feelings. Even if they are called up from the audience they say that and are happy for that chance. I remember at home in our Stake Conferences we were always trying not to make eye contact with the President if he was calling people from the audience to speak! It was another great meeting and we took Sister Ve’e home with us. She had completed her mission and was going to leave the next day for home which is in California. We watched the Forgotten Carols and ate dinner together. She was a great Missionary and she had extended a month. I’m sure her family was glad that she was going to be home for Christmas. We went to the Patterson’s again for the lighting of two candles and the missionaries brought a few investigators again and of course we all brought goodies.

Monday was a busy day. Tom, the AP’s and Zone and District leaders cleaned an apartment and then came over for a barbeque afterwards, which was about 4:30. We left at 5:00 to take Sister Ve’e to the airport. She left all of her clothes and things for other missionaries, so she only had one suit case. There was also an Elder from Majuro who was going to the MTC in Provo. So they would be on the same flight to Hawaii. It was hard once again to have another one leave. We wish her the best in her future. When we got home we had a home evening with the Senior Couples. They were there waiting for us. We ate and then watched the Forgotten Carols DVD. Some of them had never seen it before and it was fun to watch their reaction. It really did bring the Christmas spirit to all of us.

We cut out all of the missionaries pictures and put them on the tree of the mission office. We went to look at different motels to see where we would recommend for the other couples who are coming with Elder Bednar. We also went to talk to the person who is over fixing things in the mission home. We really need to have the shower fixed for the guest bedrooms. They did not slope the floor and so water stays in it and we have had some leaking through the ceiling downstairs. They tell us that it will be fixed while we are gone to Tarawa for Christmas. We also talked about the blinds and the rocks in the yard. Surprisingly they came the next day and said that the blinds and the rocks would be done the next day. So when we get back from Ebeye it should be done. We went to lunch with the Deputy Ambassador in the US Embassy. Sister Teichert has been in contact with him for the mission and he wanted to meet us.

On Thursday morning we left for Ebeye. When we arrived the Skinner’s met us and took us to our room on the base. Kevin Skinner is the Doctor on the base. We went over to Ebeye in the afternoon for Tom to start giving the temple recommends. These people who were being interviewed are going through the temple e for the first time. There are two groups who are going in January and February. All in all he did fifty recommends. The next day we had some training with the Mill’s and the eight missionaries who are on Ebeye training was from 8:00 to 5:00, and then Tom continued with the temple recommends until 9:30 and then we would go back on the ferry to the base. It made for some very long days. This is Winnie and her husband David, he had been baptized about two months ago and she was undecided and had been studying since January. She came to the training session and was taught the Book of Mormon by Elders Afioga and Horan. At the completion of the lesson she said she wanted to be baptized-she had her answer. Needless to say it surprised everyone-the spirit was really strong and we realized we had just witnessed a miracle in how the spirit works.The next day we had training all day and Tom had interviews again that evening and then back on the ferry to the base to sleep.

Sunday we went to the Kwajalein branch. It is on the base, and is a very small branch. Tom presented a counselor for the branch Presidency and then set him apart. We bore our testimonies in the meeting. After t he block we went to the branch Presidents home for lunch with some of the members of the ward. They were all very nice. At 3:00 we went in to Ebeye. Tom gave more interviews and then we had a fireside for those who will be going to the temple for the first time. We did the fireside, and it was neat to see all those who will be going. Sister Mills will be going with both groups. Elder and Sister Mills have done all the paperwork for them and has been teaching them temple prep classes. They have totally helped them to be ready for this wonderful occasion. The Mills also fed us every night, we had some great meals. We thank them from the bottom of our heart. I forgot to mention that we went out with three sets of our missionaries. They were all a great experience. During our training time when Sister Fanga was teaching during her training she brought in a sister who had been studying with different sets of missionaries since last January. They had the Elders teach her in front of us for 15 minutes from the first discussion. Her husband had been baptized two months before this time. Two of the missionaries translated for us and the Mills. When they finished she said that she wanted to be baptized. That was not expected at all, and the two sisters who had been teaching her were so excited! It was such a spiritual experience for all of us. The missionaries are having a lot of success in Ebeye. They said that they will have a white Christmas on Christmas day. There will be fifty or more people baptized on Christmas morning. They will all walk together down the street in their white clothes to the Lagoon where the baptisms will take place. Some are children of record but a lot of them will be converts. What a sight that would be I wish we could be there.

We came back to Majuro in the evening. When we got home the blinds had been put up and they had finished putting rock in the back yard. It’s great to have that done. We now have been sent an email saying that Elder Bednar will not be staying with us. Things change pretty regularly and as it gets closer to his visit we should know for sure how things will be. We have also been told that Elder Edgely and his wife will not be coming. I guess we will know this weekend if the little plane will fly. They still do not have permission to land here. If it does we will be leaving for Tarawa on Monday.

Today we went to the Rita District meeting. There was a great spirit there. It was held at the Davidson’s, the CES Senior couple that have been living in Rita. They fed us a wonderful lunch. They wanted to feed the district because they will be moving over to Lojkar in an apartment close to where we are. I can’t believe that we are still sweating and that you are freezing! We hope that you have all been able to do some fun holiday activities. We cherish our memories of Christmas’s past with all of you. Please take a ton of pictures we want to see how your Christmas went. Also say hi to everyone at the Pearson breakfast. We are so thankful for the Savior whose birth we celebrate. We know that he lives and loves us all. We love and miss you all, and we look forward to skyping with all of you. 1 Nephi 11: 20, 21, 24 “And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. The angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the Son of the Eternal Father! And I saw many fall down at His feet and worship Him.” We wish you all a glorious Christmas season and hope that we will ponder about Jesus and what he has and is doing for all of us. We love you with all of our heart. Love Mom and Dad / Nana and Papa / Pres. and Sister Shaw

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