Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 4-16, 2011

We have been enjoying our time in Majuro. The longest stretch we have had so far in our mission. One week the weather was really really hot and I thoughtI was going to melt!We thought that we were not going to have rain for a while, but now it's back. After feeling the intense heat we are happy to have the rain!

On the 5th of this month we received the couple who will take over the Hewstones job. They are the Hilbornes from New Zealand. They came a week before the Hewstone’s leave to be trained. They are a great couple who are excited to be serving.

Tom and Elder Afioga went to Ebeye for two days, to do some training. Elder Afioga is one of the Assistants and he has been working with all the companionships on the Majuro side, and has done a wonderful job. Unfortunately, it is time for him to go home. He has been a great asset to our mission and he will really be missed. He had served in Ebeye so it was great that he had the opportunity to see them again. On Saturday we went to a ward party in Laura.

The missionaries in that area planned it and it was well attended. They had games set up kind of like a carnival and as you played the games if you were able to achieve certain things you would receive a ticket. The tickets could be used to buy prizes, each prize costing a different amount. They had one activity which was to go into the church and answer multiple choice questions about the plan of salvation. If you achieved that you received a gold ticket, which was the most special one. The ward provided lunch and we made cakes for desert. One of the games was to run a race. Sister Davidson, Sister Christensen and I raced each other, and I came in last! It was a great time and good for the ward to grow closer. They had quite a few investigators there as well, which was super.

There was a baptism that evening of a sweet sister in Long Island ward. Her husband is a deacon in the Protestant church, but he is also having the discussions. She was going to wait until he was ready but she decided to go ahead. These people have such great faith, and a desire to change their lives for the better.

Sunday the 10th was our anniversary of thirty seven years! I was able to sneak downstairs and fix breakfast for Tom. I had placed some chocolates and a card on the table. He came into the kitchen because I was cooking breakfast he said, what’s the occasion? I used to fix him breakfast for his Birthday and he knew it wasn’t that! I could tell immediately that he had forgotten but I didn’t say anything. Then he walked over to the table and saw the card and candy! I wish I would have had a camera because the look on his face when he realized that he had forgotten our anniversary was priceless! It was the look of (I think I just blew it)! Sometimes the days just run together and you lose track of time and dates. It seems like there’s no way that we have been married that long. Some days it seems like 37 and other days it seems like 370! (just kidden) It has been quite the adventure.

We received some sad news on Sunday. The Mills (Pleasant Grove) who are serving in Ebeye had a son pass away. They did go home to be with family and to be there for his funeral. They told us that they plan to come back and finish out their mission. They have done so much for Ebeye, and everyone there loves them so much. Their example and faith have touched our hearts we pray that the Lord will bless them and their family with his comforting spirit and love.

On the 11th we took the Hewstones to lunch as they were leaving at the end of the week. They are such great people and we have loved teasing them about some of their unusual words that are different then what we say. For instances, dishes is crockery, a torch is a flashlight, and a boot is a trunk of a car!

Thursday, I went to some appointments with the Sister Missionaries. The first two were in the same place. We were in an exercise room that had a punching bag of sand in a rice bag, and some other equipment. The first lesson was with a boy who was seventeen. He had not been following through with his commitments, and they were frustrated because he said he wants to change. The second lesson was with his cousin and her boyfriend. They seemed really receptive. They would need to get married first so that is the first big step that they would take care of. They allowed me to bare my testimony in both lessons which they translated. The other set of sisters and I went to a home with a couple, and a lady and her brother. The one lady is a member but has been inactive. Her husband has a word of wisdom problem which is being hard to get over. The sisters taught the discussion on repentance. It was a good discussion. One lady is ready to get baptized but has to get married. We then played a little game and had some cookies the sister’s had brought. We sat on the floor in both homes where most of the people sit with their legs crossed. This was a great experience for me. Being able to go out and be with the people and watch the Sister’s teach is very rewarding. You get more of a feel for missionary work.

On Thursday, our new couple the Perkin’s arrived. Sister Perkin’s is our nurse. They live in Nevada. We are excited to have them and know that they will be a great addition to our mission. Sister Perkin’s was a Physician’s Assistant. We are sure that we can keep Elder Perkin’s busy as well! We had a lunch for them in the mission home. Also on the same flight as the Perkins, Elder Pritchard's Father came to pick him up. It was great to see their reunion at the airport. Elder Pritchard is the missionary who plays football for BYU,and this year his little brother will also be on the team.We also picked up two missionaries who came in from Kiribati. They were supposed to be here two weeks ago, but the plane didn’t fly. Sister Bauro and Elder Bitarerei, who are both from Kiribati. Sister Bauro was baptized two years ago by Elder Laskey, a former missionary. They stayed here with us and then received training the next day with the Perkin’s. They both had powerful testimonies.

On the 15th we took the Hewstones to the airport. They had other members there to say goodbye to them. They helped make things much nicer in our chapels and did many other things as well. We will miss them.

Saturday the 16th some of the senior women were asked to talk at and Auxiliary training for the Relief Society. All of the Presidencies were invited to attend. I wish that we could get the handbook in Marshallese, because so many don’t understand English very well. I hope we were able to give them some insight. They are still learning about their positions and the dedication that it takes for things to run smoothly. We also were given lunch. All of our senior couples are going to be assigned to the wards here, so that they can be shadow leaders and help with continual training.

We love the Lord and thank him for his watchful care. He helps to strengthen us as we serve. We love the people here and the missionaries who serve here. We know that the Lord is in charge and that we need to listen to his promptings and be His instruments here. We thank our family for their tremendous support. We love all of you and hope that you will recognize the blessings that come your way. Love Mom & Dad / Papa & Nana / Pres & Sister Shaw

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