Monday, May 2, 2011

April 17 - May 1, 2011

The month of April has come and gone. We felt bad that we could not go to Tarawa for the East Stake Conference. Elder Hamula was there. We could not go because they had no fuel for the small plane. We heard that it was a wonderful conference and that the Missionaries had a great meeting with him as well. Our senior couples in Tarawa are so super and they fill in for us and supply dinners and whatever is needed.

On Monday the 18th Elder Nawahine came back from Ebeye so that he could go home. He had served as one of the AP’s and it was so good to see him again. He looked healthy and happy. Apparently Elder Randall, his companion in Ebeye, had been helping him with good eating habits and exercise. He was like his personal trainer. I think we should have him come and stay with us to whip us into shape! We had home evening at the Badgers that evening which we always enjoy doing.

On Monday, the Zones got together for an island wide preparation day.They played volleyball, a little football, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We provided them root beer floats and cookies.

Wednesday, the 20th, we had Elder Afioga, Elder Nawahine, and the Assistants (Elder Faalogo and Elder Rareba) for breakfast. Then that afternoon we had an early dinner for Elder Nawahine, Elder Afioga, Elder Pritchard, and his Father (George). They left that evening for home. The goodbyes get harder and harder, we love our missionaries so much. In Kiribati, the next day Sister Richard and Elder Vanisi went home, we were able to talk to them before they left. We so wish that everyone could come to the mission home as they come and as they leave, but the travel situation prevents that. Elder Vanisi had served as a zone leader at one time, and Sister Richard had served on Christmas Island for part of her mission.

Thursday the 21st and Friday the 22nd, we had all of the Missionaries over to watch General Conference. We served lunch on both days which was greatly appreciated by all. Thanks to the senior sisters who provided and helped with both lunches. We had two sessions each day, and it was wonderful as you all know. It is so interesting how excited the missionaries are to watch it, and if they were like our kids when they were younger it wasn’t quite as exciting to do!

Friday evening we had a baptism at the Rita chapel of some Rita, and some Uliga ward people. There were twelve total. There was a lot of support from the ward members which is always a big plus. They all bore their testimony afterwards and it was a great evening.

Sunday was Easter. The wards here showed the General Conference in Marshallese, so we spent that day at home. We were able to skype with some of you which always makes us happy. We are so grateful for our Savior for his Atonement and for his Resurrection. We are thankful for his guidance and for his example and for the gospel plan of happiness.

On Monday, we were able to meet the US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands, Martha Campbell. She has been here about a year and a half. We had met the deputy ambassador before. Larry Kimmel, consulate, had set up our appointment and he was leaving to go to Africa that Friday. The person who is taking his place is LDS and arrived on Thursday. We are anxious to meet them. That afternoon we were invited to a seminar for women against abuse/violence. They had invited other church denominations to discuss how to help the cause. Tom was able to explain our churches role of women and families and their importance. He represented us very well and he was able to hand out The Family Proclamation to those who were there in Marshallese. I think they will be having a seminar also on the family and what the churches have to offer, and what we teach our members. It is great exposure for our Church and we are thankful for that opportunity.

Monday evening we went to the Airport to see the Ajeltake members who were going to the Hawaii Temple for the first time leave. Some of our senior couples have been teaching the Temple Preparation classes, and now there are those who are ready to go. The Hawaii Temple was closed for two years for remodeling so it has been at least that long since members from Majuro have been able to go. There were nineteen people including Sister Christensen, who went as a chaperone with them. She and Elder Christensen had done all the leg work to get them ready for this trip. We so appreciate their hard work as do the members of this group. They were from the Ajeltake branch, and one family from the Laura ward. They were so excited to go. Many had never flown before so it was all a new experience. They arrived home yesterday, tired but extremely happy for the ordinances of endowments, sealing’s and baptisms they were able to perform.

Tuesday evening I was able to go with the Sister Missionaries; Sister Sahm, and Sister Anterea teaching. We went to two appointments. One was with two ladies, an older lady who was the Mother-in-law of the other one. They taught about the Prophet, and how we have a modern day Prophet. They seemed interested in the discussion. I was able to bear testimony of Prophet’s and how we have a modern day Prophet who receives revelation for the church in these days.

We then went to the home of a man Ringo who they had been teaching. His wife is a member and their daughter who is 17 is a member. She has been a great influence on her parents. He had studied before but was not ready. The lesson was good and they had all of us there bear our testimonies, and the spirit was strong. He was going to be interviewed that Thursday for Baptism. He bore a powerful testimony to us. They have three boys also and one of them is eight.

Thursday and Friday the 28th and the 29th we had training for the newer missionaries who had not received the new curriculum training. We had the new ones and their trainers there as well as the Assistants. Tom, the senior companions and the Assistants did the training and it was excellent. Now that it is May all of the missionaries coming from the MTC’s will have been trained on the new curriculum, which will be very helpful for them and for us.

On Thursday morning Sister Kalanise arrived from Kirtibati. She has been serving for about a month and she was able to come to the Marshall side to serve here. She is so cute and a great asset to our mission. While we were having lunch she was telling us about one of her experiences, where they were teaching this old lady. We asked her how old this lady was and she said 52! We said are you kidding she’s just a young pup! We teased her about that, telling her that we were older than that and we didn’t feel ancient yet!

Friday, we had Sister Sahm for dinner, as she was leaving Saturday the next day. She is from Pompeii, and is a little fireball. She and Tom have enjoyed teasing one another, since we have been here. She has really enjoyed her time here and she plans to go to college in Guam when she returns. Her investigator was able to be baptized that evening with his son who is eight How great that was for her to have a baptism the night before leaving. She left early the next morning for home.

The flight that she would be taking was the flight that the people who had gone to Hawaii to the Temple came home on.

The 30th of April was Ashtyn’s our oldest grandchild’s Birthday. She is now ten! Happy Happy Birthday to you. We love you and hope you had a wonderful day. She has many talents and loves to share them.

Today, May 1st we went to the Ajeltake branch as we wanted to hear their testimonies about the Temple. Many shared them, but we were sitting on the stand so we did not have an interpreter. Luckily you don’t need and interpreter for the spirit and we could feel of their spirits as they spoke. We have other members who are ready and waiting to go on the next Temple trip, which we hope will be soon. That evening the senior couples met with the Stake Presidency and Bishopric’s. Each senior couple is going to be assigned to a ward to help them with whatever training they will need. We introduced the couples to them all and then the Stake President told them who would be serving with each ward. They seemed happy about having someone to help them, as they are still learning about their callings and what is expected. Tom and I will work closely with the Stake President and the High Councilors.

We feel it a pleasure and blessing to serve here in the Marshall Islands. We have had some incredible experiences with the missionaries and the people. They enrich our lives and teach us many valuable lessons. Our customs are different but our spirits communicate and connect us. Thank you for the two packages, we are just like kids when we get one! We pray for you, we love you, and thank you for everything. You are all great examples to us. Congratulations to Scott who will be getting his Master degree. We love you, Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President and Sister Shaw

No comments: