Friday, July 15, 2011

June 22 - July 9, 2011

We are back in Majuro again. We just returned from a very busy but wonderful trip to Tarawa. I need to go back to the week before we left to catch up. We had Elder Sanchez over for dinner on Wednesday, as he was going home. He was so funny he was like a fish out of water he was so nervous. He couldn't hardly eat any thing . He slept over night in the mission home, but we're not sure there was much sleep.

He is from Ebeye and we are so happy that we will be able to see him as we go to Ebeye from time to time. He stayed overnight and we hope he was able to sleep at least a little bit! We wish him the best in all that he does and pray the Lord will help him in his future.

The next day we received a new Elder. He is Elder Seru from Fiji. He has been a member for about one year and three months. He had been playing some professional sports when he decided to go on a mission. He is the only member of his family. He will be a great asset to our mission and he is anxious to do the work.

We left for Tarawa on 25 June going through Honolulu then on to Fiji. When we arrived in Fiji we decided to go to Port Denaru. This is a place that is a twenty minute ride from Nadi where we always stay at a place called Raffles. It was raining and was actually cooler than the norm. The port is a tourist place with about eight hotels and tourist shops and a Hard Rock cafe! We went to lunch there and it was sooo good. We didn’t go into the hotels because it was raining, but we had the taxi cab take us past them. One day, we still hope to get to Suva to go to the temple and see the city. We have heard that it is beautiful there.

We arrived in Tarawa on Tuesday the 28th. This is the same day that the Steed’s who have been our nurse among other responsibilities. We didn’t think that we would be able to see them. But as we got off they were still out in a foyer area and we got to wave express our love to them. They have been such an asset to the mission and I know those missionaries who serve in Kiribati will miss them dearly. They have probably mentioned them in their emails home. Their health was not very good but that never stopped them from fulfilling their responsibilities, as well as teaching some of the people and having twelve baptisms of their own. We so appreciate their service and pray for them and their family as there are some challenges at home. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We had zone conferences on June 29th and the 30th. We divided them in half as we had in Majuro. The training went well and involved the zone leaders and the district leaders, as they did some of the teaching. Tom also did interviews after both conferences. We had nine final interviews as that many will be leaving before we get back there. They are Elders Mortensen, Morton, Karlip, Vesikula, Boehme, Tamwe, Sister Kamauti, and the Pulsiphers. They have all been wonderful missionaries and we will miss them greatly. Two of them Elder Tamwe and Sister Kamauti are from Kiribati, so we hope to see them as we go there. The Pulsipher’s were on the same flight we were as we left Tarawa to go to Fiji. They were going to New Zealand to report to their counterparts there and spend some time seeing New Zealand. The school, Moroni High, will miss them and we have enjoyed associating with them as we visit. It appears that we will not be getting replacements for all those who are leaving. We will be getting four Elders in August who will be going to Tarawa, as they have more wards that need to be covered than Majuro. Also the Pulsipher’s replacement will be arriving in August, the Thornes. We loved spending time with the missionaries in Kiribati as we don’t get to see them as much, because of the travel. We are also so excited that Elder Kidder will be joining our mission as soon as he can get the visa.

We went to dinner with the zone leaders; Elders Lowry, Morton, Nye, and Cole. They carry such a load as we depend on them for all that needs to be taken care of there. Elder Morton did some training as he went with each companionship to see how they are doing and to give some advice where needed. We truly appreciate their service as they are Tom’s eyes and ears. We will miss Elder Morton and we wish him the best in his future.

We met the Ogborn’s a new couple who are serving in Kiribati. They are Humanitarian and Perpetual Education Fund missionaries. They were sent there to help the drinking water situation. They are so nice and are willing to help us in the mission as we are also losing the Corry’s next month. They had served two missions before, one to Ghana, and one to Mongolia. I remember when we put our papers in to go on a mission we teased about getting sent to Outer Mongolia, but they did get called there. Sister Ogborn said that she mentioned in their papers some place warm! The Perkin’s are adjusting to being in Kiribati, and are so kind to fill in until the next nurse comes. We finally did get word that another one has been called and will come in October. Thank you Perkin’s we love you. Elder Christensen is filling in here while Perkin’s are gone, and may possibly be going to Tarawa for a couple of months. What wonderful couples we have who are so willing to accommodate us and serve in whatever capacity we need them to.

On Friday, we went on the small airplane to two outer Islands. This is the first time we have been able to go to the outer islands. The first one we went to was Marakei, where Elder Eneri and Elder Mills serve. Our pilot is Elder Eneri’s older brother, so it was neat that they could see one another. His brother is going to serve a mission starting in October in Hawaii. We are really happy for him but sad that we will not have a pilot for the small plane. It was so great to see them and to see the island theyare serving on. The members had a dinner for us and met together to have us talk to them. The islands are very green and they receive a lot of rain. The members take good care of our missionaries and they feed them once a day. It is so fun to see the people who come to see the plane come in and take off, as it does not happen very often. The people are sweet and friendly and Tom is like their Stake President as they are still units. We stayed for about a couple of hours and then flew to Abaiang. Elder Tu Tu is serving there with Elder Utimawa. They are both doing well and seem happy to serve there. Unfortunately their unit leader was in Tarawa being trained so we did not get to see him. Tom interviewed the Elders and we saw their home and where they meet for church. Elder Lowry and Elder Cole came with us to these two islands.

Saturday, we flew to the Island of North Tabiteuea. Elder Anderson and Elder Siauki are serving there. They both look great and their house is right by the place they meet for church. The members had gathered to see us and to eat. They are so gracious and would give you the shirt off their back if you asked for it. All islands but one are units and would like to become a branch. Elder Hamula, the area President, is looking into the matter to see if they qualify to do so. They have to have a certain amount attending church and the priesthood needed to have leadership. Elder Anderson reminded me of a blonde Elder Groberg as he had black sunglasses and the island life, just like in the show the Other Side of Heaven! The parents of these Elders who have the opportunity to serve in the outer Islands should be so proud of them. We are amazed how they adapt and make the best of what they have and enjoy the work there. On Friday and Saturday we went to a baptism in the evening. They no longer baptize in the ocean because of the lack of sanitation. Elder Morton and Elder Nye came with us also.

Sunday, we were able to go to two more outer islands. We went to Makin first. It was Fast Sunday and we were able to attend their sacrament meeting. It is so wonderful to feel of the spirit there. Elder Tiree and Elder Norman are serving there. They are doing a great job and Elder Norman was very happy to receive two of his packages. Elder Lowry and Elder Cole came with us. They then had us go out to a maneabwa and eat before we left while they finished up their meetings. We then flew to Butaritari. It was raining there and things were pretty muddy. We were taken in the back of a rental truck to the place we were having sacrament meeting. They would put chairs in the back of the open bed truck and the trick was to see if you could stay on your chair over the bumpy road! I lucked out and got to sit in the cab of the truck. Elder Kiatonga and Elder Mahe are serving here. They were enjoying the island life as well. We were met there by the unit leader who happens to be the dad of a sister missionary who is serving in Majuro, Sister Bauro. You could see the resemblance and her Dad was so kind. Her mother was in Tarawa when we were there so we did not get to meet her. They fed us here as well and had a good fast meeting.


While we were in Tarawa Sister Ruiz finished her mission and went home. We felt bad that we were not there. We hope that she is doing well and adjusting to home. We thank her for her service and thank her for all the people she taught and brought to the gospel.

On Tuesday, we left for Fiji in the afternoon. The flight was full. We then had a four hour layover until we would leave for Hawaii. We finally arrived in Majuro on Saturday the 9th of July. It was Whitney’s Birthday yesterday and she turned nine. We got to Skype with her and sing happy Birthday. She got a hamster for her Birthday whose name is Cocoa.

We enjoyed talking and skyping with all of you. It seems like life is pretty fast pace with your cute families and responsibilities. You are all a shining light to us and set such a good example. Thank you for all that you do.

I have heard that some of our missionary’s parents have been following our blog. We want all of you to know what wonderful sons and daughters you have raised. Some things are a challenge in this mission and our missionaries are able to adapt very quickly. They also amaze us how they learn the language without having any training at the MTC. We love them and thank you for sharing them with us. They are anxiously engaged in missionary work and are bringing many to the waters of baptism.
There is a scripture our son gave to us on a plaque with all of our family pictures on it. It is found in D&C 31:6 it reads “Behold verily I say unto you go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.” We know that the Lord certainly is blessing our family and that our missionary’s families are receiving blessings for their service. We love you all, Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President & Sister Shaw.

No comments: