Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 13-25, 2011

We are now in Majuro until January 4, 2012. Today, Tuesday, we had an office meeting to keep on the same page. We haven’t been here for a while so it was good to find out what we have missed.

On Wednesday, we went to the District meeting at Rita, where Elder Amram is the district leader. He is Marshallese, and is a great asset to our mission. It was great to see how the new Elders are doing and good to see them participate in the training. They come with enthusiasm from the MTC and carry it on in the field.

On Saturday, we went to a baptism at Long Island. The quality of the baptisms has improved since Tom came up with a check list and a program to hand out. We always want this to be a very special experience for the candidates and we encourage members to support and attend.

Sunday, we attended Long Island ward. It was a good sacrament meeting. They had a Marshallese family talk. The whole family are members and were able to talk. We are always so happy when complete families find the gospel as they all have a great support system in place.

Monday, we met with the senior missionaries for Home Evening. We are reading the Pearl of Great Price, as we had recently finished the New Testament. Next month we will be receiving another couple, Elder & Sister Woods from Sugar City, Idaho (CES), it will be great to have them.

On Tuesday, we invited the Stake Presidency and wives for dinner. We always enjoy being with them. It’s a great opportunity to get to know them better. The stake is still fairly new but they are doing a good job. On Wednesday a couple who have lived in Majuro for two and a half years left for a new job in Indiana. They had been over the young single adults and were a great asset to Long Island ward. They both worked at the college here. They will be missed and we wish them well.With this being the week of Christmas all of the Elders on outer islands came in. We weren’t sure if that would happen, especially in Majuro, as the airline, Air Marshall or Air Maybe as we call it would actually fly! It had not been flying for at least two weeks. Elder Blacker and Elder Emmett brought us a Christmas gift, two baby turtles! They are so cute!Thankfully they fixed it and they flew to the outer islands as well as to Kiribati. Elder Taorobwa went to Kiribati as he will be going to Christmas Island. We will miss him but know that he will be a good addition on that Island.

Also Elder & Sister Mabey arrived in Christmas Island on December 14th. They are the new senior couple who took the place of the Fifield’s. We are so grateful to have them and when Tom talked to them on the phone they were already feeling at home and enjoying being there. We can’t wait to meet them in person.

We spent last Christmas in Tarawa and so this year we are in Majuro. Both Tarawa (above and immediately below) and Majuro (below 2nd & 3rd photos) had their Christmas luncheon on Friday. There was definitely plenty of food and even left overs! We all had turkey, ham and all the fixings in both places. If anyone went away hungry it was their own fault! We both also had tie exchanges for the Elders and jewelry exchanges for the Sisters. It was fun and we handled it like a white elephant where you could take some one else’s if you didn’t want to pick one that was left. Then in Majuro we watched “The Forgotten Carols,” and in Kiribati they watched “Facing the Giants.” Afterwards they each received a stocking full of goodies. It was so great to spend this time with them, they love to get together. A big thanks to the seniors in Kiribati for taking over for us there and making it a special time. In the mission office we have a mission christmas tree that has all of our missionaries pictures on it. On Saturday, we had a zone conference in Majuro. It wasn’t really the most opportune time to have it, but we wanted to have it while everyone was on Majuro. The theme was “Gratitude.” We also heard testimonies from the new missionaries Elders Winters, Fox, Morrissey, Peck, and Sister Hogg. We also heard testimonies from many of the missionaries after completing the reading assignment given at the last zone conference. The assignment was to have a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon and to read it looking for one particular principle and underlining everything that pertained to it. It was a great experience and many of them have started another one on a different principle. Tom interviewed all of them on three different days.

On Sunday, Christmas day, we went to the Laura ward for sacrament meeting. We only had the sacrament meeting which I know was church wide. That evening they showed The First Presidency Christmas Devotional as we were not able to see it when it aired. It was great to see that on Christmas day. We also had some of the Missionaries come over to make their phone calls to their parents; mainly the Pacific Island missionaries.

On Monday, the American missionaries made their phone calls. Boy do I remember those days waiting for that special phone call. Also, the Church had the Christmas Biit (Beat); because Christmas was on Sunday, the members held the beat on Monday. This is a tradition in Majuro where each ward comes up with some dances and songs that they share with the whole stake. Other churches/groups visit and perform if they want to. We did have a few outside groups come but not as many as usual because other churches held theirs (Biit) on Sunday. The people here take this real seriously. They practice almost all of December and some of the ladies have new dresses that match. It was fun to watch and to participate in. The missionaries did “The Boot Scootin’ Boogie!” Our costume was a Santa hat! It was fun to do and the people seemed to like it, but then again it wouldn’t matter what the missionaries did because the members love them all so much. The beat started at 10:00am and concluded at 10:00pm. They fed everyone lunch at the stake center.

We really didn’t get to talk to all of you when we called over to Jeff’s, but we could tell that you were all enjoying yourselves. We are so grateful that you all love to get together and that you have such a good time. We are still trying to skype you all individually in your families. It was great to skype Dad and Jeanne, they looked really good and happy.

We all anticipate the holidays especially from the first of December until Christmas Day the 25th. Can you imagine if you had to wait for 1,000 or more years? The first Christmas, the Savior’s birth had been prophesied for hundreds of years, from Isaiah in the Old Testament to Samuel the Lamanite in the Book of Mormon. The prophets of old knew and anticipated the signs of the coming of Jesus Christ, and they waited patiently for the signs. They wanted others to recognize the signs and share in the joy of knowing He had come! The fulfillment of those prophecies was a testimony of His divine calling as Savior and Redeemer. “All the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began, have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?” (Mosiah 13:33). We are so grateful for our Savior and we know that He lives and loves us all. That He made it possible to be able to return to our Heavenly Father. He is the truth and the light and no man cometh unto the Father but by him. We are so grateful that if we live worthy we can be together forever and we are grateful to have the opportunity to share that glorious knowledge with His children in the aisles of the sea. They are choice spirits and they are recognizing his gospel. We love all of you and missed being with you for the holidays. We don’t know what we did to deserve such a wonderful family. Our love and prayers go out to you; we love sharing this experience with all of you. Love Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President and Sister Shaw

1 comment:

Kent and Kathy Moser said...

I love to look at your blog and pick out those missionaries that we know!