Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Nov 14-29, 2012

We had zone conference in Majuro where we trained what we learned in the Mission President Seminar.  It was a very spiritual meeting and such a unity among the missionaries.  We always love to have the whole group together.  We had Elder Randall give his farewell testimony and the new missionaries since we last met.  We had a boxed lunch from a restaurant because we would be giving them a big Thanksgiving dinner the next week.  We have amazing missionaries and we know that we will be adding to our numbers very soon! 

Elder Warren and Sister Kristi Dansie (neighbors in West Valley and Area Family History Missionaries) were in Majuro doing their Family History training, Kristi had some free time so I took her to some shops and to Payless to buy some food.  We had them and Brother Mike to dinner on Friday as they were supposed to fly out that evening.  Their trainer Brother Mike did leave, but he asked if they would stay until Wednesday to try to get the Family History computers up and running.

The next day we had a zone leader council meeting.  We now have two new zone leaders in Majuro Elders McOmie and Peck.  We are excited for them to serve; they will be a great addition.  That afternoon the senior couples and the Dansie’s came over for cake and ice cream for Tom’s Birthday.  It was fun to be with them.  After that we went to a baptism of a young couple in the Long Island ward, it was a great meeting. 

On Sunday, we went to the Rita ward in their new chapel.   Then we went to the Long Island Ward where they had their primary program.  They sang their little hearts out and many gave parts without any help or anything to read.  The chapel was full, it was a wonderful sight.  After church Sister Roota and Sister Mahit came over and gave Tom a birthday cake and a lava-lava which has his name embroidered on it.  They were so sweet and it meant a lot to him.  That evening we had Elder Randall come over for his farewell dinner and he stayed overnight.  He has been a wonderful missionary and it was so good to have some one on one time with him.  He served as one of the Assistants for a time; we will really miss him. 

Monday, we flew to Hawaii with Elder Randall.  We waited with him until the rental car place opened.  We then left him to catch his flight and went to the hotel. The next day we went to Costco to buy some things for Christmas stockings and for the missionaries. 

Tuesday, we headed for Fiji on the plane that stops at Christmas Island.  Sister Kimmons who has been serving in Christmas Island had come to Hawaii to have some medical attention so she was on the same flight going back to Christmas.  It was great to see her and we were able to send some things the Mabey’s needed with her.  They never let us get off the plane unless we are staying at Christmas.  So we went to the door and waved to them.  Elder Eneri got on this same flight as he has completed his mission and was returning to his home in Kiribati.  He also served as a zone leader for some of his mission and he was a great leader.  We are sad that his time is up but we are happy we can still see him when we are in Tarawa.  We wish him the best.  We stayed at the same hotel in Fiji and then flew on to Tarawa the next morning. 

Shortly after we arrived we had a zone leader council.  Then that evening we went to a program at Moroni High School where they had invited a group from Taiwan called Saming and the Band.  The Taiwanese Ambassador in Kiribati had arranged to have them perform.  They had a big dinner beforehand with faculty, the senior couples, and some others along with three couples from the Taiwan Embassy.  They were all very friendly and spoke very good English.  Then we went to the music performance which was supposed to be outside but it started to rain too hard.  Some Kiribati girls danced and then the group performed.  They wore a native costume from a long time ago.  It was interesting and we liked the music.

On Friday morning they had the Moroni High School graduation.  They had asked Tom to be the main speaker.  The program was amazing the music, the talks, everything about it, the spirit was so strong.  Tom received the Graduates and he handed out the diplomas.  Rosella who is the Vice Principal announced each graduate by name without having a paper with their names written down.  Each one had at least three names and she only had to be prompted a couple of times!  I could forget my best friend’s name if I were doing that, she was amazing.  Tom used to have the entire sustaining list memorized when he would read it at Stake Conference and people thought that was unreal!  We were able to attend and take part last year also and it was a great honor again.  We ate again afterwards with faculty and Stake Presidencies.  Tom had interviews that afternoon right up until the night program of the graduation.  They had decorated the outdoor court so nice it looked great.  The students are introduced by couples and groups of friends have on the same outfits.  The faculty always dances for the students which is always fun!  Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and it began raining.  This didn’t stop them though and then the students all danced and had a ball.  Within two days after the students all left to go home and it becomes so quiet on campus where we stay. 

Saturday morning we attended a baptism in Buota.  It was three teenage girls.  They were excited to be new members.  Then we had our big Thanksgiving dinner that afternoon.  Because of graduation it was better for us to wait until that day.  We had sent over turkeys and hams and all the fixings for Thanksgiving and our wonderful senior couples prepared it for the missionaries.  Everyone was in heaven and seemed very happy.  Our senior couples are amazing and they put forth such great effort to help us keep Kiribati going.  After the dinner we had a movie which was “The Forgotten Carols.”  I think they all enjoyed it even though there are some who saw it last year.  We miss going to it with all of you, as it has been a tradition for many years

On Sunday, we attended ward where the young women gave talks in sacrament meeting.  It is so much harder to get around to all of the wards in Kiribati because there are fourteen and we are there over one weekend.  The saints are wonderful and so friendly everywhere we go.  We ran into a former missionary of ours who told us that he was going to marry a Kiribati girl who also served a mission.   Another one is working in the service center, and one was security at the airport.  Also, a sister that served in Majuro is engaged.  All of this makes us so happy as we see them move forward where the gospel is the center of their life.  We ate with the Bush’s this day.  They are really making a difference by helping with the outer Islands are are also teaching piano, some dancing and some choirs.  I know there is even more and we are so grateful for all they do.     

Monday, we ate dinner with the Youngberg’s the new couple who took the place of Ogborn’s.  They are great and are adjusting to this mission and the things they want to accomplish.  They are great and fit right in with the others.  We appreciate their desire to be a part of the missionaries as Ogborn’s did even thought their calling is humanitarian. 

Tuesday, we had our zone conference.  Oh how we love to come into the room full of all the missionaries on Island.  There is such strength and unity felt.  We had asked Elder Wakolo, the area Seventy, if he would speak to us as he was in Tarawa with other church business.  He is a wonderful man and his remarks were inspiring.  Then I trained on info we received at the mission President Seminar.  Then Dad did his training which was amazing the spirit was so strong.  We then heard testimonies from the new missionaries; Elders Decker, Birrell, Paora, and Sister Nakibae.  We also had the Youngberg’s bear their testimonies.  We also had those who were leaving.  The Thorne’s who have been the CES couple, and Elders Banks and Norman.  Elder Packer will also be leaving with them on December 17th. Sister Barlow just left from Christmas Island.  We will miss them all and want them to know of our love and thankfulness for their service.  Dad then had closing remarks and we had leftovers from Thanksgiving for lunch.  We had more interviews as Tom interviewed everyone except for those in the outer Islands.   

Wednesday, went to the East Zone Training meeting.  This meeting happens once a month in place of district meeting.  The zone leaders are in charge and they train on the things they learn at the zone council meeting they have with President once a month.  They did a good job.  We then had interviews to finish up the day.  We had dinner with the Thorne’s, the CES couple who are leaving December 10th.  We wish them well and were grateful to get to know them. 

Thursday, we left for Fiji.  The time is passing quickly as it is December already.  It just seems like yesterday that we were with Paul and Kellie and it has been a whole year.  Miles, Dad, and Paul had Birthdays since I last wrote.  We talked to you  both and it sounded like you had good ones. 

I also wanted to mention that we had a dentist who comes every year to Kiribati and looks at all of the missionaries teeth and others and fills cavities.  He also helps the local dentist there.  We have an Elder who has been missing his two front teeth since he was twelve.  The dentist who came to give his service said that the only thing he wanted was to have Elder Ulutui to have two front teeth put in.  So on Monday he received two front teeth which look wonderful.  He was so excited!  So the saying all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth took on new meaning.

We know the Lord loves all of us and cares about our well being.  He has blessed us with such special blessings.  Your families are being blessed as we were promised they would be when we received this calling.  So grateful for the birth of little Kenzie, and anxiously wait for the birth of Scott and Malia’s little guy in February.  We express our gratitude for your love and support, it means the world to us.  We love you Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President and Sister Shaw 

No comments: