Sunday, February 17, 2013

Jan 3 - Feb 1, 2013

On January 3rd Sister Huni arrived from the Provo MTC.  She had to wait a little longer because she had to have surgery while at the MTC and needed a little more time to recuperate.  We oriented her and then sent her out to Laura to serve.  She is great and excited to be a Missionary.

January 8th we had Elders Jensen and Emmett over for their final dinner.  They don’t actually leave until January 28th but we will not be here when they actually leave.  We enjoyed spending time with them, they were super missionaries and we will miss them.
We found out that the last blog that Tom published didn’t transfer.  So I apologize that our last blog has not been there but when we arrive in Majuro I will be able to put it on because it is on a different computer. 

We left on January 9th to go to Hawaii a little earlier than the norm because we both had some medical things to take care of.  While we were there the Hilbourne’s, one of our senior couples came to Hawaii on their way home to New Zealand.  We were able to do some things together and it was great to spend more time with them. 

We went on through Fiji and then to Kiribati.  The Barlow’s were in Tarawa as well.  We had a Zone Leader meeting the first day so that we would be able to go over our schedule.  These young men are so wonderful and they do so many things for us.

Our first week there was not quite as busy.  We were able to go to some of the Missionaries flats and study with them.  It’s great to see them in action and to see the growth that takes place as they serve.
Saturday morning we had a Zone Leader Council meeting with the zone leaders and our senior couple the Bush’s.  This is the training is to teach them what we want them to teach their zones the following district meeting.  These meetings happen once a month.

They had a baptism for 3 people.  It is so great to participate and be there.  Two of them were Mom and Dad to a Sister missionary who is serving in the states.  There were a group of her friends; almost all return missionaries were there to support them.  They took a picture of her parents with the friends so they could send it to their daughter.  There is no doubt the Lord blesses the missionaries as well as their families, this is one of several miracles we have witnessed in our mission.

Sunday, we attended The Betio First and Third wards.  It is so good to shake hands with the members and to see the investigators and the new converts, who actually brought some of their friends who are not members.  Later, we got together as senior couples to eat dinner and it’s always good to get together to catch up on what’s happening with all of them.

We went to some flats to be a part of their companionionship study.  As we sat in they were doing a good job, we had just a few suggestions to make it better.  

I arranged to go with Sisters Babo, Teitei, and.  We went to a woman who had just been baptized.  Her grandson had been baptized and when the Sisters asked for permission to baptize her 15 year old grandson she told them that she wanted to have the discussions.  She told them as we drove up that I was in the car of the family that picks her up for church on Sundays.  She said they didn’t come to get her and now she knew why because we were renting their car!  The second visit was to a family who had been baptized.  They started teaching the older daughter first and that led to the rest of the family.  While we were there teaching we had an open air kava bar on one side, a volleyball game on the other and their little daughter running in and out.  This didn’t stop the sisters from teaching and testifying.  The Lord is in His work.

We went to the West Zone’s training meeting on Wednesday.  It was great, taught by Elder Michelson and Elder Whippy.  They started the meeting by having all the missionaries go out with their companion and find someone to teach.  They gave them times to set up the appointments.  Everyone came back having made an appointment; a great hands on lesson about finding.  We stopped to eat lunch and when we walked in the whole zone had gone there too! 

I also had the opportunity to go out with another sister threesome Sisters, Bali, Nakibae, and Tauteoli.  We went to teach a young mother.  Apparently her husband would not listen because his Aunt is a Nun in the Catholic Church.  She already has a baptismal date and they were committing her to go to church.  She is quite brave to be studying as no one else in her family is interested.
We also went to an auto shop where the owner and his wife are less active members.  They hope to bring them back.  They joined three years ago.  They told me that they have also taught whoever isn’t busy when they come.  Then they have given referrals to the missionaries in the areas where they live.  Everyone but the owner was busy that day.  We are also excited to have met him as it sounds like he is a better mechanic than the other places we have taken the mission vans for repair.
We went to a baptism in Temaiku on Thursday evening.  This is where they have almost completed a new church building for that area.  They are going to take down the old “bush chapel” and take it to an outer Island to use.  We were able to see two of our former missionaries, Sister Bauro, and Elder Eneri.  We are so excited because they are dating and they make such a wonderful couple!  
Friday we had a zone conference.  Tom walked in with a dirty wrinkled shirt, short tie, pants rolled up, crocs dirty, and sunglasses on his head.  You should have seen the cameras clicking they couldn’t believe it.  I taught first about the importance of preparation before going out for the day, also about when your fishing pole should be in the water. 

Tom gave the first vision. He wiped his nose with his tie a couple of times as he was teaching.  He asked if the way he was dressed detracted from his mission.  Sometimes the missionaries get into bad habits that detract from the great message they are teaching.  So hopefully they got a reminder of missionary standards.  He also used a mirror and asked everyone what they saw in themselves.  Do they see their divine identity?  He then put a picture of Christ on the mirror and asked if we could see his image in our countenance.

We heard testimonies from the new missionaries and six of those who are going home, who are Elders Flynn, Mahe, Toaroba, Brown, and Elder and Sister Bonnemort our mission nurse and her husband.  We will miss them all and wish them well as they move on.  The Bonnemort’s have been wonderful and have taken good care of the missionaries in Kiribati.  Elder Mahe left with us, Elders Flynn and Taorobwa the next week, and Bonnemort’s with Elder Brown will be March 7th.  We ate lunch and then we had interviews with all of the new missionaries.  They are Elders Klatt, Lopez, Koplin, Sias, and Sisters Apinero, Tauteoli, and Kanee who is temporary waiting for her visa to go to Australia.  We had skyped with them before but it is so great to meet them in person.  They are a great asset.


We invited all of the senior missionaries to dinner on Friday evening, we had a very enjoyable evening.
On Saturday morning Tom went to a baptism in Buota.  It was the final baptism for Elder Mahe.  He then went to the Priesthood meeting in the afternoon where he talked, for the East Stake conference.  I spoke at the Saturday night meeting. 

On Sunday, the talks went so long that Tom did not speak.  The stake President wanted Tom to speak instead of him but Tom convinced him that it was more important for him to speak to his stake.  
That evening they had a fireside for the young single adults where they had Tom speak as well as the Barlow’s and the President.  Tom and Elder Bush also had meetings with the two stake Presidencies to help them know that we as a mission want to help the stakes through the wards to bring people back from inactivity and to increase the baptisms.    They all did a great job.  It was fun to spend time with the Barlow’s in Kiribati and Fiji.  We enjoyed spending more time in Kiribati.
We left for Fiji with the Barlow’s and Elder Mahe on Monday morning.  We ate lunch and then we were going to go into town, but we wanted to look on our email to see if there was anything from Scott and Malia.
They had been told that they would deliver their baby on February 5th via a “C” section because the baby was breech.  It was Monday in Fiji and Sunday in Utah.  There was an email from Kristy telling us that Malia’s water had broken and that they were headed to the hospital.  Kristy kept in contact with us.  Little Corban, our miracle grandson, was born at 10:00 pm.  He weighed 5 lbs. 12 oz and 18 inches long, just a little guy but healthy and looking just like his Daddy.  So many prayers have been said on their behalf as they had had a full term still born Ryan, 9 years ago and finally through Invetro were able to conceive again. 

Kristy and Jeff went to the hospital and just waited until Scott came to the nursery.  He said the sweetest sound they have ever heard was the cry they heard as he was delivered.  They sent us videos and we got to see him and Malia right after the birth.  This has been the greatest blessing we could ever hope for.  Our family has been so blessed as we have been serving.  We were promised that our family would be cared for better than if we were not apart.  We thank our Father in Heaven for his birth and for the health and strength he has blessed Malia and Corban with.  We love you little buddy you are truly our miracle baby.  We also felt blessed to be in Fiji when the baby was born because if we had been in Christmas we wouldn’t have been able to skype with them.

We left for Christmas Island on Tuesday night and arrived there early in the morning.  We decided to go there and spend the day this time instead of the entire week.  We were able to have a zone conference and Tom was able to interview Elders Veikau and Butterfield who are the only missionaries there besides the Maybey’s, our wonderful senior couple.  The Mabey’s have been very busy with getting members of Christmas and Fanning to the Temple who were ready.  All the paperwork and organizing the trips were in their hands.  They had a few setbacks of airline tickets and had to move some of the trips to different dates, but all in all things have worked out.  The Maybey’s went with two of the groups and enjoyed first hand much of the work done.  We didn’t like just being there for the day but we felt that was best for this trip.  We will still be going there one more time before we leave and we will be there for a week. 

We are in Hawaii waiting to go back to Majuro tomorrow.  This has been a long trip but a great one.  Amanda had her birthday yesterday February 2nd.  We heard it was a great one.  Thank you all for being so wonderful and for pulling together for Scott and Malia.  We now have thirteen grandchildren two who have been added recently; cute little Kenzie in October and now Corban in January.  We love you all dearly thank you for your support.  God does live and He hears and answers every prayer.  We testify and know that to be true.  We love you all Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President & Sister Shaw  

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