Thursday, April 4, 2013

MIMM Mar. 1st- Mar. 29th

MIMM Mar. 1st-Mar. 29th 2013

Jeff and Amanda got here on Saturday evening!  Just 11 hours late, but they made it!  They look wonderful and it was so good to give them a hug in person!  We were going to take them to a baptism on that day but the plane arrived too late.  The next day Sunday we went to the Rita ward.  The new chapel is so nice and it was fast Sunday so it was great to hear them bear their testimonies.  That evening we went out with the missionaries.  Amanda and I went to an appointment with Sister Tominey and Sister Tebwanei.  We went to the home of a family where the mother and children are active members of the church but the Father is not a member.  We felt the goodness of this man as soon as we walked in their home.  The lesson was on the Priesthood and the blessings received through the Priesthood.  They taught him the lesson and then asked if we would bear testimony.  Amanda and I shared our feelings and we were all touched by the spirit and in tears.  He then bore his testimony in Marshallese and was very emotional.  His wife was also in the room.  We had a kneeling prayer at the end.  We hated to leave because of the great feeling there.  We have since found out that he has a baptismal date set for this month!  We also stopped by to see a lady who I had the opportunity to meet when Kristy, and Malia were here.  She and Malia had both lost a baby and had bonded in our visit.  So I wanted to show her a picture of Scott and Malia’s baby that she had the end of January.  She was excited for them and it was great to see her again.  She is not baptized yet as she needs to get married first, but her son comes all the time with his friends.  They had some baby pigs there and they were so cute.  Jeff had a good experience with Elder McOmie as well.  Tom couldn’t go because he had a meeting.

On Monday it was quite rainy so we decided to go shopping for some souvenirs.  The quys came along also which really wasn’t a good plan!  We also went to Chit Chat for Pizza that day.  In the afternoon we had a combined P day.  We had two different teams and four stations that they had to go to.  Each station had somthing they had to do physically and also questions they had to answer before they could move on.  Seniors were manning the booths and keeping track of their points.  They had to chew gum at the first booth and blow a bubble and then they had to name a book of the Old Testament.  We would cross the book they named off so the next person could not get credit for the same booth.  They then went to the next booth where they had to chew two cookies and then whistle.  Then they had to say an ariticle of faith.  Next they had to blow up a balloon and sit down to pop it.  They had to name a Prophet.  Next they had to eat a doughnut and whistle.  They were then given a reference of a scripture from scripture mastery.  If they could recite the scripture they received two points if they could tell about it they would receive one point.  Then they had to put on a guam which is what the women wear here and a head band with hair and walk down to the next person on their team.  It was hilarious to watch them! 

  On Tuesday we went to Eneco Island.  We were able to borrow some snorkel equipment from the seniors which worked out great.  We also used the canoes and had a lunch there.  It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed our time together.  That evening we had Elders Bitarerei and Watson over for their final dinner.  They were going to be leaving while we were gone.  They are great young men and we wish them the best of everything.

Wednesday we took Jeff and Amanda to the Laura end of the Island and to Laura beach.  We looked for shells and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  That evening we flew to Hawaii.  On Saturday we were able to go to the Hawaii Temple.  We had sent an email to a few of our former Missionaries and asked them to let others know that we would be going to the 10:00 session.  We had three of our former Elder’s Swain, Lowry, and Aisake in the session, and one of our former Sisters, Sister Rotise who was waiting in the celestial room for us.  How great it was to spend this time with them and to see them again.  We then went to lunch with them and also had Elder Tingey come to lunch.

We then went to the PCC where Elder Aisake was our personal guide.  It was so much fun and because he works there we had some privileges.  We were on the front row in the Tongan village where they asked Tom to come up and play the drum.  He was one out of three and of course he was the best!  When we went to the New Zealand village they let him be the chief.  He was welcomed and greeted forehead to forehead and rubbing noses!  It was great to share all of this with Jeff and Amanda.  We also got to go and talk to another former Fijian missionary Elder Moi Moi.  He dances in the

night show and is in all of the different countries dances except for Fijian.  He had run for the President of BYU Hawaii and narrowly missed winning.  We love to see our former missionaries excelling and furthering their education. 

The next day we went to the swap meet at the stadium of the University of Hawaii.  It had been a long time since we have gone there and we enjoyed seeing all of the booths and of course buying some of their goods!

Jeff and Amanda left on Saturday to go to Kawai and we waited until Tuesday to leave for Fiji.  Tom had been going through a lady named Tanya for our Air Pacific travel.  At one point she had mentioned that she had lost a loved one and that she had a lot of questions about death.  He had shared some of the gospel with her on the phone and he said that we would like to meet with her in Fiji.  So she came to our hotel with her daughter.  She was a very gracious lady and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon.  She told us that it had been her husband who had died and that it had been a year since that time.  We will keep in contact with her and hope that she will find some comfort through the Book of Mormon.

The next morning we flew to Kiribati.  We met the Rasmussen’s the new CES couple in Kiribati.  They had been out a couple of weeks and they were delightful.  Also our nurse Sister Cassita is in Kiribati taking good care of our missionaries.  We had visited with some of the Sister Missionaries that day.  They asked Tom if he could come and bless a house of a member who had felt and evil presence there.  We went to the home and Tom blessed it and the lady was very happy that we came.  Her granddaughter lived with her also.  She was going to get baptized that Saturday.  The Sisters told us that they were going to drop her because she was so quiet she would only answer a question by whispering.  So at the baptism they always have those who were baptized bear their testimonies.  This young women got up and she spoke with a very confident voice and bore a sweet testimony of the church.  The Sisters were so happy. 

On Saturday they had a huge celebration for the Relief Society Birthday social.  They combined both stakes and had a meeting in the chapel first with some talks, testimonies and a musical number by our Sister Missionaries.  Then we all went into the cultural center and had a big program of dancing.  Every ward was represented and they also fed the special guests a lunch.  It was great and many times they would ask those of us in the audience to dance!  It lasted all day.  I wish we would have gotten there sooner and I would have danced again with them.  Almost all of the women dress in the blue and gold for the Relief Society colors.

On Sunday we went to the Temaiku chapel.  It was their ward conference.  This is the chapel that is brand new and as you look out from the stand you have a beautiful view of the ocean.  We stayed and went to the YSA Sunday School class where one of our former Missionaries Sister Bauro was teaching.  Then I went to Relief Society and she was also teaching that lesson!  After the block we went over to the house of the Eneri’s so Tom could set apart the Father as his new Mission Counselor.  He is the Father of our former missionary.  Sam the former counselor is going to be leaving and going to Australia for some schooling. 

On Monday we picked up Doctor and Sister Anderson from the airport.  He is the area Doctor for all of the Pacific Missions.  Elders Bradshaw and Bitarerei were also on the same plane.  Elder Bradshaw who has been and A P will finish the rest of his mission in Kiribati.  Elder Bitarerei has completed his mission and was coming home. We had a Sisters get together for P day.  We took them to Buota an end of the Island which Sisters don't serve.  We ate lunch, sang a few songs, played some games and took alot of pictures!  We had a ball!

Tuesday we had the East Zone Conference.  And interviews.  Tom talked about Our Identity and about our Character and reputation.  How our Character is what we are when we think nobody is watching.  How we have a divine identity.  I talked about a talk Elder Packer gave at one of the Mission Presidents seminar, which address’s several things that a Missionary should learn and Know.  First and foremost that it is the Lord’s mission and how we need to put our own selfish needs away and serve with all our might.  How every day is a good day there is no bad weather on a Mission.  Dr. and Sister Anderson gave a presentation about medical matters which was really cute. 

We then had a wonderful lunch prepared by our Senior Missionaries of sloppy joes, pasta salad, chips, jello, and brownies with ice-cream for desert.  Doctor and Sister Anderson gave a good presentation on health and wellbeing.  Then our Zone leaders and District leaders trained.  They all did a great job.  We had interviews before and after the conference.  Wednesday we finished up the interview in Buota. 

On Thursday we had the West Zone Conference.  Same time same place as the other one but

different Missionaries.  We trained on the same things and we also had testimonies of the new people since we last met.  We had the same great lunch and we had the Zone Leaders and District Leaders who trained as well.  They did a great job.  Dr. and Sister Anderson did their training and they got a big kick out of him!  We again had interviews before the conference and after.  It was so good to meet the new Missionaries in person.  We had a Kiribati Sister come from New Zealand.  She will be finishing her Mission with us. Two of our new Missionaries are already on an outer Island and we will probably not have the opportunity to meet them.  That makes us so sad but they are needed where they are.  Thursday we went to Betio for the rest of the interviews.  We have some wonderful Missionaries who are bringing their brothers and sisters of Kiribati into the Gospel.

Saturday we took Dr. and Sister Anderson sightseeing and to a baptism out in Betio.  There were two baptisms and we enjoyed being there.

Sunday we went to the Buota branch with Dr. and Sister Anderson.  They had Relief Society and Priesthood first so we attended those meetings.  In Relief Society we had a lesson on trials and the blessings received by remaining strong.  One dear Sister talked about the faith that she had to exercise because her husband had gone out fishing with two other men three weeks earlier and they had never returned.  He was the counselor in this branch and such a strong member.  She has children and the courage and strength she showed was amazing.  She said she would continue being strong for her children and active so that they will stay active.  This was one of those times when our own trials and troubles seem very small in comparison to this dear Sister.  Dr. Anderson had not seen the Temaiku chapel so we went there again so he could see it.  We ate lunch with all of the seniors who also took turns and fed us each night while we were there.  The meals were delicious and the company even better. 

Mid-week Dr. Anderson had received and email saying that Our airline the one we planned on going back to Majuro on had changed their arrival time to 5:15 P.M. instead of 10:15 A.M.  So we stopped at the airport on the way back to Moroni to see if they knew anything about the change.  We were told that it should land between 1:00 or 2:00 P.M.  Then we talked to Sister Wayas who said that they told her that it would be the normal time.  So take your pick right?!  Our airline had canceled their last three flights from Tarawa to Majuro, and our back up plan would have been to go on Air Pacific before Our airline should land going around the horn instead of direct.  So we got up early on Monday morning and went to the airport who now were saying that it would land between 2:00 and 3:00 P.M.  Talk about organization!  They said that the reason they could not tell us exactly was because the plane comes from Australia to Nauru and then to Kiribati.  So we kept our fingers crossed that it would fly and not break down somewhere as had happened before!  It arrived at 3:30 P.M.  So we were back in Majuro about 5:30 which beats going around the horn except for the mental trauma of wondering if the plane was going to come.  So we were glad to be in Majuro after a long day of waiting to get there!  Sweet Sister Barlow had made us some soup and bread which hit the spot and was so appreciated. 

Tuesday we had a mini Zone Conference so that Dr. and Sister Anderson could be with the missionaries and give their presentation.  So we did not have a lunch just a snack as we didn’t meet as long.  We had testimonies of the new missionaries as well.  After the conference Dr. Anderson spent time with Sister Bulkley our mission nurse, and toured the hospital.  I took Sister Anderson to the craft shops and she loved buying some of their beautiful crafts and jewelry. 

Wednesday we went to lunch with all of our senior missionaries and the Andersons.  They are such a fun couple and so easy to talk to.  I then took them to the Laura beach where we found a few shells and showed them how beautiful that side of the Island is.  That evening we took them to the airport so they could catch their flight to Hawaii. 

We skyped with the next Mission President and his wife again who are in Saudi Arabia.  We had a good connection again which is amazing considering how far away we are!  Sister Weir was headed to Provo on a flight that evening, but President Weir will be staying until the end of May. 

Ethan turned nine on March the 29th.  He is learning Chinese in his school and he has shared some of the words and writing with us.  He is one smart cookie!  We love you Ethan.  We love our Missionaries and thank them for being worthy and willing to serve.  Each time we get a new group they come with more inspiration and training, which strengthens our mission. 

We love all of you.  We are beginning to know how our own son’s and former missionaries have felt as they are rounding up their mission and knowing how difficult it is to leave these wonderful missionaries and people.  Thank you for your prayers and support.  We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.  Hugs and kisses to all Love Mom& Dad Nana& Papa, President & Sister Shaw




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