Friday, June 7, 2013

April & May 2013

On April 23 & 24 we had all of the missionaries from the Majuro side come to the mission home to watch General Conference.  We love being able to do this together and wish that we could also do it in Tarawa.  As you all know conference was amazing; many wonderful messages and things to improve on.  We also always feed them lunch both days which adds to the excitement of the missionaries!

On Saturday, we attended baptisms in Uliga.  There were three that evening.  Delap and Uliga have had a lot of success for a while.  It is wonderful to see the joy that the gospel brings to people’s lives.  We just have to keep the fire kindled so that they stay active and strong.

On Sunday, we attended Long Island Ward.  This ward is growing and the leadership is really catching the vision of all that they can do to help bring the lost sheep back, and help the members to be a part of the missionary effort.  It’s exciting that this is the same thing that is happening throughout the Church worldwide. 

Monday, we took off to our mission President’s seminar in Sydney, Australia.  We flew to Hawaii and then on to New Zealand.  We landed on Wednesday early morning.  We slept for a couple of hours.  Then the Hilbourne's, who live in Auckland, come and picked us up to take us around to see some sights.  They were our Physical Facilities couple who went home in February.  They took us to see many beautiful places and it was so neat to catch up with them and to be able to go to their home for dinner.  They also invited some of our former missionaries; Elder Faalogo came with his parents.  He was a super missionary, and we were sad to hear that his brother who was handicapped had passed away just three weeks earlier.  I remember him telling us that he was serving his mission for his brother who wanted to serve so badly but would not be able to.  Two other missionaries; Elder Afioga, and Sister Hansen who got married afterwards were also there!  They were both outstanding missionaries so it was so exciting that they connected after their mission.  It was so fun to see them all.  Elder Lavelua’s parents came as well.  He is presently serving in Majuro.  Elder Lavelua looks just like his Dad!  They have another son who is presently serving a mission, and they were going to find out that night where another one of his brothers was going!  These are amazing families and we felt of their love for their families and the Church.  The Hilbourne’s are busy in their church callings and in remodeling their homes.  We love them so much.

We left on Friday morning to go to Sydney.  We met up with the Elder & Sister Pearson of the area Presidency and President & Sister Lekias, Mission President and wife from Auckland New Zealand at the airport.  We arrived early afternoon and got to our hotel which was the Marriot.  We went out to sightsee a little bit with the Pearson’s and the Langland’s, who are the Mission President and wife from Brisbane, Australia.  President Langland is the brother of Sister Pearson!  Also the Lifert’s came; President and wife of another Australia Mission.  She served as a counselor in the General Primary Presidency beforehand.  They’re all wonderful people whom we love and have enjoyed getting to know better at the seminars.  We ate lunch on the pier, which was a beautiful setting.  The world famous Opera house was just across on the other side and the famous bridge was right behind us.  We decided to tour the Opera House which was awesome and quite the story behind it.  That evening we all went on the Sydney Harbor Dinner Cruise.  The food was great and the company even better.  The pier was so pretty with everything lite up.  They really spoil us at these seminars!  They always give us a goody bag and a gift to remind us of the seminar.  This time it was a boomerang that had a metal plate on it with the date of the seminar.  We love to rub shoulders with the Pacific Mission Presidents and wives we learn so much from them and have made lifelong friendships.

The next morning we started our
training.  Our Area Presidency and Wives, the Hamula’s, Pearson’s and Watson’s are so amazing.  We had some outstanding training from the Presidency.  That afternoon we went to the Sydney Temple.  It took about an hour and a half to get there.  Right by the Temple is a service center where they had prepared a nice dinner for all of us before going to the Temple for a session.  It was a great experience to be there.  What strength we feel as our session is made up of only our group.

On Saturday morning we had more training and the Area Seventies for the Pacific Area were also at this training.  They then had all of the Presidents and wives who would be leaving in July bear their testimonies.  I remember the first seminar we attended as they had the outgoing Presidents and wives bear testimony I thought to myself this day will never come for us!  I have to say that it came much quicker than I ever anticipated or wanted it to.  We ate lunch and then said goodbye to everyone.  That evening we had dinner with the Klinglers, President and wife of the Fiji Mission.  We were both not flying out till the next day. 
Tom has had a weakness and continual pain in his both biceps for about eight months.  It wasn’t so bad at first but it seemed to be getting much worse.  So the Area Doctor had suggested that he get a MRI in Hawaii to see what was going on.  We mailed the results to Dr. Doty in Salt Lake.  It took ten days for him to get them.    Doctor Doty sent them to a former Neurologist who said that it showed considerable degeneration of three of the disks in his neck.  A bone spur, and the possibility of a pinched nerve. They also said that his shoulders showed a tear in one of his rotator cuffs.  We were headed directly to Fiji on Sunday and then on to Tarawa for two weeks.  At first they said that we might have to cut our trip short to Tarawa.  Then we were told that we would probably be trying to get into a Neurologist in Hawaii.  Then within three hours of our flight to Fiji we were told that we needed to go to Salt Lake City for a seven to ten day stay so that Dr. Doty could get us into the specialist he thought we should see, and that we were to go to the airport and catch the flight from Sydney to Los Angeles and then onto Salt Lake!  Our heads were spinning at that point and we think that they assumed that he would have to have surgery. 
So now back to our dilemma.  We felt num as we boarded the airplane for a seventeen hour flight to Salt Lake.  As we arrived tired but excited to see our family.  They were all there and they were an amazing sight! 
  We went to our house where Paul’s family is still living until the middle of June.  They shifted things around so that we could have our bedroom.  It was bittersweet to be there because we really didn’t want to go home yet, but at the same time we were thrilled to see our family.

The next day Tom had an appointment with one of the best Neuro Surgeons in Utah.  He looked at the MRI results and confirmed that his neck was not in the best shape and that it could possibly be pinching a nerve.  Then he asked him if he had tinkling and numbness down both arms and he said no.  He had him move his arms to different positions and said this is not a neck problem this is a shoulder problem.  So, the next day we had an appointment with the best shoulder specialist who immediately could tell that he had something called frozen shoulders.  A capsule forms on the joint and then limits movements and had been causing the pain.  We were so relieved that it was not a rotator cuff problem.  The next day we went to a Physical Therapist, you guessed it one of the best in Utah.  He was wonderful and helped Tom with some therapy and gave him a schedule and routine of exercise’s to do to help him resolve the problem.  The capsules which had formed were causing the irritation and the pain.  If the therapy works he may not need surgery when we get home again!  We are totally convinced that things turned out the way they did because of all of the prayers on his behalf.  Dr. Doty said if we had been in Hawaii we would still probably be waiting to get into see somebody.  It all made sense at this point to us. 
The best part is that we are now on an airplane returning to Hawaii and then on to Majuro to finish our Mission.  Miracles do happen and we feel so blessed.  Seeing our family was a little teaser!  We love them all so much and know that they have been praying for Tom to get better.  We don’t know what we did to deserve such wonderful children and grandchildren.  We were able to be with our two new babies, Kenzie who is now seven months and Corban, who is three months old. 
How special that was and they both were fine with us.  We were able to be with Bryant for a few hours of his Birthday which was also sweet.  My Dad who is ninety, and Jeanne were a wonderful sight as well.  We love them all so much.  The Lord just keeps pouring out the blessings.  We know that Heavenly Father is in charge of this work and that many miracles and blessings will occur with the great number of new missionaries who are being called.  In our Mission we will be excited to have some companionships simply working on rescuing lost sheep back to the fold.  The field is white and the time is now to step up the work throughout the world.  We love you all Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President & Sister Shaw

1 comment:

Kent and Kathy Moser said...

I think going home and then back must feel like going into overtime at a ball game. haha. Glad he is doing okay and hope you enjoy this last month.