Tuesday, June 11, 2013

May 12 - 31, 2013

We spent Mother’s Day in Hawaii.  Thank you for your special emails they all meant so much to me.  We had a representative from the moving company come over to see what we will be shipping home.  They will not be coming to back until June 21st.  That’s good and bad.  We will be able to get more handicraft gifts for the family but our things will not arrive for a couple of months.

Back arrived back in Majuro early Tuesday morning.  We can’t tell you how blessed we feel that we were able to come back to finish our Mission. 
On Wednesday, we went to the Delap District meeting.  Elder Vano is the District leader and he is doing a great job.  The Districts usually like to see us come because we bring cookies with us.

We attended a baptism in Long Island on Saturday.  It was a couple that Sister Tominey and Sister Tebwanei taught.  It is so wonderful to have both of them because then they will raise their children in the church.  Also Sunday evening we had the Assistants Elder McComie and Elder Bradshaw over for dinner.  Elder Bradshaw will be returning to Kiribati so we wanted to share a few moments with them.
Monday, we had soup night with the senior couples at the Wayas’ apartment.  It was great to be together.  The Woods and us don’t have much more time to enjoy each other’s company.

Tuesday, we invited Elder & Sister Barlow for dinner.  They are so great and help with many assignments to make the mission run smoothly. 
Wednesday, we left for Kiribati.  We were able to go on Our Airline so we arrived there in a little over an hour!  We hope that this Airline will continue to fly; right now it is on a trial basis. 

Thursday, we went to the Airport to meet our new intake of missionaries.  They are Elder Iotebwa and Sisters Alafoki, Anitoni, Lavulavu, Mafi, Tureira and senior sisters Talataina and Ucunabaravi-these are our first Senior Sisters and we are excited that they have been called.  They are all so excited to be here and to start their service.  We also received eight new missionaries in Majuro-Elders Bascom, Boaden, Duiriba, Faleono (18 yr old), Whetstone and Sisters Crane (19 yr old), Samuel and Tofa . We are grateful that they all arrived safely and are anxious to meet them. 
We had training for the Kiribati Missionaries in the Tune’s old home where we were staying.  Tom and I had to leave early to attend a devotional meeting with the Moroni students.  We both spoke and they had a student give a scripture and then they had some students sing a couple of songs for us.  One was “In the Hollow of His hand” and “Fare thee Well” song that we both love.  It was such a sight to see all of the Moroni students there and so emotional to hear these songs.  After the training was over we had lunch with everyone thanks to the seniors and then we did some final interviews.  Our interviews were with Elders Tui, Simpson, Faulke, and Bradshaw and Sister Balenacagi.  They will all be leaving before the next zone conference which will be with President and Sister Weir.  Wow!

On Friday, we had our Zone Conference.  I spoke on the worth of Souls and Tom trained on the information we received at the Mission Presidents Seminar.  We also had the incoming and the outgoing missionaries bear their testimonies. 

We had lunch thanks to the seniors which was spaghetti, bread sticks, salad, and cake.  After lunch we had testimonies from the missionaries in regards to their reading of the Book of Mormon; they were to choose a principle or ordinance and during their reading mark  passages that pertained to their topic.  The testimonies were so good and they seemed to gain a lot of insight by doing this.  Tom had challenged them in March all to read the entire book by the time we met again in zone conference.  Tom finished the meeting and then we sang the mission song.  This brought many tears from us knowing that this was the last meeting with all of them.  Sister Cassita then presented us with T-shirts that had a picture of the Kiribati Missionaries on the back.  Also a lava lava which had all of their signatures on it.  What wonderful keepsakes these will be.  We then had the opportunity to hug all of them before they all left.  We have the best missionaries in the world.

Saturday, we had a Leadership meeting with all the Zone & District and Sister Training Leaders.  This is a first for the Sisters to be involved.  The meeting went well and we were impressed with all of their input.

That evening they had the West Stake Cultural evening.  Each ward came up with a song and three dances which they were all judged on.  It was a beautiful evening and the dancing took place on Moroni campus.  These people are so talented and they all did a super job.  The Temaiku Branch ended up winning.  We saw many of our former missionaries performing in their wards; we always love to see them especially this time before we go home.  The stake fed us dinner.  We were so grateful that they waited to have this until we could return. 
On Sunday, we attended the Eita ward.  Then later on we had dinner with the seniors at the Osborn’s apartment.  They seniors fed us all week which was so nice and good. 

Monday, we left for Fiji.  Some of our missionaries, who were in the airport district, came to say goodbye.  The Zone Leaders came as well, and most of the seniors.  Wow, what a world wind of emotions and love we have for our missionaries and the people of Kiribati.   We are so blessed to have this opportunity to learn life’s lessons from the wonderful people in our missions and from our missionaries.  We need to slow down, have faith, love life and be thankful for our many blessings.  The gospel is simple and is the plan of happiness.  The Lord cares for each of us and he will help us be strong.  We love you all, Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / President & Sister Shaw

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