Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Zone P-day Activity

June 23, 2009 Tuesday Today has been a great day. We began with our usual study time. Then breakfast and we read the family site on the internet. Then language study. Then we got into our playclothes and went to Sapuk with the rest of the missionaries in this zone (all of this island, plus the 3 sets that serve on the outer islands). We all hiked up to the Japanese lighthouse. It was a great hike. We really enjoyed ourselves. The lighthouse was built years ago by the Japanese, but now it is deserted and partially ruined. It is a tourist attraction here on Chuuk. We have been wanting to go.
Anyway, one of the elders (an island elder from Tonga or Fiji or somewhere like that) brought along his ukelele. They got to playing and singing. It was lovely. We took lots of pics and even a movie of the boys singing. You might try googling "Chuuk Japanese Lighthouse" and see what you find. Then Chuck and I left early, since we had to teach in Mwan at 2 today. We got almost all the way down before the elders caught up with us. We drove home, grabbed a very quick bite, and very fast showers, and took off for Mwan.
In Mwan we taught the Temple Preparation class Lesson 4. The spirit was really obvious. A man was there who did not plan to be there. He had been working on the building (works for the FM group) and, for some strange reason, he walked in and sat down. He has very good English, so he translated for us. Now, it is very difficult to feel the spirit when teaching through a translator. But it wasn't difficult today! He got all choked up and couldn't speak. Then the others, realizing what was happening, got all choked up. So we asked them all if they had any feelings they wanted to tell about. Bro Joseph spoke first....a powerful testimony. Then his wife, then Branch President Matisima, then another sister that was there and then Sister Walter. There was much of wiping tears away. Wow! Really powerful. I think there are some very special people in that group. Some have been preparing for many, many years to get to the temple. It is soooo expensive for them. Plus they need passports, and plane tickets, and arrangements made a year in advance. We are hoping to go to the temple with them in August.
Then we drove back home, had a very quick bite to eat and Chuck left to go back to Mwan. Pres. Matisima had invited him to a 'men only' get together to celebrate Father's Day. Cookies and punch and visiting. So that is where he went. I am here, waiting for the elders to come and get baptismal clothing. Plus we have an email from Elder Wood's mother that contains pictures of her first grandchild (and Elder Wood's first nephew). So we will let him read the email and see the pics while he is here. He serves on Tonoas, and there isn't any type of internet there.
Last night we watched 9 of the videos that go with the Seminary Book of Mormon lessons. We are trying to select a few to translate into Chuukese, since so many of our teachers and most of the students do not have enough English understanding to get anything out of those movies. We are certain we want to translate the one about "Spiritual Crocodiles". Do you remember that one? Good, isn't it?
This coming Saturday I will be teaching at the Mechitiw branch RS activity Day. They want me to teach them how to make apple butter, using their Chuukese apples. I have NO idea how it will turn out, as I have never made it with Chuukese apples. We shall see.
You know, standing in the middle of the green lush jungle today, we could hear the elders still singing up at the lighthouse, we could hear the birds singing, and it was hushed and quiet. We really are blessed to be serving in an island paradise. Sure, the power goes out, there is garbage all over, the roads are worse than horrible, the shopping is very limited, but it IS STILL an island paradise. And the people here deserve to have the truth of God just as much as any other people in the world. Notice how often in the Book of Mormon they refer to the people on the "isles of the sea". God is very aware of these groups that are scattered from the House of Israel. And He has sent us here to serve them. I'm sure glad He did!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our 44th Wedding Anniversary

The picture had some power lines in it and I sent it to Connie McIntosh and she took the lines out and sent it back. That is sunrise in Chuuk.

Our Anniversary day began slowly and ended nicely. We began with our usual Book of Mormon study. Ate the usual cold cereal with our boxed 'shelf milk' (mine was Silk) and then dug into our work. We worked on Seminary and Institute lists, rolls, and registration cards. I did a load of whites and hung them out back to dry and then worked on the paperwork some more. Elder Duncan drove down to Telecom to meet Branch President Sam Roby (who is also the seminary teacher on his island) to work on his paperwork with him.
We had some leftovers for lunch and did more paperwork and got ready to go out. Drove to the Post Office to mail a letter to Guam, and get our mail. We had decided to get our own post office box (since about 30 different families use Box 861 along with all the local missionaries and us), but the post office doesn't have any more boxes. Oh well, you can't buy what they don't have!
We drove down to the dock and caught the Mwan missionaries who were getting ready to get on the boat to Tonoas and Uman for missionary exchanges. We worked out some things with them, and then drove down to the Mwan chapel to visit with the District President. Had a good mtg with him. Then we drove back into town and shopped a bit. Then drove to High Tide restaurant for our anniversary dinner and they were closed for another hour. So we drove to Andersen Field and watched the kids play and race. We stayed in the truck and worked on language. Eventually the kids came over to the truck and started talking to us. So we rolled the windows down and had them help us with the language. It was a lot of fun.
At 6 pm we drove back to High Tide and got there just as they opened. We went in and ordered (we were the only customers there). I had sweet and sour pork with garlic rice and Elder Duncan had pulled pork Chuukese delight. As we ate, other customers came in. Island power went off and the backup light came on. After about 10 minutes island power resumed, but only for a few minutes. While we ate, island power went off 4 times. Here, that is very normal and totally accepted.
The 'salad' served with our meal was in a bowl that was as big around as the circle Elder Duncan makes with his middle finger and thumb. Seriously, that was the size of it. The salad was about 2 1/2 bites. Fresh salad makings are VERY hard to find here....even for the restaurants. The meal Elder Duncan wanted was not available tonight, that is also very common.
But we enjoyed our special day. Got a lot of good work done and still found time to 'celebrate' a bit. Now it's late and we are going to bed. Nite nite.
ps This is the rainy season and it didn't rain today! But it sure was hot.