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!

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