Friday, October 23, 2009

In anticipation of leaving early in the morning, I was awake in every hour of the night. I was awake when the clock changed to 4:00 AM and I woke Sue. We arose, had Individual Prayers, prepared for the day, ate cold cereal and left the house at 4:35 AM. We drove to the Mwan boat dock where the new Mwan Chapel is being built and Herman Walter was already there. He opened the gate for us. We woke S-Mate Otup and Bricker Walter, the boat helper; they were sleeping on the cement sea wall and even the flash light in their faces didn’t wake them. Herman had to speak to them to wake them. Bricker, the new helper got the shuttle boat close to shore for us and we got in. He polled us all out to the missionary boat. We used flashlights. It was still pitch dark when we pulled away. I took lots of pictures to see what the camera could record as the sun finally rose.
The water was like glass, not even enough ripples to see where the reefs were, so Herman slowed down to see better. We watched the sun come up as we arrived at Uman. We walked to the church and Samper Billy was already there. We attended his class. He had 3 students show up. KJan Jack was the seminary teacher last year and he is in the class as a student this year. He seemed very happy to be there.
Brother Billy had put up on the board 2 Nephi 25:30 to study today. But the Chuukese Book of Mormon does not have that part of the Book of Mormon translated. He asked if we were going to teach and we said he could and we might do a Scripture Mastery activity after he was done. So he went to the next chapter that was translated; chapter 29. He had us all take turns reading some verses and then he would talk a while in between them. I read 2 long verses and was pleased I did as well as I did. It was a good class. I was so glad he recovered from what he had put on the board and still taught a good lesson.
He turned it to us and Sister Duncan wrote the 6 scripture references on the left side of the brownboard and the clues mixed up on the right and had the students come up one at a time to connect them correctly. Then she told the students to remember all 6 of them and we did another Scripture Mastery game where 2 of them come up and write the reference on the board after Sister Duncan gave them clues in Chuukese. The first one to get it right gets a ‘high-5’ I did the erasing of the board. The last one she did was having us all stand in a circle and reciting the scripture from slips of paper she had typed out in Chuukese. I think they liked the ones at the brownboard better.
We turned it back to Samper Billy and he picked the closing song and called on KJan Jack to offer the Closing Prayer. They all shook our hands and left when they were ready. We gathered our things and thanked Samper for teaching. He seemed pleased.
We walked back to the boat dock and Herman was ready for us. We had an exceptionally smooth ride home. Back on Weno, we bought him 20 gallons of gas at a cost of $79.00 and took it back to them. That is what it cost us for the boat to take us out to the Uman Island. We will get that reimbursed to us next month when we turn in the receipts. Then we came straight home. I down loaded the pictures. Sue peeled and we ate 2 kiwi; YES, Kiwi here on Chuuk. They were both quite tart but we ate them anyway. We deleted quite a few of the pictures that were too dark and enjoyed looking at the rest. But it was a very successful morning and we got back to our apartment about 9 AM. We had already put in 4.5 hours of S&I work and really enjoyed it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Here is the report of a great day in the life of the Duncan Missionaries. We did our Book of Mormon studies. Sue cooked Oatmeal for breakfast because it seems to last longer when we go on the ocean. I called the Zone Leaders and they said the Uman Elders hadn’t called in yet, but they said Herman Walter told them yesterday he needed at least 10 gallons of gas to make the trip to Paata and Romanum. We had just been killing time so we hustled then. We drove to Herman’s across from the New Chapel site, picked up 6 of their 5 gallon jugs for gas and drove back to town to get them filled; $120. Then we drove back to Mwan again. We had asked to leave at 9 so we would get away by 9:30. We climbed in the little boat to take us out to the Missionary boat actually before 9:30. They had to put the 30 gallons of gas in the Missionary boat and unhook it from its mooring ropes. We started moving out to sea at 9:40 so we were not that far behind.

The ocean was as smooth as I have ever seen it. It had a glass like quality. So Esmei ran the boat at full speed till we got fairly close to Paata. Then a heavy rain storm descended on us. They couldn’t see a thing because the storm blotted out all the islands. He cut the motors back till we were just drifting. They opened a center window in the front and tried to wash the windshield, but that didn’t work and the rain came in the window and just drenched the new boat helper. It was amazing how much water was coming down. Eventually it lightened up and we could see again. We resumed our journey. It only took us 40 minutes to reach Paata, even with the rain delay. We had planned an hour. In rougher seas it would have taken the hour.

They put us off at the dock and we told them we should be back by 1:15 or 1:30. This was only our second time to Paata by way of the dock. The Elders had led us in once before, but everything was so new then, we were a bit concerned that we might not find our way through the housing. But we did fine.

The trail had water running down it from the heavy rain storm, so walking was a bit difficult. We were early so we took our time. We found new ways around some of the ‘lakes’ in the trail and it was a good hike. It took us about 22 minutes to hike from the dock to the Mormon Church on Paata.

President Sam Roby was at the Church when we arrived. We sat in the shade outside the Chapel to just talked awhile. He gave us each a green coconut to drink. Then I asked if we could go inside. We went to his office and had prayer. We went through what Seminary needs to be called Seminary. Then we asked if he wanted to do that. He said he did. We were interrupted by the Chief of this village coming to meet us. We had some light talk with him with Sam translating for us. Then The Cheif just sat and listened to us teach Sam about Seminary in English. President Roby's English is pretty good.

The kids were gathering as President Roby had told them we would show a video. So we went in the chapel and set up to show the 4th video on agency. Sue taught the first part in Chuukese and I showed the video. Then she did the closing. Sam restated some of it now and then to help the students understand. The Chief of the village stayed to watch the Video and actually gave the closing prayer.

They brought in Fried Tapioca and cooked banana’s covered in coconut milk for lunch. He gave us another coconut to drink. We told him we would share one. I thought the food was wonderful. We had brought granola bars to eat, but didn’t need them now.

We hiked back to the boat and arrived about 1:10 which was early. But they were ready for us and we got on the boat. The water was still just like glass. It was a very smooth ride to the Romanum Island. We had to wait a while for the Elders to come back from a service project. Then we did their Apartment Inspection. Their water pump is broken and said they didn’t have water to clean.

We waited for Tasiana Wolbert to come. I took some pictures and got a movie of Elder South giving Elder Ako a bucket shower. South just climbed up on the water tanks got a 5 gallon bucket of water and started pouring it over Elder Ako who was standing in just a pair of knee length shorts.

Sister Wolbert said her class wasn’t starting until 4 or 4:30. We had our meeting with her alone, had prayer and just discussed her concerns. She asked that we play the 2nd Video and do a Scripture Mastery Activity for her today. She started the class about 4:10 and had 5 or 6 seminary kids and 10 to 15 younger ones attend the class. I showed the video and stopped and started it so she could read the Chuukese translation. We lost the attention of the younger ones while she was reading the translation. But it turned out okay in the end.

Then Sue did a Scripture Mastery Activity. She had written the first 6 scripture references on the left of the greenboard and wrote the content in a different order on the right. She had the students come up one at a time and draw a line to the right one. It was slow, but they seemed to enjoy it. We gave them a ‘high 5’ when they got it right. Then she had 2 of them stand back in the room and she would start to read a scripture and they would come up and write the reference on the greenboard. They were somewhat hesitant, but we got all to participate, in fact, Tasiana did one also. It was fun and the kids laughed a lot. We had a closing prayer about 5 and helped clean up. We packed our things and headed out.

Esmei and the boat crew had been playing basketball with other Romanum men and boys. They had been quite noisy, but we ignored them during the class. They got the boat ready and we headed for home. The water was so glassy you could see individual palm trees in the reflection on the water as we slipped away. The compass said we were going due east and the sun was going down directly behind us. As we pulled up to the dock the sun was just half way down on the edge of the ocean. It was beautiful. What a beautiful place to live. We felt so good with what we got accomplished today.

We felt it was a very successfull day. It makes all the work we put into this calling worthwhile. We love the Lord and what He has called us to do here on the Islands of Chuuk. We truly pray that we touched hearts and built testimonies today.