Monday, November 15, 2010


On November 13, 2010 we did an S&I social in Sapuk. This was for about half our students, just the ones which live on Weno Island. About 75-80 young people attended. We began with a short meeting, then we had a carnival and the kids had fun with ringtoss, bean-bag toss, a scripture mastery activity, Limbo, and puzzles (Mormon-ad posters, cut into pieces). After a while we got volleyball started and then set up two tables of ping pong. The kids had a good time. The District Presidency provided meals for all of us, and then we handed out cookies.

Our S&I Supervisor came and brought a video. As you can see, the kids really enjoyed it.

Suetriann tossing a beanbag. The object was to land one beanbag on a Chuukese word, and the second beanbag on the matching word in English. If you were successful, you got a candy!

The scripture mastery game "Run to the Board" was a hit! Here two girls from the Mwan branch compete to see who can write the correct reference first and get a candy!

Brandy Henry from Mwan and Suetriann Ande from Sapuk ready to "run to the board"! Notice that each of them is trying to hold the other one back.

Osimichy Kata of Sapuk, trying his skill going under the Limbo bar.

The carnival. The kids had fun and enjoyed the candy "prizes" they won.

The ring toss game was very popular. There were 17 questions that the students could answer, depending on which number they got. Questions about church history, scripture mastery, and local church leaders.

Freddie Nicerio, our S&I supervisor from Guam, and President Matasio Wainis, the District President.

Ensenina Stanley and Niena Kin from the Mechitiw Branch.

Three young ladies from Sapuk. Suetrian Ande, Elaine Choffat, Soreana Onno.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Seminary and Institute on Chuuk

We have almost completed our first month of Seminary and Institute classes for the 2010-2011 year. We have visited all the different classes and we remembered to take pictures of most of them, but not all. I will post the ones that we have pictures of and when we go back again I will take pictures, if I remember. Then if I remember I will post them later.

We have over 100 kids registered in Seminary and Institute in Chuuk right now. They are attending in 9 different classes on 4 different islands. The District Presidency tries very hard to have local teachers do the teaching. So we help them learn what needs to be done and how to do it. We meet with all the teachers once a month and have them come in by boat to attend. We teach a 2 hour or 2.5 hour inservice meeting. But we involve the teachers heavily in that. They do part of the teaching, using their own experiences to help others learn.

These are our teachers, gathered in Mwan's new building for our Inservice Meeting.

These are the Students that attended Mechitiw's Seminary and Institute class. They are a great group of kids. The boy on the left does a lot of translating for us if we need him to. He is good with both Chuukese and English.

This is Mwan's Institute class. They are a wonderful group of kids and Sandra Matisima is a wonderful teacher. She has taught for many years, both Seminary and Institute.

Romanum's class is being taught by Missionaries because their teacher quit before the first class of the year. But they think they have another teacher now so the Missionaries will not be the teachers, if the individual accepts the calling.

The Missionaries (one on each side) teach in Sapuk. It is a combined Seminary and Institute class and they took most of the honors at last years Scripture Chase. But it was a different set of Missionaries teaching back then. They have great class participation and love their class.

Mwan's Seminary Class is our largest one. They only had 13 here this day, but most of the time they have about 23 attending. Oriko Ewar is a great teacher and she has a lot of enthusiasm which carries over to the kids.

This was our smallest class. There are 2 girs in the class and the teacher. I was explaining some things to them when Sister Duncan took the picture. The teacher just graduated from Seminary last year and she is only 17 years old.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well, it has been WAY too long since we last updated this Blog! Shame on us. But we really have been quite busy. Here is what we have done this summer:

We have taught Temple Preparation classes on Romanum island. There were 5 people in the class: two young couples and one older man. Romanum has only ONE endowed member and she spends much of her time here on Weno island. Anyway, we went by boat out to Romanum every Wednesday morning for 7 weeks. Romanum is a BEAUTIFUL island, and we enjoy going there.

We also had the opportunity to hike up to the top of Romanum with the Elders when they went up there for baptismal interviews. Great family up there. They will be a wonderful addition to the Branch there.

Also, we have taught English classes in both the Mwan Branch and the Mechitiw Branch. We have a lot of fun with those classes. Most of the students are the young people. But some adults usually attend. English is taught in the schools, but some kids do not go to school. We have one girl in Mechitiw who is 14 years old and has never gone to school. She will begin attending school this fall. She can’t read at all…..not even Chuukese.

We also attended a Couple’s Conference in Guam in July. That was fun and very informative as well. We played putt-putt golf and shopped at a Mall. Those things are unheard of here in Chuuk.

Now we are busy preparing for this coming school year. We had Inservice Meeting on Aug. 7, and 8 teachers attended. But we were very surprised to find that some of them do not read and understand English. Since ALL of the teaching materials are in English this year, we assumed that all the teachers would be able to read English. But, not so. It’s going to be a challenge to help those teachers this year, but we are up for the challenge!
Right now we are busy doing personal one-on one orientations with the teachers. We are half done. This Saturday we will go to Uman island and do orientations for the two teachers there. They are very young (not yet 20). But the District President has called them to teach, so they will do the best they can.
This summer has been cooler than last summer and we are SO grateful!! We have had very few miserably hot days. Plus island power has been on again-off again most of the summer. So we have been on back-up generator quite a lot, and we can run all three A/C units for FREE when we are on generator! We take very opportunity to cool the apartment down.
The HORRIBLE roads here in Chuuk are being re-done, but it is very slow progress. I do not think we will see any completed roads before we leave here the end of November.
We love our mission here. We have learned SO MUCH about how the church grows in these far-away corners of the world. We love the people here. And we can speak the language well enough to communicate with the people. And so the adventure continues!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday May 29, 2010, we had our Seminary Graduation. We have now completed the Book of Mormon year in the islands of Chuuk.
On the way to Graduation, we picked up the bakery cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip and coconut cookies at Truk Stop; enough to feed 110 people. At the new Mwan Chapel, we set up for the meeting.
We talked to Sam Roby and found out that one of the students we have been carrying on his roll all year long was only 11 years old. He, of course, could not receive a Certificate of Completion. We asked the Seminary students to set in the center. The adults sat on the sides. Brother Freddie Nicerio had made up 50 copies of the program, so we gave each of the Seminary Students one as they came in the door. At start time, Romanum had not arrived yet, so we waited a bit, but as they did not arrive, we started. We had them sing to the organ which plays the songs like a player piano. But it plays them fast like they are sung in the states. Many of the Seminary students had never sung the songs that fast. In Chuuk, they sing them slow and with a lot of pauses in them.
We did have to make some adjustments in the program. The girl from Romanum who was to give the Opening Prayer wasn’t there. So President Wainis asked the young man who was to give the Closing Prayer to give the Opening Prayer instead.
We handed out a special Recognition Certificate to each of the teachers and I read a short positive statement about each of them. I had President Wainis translate it. TM Mailo was there in his wheel chair, but when Sister Duncan wheeled him over to receive his, he wanted to stand to receive it. So he did. Mostly on his right leg, but he could use his left a bit. It was a very touching scene. Then his Branch President wheeled him back.
Ricksita Ichin from Mwan introduced the theme from 1 Nephi 3:7. She gave a well prepared talk. For a musical number, all the Seminary students sang “The Books in the Book of Mormon”. Then both our 4-year graduates, Bryleen Rotuk and Osimichy Yomichy Kata from Sapuk spoke. Both talks were very well done.
We handed out the Book of Mormon Certificates of Completion. Sister Duncan called their name and they came up one at a time and received the Certificate from President Wainis and shook his hand, then shook mine. We had their Branch President stand in line with us and shake their hand also. We skipped Romanum since they still had not arrived, and started to recognize those that received the Certificate of Achievement and Graduation. We had them all standing when Romanum arrived. So we had them set back down. We recognized Tasiana Wolbert for teaching this year and we handed out the Certificates of Completion to the Romanum Students.
Then we had those receiving the Certificate of Achievement and Graduation stand again. Sister Duncan reminded me to give the required statement of presentation, and President accepted the students. We had each student come up and receive their Certificate of Achievement. Then we called the two graduates up and gave them special recognition for their four years of hard work.
It was a bit out of sync because of Romanum coming in late, but everything got covered and we handed out 81 awards to 50 students and 11 teachers. It was a very rewarding day.
President Wainis announced we wanted to take pictures of all the students, and also asked them not to eat in the chapel. We had our Closing Song. He called on President Masauo from Tonoas to give the Closing Prayer because the Romanum girl had not come on the boat.

I went to the breeze way and directed the students into the cultural hall. It went better than expected. Some of the kids didn’t come to get their awards and some wouldn’t come in to get their picture taken. But we got most of them; 56 students in the picture.

Then we had the ones that received awards stay and let the rest go out to eat. We only got 32 of the 51 students plus 11 teachers in that picture. That was disappointing to me. But some just would not come in and be a part of it and some had not come at all.

Then we got shots of the 2 4-year graduates with their Branch President, Elder Tuaitanu who is also their seminary teacher, and us.

We helped with the handing out of the refreshments. Sue had asked Marsine Joseph, Herael Sowas and Sandra Matisima to help hand out the refreshments. It worked quite well. We ran out of goodies so got our pan of brownies and 2 dozen cookies from the truck for them.

As people left, we helped with the clean up and then Sister Matisima had a meal of bread fruit in a green sauce, reef fish, chicken leg, and rice for the teachers. We ate some with them. It was a great day for us and we felt it was a very successful year.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

On Saturday April 17, 2010, we had our Namoneas District Scripture Mastery Activity for all of the Seminary Students in the Chuuk Branches and it was a huge success. We had about 70 kids there of the 100 that are registered and we feel that is very good because some of those that registered early in the year have moved away.

These are the kids gathered to enjoy the events of the day.

We met in the old Mwan Chapel and they just sat on the floor. We had an opening exercise and I conducted that. Then Sister Duncan explained in Chuukese all the different games they would be playing. We had seven games to start with. They had the ring toss, Limbo, a beanbag toss, Run to the Board, puzzles that they put together and then read to the teacher, and one we called open your books. It is like real scripture chasing. Then we had a place for the students to go and pass off the scriptures they memorized. We had 34 Scriptures passed off and that is far more than we thought we would get. All these 7 things were going on at the same time and the Students could go to any game that they wanted to participate in any time.

This is the target for the Bean Bag Toss.

After the interest waned a bit, we opened up 3 new games at the basketball court; shooting free throws, serving volleyballs and racing with ping pong balls on a spoon. We set up a square of chairs and they had to serve a volleyball into the middle of them. If they made it they could pick which book the scripture would come from. If they knew the reference they got a candy. All of the games worked that way. If they knew the scripture reference they received a reward of a little wrapped candy or cookie. If they didn’t know the reference to the Clue, the teacher would help them and then they had to repeat it back to the teacher 2 times and then they got the candy. So it was a learning experience as well.

This is the Ring Toss

After the games we had them come back to the chapel and they sat on the floor with their own branch. Then we did some practice Scripture chasing where they could help others on their team. Then we did an individual speed challenge. The first two that got the right scripture up in the air got their name written on the board for points for their Branch. We were so impressed with what they could do. Sapuk branch took top speed and Mwan came in Second. But it was a lot of fun and they really enjoyed it.

This is Run to the Board and write the Reference.

We then handed out certificates for the Exceptional students. The teachers in each Branch suggested names for students that had at least 80% attendance, participated well in class, tried to learn the Scripture Mastery Scriptures, and read in the book of Mormon. We gave each of them a hard cover Triple Combination book of scripture which the District President had written them personal statement in the front of the book. We gave each a certificate that had their name on it as a "Chon Sukkun mi Fakkun Angangoch". Translated it says, "A Very Hard Working Student." and then our family had sent things we could give out as gifts, so they could each pick a gift they would like to have. It was like Christmas. They loved it.

This is the Limbo event.

We handed out certificates for the fastest individual and Branch in the Scripture Chase and the one that had memorized and passed off the most Scripture Mastery Scriptures.

This is the Students passing off memorized Scriptures.

The District President, President Tarsi Wainis, talked to the Students for a half hour about the good Seminary would do for them. We fed them lunch and a bottle of water. Everyone was very satisfied. We passed out the end of the animal crackers with the meal.

Here the students had to put a puzzle together and read the scripture that was on it.

We got some little kids, 6 to 8 years old, that were just hanging around to help us clean up the candy wrappers and we gave them some candy for a reward.

It was a wonderful time and I will bet that years from now they will still be talking about the Great Scipture Mastery Activity they had in 2010.

Here they served the Volley ball into a ring of chairs to earn treats.

We think this is the biggest event we will put on while we are on Chuuk. We think Graduation will be a cake walk compared to putting all this together. We are just thrilled that it is over and the kids loved it so much. Now it is encouraging Students to finish the year with good attendance and helping them learn all they can about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are wonderful young people and we love working with them and their teachers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sister Duncan with some of the children on Uman Island.

Seminary Class marking the scriptures in their "Puken Mormon"

Sister Duncan conducting a Scripture Mastery Activity with Scriptures held on the board with magnets.

Today is Saturday, March 20. Things have slowed down just a bit for us. We had 4 dvd’s to show to 3 different branches last month. This month we have only 1 dvd to show to 2 different branches. But, we have some company coming from Guam!
Elder and Sister Clarke are coming to visit the islands. We will take them out to Uman and Tonoas islands so they can see the churches there and the apartments that the Elders live in. The Clarkes are a new couple and we are anxious to meet them.
Chuuk is in it’s dry season, and it IS dry! All the puddles in the roads have dried up. All the water tanks are empty, and the local folk are frantically looking for water where ever they can find it! The vegetation is turning brown, too. Very different from the Chuuk we have seen over the past 12 months!
But it has rained off and on over the past 3 days, so the drought is not so bad now.
We have now been in Chuuk for one year. It has gone by very quickly.
Freddie Nicerio, our supervisor, will be coming in April to meet with our Seminary teachers. We are looking forward to that.
Then we have the District Scripture Mastery Activity on April 17. We are REALLY looking forward to THAT! We have put a lot of work into it, and it should be a lot of fun for the kids!
May should bring the Open House for the new Mwan Chapel and then the Seminary/Institute Graduation on May 29.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love the boat ride to the outer islands when the water is like glass. It is such a thrill to ride with the wind in your face and enjoy the sights and sound. The two outboard motors are running full out and they just throb together. I love the ride to the islands when the ocean is rough because it is like a carnival ride with tummy ticklers and adrenalin pumping moments. But mostly I love going to the outer islands because the native appreciate us so much and seem to love to have us there. It is extremely rewarding.

I love the way Sister Duncan can cook so well with what she can buy on our Island and make it taste so good. She is very concerned about us having a balanced diet and so we are eating healthy and are doing well.

I dislike the way Sister Duncan reacts to the flea bites. She has had as many as 20 on one leg and they itch so badly. It has been a real challenge for her. But she has been a real trooper about it. We will be needing more itch erasers soon though. On Sunday, the Branch President started the meeting with 13 little kids under the age of 8, a teenage boy and 4 Missionaries counting us, AND #3, Yes, 3 DOGS walking around in the room. They stop and scratch a lot so you know they have fleas, and they just scratch them off so they crawl around looking for their next victim. I have sprayed everything including our truck a lot trying to control them. Sometimes I make headway and she may go days with out bites, but they come back with a vengeance.

I miss my Kids and Grandkids. I would not have believed that it would bother me as much as it does. When we are not using the computer, I have it popping up pictures of you all randomly so that I see you when you were young and also the most recent pictures we have just down loaded off the sites. It is wonderful when you post new pictures so we can see how the kids are growing and what they are doing. I save many of them to the screen saver. What a blessing my family is to me.

I love the time I have had to study in the book of Mormon; both the Chuukese one and the English one. I have had lots of time to really learn. I have read it entirely from cover to cover 3 times and am in Alma on the 4th time through now. I have translated many, many verses from the Chuukese one so I would learn the words and understand how they put their sentence together. A mission forces you to study and learn the principles that bring true happiness into your lives. I have learned a lot.

Now because this is talking about things that are important to me, I want to say how important it is for everyone to be obedient to the gospel principles. Pray every day and love the Lord with all you heart. Please attend you meetings and put in the effort to feel the spirit while you are there. He wants only the best for you and will inspire you with what you need to do to truly enjoy the life He has given you. Follow his plan and he will guide you in the decisions you make here on earth and for the life to come and we, together, will be able to live with Him for all eternity.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The first picture is of most of us in a Class room setting and the Second one is of the group after lunch.

I will give a brief write-up of our training and stay in Guam. We left Saturday afternoon from Chuuk and flew to Guam. Many of the Senior Couples were on the same flight. We checked in to the Hilton Hotel and went out to eat a late supper together. Then we bought some things to eat in the hotel in the morning before church.

Sunday Morning we attended the Barrigada Branch. It was wonderful and we understood it all because it was all in English. It was so refreshing. We had a lunch provided by the Mission at the mission office. We went back to the hotel and had some free time to talk to family or work on our talks or what ever. Then we had a nice dinner together with all the Senior Couples and a Senior Sister that is the mission nurse. We ate at the Mission Home and it was a very nice meal. We stayed and visited till late.

Monday morning we started our training meetings. The first day was on Missionary work and what we could do to help the Missionaries and District Presidencies on our Islands. We gave our 45 minute presentation and it ran way over. They had so many questions that we didn’t even get through all the material that we had prepared. It was a great experience.

Other Couples made their presentations and again there was a lot of discussion. We all want to learn all we can and take it back to our Islands. President Dowdle conducted a Round Table discussion about what we need to have taught on our islands and it was great. Then he turned it around and asked each couple to pick some of the things he had written down and expand on them and send it back to him by e-mail and he will combine them. We were late getting out of the meeting because things ran over.

In the evening we attended a Couples Family Home Evening put on by Elder and Sister Zaugg. It was a power point presentation of pictures they took of the rebuilding of the Thailand. They had been called on a Humanitarian Mission right after the tsunami. It was very interesting. It ran for an hour and a half.

Tuesday we had Seminary and Institute training and made another presentation. All of them were very good. We learned much about the differences in how things are handled from Island to Island. Again we had lots of question of all the presenters. In the end we had a testimony meeting and that ran overtime also. But it was so faith promoting and encouraging that we were all very happy to stay and feel the spirit of the Lord.

We all went out to dinner together again and the Mission President, President Dowdle and his wife came with us. It was so good to have adult English conversations together.

Wednesday morning we gathered at the Guam Service Center and purchased the things we needed for our Islands. Then we all went out bowling and that was a lot of fun. We shopped in the afternoon all over Guam for the things we needed.

Thursday was also a shopping and Doctors appointments day. I don’t think that any of us got all the stuff we had on our lists. There is just so much to do and not enough time to get it all done.

Today, Friday we had to be at the airport at 6:30 am and we flew home. So it was a very busy, but exceptionally rewarding Couple’s Conference. We do these about every 6 months. So now we will work for 6 months trying to implement all the things we learned that could help our Island and establish the Church here.