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Monday, March 24, 2014

SEMINARY ACTIVITY DAY

Our Seminary Activity Day was rescheduled a couple of times because of local circumstances.  It was finally put on a Monday, a school day!!  The following Saturday was already reserved for our District wide Relief Society Birthday Party.  A few Chuuk High School Seniors went to school to take a test, and then came a little late.  Otherwise, most everyone seemed to be happy enough to skip school for a day.  People started arriving before 9 a.m., and our Elders helped us set up everything for the service project.  We made 500 hygiene kits.  We had people and boats come from all of our Branches except Udot.  The Branch members apparently don't own boats themselves, so it is always an issue to get them in.
 Boats and people kept trickling in until around 10:30 a.m.  We had around 175 potential seminary students come to our event.  Unfortunately, our Branch Presidents and their members don't place a high priority on the institution of Seminary and Institute, so they don't usually follow through with keeping teachers teaching.  The exception is Mwan Branch. We have Oriko Ewar and Sandra Matisima who have been faithful for years teaching those students.
 The Church is fairly new in these parts, and they don't have a good vision for many of the details, ie. Church Programs for our youth.  YM and YW classes and activities are pretty much non-existent.  The exception to everything is Mwan.  We encourage Branch Presidents regularly of the importance for their youth, to have these classes going both on Sundays and weekday activities. They just don't understand what is required, and when people are called, they usually don't worry about actually doing their calling. It is a big challenge to help them see the big picture of "The Gospel In Action"!  On a brighter note, we have lots of young people wanting to be missionaries. I think our Elders throughout Chuuk are the driving
force, setting a good example and being a role model for the youth, to see what it would be like to be a missionary as well.  When these missionaries return home from serving, they will be able to help get the vision going of what Church can be like.  It is our most rewarding experience here, to help them prepare to leave and serve.
After completing the hygiene kits, some of the youth took off walking to the jail, to distribute some there to the inmates.  Other youth went in taxi's to the hospital to deliver to all the people being kept in the hospital.  It is too far to walk.
 When everyone got back to Mwan, we served ice cream and banana-coconut cupcakes. All 300 disappeared quickly.  Ice cream is a treat not often enjoyed here, and it took 15 gallons to give everyone a snow-cone cup of it.
After the treat, we had each Branch do a "cultural presentation".  Some did dancing, others sang songs and talked a little about their island customs.  Our Cultural Hall was filled nicely, with just enough in the middle for the presentations.

 These kids are doing a stick dance.
 Uman talked about local customs and sang a song.
 Mwan did a song all together, then 3 girls did a hula dance without the traditional clothing.  We don't see that much around here, so I don't know if they ever put on hula skirts, etc.  The girls were very cute!

 The next event was a spiritual Fireside in the chapel.  The chapel was filled.  Young Men's President of the District, Osimichy Kata, gave a talk, and then President Wainis talked about the importance of virtue and chastity for their lives.  Of course, we knew the subject, but didn't understand the presentations.... We haven't found Chuukese an easy language. We don't study it daily, either.  We pick up words here and there.
 A  very nice meeting to end the day.  After it, they cleaned up the whole church yard, then were given a prepared lunch and a hygiene kit each to take with them.  I believe they all had a great experience.  Most of them do not attend Seminary or Institute, but we want them to know about the programs of the Church for them, and learn to be involved.

Most of our youth are good young people.  Now, if we could only get them to read their scriptures daily!  The Book of Mormon especially!  They would grow in their testimonies much faster.  Unfortunately, they only have 1/3 of the B of M available in Chuukese, and the Bible, no other scriptures yet, and most of our manuals are not in their language.
The example of their Branch leaders and the local Elders are the best thing they have going for them, to learn and progress. We do what we can to help out.

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