Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seminary Scripture Chase, Family History @ Mechitiw, Prosthetics coming to Chuuk, and 3 New Mission Calls!!

Our one good Seminary group asked us to do an activity with Scripture Mastery.  We had a good game of it, with some our local Elders assisting, since it was Monday afternoon, their P-day.  Elder Selander helped his team to win!  They all got the same prize, from both teams, but they had a lot of fun doing it.  Top right, Lass Newyear is giving a nice spiritual thought at the beginning of the meeting.  Oriko Ewar is our favorite (and only valiant) teacher of Seminary!  We always encourage our other Branches to get going with their youth, but are waiting for results of our training and encouragement.
 We had a good turnout, and gave away 22 candy bags.
 We visited Mechitiw Branch on a Sunday and used Sunday School time to give a lesson about how important remembering our loved ones are, and recording the information about them, so that they will be able to have the same opportunity we all have to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and prepare for Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father.  Our deceased family members will all have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and accept or reject it, even though the opportunity wasn't presented to them while living on this earth.
These 2 very nice young men (Dave and John--from Utah) were in town this past week.  We met up with them at the hospital first, where they have been arranging a humanitarian project for having prosthetics made for all the people who have had removal of legs and/or feet due to effects of diabetes.  We took them to Sapuk for church on Sunday and they wanted a picture to remind them of the rough roads they have been on all around Weno.  This grader actually was working one day in front of our apartment.  The job didn't last long, after the rains started up again.

Emerson Kata will be heading to Adelaide, Australia, in August!  Behind Emerson on the right you can see Nuno Kata. He was our chord organ player today, all by ear!  There are several very talented men out in Sapuk who do this playing by ear!  I think his mission will benefit from his talents in the music field.
JT Ande Nomunwar will be going to Johannesburg South Africa Mission, in August.  For a few minutes, he was hoping to trade off with Nuno!  I'm sure the Lord knows who he will find in S. Africa to come unto Christ.                                                                        This group of men are discussing all the new calls in great anticipation.            
Nuno Kata seems pretty excited to be going to Brisbane Australia Mission!  We have 2 other Chuuk elders heading there very soon. Nuno has to wait until August.  Meanwhile, we have to help get Nuno and Emerson to Pohnpei for "real" physical exams!  Chuuk medical exams are not accepted by Australia!
Notice the earring... the mustaches, earrings, etc. are the last to go, when they are ready to go!

Friday, April 18, 2014

April Zone Conference, Family History, Sapuk

Top back left:  Elders Garae, Payne, Ladore, Simpson, Schroath, Telona, Selander, McEwan, Tefuna, Holmes.  Next row, left:  Sister Crisp, Elders Crisp, Mackie, Jonas, Fabiano, Obray, Plocher, Vanisi, Kleven, Fermanis, President Mecham.  Lower:  Elders Peck, Vehikite, Hunter, Rainey, Roque, Canakiavata.

Elder Crisp is NOT asleep. P. Mecham got a blink!  S. Crisp is concentrating very hard... Elders Peck and Payne are next to us.  The Zone Leaders are expounding their wealth of knowledge!
With the last transfers a few days ago, we received 3 new elders:  left with E Fermanis in Neauo: Elder Garae, from Vanatua, near Fiji.  Top, with E Vanisi on Uman: Elder Holmes, from Gilbert, AZ!! (near us!).  Bottom, with E Plocher on Tonoas:  Elder Tafuna, from Orange, Ca, just down the road from Elder Plocher!  They are getting well adjusted, and were in good form for our Zone Conference yesterday.
Last Sunday we visited Sapuk Branch to get details for our 3 "soon to be Elders" passports.  President "Ande" Nomanwar is front left, on the stand.  His very talented son, on the right, plays our songs on a chord organ, by ear.  I don't know if he reads any music at all.  He has a brother that can do the same, and we heard JT Ande picking out some tunes before the meetings. He will soon be a missionary.Top left, the District RS Pres. is giving a talk. Bottom left, Nuno Kata is giving a talk (soon to be missionary), and right, Osimichy Kata is speaking. He recently arrived home from the Micronesia Guam Mission.  He is attending College of Micronesia, and hopes to get into BYU Hawaii soon.
 This is the newest member of Sapuk Branch with his parents and brother.  This is another of President Ande's sons.  P. Ande has 2 daughters currently serving missions: MGM and Phillippines.

This week, our Mission Family History Consultants came to visit and help members and Branch Presidents learn more about getting their ancestors and themselves preserved for history.  This is a group mostly from Sapuk.
Below, is Elder Hurst (back row, tallest) and Sister Hurst (front row, 2nd from left) along with several District members who came and participated.

 These men are mostly Branch Presidents.  They are good men, and we hope that several of our B.P.'s will be in a group going to the Philippine Temple later in the year. Our next group, in June, is all Tonoas members, including their B.P.
These ladies participated as well.  The 2 ladies on bottom right are B.P. wives from Uman and Tonoas: Sister Billy and Sister Walter.
Friday we had our quarterly ZONE CONFERENCE with President Mecham.  Our Zone Leaders: Elders Selander and Obray conducted.  We had a good, and inspiring meeting. Since E. Obray will be "dying" in June!!, he bore his testimony to the zone.  Elder Plocher was dressed like him, and wanted to get them together on our blog!  They are good friends!

Elder Jonas led our opening song: Battle Hymn of the Republic.  It is so moving to sing with all these men, and enjoy their good voices and harmony!  I appreciate it more, as I love to sing, without being able to carry a tune...
From left, we have Elders Fermanis, Garae (Neauo), Holmes, Vanisi (Uman), Canakiavata, Vehikite (Mechitiw),  Hunter, Rainey (Sapuk), Schroath, Telona (Udot), (sorry, the windows in the background don't help make good pictures!) and Mackie + Jonas (Romanum).

 Here we have Elders Crisp, Peck, Payne (Wichap), Ladore, McEwan (Sopota, Paata), Roque, Simpson (Nantaku), Kleven, Fabiano (Pokocho, Paata),  Plocher and Tafuna (Tonoas). By the way: place names are spelled in different ways, depending on who is writing it, including maps!)
Lunch came from Truk Stop. It was a piece of chicken and tuna, along with rice, boiled banana, tapioca.  E. Crisp doesn't like their cooked fruits, so enjoyed the homemade "Oreo" cookies we made for dessert!  Sister McEwan, missionary mom, sent us cake mixes, canned icings and shortening to make them!  (Thanks again!!) It was a new, but great recipe!  The missionaries LOVED them!  So easy too, using devils food cake mix, 2 eggs, and 3/4 c shortening OR 1/3 c oil. I tried both ways, and they work!  I made balls and pressed them with a glass before baking.  Recipes online!  When we get the group picture taken outside, we will add it to this blog.
Our meeting was great!  President Mecham and our Z.l.'s always have the right message for Chuuk Zone.

President Mecham spoke of the 82 references of "Remember" and 19 of "Remembrance" in the Book of Mormon.  We are constantly reminded to remember as Humans tend to "drift".  He gave the example of Moses being gone on the Mount for 40 days, comes back and the people already have an idol!  He spoke of the great power in obedience.  There was mention of D&C 104 where it speaks of a multiplicity of blessings for obedience, not just one for one.   Will we obey the mission rules (he went over quite a few) and "Go and Do" , not moan and question??!

Both the Zone Leaders and President Mecham spoke of desire and putting off the natural man.  If you Believe it, you can Achieve it!  You must believe, desire and then act!  They also mentioned that doubt and fear are opposed to Faith!

These messages hit home and it helps keep things in focus so the work can continue here in the MGM!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

October Chuuk Zone Conference, Mechams come to town!

Here we are at the Zone Conference!  President and Sister Mecham came into town and we all met at the Blue Lagoon Resort for accountability and training.  As always President and Sister Mecham gave inspiring messages and trainings and the Spirit was strong.  Due to some unfortunate circumstance our camera went "bust" on us and these photos are courtesy of Elder Roque who kindly allowed us to use his camera to record the event .  Elder Walters got the shots of the cruise ship and allowed us to print them here.  A big thanks to both of those fine Elders.
We always like to include shots of the companionships so let us begin!  Here is Elders Obray and Lavites and Elders Fabiano and Mackie!  Both companisonships are on the island of Paata
 Above we have Elders Roque and Walters who are in Nantaku, and Elders Fabiano and Plocher who are not companions, but slipped one in on the photographer for a laugh!  Below are shots of Elders Daniels and Plocher on Uman, another shot of Obray and Lavites (Elder Lavites will be going home at our our next transfer).  Elders Plocher and Daniels again and Elders Rainey and Vanisi who are on Udot!
Below we have Elders Peck and Simpson who are in Neauo, another shot of Elders Roque and Walters, Elders Vanisi and Rainey, and then Elders simpson and Mackie who were companions in the MTC.
In the left photos  we have Sister Mecham teaching a lesson with Elder Johnson in the background!  Then we have Elders Jonas and Hunter who are in Wichap.  The bottom section of these photos have Our Grandson (FLat Wyatt) and Elder Crisp at one of the Japanese Machine Guns brought up from the bottom of the ocean.  These came from the destruction of the Japanese Fleet during World War II.  Truk Lagoon was the site of Japan's "Pearl Harbor".  The last picture in this set shows Elders Hunter and Jonas in route to the Blue Lagoon.  Below we have a gathering at the Blue Lagoon with Elders Walters, Simpson, Fermanis, McEwan and Selander (with his back to you)!  Then we have Elder Lavites and Elder Bowers (Bowers is on Tonoas), with Selander and others in the background.

Left we have Sister and Elder Crisp holding on to Flat Wyatt as he visits the Zone Conference.  Below is a special photograph of our Elders who have had birthdays within the months of August, September and October.  Sister Mecham always brings each a birthday treat.
Right we have Elders Fabiano, Mackie, Walters and Roque!  Below is another gathering with Elders McEwan, Simpson, Roque and Walters on the railing, and others who are turned away from the camera.  The bottom shot includes Elders McEwan, Walters, the always animated Bowers, Hunter, Jonas, Selander and Fermanis.  Elders Selander and Fermanis are in Sapuk.
The right photo has Elder Telona and Vehikiti from Romanum, along with Elders Daniels and Plocher from Uman.  The next shot is of Elder Telona leading our music and our Zone Leaders Elders Johnson and Allen at the table.The shots below are Elders Kleven in the background and Elders Hunter and Vanisi.
Left is of Elders Fabiano, Roque, Walters. Bowers Hunter Jonas, Kleven and Fermanis in the back row and Elder McEwan kneeling in the front.  Below is another gathering shot with Elders Toa, Selander, McEwan, Simpson, Walters, and Rogue.
Here we have the companionships of Elders Selander and Fermanis and Elders McEwan and Toa. The bottom shots are of Elders Kleven and Bowers on Tonoas, along with Elders Obray and Lavites on Paata, behind them are Elders Selander and Fermanis.
The above shot has Elders Hunter and Jonas along with Elders Simpson and Peck.  Behind them are Elders Kleven and Bowers.  If you can't tell by the expressions and poses, these young Elders have a great time when they get together for Zone Conference and the one time each month they all come in from their islands and areas.   Now the final series of pictures are of the Holland America Cruise Ship that made a stop at Weno.  There were hundreds of tourists in town and we got to meet a few members who walked down to the Mwan Chapel or just saw some of us in town.  Unfortunately for the local people they were not prepared for such a visit.  Imagine the revenue for the Island if they had it all together.  Maybe even more ships would come in.  This is a 75 day cruise from LA through the South Pacific and Asia. It was nice of them to stop.  From our apartment on the other side of the island, we could see the lights of the ship pulling out.  It was quite the site. However, with no camera (see the above notes) we can't show you a picture.
These will be the last of the photos for a few weeks as we await the arrival of our new camera.  We apologize for any inconvenience it may cause.  We may continue to post, but the photos will be missing or we may just have to add some of those we have never published.  At any rate we will continue to publish ours and the Elders Adventures in Chuuk!

Monday, April 7, 2014


 On Monday, we held our usual Zone Meeting.  Our Zone Leaders went to Guam over the weekend, got trained by our leaders, and came back and imparted their wisdom on us!  Elders Selander (l) and Obray are great ZL's.  They work very hard all around Chuuk.  This zone is much different from the other zones in the mission.  We have numerous islands we work on, and the boat travel is time consuming, expensive, and BUMPY!!  It is not much fun.  Not to mention any names, but the last boat driver Elder C and I went out with went too fast on the big boat on high swells.  We were bouncing very high on hard seats. I stood up and held onto 2 different rails and couldn't hold on as we landed on one of these bumps.  I fell and hit my back on the edge of a hard plastic bench behind the driver.  I am still suffering some back problems.  Our past driver, Esme, was much more thoughtful! (He has now immigrated to USA!)

 So, anyway... these guys work hard on numerous ZL duties, and still baptize more than many of our elders.  Maybe that is why they are the zl's!

Elder Allen is "dying" this week... he has completed his mission, and returns home on Thursday!  The elders have some funny expressions for the things they do.  We might even see some "white washing" of areas... That means MAYBE some areas may not retain either of their previous elders, and get 2 all new ones.
Of course, only President Mecham knows for sure what will happen, and he relies upon the Lord for his direction.  Three of our elders will be training new elders this transfer, which happens this Thursday. We are all holding our breath in expectation of great things in store!
Elder Allen served faithfully as a district leader (more than once), a zone leader, and an assistant to P. Mecham.  He can be very proud of his time here.  We will miss him!
 Elder Ladore was trained by E. Allen,  He is from Pohnpei, and says he was a farmer.  He didn't know English or Chuukese, so E. A. has worked extra hard to help him learn 2 new languages and the language of a missionary! He is coming along nicely.
 Elder Mackie (right) and just below, Elder Fabiano also serve on Paata nearby Elders Allen and Ladore.  Paata is waaay out there, very rustic, and these guys say it is a lot like camping out, and they don't seem to mind at all.  Elder C and I are glad we are not assigned to Paata.
 This companionship has been together for quite some time, so maybe there will be a change coming....  They do good work out there.
Elder Plocher will be heading to Guam today to pick up a new companion, and be a trainer.  I'm sure he will do a good job.  He is currently on Tonoas with Elder Kleven (below).
 Some of our elders are extra photogenic, don't you think?
Elder Schroath is serving on Udot with Elder Telona (below).  E. S. has been on Udot a long time, starting as a newbie!  Just don't know what changes are in the air!  He has a good attitude and works hard.
Elder Telona is always very polite and kind.  He is from Hawaii, our personal favorite vacation spot!
Elder Rainey trained E. S. on Udot, and is now serving in Sapuk with Elder Hunter (below).  He was slightly embarrassed  to have his picture taken up close and personal, since he admitted he is due for a haircut!
Two nice young men, doing well as a companionship, with hopes of FOUR baptisms this month!  Sapuk isn't easy to find new people in!
Elder Vehikite served a long while on Romanum and was not pleased to ever have to leave it!  He and Elder Roque (below) have been together in Nantaku for a bit and get along well.
Elder Roque is from the Phillappines, so knows 3 languages WELL!  He is a very sweet young man!  Always a good attitude.
 Elder Canakiavata, from Fiji, is hanging with Nantaku presently, until we get the changes this Thursday.  He is very sweet, and coming along on the Chuukese language.  He has been serving in Mechitiw since coming out on his mission.
 Elder McEwan and Elder Jonas (below) are currently on Romanum and doing well together.  Both are happy young men and working hard.
Elder Jonas, you are loved!  Elder Allen was showing an abundance of it to you last night!  E Jonas' mom helped make baptismal clothing for our zone.  It is busy, in use!
 Elder Peck is training Elder Payne (below)  in Wichap.  They are looking forward to some baptisms.  Two good young men!

All our elders are great, did I mention that?
Elder Payne
 Elder Fermanis is ready to roll with the punches!  He has had a number of different companions in the last month, due to circumstances beyond our control!  Now he is ready to pick up a new elder to train.  Best wishes, E Fermanis!  (He is recovering from pink-eye, as many of our elders are!)
Elder Simpson, from Canada, has been in Neauo for a bit. He was needed on Uman for a few days and picked up pink-eye readily.  Carrying hand-sanitizer with you at all times and using it frequently is a good idea that no one does...
Elder Vanisi has returned from Guam from getting some medical help.  He has been doing a splendid job on Uman, and is now going to pick up another young elder to train.  He is like a "gentle giant"!  He is losing some weight, so is less like a giant now.
Well, I AM a missionary, aren't I?  So Elder C and I appear now and then in our blog!
 We both wish we had that great photogenic smile that our elders have... but we are here, serving in whatever ways we are called upon to help.  It is a great place to serve. The culture is very different from American, yet people are the same everywhere in so many ways.  Everyone is looking for a good, happy life.  That is why we are help them find the JOY that comes from living a good, clean life, avoiding substances, immorality, etc.  and knowing about the life beyond this one.  There is so much more to look forward to, if we can only stay on the path that leads back to our Heavenly Father and his literal son, Jesus Christ!
 Since Easter is coming, we made "bunny buns" for our zone meeting.  We gave them a bottle of J-max, as well (grape is the best flavor).  Nothing like some sweets to pump you up, then make you tired...
This is a familiar sight around Chuuk.  This car went into one too many ruts. The axle broke, and luckily, we don't know how much that costs to fix.  So far, we have needed a new battery and a couple of plugs in the tires.  They are getting thin, so might be needing some new tires at some point. The roads are not getting better, and it is a rough ride across "town" 3 miles to Mwan building.
Elder Crisp has been helping the principal and
teachers at Mwan Elementary School.  Here, he was evaluating the teacher, to give her suggestions as to what she can do to improve. Mwan E. S. has been making some progress.  They have double sessions now, with K-3 in the morning, and 4-6 in the afternoon.  A lot of the kids weren't here this day, due to earlier rains.  This place needs a HUGE DONATION OF PONCHOS!!  Even on Sundays, people won't come to church if it is raining.  I think the umbrellas are too expensive for most people.