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Monday, April 7, 2014

APRIL ZONE MEETING IN CHUUK


 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 here...to 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.

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