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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Life on Chuuk

 Yes, we live with geckos!  Who else will eat the little tiny ants that come out of the walls and woodwork.  We can't bug spray everywhere!  This little guy stayed in this position for at least 24 hours.  Was he sleeping?  Sometimes when a small one (baby) is running on the floor I (may) scream, imagining it is a scorpion, like we confront at home in Arizona... yuk, hate living with pests!
 The muu muu was a gift from Sister Ande from Sapuk!  Very lovely. I like to wear them at home, on a Sunday afternoon.  Top left, Recklude Ludwig has been a member for over a year.  He lives in Mechitiw. A missionary mom, Sister Jonas, recently went to a family history seminar in SLC and met his cousin, daughter of a Chuukese man (Marcelo Ludwig) who went to Snow College.  I believe he is deceased now. He gave up this daughter for adoption.  Recklude remembers this man, his fathers brother, if I understand correctly. Small world in the Church!  Top rt: Pres. Weita and E. Vehikite and E. Canakiavata are going visiting together, a prospective group of new members.  The father of many children shown here, at least 7 we know of, won't give up any of his cigarettes to buy uniform shirts for his children to go to K-8, and the school won't give them the shirts, because of his addictions.  We are lining up many of such children, to give them some shirts so they can attend school.  Mechitiw has lots of children in such a situation.  We hope we can help increase the number of Church members attending school.  We ask them to get their children registered for school before it starts.  We will give them a second shirt, only after attending a week or two.  They are so unused to exerting themselves.  Of course there are many Chuukese who value education.
 This lady is trying to help the Mechitiw ladies and girls with sewing instruction.  There were no sewing machines present, when we stopped by.  Apparantly, this was not the first meeting in the week.  I don't know where sewing machines will come from.  We priced local ones on Weno, and the cost was $350 for a cheap one!  I bought one in Guam, so I could make baptismal items, mend for our Elders, etc.  That cost was $127!  It has held up well.
 Elder Crisp received a call from the Deputy Director of Education's office.  "We need your help".  We went on Friday and Elder Crisp in-serviced the group of 12 for an hour or so about how to get things off to a good start when the school year begins.  He was asked to do training every "payday Friday"!  Apparently, some people don't like to go to work on payday!  Noah Ruben hopes this will get them up and moving on paydays, not to mention the training they need in running their schools.
 Near the end of our portion they brought out real donuts!  You may say, "aren't all donuts real?"  No, tempura is not real, and that is what we see all over these islands, passing for small cake type donuts.  We have tasted some "bad" ones!  We try to avoid such things for the most part!  We have enjoyed them a couple of times...
 With the Branch Presidency training coming up on Saturday, President Wainis asked if I would use his overripe bananas... so, instead of making coconut cake for the group, I made my "almost famous" coconut banana bread loaves for everyone.  They always want the recipe, but alas, they don't have blenders or regular ovens, for the most part.
 Norris came in to Weno with his Branch President Naka from Tonoas.  He was delighted to get a 3 year Seminary diploma.  He didn't attend Seminary this year, because no one would teach it on Tonoas.  Norris said he read his Chuukese Book of Mormon this year.  Pretty soon, Chuuk will have the whole Book of Mormon in their language.  Current one is one third of original.  We are currently reading only those parts that they have in theirs, to see what they are getting out of it, and what is missing.  They use the Bible almost exclusively in their talks for references.  We are encouraging exclusive study of the Book of Mormon.  They have some catching up to do!
 President Wainis gives most of the training at his meetings.  His 1st Counselor, President Walter, comes to support him.  Elder Crisp gave information on the upcoming seminary and institute curriculum.  He also gave a message about using the Book of Mormon and encouraging them to have everyone read it and use it when giving talks.  2 Nephi 29:6-11 talks about those who think we do not need another "Bible".  This passage reinforces the Lord's work and the coming of the Book of Mormon.  Elder Crisp also went over the need to call individuals to serve and that each Branch needs to have a clerk.  This position will become more important in the coming months and new things will be required of the Branches, like maintaining their own checkbooks!  That is a new concept for many!
Five out of 9 B. P.'s attended this meeting:  Presidents Billy (Uman), Walter (Romanum), Naka (Tonoas), Weita (Mechitiw) and Newyear from Mwan.  He is the most punctual of everyone, for everything!  Nice job President Newyear!

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