Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Pioneer Day" Celebration in Chuuk! (last story)

One of these pictures has Waldo (I mean Elder Crisp). Can you find him?!!
Our new group of World Teach for 2014-15.  Great bunch of teachers!

 Elder Crisp was asked by our new World Teach Director, Kalika Kastein, to give them a few training sessions before they start their school year.  Some are experienced teachers, other fresh out of college.  Teaching Chuukese will be much different for them than teaching in America.  Many of the students didn't get much education from their K-8 years, so there is a lot to make-up, once they get to high school.  The best part is, they are learning so much better English than they knew coming in!  You might notice that though they have been here only a few days, the ladies have already been buying up Chuukese skirts and muu muus!  The culture is very different here.
(right) Elder Crisp loves English muffins, and since I have whole wheat flour on hand still, I have been making him "nutritious" muffins!  On the right, you see my recipe of coconut-banana bread turned into muffins for our "date" on Saturday to Sapuk!  Many Chuukese love to eat more than would be healthy for them.  We have learned to "portion" our food for them, to slow them down.  We used to put plates out loaded with assortments, but they would pile their plate up, even with all desserts.  Even our local Elders serving here have picked up the bad habit...hope they learn to control themselves before returning home, or they will be in an unhealthy state much too soon.
 Elder Crisp helped plan and carry out Branch Presidents training for this week.  Here is President Wainis (right) and President Walter, 1st Counselor giving training.  Elder Crisp also talked to them about getting their Seminary and Institute teachers called, ready to begin their new year September 1st.  He also touched on budgeting their Branch funds, and using the money wisely.  Dale West came a little later on that day, from Guam, to conduct their periodic audit of each Branch, for the way they have been using their funds.  We had made baggies of cookies for each president.  D.West came and brought their lunches later on, and we took ourselves out to a reasonable priced restaurant to eat!  Unfortunately, 3 of our presidents didn't show up for their audit.

 Our Branch Presidents who attended. 1st person we don't know!  He might be a counselor... Next is P. Felix from Wichap, P Tarsisio from Romanum, P Naka from Tonoas, P Billy from Uman and P Ande from Sapuk.
 We are calling our "Fireside at Sapuk" a Pioneer Day celebration!  It is the closest thing to a pioneer celebration that you will find here.  The 24th of July is often celebrated in the United States to commemorate the Mormon Pioneers arrival into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  This fireside and activity was as good as it could be.  Elder Plocher planned and carried out the activity!!  That is the first time we have heard of a Branch here having an activity including a Gospel message along with the fun and games!  Two of our three departing (in August) missionaries gave a nice talk.  Wish Emerson had joined us in time.  He came 2.5 hours late, as we were leaving.  I think he is a little shy of giving talks.  His mission to Australia will surely help him with that!
 Three fourths of the attendees of this activity were Ande's.  They have 9 children and 10 grandchildren, so far!  Osimiche in the middle--WAKE UP!! He did walk quite a ways to get there, very early, I might add.  His brother, Emerson, didn't arrive to SPEAK!  Osimiche Kata recently returned from his mission.
 Elders Plocher and Fabiano (on splits after a Saturday morning baptism at Mechitiw), Ande's and Kata's.  They are all related, pretty much!
 Sister Ande, a daughter and grandchildren, and P. Ande.  See more pictures of event later...the bad weather all night really is wreaking havoc on the way the pictures came onto blog!

 Tarson Amatus (black shirt) has been coming for help in English before he leaves in August for his mission to Fiji.  Lately he has brought his cousin Tarkei with him.  Tarkei is 16 and has not been in school for a few years.  We got permission for him to go to p.m. school at Chuuk High School this year (an 8th grade program).  He is undecided if he wants to go, as yet.  We will keep trying to persuade him!  We got a Church Humanitarian back-pack and supplies from the District to help him if he will go.  Tarson has been raised by his auntie for many years now, and used to be called Ichok Fiti!
 This is a daily sight where we live and around town, in some areas.  Many people are very mindful of the leaves that drop.  Since there are no real seasons here (except year-long summer), the leaves drop year-round.  It reminds me of the "Mr Men" book about Mr. Tidy (or something like that).  Our children used to like the series.

 Back to our activity in Sapuk...JT Ande gave a nice talk (I think...) using the Bible and his own testimony.  I asked if they could get practice for their missions, and speak in English, but it was no dice!  Nuno gives a good sermon as well.  He can talk quite a while!  He told us when he returned from Pohnpei from his additional physical, that he gave a missionary discussion in English!  He was very excited about that.  His brother is currently serving in this same mission, currently in Yap!  The Elders are dishing up ice cream and rolls.  The local "bread", as they call it, is sweet, and good!  Too bad it's not good for you!  No spoons around, but we used our roll, torn up, for our spoon!

 After the talks, they played some games.  Three brothers: Smart, Nuno and Famous, each tried to get Elder Crisp to smile or laugh.  Everyone laughed except E. Crisp!  They were quite the contortionists! 
Nuno cracked ME up, but E. Crisp held firm to his frown...
 Famous is inexperienced in the art of making people laugh, but he gave it a try.
 JT led a game about animals with sounds or names.  Lots of fun!  The little guys had so much fun.
 Early on, I asked if Sapuk would do a cultural dance for us.  At last year's June Youth Conference Sapuk did a fire dance thing, and another great dance.  They have a local dance that they all know, which reminds me of how we learned the jitterbug when I was young.  This dance was a blast to watch--not enough girls to go around!  (Unfortunately, E. Crisp learned the "swing" and we don't quite match up when we dance fast together!)
 It also reminded me of the old "Dance Festival" days.  My Ward went to SLC and performed our dance back then!  When we first got married, we were asked to be in charge of our Ward youth for the Dance Festival.  I was already pregnant and sick a lot, so E. Crisp carried the load and did most of the work at that calling.  I was also called to lead the music in R.S.!!  I did it, although everyone who knows me, knows I don't carry a tune!! Oh, the callings we do!!
At the end of our lovely fireside, President Ande put this adorable turtle in a songbook and gave it to me!  He has such a great family!!  We love to go to Sapuk.  Just wish the road grader we see along the way out to there still worked!  The roads are some of our worst, and that's saying a LOT!!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Senior Conference in GUAM!!

Guam is a beautiful island, and nearly as expensive to shop at as Chuuk! The prices have gone up, since our last trip there in January. (Glad we didn't need much this trip.)  We bought Crisco, since we have NO vegetable shortening in Chuuk...
Here is our new Mission President Zarbock, and his wife Sister Zarbock.  They do a great job leading our mission.  Their style is a little different than the Mechams, but very good in a different way!
 We had 3 intense (!!) days of training, especially from Bishop Freddie Nicerio, our S&I Director.  The S&I couples all had training to give, as well as him.  In addition, we all do a stewardship report, with a slide show and telling about the pictures.  These are supposed to be 10 minutes each, but never so...
Elder Jung, a Seventy from Korea, and also B. Nicerio's new boss, came for our Conference this time.  He also had other meetings with Guam Stake leaders.  He speaks English very well, and is very nice.  We transported him with us most of the time, since we were given a small car to drive by ourselves.
 Sister Crisp gave the devotional message one of our days, talking about how important it is for all members of the Church to read our scriptures daily, and especially concentrating on the Book of Mormon more than any other.  We know that it is without errors, unlike our King James version of the Bible, which we also use.  Many changes and rewrites were done through the "ages" after the original 12 Apostles of Christ died.  The implied meaning has changed in several instances.
The new bright red, pink, etc. table covers were made by Sister Crisp for a change up.  The other cloths are brown... We have some very inexpensive fabrics in Chuuk good for such things as this.
This conference we had, more than ever, musically talented seniors present!  I was the least musical in attendance.  We had a lovely dinner and FHE Monday evening at the Mission President's home.  E. Crisp gave a spiritual thought about the destruction of the Nephites and the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon. He went on to say that we have the truth and should not fall into the same pattern as these nations.  He also spoke of the miracles that are performed in the world today and the power of the Priesthood.
 These are the Carter's.  They serve on Palau, which they call their "Garden of Eden".  There are several islands there, all joined by causeways.  They can get around to all areas pretty much, by car (on decent roads...). They have one Branch there, and they do a lot to help the Branch to grow and "mature" in the Gospel.
 These are the Chandler's who serve on Pohnpei.  They have 30 missionaries in all, counting themselves, and all are on the one island.  They run a great Seminary program at the high school.  They are now a Stake, with several Wards. We have to send our prospective missionaries to them, who are heading to Australia. They help us with the additional physical/x-ray tests that are needed.
 These are the Curtis' who serve on Kosrae.  They have 6 missionaries there plus themselves and run Seminary and Institute as best as the Members will allow!  They do whatever is needed to keep things in order there.  Our young missionaries can use a little oversight.... by their ELDERS!
 The Hurst's serve in Guam, at the Family History Center.  They also take trips to the outer islands, to help instruct and train Members in getting their family members prepared for Temple blessings--the living and the dead!  You can see them along with Elder Crisp doing a dance/skit, which everyone did in groups, to help get across a point of a teaching technique that can be used in classrooms.
 The Martin's are our office couple.  They probably work the longest hours of us all, doing millions of things that have to be done by someone!  They keep things in order regarding housing for all, vehicles, car parts!!, flights for everyone, keeping new member baptismal records, and gathering the "missing info" from about 110 missionaries throughout the islands, missionary $$,  etc... Our mission is the largest in square miles, and requires a lot of traveling, etc.  Great job, Martins!
The MacCabe's are in their 80's!!  This is his 10th mission, including being a Mission President a few years back!  He is retired military, so he and Sis. MacCabe are our Military Liason for 3 bases on Guam: fellowshipping, activating, baptizing, etc.  They work hard.  They also do long distance runs ie. 5K and 10K!!  They enjoy swimming in the ocean now and then, as well.  The seniors have permission to to this, unlike the young ones, who now and then will disobey mission rules...
 The Crisp's here (us!) had a presentation all ready to put on the big screen from our Apple computer.  There was no hdmi port to hook up the equipment with Freddi's computer to the screen, so he had to take our file off, and put it on his computer to show our slides.  They got all out of order, so the nice script that E. Crisp was going to give, didn't work... we should have used a thumb drive.
 The Strother's serve on YAP.  They are very musically talented, not to mention dancing instructors, etc.  They prepare fun songs that we get to sing along with them.  Elder Crisp hadn't gotten into the dance groove het, in the far back of dancing...   We had good meals at several nice restaurants around Guam, at the Chapel, and the Mission Home.  Thanks to all the local Seniors who prepared food for us to enjoy.  We just enjoyed it all!
 Family Home Evening activities: Martin's and Crisp's.
 The ladies sang a song together: "The Lord's Prayer". Most of these ladies can carry a tune nicely...
The men sang: "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy".  We needed words for all the verses... rather unfamiliar hymns.  SOME of the people sang in parts...  Elder Curtis is a very good conductor of hymns.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July Zone Meeting and Conference w/the Zarbock's

 Top left, clockwise on all pictures:  Our young men from Sapuk (Emerson and Nuno Kata), heading to Australia in August, made a little trip to Pohnpei to get retested. Australia doesn't trust Chuuk physicals.
This week we had a Zone Mtg on Wednesday, then Zone Conference on Saturday morning.  The pictures throughout this blog may be a little out of order, to make collages.  Elder Jonas is our regular song leader.  He does a good job for us.  On the plane that brought our prospective elders in, our Zone Leaders along with 2 other sets from Pohnpei and Kosrai were heading to Guam to get their training, to teach us.
This lady, Kalika Kastein, is our new Field Director for World Teach.  She will oversee around 25 teachers around Chuuk, mostly at the high school.  These English speaking teachers have greatly helped the students to pick up on the English language faster.  THANK YOU WORLD TEACH!!
 On Thursday we met our new Mission President and Wife:  the Zarbocks.  They are a great couple to replace the Mechams.  They have a little different style, as all couples do, and will be great for this Mission.  Our plane to take them and us to Guam for Senior Conference was delayed for 24 hours because of mechanical problems in Hawaii, so we had an extra Zone Conf on Saturday, including pizza for lunch and "oreo cookies" for lunch.  The cookies were almost nutritious... made with 1/2 whole wheat flour!  They were 1/2 c of cookie dough in each cookie, and we didn't get any complaints.
 Our Sapuk Elders: Plocher and Ladore.  He is DL, and one of his sets of elders told us he is the best DL ever. He is running a good, tight ship!  That is a nice complement to Elder Plocher.  Elders Kleven and Telona are on Udot.  We visited there last Sunday, and the Group was meeting in the Elders cottage, since heavy rains had done damage to the outdoor "hut" they had built out of palm fronds and poles.  This week they were able to get and set up a new tent for their Sunday meetings.  Elders Peck and Tafuna are on Tonoas. E. Peck is the DL with Uman.  Elder Peck is very good at Chuukese, and has done most of the final proofreading of our translations for Seminary and Institute curriculum for this coming school year.  As Sister Rotuk said, who helped re-write some pages: the Chuukese think in a different format than English speakers.  Her brother Herman Walter has been proofreading the entire Book of Mormon, which will soon be printed for them--very exciting news for the Chuukese people!!
Elders Fabiano and Vehikite serve in Mechitiw, which is our area.  They are coming up with a large number of investigators nearly ready for baptism. Way to go Elders!
 Elder Vanisi (our gentle giant!) serves in Wichap with E Roque.  E.Vanisi is always finding young men (and women) who want to serve a mission.  We are working with 2 men from Wichap now, and they seem to be very nice men.  He had a group of 4 men and 3 ladies from Uman "wanting" to be missionaries when he last served there, however, the young prospective missionaries were willing or able to come up with a penny of their own to help them get in for physicals, dental work, paperwork, etc.  Their Branch President had got them in one time, but they wouldn't do anything on their own, and have dropped off our list.  Missions can be subsidized, but the young people need to find a way of providing some of the resources for getting ready to serve.
Elder Jonas is training E.Andrada from the Philippines. He doesn't speak English, so is learning 2 languages at once!  With the help of the Holy Ghost, he will be successful.  They serve on Romanum.
Elders Payne and Simpson are in Nantaku, near us as well.  They help us a lot because they live near the hospital and courthouse.  With their help, we recently got a birth certificate completed for a young man with a mission call, but no Chuukese ID.  Being from Wichap, but not living there anymore is challenging to bring everything together to get a B.C. when there isn't one for you at the hospital or courthouse.  Thanks Elders, you are the best!!
Elders Schroath and Garae serve in Neauo for the Mwan Branch.
 The Crisp's serve "at large"  wherever needed... especially when FOOD is wanted... Elders Fermanis and Holmes serve in Uman.
Our Zone Leaders:  Elders Selander and Rainey are always busy and hard-working.  They manage several baptisms a month, even with duties on all islands and all around Weno.  We are short an elder right now, so we have 3 Paata elders serving together:  Elders McEwan (the "boss"!!) and Elders Paulis and Canakiavata.  One of the Church Groups there is very small, and may be attending with the larger group, which is quite a walk. The Elders live in a missionary house near the smaller group and the main church bldg.
District P. Wainis came to our Zone Conference.  We all appreciate the work he does around here.  A very nice man.  He has been serving for 8 years and getting a little "tired"!!  No wonder.  His counselors are nice, but not real helpful to take the burden from him.  Elder McEwan did some training at our Zone Conference, as did Elder Peck.  
This group sang a beautiful number for us.
The Elders did role-plays to help in their training.  The young missionaries who complete their missions are so much better prepared for LIFE than those who do not serve!  It isn't usually called FUN, but is very rewarding and life-changing.
The Crisp's, along with both Zone Leaders: Selander & Rainey & Elders Vehikite and Peck all bore their testimonies of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, of which we are all a part of sharing with the world.  All churches contain some truth, but we share the Restored Gospel to all who will listen to the message.
 If a person will read the Book of Mormon, with real intent, and ask our Father in Heaven to know if it is true, they will be made to know the truthfulness of it, by the Gift of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:3-5)
These are the Chuuk Principals that Elder Crisp spoke to during one of their meetings.  He spoke about having high expectations and holding teachers and students accountable.
The success of the school really depends upon the principal and that they, the principals,  are responsible for everyone and everything on the campus!  He will be training many of them during the summer months in preparation for setting and meeting yearly goals.