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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!!

NOW ELDERS IN CHUUK... HOPE YOU WILL GET THE IDEA TO HELP YOUR BRANCH PRESIDENTS PLAN SUCH ACTIVITIES WHERE THERE IS A GOSPEL MESSAGE, ALONG WITH ALL THE FUN AND FOOD!!

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