Sunday, August 24, 2014

S&I Opening Inservice, Opening Fono & 3 Chuukese Elders leave for Missions!

 School is in session now, almost everywhere, but we have scheduled S&I to start up September 1st.  We got in our Branch Presidents, Counselors and Seminary & Institute Teachers to present the new curriculum to them, which is Church History and the Doctrine and Covenants.  One-third of the Book of Mormon is all the LDS scriptures they have at present, so we put together some curriculum for them, translated into Chuukese, to accompany the "Doctrine and Covenants Stories" which we DO have in Chuukese.  We found large pictures of the Manilla Phillappines Temple for each Branch Building, along with some varied Church History pictures we had brought with us.  They will do more good with them, than sitting in our apartment!  With 10 Groups & Branches in Chuuk, we couldn't possibly do the teaching of these classes.  We train and encourage, and pray for them to do the rest.  We showed the movie:  Joseph Smith, The Prophet of the Restoration.  They don't see much videos around here, and it was well received.  Most of our B. Presidents speak a bit of English, although they don't read it much.  Elder Crisp gave some training about the program, and had District President Wainis translate for him, to make sure he was understood.  Each Branch was given two Triple Combinations, in English, if they can be of use to them while teaching.
 President Tarsi Wainis gives further encouragement to all these leaders to carry out the Programs of the Church.  They are for the benefit of all, especially our youth, when it comes to S&I.  We had about 40 people in attendance.  One Branch was not represented for this Inservice and Training.  Our most stalwart Seminary Teacher had to work, but we know she will do the Program!

 We had promised to buy "uniform" shirts for the children at Mechitiw Branch who had not been going to school, who said it was because of not being able to afford the shirts.  To them, that meant all the Mechitiw children who would be attending the 2 schools involved!  So we bought 8 yellow shirts for Iras kids, but no blue stripe shirts were available for Mechitiw School.  The Principal declared that a collared white shirt and dark pants or skirt could be worn.  I was able to get a good price on 44 white shirts in sizes from 4-18, and since more than half had long sleeves, I spent a day cutting the sleeves short and re-hemming.  We gave them to the B. Pres. to sort out with who needs them.  We were able to get some backpacks from the District left over from last school year, and gave them out with some school supplies while they lasted.   We caught "Branch kids" on the road to school and gave then out.  We know that some high school and elementary kids went back to school after years of absence, or started for their first  time ever into school.  We know that education is the key to a successful life.  We hope they will continue on, and improve their situation in life.
 In the past few days, we saw Elder Selander take his new "trainee companion", Elder Okao, out to the small island of Fono, which we can see from our upstairs porch.  They are being well received, and are excited about the work to do out there.  There are several other churches already established out there.  The 50# bag of flour that I am processing into bags for the freezer (2 days turned on to kill the weevil eggs), is the best way to save some money here.  I guess buying in bulk is the way to save $ most places!  Anyway, between white and wheat flour, I have been through around 300 pounds baking for people and events.  I was cooking/baking for our Inservice Meeting and had been out of flour!  (bottom rt. pic) When people commit to speak in Church, and then get cold feet, the local Elders are then called on to take up time during the Sacrament Meeting.  These Elders: Schroath, Rainey, Plocher & Garae, did a great job filling in (we think they did, we did not understand many words...).  I am SURE that this impromptu stuff helps the Elders to grow in Testimony and conviction of what they are teaching.  This is part of the reason they come home so much "grown up"!!  We have great Elders here, and many good leaders--future leaders in the Church!

Brothers Branch and Dalton came to Chuuk for nearly 2 weeks to help fit Chuukese into prosthetics, who have lost some body parts due to diabetes.  They came with us 2 Sundays to Church.  We thought that they needed a better "cultural experience" than the "real building" we have at Mwan, so the second week we took them to Mechitiw for meetings there--see next pic.
 At Mechitiw Branch we had record numbers, about 90 people attended a fairly small room.  After talks by Memory Weita, Sis. Weita and Pres. Weita, Tarson Amateus gave his testimony before leaving for his mission to Suva Fiji that night!  His mother and 3 sisters (2 are hiding behind) sang a song we didn't recognize, between their tears.  It was a lovely sight.  (Branch and Dalton are here at b.left pic.)  This Branch has 5-10 kids for every adult that comes to church.  Some of the kids come w/o parents, and go in and out frequently, which is quite a distraction.  We have had Tarson come to our apartment, whenever he was willing, to help him with his English.  He hasn't been in school since very early elementary years.  He doesn't write much of anything.  We helped him some, and the Provo MTC will continue to help him read and write English.  Luckily, Fiji is mostly English speaking.
 TL + BR shows Elder Crisp doing teacher inservice at Zavier High School.  They have 12 teachers, mostly from America, and it is the premier high school here.  Of course, that comes with a monthly tuition cost to the students.  Chuuk High kids hardly come up with the $10 fee at registration.  As long as we have English speaking educators here in Chuuk, things will improve.  Chuukese teachers don't bother to use English much, and since hardly any books are printed in Chuukese, it retards their education and skills. B:  E&S Crisp spent a few hours in the Mwan Branch library.  Boxes of materials come from the Church,  and most things stay in boxes or piled up, so not much use is made of them.  We helped to organize the room, so manuals and teaching materials can be found by those leaders who need them.  TR:  This pic is taken Monday morning about 12:30 a.m. at the airport, as Nuno Kata from Sapuk, and Tarson from Mechitiw are leaving for their missions together.  Nuno heads to Brisbane Australia after the MTC.  He graduated from Chuuk High, and speaks pretty good English.
Earlier in the week, we sent off K-Last Paulis to his mission to Brisbane, Australia as well, by way of MTC in Provo.  This is his parents and a brother, with S. Crisp.  K-Last doesn't speak, read or write much English, but we weren't able to get him to us to help him improve.  He may be in Provo a while!

Now a note to parents of Missionaries... please think before you send your missionary items that are NOT on the approved list of missionary accessories!  You might find your missionary home before you expect it.  We as missionaries are expected to "follow with exactness" the mission rules.  We are NOT a "social media" mission...we can't even keep the internet going at Mwan Branch!

Friday, August 15, 2014

5 New Elders, E.C. Baptizes, Inservicing for new school year

 A new school year has arrived!  E & S Crisp helped out the registration process at Chuuk High School.  On August 6th, there were around 1200 students all crowding around one of these tents!  We helped the 11th graders to find their schedule and pay their $10 fee.  They will be using computers and various other commodities, and this is a very nominal fee to charge them!  It didn't seem like the best plan, but in the past, much of the "fees" were not turned in to the office after registration, so this is what they do.  We had picked up some backpacks, 3-subj notebooks, pencils, etc. to fill a bunch for our LDS kids we could find on campus.  We had a few for some of our elementary kids at Mechitiw, as well.  Paul was the Principal last year, and continues to do whatever he can to advance education in Chuuk.  He trained Jason to take his place, but since neither have received a contract (or respectable one) yet, maybe the school will run itself...
 This green spot on the way to Sapuk is the nicest area on the island.  I think it reminds E. Crisp of the game of golf he loves to play!  Large or small areas all get weed-eatered, no lawn-mowering!  Most areas have hidden "stuff" that would certainly wreck a mower in a hurry, so we see people using the weed-eater everywhere.  Big, long job.  Very often the men put on long skirts to protect their legs...
Elder Plocher is one thoughtful Elder!  We haven't had an opportunity to actually teach missionary lessons to anyone, so he had E. Crisp baptize this gentleman out at Sapuk.  They waded into the ocean, and around a big mangrove area to get deep enough water, so this is all the pix I got!  Elder Ladore was the companion.
 This was transfer week.  Elder Plocher is now a Zone Leader along with Elder Rainey!  Elder Selander stepped down to train this one last transfer before heading home.  He is getting a new companion on Sunday night, and will be opening our little island of Fono, on our side of things.  They will be part of the Tonoas-Uman District. (top left) Elder Ladore will be training Elder Heim in Sapuk.  (below) Elder Fabiano will be training Elder Maughan in Sopata, Paata.  Elder Vehikite will train Elder Jeffery in Mechitiw.  And, Sunday night, Elder Andrada will return from Guam and Elder Jonas will continue his training!  Whew, we are up to 26 young elders now, plus us "old guys".  On Wednesday and Thursday these Elders spent a few hours at our apt. skyping and on speaker phone for their training to be trainers!  Not to mention the Elders in our "waiting room" just hanging out with us.  The internet at Mwan Bldg isn't working--what a surprise!  This is the first time that the Elders weren't flown in to Guam.  A disappointment to the guys, but a big savings for the Church!
 T.L.: Bill Davis and Koji Kodama came from Guam and Tokyo and went to Akoyikoyi School, the High School and the District School Office to discuss needs of Chuuk for computers and other items that might be forthcoming to help out the schools.  Our Humanitarian arm of the Church has given much assistance here and elsewhere, to help these "developing nations".  The help is greatly appreciated.  The next pictures above and below are some of the groups that Elder Crisp has inserviced the past 2 weeks, helping the elementary schools get ready to start their new year.  Some schools were sadly lacking attendance of their teachers.  They had excuses.... who really knows.  We help as we can, and are wanted.  He trained at Akoyikoyi, Mechitiw, Neauo, Sapuk and Penia some more than once.  He has a very busy time of it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August Zone Mtg & E.Crisp helps the Chuukese Educators

 Our August Zone Meeting took place on Sunday.  Between United Airlines and the Chuukese at the airlines (or somewhere)  they like to overbook flights.  So, our Zone Leaders were bumped off the flight to Guam to get their monthly training.  So, they came up with different, and all good training on Sunday evening.  Good plan...after getting some groceries on Monday morning, the Elders can get back to their most important work of sharing the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ with any and all who will listen!  Top left is Elders Kleven and Telona on Udot.  Then, the Crisp's.  Next clockwise are our Zone Leaders: Elders Selander and Rainey.  They will both be leaving soon.  Next are very nice young men in Nantaku: Elders Payne and Simpson!  Nice neighbors to us!
 Elder Jonas' trainee from the Philippines didn't get a visa in time, and had to go to Guam to serve, so Elder C was sent to Romanum.  Next Wichap: Vanisi and Roque.  With loosing that Elder and E Obray--zone leader gone home, we are down to 22 young Elders until next transfer.  So, Paata now has Elders Paulis and McEwan. (DL)Paata is a tough place, and E McEwan has done a good job out there!   Next, Elders Peck (DL) and Tafuna on Tonoas.  Elder Peck was the best Chuukese language translator from our whole group working on our Seminary and Institute packet!  He did great proofreading, and our Chuukese neighbor declared his translation the best when we asked for a little help!  Elder Peck returns home soon, as well.  He has been a very good missionary!
 For some "strange" reason, the district where we live has been doing lots of splits!  Elders Fabiano and Plocher (top left) are not really companions as are Elders Ladore and Vehikite (bottom left) not companions, but they are paired up a lot... (T.R.) Elders Garae and Schroath are in Neauo, and Elders Holmes and Fermanis are on Uman.
 At the end of our meeting, Elder Crisp talked about the "Survival Bags" that Sister McClellan put together for each companionship throughout the Mission.  There is no food to "ravish" (as our Elders would do...), but very handy things to have on hand when a major disaster/storm comes this way.  She has gone home now, and we have a new nurse and his wife, which we have been told nothing about!
The Elders were each given a loaf of banana coconut bread for a snack.  They have no trouble eating it all by themself.  (See pix at end of blog post)  I made 4 lg batches to get enough of the right size and shape...
This group of people are pioneers here in Chuuk!  They are the new teachers and principals hired to take over for people that retired or just weren't getting the job done!  Elder Crisp has been a part of the educational reform movement and did some of the training.  He trained them on good teaching practices, accountability, teacher evaluation, lesson planning, long term planning, and things to do on the first day of school to help you get off on the right foot!  We will monitor the group and see the changes that come out of our efforts.