Thursday, September 25, 2014

Coming to an End in Chuuk!

 On our last week in Chuuk, Elder Crisp was asked to do a teachers meeting inservice at Chuuk High School.  Before he was finished, 37 people attended, with World Teach and regular h.s. Chuukese teachers.  Kalika gave E. Crisp a W.T. bag and card signed by many to say thanks for his help during the summer and 2 school years.
 A few days after the inservice, these World Teach teachers invited us for dinner!  Very kind of them.  We have very much enjoyed getting to know many of the 27 W.T. people.  Seated around the table are:  Maya, Cory, Aaron & Layla, Marybeth, Lita and us!  The W.T. are making a great difference at the schools they work at: high school, Iras, Mwan and Akoyikoyi. 

We "borrowed" a few pictures from President Zarbock's facebook pages from our last meeting with him and our Elders.  Here are E/S Crisp giving final testimonies, our group, and while we were doing "Sacred Role Play" with Elders Kleven and Siren (Chuukese)!

   "We call it "sacred" role play because it is through role play we create "spiritually" those things we want our investigators to learn and understand, before we teach them in their homes.

Just as the earth was created "Spiritually" before it was created temporally, role play, when done in this manner, can be a very powerful tool, and inevitably we feel the Spirit as we practice our teaching.
The Chuuk elders are a wonderful, powerful group of young men the Lord has chosen to bring the gospel to a beautiful people. It is my belief that Chuuk is on the cusp of amazingly spiritual growth. I have the utmost confidence in this group of valiant elders. I love you elders. President Zarbock"

Chuuk Police Station and Jail

We go to the police station when we need a "police clearance" for a departing missionary who needs a visa for somewhere.  We did one for Mfour Mateaus, who is currently serving in California.  Australia has been VERY SLOW at giving him his visa, and now,  9 months after first one, Australia wants another "clearance" on a person who hasn't been here for 6 months, and guaranteeing his good conduct for the next 18 months!!  What government could do that, when a person is not living here, and who knows ANYONE'S future conduct!  Maybe USA should give them one, since he is living there now.... So we got a clearance up to this weeks date...

This mountain is out our back door.  E. Crisp thinks these Koreans or Japanese are doing something "scientific".  As Eakins said, "nothing is very scientific" in Chuuk!  It looked like they were mixing up some cement.  We won't be around to see what they are actually doing.  They are NOT building a house.  The mountain is very steep!
We went to Akoyikoyi School to check in with them, and say "goodbye".  We were greeted with leis (2 for me!!) and cards and a Thank-You certificate from Clark Graham.  He runs a great school at Pedia.  Actually the best elementary one in all of Chuuk.  He has K-3 this year, with 4th to start next year.  In K they learn English and progress from there.  Great place to visit.  E. Crisp helped them get better organized, and they were one of only 3 schools in Chuuk that got accredited this year!  Way to go Clark and helpers.  He trains an administrator each year from his group of teachers.  They teach a year, act as admin. the 2nd year, then go on their way.  It's a great plan.

The leis smell really nice, too.  These girls placed them on us!

We were invited to lunch at the Blue Lagoon by our friends at the education department for Chuuk.  The Director, Gardenia Alik (sitting next to me) put together the luncheon.  Her Deputy Director Noah Ruben sits by E. Crisp. Our high school principal, Paul Hadik sits by Gardenia.  The other ladies help hold everything together!  Paul also helps the district office with accreditation and teaching some at the h.s. Great people!!
Wow, they were generous. In addition to giving us (lunch),  leis, we were given a shell necklace each, Christmas ornaments for the tree, a lovely fan (with embroidery) and this beautiful floor (or wall) mat.  It is made from tree pieces, sort of like palm fronds. Very lovely.

 On our way home, we stopped at the airport to see how we could get the floor mat home, and met up with our 2 "dying" elders: Rainey and Peck.  They completed their missions and were heading home.  We got there just in time to say goodbye, before they headed through the gate.
I posted both, since some look better in one than another pix.  top row: Elders Payne, Schroath (new zone leader),  Crisp, Plocher (z.l.), Simpson, Kleven, Holmes, Jeffrey, Heim & S.Crisp. bottom: Elders Vanisi, Rainey, Peck & Telona.  E.Payne will be heading to Guam to train a new elder in a Chuukese area and E.Telona will be going to Saipan to be a zone leader!  Meanwhile, 7 of our Elders are currently in Guam, being trained to train 7 new elders coming to Chuuk!   With 14 Elders to get plane tickets for, there is a slight delay.  They will be gone 9 days before getting back to begin training.  The elders who will be training are: Garae, Tafuna, Fermanis, Canakiavata (Coach for short), Hokoa, Siren and Paulis.  Vanisi will continue training Jeffery, Simson w/Heim, Jonas w/Andrada and Fabiano w/Maughan.  Busy place...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

7 Seminaries may be going (with pix) & Pres. Zarbock makes an extra visit to Chuuk!!

 We visited our Mechitiw Seminary class one evening (5:30) and they were waiting for a few more to come.  We played some games until 6 p.m. I forgot to get pix of the balloons, since I was playing with them!  They have several non-members attending their classes.  Always lots of children trying to attend, as well!  President Weita has been coming, along with 2 team teachers: Buddy Herry and Memory Weita.  They are having good success so far.
 At Mwan Seminary, they are having their large numbers getting out of the habit of attending.  Sis. Oriko Ewar is diligent as always, and has moved the time later, to 6 a.m.  Lass Newyear and Herselina Walter are the regulars. Her name isn't on the rolls, even though her dad used to be District President!

President Zarbock got the impression Chuuk Zone needed him, and his wise counsel.  He came with Sister Zarbock, and didn't do a zone conference, but rather training meetings.  We weren't invited to all of it, but enjoyed the parts we attended, including lunch!

 We met at the Blue Lagoon Resort, and as always, the grounds are beautiful.  It is probably the nicest location on Weno, for the scenery.  The yard guys have acres to keep trimmed up, with no lawnmowers!  President and Sister Zarbock always give good lessons and counsel to we missionaries.  We have 24 young elders at present, but might get back to 26 next week on transfers, even though we lose 3 to missionary work.  They will go home to pursue their life's preparation for the work force!  The missionary experiences they obtain definitely help them for this preparation, and eternity...
 Our Zone leaders are Elders Rainey (for a few more days) and Elder Plocher.  They do a great job training and taking of business here.  There is a LOT of business to take care of, with so many guys to look after.  We help when we are asked.  We don't want to interfere in their business and callings.
Here are random shots of our missionary force.  I hope the families looking can spot their Elder! 
 President Zarbock has a new name for a necessary part of the training:  Sacred Role Play.  Our Elders are young and inexperienced in life's ways.  "Practicing" teaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ can help them know how to teach their "investigators", seeking understanding and knowledge of what we have to bring them.  We know all religions have many "truths", but as President Hinckley said, "we'll take what you have, and give you further light and knowledge" of the gospel message taught by Christ. (not his EXACT words!)
 We had a third opportunity to give our departing testimonies.  Elders Peck, Selander and Rainey leave next week.  We leave a few days later.  These are good young men we work with!  We have enjoyed our time helping whenever and wherever we are asked.  We hope we have made a difference.  We see small steps coming from some of the work we have done here.  We will be replaced by another couple soon, and hope they will continue a BLOG!  We hear from families thanking us for helping them to know how their missionaries are doing.  And, just seeing pictures, etc.
Near the end of our meeting, Elders Fabiano, Kleven, Peck, Selander and Jonas sang a song for us. They did an excellent job.  Of course, we always end with our Mission Hymn--a fun song to sing in Chuukese.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Elders, Family History Hursts Help Chuuk

 It's always fun to see our Chuukese Elders after we have said goodbye. At the MTC: Elders Kata, Paulis and Amatus with Nick Obray...without the "traditional elder" facial hair look!! Well, he's in school now, so it's okay, I guess.
 Here, former E. Huppe was called in to translate for a day. Elder Masauo joined the group.  How's your English coming, Elders?

 President Tarsisio Walter, from Romanum, helped Gladwin Singeo prepare to leave on his mission A LOT!  We thank him.  He even gave him a job, so the Church didn't have to pay for his passport.  We like to help our young people learn to "help themselves" with mission costs.
 Elders Telona and Vanisi from Wichap came to say goodbye to Elders Vehikite and Ladore.  We are back to 24 elders for a few weeks until transfers.
 The mission Family History couple, the Hursts, came to Chuuk for a few days.  We took the "nice facilities management boat" out to Uman, Paata and Udot. Tonoas was unavailable at the last minute.  Uman had lots of interested people doing their pedigree charts.  Uman folks will be some of our next people to prepare for a temple trip to Manilla Temple!
 As the big people were doing their "geneology paper work", the children had a good hill to slide down sitting on palm tree fronds and having lots of fun.  Uman has 6 nice big water collector barrels provided by the Church, to help the community with their water needs.  Our Church does this around the world to help communities.
The basketball court on the Church grounds is also used by the community.  We help schools and communities around the world to have some basic "necessities" to help where needs are communicated to us.  Lots of great people at Uman.
 We took the boat out 2 days to get with these 3 Church groups for family history.  Here we are at Paata. Some of these people are not members "yet", but they are interested.  Elder Hurst was able to buy a very beautiful shell from one of these "prospective members"!  As we were gathering the group for a pix at the end, this older lady was still intent on helping others finish their charts.  She seemed to have a very good recollection of family members past and present, way beyond her personal family members.
 We went to Udot next.  The Group Leader, our Elders and Pres. Walter, who came over from Romanum, were involved in a wedding and then a baptism, so we were able to find some women and children near our new "tent chapel" to help with family history.  We had a nice group here.  The little girl had a pet "chucka or chucko" (don't know if it was a boy or girl chicken) that we hope will survive the "handling" that day.  I guess that until the baby chicks get used to where their home is, they keep a pretty tight leash on them!
 We were gluttons for punishment, as we took the nice boat out 3 days in a row, because we wanted to see what was happening on Fono, our newest island to be opened.  We hadn't seen Elder Selander's new companion yet (Elder Hokao) and President Wainis was invited to join the investigators for their Sacrament Meeting.  We tagged along, although for the 3rd day out on the water, we put hats on.  We already were very sunburned. We hoped that might show in this picture.  We had a nice group there, and the Elders are planning on at least 8 baptisms for their first month there.  Lots of very nice people on Fono. The first pic shows the "glassy ocean", lovely day for traveling, looking toward where our apartment is on Weno.  Next pix of our "stick" helper guys on our f.m. boat.
 E. Selander acts as the Branch President, for now.  This pix shows their house. Church is held in the "garage". It is a large space, with extra walls of stacked bricks.  Only problem was a Catholic Church nearby that rang their bell every time we were praying...maybe they had a spy somewhere nearby...
 Monday we went to Mechitiw and Sapuk Branches for F.H.  On the way home, these little guys were coming from school.  The white shirts were our contributions to help them get into school, since there are no uniform shirts available at present.  The backpacks were contributions from our Church for many of the students around Chuuk.

Monday evening we had our Sept Zone Mtg.  Elder Plocher is a new Z.L. and did a great job, along with E Rainey.  Two good elders. Crisp's, the A.P.'s from Guam (Elders Petersen and Barrus), and the Hurst's are shown here.

 Elders Jonas and Andrada are on Romanum (training).  Elders Payne and Fermanis are on Uman.  Elders Heim and Simpson are in Nantaku (training). Elders Hokao and Selander on Fono (training).
 Elders Kleven and Siren are serving on Udot.  E Siren is Chuukese--we sent him off a while back!  His Chuukese language knowledge was needed in a hurry, so he was imported from Guam! Elders Vanisi and Telona are serving in Wichap.  Elders Schroath and Garae are in Neuo.  Elders Fabiano and Maughan are serving in Paata (Pokocho)--training.
 Elder Holmes is now training E. Jeffery, out of Nantaku house.  Elders Tafuna and Peck are on Tonoas.  Elders Paulis and Canakiavata are also on Paata--Sopota.  I baked 5 of my eggless wacky cakes for our extra large group of 30 for Zone Meeting.  Had no complaints, hope there were no stomach aches!  The pieces were pretty large.  Sister Hurst brought 2 lg chocolate chip cookies EACH!! from the Truk Stop Hotel. Their food and desserts are good!  This, and j-Max for a drink, was perhaps an overload of sweets. Everyone seemed to get them down okay though...
 E Jonas was leading our songs again.  He does a fine job!  The Mission Hymn is always a joy to hear, with the elders standing for it.
And that's a wrap for this Zone Meeting.  We hear that next week, we are having a Zone Conference!!  Sort of a surprise to everyone.  So, more elders pix next week!  I think our Zone is learning a little more about "EXACT OBEDIENCE"!!  President Zarbock has "Raised the Bar" for our Elders!