Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We're Here

The date shows that it is the 20th but it is actually Tuesday, Feb. 23rd for us - for you it is still Monday the 22nd. I started this on the computer at the office on Sunday but could not post the pictures. We got internet connection today and so I can finally finish posting the Blog.

We left the MTC at 5:00am on Monday the 15th. There were two big buses filled with missionaries going to all parts of the world. Our flight out of Salt Lake left at 8:30am and we flew to Portland. We enjoyed a 3 hour layover before getting on our 11 hour flight to Tokyo. When we arrived in Tokyo, we at first went to the wrong gate. There was an earlier flight leaving for Guam and so Wayne asked if there were seats available for us on that flight. There was a Continental flight to Guam that had been canceled and so they had booked everyone on the Delta flights. Since they were now booked full, we went looking for our gate. We had 3 hour layover so we found a seat and settled in for the wait. We were lucky enough to have one of the flight attendents, Carlos, sit down next to us. About a half hour into our conversation with him, he mentioned that he was assigned to the business class section and that he was surprised to see that it was almost full (his co-worker was looking on the computer next to him). When he had checked earlier there were only two passengers. We looked at him and made some comment to the effect of asking if he could move us to his section. We did not think he would do anything and so a while later, when he said he was checking in, we were surprised to have him hand us two tickets for business class when he came back.

Bad picture of Carlos the Flight Attendent

We had a WONDERFUL 3 hour flight to Guam. The seats were so comfortable, lots of room and a great meal to boot. We were actually able to get a few hours of sleep. Wayne handed Carlos a copy of the Book of Mormon as we deplaned.

We arrived in Guam at 12:40am. We had to wait forever for our luggage but finally got it all and headed for customs. We breezed through that and were greeted by President and Sister Dowdle who took us to their home to sleep for a few hours before starting the day. We ate breakfast with 8 missionaries who had come for a Zone Leaders Council and then Elder and Sister Westergard (the senior couple covering the office until we arrived) picked us up and took us to our apartment.

Our apartment. What can I say? I feel like a newly wed again. Wayne walked in and immediately said it reminded him of the apartment we lived in when we were first married. It is about the same size. We are located on one of the main roads and so there is more vehicle noise than we like. I think we will get used to that but cigarette smoke tries to leak in from the dryer vent (the washer and dryer are in a closet in the kitchen) and the lack of landscaping outside bothers us. We are looking for another apartment but this one will be okay if we can't find something better. The standards are a little different here and we just need to accept it.

Living room with dining area to the right

The kitchen is really big for this area

One of the many millipedes found in our apartment. Bugs are a bigger problem than at home. We also found a cockroach that was 2 - 3 inches long. Thank goodness it was DEAD!

We unpacked our suitcases and settled into the apartment a little and then headed for the office. The Westergards have been wonderful in helping us learn the ropes. Our training in the MTC was great and we feel comfortable in most of what we are doing.

Beach in Hagatna

The Westergards had taken us on a mini tour of the main part of the island and at 5pm when we left the office we decided to try and find our way to the Kmart and a Mall. I was amazed at how well Wayne found his way around. He went in the opposite direction that we had gone with the Westergards and he was able to find everything we needed. I was totally lost!!

We were able to stay up until 10pm even though we had only had about 6 hours sleep in the last 38 hours. Arriving in the middle of the night and going to bed immediately really helps with the jet lag. We had no problems.

Oh, one thing I discovered on the first day here was Mt. Lam Lam - The Shave Ice store. They serve it with ice cream in the middle just like we had in Hawaii. I have found my favorite place on the island.

President Dowdle was going off island on Friday and we had not really had a chance to talk to him yet so we met he and his wife at Ruby Tuesday's for dinner on Thursday night. We have a LOT of the places you find in the States. We are waiting to experience island cuisine. So far I don't even know what that is.

Young adults getting ready to hike to Tarzan Falls.

On our first preparation day, the Westergards again took us on a mini tour. This time we hit the north part of the island. We went to Ritidian Beach, Two Lovers Point and the beach in the main part of town. All locations were absolutely beautiful. We can hardly wait to tour the South end of the island. We had started the day out at a pancake breakfast for the Young Adults at 6am so even after several hours of touring with the Westergards we were home by lunchtime and so Wayne decided to hunt for another Mall (there are 3 big ones that we know of). We also found a mini Costco named Cost U Less. We are checking out all the grocery stores to compare prices which are all high.

Two Lovers Point

Looking towards Hagatna from Two Lovers Point

The Mini Costco

On Sunday we attended church in the Barrigada Branch. I was really surprised at how many were in attendance. The Branch was split in September and I can not imagine where they would have put anymore people. Our meetings were full.

So far we are loving it here. It is so fun to meet all the missionaries. We have several sister missionaries who come from Australia, Hawaii and parts unknown. I sometimes have a hard time with some of the accents but they are all so CUTE and friendly. I made cookies to put in the office today, since it is Pday and we were told the missionaries just kind of pop into the office. There was a steady stream through the day and they devoured the cookies - all 7 dozen. They were very appreciative of them.

Tonight we had a senior missionary family home evening. There were 7 of us for dinner and a get acquainted activity. It was fun but I miss our Empty Nesters FHE group. It is nice to have a few other "older" missionaries among all the young ones.


Lynn said...

Wow it is gorgeous!
re: the flight attendant--a little kindness goes a long way, doesn't it?

Renee Hart said...

It looks beautiful there. Well, the bugs not so much....., but everything else:-)
Your apartment does kind of look like newly- wed quarters, but isn't it kind of freeing not having to worry about household "stuff"?

missionmom7 said...

Thanks so much for the update. It sounds like great fun. Beautiful pictures. Can't wait till it's our turn. Don't get those missionaries too spoiled with the goodies...hehe. They may come to expect it, and it might be a tough tradition to keep up with.

warren said...

Congratulations on getting through the long travel days. That's the part I hated most. Glad you are enjoying your service...will be interested in your coming experiences..... Have a great mission Warren