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.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Catch Up

It has been several weeks since I last posted and when I think back on that time I can't really remember all that went on. The big event was the birth of our newest grandchild. Adeline Denelle was born on July 12th. She was 23" long and weighed 9lbs. 9oz. It was hard not being there for the arrival but I am so thankful for SKYPE. It would be so much harder without it.

We missed fireworks on the Fourth of July but July 21st was Liberation Day here in Guam. We did not brave the parade in the morning but we made our way up Nimitz Hill to watch the fireworks that night. Wayne thought that would be the perfect view. It was and it was just too bad everyone else had the same idea. We were lucky we went early and got good parking and a choice spot to park our bodies.

Unfortunately, we did not think to bring chairs. The grass was wet since it had rained a little earlier but I had the bright idea to have Wayne go back and get our sunshade from the car. It made the perfect sit-upon.

A few days later we enjoyed the 24th of July celebration for our District (equivalent to a Stake). Too bad we did not get pictures but each room in the church was set up with displays from the various islands of Micronesia and some of the other homelands of members here. The idea was to highlight the pioneers of these areas. It was very informative and interesting to see the things they brought to share. There was a program before dinner and some of the people performed dances from their homelands.

This is Freddie Nicerio. He is our Seminary and Institute Coordinator. He is also a Branch President up north and here he is a musician and singer. He played for his fellow Filipino performers.
The dance represented the planting of the rice fields.

The missionaries also got up and sang our mission hymn. I always like it when they all sing. Those missionaries who have served on the other islands sing in those languages. There also were performances by Palauans, Pohnpeians, Marshalese and I do not know who else because we had to take a break in the middle of the performances and go meet some couple missionaries at the airport.
We came back from the airport just in time to eat. These are two of the couples, Elder and Sister Duncan and Elder and Sister Holloway. They are with one of our favorite Institute students. Juliette is from Pohnpei where the Holloways teach Seminary and Institute. The Duncans also served on Pohnpei for a while but moved to Chuuk where they are the coordinators of the Seminary and Institute programs.

Over the weekend we had six couples fly in to Guam from the 5 outer islands of our mission. They all attended church in our Barrigada Branch on Sunday and then we all gathered at the Mission Home for dinner.

Elder Sheppard, who is serving on Yap but is from Canada, loves to cook so he and Sister Sheppard presented us with a wonderful Greek meal - with a Pacific Isle taste. He is finishing up Butterflied Coconut Shrimp here.

The men really got into the spirit of cooking. Elder Clarke seems to be supervising there on the right.
Elder Holloway, Elder Foote and Elder Duncan - coating the Coconut Shrimp.

This is half of the group. Just look at those smiles! They really enjoyed the meal.

Happy and contented after having been fed both physically and spiritually. We had a wonderful testimony time after the meal.

Monday morning we were again spiritually fed. We had a great day of teaching and sharing. Can't wait until tomorrow for more.

After classes, we all headed for Chili's and once again ate too much. Food is an important part of getting togetherl

After dinner we invited everyone to our place for games. If you could see what we are playing, some of you might say we were playing Bunco. We weren't though. We were playing Three Degrees of Glory. You progress to Celestial Glory. We played this a few weeks ago with our Institute kids and they enjoyed themselves but it did not compare to tonight. I was just glad we only played till 9:00pm because I was afraid our neighbors would call the police. Some people, and I won't say who, really got worked up and quite vocal. I think Elder Duncan really enjoyed the game though.

After Elder Duncan was deemed the Biggest Winner and his wife the Biggest Loser, we finished the night off with some wonderful pies from one of the many, many great bakeries here. If you can't read the label, that was a Mango pie. Wayne wanted to try it and it was a good thing he had picked it. It actually was very good.

So everyone has now gone, Wayne is in bed, I am almost done with this post and I am enjoying the sound of the pouring rain. Today has made us think that we really are in the rainy season. It was a good day to be inside. I love the sound of the rain but it has been coming down pretty hard and it is not fun to drive in. It can continue to rain tomorrow, but on Wednesday it had better stop. We are going miniature golfing with the group!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We just got back from a fun night at Institute. Last week I taught a few of the kids how to play Nertz. I figured that since there were only a few there (half the boys were at Scout Camp as adult leaders) we could play it again this week. When I said what we were doing, there were several exclamations of joy. They really did have fun and I love to see them get so involved. As I have said before, they do love to play games. We start our lessons out with some kind of a game or word puzzle. Some of them have been a bit too hard but they still seem to enjoy doing them.

Last week we had Zone Conference here on Guam. We had an excellent presentation by the Zone Leaders. I was impressed with their power point and they really covered some good materials with a lot to think about and implement in the work here on Guam. President Dowdle talked about not focusing on the problems of the investigators (transportation, Word of Wisdom, chastity, etc.) but help them to feel the spirit, gain a testimony and experience that mighty change of heart. When that happens, then the people will take care of the problems themselves. He reviewed what Richard Heaton had taught when he was here - making your companionship a threesome and teaching with the Spirit. It was a very good day.
Last week we sent another Senior couple home. This is Elder and Sister Zaugg and their friend Yang. The Zauggs returned to Utah. That leaves the Clarke's and Sister Miyazaki. We are really hoping that we will have more Senior Couples coming to serve here but we do not really think that anyone will be coming. Before we get someone here, we need couples to do Seminary and Institute on two of the other islands. We will be losing two more couples in the Fall.
This is a picture from the Boonie Stomp that Wayne went on last Saturday. There is a group that meets every Saturday to hike somewhere on the island. They have a website so you can check beforehand on where the hike will be done. They rate the hike as to difficulty. This hike was rated medium and I am glad that I did not go with Wayne. He said it was really rough. I will wait to do an easy one with him.
A view from the top of the ridge.

There were wild orchids all along the trail.
There was a rock that had graffitti from 1929.
They came across the ruins of a World War II operations base.
Looking back through my postings, I realized that I did not post pictures when we lost our group of 14 missionaries. 13 of them spent the night at the Mission Home before their departure (one elder had family that flew to the island where he was serving and spent a week being tourists before he went home). This is half of them just sitting around waiting to go to the airport. They all seemed to be a bit reluctant to go and held off as long as they could.
Elder Walpoles parents came to tour his mission with him before he went home. They were on Guam for several days and then left for Yap. I know Elder Walpole was very excited to be able to return to the area where he spent most of his mission. He learned Yapese so well that he will be working with the church doing translations back home in Utah.
This is our group of 12 Elders and the lone sister. Sister Kanakorn was returning to Thailand, the majority of the Elders were headed for Utah. It was so hard to say goodbye to so many at once. We will really miss all of them.