As I was browsing through our pictures to do a post, I noticed a couple of videos that Wayne had taken and thought I would try to include them. The first video was taken a couple of weeks ago during one of our really good downpours. I was going to just post a picture but you just do not get the feel of our lovely storms here. The other three videos are just short little clips but they show some really neat members in the Dededo Branch who did fire dances at a Cultural Night. Like I said, they are short but you get the idea.
Transfers occured on October 14th which meant new missionaries coming in and seasoned missionaries going home. This is alway a bittersweet time. I wish I had pictures of the new people but it was a busy time and I missed my opportunity. We had 5 elders and 2 sisters come in late, late Wednesday night. Thursday morning we went up to the Mission Home to do our part in the orientation. I had been looking forward to meeting Sister Smibert who is from Melbourne. Jonathan and Margo are in her Stake but they never crossed paths before she left. I am sad that she was assigned to Saipan and so I will not get to know her until such time that she gets transfered to Guam.
On Friday morning we helped transport 7 missionaries to the airport for their return trip home. One elder had left the day before. One of the elders is from Chuuk (which is actually one of the islands in our mission). He has experienced such growth on his mission and will be such an asset back home.
The elders were lucky enough to be counciled by President Stevenson, the Area President, just before they left. He and the Dowdles were at the airport preparing to leave for Pohnpei where they were dedicating a new Chapel. We crossed paths at the ticketing area he stopped to talk to them and have his picture taken with the departing elders.
With the transfers we added sisters to one of our areas up north. They were to move into an apartment that had been empty for several weeks and had had garbage left in the kitchen. Unfortunately, by the time we went to check on the apartment there were maggots and flys all over the place. I just could not let them move into such conditions so Wayne and I went to do some cleaning one morning. Three hours later we at least had it in a liveable condition (leaving garbage behind might be a clue as to what the rest of the apartment was like). Even with our inspections, it is amazing the condition that these apartments get in.
One week later we went to check on another empty house that the elders had told us had a water problem. We walked into the kitchen and I wondered why it was so dusty. On closer inspection I realized it was not dust but MOLD! The house had the typhoon shutters closed making it dark, it was closed up with no air conditioning for 7 weeks and it was very humid. EVERYTHING was now covered with a thin coating of green mold, even the wood furniture. Sister Miyazaki (the nurse) and I went back yesterday and spent 3 hours cleaning and sanitizing. It only put a dent in the problem. Everything has to be washed - inside cupboards, all the dishes, walls, inside dresser drawers, etc. We have a work session planned for Monday with the missionaries from that District and then another set of sisters is going to move into the house so that it does not happen again. The joys of living in a tropical paradise.
Another of our activities the past few weeks has been to check out apartments for a new senior couple coming in December. We are so excited to have someone coming. We did not think that it would happen. It has been interesting trying to find them housing. We have come to the conclusion that we live in a really good apartment complex and even though it is a little farther from the Family History Center where they will be working we are going to try to get them an apartment in our complex.
Today, the Branch had a combined Young Woman Relief Society service project.
This is a picture of the parking lot at 10:15. The activity was to start at 10:00. There was only one other car in the parking lot. Those cars were all there to clean the building. No one was there for the activity yet except for:
Hannah Stutzman. She is one of our Institute students who hails from Oakhurst. She is here as an exchange student at University of Guam. She knows my son-in-law and it has just been kind of funny to meet someone who comes from home.
Eventually a few more people showed up and we got to work cleaning the "farm" area below the church. There is a large grass area with shade trees where several families in the District have planted gardens. I should have taken a picture of the potatoes, chili's and taro that are growing. Anyone who wants to plant is welcome to do so. This area will soon be under construction. The new Service Center is going to be built here.
No activity here is complete without food. We had red rice, Bar-B-Que chicken and banana bread. Chamorro staples. Wayne is learning how to make the rice so we can do a dinner when we go home.
I had the opportunity to teach Relief Society last week. I received a call Sunday at 7:45am asking if I could help out since the teacher was sick. How can you say no to Sister Mak? Church starts at 9:00am and of course I had not started to get ready yet. I quickly printed up the lesson and a few wordstrips, went in to take a shower and then it was time to go. I skipped Sunday School and went to the Mission Office (next door to the church thank goodness) and finished preparing. That is the way to teach - no time to get nervous. When I said I could teach I had forgotten that I had laryngitis a few days before and it was going in to a cough. I said a prayer that all would go well and it did. My voice was strong and I did not cough once.
We also had an opportunity to visit with one of the Assistants investigators last week. They were unable to make an appointment and asked if we could cover. What a neat experience. The man has been reading and studying the Book of Mormon and has such a testimony. It is so sad that he has a Word of Wisdom problem. He is so ready for baptism but as he says "the Elders really put up a road block when they talked to him about the Word of Wisdom". He is trying so hard and is doing a great job but just can't give up those last 3 cigarettes each day.
We are almost at the half way point of our mission and we just keep saying where did all that time go? The weeks just seem to fly by. We are loving what we do and encourage any who can to go on a mission. Make the decision and start working towards that day that you can go. It is such a good experience.