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, October 11, 2010

Several Weeks Worth of Bits and Pieces

I realize that I have not posted much of what is happening, mission wise, since before my parents visited. There has been a lot that has gone on and I don't know if I should work backwards or forwards. The one thing I will start with though is the good news we received just before they showed the General Conference broadcast yesterday for our District. A letter was read announcing that L. Tom Perry is coming in December to organize the Guam Stake. They have been trying to get a Stake here for many years and so everyone was excited.

So, after downloading my pictures in what I thought was past to present, I see that I have loaded the most recent first. These first pictures are of the Zone P-day Capture the Flag activity. The sisters planned it and so there was a slight change in the rules. They could not use physical contact to tag someone so everybody had a tennis ball that they had to throw to tag. It appeared that some could use some target practice. The first picture is of the sisters guarding their flag.

You may not be able to tell, but it was raining. There were puddles every where and the missionaries were all soaked to the bone. They were having a blast!! We showed up under our umbrellas to take pictures. They had their home bases spread out so far that we ended up trudging through 3" puddles to get to all the bases. Our shoes were soaked and we had wet clothes up to our thighs.

This was the base for the North District. Their flag is at the top of the monument. Someone was clever in their choice of flag materials. They had hung a suit coat on a tree limb. Much better than the sock that another district used. I don't know where the jacket came from but I hope it was wash and wear. All the missionaries leave their suit coats in the mission home when they arrive. It is the last time they wear a suit until they are ready to go home at the end of the two years. The only people you see wearing suits here are the Mission, District and Branch presidencies and the senior missionaries. Although it is too hot for a suit outside, the air conditioning in our church works super good and it is actually good to have the extra warmth. We have been here for 8 months now and I still forget to take a sweater with me. I end up with goose bumps by the end of the meeting.

Elders Colemere, Schuster and Cook show their weapons of war. Soggy but happy.

Since transfers are this week, we held apartment inspections last week. Elders Wilson, Stanley and Larsen were the winners of the Cleanest Apartment Award. We started giving an award several months ago. After the first time it became a real competition. We actually have missionaries washing windows and laundering their sheets so that they can win. The last two times we have had near ties. I have had to try to think of what we can inspect to have tie breakers.

Several weeks ago we had a Branch activity. There was a great meal but while we were waiting for the food to arrive they also had a few fun activities.

The tables were laid out end to end. On each row of tables they had scrolls of coloring pages as table runners. Crayolas were laid out every few feet. Janice here is coloring Dora. That was the table I chose to sit at and I must say my picture looked great. It was fun to see everyone coloring, especially the adults. They also had a table with Penguins of Madagascar and that little Japanese cartoon character Nee How or whatever.

They then started asking for "volunteers" by announcing names of different couples. We were one of the first couples to go up and do an apple eating race. One of the sisters got a picture on her phone of us that was great but I did not get a copy so this picture is of the next group, the branch president is in the middle. Oh - and we won the first group.

After the meal they had a "Swap Meet". People were to clean out their closets and garages and share with others. All of the items that were left at the end of the night were going to be delivered to a group like the Salvation Army or something like that.

Wayne decided that he wanted to plant something other than the tomatoes that did not produce well so he got a flowering plant of some kind and a papaya tree. The photo on the left is the size when he planted them. The one on the right was taken a few weeks later. The tree is now about four feet tall. When we visited the Fruit Farm we read that papaya trees can produce 10 months after they are planted. He is anticipating having fruit before we go home. I just hope the tree is not so big that we have to go plant it somewhere. We only have about 8' from floor to ceiling on the landing.

We have a new Elder's Quorum President and he is a go getter. He has organized several service projects that Wayne and the Elders who serve in our Branch have participated in. The first was to put a new tin roof on the home of one of our older sisters in the Branch.

This is Sister Cordero. She is the sweetest lady and I love to see her smile. She has had some health issues lately but that smile is always there.

A couple of the Elders helping on the outside.

And one of our Institute students, Kawika, tearing down the ceiling on the inside.

This is Brother Henry. He is a counselor in our Branch Presidency. He and his wife were preparing to go to the Manila temple this week. He had been ill off and on over the last few weeks and this past weekend he landed in the hospital with a 108 degree temperature. He was unconscious and had tubes everywhere. Yesterday we heard he had had a minor miracle and the tubes were taken out. He was talking and saying he was improving so much that by today he should be able to get out of bed and walk so that he could leave with the others tonight. I feel so bad that they are unable to go now.

Bother Henry is only one of the miracles we have seen in our Branch recently. We have another brother who was in a coma several weeks ago. It sounded like he may have had menengitis. He was in ICU for quite a while. He came out of the coma and has gradually been gaining strength. He has gone deaf with only a little of his hearing returning. We were so glad to see him at the conference broadcast yesterday. We were so worried about him.

During the last Zone Leader Council, the missionaries participated in another service project. A family in the Branch had no water in their home. To flush the toilet, they had to bring in bottles or buckets of water. The project was to install a rainwater recovery system like the church uses at the missionary apartments on the islands. In just a few hours they were able to install the whole system. It is so neat that every other month a service project is going to be planned for these Councils.

Somewhere amongst all these activities Wayne had a birthday. What do you get a missionary for his birthday? We sent out the word for everyone to just send a tie. When you wear one every day of the week you get a little tired of what you have (not to mention that someone slops on them and they have stains). How fun to have a new tie for every day of the week. Someone made a comment that Elder Clarke was out of dress code because one of his ties has kangaroos on it (could that be because she is from New Zealand and there is a bit of rivalry?) but he really likes the tie so will keep wearing it.

Well I am sure that there are many things I could include in this post but it is long enough and I really can't remember everything that has gone on. We seem to keep busy and are loving it here. We are excited at the prospect of new friends coming in December. A Family History missionary couple is coming from Southern California. We look forward to having someone to do Family Home Evening and other activities with.


Lynn said...

How about the dust bunnies under the fridge? for the apartment inspections (but watch out for cockroaches...hmmm...maybe not such a good idea.)

Linda Nimer said...

Glad to hear about the mission again. That is great news about the December visit from Elder Perry.