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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


We have had a busy few weeks. There has been lots of activity which makes life here in Guam interesting. Elder Clarke has pictures from another Boonie Stomp that he went on but I will let him post them seperately. He saw some really beautiful scenery.

The big announcement should be the winners of the Cleanest Apartment Award. We let the winners know who they were late last Friday and when I came into the office on Monday morning they had put up their own poster announcing the winner. They were so excited that they couldn't wait for me to make it up. The winners were the Assistants and Office Elders. Theirs is the only apartment with 4 missionaries living together. In the past, this has actually been one of the worst apartments. They are justified though since they are the ones that have to house the extra elders coming in from the other islands for meetings. Last Leadership Training they actually had about 12 elders in their apartment. Well, they have been trying so hard the last few transfers to win the Cleanest Apartment Award. They had made such a huge effort two transfers ago that we gave them the Most Improved Award. It is the only time that award has been given out. Elder Tuaitanu had tried so hard to win before he went home last transfer but they just didn't quite make it. Sooooo, they really worked hard this time and it paid off. They did tell us that this was just a one time thing though. It is just too much work for them!

As I am writing this, I am listening to the sound of water pouring off of the roof. We had a beautiful day today but it is now very windy and rainy. We had just commented earlier in the evening about how much we like the rain here as opposed to the rain in Fresno. We have lots of little showers here but they are quick and over with. They also are in spots. It may be raining as we leave our apartment but not 3 blocks away. You can be driving and see that you will be in a little rain storm about 1/2 a mile away. It is like a wall. You drive a mile and you are out of it again. It is quite interesting. I looked up the rainfall stats for Guam. Jan, Feb and March are supposed to be the driest months with normal rainfall being about 4". Since the beginning of this year we have had over 18" of rain. Fresno is not the only one that is having a wet winter. But we do like it.

Our new Stake had their first Relief Society activity a week ago. They had a dinner for the RS Birthday. I wish I had had my camera with me but I got a ride and did not take my purse. The decorations were really nice, the attendance was surprising (they had to set up more places) and the program was so good. We had two excellent talks by the new Stake RS President and one of her counselors. The counselor had to fly in to attend - she lives on Saipan which is part of our Stake.

This was another person who flew in to attend. Well that wasn't really why she flew in. This is Sister Stutzman - she is Hannah's mother. They are from Madera. Hannah is an exchange student at University of Guam and Mama Stutzman came to visit. Hannah is returning to Calif. at the end of this semester. We will miss her.

Monday night for FHE we played Gospel Taboo. This is a game I downloaded off the computer and played last week after our Institute class. The kids had fun with it but I don't think they have the background knowledge of the gospel that helps in playing the game. The Senior Couples however did. Elder Hertzberg does not like to play games and so I have held off doing this in our FHE's. But I couldn't help myself. I just had to play a game. It actually turned out pretty good and I think he enjoyed it too. We played girls against the guys and the guys won but only by about 6 points. It is a really good game. If anyone is interested, just google LDS Taboo Game.

Today was transfers so that means that a couple of missionaries are going to be leaving. We will miss:
Sister Anitema who will be returning to Brisbane Australia. She will soon see Elder Mafile'o who went home several months ago. They are from the same Stake.

Elder Brandenberg will be leaving us also. Is it my imagination or does he look like he could be related to the Mechams?

Speaking of the Mechams, that is the name of the new Mission President who will be here July 1.
Steve and Angela Mecham are from Salt Lake City. We look forward to meeting them but will be sad to see the Dowdles go. We will work with President Mecham for one month before we too will head home.

We also lost Elders South and Standage two weeks ago. They both had been serving on other islands and so I did not get pictures of them before they left.

We welcomed Elder Richardson and Elder Davis to the mission today. We got to meet them when we went to the Orientation and talked about finances, housing and vehicle inspections. They are both off to other islands tomorrow. It is always nice to meet the new missionaries but we don't really get to know a lot of them if they are not assigned to Guam. They will usually stay on the other islands most of their mission since they have to learn a language. There are a few Elders who have actually been assigned to two different islands and are multi-lingual. I hope Elder South will get a chance to use his Pohnpeian and Chuukese languages someday.

Tonight was movie night at Institute. We are studying the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History this year. Since we had talked about the martyrdom last week, we decided to show the movie about Joseph Smith that was shown on Temple Square. The Seminary meets at the same time so we invited them to join us.

We had popcorn, carmel corn and sodas for them to load up on before the movie started.

We pulled all the couches and chairs from the foyers so everyone could get comfy.

Bishop Nicerio joined us. He is our Seminary and Institute Co-ordinator.

After the class time we set up for a game of Nertz. We have played this several times before but we always have new kids playing so once again I am trying to explain the game.

After a practice round they were off and running.

Audrey really was more interested in her music than the game so she finally left the game to the serious players and sat down to enjoy her sounds.

Audrey's brother, Curtis, is one of the serious ones. He and Cathy were doing well.

But the winners were Andrew and Gerald. Gerald is not usually on the winning end so even though he does not really look it, I think he was really excited. On the inside he really looked like Andrew does.

And so ends March. We look forward to General Conference. Unlike you who will be viewing it this weekend, we will have to wait until April 9 and 10 to see it - or we could get up at 2am Sunday and Monday mornings to view it live on BYU TV. I think I will sleep and wait for the rebroadcast.


Elder and Sister Jackson said...

We enjoyed reading about your activites and seeing the wonderful pictures of the missionaries and you. Have you met or heard about Elder Joe Fejeran of our mission who returned to Saipan in January? We enjoyed getting to know him. We're so happy that we've been able to serve the Lord as missionaries, but we're looking forward to heading for home in July.

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Anonymous said...

I love all the game ideas! I found Gospel Taboo in a pdf :-)
Will you volunteer to to teach a mini class and help us all get organized for FHE gospel games when you finally make your way back home? You make it sounds so easy!