Sunday, March 21, 2010

THE BIG WEEK - 13 March-20 MARCH 2010

Our big week began with the visit of Elder Wakolo, who came on island to teach two great firesides and to help the Translation Department. He is the uncle of one of our missionaries, Elder Moimoi,who is on an outer island. On his last day here he came out to the Rugby field to say goodby to the Elders and Sisters - Sister Cummings and Elder Wakolo.
The waves crashing against the pier next to the one bridge on island - high tide the next day (3/16/2010) as we welcomed the Davidsons from Wyoming, our new CES and Humanitarian senior couple...taking them shopping at their new shopping mecca, Payless!

Sister Davidson and Sister Bell, her mentor - if you need it, just get it - don't look at the price!

The Davidsons in front of their new home.

3/17/2010 - The day of exchange finally arrived - President Smith welcomes President and Sister Hopoate to the mission home...

The Hopoates meet a few of the Elders at the mission office.

The Long Island Ward Yokwe Yokwe for departing Elders usually always begins with a wonderful hymn and a prayer; then we eat...with the honored guests starting off the line...

The yokwe yokwe - giving love and gratitude to the missionaries who gave two years. (3/13/2010)

Speaking one last time to their Long Island Family - Elder Knecht...

Elder Keeley...

Elder Heimuli.
Elder Haddock and Elder Dew - the departure look and the island look.

Elder Haddock using the shoehorn he has kept for two years just for this moment...

President Smith - where are those missionaries?

Elder Keeley.

Elder Heimuli.

Brother Ottoafie and Elder Knecht.

President Smith with an island tribute from Brother Ottowafie - a lei of fragrant meria.

Elder Keeley and Sister Teichert.

Elder Hewstone, Elder Haddock, Elder Knecht, Elder Heimuli, Sister Hewstone.

After leaving the airport, I went straight to the Stake Center for the Stake Relief Society Birthday Celebration. They had asked me to teach a class on nutrition, and my message was simple, right from Dr. and Sister Fuller: eat a rainbow of colors. If the Sisters will prepare meals as colorfully as they dress, their families will be in good hands.

Our amazing Zone Conference was on Friday, March 19, 2010. The day before, on the 18th, we had five new Elders and Sisters join us: Sister Anterea, Sister Ruiz, Elder Horan, Elder Blacker, and Elder Taylor. Elder Taylor is from my home town and just one month ago he was in my sister's home, being with his best friend, my nephew, Danny. He is going to be a wonderful asset to the mission. All five new Elders and Sisters will be - what strength we received that day.

Prelude week to the week of major changes (3/5-3/12/2010

March 5, 2010 - Long Island District with West Zone Leaders, Elder Haddock and Elder Ahlstrom (back left and right) District leader Elder Isom in middle of back row. Front row: E;der Jaksina, Elder Abakite, Elder Rareba, Elder Enlow, Elder Waqatairewa.
Beautiful, sweet-smelling meria from the Church tree for the office workers...

Sister Bell doesn't think she can wear flowers because of her short hair - you be the judge...

Julien, Sister Teichert, Akamra: on Fridays Julien teaches Marshallese to Sister Teichert and Sister Teichert teaches singing to Akamra. (Namiko also gets a piano lesson, but she was gone by this picture and was featured earlier in this blog). Great times for sharing what we know.

The three Assistants sending off Elder Christensen (in glasses) to Ailinglaplap - Elder Adams (Kiribati), Elder Mackey, Elder Keeley (3/5/2010) Elder Christensen is obviously up for the adventure and work of an outer island.
At the Rugby field on P-Day (3/8/2010) our President had an announcement for us all - he would be leaving the mission to help his wife and his daughter in Megan's recovery. Depending on her progress, there is a great chance that they will be back. We will have an interim President chosen by the Twelve.

The President's amazing words of encouragement and direction to his missionaries. Reactions? Stunned but supportive...amazing young Elders and Sisters.

On the 9th of March I was surprised at work when Karen gave me a beautiful tote scripture purse made by her mother's friend. The ammimono handiwork here is made by gifted artisans.

On Corinne's Marshallese birthday (3/10) I had the 4 Assistants over for a good old fashioned homemade hamburger and french fry dinner, and Elder Keeley took on making the shakes.

Elder Heimuli, Elder Mackey, and Elder Adams encouraging Elder Keeley in his shake making.

Got milkshake anyone?

Meria flower on Corinne's US birthday (11 March 2010)

Last Long Island District Meeting for Elder Haddock and Elder Knecht (12 March 2010)

For entertainment this week, I went to the first Act of Hamlet on Tuesday and the Second Act on Friday. Here are the Marshall Islands High School Gospel Singers who provided entertainment before each Act of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" - what a privilege it was to see this great production - so many see the talent that is here and are working to help bring opportunities to the people of this atoll.

The tragedy of course ends with everyone dying - this is Hamlet in death as he is carried away (for a curtain call...)

Curtain call for for the remarkable Marshall Islands High School production of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (80% in Marshallese, the famous soliloquies in English, costuming and setting in the Marshall Islands - really fantastic and vogue ideas by the Dartmouth college innovators who gave these high school kids this experience!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some important island landmarks and people

An important landmark on Majuro is the place where the atoll bends north from its east to west southern leg. In this larger area, there are many buildings, like Payless, a theatre, the Bank of Guam and many other small businesses. But for our missionaries on Pday afternoon the field in the elbow is the happening place!
Just as the road bends North there is a large government building that looks impressive - it is where the Nitejela (parliment) meets. Unfortunately the interior of the building does not match the standards of the outside. Some great action on the field...Elder Afioga, Elder Gulbrandsen, Elder Hill, Elder Mackey, Elder Keeley, Elder Christensen

Sister Kitiona, Sister Teichert, Sister Ve'e standing in the antecubital fossa of the elbow at Delap with the lagoon in the background - the elbow bends around the lagoon (yar)...

Three Samoan Rugby players - Elder Amohanga, Elder Fa'alogo, Elder Afioga

Here's a parting view of the lagoon in the elbow at Delap....

The morning finally came for Elder Gilbert and Elder Fa'alogo - Tuesday 9 February 2010 at the airport with preparations complete and tickets in hand (barely) to fly out to open Ebon to the preaching of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Ebon was the first in the Marshall Island chain to have Christian missionaries - now these Elders will be the first to see if they can add to what they already have.
Our 4 Elders ran into Brother William Swain, who has translated the Book of Mormon into Marshallese and is now working on translating the Doctrine and Covenants - he is their hero - so manyof their investigators have been brought to a knowledge of the truth because of his efforts.

The obvious respect and love the Elders have for Brother Swain.

The miraacle meeting of the Ebon Elders and their mission Mom at the Majuro airport - her plane from Hawaii had to be on time and the Elders plane to Ebon had to be late for them to be able to see each other - this is a mission of miracles. I'll bet every mission in the world could say that.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Majuro revisited with you in mind (continued)...

This is the Phillipine restaurant - La Bodgie - where I meet with my dear friend, Linda, every Wednesday for lunch. Sister Lytle started this tradition and we love it! Thanks, Sandy! JoJo and I were on a mission - we pulled up to this home...

The Steeds had brought in from Laura a yummy pandanus to share - JoJo and I took it to this sweet widow sister in the ward
How would you like to have an ocean pool in your back yard like she does?
Granddaughters in the backyard.
Backyard visit... Cistern to catch the precious rainwater.

A typical sight from my car - missionaries out among the people - in this case, Elder Isom and Elder Rareba.
JoJo and I went on the new section of road that goes around the airport hangers - a little bit of high tide made it exciting!
Watch out for speed bumps - they can slow you down....

Look at the size of this new speed bump - that car nearly high-centered on it :)

Maria - a fragrant flowering tree in the Marshalls whose flowers are perfect for putting in your hair - this tree is by the airport...
JoJo wanted me to give them to you, my daughters!

JoJo's father's land in Long Island....
"Please save it for me, Dad...I'll live in that house :)"
Someone's food storage in Long Island protected by a watch dog.

Our mission office in Long Island (just the teeny door and window on the bottom right)...
Connected to a branch of Payless.

When the garbage needs to be tossed, we haul it to the dump - someone is usually there to get it out of the trunk. If not, we toss it ourselves.
My favorite Filipino cookie - peanut butter filling - at the Formosa store across from the dump - one for me, one for JoJo - moderation in all things.

Welcome to our friendly Long Island Formosa Store! Majuro has everything we need - if the boats keep coming!