Monday, September 27, 2010

September continues on...

September 9th we welcomed President and Sister Hamula from the Pacific Area Presidency to our island - that evening we hosted a dinner for them and for the Stake Presidency and their wives and for our honored guest, His Excellency, the President of the Marshall Islands, President Jurlang Zedkaia.
It was the first time that a General Authority from our Church and the President of the Marshall Islands had met together in one of our buildings.  It was hosted in the High Council Room and we serve the meal from the Stake President's office.
President Hamula presented President Zedkaia with a Family Values statuette, a copy of Baamle Eo (the Proclamation on the Family), the For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet, and...
...a DVD of one of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Christmas programs on Temple Square, to which the president replied, "Mormon Tabernacle Choir - Number One!"
His gracious acceptance talk was at first begun in Marshallese, and then delivered in perfect English, stating that the Mormon Church's presence in the Marshall Islands has lifted the people and has wonderfully helped the families of the islands with their teachings on family values.  Elder Hamula then invited President Zedkaia to visit Salt Lake City and church headquarters when he is in the States, and to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Here are the Elders who planned the meal and made it happen with the help they enlisted from the Senior missionaries - a huge feather in your cap, Elder Nawahine and Elder Lasky.  They are shown taking the leftovers to the outer island Elders who are all staying in Botkan at the Lucy apartments, preparing for Zone Conference the next day.

Zone Conferenc on the 10th was incredible - incredible to be all together again (except for the Lae and Ebeye Elders and Sisters), incredible to be taught by each other and by our new President and his wife and by Elder Hamula and his wife, who have also been a Mission President and Companion.
Here the Shaw's (after lunch) catch up on all the birthdays since June.

The Hamulas were only here for a short 48 hours, but they brought a lot of strength and love with them that will last us a lifetime - Elder Dew, Elder Gulbransen, Elder Hamula, Elder Waqatairewa, Elder Christensen. 
Forty-eight hours earlier, as our president came back to the office after picking up the Hamulas at the airport, he commented "He's a tall drink of water..."  Our Elders are all trying to stand taller, in more ways than the obvious, after his visit.

A sweet parting - Elder and Sister Hamula, Sister Teichert, Sister Shaw and President Shaw.   From the looks of it, Sister Teichert is the shortest - either I have a longer way to go to stand tall like the Hamulas, or, isn't there something about a lot of good coming in smaller packages?  Perhaps both have merit.:) There is one thing I have learned from this mission: we are all a work in progress and the Lord loves to see us work and progress, repent and change, and move closer to Him and to our Father.

The outer island Elders at dinner (above) and in Primary (below) - they are most comfortable sitting on the floor.  I am confident that the Elders on the couches would love to be where Elder Amram is, on the floor sitting cross-legged, to eat their dinner. (Elder Amram, Waqatairewa, Kimbar, Christensen, Bulloch, Fa'alogo)
Elder Fa'alogo and Elder Bulloch visited the Long Island Ward Primary on Sunday, the 12th of September.  The next Tuesday Elder Bulloch returned with a new companion, Elder Aisake, to Ebon, and Elder Fa'alogo went to Jenrok here in Majuro.

Preparation Day at the Weather Station once again!  9/13/10. It will happen quarterly now.  Elder Swain, Sister Tuimoala, Sister Fanga'iuiha, Elder Pritchard, Sister Anterea having a great time at volleyball until the ball burst on the jagged coral - I forgot to take a picture of the Rugby game going on in the field...
Sister Sahm and Sister Hasu getting mail!   A little of the rugby field is in the background...Sister Hasu goes home in 2 weeks from this picture, on Sept 30th.  So many are missed when they leave, but it is the Lord's work we are doing, and the work moves forward to bless so many.
A little refuge in the shade from the intense heat - someone forgot to fill up the water jug and bring the glasses - they are a little out of practice.  The next day, everyone was really sore...  Elder Hill, Elder Humrich, Elder Horan, Elder Blacker.
On September 16th, our new Senior couple arrived!  Here they are 5 days later with Elder Taylor and Elder Fa'alogo in Jenrok.

Sister Teichert and Karen with historic second pineapple (peinabol) grown behind the mission home, planted by Sister Bleak a year and a half ago - very sweet and delicious, says Karen!

Elder Amohanga, Sister Hasu, Elder Horan, Elder Abakite, Sister Sahm, Elder Stoker - rehearsal for musical number at baptism in Delap 9/18/10 -they sang "As Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth" - they asked me to accompany them - that arrangement has never meant so much to me as when they sang it: "we have been taught and we understand and we will do as the Lord commands."

The Elders immaculate apartment in Arrak - to my granddaughters - does this remind you of Sleeping Beauty?...Make it blue...Make it pink!                       

For the Marshall Islands Cultural Week there was a Marshallese Weaving Cultural Restoration Auction that Sister Christensen and the Davidsons and I attended.  I came away with this wonderful mat done by a student of this master weaver from Ailinglaplap.
The woman in the green dress made a mat that was judged #1 by the Marshallese judges for her skill in this Marshallese art form.  The mats made hundreds of years ago were as fine as fabric, and were worn by the Marshallese as clothing.  The auction was formed 4 years ago to encourage young Marshallese to continue to learn and preserve this art form of their native atoll.
9/24-25 - Humanitarian Service Project spearheaded by the Davidsons:  paint the entrance foyer of the Majuro Hospital - missionaries and YSA's were the helping hands.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September Gone Already?

Missionaries do all sorts of service that they never would think to do themselves - their nurse tried to think of a way to utilize a goof purchase made by another Elder when purchasing supplies for outer islands - 2000 packets of sugar.  We did some figuring and 20 packets equals 1/4 cup of sugar - enough to make a 4 cup supply of rehydration fluid along with the added 1/2 tsp. salt.
Notice how they have figured out how to make the assembly line work - just keep moving around the room...ingenious, Elder Hill and Elder Blacker.
One counts, the other packages, and who should show up but the 'originator' of the project.  Luckily he pitched in to help it go a little faster.  Thanks, Elder Isom.  The things we do to support the outer islands - if it helps them, we go for it! 
The pictures got a little out of order - but you get the idea.  This blog stuff - they keep changing how it operates...

September 6th - FHE at the Davidsons - after a great soup dinner, a lesson out on the deck overlooking the lagoon:  the Davidsons, the Hewstones, the Shaws.
Same group, but Pres. Shaw insisted that I get in the picture, for my kids.

For Zone Conference and for Elder Hamula's visit to the Marshall Islands, our outer island Elders were brought in...the first group, from Ebon and Jaluit.  Elder Fa'alogo (Ebon), Elder Wright (Jaluit), Elder Bulloch (Ebon), Elder Corry (Jaluit) - they are the greatest of brothers.  Don't they look terrific, Moms and Dads and families?  They are.

More great brothers...Elders Wright, Nawahine, Gulbransen, Corry, Bulloch, Lasky, Fa'alogo, Dew.

Two of our four Elders from Ailinglaplap, home to Majuro - Elder Christensen and Elder Waqatairewa - great Elders!  (For those of you who know him, Elder Jake Thomson's wedding announcement is on the bulletin board..)

I pulled up one morning to Do It Best Hardware store, and got a little reminder that your Dad is ever-present.

Back at the office, viewing Elder Dew's unique office style.
When all the available office chairs were taken by the Assistants for a meeting with visiting General Authority Elder Hamula (Sept 9th)...

Elder Gulbransen showed true grit in his determination to keep working.

The close of another beautiful day in Majuro...