Friday, December 24, 2010

It's always about the people....

Pres. Shaw is obviously rooting for the Blue - Elder Taylor is a Ute fan and Elder Pritchard is a BYU football player.  The rivalry made me feel right at home, except that there was no serious attention paid to who won and who lost.  I like it on a mission when in the Lord's game plan everybody can win.

December 1, 2010 - Zone Conference!  They only happen once a quarter now instead of every 6 weeks, so they are a great occasion to meet together and to be instructed and to find the strength that comes from just being together and united in our purpose as missionaries - to bring others to
Christ, and often that is ourselves.
Sister Ve'e, Sister Sahm, (Elder Moimoi), Sister Shaw, Sister Tuimoala, Sister Hansen

Elder Blacker, Elder Waqatairewa, Elder Rix, Elder Stoker, Elder Edwards, Elder Christensen
Elder Cherrington, Elder Fa'alogo, Elder Moimoi, Elder Pritchard, Elder Taylor, Elder Kalua'u, Elder Rigby

Elder Abakite, Elder Amram, Elder Dinteru, Elder Kimbar, Elder Sanchez, Elder Teriba

Not enough tables - Elder Nawahine, Elder Bulloch, Elder Steele
Elder Moimoi insisted that the photographer/historian get in the children and grandchildren thank you and so do I...sometimes I still have to pinch myself to make sure it is me that gets to be with all these great missionaries.
Right after Zone Conference ended at 3:00 I ran home to Skype my daughter and her husband to find out how the delivery of their new baby went, and it was good for both Mom and baby - little Karen Diane, born on Nov. 30th in Las Vegas and on Dec. 1st in the Marshall Islands.  Beautiful Mom Corinne, beautiful 'KD', proud Dad Jeremy.  KD is #7 for Corinne and Jeremy.  My gratitude to Heavenly Father that Mom and baby are well is off the charts.  I can't measure it.

December 4th we had a Primary party behind the Marshall Island Resort (MIR).  Acronyms are big here in Majuro.  The little coral "rock" wall looking out over the lagoon surrounds a barbeque pit.

Wija and her daughter, Bertine the cook, and two other Primary sisters looking out after the coals before roasting all the meat. The children were all at the pool.
Rena, the counselor, and Sister Enos, the Primary president.

Arlita and two other Primary girls enjoying the pool that MIR has available for anyone to use.
Laurie taught the kids a fun game - she had the kids hold hands facing each other in two rows.  At first the swimmers swam under their hands, until she was able to get them to go on top of the arms that propelled them forward.
Later there was a great lunch for everyone...check out this fish (kwi, or lined surgeonfish)
 It was delicious!  It has little bitty lips and really cool orange fins on its belly.
This is the Kajidrik family - Jinen, the grandma, and Wiltinia and Nani.  They are from Aelonlaplap and are trying to get back to that island after coming here to Majuro to be baptized.  My goodness - I am so Ri-belle.  I keep thinking I am bronzed and brown like my precious Marshallese friends, and pictures like this are a surprise to me.  Look at this precious little brown-eyed boy...
Here's a primary boy in an old pandanus (or walking) tree by the lagoon behind MIR - the roots make it look like it is walking. The branches are really good for perching, sleeping, or resting while people talk.  Around the island I've seen pandanus trees used for all three.

At the end of Stake Conference, Mary Swain (the Stake Primary President) and I pose for a picture.
Elder Christensen and Elder Pritchard, both back on Majuro after serving together on the outer island of Aelonlaplap, pose with Nani and Wiltinia and a family from that island,  Stake Conference is a wonderful place to be instructed and to find joy in seeing beloved friends. Here are more beloved friends...there's that Ri-belle again. :)
Julien, Karen, Sister Domnick, Rosa, Jojo, Marie, me, and a Domnick relative with children.  The boy in the white shirt is Pres and Sister Tibon's son.
Sister missionaries at Stake Conference - December 5th - Sister Hansen, Sister Sahm, Sister Tuimoala. Sister Teichert, Sister Ve'e.
Later that day there was a Stake Youth Fireside - our Long Island Young Women sang "A Virtuous Mind".  Abrn was there - I hadn't seen him in 9 months.  Even later in the evening there was the second Sunday of Advent at the Pattersons.
                                                            Me, Abrn, Jojo, Sister Ve'e
Johnny Latrik leaving for the MTC in Provo prior to his mission in Oklahoma - nice smile!  Family and friends came to see him off...
Sister Ve'e left the same day for home - ouch.  But we will carry on, even with the strength that leaves with her.
This is how we carry on - Elder Fa'alogo and Elder Edwards with a wonderful family and Brother Livai with his nephew.  This work brings light and truth to families here, and the gospel becomes an anchor in a shifting world.
Elder Edwards lighting the third candle of Advent at the Patterson's December 12th.
The Kajidrik family - with Elder Fa'alogo's and my planning, they will be going home to Aelonlaplap Tuesday, December 14th, on the next Air Marshall flight.
The whole third week Advent group.

Another joyous event...Chris's baptism December 18th.  He and Otintaii were married in September.
Otintaii came home from a mission a little after I arrived here.
Elder Rix and Elder Nawahine, Assistants extraordinaire, found Chris and brought the light of the Gospel to a believing heart, and great strength to a marriage. 

This is the joy of missionary work, to see the change and love and light in already remarkable people.
Ij monono bwe im juon mijinede.  Ij kamol gospel eo an Jesus Kraist ej mol.