Monday, June 24, 2013

A General Authority twist…

Another busy, productive, wonderful week with a General Authority twist…

Painting a shed may not seem like an exotic thing to do, but the color of the paint makes all the difference.  Along the driveway towards the church is a large open-air garage which several youth have used as a canvas for their graffiti, so our willing missionaries met early Tuesday morning to improve on the graffiti by painting over it.  In an effort to match the paint already on the shed, we bought a gallon of dark brown and a gallon of white, but while mixing the two, instead of ending up with a tan or pale brown color, somehow it mixed into a lovely deep pink!  While six missionaries used pink-tinted paintbrushes, the rest of us weeded around the church to make it look beautiful and fresh.  The pink looks pretty good—especially from a distance.
Elder Carter, Sisters Masi, Ale, & Norgrant, Elders Gubler & Dopp
Painting completed!

Sports Night began with only one basketball and a whole bunch of lively kids, but by the end of the evening, we were blessed with two more balls as a member of the national Olympic committee donated more for our program, took our picture, and will place it in the newspaper.  We are so grateful since our one and only basketball cost $40 and the branch doesn’t have a big budget.
Some of our basketball players

Relief Society and Priesthood Service Night coincided with Sports Night, which made it a treat to be at the church.  Over 30 youth were outside playing basketball supervised by a few adults while 15 women were taught how to be healthy and happy, and later ten men gathered to visit each member’s home to deliver a personal invitation to attend Branch Conference.  What a gathering!

We’re not exactly sure, but we think we had a small earthquake on Wednesday.  When we arrived to practice a piano duet, two rows of tiles were raised the entire length of the chapel.  Our church caretaker said that he left at 3:00 and when he returned only 30 minutes later, the floor was damaged in such an unusual way and the grout was forced up and out from between the tiles.  We tried to ignore the damage during Young Women as we reviewed Personal Progress and spent time together learning how to humble ourselves, pray always, and delve into the scriptures daily.

Sister Norgrant made the late-night flight to Guam to spend a couple of days to learn how to be a missionary trainer and pick up her new companion Sister Purcell.  Both sisters were blessed to arrive on the same flight as Elder Ringwood, President and Sister Mecham, and President and Sister Hales.  Several members of the branch were on hand to welcome our contingent at the airport and place handmade leis around the necks of our welcome visitors.  Sister Masiasomua, Sister Ale, Maria, and Sherlyn worked diligently for many, many hours to make these beautiful leis as a token of our love and appreciation.  We think that Sister Purcell, our newest missionary, felt welcome and secure knowing that she was in the right place at the right time with the right people.
Sister Carter, Sister Kesolei, Sister Mecham at Palau Airport

Not only was Saturday Elder Dopp’s 20th birthday, but it was also the Palau Zone Conference for us missionaries.  Imagine our delight as we were blessed to meet and be taught by our mission president and wife, a member of our mission presidency and his wife, and a General Authority.  They taught the entire morning the ways of the Master and inspired us to repent, improve, find and teach those the Lord has prepared on these islands.  After the meetings, we spent an hour together enjoying a baked potato bar and enjoyed the privilege of spending as much time as possible with our leaders.
Elder Ringwood of the First Quorum of the Seventy
President & Sister Mecham

Elders Fullmer, Hales, Carter, Sister Norgrant
Elders Dopp, Malais, Sisters Purcell, Masiasomua, Mecham

Sunday morning dawned bright and nearly cloudless as we prepared and attended our meetings.  Elder Carter conducted Sacrament Meeting and did an outstanding job pronouncing some very difficult names for sustaining.  All of our guests and President Kesolei spoke for a couple of minutes each.  The choir sang “Where Can I Turn for Peace” and Eli and Sister Carter played a piano duet of “Come Follow Me”.  Though the meeting went over our regular time limit, the spirit was strong and the crowded chapel emptied slowly as all wanted an opportunity to meet Elder Ringwood and continue the sweet feelings of the service.
Sister Carter and Eli McCann

Elder Ringwood, President and Sister Mecham, President and Sister Hales, President and Sister Kesolei, and Mitch Hibbard came to our apartment for dinner Sunday afternoon which gave us another opportunity to visit with them on a much more personal basis.  They are dedicated to the service of the Lord, and we are blessed to know and love them.  Sharing June 23rd , our wedding anniversary, with them makes it an even sweeter, more memorable day for us.
Sister Norgrant, Elder Gubler, Elder Fullmer

Our Sisters:  Purcell, Masiasomua, Ale, & Norgrant
Elders Carter, Malais, Dopp, Sister Purcell
Monday preparation day was a blessing in so many ways.  First, we were able to Skype with four of our children and tried with a couple more.  We love seeing our grandchildren, especially those babies that change every single week, and hearing news of family events.  We’re grateful for heavenly blessings poured out upon our children in our absence. Second, after a quick piano lesson for Elder Malais, we played games with our eight young missionaries and learned a little more about our newest addition Sister Purcell. Third, as the young missionaries walked out the door, the Kesolei family walked in to share Family Home Evening and dinner with us.  Fourth, after a busy, productive, thought-provoking, and inspiring week, we are ready to put our shoulder to the wheel and push faster.

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