Monday, June 3, 2013

One month anniversary--already??

Monday morning started out just right with another meeting with a king of the islands to discuss forming an interfaith council.  He was receptive, kind, and gracious, and wants to do all he can to help the people of Palau, so he is calling a meeting of all the chiefs to ask their opinions about the need (or lack thereof) for an interfaith council and how it could benefit the people of the islands.  Once he holds that meeting then we’ll decide whether to move forward with the council.

The elders and sisters met at our apartment for a wild game of Nertz.  We might be a tad too competitive, especially when our volume increased as the game progressed because our neighbors probably wondered about the wild party in the couple’s apartment.  We won't point out who won, but it was neither Sister nor Elder Carter!

Happy senior missionaries with their first package from Curtis, Michelle, & family!  Thank you!!

Tuesday morning started out early with all nine missionaries meeting at the KB bridge to pick up litter at the park and along the causeways.  The elders met a man who said he knew us and wanted to make sure that we took a picture of what we were doing and submitted it to the newspaper.  So we did, and it came out on Friday morning.  Several church members called and sent texts telling us about the article in the paper, so we bought a paper for ourselves.
Island Times article
Enlarged view

A new sister missionary will be joining us this month, so one of our responsibilities is to find an apartment for the new companionship.  We’ve spent several hours this week looking for possibilities and think we’ve located the right one, and we were able to give the rental agent a copy of the Book of Mormon and challenge her to read it. 

Meeting the less active members is almost like a game to us.  We’ve had plenty of experiences where we’re looking for a particular member and end up meeting someone who has been lost for quite a while or talking to nonmembers about the gospel.  We love missionary work!
Elder Carter enjoying another fabulous sunset!

 Elder Carter is working diligently in the branch presidency under the direction of President Kesolei.  They’ve extended multiple callings in the branch and established a smaller branch on Meyuns just this past Sunday.  We’re excited about the possibilities with members able to walk to a home in their neighborhood, which should aid their activity and give them a better sense of “family” within the church.

We’ve been advertising a missionary open house for the last couple of weeks which finally took place on Thursday evening.  When 7:00 P.M. came we only had the nine missionaries, half a dozen members and four investigators.  By the time we began the film “The Restoration”, we had to set up more chairs and had 40 people!!  Now we’re praying all those investigators will continue to progress as they learn more about the gospel and study the Book of Mormon!
Sister Carter walking through the jungle.

Elder Carter is especially good at getting up early, but Friday morning Sister Carter joined him at 4:30 A.M. as they prepared for a 10K race sponsored by the health department.  Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the start line to find that all the other missionaries (7) and six branch members were going to run too!  Eli McCann won the 10K race while Elder Carter, Sister Carter, and Sister Norgrant followed a ways behind—and we’re not saying how far!  Sister Norgrant had never run that far before, so we’re especially proud of her effort.  The others ran the 5K race and finished in grand style.  Out of 250 running the 5K/10K, we had a pretty good percentage representing the church plus lucky Elder Gubler won a prize in the ticket drawing after the race.

Elder Carter gets to conduct all the Sunday meetings in June, so he began with fast and testimony meeting yesterday.  He bore a beautiful testimony about the power of the Book of Mormon and the need to read and study every day.  Unlike last month, we hardly had a moment between testimonies.  One after another of the branch members stood to bear their testimonies and share their heartfelt feelings of gratitude and love for Heavenly Father.  We felt lifted, encouraged, and sustained by their messages and the spirit of the meeting.

Sister Carter played the piano for Sacrament Meeting, taught music in Primary, provided a listening ear for a troubled member, led the choir, practiced a piano duet with Eli McCann, and waited patiently for Elder Carter to finish branch presidency business.  Our three hour meeting block expanded to fill six—just the way we like it!

The elders and sisters joined us for dinner Sunday afternoon, and since it was Fast Sunday, they were hungrier than ever.  We had taco casserole, chips, veggies, Jello salad, ice cream, and Oreos, and once the meal was done, we didn’t even have to scrape plates because they’d practically been licked clean!  We love their company and their appetites.

We’re grateful to serve the people of Palau and know our call here is inspired.  We love the people, love our missionaries, love each other, and love all of our family and friends who so willingly support us through letters, emails, and Skype visits.

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