Monday, August 26, 2013

Another week gone!

Elder Malais and Elder Fullmer listening at zone conference
Who could have known how varied our mission experiences would be?  We were called as Church Educational System missionaries, which means we’re responsible for a successful seminary and institute program, but we also enjoy the privileges of proselyting, working with less active members, fellowshipping investigators, supporting younger missionaries, forming and participating in community activities and councils, teaching music lessons, serving in several callings in the branch, entertaining members and non-members, renting apartments, inspecting and repairing vehicles, maintaining church records, and maybe a few other things that we can’t think of right now.  We love it all!

We don’t want future senior missionaries to feel overwhelmed by our activities though because they certainly do not all happen at once—at least on most days!  We try to have a date night each week even though most weeks slip by too fast for us to fit one in.  We know that sounds a little funny since we’re together every day all day, but having a date gets us out among different people in the evening and we usually have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone.

This week's activities and events remind us again that we are doing the Lord's work and that he is at the controls.  In the midst of all our work, Elder Carter has been able to give priesthood blessings and feel inspiration for individual Saints.

Our Relief Society meeting was a wonderful success.  The Primary presidency was in charge and brought an entire meal (yummy Hawaiian Haystacks) plus taught us how to make a whiteboard to adorn our homes. These boards will help us keep a scripture in front of family members and remind them of various church activities.
Relief Society sisters
Crafty fun!

Seminary is such a joy, and the more students who attend, the better it is.  Sister Carter loves each of the youth and the Book of Mormon, so it's a winning combination no matter which way you look at it. Though we don't teach the institute class, still we get to attend and support the young single adults and our wonderfully prepared teacher.

Elder Carter had the "opportunity" to meet the new doctor at Camp Katuu as he had a sore on his finger that would not heal and a rash on his face that seemed to grow wider every day.  Dr. Taylor identified the problem as staph infection that started with his finger and spread to his face.  After some cutting on his finger, another antibiotic, and specific instructions about care of his finger and face (no shaving!),  we left the doctor's office with a new appointment for Monday, this morning.  For the second visit, the rash on Elder Carter's face was worse and his finger showed no improvement, so the doctor incised a couple of spots on his face, inserted gauze ribbon, gave a new prescription, and explained that he had a resistant strain of staph. We're working on a new regimen and will return to the doctor on Thursday for a third visit.
The start of something big...

Imagine Elder Carter's chagrin as President and Sister Mecham visited Palau for the weekend to find him unshaven and bandaged!  In spite of the health issues, we sincerely loved the Mecham's visit as they taught from the scriptures and inspired us to work tirelessly for the Savior.  They practice what they preach.  Our entire zone shared most of Saturday first in zone conference and then again for the long-awaited baptism of Dori Lynn Midol Melus.  She and Joel were married first and the baptism followed immediately after.
President Mecham

Elder Fullmer, Joel, Jori Lynn

Sister Norgrant, Joel, Jori Lynn, Sister Purcell

President Mecham, Joel, Jori Lynn, S

Sundays are always interesting since we feel involved in so many aspects of the branch.  Our Primary children sang in Sacrament Meeting, and though they're few in number, their voices combine to sound like a mini Tabernacle Choir--at least in our ears!

Our Primary
Perhaps most earthshaking this week was our home and visiting teaching workshop Sunday evening.  Most members of the church would not find this "earthshaking", but for the Palau Branch, this is a major milestone. They will visit about 70 families each month and then continue meeting all the other families on fellowshipping night (formerly priesthood service night).  We feel strongly that as they serve one another as home/visiting teachers, that they can grow from a branch to a ward in no time.

After feeding 12 hungry missionaries Sunday afternoon, we were in the mood for more cooking and more chatting, so we invited a couple of friends to join us on Monday evening.  Eli McCann and Larry Gilson stopped in for a while to eat and talk about ways we can enhance the work on Palau.  We are going to miss Eli so much when he leaves in September, but Larry's wife Barbara will join us here later next month and the work continues to move forward.

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