Monday, August 5, 2013

Change is hard

According to the weather experts, July through November constitutes rainy season for Palau, but we’ve decided that it might last all year long.  We’ve had lots and lots of rain, and not just the ”gentle drops from heaven” rain but “torrential out of coal black skies” rain.  We don’t mind though because it cools the temperature, feeds the greenery, and makes each day more interesting as we don’t know how often or how long it will last. 

The cataclysmic news of the week is the transfer of Elder Gubler, one of our zone leaders.  He has served on Palau for the last 16 months and has brought such a feeling of unity, cooperation, hard work, dedication, love for the gospel and the people that we’re deeply saddened to lose him but are equally elated that he will serve just as diligently as an assistant to President Mecham on Guam.  We received word of the change Tuesday afternoon and met together with all the missionaries in the evening to tell him goodbye.  We shed plenty of tears, but a major consolation was the thought that he would serve in the office for a few months and then be transferred to Palau again to finish his mission.
Elder Gubler, our amazing zone leader!!
Elder Gubler & Arisei

Sisters Ale & Masiasomua

Elders Malais & Dopp

On Wednesday evening we met with the other missionaries again to hear news of the transfer and learned that  Elder Fullmer, our other zone leader, will remain in Airai and Elder Malais will transfer there to be his companion.  Elder Dopp, our district leader, will train a brand new missionary.  Elder Dopp traveled with Elder Gubler to Guam for training and to meet his new companion.  He and Elder Murdoch returned on Friday evening to a rousing welcome at our apartment and plenty of questions so we could get to know Elder Murdoch as quickly as possible.  We can tell already that he will be a wonderful addition to the missionary force on Palau!
Missing Elder Gubler already!!

Others supporting Elder Gubler in his new calling

Missionary work--and fun...
Elders Fullmer & Carter

Sisters Norgrant & Purcell

Elder Carter & Elder Gubler

As always, the highlight of the week was the baptism of three young people into our branch.  All three are Primary age and come from part-member families, so we’re grateful for their willingness to learn about the gospel, repent, and be baptized by one holding the proper authority.  Nothing is as beautiful as seeing everyone dressed in white to perform these sacred ordinances.  On Sunday we were able to participate in their confirmations plus the blessing of a new baby and then listen to the inspired testimonies of our branch members.  What an amazing opportunity to gather with the Saints, feel the Spirit, and recognize the Lord’s hands in our lives as we sincerely seek him.  We love our Palauan family! 
Gobi & Sister Carter

Sisters Masi & Ale & Gobi's family
Sister Purcell and Sister Norgrant, Kamalani & Rainer
Our newest elder blowing out the candle!

Elder Malais, Gobi, Elder Dopp
Elder Murdoch's birthday on August 6th

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