Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Fractional Conference

Most of you enjoyed General Conference the first week-end of October, but we’ve been waiting and waiting since then to receive a copy.  Finally it arrived Wednesday so we could watch it Saturday and Sunday this week.  As we connected it Saturday morning and everyone settled into their seats to enjoy hearing the words of the prophets, apostles, and other church leaders, an unusual thing happened.  The music started and the voice of the commentator introducing the 183rd Semi Annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ changed to the Palauan tongue.  President Kesolei, our branch president, searched for the English version he had requested of the service center in Guam, but all five of the meetings were in Palauan.  Fortunately, our zone leader Elder Fullmer had downloaded the Saturday sessions when he was in Guam, so he and Elder Malais drove to their home in Airai, picked up his hard drive, and hurried back to the chapel.  We were watching the Saturday morning session only 30 minutes later than planned!  We enjoyed a potluck lunch between sessions, and the brethren returned to the church at 6:00 P.M. for the priesthood session.

Now for the sad news.  Since Elder Fullmer only had the Saturday sessions on his hard drive, we immediately began downloading the Sunday afternoon session while President Kesolei worked on the morning one. We tried to download for 12 hours, but it failed.  Palau’s internet speed is less than satisfactory. President Kesolei experienced the same, so on Sunday the only things that changed were the items for the potluck lunch as we reviewed the Saturday sessions again.  We had many members attend Sunday that had not been there Saturday, so it worked out after all.  We still look forward to the Sunday sessions—in English—when they’re sent to us.
Looking sharp in matching shirts.

For some time we’ve wanted to order matching zone t-shirts, so the sister missionaries finally jumped on this project and picked them up this week.  The bright blue shirts have our individual names on the front with all of our names on the back along with a map of Palau and a scripture.  We decided to wear them for a community clean-up and enjoyed the attention people paid us as they drove by and noticed our matching shirts and the name of the Church.
Dinner at Relief Society too!

Eating & working.  What a great combination!

Jewelry supplies

The Relief Society activity this month included making jewelry, so Sister Carter especially enjoyed it as she came home with a couple of new, sparkly bracelets.  The only thing that could have made the evening sweeter is if more women would have attended to share in the spirit of sisterhood and discovery.
Koror Elementary Principal & Sister Carter with lots of donated school supplies

Thanks to a thoughtful and generous Young Women’s group in Draper, Utah, we received multiple boxes filled with school supplies.  We visited with the principal of Koror Elementary, the largest public school in Palau, about donating items for the benefit of students, and his countenance brightened to one of gratitude and delight.  Tuesday morning we visited the school to deliver the supplies, and the principal wanted a group of first graders to see everything first.  They all wanted to hold some of the supplies that included paper, notebooks, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers, scissors, glue, and a host of other things to make their school experience happy and meaningful.  What a delight for us to be the couriers on this humanitarian mission!
Koror Elementary students excited about supplies

Friday night we hosted the Young Single Adults at our apartment for a taco time party.  They happily made their own tacos then stayed for games that tested their ability to prove their prowess with bubble gum, complete Halloween Bingo, and a guessing game that tested their deduction abilities.
Bubble gum fun

Gum everywhere

One of our winners

Double bubble

Trying to win

YSA fun

Laughing is good for us!

Elder Carter giving game instructions

Sister Norgrant lost her gum

Missionaries usually travel two by two, but once in a while we have to separate to complete assignments held simultaneously.  Thanks to an extra vehicle in our zone, we are a two-car pair of missionaries—at least for a little while until this car sells to the highest bidder.
Zone lunch

Outside our zone lunch restaurant

Elder Carter enjoying one of the stairwells at Palau Community College
Sister Norgrant's homemade keyboard
Can you find the missionary shoe?

We are blessed in so many ways that we couldn’t possibly name them all.  We feel the strength of the hand of the Lord going before us and preparing the way for us to accomplish a great work here as we invite all to come unto Christ.  Thank you for your faith, your prayers, your support, your love!

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