Sunday, November 24, 2013

What a week!

A week of illness and injury, but good stuff too!

Sisters at Sunday dinner

Elders feeling good after dinner

Monday, preparation day, is always rushed, but our entire zone took a couple of hours to play baseball at the Meyuns field.  A few neighbor boys joined with us, which made covering our positions a lot easier.  They must have had a good time because they asked if we could come back the next day too!

Raphia explaining her project

Rayda, our MC

Karla, YW President
Our Young Women are preparing for the YW in Excellence program that will be held in December this year and are completing projects to present to the entire branch.  Raphia Ngiraked decided to arrange a fashion show of modest clothing.  She and YW leaders decorated the church with a “red carpet” edged with local flowers for all the models to walk, pose, and stand for pictures.  Sergio, our DJ, played music as each model came forward showing off sleepwear, school uniforms, casual wear, prom dresses, sports togs, and included specialty outfits for maternity and missionary wear.  The girls had their hair done and applied make-up to make the show more authentic.  Rayda, a member of the presidency, was our clever MC, and slipped in several quotes by church leaders about modesty and taking care of our bodies, while the appreciative audience applauded each model as she carefully and gracefully walked the length of the red carpet.
Shannel, Scarla, Raphia

Sister Masiasomua


Jose & Justin waiting for the show to start


Sister Ale & Sister Masiasomua

Maria, Malley, Bridgette, Scarla




Shannel & Scarla




Scarla & Shannel


Since Kaytano Edeyaoch begins his mission on November 28th in Johannesburg, South Africa, we had a going away party to celebrate his choices that brought him to this point.  A bunch of branch members devoured his cake, signed his card, and wished him well.  The second--and tougher--part of the story is that his passport has not yet arrived, so he will be late reporting.  He was supposed to fly to Guam tonight then on to South Africa early Tuesday morning.  We hope to hear something more definite tomorrow, but the latest word is that he will report on December 28th instead.  He and his entire family are filled with faith and patiently wait to hear what they need to do next.
Kaytano and his cake

Some members at the party

All eyes on Kaytano

Kuniwo Mikel was baptized Saturday night by President Kesolei and united another family in the gospel.  His wife and daughter are already members along with several extended family, so his baptism brought joy to each of them and the entire branch.  Their twin two-year-old sons added lots of interest to the otherwise solemn occasion.  Kuniwo was confirmed on Sunday by President Kesolei, who was suffering from a cold and a tough case of laryngitis.  We had to strain to hear the beautiful blessing he pronounced upon Kuniwo and his entire family.
Kuniwo's happy family
Sisters Masi & Purcell, Pres. Kesolei, Kuniwo

Kuniwo and family

President Kesolei was in good company this week with Elder Malais and Sister Ale who both suffered from a cold and cough, but not one of them slowed down.  They continued teaching and fulfilling assignments even though it might have felt better to stay home in bed.

Elder Dopp conducted an inspiring district meeting on Thursday then went home for a quick lunch.  As he opened a can, the lid made a deep cut to the side of his middle finger.  He called us to his apartment to take a look, and all four of us thought he needed stitches.  He had to wait a couple of hours to meet the American doctor at Camp Katuu, but he bravely endured the cleansing, freezing, and stitching necessary to get him back together and back to work.
Ready for stitches

Brave Elder Dopp

Cleaning the wound

Must have stitches

Cleaning & freezing

Elder Dopp & Elder Murdoch
Feeling better and ready to go back to missionary work

Elder Carter also visited Dr. Taylor at Camp Katuu a couple of times this week  as he had another staph infection and a boil that grew to baseball size that the AL and NL would have been proud of.  After a couple of days of feeling puny (near death, according to him), he revisited the doctor and had the boil lanced and drained.  Sister Carter has become an expert at changing dressings and will continue for the next few days until the boil is completely drained and the doctor returns from his trip to Japan.
Elder Carter waiting at the hospital for a test

At the end of this week, all of the missionaries are feeling much better and the work is going forward at a rapid pace.  We have several investigators attending meetings, learning doctrine during discussions, and inviting their family and friends to listen as well.

Our Primary children presented Sacrament Meeting today and brought such a sweet spirit to the meeting with their heartfelt talks and dedicated singing.  Some children sang solos while Sister Norgrant and Sister Ale accompanied on the piano.  One of our Primary girls, Kali Kesolie, played the piano too.  All three are Sister Carter's students and she was as proud of them as their own mothers would be.  During Primary, Sister Carter distributed CTR rings her mother (Ferral Jones) had mailed to her, including two for our Spanish speaking girls.  The children radiated excitement and pleasure while sporting their new jewelry for all to see.
Sporting their CTR rings

In the chapel

Holding onto their rings

We are always grateful for our family and friends who so generously support us through cards, emails, letters, packages, and heartfelt prayers, but this week our gratitude is as wide and deep as the ocean that surrounds our isles.  We are grateful for your righteous choices and desires to do good and pray that each one of you and all our blog readers will have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded and enveloped by the love of our Savior and feel more deeply and completely the blessings of His Atonement.  We gratefully and humbly serve Him.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Kaytano Edeyaoch surrounded by elders
Post Typhoon Haiyan week in Palau and all is well even though some of our Filipino friends have yet to hear from all their family members, so we continue praying that the casualties in the Philippines will be less than anticipated.  Our schedules have returned to our normal routine of member visits, preparation for meetings, music practice, and supporting our young missionaries.
Making progress

Roof repairs

An old, old tree is gone

House under the tree

More limbs cut off

Necessary heavy equipemnt

Palau Community College tree

After waiting for months, today was Kaytano Edeyaoch’s farewell talk in Sacrament Meeting as he leaves for Guam and on to South Africa next Sunday night.  The entire meeting was a hint of heaven as all members of Kaytano’s family spoke and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.  Raphia, his sister, wants to be just like Kaytano as he has always been a force for good in her life showing her what it means to be humble and strong.  Angie, his mother, told how Kaytano loves to give gifts and now he has the opportunity to share the most precious gift of the gospel with the people of South Africa.  In the middle of the meeting, all of the Young Men, Young Women, and choir members sang a medley of “As Sisters in Zion” and “We’ll Bring the World His Truth.”  They must have had angels join with them, because it was the most powerful, spiritual rendition of this inspired piece that we’ve ever heard.  John, Kaytano’s dad, spoke about Kaytano’s high school basketball team as they listened to their talented coach and after living the Word of Wisdom and setting their sights on the championship goal, they were able to achieve.  Now Kaytano will listen to the ultimate Coach and do whatever is required of him for the next two years. Kaytano’s testimony was simply that he wants to serve a mission to become as much like the Savior as he can.  He mentioned three Christlike attributes that have helped him prepare for this time in his life:  patience, humility, and charity.  He ended his talk quoting Omni 26 as a guiding force in his life:  “And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.  Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.”  Kaytano will be an amazing missionary!
Kaytano and his missionary packet

Saturday evening we enjoyed the baptism of our newest member Hanson Lalimo.  He’s originally from the Marshall Islands but is attending Palau Community College.  He was baptized by Tradson Mark, who is from Pohnpei and also attending college here.  Elder Carter confirmed him a member and conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost during Sacrament Meeting the next day.  Thanks to our friend Barbara Gilson from northern Utah who generously donated many white shirts and ties for our members, Hanson looked like a missionary as he walked to the front of the chapel in his newly acquired Sunday clothes.
Hanson surrounded by missionaries

Sisters Masi & Purcell & Hanson

Trad & Hanson

We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support we feel from our family and friends, and the packages and letters they send are powerful physical reminders of how much they care.  Thanks to each of you!  We love you and hope you can sense the depth of our feelings.
Elder Malais & Elder Fullmer

Elder Murdoch & Elder Dopp

Sister Masiasomua & Sister Purcell

Sister Norgrant & Sister Ale