Packed….the entire week has been packed with events, activities, lessons, holidays, parties, baptisms—and we love it!
|Package from Mom: apron, shirts, treats, and more|
The only part that might have had a negative tinge was the packing in Elder Carter’s boil. He visited Dr. Taylor at Camp Katuu on Monday and Wednesday again, but Sister Carter has been playing nurse while the doctor’s out of town over the long week-end packing and bandaging that pesky boil that finally seems to be healing.
Dr. Taylor also ministered to Sister Purcell and Sister Ale. Both have been fighting a virus, but appear to be on the mend and making a full return to missionary work. We’re grateful for all your prayers in our behalf and all missionaries because the work slows down when we do. There are so many people ready to receive the gospel, and we need to enjoy good health to help the work move forward as rapidly as possible.
Our full-time missionaries (and us) ate enough on Thanksgiving Day to rival any islander! Sister Masiasomua and Sister Ale have never celebrated Thanksgiving before, but now they’re converts and will probably make it a tradition when they return to their native Australia. While we washed every dish in our apartment (some more than once), the younger missionaries taught lessons for the rest of the day.
|Where's the food?|
|Feeling good...after the food.|
|Sister Ale & Sister Norgrant|
|Plenty of food|
|Sister Masiasomua & Sister Purcell|
|Every bite gets better.|
|Cleaning their plates.|
|Writing nice things about each other.|
|He wrote what?|
|How to deal with overeating...|
|Eating can be....painful.|
Friday morning we attended the four-hour funeral of the family that died in the fire the day after Typhoon Haiyan hit Palau. We were asked to sing “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again” in Palauan. About 14 of us sang unaccompanied surrounded by about 400 family members and friends of the deceased. We hope that it gave the family some degree of comfort in the loss of seven members in such a devastating way.
Friday evening we celebrated Thanksgiving again with a party at the branch. Betty Hall, a visiting member from Hurricane, Utah, was in charge and made sure that there were plenty of turkeys, chickens, dressing, and gravy, and with all the potluck dishes, we ate like kings again. About 80 people attended, ate until they were almost sick, and then took plates of yummy dishes home. Crystal Huffaker, another visiting member from Spanish Fork, Utah, made 11 cakes to join with the ice cream and cookies that others brought. No one left hungry.
|Pres. Kesolei, Clair Hall, Elder Malais|
|Miriam & Sisters|
|Skarlee, Jose, Marjorie|
|Emily Antonio and family|
|Line for food|
|Josie Lynn and friends|
|Carving the turkeys|
A busy week grew to a frenetic pace on Saturday as all the missionaries met at the church for a general clean-up. The younger ones stayed to help decorate the chapel for the wedding of Minda and Clarence Polloi, a part-member family in the branch. They took a break for lunch at our apartment where they polished off leftovers from Thanksgiving.
Sister Carter played the piano for an hour before the Polloi wedding, Elder Carter conducted, while President Kesolei performed the ceremony. Plenty of food followed the ceremony, but we were able to hurry and clean the chapel again in time for a baptism.
|Kesolei's, Carter's, Polloi's|
|Wedding with missionaries|
Vanlee Augustine, a 10-year-old son of a member, was baptized Saturday evening. His mother, who has been less active for years, spoke in the meeting and recognized the Spirit in their lives as they studied the gospel together with the missionaries. She tearfully bore testimony of the truth of the gospel and her happiness that her son joined her as a member of the church.
|Sister Masi, Vanlee, Sister Purcell|
|Joel Nacionales, Vanlee|
Sunday dawned bright and hot, but the Saints still gathered for each meeting. The air conditioning in the Primary building didn’t work, and those in the chapel area were not very effective, but in spite of the warm temperatures, we were blessed with a tender and heartfelt testimony meeting and Vanlee’s confirmation. Another recent baptism, Gobi, just turned 12 and passed the Sacrament for the first time. Thanks to generous members in the States, he had a white shirt and tie and looked just like a missionary himself. Hansen, another recent convert, was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood today while three other men are awaiting ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood. We’re grateful for their faithful service and determination to do good and know that these additional priesthood holders will be a strength to the branch and their families.
|Gobi as a deacon|
Our ever-increasing gratitude for family and friends has spiked even more this Thanksgiving week. Thank you for your love; thank you for your desire to do good; thank you for your generous support; thank you for heartfelt prayers; thank you for your time as you send packages, letters, comments, and pictures; thank you for the joy, happiness, and light you bring into our lives.