Thursday, December 19, 2013

Surrounded by do-gooders

Our YW presidency plus Emily Antonio
Remember how great it feels when you do something good?  But it feels even better when someone you know and love does something good!  Our YW presidency helped our few, but talented young women prepare and present YW in Excellence this week.  The theme was “Stand Ye in Holy Places” and they used a variety of shoes matched with the YW values to explain how they could “stand in holy places and be not moved.”




Raphia's project board

Scarla's project board

YW in Excellence program


Raphia, Scarla, and Shannel were three that completed their projects and gave a full report about each event.  Raphia organized and presented a modest fashion show using young women as the models.  Scarla organized a fireside with a guest speaker from Guam.  Shannel memorized all 25 of the Seminary scripture mastery scriptures in only two months and shared her favorite one with the congregation and what this project has meant to her.  All of the young women and their leaders sang “When Someone Cares”, then President Kesolei offered closing remarks.  He even surprised himself with emotion he experienced during their song and asked them to sing it again for Sacrament Meeting (which they did today).  What an uplifting, spiritual, and enlightening meeting featuring beautiful young women who are trying to “stand in holy places.”
Young Women singing "When Someone Cares"

As this was the last week of full classes at the high school before final exams, this was Sister Carter’s last class with her 25 freshmen who will go to different teachers and classes next semester.  They hosted a party for her on Friday afternoon and offered sweet tributes and gifts bought with their hard-earned money.  They collected money to provide a full dinner, but one of the student’s parents decided to sponsor the entire meal of three different meats, rice, and fruit salad.  What a feast and what an honor to work with them this semester!  How she will miss them!
Hard at work

Giant card

Tommy offering a tribute

Mark & students

An interesting sidebar to the Palau High School class includes Kuniwo Nakamura, former president of Palau.  We delivered Christmas CD’s to government dignitaries including Mr. Nakamura, and discovered that he is the father of one of Sister Carter’s high school students.  That simple connection has opened the door to a deeper relationship as we will meet again to learn more about each other. 
Sister Carter & Mr. Nakamura

This week has been filled with our regular missionary labors, meetings, and assignments, but we’ve added a few extra music practices in anticipation of the missionary musical fireside hosted by Sister Norgrant and Sister Ale.  They had asked several people to narrate the story of the Savior’s birth while families and other groups presented Christmas carols.  We had about 45 people attend Sunday evening and enjoy renditions of classic Christmas music.
Elder Fullmer, Elder Murdoch, Elder Malais

Sister Norgrant & Sister Ale--happy with the fireside

Sister Purcell, Sister Masiasomua, Sister Carter, Elder Carter

Sister Purcell, Sister Masiasomua, Sister Carter

Sister Purcell & Sister Masiasomua

Sebangiol--post performance

Talking about the program

Sister Purcell, Sister Norgrant relaxing after the fireside

Elder Murdoch after singing "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Elder Dopp, Elder Fullmer, Sister Masiasomua

Elder Carter has spent a good deal of time on the 2013 Koror Branch history this week.  It’s been enlightening and a little frightening to think we’ve been here eight months already.  We’ve experienced so many spiritual highlights with our branch family and know that they’ll continue and increase throughout 2014.

Clair and Betty Hall, two of our stalwart members from Southern Utah are returning home this week.  They fly out Tuesday night a couple of hours after Clair performs with us in Bethlehem Park.  The full-time missionaries and some of our branch members have prepared a 30 minute musical program to present as part of the community Christmas events.  We pray that they find all well at home as they arrive there in time for the holidays.  We also pray that our performance in the park will open doors for us to share the gospel with more of our island brothers and sisters.

To all our family, friends, and blog followers, we are grateful you are trying to do good, especially during this season when we celebrate the birth of the Savior and recognize even more the gracious gift of the Atonement.  We challenge you and us to keep our thoughts and actions centered on doing good and being good, and as we do so, may we feel heavenly peace and deeper joy throughout this season.

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