We just returned from an organized, well-attended, successful Young Women New Beginnings program held at the church for our two girls who will turn 12 this year. Plenty of young women helped with the program as they represented values, performed a Snow White and the Seven Values skit, introduced each class, sang special musical numbers and listened to Sister Mecham teach about how we can get help from others just like the YW leaders and olders girls help nurture and train the younger ones. Many members of the branch attended as did several investigators and the entire Micronesia Guam Mission Presidency. Quite a treat!
Last Sunday evening Joanny Kesolei called about having a potluck dinner for the road crew who will be leaving soon. She wanted to offer a small token of our love and appreciation for all their efforts to support the branch and serve faithfully in the church far away from their homes, so after a couple of other phone calls, we set Tuesday evening for the event. Many people attended and brought massive amounts of food, which we eagerly consumed as we talked and talked and then talked some more. Plenty of tears were shed as the chances of these Americans returning to Palau again are minimal, but the friendships and the lessons shared are forever.
|Sister Masi, Sister Purcell, Rayda|
|Clorinda & Frauline|
|Andy & company|
|Missionaries & members|
|Kraig, Calvin, Camden|
|Happy trails to the American crew!|
|Elders being elders|
|Sisters & friends|
A disturbing event occurred sometime Tuesday evening at the party. Sister Carter’s wallet was taken out of her purse. We all searched the church and the grounds for any sign of it but with no success, so we made the short trip to the police station to report the theft. We’re praying that whoever took it will have a desire to repair the damage, return the contents, and clear their conscience.
|Police report is no fun|
As Wednesday evening was the first day of Seminary for 2014, Raphia Ngiraked, our Seminary president, surprised us with a dinner prior to our lesson. What a fun surprise to find chicken curry, rice, and banana bread to sweeten an already sweet event of being together for another semester of Book of Mormon study. Eleven of us enjoyed a hearty meal and an inspiring lesson as each student contributed to the discussion, helped with reading, and shared feelings about principles of the gospel.
|Food & friends at Seminary|
Three of our missionaries (Elder Fullmer, Elder Dopp, and Sister Masiasomua) returned Monday evening from mission training in Guam and brought a wonderful addition to our work in Palau. They hosted the assistants to the mission president, our very own Elder Gubler and his companion Elder Hadder. They were able to be with us four days. What a grand reunion to be with Elder Gubler who had served so faithfully for most of his mission here in Palau. He seized the opportunity to visit with members and recent converts and wish them well before he returns to his home in Utah next month following an honorable and fruitful two-year mission.
|Elders Gubler, Fullmer, Hadder, Dopp, Carter|
|Pres. Kesolei & Elder Gubler|
|Elder Gubler, Elder Carter, Sister Carter|
Saturday morning we met with President and Sister Mecham plus President Davis of the missionary presidency in a zone conference. They arrived Friday evening and were able to stay for the rest of the weekend. Elder Fullmer and Elder Dopp, our zone leaders, conducted the training and stressed the importance of working with members and how we can encourage their deeper commitment to the work. President Mecham offered an inspiring lesson about the gathering of Israel. He termed it the “longest Sunday School lesson you’ve ever had”, but it was fascinating to follow the Bible chronology of prophets as he walked us through the first gathering and how we are involved in the second. We are grateful for inspired leaders who dedicate their all to the Lord. He and Sister Mecham left their family, home, careers, friends, neighbors, and country, to serve the people of Micronesia and all of us missionaries for three years, and they have diligently and ably moved the work forward in this part of the world. We are grateful for their leadership and example of righteousness.
|Role playing with Elders Dopp, Fullmer, Davis|
|Elder Dopp & Elder Fullmer|
|Sisters Norgrant, Ale, Masi, & Elder Murdoch|
|Sister Purcell conducting & Elder Malais playing|
|Sister Masiasomua bearing her testimony at zone conference|
|Hideo & Elder Murdoch|
|Hideo & friends|
|Hideo, friends, & missionaries|
|Look at those socks!|
After serving for eight and a half years as the Koror branch president, Rebluud Kesolei was released today along with counselors John Thing and Elder Carter. Rebluud is another example of selfless service, especially as he now serves as second counselor in the Micronesia Guam Mission Presidency, the first Micronesian to ever serve there. President John C. Thing will now lead our growing branch along with Jerry Knight and another counselor yet to be named. Elder Carter will remain executive secretary. We’re sure several other changes will take place as the new leadership calls others to teach and serve in all of the auxiliaries.
|Micronesia Guam Mission Presidency|
|Change in branch presidency|
|Cleaning out the office|
|President Kesolei released and President Thing sustained|
We’re grateful to serve with our Palauan branch family, dedicated missionaries, and selfless leaders and can readily see the hand of the Lord directing this work and taking care of our family at home. The windows of heaven have surely been opened and poured out so many blessings that we don’t have room to contain them.
|We love our missionaries!|