Sunday, January 12, 2014

Change is Certain

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!

New Beginnings


Young Women
Preparing for the program


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.
Elder Fullmer

Sister Masi, Sister Purcell, Rayda

Clorinda & Frauline

Andy & company

Elder Carter

Missionaries & members

Tommy Sakuma

Kraig, Calvin, Camden

Happy trails to the American crew!

Elders being elders

Sisters & friends

Celebrating together
Camden & Calvin

The Huffaker's

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.
Elder Fullmer 

Role playing with Elders Dopp, Fullmer, Davis

President Mecham

Elder Dopp & Elder Fullmer

Sisters Norgrant, Ale, Masi, & Elder Murdoch

Sister Purcell conducting & Elder Malais playing

Sister Mecham

Sister Masiasomua bearing her testimony at zone conference

Saturday evening  Elder Carter conducted the baptismal service for Hideo Tonal Michael, our first for 2014, and the first baptism performed by Elder Murdoch.  We know this will be the first of many.  Hideo had many friends from Palau Community College come to support him in this giant step in his life.
Hideo & Elder Murdoch

Hideo & friends

Hideo, friends, & missionaries

Humble elder

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!


  1. I love reading all the Palau news. Wow, president Kesolei released, 30 baptisms, wallet missing (stolen) what a year! Sounds like karaoke was a big hit. Keep up the GREAT work!

    1. We're grateful to be a part of this wonderful missionary force. Can't wait to compare notes with you!

  2. Kristine, you do not look happy filling out that police report...very unnatural look for our eternal optimist. So sorry that happened. Just got back from our farewell dinner for Marg and Chauncey! So happy for all my missionary friends! Love Becky

    1. Hi Becky,
      We are so excited for Marg and Chauncey too, but I'm sure the farewell dinner was emotional.

      Having my wallet taken AT CHURCH was disturbing, and just how disturbing is all over my face!

      Other than the case of the missing wallet, everything else is amazingly great and I'm so grateful to serve the people on Palau.

      I hope you're doing okay! I see many lunches in our future.