Monday morning started out bright and happy as a brand new air conditioner was installed in our bedroom! No more waking up every hour of the night to unplug and reset a testy AC that decided it only wanted to work intermittently. Now both of our units are new and should last for many missionaries to come.
Our branch has a new member in the form of a five pound, nine ounce baby girl born to Maria, one of our YW presidency. The baby has plenty of dark hair and big beautiful eyes that will enjoy the attention of every girl in the branch, not to mention all the other members.
|Listening at Institute|
|Angie working with students|
Seminary and Institute is always a highlight for us, but this week was even more of a standout as we enjoyed the highest attendance at institute ever and another inspiring lesson from Angie, our teacher. A few students from Palau Community College came and brought some of their friends. The same evening Elder Carter began teaching the addiction recovery class again in preparation for the temple trip in July.
|Jose & Skarlee studying the scriptures|
|Learning in Seminary|
|Boni enjoying the Valentine ribbons|
After Seminary our Young Men prepared decorations for the Valentine’s party they hosted Friday night. What a blessing to see them excited and participating in the program! They arrived early on Friday to finish decorating, provided a spaghetti dinner, and played great dance music. Everyone who attended had a good time and even played a little basketball outside for a while afterwards.
|Pleased with their decorations|
It’s not often that Valentine’s Day is filled with a bunch of soldiers standing out in the hot sun waiting to assume their new post, but this year it happened in Palau. We were able to attend the change of charge ceremony at Camp Katuu and meet Chris McDonald from Alaska and a member of the Church. He and the rest of his unit will serve in Palau for six months, and we’re hoping and praying that Chris will serve in the branch while he’s here too.
|New CAT (Civic Action Team)|
|Sister Carter with a new friend|
|Chris McDonald with the CAT team|
Since Friday was Valentine’s Day we took a few moments for ourselves. After attending the Young Men’s Valentine party for a few minutes, we went to dinner and watched a movie on our computer. Call us wild and crazy!
|Sister Norgrant & Sister Ale with Valentine treats|
Finally we were able to make our trip to Babeldaob on Saturday this week. We’ve missed seeing these members and had a great time sharing a gospel message, offering prayers, and extending greetings from the branch.
We didn’t have any convert baptisms Saturday night, but we did enjoy Mia Johnson’s baptism early Sunday morning before our regular meetings. It was also her eighth birthday, so the day was doubly special to her and we felt blessed sharing this experience with her and her family. They are such strong members of the branch and set a powerful example of service and testimony.
|Mia & Primary children|
|The Johnson Family|
|Mia & Josh|
Sunday evening Sister Masiasomua and Sister Purcell were in charge of a missionary fireside at the chapel. They and the other missionaries had recorded videos showing moments out of their day and posed the question “Why would anyone want to be a missionary?” patterned after Elder Uchtdorf’s question in the last Conference “Why would anyone want to join this church?” They showed part of Elder Uchtdorf’s talk, their video clips, and a slideshow of all those baptized in the last few months. Sister Carter began and ended the narration while Sister Masiasomua bore her testimony at the end. It was a powerful evening punctuated by many tears.
|Beautiful sisters and a full moon (through the trees)|
We are blessed to serve with such valiant missionaries who give up school, work, family, and everything familiar to preach the gospel here in Palau. We are also blessed to feel the love of our family and friends at home who so willingly write or Skype to share this wonderful mission experience with us. We express our heartfelt gratitude to each of you and pray that you will feel the power of our prayers in your behalf.