Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's called "missionary work" for a reason.

Mondays include lots of preparation for the week but also lots of fun as all of the missionaries gathered at our apartment to play games and enjoy being together, plus the air conditioner at our apartment works great.
Baby sleeping on a table while we visited her mother.

Tuesday morning we were awakened VERY early by our ringing phone.  One of our members, Sister Mariur, passed away after suffering for several months.  Only 67 years old, she had been unable to walk for quite some time.  We are grateful for the Plan of Salvation and that this loving family knows they will see their mother and wife again.

All of the missionaries met under the KB Bridge early Tuesday morning to pick up litter.  Though the temperature was toasty, we accomplished much good. Sister Carter also met and visited with one of her teacher friends from the high school who happened to be at the bridge prior to the school day.
Sister Ale & Sister Norgrant 

Ready to work

Hard work is over

Seminary is always a highlight of the week and coupled with Young Men and Young Women, it made for an exciting Wednesday evening.  The Young Women traveled to our apartment to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies, and since the Young Men didn’t have anything planned, they joined us.  Now for those of you who know Sister Carter well, you know how humbled she was to teach ANYTHING about cooking, but it went well and the cookies tasted great.  The teenagers ate the results of their efforts and even saved a few to drop off at the Mariur’s and a couple of other member families.
Jose in disguise at a YW activity

Kessy watching the cookies bake

Listening to instructions

Enjoying their work

Working together

An amazing trio

Our Thursday night Institute class continues to mushroom before our eyes!  Twenty attended this week and participated in a discussion about Helaman 12 from the Book of Mormon.  Many of the young single adults attend Palau Community College and  planned to participate in their International Night on Friday.  It was postponed for a few days, so we threw together a YSA party at our apartment.  The students asked for Karaoke and games AGAIN and managed to eat plenty of ice cream cones to keep cool.
Thursday night Institute--zero to twenty in just a few months!
Karaoke listeners

Listen to that harmony

Elder Malais amusing Sister Carter

Luke makes his own music

Song stylings

Looking for a song

Tooth pain struck Elder Carter again this week.  He already had a dentist appointment to remove a crown that caused an allergic reaction, so instead the dentist determined that he needs to have another root canal.  She said it was beyond her expertise, so we made plans for another Guam visit next week.

Chapel cleaning assignments are rotated among the families of the branch, and our turn came up Saturday morning.  We worked with another member of the branch for a couple of hours to prepare the church for Sunday meetings.

Sister Carter & Melody (her birthday)

Not long after cleaning the church, we were in our car on the way to Babeldaob to visit members who live away from Koror.  We enjoyed visiting with several, but one story caused us to grieve with one of our members.  She had just delivered a baby girl who lived only 25 minutes.  She was eight months along in her pregnancy, but the cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck.  What a sad, sad experience for her and how we wished she could have had the medical expertise of doctors who could have saved the baby’s life.

The tremendous lift for Saturday was the baptism of Laninbwij Luke Langmas.  He attends Palau Community College and has been surrounded and loved by other members of the Church there.  He was baptized by his friend Ronnie, another recent convert who received the Aaronic Priesthood the week before.
Luke and six of our faithful missionaries

Luke and Ronnie
Hideo, Elder Malais, Luke, Ronnie, Elder Murdoch, Tradson

Two more recent converts and our elders quorum president spoke about the Atonement in Sacrament Meeting.  All three recounted how the Atonement of Jesus Christ worked in their lives and how it gave them the power to change.  We felt blessed for being there (even though the air conditioner still doesn’t work and it must have been 90 degrees inside).  We’re grateful to serve with such humble, sincere people who constantly teach us to rely on the Savior and we feel their love and the love of our family and friends at home. "Thank you" are simple words, but deeply felt!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Back to Palau

Our last blog post came from Guam, but we’re happy to report we’re back on Palau and SO grateful to be home surrounded by our faithful and diligent missionaries and branch members!
Rain flowing from our roof--1 1/4 inch in 1 hour

Elder Carter found himself in the dentist’s chair again on Guam on Monday morning and walked out a few hours later after a root canal.  The dentist cleared him to return home on Tuesday, so we deferred our Monday night trip for one more day.  But the bright spot was meeting with other senior couples on Guam for dinner at the mission home with President and Sister Mecham to welcome Elder and Sister Martin who will work in the mission office.  We joined the McCabes, the Hursts, Sister McClellan, and the Princes for an evening filled with opportunities to know one another better.
Elder & Sister Hurst (family history)
Dinnertime at the mission home

Carters, Hursts, Martins, McCabes, McClellan, Princes, Mecham

We had the rare chance to chat with President and Sister Mecham at a quick lunch before we left for the airport.  They are inspired and inspiring leaders and we can’t thank them enough for their faithful service to us and every other missionary in the Micronesia Guam Mission.
President Mecham at his mission office desk

We had to say good-bye to Elder and Sister Prince who leave for home the end of this month.  They’ve worked and worked and worked in the mission office and been such valuable resources strength and support.  We’re grateful they live in New Harmony, Utah since we’ll be only minutes away.

Princes, Mechams, Elder Carter

Sister Prince teaching Sister Martin

While we were taking care of dental work in Guam, our young elders and sisters continued to carry on the work of preaching the Restoration of the gospel in Palau.  They arranged a baptism the Saturday we were gone of two wonderful new members:  Justino Silmai Mad and Edangel Desiree Remiliik.  Silmai and Hesila were married in a lovely ceremony just prior to his baptism, and Sister Carter is especially happy to welcome Desiree as a new Seminary student.
Hesila and Silmai's wedding

Silmai's family, Sister Purcell, Sister Talakai
Desiree, friends, sisters

Sister Purcell, Desiree, Sister Talakai

Just last night we enjoyed the baptism of Tommy Lee Obed, another student attending Palau Community College.  Baptized by his friend Hideo (another recent convert), Tommy’s smile covered his entire face and one of his soon-to-be-baptized friends commented, “I’m jealous.  I wish it was my turn to be baptized.”  He’s scheduled for next Saturday night.
Tommy, friends, elders

Tommy, friends, missionaries

Elder Carter, Hideo, Tommy, Sister Carter

Seminary and Institute classes continue to be a source of inspiration for us and for the students.  We love gathering with them to share lessons, stories, testimonies, and a few yummy treats too.  We’re grateful for each student and what they add to our lives and the entire branch.

A few Seminary students
A few Institute students

We met as a district Thursday to report what is happening in each of our areas, plan for the balance of the month, and participate in an inspiring discussion from Preach My Gospel, directed by Elder Malais.  Sister Carter made cinnamon rolls, a rare treat, and the entire pan disappeared in record time.
Elder Malais, Sister Carter

Elder Dopp, Elder Fullmer, Elder Murdoch

Sister Norgrant, Sister Ale

Sister Talakai, Sister Purcell

Elder Fullmer, Elder Murdoch, Elder Malais
The Young Women and Relief Society joined forces to host a birthday party to commemorate the organization of Relief Society 172 years ago and the birth of Maria Simer’s little girl Miley.  They prepared a program about all the general Relief Society Presidents and asked Evangeline and President Thing to speak.  Following the program, we jumped into the potluck lunch and made every dish empty quickly.  Karla Johnson made the decorations, Sister Carter narrated the program, and several sisters brought baby gifts for Miley.
President Thing

Baby Miley & Karla

Marjorie, our Relief Society President


Sister Purcell & Karla

Evangeline & Gordon

Sister Ale, Maria, Miley

Sister Norgrant & Sister Ale

We were grateful for milder temperatures and rainy skies on Sunday since the church’s air conditioning still awaits repair.  Elder Carter conducted training for the elders quorum presidency then taught the last class of the temple preparation course—all after stepping in to teach priesthood earlier in the day.  Elder Malais and Elder Murdoch were in charge of the missionary fireside Sunday evening and presented the Joseph Smith movie along with their testimonies of his prophetic calling.  Elder Malais played the hymns on the piano as Elder Murdoch conducted the music.  Those piano lessons are really paying off!

We received a brief email from our missionary Skarlee.  He is still in the Provo Missionary Training Center until March 25th  He will be sent to the California Long Beach Mission until his visa for Australia comes through.  He sounds happy, healthy, and ready to dive into missionary work wherever that may be!

Just as we were thinking that dental issues were dying a welcome death, Elder Carter visited the local dentist Friday morning to have his temporary crown replaced with one recently made in the Philippines.  After only an hour or two, he sensed a problem and returned to the dentist’s office to have it adjusted.  Later that evening he felt pain, swelling, and general discomfort along his jaw line but was too late to reach the dentist again during office hours.  Following some quick emails to the dentist in Guam, we discovered that he may be having an allergic reaction to the new crown, so we will probably be back in the dentist’s office again this week.

We’re so grateful to be back in our mission area surrounded by our loving and kind branch members.  Thanks to them and each of you who so willingly offer your faith and prayers for us.  We love you!