As we left our children and grandchildren in the United States to serve as full-time missionaries in Palau, our hearts turned to mushy pulps at the thought of missing them for the next year and a half. According to the law of opposition though, our reunion with them at mission’s end will be joyfully sweet as our hearts are renewed and our relationships deepened through closer association and shared experiences. The thought of our eventual reunion made parting slightly less sorrowful.
|Elder Carter, Skarlee, Sister Carter|
We had a similar experience Friday night as one of our Palauan sons left for his mission in Brisbane, Australia. Over the past several months, we have grown to love and admire Skarlee Renguul for his desire to serve the Lord and his ability to rise above negative influences, which would bring down a lesser man. The greatest difference with Skarlee’s departure is wondering if we would ever see him again in this life and once again enjoy his dedication and desire to preach the gospel. We love him!
|Shaving before departure|
|Skarlee, Scarla (sister), Frauline (mother)|
|Elder Murdoch likes Rice Krispie treats|
|A few of those at the airport to say goodbye|
|Sister Purcell & Elder Fullmer|
|John Jr., Raphia, Scarla, Skarlee, Sergio|
|Sister Purcell, Elder Carter, Raphia|
|Skarlee & Elder Fullmer|
|Skarlee and the elders|
|John Jr., Jimmy, Raphia, Scarla, Skarlee, Sergio|
|Hansen, Hideo, Skarlee, Ronnie, Trad, Rodney, John|
|Sister Carter & Skarlee|
|Skarlee's seat assignment|
|Checking his passport|
|Last minute advice|
|Paying departure tax|
|Elder Carter & Skarlee|
Our regular missionary activities were supplemented with a zone training meeting on Thursday. Elder Fullmer and Elder Dopp shared the message they had learned while in Guam, which was the power of the Spirit as we teach the restored gospel.
Sister Carter returned from a piano lesson Wednesday night feeling humbled to the dust for the outpouring of blessings in our lives. She taught a young man from the Philippines who is in Palau working to support his younger sister as she studies at a university. He lives in a barracks with several other workers, no air conditioning, no amenities that we would expect in America, works far too many hours six days a week—sometimes seven. He is here out of love for his sister AND to find the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was baptized only four weeks ago.
Baptisms are usually held on Saturday, but Friday night we were blessed to witness the baptism of John Ochalibul and Ronnie Thomas, both students at Palau Community College. The date was changed so Skarlee could perform both ordinances prior to his departure. He has been such a strong, positive influence in their lives, and his great example was a guiding factor in their conversion. Both were confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday morning by Elder Malais.
|Missionaries, Skarlee, John, Ronnie|
|Missionaries, John, Ronnie|
|John, Ronnie, & PCC students|
|Sister Purcell, John, Sister Talakai|
|Elder Malais, Ronnie, Elder Murdoch|
|Pauline & Ronnie|
|Skarlee, John, Ronnie|
|John & Ronnie dressed to receive the Gift of the Holy ghost|
Other little tidbits of information from this week include a rambunctious Catch Phrase game with six of the younger missionaries Monday afternoon. Elder Fullmer and Elder Dopp were still in Guam for training. We missed their comic antics, but managed to have a good time anyway.
|Our beautiful zone|
Elder Carter met the new doctor at Camp Katuu Wednesday morning. Elder Carter is playing host to his third staph infection and back on serious antibiotics, which seem to be scaring the staph into submission AGAIN. Besides feeling better, we enjoyed meeting several of the new airmen at the camp and learning about their families. Chris McDonald, our member there, is such a welcome addition to our branch, and we hope he knows how much we need him!
A crowd of about 35 attended First Friday Flicks where we showed Ephraim’s Rescue. Since Elder Malais repaired our sound system, all were able to hear everything and enjoy more of a “theater” experience. Now if we could just get the church’s air conditioning fixed! It’s been broken for a month now and it doesn’t look like it will be fixed for three or four more months since the parts need to be manufactured in Japan before they can be sent to us. Pray for cooler temperatures!
|Largest Institute class ever!|
The Prophet has said that the Lord is hastening His work, and we testify that it is true. We see many, many examples that support the Prophet’s message. Two missionaries serving from the Koror Branch may not seem much, but it’s life-changing here. And what’s even more impressive is that other young men are now feeling the desire to prepare and serve. We expect more to start their missionary applications in the next two months. We’re grateful!
What a wonderful work we engage in every day, but we couldn’t accomplish much without the faith and prayers of our family and friends. Thank you for blessing us so abundantly!