Sunday, March 2, 2014

Goodbye Sister Masiasomua

Another beautiful, unusual flower of Palau
A mission involves a lot of day to day details, and they are important too, but the things that matter most build our testimonies, strengthen our determination to serve, and bless us with gratitude for being involved in this great latter-day work of inviting all to come unto Christ.  Some of those things that “matter most” are attending church with our Palauan family.  We saw almost 100 members attend today and many bore their testimonies in humble yet profound ways.  We felt the strength of their testimonies and their desires to do good.
Chris McDonald & Elder & Sister Carter

Today was Skarlee Renguul’s last Sunday here in Palau.  He leaves Saturday night for Guam, stays there until Monday, then flies to Salt Lake City where Eli McCann (former member of our branch)will pick him up at the airport.  Skarlee bore his testimony and expressed his deep desire to serve.  His example has urged a couple of other young men in our branch to evaluate their lives and consider serving a full-time mission—just one of the blessings for his choice to serve.
Skarlee with priesthood brethren

Elder Carter taught the priesthood lesson and distributed new home teaching assignments.  We are grateful for the brethren who faithfully visit and support their families and know that the branch is blessed as a result of their service.

Teaching music in Primary is one of Sister Carter’s great joys of this mission.  The children love to sing and are hungry to learn the Primary songs as well as understand the messages they contain.  We had only seven children attend today, far less than normal, but they compensated with heartfelt singing and enthusiastic participation.

Elder Carter taught the temple preparation class Sunday evening and reminded all of us how the Savior taught through symbols, and such a sweet spirit was there to remind us that the Holy Ghost is the teacher.

Sister Masiasomua left Palau early Thursday morning, so we spent a few minutes Wednesday night wishing her well and trying to keep our emotions in check.  Tuesday evening we met with all the missionaries to share ice cream sundaes and hear her thoughts about serving in Palau.  She’s been a faithful missionary, one who has labored diligently and been blessed with success.  We will miss her, but wish her the best of everything in the future.
Elders Malais, Fullmer, Dopp

Sister Masiasomua & Sister Ale

Elder Carter, Sister Norgrant

Sister Masiasomua answering questions

Thinking about her mission

Palau Zone minus Sister Purcell

Saying goodbye

Goodbyes are so hard!

Ice cream and Elder Dopp

Carters and Sister Masiasomua

Monday night our zone leaders called Sister Purcell to let her know she would be training our new sister missionary, so she flew to Guam the same evening.  This is a classic example of having enough oil in her lamp (The Ten Virgins parable).  She was ready and the time for preparation was past.
Saying goodbye before training a new sister

In the midst of our farewell party for Sister Masiasomua, Elder Carter broke a tooth, actually a crown.  He visited the one and only dentist on Palau on Friday and had a positive experience as she placed a temporary tooth in his mouth and is making a new crown.  In two more weeks, his mouth should be back to normal.

Those little dots in the middle of the water are people looking for crabs (low tide)
Teruo tending the BBQ 

Hanson, Sister Purcell, Sister Talakai

BBQ for Skarlee

Part of the gospel includes having fun and gathering the young single adults together so they can get to know each other better and spend time together.  Friday night was our monthly YSA activity.  This time it was at the church and included a variety of games.  These young men and women are growing much more comfortable with one another and with us.  We decided it didn’t matter what games we played since now they join in all the activities and look forward to any opportunity to be together (but they did enjoy Kipper Racing, Steal the Bacon, Pass the Orange, Tower Building, and Balloon Parade).  Each one asked what we would be doing next.  A great sign!
Working together

Good abs


Prepared to play


Get those fish to fly

Muscle power


Laughing makes it harder

President Kesolei joins in

Hot air

Working together

Elders having fun too

Happy faces

Preparing paper fish

We can do it

Eating and playing

Scissors make everything more fun

Creative minds

After the party we welcomed Sister Talakai, our new sister missionary.  She and Sister Purcell arrived from Guam in time to visit with all of us at our apartment.  She hails from Houston, Texas and lived in the same ward as our children Nathaniel and Carla.  What a small world in the church! We know she’ll be a valuable addition to our missionary force and look forward to learning about her.  We love her already.
Sister Purcell & Sister Talakai

We feel it a wonderful privilege to serve the Savior in Palau and to have a small part in the great missionary work of the Church.  The gospel is true.
First time in ten months Elder Carter has asked for and received quarters at the bank--a miracle!

Elder Dopp's haircut malfunction
Imported Taco Bell from Sister Purcell

Elder Murdoch delights in Taco Bell

Sister Norgrant & Taco Bell

Teruo and his new scriptures

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