Sunday, April 13, 2014

Back to Work

Dr. Hartup is smiling--we think!
We began the week on Guam visiting our friend the dentist.  Dr. Hartup must have some pull (pun intended) with his dental lab because Elder Carter’s crowns were prepared in only two days and placed on Monday afternoon.  We returned Tuesday for some adjustments, but they seem to be fine and are a major improvement over previous problems.

Monday evening we were blessed to share family home evening with other senior couples.  Elder and Sister Hurst hosted the event and asked all of us to bring our laptops.  They shared several facets of the Church’s family search website, and all of us were pleased and excited to learn more about our ancestors and how we can share this information with members and investigators.
Sister Martin & Sister McClellan

Sister Hurst, Elder Martin, Elder Hurst

Sister Mecham

One of the blessings of spending time in Guam was visiting with Bishop Freddie Nicerio, our director of seminaries and institutes for Micronesia.  He gave Elder Carter a blessing, assisted by Elder Martin, that reminded him to increase his faith in the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement and that he would be able to adequately deal with his medical issues.  A sweet spiritual lift.

Wednesday afternoon we packed our belongings and drove to the mission office to meet with President Mecham.  He gave Elder Carter a priesthood blessing that brought a sweetness and calm to both of us.  Elder and Sister Martin followed us to the airport to retrieve our vehicle, and to our surprise Bishop Nicerio pulled in next to us as he dropped off his sister for her flight.  We love these great people but there’s no place like home—Palau!
Elder Carter, Elder & Sister Martin, Sister Carter

Elder Carter, Elder & Sister Martin, Bishop Nicerio

All of our missionaries greeted us Wednesday night as we arrived at our apartment.  Their homemade signs and heartfelt sentiments brightened the day and our hearts.  We love our missionaries! 
As we sat around catching up on the events of the last few days, the zone leaders answered their phone and stepped outside to visit with the assistants to President Mecham.  They later reported the mission-altering results of the phone call.  Our dear Sister Norgrant was transferred to Yigo on Guam and will serve in a threesome with two Chuukese companions and will also travel to Saipan as a sister leader/trainer.  Sister Purcell will stay in Topside but will serve as the sister leader/trainer on Palau.  Sister Ale will continue to serve in Meyuns but will have a new companion, Sister Bevans, who has been serving for four months on Guam.  All four of our elders had no changes.

Elder Malais and Elder Murdoch stopped over with several packages from our family and friends.  We’re planning a mission preparation course, and many of our needed materials were in the packages, plus plenty of treats to share.  Thank you!
Elder Carter opening a package

Sisters' luncheon to say goodbye

Sister Ale & Sister Norgrant
Thursday night we gathered to say goodbye to Sister Norgrant.  We’re thrilled that she has this new opportunity, but are so sad to see her go.  She is a faithful, determined, and focused missionary, and will be a blessing wherever she serves.
Sister Carter, Sister Norgrant, Elder Carter

Sisters Purcell, Talakai, Norgrant, Ale

Sister Ale & Sister Norgrant

Our cute zone!

Sister Norgrant's last treat in Palau

Sister Norgrant

Friday night we gathered at Palau Community College to watch some of our members as they participated in International Night.  They modeled customary and modern clothing for all the islands and then performed dances and songs representative of their various cultures. 
Native costume

More costumes
Elder Murdoch & Elder Fullmer

Angie & John Jr.

Missionaries enjoying the show
"All Micronesian" shirts

We couldn’t stay long though because we hurried to our apartment to meet our new missionary, Sister Bevans.  We spent a few minutes learning about her, her family, her past service on Guam, and her plans for the future.  We hope she feels comfortable on Palau and know she will be a valuable asset for our zone.
Sister Bevan, Elder Fullmer, Sister Ale

Sister Bevan--first night in Palau

Elder Fullmer and Elder Dopp, our zone leaders, hosted a meeting Saturday afternoon where they presented the training they had received in Guam.  They reminded us that God’s ways are not man’s ways and that we need to discover for ourselves what He wants us to accomplish in our mission areas.

We love Saturdays because we usually have a baptism, and this week we were able to watch Pauline Kobeney Thomas and Ruthana Lanwi enter the waters of baptism.  Ronnie, Pauline’s husband, performed the ordinance for both of them.  He was baptized only a few weeks ago and was so pleased to have this opportunity to exercise his priesthood and see his wife join him in the Church. 
Pauline & Ruthana--so happy!

Pauline, Ruthana, and friends

Sister Purcell, Pauline, Ronnie, Ruthana, Sister Talakai

How wonderful to be back with our Palauan saints on Sunday!  We missed them terribly, and they said they missed us.  Though the air conditioning is still broken at the church, we love gathering together and learning from one another.  Two of our recent converts spoke in Sacrament Meeting along with Elder Murdoch.  They bore sweet, simple, and pure testimonies about their own conversions.  The Primary children sang a capella versions of “I Stand All Amazed” and “Did Jesus Really Live Again?”.  We played a piano duet (“Christ the Lord is Risen Today”) and the choir ended the meeting with “He is Risen.”  Next Sunday is Easter, but we will watch General Conference so this was our chance to sing our Easter music.

Following priesthood executive meeting and branch council, the missionaries met at our apartment for dinner.  Since we were gone on Fast Sunday last week, we decided to serve breakfast.  They seemed to enjoy our version of an egg mcmuffin—at least all the food disappeared.  For dessert, we devoured Elder Carter’s birthday cake.  His birthday is this Thursday, but we always celebrate together the Sunday before—and we will celebrate every single day this week.
Enjoying treats

Elder Dopp & Elder Fullmer

Sister Talakai, Elder Carter, Sister Purcell

Elder Carter and his birthday cake

A lighter moment

A little more traditional

Make a wish!

How many candles?

Sister Bevans, Sister Ale

Elder Malais & Elder Murdoch

Elder Murdoch

We are grateful to serve the people of Palau, but we couldn’t do it without the ever-abiding support of our family and friends.  We love you and feel the power of your faith!


  1. So glad you are back on Palau and moving on with the work. We love you!

  2. Your dedication to your mission work is inspiring! We love hearing about how the people of Palau are accepting the gospel and being faithful in keeping their covenants. Nik and I are preparing to serve another mission! We don't know the exact time frame yet, but by next year at this time, we will be senior missionaries again! Thank you for inspiring us through your great love for the Lord. Happy Easter!

    1. You always give us such a boost! Thanks for actually reading our blog and for all your love and support. We feel it! We can't wait to hear about your future mission. Please keep us posted about your call, timing, location, and type of assignment--it's like Christmas!! Love you!