Monday, April 28, 2014

Sun + Sand + YSA's = Fun

Palau may be a small country, but the people here have giant hearts that endear them to us forever.  We are grateful for our branch family and all they do to teach their families the way to happiness.  As we visit in their homes, we sense their desire to do good.
One of three Chinese ships that stopped by Palau

Elder Dopp’s antibiotics kicked in and he’s back to 100%.  Sister Ale’s cold is almost gone too.  Neither have wanted to slow down the work. 

Jorang, one of our recent converts, passed away on Monday morning.  She had been in and out of the hospital over the last couple of months, but we were shocked at the news.  Her family has felt a great degree of comfort knowing about the Plan of Salvation and that she made the decision to be baptized not long ago.  We’re grateful for their example of faith and determination to do good.

Tuesday morning the elders happily wielded machetes to trim greenery around the church sign plus cleaned it so it was a little more visible from the road.  The sisters helped weed at the church and did general maintenance while the elders enjoyed cutting down a bunch of trees and bushes.

Elder Malais trimming a tree

Sister Talakai & Sister Purcell pulling weeds

Elder Fullmer cleaning the sign

Sister Purcell & Sister Talakai

Elder Malais & Elder Fullmer hauling limbs

A good-looking crew

A little basketball before service

Some of our Filipino members work in Palau and send money home to their families.  One of them, Erwin, is a single man just recently baptized. He’s now working quite a distance from Koror and unable to make it to meetings as often as he would like or his piano lessons held during the week, so we visited him on his worksite.  He was so pleased that we would actually make the trip to see him, but we felt that our little trip was a blessing to us!

Seminary and Institute are winding down for another year.  How can that be?!  When we arrived in Palau we were faced with seminary/institute graduation and making plans for the next year—and now it’s over—again!  We love our seminary and institute students, and though they may be few in number, they are powerful in spirit! We have one seminary student who has 100% attendance.  That’s quite a feat anywhere, but that’s unheard of here, and he and his family are being blessed as a result.

Friday afternoon we enjoyed a fun-filled YSA activity at Long Island Park.  We were supposed to go swimming, but everyone started playing volleyball, football, and tossing a Frisbee.  From there, the YSA leaders had planned relay games that had us all laughing and rolling in the sand.  We enjoyed plenty of chips, cookies, and Kool-aid between games and even had several act as spectators for each activity.  We love our college-aged students and will miss many of them as they return to their islands for the summer.
Trad, Hanson blowing up toys

Rolmi & Ruthana

Volleyball game

Warming up

In a line

Sister Bevans & Sister Ale

Trad & Hanson

Rolmi in charge

Water balloon toss

More relay games

Preparing for tug-o-war

Luke & Junior

YSA Group

Ready to pull

More fun

Elder Murdoch & Elder Malais

Sister Bevans & Sister Ale

Teruo Melus arrived at our apartment Wednesday evening to work on his missionary papers!  He is such a humble, faithful young man and so ready to serve as a full-time missionary.  He and two others are now working on their medical and dental check-ups to make sure they’re healthy and ready for their interviews next month when President Mecham comes to visit.

We began the first class of the missionary preparation course Sunday evening.  We had four attend, including one non-member!  It went well and they're excited for the next 14 weeks.

We are grateful for the letters and packages we receive from our family at home.  They are visual reminders of their love and support.  We miss them, but are grateful for these few months we have to serve the people of Palau.  We love you!

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