Sunday, May 18, 2014


Mainstreet sporting a rainbow

Mother’s Day is a huge event for missionaries because they get to call their families, and with the time difference between countries, these calls took some planning.  Sister Ale led the group calling her family Sunday evening in Palau since Australia has only an hour’s time difference.  The rest of the phone calls began Monday morning at 8:00 A.M. our time and Sunday evening in North America.  We had a few technical glitches, but after a few frustrating minutes, two missionaries were able to connect on two computers while we received calls from our children on the iPad.  Happy faces all around! 
Elder Murdoch

Sister Purcell

Elder Dopp

Sister Bevans & Sister Ale

Between calls or while waiting for companions, the rest of us played games and ate candy graciously sent by our family in the States.  Even after the calls were all completed, we stayed together for a few hours basking in the joy of calling home yet realizing we’re in a rare, short moment of our lives to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone we meet.
Elder Malais waiting & waiting & waiting

"Spoons" makes the time fly

Guess what?

No clue!

We got it!

Not the right answer, but...

After exercising Tuesday morning we cleaned out the library and family history center at the chapel.  These tiny rooms needed a lot of attention, and though many probably wouldn’t be able to see much difference, it felt better to us.  We filled four big boxes with surplus materials to distribute among the members so they can enjoy all these items in their homes.




We enjoyed a picnic Tuesday evening with one of our members working in Aimeliik.  We arrived shortly before sunset, sat outside eating our chicken salad sandwiches, and occasionally feeding the four skinny dogs who stared at us the entire time.  Another member drove into the farm property just before we left, and for anyone who has been in out-of-the-way Aimeliik, can appreciate the truly miraculous nature of that visit.
Always a beautiful view

Our last Seminary class was bittersweet.  We’ve enjoyed a great year learning about the Book of Mormon together, sharing insights, discovering principles, and emphasizing doctrines, but now we won’t meet for the entire summer.  Change can be hard.

Institute class was a carryover of that bittersweet Seminary feeling.  Many of our college students have already returned to their islands for the summer, but we celebrate that several will stay in Palau and continue their class work.

Rolmi, Melinda, Ruthana, Sister Carter

Melinda (leaving Palau) & Sister Carter

Last weekend Palau hosted the Etpison Cup, a fishing challenge that offers thousands of dollars in prizes.  One of our member’s sons caught a 100 pound fish, but didn’t even place.  They must have pulled several “monsters” from the deep to overshadow a 100 pound fish!  We enjoyed part of the spoils though as they shared several fillets with us.

We’ve been in denial for quite a few weeks that Elder Fullmer is about to complete his mission and leave Palau on May 21st.  We couldn’t deny it any longer though as we attended a zone lunch on Thursday to say farewell and recognize that there could be other changes within our missionary companionships.  We met at a restaurant called Kramer’s, sat on their patio, breathed in the fresh air of the ocean three feet away, and talked about his future.
Elders Murdoch, Dopp, Malais

The Palau Zone

Sister Carter, Sister Talakai, Elder Carter

Sister Talakai, Sister Purcell, Elder Murdoch, Elder Dopp

Sister Talakai, Sister Bevans, Elder Fullmer

Elder Malais, Elder Dopp, Sister Bevans, Sister Ale, Sister Talakai, Elder Fullmer, Sister Purcell

Elder Fullmer, Sister Ale, Sister Bevans, Sister Talakai, Sister Purcell

Following the lunch, we met at the church for an inspiring and useful district meeting about teaching with boldness but not overbearing, and we were able to role play what we had been taught.  We asked Elder Fullmer to bear his testimony, and he offered a sweet, heartfelt review of some of the things he’s learned on his mission and expressed gratitude for each of the missionaries and all he’s experienced in Palau.

We drove to Camp Katuu, the American installation, to visit with Chris McDonald and Maria Simer for a few moments.  Chris is stationed here for six months and Maria is a Palauan who works in the office.  Chris has added such strength and maturity to our branch with his willingness to help and participate where needed.  We need him to stay LONG past his six month!

Near the gate at Camp Katuu
Chris McDonald

Maria Simer

Our trip to Babeldaob this Saturday started in a torrential downpour, but turned into a lovely, sunny, warm day visiting with our members who live away from the chapel. 
One lane road near the airport
We returned in time to prepare for Sunday responsibilities and attend the baptism of Ulang, Rodney Yakuchil’s sister.  Rodney performed the baptism and Elder Carter confirmed her on Sunday.  Ulang has been attending church as long as we’ve been in Palau, so it was an especially sweet baptism for us.
Ulang, Thomas, Rodney

Ulang's baptism group

Sister Ale, Ulang, Sister Bevans

Ulang & Rodney

Ulang & Rodney

Jerry Knight, a counselor in our branch presidency, returned this week from a six-week trip to the Philippines, Alaska, Arizona, and Arkansas.  We really missed him and are grateful for the leadership he so willingly offers.

Sister Purcell turns a mature 21 on Friday, May 23rd, so we celebrated at Sunday dinner with crockpot lasagna and a dessert she requested:  banana/chocolate pie.  We’re all pretty chatty until food is served then it gets extremely quiet except for silverware touching plates and rhythmic chewing.  We love our missionaries and love to celebrate each one!
Sister Purcell, Ale, & Bevans

Sister Talakai

Birthday girl Purcell

Happy Birthday Sister Purcell!

Elders enjoying dinner

Sunday evening Sister Ale and Sister Bevans organized and presented a missionary fireside.  The theme was how the gospel enhances family life.  They had a couple of members share their feelings and stories of how the gospel has helped them in their relationships with their.  It was a tender evening.
Kali Kesolei enjoying a piano lesson with nephew Jordan

Serving a mission is a blessing, and serving on Palau is serving in paradise.  We’re grateful for this time set apart for fulltime missionary service and know it wouldn’t be possible without the faith, prayers, and support of our family and friends.  Thank you for all you do to sustain our efforts!

Beautiful sunset

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