Sunday, June 29, 2014


Out of all the events of this emotion-filled week, Elder Carter gleefully pointed out that the Airai elders’ apartment finally passed inspection!  Elder Carter likes to report happy news to the mission office.

We celebrated our wedding anniversary by exchanging gifts and enjoying a relaxing, scenic dinner at Palau Pacific Resort.  We arrived in time to enjoy another lovely sunset while we ate a delicious fresh fish dinner served on a patio adjacent to the beach.  What a setting!

Another beautiful evening

Happy Anniversary selfie

Enjoying the moment

Fresh local fish

Just before sunset

We spent a lot of time this week visiting with Henio and his family as they prepared for Dativa’s funeral on Friday.  Traditionally, when a family member dies on Palau, the oldest person in the clan determines the details of the funeral and burial.  Fortunately, Dativa has a couple of other family members who are members of the church and who pushed to have the funeral at the chapel.  It was a beautiful tribute to Dativa and her family.  Reilany Remasch, Evangeline Andrew, Rebluud Kesolei, and John Thing all spoke and all the missionaries sang “Each Life That Touches Ours for Good” and Elder Striplin added a solo of “Though Deepening Trials”. 
Bringing the casket

Placing the casket

Our tender hearts turned to mush as we watched little Shirley Mae, Dativa’s three-year old, keep asking her dad to open the casket so she could see her mom.  She was a handful, which was probably a blessing for Henio since it took most of his attention to keep her happy. 
Henio & Kesolei's

Henio & branch members
After the funeral, they opened the casket for a final viewing of our sweet sister Dativa.  We miss her and continue to pray for her husband and children.
Dativa--we miss you

We feel as if we experienced two funerals this week with the departure of our wonderful mission President Mecham and his beautiful wife and partner Sister Mecham.  They completed three years of dedicated, focused, and inspiring leadership in Micronesia, and we will forever be grateful for all they’ve taught us through their righteous, untiring example.  We love them so much!
Sister Mecham & President Mecham

Just before they left, President Mecham called us several times as he tried to submit Teruo Melus’ mission application.  We had to review some of the medical information since the doctor had not completed the form correctly, but after three days and several trips to the hospital, we were able to give President Mecham what he needed.  Now we await Teruo’s call from the Prophet.
Elder Malais & Elder Striplin--stunt gone wrong

Elders Dopp, Malais, Murdoch

Our summer program continues strong with more evenings of Sports Night, Summer Cinema, and a rousing YSA activity.  Attendance has been good and we’re grateful for all who make the effort to attend.  We love to give members plenty of chances to center their lives around church activities plus they bring their nonmember friends to enjoy activities in a wholesome environment.

We look better from the back?

Toss the ball

Whose team?
Some of our YSA

Preparing to play

YSA party group

Elder Murdoch conducted another inspiring district meet Thursday afternoon about seeking and keeping the Spirit.  He reminded us that the Holy Ghost will teach, give us the words to speak, carries messages to our hearts, testifies of truth, and helps us discern what is right and true.  He asked us to ponder, “What have I done to bring the holy Ghost into this work?”

After district meeting we met at our apartment to celebrate Elder Striplin's 20th birthday.  We ate plenty of cake and ice cream, but the highlight was the original song written and performed by Elders Dopp, Malais, and Murdoch as a tribute for Elder Striplin's birthday.
Sisters Purcell, Bevans, Ale, Talakai ready for cake

Looking older

Hmmm, what will 20 be like?

Happy to celebrate

You're how old?

Who's looking at the camera?

Only one candle?

Serving cake and ice cream

Eating like a 20-year old

Elders Murdoch, Malais, Dopp offering a musical tribute

Candy bouquet

Saturday evening we were thrilled to watch Kabidor Medicine Metes baptized by her father Silmai.  She attended girls’ camp and told us then how excited she was about her upcoming baptism.  She was confirmed on Sunday morning by Elder Dopp.  Kabidor will receive so much support from her family since all of them are now members. 

Kabidor & Silmai

The whole family!

Sisters Purcell & Ale, Kabidor, Eiroi, Sisters Talakai & Bevans

More family

Elder and Sister Hurst arrived late Saturday evening, so we didn’t see them until church on Sunday morning.  They are the family history missionaries serving on Guam but were able to carve out a couple of days to spend with us in Palau.  We’re grateful for their desires to train us and all the branch members about how and why we do family history, and we’re hoping that we’re quick learners.
Elder Dopp with whipping cream on a roll?

Elder Hurst

The Hursts and our eight younger missionaries came over Sunday evening for dinner.  We served chili and homemade bread, and though Sister Carter fixed enough rolls for an army, somehow they all disappeared!

Our camera disappeared for a while too, and the following pictures show what happened while it was missing.  You might have guessed that we found it in the hands of Elder Malais and Elder Striplin!

We are thankful to our family for their complete support and love!  It was even more apparent this week as we received three packages filled with all sorts of items, plenty of treats, and lots of love.  We can’t tell you what your support means to us, but pray daily that Heavenly Father will let you know how we feel about you.  We love you!
Birthday box arrived--almost three months after it was sent.

Chocolates survived!

Lots and lots of treats!

Love opening packages!

Example of outdoor kitchen and shower

Interesting business next door to the jail