Happy Father’s Day to all fathers! Thank you for faithfully filling your divine roles as exemplars and providers for your children. Though our dads have passed away, we honor their lives and are grateful for all they’ve taught us to make this life more meaningful and joyful.
|Elder Carter with some Father's Day gifts|
|New wallet--but empty|
We switched schedules slightly this week with the arrival of President and Sister Mecham on their last trip to Palau before completing their three year mission on June 27th. We love them for hundreds of reasons but especially for their dedicated and tireless service to us, the other missionaries, members of the Church, and all Micronesians. Monday is a regular preparation day, but we switched it to Tuesday to enjoy instruction at the feet of our mission leaders. They invited us to strive for the Spirit which will make missionary work interesting, exciting, and enlivening every single day. They have set a powerful example of that every day of their mission.
|Carters & Mechams|
|Elder Murdoch & Mechams|
|Sister Purcell & Mechams|
|Sister Talakai & Mechams|
|Elder Striplin & Mechams|
|Elder Dopp & Mechams|
|Elder Malais & Mechams|
|Sister Bevans & Mechams|
|Sister Ale & Mechams|
|President giving instructions|
Sister Carter spent Monday afternoon with Sister Mecham and loved the time spent together. They enjoy a close bond of sisterhood that extends far beyond this mission life.
The branch sponsored a Family Home Evening and potluck dinner Monday evening to celebrate the Mecham’s service. President and Sister Mecham shared their thoughts and feelings as they have served in Micronesia and challenged us to do four things to remain faithful in the gospel: pray daily; read the scriptures daily—especially the Book of Mormon; attend church and have a calling to serve; teach with the missionaries. About 70 branch members gathered for the meeting and dinner and relished the time spent together and plenty of good food.
|Missionaries & branch members|
|More branch members|
|Missionaries & members|
|Jerry Knight conducting|
|President & Sister Mecham, Rebluud Kesolei|
|Sister Mecham speaking|
|President Mecham speaking|
|Mechams and Missionaries|
|Lots of food|
|Ready to fill their plates|
|Sakumas & Mechams|
|Sisters Bevans & Ale, Elders Striplin & Malais|
|Elder Malais, Sister Purcell, Elder Murdoch|
|Sister Mecham & her Palauan necklace|
|Time for gifts|
|Sisters Mecham, Bevans, Ale, Purcell, Elder Striplin|
Our week felt awkward since we spent Tuesday doing Monday activities. Elder Carter inspected missionary apartments while Sister Carter taught piano lessons.
|Piano lessons can be tiring|
|Sister Talakai's third lesson|
We gathered with about 14 branch members in the evening to play volleyball for Sports Night. When the younger missionaries have investigators attend, they’re able to wear “play” clothes and join in the fun. They like playing as much as we do.
We made a little trek to Camp Katuu to visit the doctor for Sister Ale’s rash. The medicine seems to be working since the rash is fading. Now if the itching would stop!
|What a rash!|
|Sister Ale with Eileen|
Our mixed up week included a “costume malfunction”. We returned after spending a couple of hours visiting members to discover that Elder Carter had worn one black and one brown shoe! We laughed and laughed over the “malfunction” but decided that since the shoes are the same style, maybe no one noticed.
|Can you see the difference?|
Elder Murdoch conducted an outstanding district meeting Thursday afternoon. He reminded us that we want to teach as the Savior taught and use the Book of Mormon every time we teach.
|Elder Striplin & Sister Ale during language study|
|Elder Murdoch & Sister Purcell|
|Elder Malais & Sister Talakai|
|Elder Dopp & Sister Bevans|
We ran a couple of errands after district meeting and returned home to find the power off. We expected it to come back on in a few minutes, as usual, but time stretched on and on. We were getting nervous as we had to prepare popcorn for Summer Cinema that evening, and it takes a couple of hours to pop enough to satisfy our moviegoers. We finally found out the power company had turned off our power because the mission had not paid the bill. After some frenzied phone calls and visits to the utility office plus paying the bill ourselves, the power was restored about 7:00 P.M. We had gone to the church to pop the popcorn and hosted 14 people for the evening. We were especially grateful to have air conditioning again!
Our young women gathered at the church Friday afternoon to leave for girls’ camp. In the States we go for several days, but here we are lucky to make it an overnight adventure. We traveled to the north end of Babeldaob and camped next to the beach. Not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was a full moon which brought the crabs out to lay their eggs. We couldn’t believe the number or size of the crabs scurrying around the beach, which inspired a lot of screaming and squealing among our girls. One of the crabs grabbed hold of a girls’ flip flop, and as she pulled her foot away the claw remained clamped on the shoe minus the rest of its body. We’re glad it missed her foot! Later that evening, the girls enjoyed plenty of boiled crab.
|Preparing to leave|
|Kessy & Desiree|
|Ready for the trip|
|Around the campfire|
|Kali's wild "hair"|
|Jerry Knight & Elder Carter|
|Learning a song|
|Fire and food|
|Fran & Rayda--moon peeking through the clouds|
|Loading the trucks|
|Close to a crab|
|A little too close|
Our eight younger missionaries met at 5:30 Saturday morning to join in a community clean up event. They each earned a t-shirt, towel, and even won a few raffle prizes. The event organizers fed them breakfast.
We were thrilled with attendance at church on Sunday. The chapel was filled with many members we haven’t seen in a few weeks, and though it was still warm with no air conditioning, we felt joy in being together. The Primary children sang a couple of songs to celebrate their fathers. One little boy left the stand with tears flowing since he seldom sees his father. Such a tender moment. Reynaldo Caido and Elder Striplin were our speakers and both taught us well about the importance of the priesthood and how it can bless our lives. The young women were also going to speak and sing, but we ran out of time.
Dinner on Sunday evenings is always a fun get together. We decided we had to start working at 3:00 P.M. to have dinner ready by 5:00. The power went off again at 1:30, but our prayers were answered as it came back on again at 2:45—just in time to start dinner. The Lord loves his missionaries! After dinner, our eight amazing younger missionaries presented Elder Carter with a homemade Father’s Day card. Each of them had written a short note expressing their feelings about and gratitude for Elder Carter as their father away from home.
|Father's Day card for Elder Carter|
We’re grateful for another week serving the saints of Palau and know that it’s the faith and prayers of our family and friends that provide us additional energy to fulfill our labors. Thank you for your sustaining influence in our lives. We love you!
|Halo halo--a Philippine dessert|
|Found a Twinkie|