Sunday, June 22, 2014

Traumatic phone call

Life is fragile, as we were so forcefully reminded today.  We received a call about 4:00 P.M. that our wonderful sister and friend Dativa Felix had passed away.  She attended church this morning with us, gathered with her family for a custom afterwards, and collapsed during that event and died.  We will so miss our sweet sister and our hearts ache for her loving husband Henio and her five young children.  Our prayers are with them.  Tragic events humble us and make us grateful for gospel knowledge that brings peace and comfort to the soul.

Only six days ago we spent many hours with the younger missionaries playing games, laughing, and enjoying one another’s company. 
Whose team am I on?

We're winning!

What does this mean?

Next clue?
They left our apartment at 6:00 P.M. just moments before Chris McDonald came over for dinner.  We love Chris and appreciate all he does to bless the lives of our branch members.

Tuesday morning we gathered at the church for a service project.  The sisters pulled weeds and cleaned up around the chapel while the elders shoveled rocks for the neighbors.  They all worked hard and the results were beautiful.
Elders Murdoch, Malais, Dopp, & Striplin

Elder Malais

Elders Malais, Dopp, Murdoch, & Striplin

Elder Striplin

Tuesday evening we had events inside and outside the chapel.  Sports Night was a wild game of basketball while the Relief Society sisters enjoyed a Samoan dance taught by the able and talented Sister Ale.  Afterwards we invited the missionaries over to polish off leftover rice pudding.
Some of our Sports Night crowd
Dancing with Sister Ale

Listening to instruction

They've got it!

Sister Purcell

Sister Ale & Sister Purcell

Ready to learn

District meeting was cancelled this week because of transfers.  We were shocked to find that our sisters were trading places.  Sister Purcell moved to Meyuns with Sister Bevans and Sister Ale returned to Topside with Sister Talakai. 
Thanks Madison & Cody for the package
We had a good crowd at Summer Cinema and enjoyed plenty of popcorn.  We’re grateful for those that make the effort to attend and bring their nonmember friends.

Line Jiminez and Lewis Ham from the service center in Guam arrived this week to set up a new family history computer, help with a few issues at the chapel, and speak in Sacrament Meeting.  Okay, speaking in church was an add on after we found they were coming over.  Between their talks, our own Elder Striplin sang “He Walked” and brought an even sweeter spirit to the meeting.
Sister Talakai & Line Jiminez
Elder Striplin, Lewis Ham, Elder Murdoch, Elder Dopp, Elder Malais
Back row:  Sister Purcell, Sister Bevans, Line Jiminez
Front row:  Sister Ale, Sister Talakai
We see miracles in missionary work all the time, but Saturday afternoon was a true stand out.  We had been looking for one particular “lost” member for quite a few weeks and had a major breakthrough when a former neighbor mentioned he had moved to another village.  We searched for him in several different places, talked with plenty of people, yet were unsuccessful.  On the drive home from Babeldaob, we saw a small handmade sign advertising a historic site and decided to see what it offered.  We drove up a steep driveway, but it appeared that no one was home so we turned left onto a seldom-used driveway.  We stepped out of the car and walked up to the home to find a man and woman on the porch.  We asked if they knew our “lost” member, and the man answered, “That’s me!”  We enjoyed a wonderful visit with him and his mother and were invited to return often.  What a miracle!
Sister Carter
Elder Carter

Saturday evening we invited Line and Lewis to dinner and had a great time getting to know one another.  We could only spend an hour together because we were privileged to attend the baptism of Johanes Ongrug.  Not only was it his baptism day, but it was also his 10th birthday—an experience he’ll never forget.
Silmai, Teruo, Morikawa, Johanes

Johanes & Teruo

Miriam Sakuma & Johanes

Sisters, Bevans, Talakai, Ale, Purcell, & Johanes

Johanes & Sister Carter


Johanes & Clarice

Elder Dopp turned 21 today!  We celebrated with an ice cream cake, a couple of rounds of “Happy Birthday”, party hats, plus the sisters decorated his car with little bits of paper decorated with our favorite “Dopp” sayings.  We love Elder Dopp!

Elder Dopp is 21 years old!

The whole gang

Make a wish

Car decoration

Birthday notes

More decorations

Elder Murdoch & Elder Dopp

Trying to cut the ice cream cake

It's harder than it looks!

We gratefully acknowledge all of you, our family and friends, who so willingly and lovingly support us as we serve the Lord in Palau.  Our service is a blessing to us and we pray that blessings are poured out upon you for your tireless efforts.  We love you!

Our beautiful Palau







Capitol and homes in Melekeok

Capitol in background

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