Whew! Another crazy wonderful week on Palau!
Monday morning started out with Elder Carter inspecting the missionaries’ apartments and continued with a bunch of cleaning at our own apartment and visiting a couple of the “tourist” shops looking for treasures. We stopped for a few minutes at Long Island Park to talk with missionaries and members as we enjoyed Sister Ale's last preparation day on Palau.
|Sister Ale & Delilah|
|Part of the crowd|
|Maria & Elder Malais|
|Sister Ale, Esther, Maria|
We arrived at Palau Community College just a few minutes before 7:00 P.M. to prepare a classroom for the young single adult family home evening. As the clock struck 7:00 we stared at each other for a while and wondered if anyone would attend.
|Catching a nap|
|Where is everyone?|
|Ready to start|
|Reading the "snowballs"|
|Finishing the game|
|After FHE treats|
|Elder Striplin serving treats|
|Everyone loves Rice Krispie treats|
|Last ones out|
The Relief Society president had asked Sister Carter to teach how to lead music at the monthly activity Tuesday night. The sisters brought a wonderful meal to share and since it was Sister Ale’s last day in Palau, they celebrated her dedicated service here.
|Sister Ale and Marjorie|
|Sister Ale & Maria|
|Jordan & Bree|
|Sister Talakai & Sister Ale|
|Sister Purcell & Sister Muller|
|Angie holding Scarla's baby|
|Relief Society sisters|
|We love our Relief Society!|
|Joanny, Sister Ale, Jenny, Kali, & Jordan|
All the missionaries gathered at our apartment Tuesday evening to say farewell to our sweet, dedicated Sister Ale as she completes her mission. We ate giant portions of peach cobbler and ice cream before Sister Ale answered all of the “going home” questions and enjoyed the aroma of all the leis created for her. She left in the middle of the night for Guam and should be home in time to read this blog entry not long after it’s posted. We miss you Sister Ale!
|The sisters are late|
|Sister Purcell & Elder Malais|
|Waiting for Sister Ale--after a long day|
|Sister Talakai, Sister Ale, Sister Muller|
|What a smile!|
|Lots of flowers|
|Reading a question|
|Explaining an answer|
|Sister Ale on camera|
|Elder Bush & Elder Murdoch|
|Have to think about that one!|
|Learning a lot|
|A tough one|
|Ready for more|
|The Palau Zone|
|Beautiful sisters & crazy elders|
|Leaving our apartment|
|Almost a hug!|
|We love you Sister Ale!|
|A tearful goodbye|
Wednesday seemed a little strange with Sister Ale gone, which meant that Sister Muller returned to just “Rolmi” again. Her full-time missionary service ended the same time as Sister Ale. All of us were stunned to learn that President Zarbock will not be sending new missionaries to Palau this transfer. That means that Sister Purcell and Sister Talakai will serve together in Meyuns, Elder Malais and Elder Murdoch remain in Airai, and Elder Striplin and Elder Bush will serve in Midtown AND Topside. How strange to have no sisters live in the apartment below us now!
Sister Carter refuses to believe that Wednesday night was her last Seminary class. Seminary is cancelled October 1st for Independence Day and all the activities, but she’s still looking for reasons to gather her students together at least once more before we leave.
With the big “no transfer” call Wednesday night, Sister Purcell and Sister Talakai spent a while Thursday morning cleaning the extra apartment and moving all of Sister Talakai’s belongings to Meyuns. They left the extra car parked next to ours, which means that we now have our car, the extra car, and the elders’ old truck sitting outside our apartment. We’re a three-car couple again—at least until October 14th when the truck is shipped to Chuuk.
We traveled to Aimeliik Thursday night for a quick visit with Erwin Angeles. We all talked while he prepared dinner for the men working at the farm. He hurried so that we could eat too, but sadly we had to decline to make it back in time for Institute.
|Erwin & Sister Carter|
|Erwin & Sister Carter|
|Elder Carter & Erwin|
|Erwin ready to chop|
One of those opportunities came on Friday as we attended the young single adult monthly activity at Long Island Park. Several students came to play volleyball and eat the 40 hot dogs, chips, and treats.
|Rolmi & Esther--the only two girls|
|Tommy & Elder Bush|
|Elder Bush & Elder Striplin in "casual" attire|
|Elder Carter can't believe how much they eat!|
|Tommy & friend|
|Eating just to be sociable|
|Rolmi & Esther|
|Enjoying the treats|
|Tommy, John, & friend|
|Luke & Rolmi|
|Trad & Rolmi|
|Can you see the ball way out there?|
|On the way back|
Every three months we and a couple of single men in the branch get to clean the chapel together. We spent two hours Saturday morning preparing the building for Sunday services and love this different type of service in the Lord’s kingdom.
|Rodney & Sister Carter|
|Rodney & Elder Carter|
We always look forward to our Sunday meetings, even when we expect to teach a class or two.
|Hideo, Boni, Luke, Jose|
|Hideo, Raphia, Desiree, Idu, Kali, Boni, Luke, Jose (youth Sunday School class)|
|Look at all those white shirts!|
|Part of the congregation|
|John & Tommy|
We met with Erwin Angeles one more time Sunday afternoon for a quick piano lesson and to say goodbye. We love Erwin and pray that we will be able to determine a way to see him again.
|Erwin & Elder Carter|
|Erwin & Sister Carter|
The missionaries gathered for dinner on Sunday afternoon. That’s not unusual, but what is unusual is missing two sisters! Only two are gone, but it seems like 20! How we love our young missionaries and are grateful for their determined and inspired service.
|After dinner happiness|
One of the greatest blessings of serving a mission is loving the people. We can’t possible express the depth of our feelings for our branch family except through continued service as long as we’re here. We are so blessed!
A few random photos:
|Abigail & Sister Carter|
|Sister Kesolei & Sister Carter|
|Elder Carter & his dentistry team|
|Elder Carter & Sato|
|Deliveries with a dog|
|Melinda & Sister Carter|
|Juliana brings us bananas|
|Nice spelling, huh?|