Sunday, September 7, 2014

Air conditioning in our future?

Oh happy day, we can finally see some progress in fixing the air conditioning at the church!  A small crew dug a trench, cut through concrete, and ran a new line from the power pole to the church and installed a new box, which we hope will repair the electrical issues we’ve had for several YEARS.  Now we need to test it another week before we install replacement parts in the air conditioning units.  We are praying mightily that we will enjoy cool air in the chapel before the end of this month.
Part of the trench

Two workers, a supervisor, and President Thing

Breaking up concrete

Elder Carter is working diligently to make sure every single member in Palau will receive the church magazines.  Updating members’ post office boxes (if they have them) and phone numbers (if they have them) sounds easy, but it has taken many hours of investigative work and heavenly timing to gather the information needed.

The younger missionaries and a few members gathered Monday afternoon to play basketball, but buckets of rain dampened their enthusiasm and forced them under an enclosure by the Ngermid dock.  When we stopped to see them, they were in the middle of a music game that tested their memories and quick thinking skills.  The score was tied as we drove away.

Sister Purcell, Elder Malais, Elder Bush, Sister Muller, Sister Ale

Sister Talakai, Kubari, Elder Striplin, Elder Murdoch, Kessy

Sister Muller & Sister Ale

Thinking of the next song

Ready for the next round

Wednesday afternoon Sister Carter enjoyed a reunion with her Palau High School students from last year.  They all met in their freshman English classroom to enjoy lunch and dessert together and relive some of their shared experiences.  They are a talented group and happy to spend time together, especially since they are now divided into several sophomore English classes.
Beautiful girls

Smiling for the camera

On their phones

Adorable dimples

Waiting for lunch

Cool guys

David--with a sweat cloth

Teacher Mark

Patiently waiting for lunch

Still waiting

It finally arrived
Distributing lunch containers

Disappearing lunch


Always ready to smile

Happy together

David & Teacher

Dipping ice cream


Ice cream makes us happy

Serving everyone

Love this group!

Good times & good memories

Elder Striplin directed a powerful district meeting on Thursday afternoon focusing on the importance that investigators understand in our initial contact that they need to be baptized in a proper way by proper authority.  We role-played several scenarios and felt better prepared for future teaching opportunities.
Sister Muller & Sister Purcell

Elders Bush, Striplin, Malais, Murdoch

Elders in a role-play

Sisters teaching one another

Enjoying a cookie treat

Elder Striplin & Elder Bush

We and the sister missionaries attended the funeral for Clifford Ngirakesiil, a son of one of our members who died while fishing a couple of weeks ago.  He was only 34 years old.  The family had the funeral at their home and a local Head Start school.  It began at 8:00 A.M. with the procession from the morgue and ended with the burial at 3:00 P.M., but we only stayed for about an hour.  The custom here is to gather everyone together and serve breakfast.  Many of the older female family members stay near the body until they’re ready to begin the actual service.  Following the service, they eat lunch, collect donations, and share stories until it’s time to go to the cemetery or the burial may be in the family’s land.  We see graves in many yards.
Body on front porch

Sister Muller & Sister Purcell eating breakfast

Mother & aunties around body

Keeping watch

Pall bearers

Removing from the porch

Walking down the hill

Mother following the pall bearers

Sisters walking towards the street

Deciding what to do

Sisters at flower "entrance" to the funeral

Elder Malais, Elder Murdoch, and Sister Purcell left for Guam early Saturday morning for leadership training.  We miss them while they’re gone and look forward to their return Monday night.  In their absence, we decided to share dinner with the remaining missionaries at the Red Rooster Café’s buffet.  They had a good time and found plenty of good things to eat along with halo halo (a Philippino dish) for dessert.
Enjoying the buffet

At 9:00 A.M. Sunday morning we had just a handful of members in their seats at the chapel.  They must have had a hard time waking up because by 9:20, the chapel was nearly full.  All went well for each of the meetings, and the temperatures were fairly moderate, for which we were thankful.

Sunday dinner seemed quiet with three of our missionaries gone, but the rest of us enjoyed a hearty meal following our fast.  Sister Ale and Elder Striplin tasted pumpkin pie for the first time and decided they could eat it again.   At the end of our hour together, they obediently said goodbye and hurried to teaching appointments.  We’re so grateful for their diligence because we don’t even need to remind them about the mission rules.
Well fed missionaries:  Sister Muller, Elder Striplin, Elder Bush
Sister Talakai, Sister Ale

Elder Striplin & Sister Ale finishing pumpkin pie--a first for them

As we review this week (and every week) of our mission, we are humbled again by the tender mercies the Lord sees fit to give us and our family.  Thanks to each one of you for your generosity, kindness, and desire to do good.  You inspire us and remind us to work hard each day to hasten the Lord’s work in Palau.  We love you!
A "surprise" package from Chris & Jennifer McDonald--our friends in Alaska

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