Sunday, September 21, 2014

Busy week...just the way we like it!

Elder Malais playing for the YSA to sing in Sacrament Meeting
Our Monday--full of scriptures, piano lessons, games with all the missionaries, and family home evening with the young single adults--was a tiring, yet fulfilling day!  After rushing to finish all the regular preparations for the week, we met together at our apartment to play games and build stronger bonds with our younger missionaries.  We love each one and are grateful that we have this brief time to serve the Lord together.

Looking good

I've got it!

That's not it

It means...

Hurry...hand it over

Uh, uh, uh

It's like...

Questions only

I can't think of any

So good at this game!

What kind of question?

She's a natural at this

This is hard

I've got this

Well, a question...

The definite winner

I've got a question

Oh, oh

Who will last longer?


You had to be there!

I've got hundreds of questions!

Ah, not again!

You got me!

What do you mean that's not a question?

I'm terrible at this game!

Sister Ale was the big winner!

I can do this

I'm thinking, I'm thinking

This is easy

My turn, again?

Waiting their turns


I got it!

Good game!
Our first family home evening with the young single adults was a nail biting affair—at least for a little while.  Seven o’clock came and went, but no young adults showed.  About 15 minutes later, one man walked into the classroom at the college, and we thought he might be our only one.  Fortunately, the rest of them sauntered in a few minutes later and explained about a brief band concert in the school’s cafeteria.  We started a half hour late, but Elder Carter’s short lesson powerfully reminded each of us that our Heavenly Father molds and shapes us through our experiences and that we need to be mindful of the Spirit to recognize His hand in our lives.  Sister Carter directed a quick game with everyone drawing certain items on a paper plate placed on their heads.  Plenty of laughter accompanied their art “showing” as they shared their masterpieces.  Elder Striplin ended the evening sharing a scripture and they all left happy carrying a piece of triple fudge cake.
Listening carefully

Good stuff

I've got it

Happy for the camera

Drawing for the lesson


Fun game (to watch)

Looking good with a paperplate

Liking it

Showing off

What a drawing

Hard to see this artwork

Adding a spiritual thought
We enjoyed delivering First Presidency messages during a gentle rain on Tuesday morning.  The temperature seemed moderate (78 degrees) and we found plenty of people home.  Some mentioned how much they enjoyed the previous month’s message, so we delighted knowing that they actually read and understood the Brethren’s article.
Delivering a message
Since this month marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Peleliu, the United States sent the USS Sacagawea and the marine band to help commemorate this historic moment.  They performed In Peleliu on September 15th, and then we were able to watch their performance on Palau Tuesday, the 16th at Bethlehem Park.  They opened the program with a New Orleans style brass band and followed with the full band playing many of our favorite classical and modern pieces.  It was a bittersweet time for us.  We absolutely loved the program and realized how starved we’ve been for such cultural offerings.  Part of our pleasure was watching the local children in awe of the talented soldiers.  They were hanging on the edge of the platform or running back and forth in front of the conductor.  So much for concert etiquetteJ  Funniest event of the night was watching a big black dog nonchalantly saunter through all the musicians in the middle of the program.  We must be acclimated because the thing that surprised us was that it was only ONE dog.
USS Sacagawea anchored in the harbor
Ready to start



View from the audience


French horn

Kids enjoying the concert

A moving hound

Electric guitar


Kids hanging on the side

Every six weeks we enjoy having lunch with all the missionaries of our zone.  We went to Carp Restaurant and were able to see one of our members and an investigator there plus enjoy good food and tease Sister Ale about her final days in the mission field.
See that plate?

One of Sister Ale's last meals

Elder Bush and Sister Muller

Elder Carter and Elder Striplin

The whole gang

The whole silly gang
Seminary on Wednesday evening was bittersweet.  Only three students were on time, but finally a few more showed, and then a few more, and finally five more.  We ended the lesson with 23 in attendance!  The bittersweet part was that our lesson was interrupted multiple times.  Since the lesson was about how to recognize promptings from the Holy Ghost, it made it difficult to feel the Spirit with so many distractions.  Maybe we should just count our blessings because we’ve been praying for greater attendance at Seminary!

During our district meeting this week Elder Striplin focused on using scriptures on the doorstep.  After instruction, we role-played several situations, then ate a bucketful of cookies.
Sisters Ale, Talakai, Purcell, & Muller

Elders Murdoch & Malais

Elders Bush & Striplin

Sister Ale playing the mission hymn

Singing and playing

All in Palauan

Learning the words

Singing with heart

Finishing off the cookies
Elder Malais and Elder Murdoch spent much of the day taking care of paperwork for the delivery of a brand new 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup.  After several hours and multiple visits to many offices, they gained possession for a few minutes then turned the truck over to Elder Striplin and Elder Bush.  The 2012 Tacoma will be shipped to Chuuk October 2nd.
Ready to roll

Love the new wheels

New is nice

Saturday morning we followed our regular route on Babeldaob to visit members far away from Koror.  How difficult to tell them this would be our last official visit as we are leaving next month.  Elder and Sister Proffit, our replacements,  will enter the Provo MTC next week prior to their assignment here in Palau, so we’re sure our members and friends will be in good hands as we say our goodbyes.
Bonjour & his mom

Heather's little girl

Sister Carter & Calista

Calista, Elder Carter, & Jerry

Sister Carter & Juliet

Some of our destinations

One of our major highways

Coconuts within reach

Another destination

Villages to visit

More villages

Sister Paz & Sister Carter

Toby & Elder Carter

Sister Carter & Vicenta
The highlight of any week is the baptism, and this week we were blessed to watch Hinkley Ngiraked and James Beltau baptized by their friend and relative Teruo Melus.  Teruo is a powerful member-missionary, so we can only imagine the dynamic full-time missionary he will be as he leaves for the Canada Vancouver Mission in December.
Teruo, Hinkley, James, Sister Purcell, Sister Muller

Teruo, Hinkley, James

Once a year the Primary children present a Sacrament Meeting highlighting what they’ve learned.  Sunday, September 21st was the date for our children to sing and speak their way into the hearts of the congregation.  Each of them spoke clearly into the microphone, sang the songs so beautifully and with enough volume that they could hear them in the back of the chapel, and invited a sweet Spirit to confirm the truth of their message that families can be together forever.
One of our Primary practices
Saturday marked Sister Talakai's birthday, but we didn't get to celebrate until dinnertime on Sunday. We enjoyed a meal together, sang happy birthday, and ate a dessert she requested:  cookie dough crust, cheesecake filling, and cherry topping.  We were all on sugar overload, but enjoyed it all the same.  We love you Sister Talakai!
Another year older

Sister Ale & Sister Talakai (AKA birthday girl)

Making a wish

Happy to celebrate

Ready to eat
The Primary children sang again on this Sunday for the missionary fireside.  Sister Purcell had arranged for the Primary to sing “Follow the Prophet”, three families to share what they do to follow the Prophet, and a mother and daughter to sing “Teach Me to Walk in the Light”.  Rodney Yakuchil was an outstanding narrator and closed the program with his testimony and a challenge to listen to the words of the prophets next month and obey them.  Another spirit-filled meeting to bless the lives of the 50+ in attendance.

Johnson Family

Primary children

Borja Family

Melus Family

Rodney, our narrator
Ann & Coco

Though this has been another busy week, we are blessed to serve in the Koror Branch with our Palauan brothers and sisters.  We are grateful for their righteous desires and choices that bring happiness to them and us.  Our family at home continues to bless our lives as they lovingly support us.  We love you!
Malakal Bay


Love the water colors

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