Sunday, September 14, 2014

Teaching & Learning A LOT

One of the pleasures we senior missionaries enjoy is preparing young people to serve full-time.  We love Rolmi Muller and were as excited as she when her travel plans arrived on Monday.  She will be leaving Palau for Guam early Sunday morning, October 5th, spend four days there, then fly to Manila, Philippines on Thursday, October 9th, and report at the missionary training center the next morning.  She is well-prepared, especially since she has been Sister Purcell’s companion for the last few weeks and will continue in that position until transfers next week.
Rolmi reading her mission travel plans

Sister Purcell, Elder Malais, and Elder Murdoch returned from Guam Monday night in time to drop by a couple of McDonald’s Big Mac sandwiches for us in payment for a “you told me it would happen” competition.  He is in good spirits after his “Dear John” letter and hearing about the number of girls everyone wants to set him up with after his mission.
Enjoying the spoils

Only a couple of branch members came to In-service Tuesday evening, but we had a wonderful time discussing the kinds of questions to ask students as we’re teaching.  All of us benefited from the class.

Desiree, one of Sister Carter’s Seminary students, came over Wednesday afternoon to make brownies as the treat for those that come on time to class.  As she was leaving, she mentioned that she couldn’t attend that night because her mom had scheduled a doctor’s appointment at the very same time.  As 6:00 P.M. inched closer, a downpour of rain caused some consternation, worrying whether anyone would come.  As the clock struck 6:00 and no one was there, Sister Carter gave the brownies to the branch presidency.  Within a couple of minutes, three students walked in the door, then another four, two others hurried to their seats, and finally three more rushed to find a spot.  In spite of the puddles and continuing deluge, 12 students made it to class before 6:15.  About 30 minutes later, a member of the branch presidency returned with the brownies and said, “Any teenager who braves the elements tonight deserves a treat”.  The kids were happy, Sister Carter was happy, and all learned how to seek and receive revelation.
Desiree & Sister carter

Elder Carter has spent many hours updating branch records and finding addresses and phone numbers for many, many members that we don’t see every Sunday.  Having exhausted every avenue to gather information, he finally submitted the branch magazine order.  Over 300 magazines monthly will be going to our members and their children so they will have the counsel of the prophets in their homes.

Following a Palauan language study period, Sister Purcell, Elder Malais, and Elder Murdoch presented zone training about consecration, giving our hearts and willing minds.  They discussed the difference between consecration and sacrifice and then explained how to empower investigators by having them attend church, read the Book of Mormon, and have lessons with a member present.  They reminded us that missionary work is the members’ work and that we are here to support them in their labors.  All of the missionaries contributed their thoughts and feelings to the discussion, but perhaps most notable was Elder Bush since he’s only been here for one month.  His additions showed his sincere preparation and heartfelt desire to serve.
Sister Ale & Elder Striplin

Elder Malais & Sister Muller

Sister Purcell & Sister Talakai (with Elder Striplin)

Elders Bush, Murdoch, & Malais ("super" language study)
Elder Malais & Elder Murdoch

Elder Striplin & Elder Bush

Sister Muller & Sister Purcell

Elders Striplin, Bush, Murdoch, & Malais

Sisters Muller, Purcell, & Ale

Sister Ale playing the mission hymn--such progress!

Since the temple preparation course begins again tonight, Elder Carter, on behalf of the branch presidency, delivered 30 invitations to individual members.  We’re praying that many will feel a desire to attend the temple and prepare by attending class.
Rolmi and her temple recommend!

Angie Ngiraked presented a wonderful lesson Thursday evening to a handful of Institute students.  Though we were few in number, we enjoyed a lively discussion about the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation and how the Lord's work cannot be frustrated.  
Meilany (Institute student) & Elder Carter

Saturday morning we attended the Primary activity where we practiced for the Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation that will be on September 21st.  Elder Carter plays the piano while Sister Carter leads the singing.  A dozen children attended along with the entire Primary presidency, and all of us left the church feeling like the program was just the right length and that each child did an exceptional job.

Sunday morning, during Primary time, we practiced the program again in the chapel and had 18 children.  They sang beautifully, spoke clearly into the microphone, and stayed in their seats almost the entire time.  We can hardly wait for the “real” thing next Sunday.
Our beautiful Primary children

We made a quick trip to Ngesar’s Saturday market to see a couple of our members and visit with the ladies there.  They have become our friends and we look for opportunities to see each one of them, plus we enjoy their fresh produce.

Delilah Ngebad Ralph was baptized Saturday night surrounded by her family, friends, and many branch members.  We met Delilah not long after we arrived on Palau and are thrilled with the difference we see in her now.  She is radiant with the light of the gospel and her countenance glows with knowledge and understanding.

Delilah & family

Delilah & Elder Striplin

Elder Bush, Elder Malais, Delilah, Elder Striplin, Elder Murdoch

Delilah enjoying all the missionaries

Elder Bush, Diceman, Delilah, Elder Striplin

Church on Sunday included Delilah's confirmation and Sister Ale's last talk as a full-time missionary. She gave a beautiful report of mission experiences that have touched her and can teach us.  She shed a few tears but not enough to keep her from continuing to share her testimony.  She's been a terrific force for good, and with her outstanding language skills, she has been able to touch the hearts of so many.

Sunday dinner at our apartment is always a pleasure.  The missionaries are happy to eat plenty of food, share thoughts or ideas, laugh about experiences, plan preparation day events, and enjoy being together.  We love our missionaries!
Elder Bush & Elder Striplin

Sister Talakai & Sister Ale

Elder Murdoch & Elder Malais

Sister Purcell & her companion for the day, Ulang

Elder Malais & Sister Talakai enjoying banana splits

Sister Ale, Ulang, Sister Purcell, & Elder Bush

Elder Murdoch, Elder Malais, Sister Talakai, Elder Striplin
By the way, Sister Talakai's birthday is coming up this Saturday, but we're going to celebrate next Sunday.  She hasn't decided on her dessert, so she has a few days to decide and give all the other missionaries something to think about.

A quick update on the air conditioning status of the church:  our man from Guam didn’t arrive on Friday, and we’ve heard nothing further from him/them.  We’re not sure if this means they didn’t get replacement parts or what might have happened, but we’re positive that the chapel was a sweat box this week.   The sun was shining brightly, no clouds to lend relief, and no number of fans could move the air fast enough to keep anyone cool.  The heat makes it easy for people to leave their seats to grab a drink of water or wander into the Primary building where the air conditioning works.

The air conditioning might not work, but the gospel is still true, living prophets guide us today, and we’re grateful to be missionaries in the service of a loving Heavenly Father.  Thanks to each of you for your constant love, understanding, and desire to do and be good.  We love you!
Full moon over our beloved Palau


  1. What an amazing missionary experience your are having. I love that 300 copies of church mag. will continue to bless the lives of the members long after your departure.