Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jungle baptism comments

We arrived Friday afternoon and it is Sunday evening right now. We have experienced a baptism in the jungle creek, family dinners and celebrations, church classes in two buildings, a sacrament meeting, a baby blessing and a Family Home evening in a families home.
We are experiencing sensory overload but in a good way. There is beauty all around and the most friendly loving people I've ever been around.
When we pulled into the congregations humble home for the baptism, the women were raking the leaves away and pulling weeds to make the ground clean and presentable. They present us with wreaths in our hair and make a big meal with their meager resources.  These people have been members for a short time, but they have strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and his gospel.  They are serious about the gospel but they are very fun-loving.
This morning as we were waiting for church to start, the children just started singing hymns on their own, one after the other.
We have shed many tears as we have felt their spirit. Walking through the jungle for the baptism is a memory I will always cherish.
These people are so poor. Their living situations are humble, to say the least. Their are pigs, chickens, dogs and cats everywhere. Everyone takes their shoes off as they enter the outside area for church and this morning a dog bit my toe as I was sitting there. (That was unexpected!)
Tonight, at F

amily Home evening, we shared testimonies and then played some games. One was two people eating a doughnut without their hands and then finding a quarter in a pile of flour without any hands, We looked pretty funny when we were through.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Arriving in Pohnpei

We arrived in Pohnpei on Friday Nov. 28, 2014.  Very hot and sunny.  We were picked up by the senior missionaries the Chandlers and several of the younger missionaries.  They drove us to our new apartment in Kolonia.  That evening after unpacking we drove to the Palikir ward for seminary and institute classes.  The island is very tropical and lush.  Last night it rained hard.  We met the bishop of the ward in Palikir and he is 25 years old, Bishop Jack.  He is soon leaving for BYU Hawaii to study social work to use back on his island.  We were very tired and the power went off during the night which is apparently normal.  You have to buy power by the kilowatt and enter a number into a panel inside the apartment.  It's not very handy.  The people here have been so far the nicest you might ever meet.  Very humble and they respect older people (handy for us).  More pictures will follow of the city itself.  We bought a water bottle cooler and have to go and pick it up.  Most do not drink water out of the tap here.  I've never drank so much water in my life.  The heat really dries you up.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guam mission office

The picture above was taken from the window of the Pacific Star Resort in Guam.  Not bad.  We will be coming back here in January for a week of training.  We leave for Pohnpei tomorrow.  The other picture is of me and Bro. Gittens, the Guam Stake Patriarch.  He has quite a story.  He became patriarch when he was only 49 and most patriarchs must be at least 55.  They made a special case for him because the stake president wasn't able to find the right person and felt inspired that Bro. Gittens was called of God.  It is so good to see all the diversity in the church in this area.  We are in the minority.  Most of the people are Asian or Islanders.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Life at the MTC

What a week of a "spiritual" high.  We have learned so much and have met great missionaries, both "senior" like us and young, energetic and fun young missionaries. But we're ready tomorrow morning to fly to Guam. I'm a bit concerned about the weather, but everything else I'm excited about.

All week at the MTC

We have now spent seven days at the MTC (Missionary Training Center).  Around 1800 missionaries here this week.  It's a huge complex just off the BYU campus.  We had classes and exercises from morning until night.  The text is Preach My Gospel.  Most of the instructors are young return missionaries and they are super teachers.  It's been sunny all week until this weekend.  Rained on Saturday and snowed a little today.  The mountains are beautiful.

Keith Longmower

Guess who we met at the Portland airport.  While waiting to leave for the MTC in Provo we ran into Keith Longmower.  Many of you will remember Keith as one of our seminary/institute teachers.  He offered to drop us off at the MTC.  It was so good to see him.  He was involved in a life threatening motor cycle accident a few years ago but he is doing well now.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We will be leaving for the MTC in Provo on Monday, November 17, 2014.