Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sokehs Rock

Sokehs Rock is the landmark for the Island of Pohnpei.  It is the first thing one notices when you fly in.  It is situated on Sokehs Island and a road circles it.  It is very rough in places, but passable. On the back side of the island we had a good view of Sokehs and some children were walking on the road and gladly posed for a picture.  There is also an even more primitive road going part way up the island.  We braved the road and made it to a turnaround with a beautiful view of the ocean, bay and port area.

Liduduhniap Falls Hike

On Saturday, January 31, 2015 (our one partial day off) we took a hike to Liduduhniap Falls.  We drove up a very steep, rutted road to a marker showing the way to the falls.  A man is the house next to it wanted $1 each to hike to the falls as it is on private property.  Or so he claimed.  He then wanted $5 for each camera.  We went with the Furstenau's, the other senior couple.  So for 14 bucks we got to hike to the falls.  The first short section was flat and lined with flowering plants.  The trail then dropped off steeply through slick rocks covered in moss.  There was a rope to hang onto part of the way but one of the posts had rotted and it was hanging limply in the brushes during the last steep and slick section.

 The waterfall was beautiful and the water refreshing.  Climbing out was much easier than the decent.  Of course we had to relate the story of the now famous "mule ride" to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pigs with a View

On Pohnpei there are times when the pigs have a million dollar view.  We stopped on the way to the Sapwalap Ward to snap a photo of these pigs view of the bay.  Not bad scenery for the pigs.  I wonder if they appreciate what they have?  Maybe not.

Shopping Spree in Guam

Shopping in Guam! I never thought I would be excited to shop at K-Mart, but it is the most popular store in Guam. Just when I was wishing for a Costco, we found a very small version. I was able to buy candy for my Seminary students. That is how I get them to participate, since they are either shy or afraid to use their English. Whoever said not to use bribery never taught Seminary in Pohnpei!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Couples Conference in Guam

 On January 17, 2015 all the senior missionaries from all the islands flew to Guam for a conference.  One of the sister missionaries is an expert in tole painting.  Here we (as in Lenda) is painting the Micronesia Guam Mission logo on a small black book.  I'm trying to appear busy.
 The Micronesia Guam Mission logo has a representation of something significant for each of the island groups.  Pohnpei is the brown rock by the palm tree.  This is the most visible landmark on our island and is called Sokehes Rock.  It is a "red zone" for the missionaries because it's too dangerous to climb.  When flying into Pohnpei it stands out on the right side of the aircraft.
 This is the Hurst couple giving their presentation on family history.  They serve in Guam but travel to the outer islands to train consultants.  All of us had the opportunity to present our island missions.
This is our Mission President Zarback.  He entertained us during a break in the conference to play his banjo and sing a ballad.

Tapofofo Jungle Cruise

While in Guam for the senior couples conference in January 2015 we were treated to a Jungle Cruise up the Tapofofo River.  The above picture is of a boat like ours being boarded by a Japanese tour group.
 This photo is of the Tapofofo River.  It is quite narrow with jungle vegetation all along the bank.
 A  monitor lizard sunning himself along the river.
This is a shelter that would have been used by the native Chamorro people.  The rock foundations are called lattes and hold the structure off the ground.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dreams v. Reality

A sister missionary on one of the islands drew these pictures to show the realities of serving a mission on a tropical island.  As you can see the vision of serving and the reality is somewhat different.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Senior Couple

The Furstenau's in the middle of the photo arrived last Friday.  We have had quite the good time orienting them and they have worked hard getting their apartment set up.  We were invited to attend Family Home Evening with the group at Wone.  They have been enjoying the new experiences open to them on Pohnpei.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Children at the Hospital

I was called to give a priesthood blessing to a child at the hospital on Sunday night January 4, 2015.  When we got there we went to the bedside of the little boy in the top photo.  He was and is a very sick child.  He is experiencing stomach pains and sleeps a lot.  His mother is staying at his side.  He was asleep when we got there and sweat was running down his neck.  I also administered to the little girl in the wheelchair.  Last night she appeared very similar to the little boy except she had a IV bottle.  She looks much better today and was happy to see us and have her picture taken.  Lenda brought snicker doodle cookies to the families.  The baby in the lower picture was in the bed next to the girl in the wheelchair so I took her picture as well.  Medical facilities here are not good.  It is apparent that they do not have the medical supplies and equipment of most up to date hospitals.  But they do their best with what they have.  Blessing and seeing these children last night and again today was a spiritual experience for both of us.  As I blessed these two children I could feel the absolute love of the Savior for them.

Zone Conference and Birthday

The zone leaders and sister leaders were scheduled to fly to Guam for their zone leader conference but the flight was canceled due to a storm passing through making it impossible for the plane to land in Pohnpei.  So the missionaries skyped Guam from our apartment and held a partial conference.  It also happened to be the birthday of Sister Finau so Lenda made a birthday cake for her and she received some small gifts.  In the photo from left to right are  Elder Johnson of Georgetown, Idaho, Elder Tapua of Fiji, Sister Pahulu of Tonga, Sister Finau of Tonga, Elder Becraft of Utah and Elder Leeworthy of Australia.  Their conference call started at 2 pm and the last missionary left at 8 pm.  Of course Lenda served them dinner along with birthday cake and brownies.  We have grown to love and enjoy the missionaries as they seem to always be coming and going from our apartment for a variety of reasons.  Elder Tapau will be going home this month and he will be missed greatly.  He will be attending BYU Hawaii soon.  We have no doubt but that these missionaries will return home and become solid leaders and members of the church and society.

Flowers of Pohnpei

The flowers, trees and plants of Pohnpei are beautiful and grow in abundance along the roadside.  On our way home from church on the south end of the island we stopped to take pictures of some the flowers and plants.  The two on the bottom are varieties of hibiscus commonly seen in Hawaii.  I don't know the names of the other plants.  I added the bottom photo of a ginger plant.