Thursday, June 25, 2015

Roadside Serenade

We were driving home after teaching a Temple Prep course at Sapwalap, when we saw a group gathered on their porch singing. There were all ages, grandmothers, parents, young adults and children. We pulled off the side of the road and listened as they sang beautifully together. They loved it that we were stopping and listening to them and gave us quite a concert. What a beautiful thing to do for any family. We could learn from them.

New Uh House

The Zone Leaders knew they needed to find a home for the sister missionaries who were assigned to the Uh church. They approached the people who were living in this house three weeks ago, asking if they knew of any rentals. Finally, they made up their minds that we could rent their house and they would move in with their parents. What a sacrifice they were making, but it would give them an income.
 They had worked hard to make the area around the house attractive and productive. There were beautiful pineapple plants, flowers and a breadfruit tree. The mother was proud as we admired all that she had done.
 We're not sure where the pigs would go, but they seemed very happy as a constant stream of water was providing them with a cool day.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cousin's Baptism

Sadie is on the right. She was one of the first Seminary students I really got to know. She is always with a basketball in her hands and has a great personality. Her sister is on the left and will be joining us in Seminary this fall. This young man is their cousin and he moved in with the family a few weeks ago.
 Sadie told me that she felt very privileged that he would come to her when he was struggling with something and ask her what to do. She said to pray and read the scriptures. He came to her later and said, "How did you know?" Then he asked who those people were who were wearing the badges. She told him they were missionaries from her church. To make a long story short he met with them and quickly knew he wanted to be baptized.
This young woman is also a cousin of the young man who just got his mission call to Arizona. She was baptized by him and will influence many around her. The sister missionary is from Vanuatu and after her mission is on her way to China to study to be a doctor.

Father's Day Party

The fathers were very well celebrated Satuday night at Panasang ward by the Young Men and Young Women and their leaders. There was a program with singing, dancing and a photo show of the Primary age children with messages to their fathers. Then we had a dinner served on hand woven baskets. We even got involved when the women were coerced to do a Hula line dance. You had to be there! Then we finished the night with the fathers and their wives dancing. Yes, Mel even danced.
 This floral centerpiece has at it's base a banana tree trunk which has the bark removed and decorated.

 All the fathers were escorted in by one of the Young Women and were adorned with floral headpieces and a woven cord. They were then seated at a decorated table and treated like royalty.
All the Young Women and Young Men sang songs and gave tributes to the fathers. The Young Men did a dance followed by a hula by the Young women.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Chicken Little in Pohnpei

After months of shopping for eggs here and checking the expiration dates ( we knew they would be expired, but how far?), we discovered fresh eggs. What a find! The store that we found charged $5.50 a dozen, but one day they were out. We were happy to find out where they got the eggs, so off we went. Now the prize dropped- $4.50 a dozen.
 We were curious where they got the eggs, so we went exploring. We couldn't tell which building housed the chickens until we opened our window and heard the clucking. They have 600-700 chickens, so we should have no problem having fresh eggs every day.

Arizona Phoenix Mission

Keanu Amida opened his mission call papers last night (19 June  2015).  He is going to the Arizona Phoenix Mission.  So if he thinks it's hot here.   Wait until he walks off the plane in Arizona in August.  Wow.  He is very excited to be going on his mission.  Keanu is one of our Institute students in the Panasang Ward.  He will be a fantastic missionary.

Wired in Pohnpei

A couple of nights ago I was watching an episode of Holmes Inspection on Netflix.  The home had a few electrical wiring issues.  But nothing can compare to the wiring in the box in our laundry room at our apartment.  This just might be an home inspector's nightmare.
 But hey, this is Pohnpei.  Things are run a little different here.  No big deal.  At least we have a washer and dryer that works.  Life is good.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Juanita Rodrigues Birthday

The Sister in green is the "birthday girl" and her husband is next to her.This party had declarations of love and respect for her, great food and dancing. It was held in a facility that is also used for many corporate events. I sat near a woman from Guam who was setting up this location for an event in December. She is representing the Guam Supreme court.
 I love receiving these head pieces which are hand made from fresh flowers and greenery.
 We watched dancing and I was even coerced into joing all the women in a dance. How fun!

Family Home Evening at Eirike

We were invited to the Family Home Evening at Eieike ward for a farewell dinner for Sister Rodriquez. The cutest thing was how the children lined up perfectly for dinner- the youngest first and on until finally the adults were served. They were so patient while they waited and of course they love to have their pictures taken.
 Sister Rodriquez has been the "spiritual backbone" of this ward and will be missed as she goes to see family in Hawaii, Texas and finally Utah for 6 months.
 The young people demonstrated their dances they had prepared for Youth Conference last weekend. It is so fun to watch them have so much fun together. After their performance all the small children also danced and we watched a Michael Jackson "wanna-be" Very cute!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Youth Conference 2015

This Youth Conferece could rival any in the States. It was a 2 day conference- It included classes, talent show from each of the 11 church units, and then spending the night with members close to the Stake Center. The next morning was breakfast, more classes, return to the homes to clean up for the special evening and then a testimony meeting, beautiful dinner and a dance. Each couple entered the dinner with a date, arm in  arm with the young man pulling out the chair for the young woman.

This is our student who was recently baptized. There were about 250 youth at the testimony meeting and he got up in front of them all and bore his testimony as did our other newly baptized student. I am a proud teacher.
 These are plates hand woven from coconut leaves and filled with local food prepared by the sisters. They each were delived by the YSA girls to their tables which had beautiful flower centerpieces.
All of the tables were filled with the students. It was a wonderful evening.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Seminary/Institute Graduation 2015

These are some of the reasons we, as teachers, are willing to study, search the scriptures and try our best to prepare these young students to be missionaries, attend the temple and learn to serve. They are worth every effort we make.
 These Institute students are a great mix of return missionaries, prospective missionaries waiting for their mission call and other students who may be new members or wondering what is next.
 This group is from Kitti. They have so much fun in their Seminary class and they get bonus points for sweeping the chapel floor after all was said and done.
We love them all!

YSA Island Trip/Activity

Panasang Ward YSA took a trip all around the Island. It sounds like that wouldn't take long, since supposedly this is a small island, but it took all day. The boys in the center are some of our favorite students. There are also 2 recent returned sister missionaries.
We love these kids!

Kitti Graduation

We were invited to attend the Kitti Graduation of 5 Seminary students. We were impressed with some of the details the school added to this special day. All the teachers were dressed in the same fabric- either shirts for the men or dresses for the teachers. It was a lime green hawaiian print.
 The Junior girls were the servers and also were dressed alike. You can see them walking towards the group in pink. They were varrying a plate with an apple, brownie and a bottle of water for the dignitaries and a bottle of water for each graduate. At the end of the ceremony, they carried in huge woven baskets of banana leaves filled with various food for the dignitaries.
 This is Caroline Paul from Kitti. She also received a diploma from Seminary.
This is Lucann Laianos, another student from Kitti. She has two sisters on a mission and a brother waiting to go.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

PICS High School Graduation

Today was High School Graduation for the 6 students that we teach at Seminary. It is sad to think we might not see them again because these students are either non-members or their parents aren't members and they can't get to church.
 There were over 200 students graduating today.