Monday, March 28, 2016

Sister Kapalu to Vanuatu

Sister Kapalu from Vanuatu left the island for Guam today.  She will be on Guam until Friday and then will fly home.  She was well loved by the missionaries and the islanders.  We will greatly miss her.  She has a scholarship waiting for her to attend medical school in China.  She is a very bright young woman.  She speaks 12 languages!  Wow.  I barely speak one.
It seems impossible but we are the next missionaries in line to leave for home.  It is difficult thinking about leaving all of our friends and students.  But we are excited to see our family and friends at home.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sister Kapalu's Farewell Party

Sister Kapalu, from Vanuatu, is leaving from her mission in 2 days, so the Panasang ward gave her a special evening of testimonies and a showering of love for her. She has been in this Ward for a year, and the people definitely showed her how much they appreciated her.

 She and Elder Hedgpeth had a special bond and she taught him a specific handshake that she promised would make him "Cool" to the students and his grandchildren when he returned home.
 She conducted this choir that was comprised of the Panasang members. They performed last week at Stake Conference. It was beautifully done and at the end of the song, she was crying as well as the Mission President who was very proud of her.
 Many of the Young people especially loved her sense of humor and ability to connect with them. Several of the young men and women, who joined the church in this past year, were taught by her and they wanted her to know how they would never forget her.

Women's Conference March 2016

We had an all day Women's Conference in the Panasang Building. After the morning of speakers and choirs from each of the 9 wards and Branches, we all gathered to watch the games and dances.
 The women in Pohnpei love to spend time together and have fun.
 Some of the music was traditional Hawaiian style and some were American Country-Western. We certainly have sisters here who know how to dance and celebrate each other.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ant Atoll/Spring Break

On Thursday, March 24th we took advantage of Spring Break and went with Pohnpei Surf Club to Ant Atoll several miles west of our island.  When we arrived we set up "camp" in a shelter on the beach.  We stopped along the way to do some snorkeling between two of the atolls.  The water was very deep and the fish were minimal but the coral was beautiful.
 The water is very warm and completely clear.  As we arrived a three foot shark swam lazily past our boat.  The guide on the boat said they were not dangerous.  Yeah sure.
 We walked along the beach and enjoyed something that existed no where on Pohnpei.  A sandy beach.  Well, it isn't actually sand.  It is not so finely ground coral but it is wonderful. 
 This is the view from Ant Atoll to our island home of Pohnpei.

Here are some of the quaint huts on Ant Atoll.  People can rent these overnight.  Of course there are no services on the atoll so you must bring all our your food and drink.
 The most exciting event was a large school of dolphins, jumping and swimming near our boat. We tried to get an action shot, but they were too quick and wouldn't pose for the camera. The boat ride home wasn't exactly smooth but we hit some pretty big waves and had some kind of a Disney-like ride. Mel said maybe it was like the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ride.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tray Bonn Hebel

The first night that we arrived in Pohnpei, we were invited to a baptism and dinner at this families home. Since that first night, they have adopted us as family. Rockson and Lee had this baby boy March 12 and we just had to go see him so I could hold and cuddle this darling baby.
They tell us that Pohnpeian women are "tough" and some even laugh instead of cry or scream during birth. I can believe it. Their smallest son (they now have 3) was watching me very carefully as I held the baby. He had a worried look on his face. Lee told me he thought I was going to take their baby away from them.
Carly (the Grandma)is sending us home with papayas, pineapple and bananas in exchange for the chocolate cake I brought to them. Quite a great trade-off for us!

You can see the proud daddy in the back of the room. He is a great leader in the church. He is one of our Institute teachers and was just made Stake Young Men's President.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spanish Wall

This Spanish Wall is in the only town of  Kolonia, the only town in Pohnpei. .  It was built by the Spanish in 1867 to protect the colonial government and garrison. Germany purchased Pohnpei from Spain in 1899. Then during the first weeks of World War I, Japan occupied Pohnpei. During World War II, much of Kolonia was destroyed by American bombs
 Today, the Spanish wall serves as a reminder of days gone by and a local landmark.
 We were able to attend a pretty competitive softball tournament in the ball field surrounded by the Spanish Wall. There are games there quite often and our missionaries use the fields on their P-Days.

The Arts on Pohnpei

Rebar seems to be sticking out all over on Pohnpei.  We have been walking past this first scene almost every morning.  Two pieces of rebar sticking up out of the ground as if they were meant to be pieces of art.  I actually might think some artsy sort in Portland would think it is quite beautiful especially with Lenda's umbrella posed in the background.
 It may also be possible that old junk cars, which are strewn all over the island might be considered worthy as objects of art.  Notice the dog perched on the roof of the house enjoying an early morning break before sleeping all afternoon.  Quite possibly he is the suspect who barks all night.
 These two pictures are at end of our apartment.  When it was originally built the owner intended to extend it out several more feet.  Obviously that didn't happen so the rebar was left poking out of the side of the building like an angry porcupine.  He might build on some day so why cut them off?
 Rebar sticks up out of the roof of almost all buildings in Kolonia. 

 This pretty yellow wheeled tank has been sitting at this intersection since we have arrived on the island.  It really is quite nice and adds to the ambiance of town.

Isaiah visits PICS

Earlier this week the prophet Isaiah visited our classroom at PICS high school.  He spoke about what his life was like in Jerusalem in around 700 BC.  He was a prophet and counselor to King Hezekiah and other kings for 40 years.  He was able to tell the students about his vision.  He spoke about his day and the wickedness of the God's people.  He also talked about his vision of the coming of Jesus, the restoration of the gospel, the scattering and gathering of Israel and the Second Coming.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Big Party Blast for a One Year Old

We were invited to this beautiful resort for a 1-year birthday celebration for a little girl. As you can see, it is a great place for swimming and a gorgeous view. It is named Nicho's Marine Resort.
 Now isn't this just what you would picture in your mind of a tropical island. It is only the second time we have been here in 15 months. We ask ourselves- Why????
 Here we are with the birthday girl- Sister Simram -(her auntie who has been caring for her since her mother died soon after her birth) and the Furstenau's.  Sister Simram is our Bishop's wife, a teacher and counselor at the High School and the person who makes many of the ward dinners possible.
Mel almost didn't put in this picture because of the angle. He says it makes him look like the "Jolly Green Giant".

Woking the Dog or Dog on a Stick

On our way to a one year olds party (yes you read that right) a one year olds birthday party (another story later).  We ran into this sight.  Five little boys carrying a dead dog on a stick.  This little doggie will soon become a feast.  Missionaries are not supposed to eat dog or sea turtles here.  No problem for us being good obedient missionaries.  No thank you on the fried dog leg!  But it's been said that it tastes just like chicken.