Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chuuk Summer

It is ALWAYS summer in Chuuk!

Jogging can be dangerous with the many dogs around.  One of them  bit me, so now I carry my "dog stick" and a few rocks.  The dogs had better watch out!

Disaster Drill
The Chuuk State Hospital had a disaster drill--a mock airplane crash.  Here are some of the pictures:
Waiting for patients:
Patients arrive by pickup and ambulance:
Injuries were categorized first at the airport.  Then the patients are received at the hospital.

Caring for the "patients":
Nurses are ready:
And doctors are ready too:

The emergency room:

The Surgery room:

 Clair with the head of the outpatient department where we work:

Youth Conference
We have church units on about seven islands in the Chuuk lagoon.  Youth 14-18 from these islands met in Weno (the main island) for Youth Conference.  They each performed a talent number.  
Here is a traditional stick dance:

They had games too.  Here are some balloon games:

The Church on Weno where we held Youth Conference has an unusual parking lot:

Dancing the Virginia Reel:

A beautiful youth leader.  Notice her long hair.  Women in Chuuk keep their hair long but usually wear it tied up on their heads.

Lunch at Youth Conference:

A closing testimony meeting:


At church we met a man from the Philippines who is in Chuuk to help with the reconstruction of homes after the Typhoon.  (He is in the center)  The homes are not yet repaired or rebuilt.  Many have no roofs and it rains a lot here.

Missionary Work
Three baptisms--what a happy day! We are here to support our young missionaries who teach many people about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Those who accept their message can be baptized and receive many blessings.
Some of our missionaries at a mission zone meeting.  These are special young men.

We recently got Sister missionaries in Chuuk--after not having them for many years.  Here they are:

We were able to help greet this Chuukese Sister who just fulfilled a mission in Hawaii.  She is being greeted by her father and her aunt at the airport on her return to Chuuk after 18 months:

The family held a party to help welcome her home.  They have a humble home, but a splendid view!  The children here are precious and loved.

The family build this shade structure onto their home for the party:

There was singing and dancing--

Some of them really have the moves!

This woman was one who could not walk last year.  We are very happy to see her dancing now!

There was lots of food! (coconuts to drink, chicken, pork, papaya, melon, taro, tapioca, rice, pounded breadfruit--and maybe more)

This is a view on the way down from the mountain where the party was held.  You can see the Church in the center.  On the left is a small building that is used for Primary.

This is the community "shower place" near the church.  A stream runs down the mountain after a rainstorm. Some people are cleaning up in the pond.

At our apartments there are many Filipinos.  Our landlord hosted a party for all of us, including a roasted pig:

There are many Filipinos in Chuuk. Some are doctors and nurses at the hosptial.  Here are some of our neighbors:

We have made many good friends here and have learned a lot from them.  People here live happily without many of the worldly things we are used to.  They value their families and greet adversity with a positive attitude.  It is an inspiration to us.

We hope you all had a great summer!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Miracle Conference and more

July was the time of the semi-annual senior couples conference in Guam.  We had about 3 days of intense conference in Guam.  It was a miracle we got here and had the conference.  The mission President showed us how this was a miracle.  
First of all you have to know that Micronesia is a series of islands that are as far apart as from one end of the USA to the other end.  There are many, many islands.  We have missionaries on about 6 of them, each with small airports and short runways.  There are infrequent flights to and from these islands.  We were scheduled to leave Chuuk on a Thursday. 

Three couples and their luggage going to the airport.

 There was a storm on Thursday so the plane that would have picked us up could not land.  We watched the luggage being hauled out to the runway, heard the airplane go by, then watched the luggage being brought back into the airport.  After 3 attempts, the plane flew on to Guam without landing.  That made us unable to get on the plane to Guam.  The wind was fierce and the rain was blowing into the airport.  With such a short runway, we were glad they didn't take a chance, but sad not to get to go. 

Rain in the airport

We were unable to get new reservations to Guam until the following Tuesday so we would miss about half of the conference.  However on Saturday morning we received word that a plane which was coming from the Marshall Islands and Kosrae had room for us.  That day the storm was expected to be bad in Guam.  So a lot of people in the Marshall Islands cancelled their reservations and we had room for 12 missionaries from Chuuk and Kosrae to fly to Guam.  

We were worried that we might not be able to land in Guam, however.  But then the storm turned, almost backwards, which is unheard of, and missed Guam.  This allowed all the missionaries from many other islands also to get to Guam for the conference.  The storm kept others from flying so we could have space on the plane, but changed direction so we could safely land in Guam.  They had thought they would have to cancel the conference, but everyone made it on time and safely.  We felt this was a miracle.  

We had the opportunity of meeting and getting to know this new couple and our visiting authority. We had 3 days of training, sharing experiences on our islands, and being spiritually fed.  

Senior couples of the Micronesia Guam Mission

We had 3 days of inspiring classes, sharing the activities we are involved in on our various islands, and learning more about the Seminary and Institute programs.  Seminary and Institute are classes for young people where they learn about God, His scriptures, and how to develop a relationship with Him.  Many of the seminary classes are held at 6:00 a.m. for high school students.  

We all look forward to a little shopping in Guam since there is not much on our individual islands.  And here is one of the main stores to shop in.  This store is open 24 hours a day and the parking lot is nearly always full.


The missionaries in our branch asked us to go with them to visit some of the families they are teaching.  We loved being in the home of this family.  They have a blind and handicapped son and wanted to know more about Heavenly Father's Plan for him.  We were able to to share our testimonies of Heavenly Father's love for him.  He will have a perfect body in the next life and they can be with him and know him without his handicaps.  The Chuukese people really love their children.

One Sunday our branch President shortened church and we all climbed this mountain to visit a family whose mother has ill health and can't get down the mountain to church all the time.  So we took Church to her.

The family has an amazing view of the ocean from their home.

This faithful couple have two children serving missions for the church in Australia and Hawaii.

Some of us sat inside their home and some outside since there was not enough room.  

They sang hymns in beautiful harmony and gave talks and testimonies.  It was a spiritual feast.  It was amazing to see how much they love each other.

Here are some of the family members.  The little girl in front is adopted.  When parents can't take care of their children for various reasons, someone just takes them in.  It is an example of loving as Christ loved.

One day we went to the Island of Udot in the Chuuk Lagoon.  On the way our boat broke down.  Fortunately it was a calm day and we enjoyed looking at the beautiful cloud formations while we waited for someone to rescue us.  It was hot and sunny.

After about an hour and a few cell phone calls, another boat arrived to rescue us.  

This is the Mayor's house on Udot.  It is huge, but at present is not occupied since the Mayor is in Hawaii.  Some of his family were on the island enjoying the beach while we were there that day.

When we arrived on Udot we were greeted by a young man with a machete.  We were hoping he was friendly--and he was.  These children greeted us with some "apples."  They were different from our apples, but good.  Everywhere we went this day children followed us.  They loved to have their picture taken.
This is the area where the missionaries hold church.  There are about 60 people who attend each week and there are not enough benches so some sit on the floor or stand.

This is the missionaries' house.  It was destroyed in the typhoon and was recently re-built.  It is a basic one-room house with no electricty or running water.  

                                      (The outhouse is up the hill a little ways)

These missionaries are very clean and well organized.  They sleep on mats under mosquito netting.

This is their kitchen area.  They cook on a butane stove or outside on a fire.

The branch president and his wife brought us some coconuts to drink.

The missionaries' lunch was a can of corn mixed with a can of tuna fish and some soy sauce.

We went to teach some families with the missionaries.  While they were talking with the man these children wanted their picture taken.  

This is another family we visited that day.  This room is their kitchen and is quite open.  

This is the "jail" on Udot.  If they are having trouble with someone they just hand-cuff him to the bars of this little building until he calms down.

The boat dock made a great swimming hole.  We enjoyed watching these children jumping in the water--some naked and some with all their clothes on.

While waiting for our boat to arrive we walked on this pretty beach and talked with people along the way.
The children were very friendly.

They showed us their pig with 8 piglets and another very pregnant one crossing the road in the background.

When we were leaving the children lined up on the boat dock wall and all jumped in the water.  It was quite a sight.  

Our boat driver slowed down as we passed these old Japanese caves from the days of the war.

The clouds reflecting on the water remind us of the many beauties of the earth that God has created for us.  We are often reminded that evidence of God and His love for us are all around us.  We love being here with the special Chuukese people and feel God's love for them.  We want to share His message with them and know it will bless their lives.