Saturday, February 7, 2015

January 2015 - We are in CHUUK now!

 As we flew to Guam, we saw these beautiful clouds.  It was almost sunset.  We had been flying for a long time.  Guam (and Chuuk) is 17 hours ahead of Utah in time zones. Guam is our mission headquarters.

 In Guam we had a Senior Conference for all the senior couples in our mission.  This happens every 6 months.  Right now we have senior couples on Chuuk, Pohnpei, Palau, and Guam.

 One of the senior sisters is an expert artist and taught us to paint the mission logo on these journals.

 Our mission president entertained us too!

 After lots of training and sharing or reports, we took a river boat up the Talafofo River in Guam.  There is a large lizard on the tree branch.
 They can make many things from the palm leaves.
 Our new apartment--just kidding!  This is how the Chamorans built their homes anciently.  The foundation is made of "latte stones."
A woman weaving hats, baskets, etc., from palm branches.

 A map of Micronesia.  Chuuk is actually an island nation.  The islands surround the Chuuk Lagoon where the Japanese kept their navy during WWII.  Many of their ships are now buried in the lagoon, making it a prime diving destination.
 One of the islands of Chuuk from the airplane.
We are in Chuuk now!  This is at the airport
Our Island is called Weno (pronounced wood-uh).  This big ship was unloading the day we arrived.
Our First day in Church at the Mwan District Center Building.  There are four church buildings on Weno.
 The missionaries live on one side of the basketball court and the church is on the other.  This is the nicest church building in Chuuk.  They invite the neighborhood to use the basketball court and people are always there.
Here is the Sapuk Branch building.
This is the building the the Mechitiw Branch--the branch we live in.  It is basically one large room, one small room at one end and a bishop office and bathroom at the other end.
 Inside the Mechitiw Branch.  Most of the chairs were full during church.
To one side of the main building of the Mechitiw branch building is this little building where the Primary meets.
Here is our church building in Wichap.
 An addictive habit in Micronesia is chewing betel nuts.  Here is one above, and below are some growing on a tree
.Betel nut trees look like coconut trees at first.  But the trunk looks more like bamboo, there is that smooth area underneath the palm fronds, and the palm leaves seem to face more upward.
 Betel nuts rot the teeth and are not good for the mind.  They somehow chew them with shells that cut the insides of their cheeks so the juice can enter the blood stream faster.  The blood makes the spittle turn red.
 Our truck.  A truck is a necessity here to traverse the bad roads.
 There are no speed limits, only lots of deep pot holes and pipes that stick up a foot or so.
 Many of the potholes are filled with water so you can't see what is in them.  We usually travel 2-5 miles an hour.  Occasionally there is a short stretch of paved road.
When we first saw these license plates we thought it said, "Driver's Heaven."  What a joke!
 Another senior couple and a church employee and husband came from Guam to train the church and community leaders about the "Self Reliance" program.  It is a wonderful program that will help the people here a lot.  We were able to go with them to the island of Romonum.  There is a branch there that averages 100 people in church each Sunday.  These outer islands are quite primitive.  The missionaries who live there don't have electricity or running water.  They catch rain water and boil it and cook on butane stoves.
Here is the Church in Romonum.  Many of the people on this small island are part of one large family.   They are faithful church members.

 When we arrived, many people came down to the church dock to greet us.  They were also having some kind of food exchange.  People were bringing pounded breadfruit and bananas to the exchange.
Some of them made us these beautiful leis from bouganvilla and plumeria flowers.  The leis smelled wonderful.  The people also brought us bananas and coconuts to drink from and eat.
 Some of the women and children sang "I am a Child of God" for us.  One little tiny girl knew the words to all the verses.
This is one of the small dispensaries that Chuuk has on the outer islands.  One trained person is available to do basic first aid, give out some medicine.  Really sick people are taken to the hospital on Weno.

Going from island to island on a small boat is no joy ride.  The sea can be very rough.

I am sorry that this picture of the medicines in the dispensary just won't turn upright for me.  But you can get the idea.

We have started working in the outpatient clinic of the hospital (pictures later).  It is pretty humbling to see how the people live here and makes me very grateful for the blessings we have in our wonderful land!  We are enjoying meeting many wonderful people too!

1 comment: