I laughed when I saw the picture below that one missionary's mom made of "How People Picture Islands Missions" and "How they Really Are"
One of our first activities this month was teaching at a zone conference.
In our zone (which consists of all the islands in Chuuk) there are 26 young missionaries and 2 senior couples (including us). Our mission president and his wife are also in the picture below.
Zone conference was held at the Blue Lagoon Resort, a beautiful spot on the island. In the distance you can see some of the Islands that surround the lagoon. Chuuk has over 290 islands, some surrounding the lagoon and others are outside the lagoon (referred to as "outer islands." We have missionaries on seven islands in the lagoon.
Once a month we have a zone meeting . The zone leaders go to Guam and receive instructions from the mission president, then they return and train the missionaries here. It amazing what wonderful leaders these young people can be.
Below is a picture of a cave we found while hiking one Saturday. It leads to some Japanese guns left from the war.
View from the cave with the Japanese guns (below)
The mountain below is called "the Octopus" because from some locations that is what it looks like. We live on the other side of this mountain.
This is the boat dock leading to the island of Uman. We went there to see some home-bound members of the church to see if we could help them get medical care. Travel to this island takes about an hour by boat. We got rained on while on the boat, but we were soon dry again. The next few pictures are on Uman.
We were glad to see missionaries coming to show us where to go.
When people die they are buried on their own property. Property can only be owned by Chuukese people. The women inherit the property and it stays in the family. These graves are in their yard.
Each little village has a "community center" much like the "plazas" of South America.
As we walked from one house to the next, many school children began to follow us and wanted to touch us. They were really cute.
Here are some of the children at a home we visited: One is holding a coconut they brought to us to drink.
Our next stop was on the Island of Tonoas. Here is our church building there.
There is usually a basketball court by the church. They are playing volleyball on this basketball court.
The next picture is of a hike we took to an old Japanese lighthouse on Weno (where we live).
The views from the top were really beautiful and you can see more of what the island looks like from these pictures.
The roads continue to be amazing to us. Sometimes there is no place to walk but in the water. But we are thankful to have a truck. There are no cars and no electricity or running water on the other Islands of Chuuk.
This picture is for my grandchildren. It shows some fish and a sea turtle we saw.
We have not been able to get many fresh vegetables lately at the grocery store. The next boat with fresh vegetables comes in a couple of weeks. However, look at the variety of local foods we have. These include: several kinds of coconuts, limes, taro rood, watermelon, tonga (a squash), sour sap, bread fruit, cucumber, egg plant, several kinds of bananas, and sugar cane. Can you identify which is which?
We love working with the missionaries here. They are really impressive young men. We are meeting more people and getting more familiar with the hospital here also. We work in the outpatient clinic three mornings a week. I will write more about the hospital next time. The people we meet are very nice and appreciate what we do. They are very thankful for the wheelchairs that have been donated to them by our Church.