May began with a District Conference. This means that members from all over Chuuk meet together for learning and instructions. Our mission president and his wife came from Guam. Here we are with the flower head bands that were presented to us by some of the members. My muumuu was also a gift from a patient. The women here dress in lovely muumuus. Sometimes they wear the characteristic Chuukese skirts. I will show some of them below.
The women had a special meeting while the men were having leadership training. The babies were good, but tired by the end of the meeting.
Many of the people arrived by boat from other islands.
Some came by "taxi" (flat bed truck). Here are some of our branch members loading up to go home.
It always makes me feel good to see many people here attending church on Sundays and most of the stores are closed, like the one below.
Clair has had several opportunities to assist with medical problems outside of the time in the hospital clinic. Here are a couple of them:
They don't have playgrounds here, but the trees that fell in the typhoon are good to climb on!
Here is the group of Primary children I work with each Sunday and one of their leaders. There are a lot of children who live near the church and many of them attend church without their parents. They are very sweet and eager to learn. Many don't attend school so it is a real learning experience for them.
Below is a picture of a mountain called "The Octopus" because of it's shape. Below it is a flame tree. Right now the flame trees are in bloom and are quite beautiful with their red flowers. The foliage on the mountain is much more sparse than it was before the typhoon.
We had a concern that another typhoon was coming. We had wind and rain which caused waves on the lagoon--something we don't usually see. Chuuk has a lagoon surrounded by a coral reef that keeps out most of the waves and tidal changes. Fortunately the typhoon passed us by this time.
It was birthday time--two senior missionaries had birthdays so we celebrated. We also welcomed another senior couple to Chuuk. He is a judge and will help the courts here for a short period of time. There has never been more than one senior couple in Chuuk before, so we feel blessed to have so many friends.
We participated in a Walk-A-Thon to raise disaster relief funds. We walked 3 1/2 miles in 35 (Clair) or 36 (Annette) minutes. It was a cloudy morning so not too hot, but with the humidity we were soaked by the end.
We were awarded T-shirts for being in the top ten in the over 60 age group.
Later that day we attended an activity at the branch where we attend Church (Mechitiw Branch). The women cleaned inside the buildings and the men worked on cleaning up outside. I washed the walls in the chapel with these two cute helpers who worked non-stop.
One of the missionaries working in Mechitiw with a machete. They actually use machetes to cut some of the branches of the trees.
They also used a chain saw. The young men like to do hard work and use dangerous tools!
Several young people helped get water for cleaning from the nearby stream.
Here are two helpers bringing us water to clean with.
They used parts of the tree to construct a nice bench in the shade just outside the chapel. Clair is sitting on the new bench. Later they extended it so it is longer now.
Some of the women cooked chicken (which they called "soup") and rice for everyone to have for lunch.
It was a fun activity and we got a lot done. But the biggest surprise for me was when I arrived at church the next day to see they had also painted inside the chapel. It looked really beautiful and clean.
Another thing that is very typical here in Chuuk is Spam. It comes in all flavors. It is not very healthy but since people don't have refrigeration, they can eat a can of spam with their rice.
We do occasionally take a break and have some fun here. We like to go snorkeling and looking at the many types of seaweed and coral here. There are also lots of interesting and brightly colored fish. Here are some shells that I found while snorkeling. The big one had something alive in it which I was told I should eat!
The sea and the clouds provide beautiful views especially on sunny days.
We mustn't forget why we came. We have an important message to share that will affect people's lives for eternity. Here is a picture of a card that someone made showing some of our missionaries enthusiastic in their great cause.