Wednesday, January 20, 2016

December in Chuuk

We are always happy when the missionaries find and teach those who accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  
 Here are two young men about to be baptized.

 We are hiking up a hill to visit people with health problems.  One of our purposes here is to help with medical care.

We were able to visit the Island of Patta where we have missionaries. It is the farthest place from Weno (the main island of Chuuk) where we have missionaries.  After about 1 1/2 hours by boat across the Chuuk lagoon, we entered a small inlet through the mangrove trees. 
 The missionary house in Pokocho can only be reached at high tide due to the shallow water in the inlet.Here is our boat driver.  He said "It's like being in a movie to come here."

 Missionary house in Patta.  There used to be two missionary houses in Patta, but the other one was destroyed in Typhoon Maysak.

 Next to the missionaries' house was a small chapel.  However, it is not in use now because church is held in Sopota where most of the members live.  It is about one hour's walk from Pokocho.

The missionaries joined us in the boat to ride to Sopota.  

Coming out of the inlet into the open sea.

 We traveled on to Sopota where the other missionary house used to be and got off the boat on this long dock.

 Children coming to greet us.

 I loved this baby cradle/swing!  He looked very comfortable.
 The children love to have their picture taken.  The baby in the background was named after one of the missionaries.

Here is a closer look at the baby.

Helping a sick member (who also wanted reading glasses)

 We passed this person on our way and she was still washing clothes on our return.
 Fish have been salted and are drying on this rack.

 When returning to our island of Weno, we stopped bfiefly in Romanum.  We have seen children all over Chuuk making these "poppers" out of rice bags.  They are folded a certain way so that they make a large "pop" when they flick their arm in a certain way.
 They tried to teach us to make the popping sound.  They got a good laugh because we couldn't do it!

 Romanum has a nice beach.  We also had a pretty good boat that day.
A branch party in Mechitiw.

Mechitiw Primary children
 Mechitiw members gathered for the baptism of a brother and his sister.
 The baptism was held in the ocean.
 Christmas Eve with the other senior couples.
 A Christmas breakfast with the missionaries.
 Downtown Chuuk had lots of traffic on New Year's Eve day.  

At the fish market.  Here we can buy fresh fish that are brought in by the fishermen each morning.  They will even clean and filet the fish for us.  

At midnight people started drumming on whatever they could find.  They had special drum beats and chants.  I was surprised that this continued all night and all the next day (even after we went to bed).  During the day groups of people walked the streets changing and drumming.  They really wanted to celebrate the New Year.
 More people celebrating.

 One day we had trouble at the laundromat because the water did not have enough force to fill the washing machines.  We had to take buckets, fill them at a tap, and pour them into the machines until there was enough water to start the cycle.  This was repeated for the rinse cycle.  I know the picture is blurry, but I wanted to show the color of the water we wash our clothes in!  No wonder our whites don't stay white!

Celebrating the New Year with the other senior couples.
We hope you all have a Happy New Year!!!


Until now we have only had parts of the Book of Mormon in Chuukese, but a new and complete translation has now been finished.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone to a testimony of Jesus Christ.  We are excited that many people will now be able to read it and become closer to God through its teachings.  We had a day of celebrations and activities, including a pageant that was put on by the members.
People came from many islands to celebrate.  This is our church "parking lot."

People came and went all day, but we estimate 1,000 to 1,500 people were able to participate.  You can barely see the stage in the front with the palm leaves as back drops.

 There was also a cultural program where each branch performed some kind of cultural number.  This group is from Mechitiw Branch.
 Chuukese children are really beautiful and sweet!
 One man wearing traditional costumes for one of the cultural dances.  He has his arms full!
 Mechitiw branch doing a number where they use sticks and coconut shells to beat the rhythm.

The pageant related the basic stories of the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ.  It takes place in ancient America and tells of God's dealings with the people there.  It also includes Christ's visit to the American continent after his death.  The teachings of the Book of Mormon compliment the teachings of the Bible.

 Some dancing girls from King Noah's court.

 King Noah and other actors in the pageant.
One scene showed Nephi's prophecy that Christ would be born in Bethlehem.  Here are  Mary and Joseph and others.
 Many more actors in their costumes.

 More Warriors
Two meals were served during the celebration.  Chuukese like to eat a lot!
Part of the celebration was various displays by the missionaries, a movie called "Meet the Mormons" and a humanitarian project.  This project included a donation of 1,000 pair of reading glasses.  We were able to choose the proper glasses for many people that day and will continue to distribute the glasses.  It was rewarding to see their faces light up when they could read the print in the Book of Mormon.  Now many more people will be able to read it and be blessed by it.
At the end of a beautiful day, people started home.
One miracle of this day was the weather.  Storms had been predicted, but many people fasted and prayed. It was a miracle that the storms did not stop the rehearsals or the performances.  It was a beautiful day!

November 2015 in Chuuk

This is our Branch President and his wife.   She made me a muumuu and it matches hers!

This little girl had been sick for a long time and losing weight and coughing.  We had her checked for TB which is common here.  She is O.K. and has started getting better now.

We visited this woman because her baby was sick.  It was a minor skin rash, but we learned that three of the children in this family are blind.  One can't walk and one didn't walk until he was 5.  We don't know yet if the baby will be able walk.  She has 5 children and takes care of a nephew besides.  There are great health challenges in Chuuk, but look at her smile!  She loves her children.

 This is the house of one of our friends.  They lost their roof in the typhoon last March and still don't have a roof.  
We went to a trade fair.  People brought their produce and crafts to sell. Look how big the taro roots are!  Taro is a big part of the diet here.

 We often see people carrying things in baskets like these.
 All the missionaries in Chuuk Zone got together for Thanksgiving.  There was about 30 of us.  Here are a few of them.  We have so much to be thankful for.  

We have Sisters in Chuuk now!

 Zone leaders getting ready to start the Thanksgiving dinner.
 After dinner we played a few games--including a slightly wild game of musical chairs.
Chuuk Zone on Thanksgiving Day.  There are also 3 senior couples not pictured here.

NOTE:  I have not been able to post to this blog in Chuuk lately because of the slow internet, but am currently in Guam where the internet is better so I will try to catch up.