Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Only in Chuuk > held for ransom...

Today we were out doing GPS locations on one of the outer islands called "Patta". What a beautiful island. The church has a small boat that we normally take out there. It is about 50 miles away. The larger boat has been broken down, but now it is fixed so we took it.

We arrived at Patta, met up with the Branch President and he took us through the mangroves to the church to meet with the Elders. The big boat won't fit through there.
We made a plan with the Elders and then headed back to the big boat to go around to the other side of the island.
When we landed we shared some coconuts for energy, then planned to return to the dock by 3pm to head back.
The day started out amazing, everywhere we went we were greeted by a lot of smiling happy people. They make you feel like you’re a celebrity, they are so happy to see us, even the small children.
We met with the member in this village we were hoping to see today and he led us to his home on the beach.
Anytime you enter a home here you first have to be invited in and then you take off your shoes. They don’t have furniture and normally the floors are made of wood. Sometimes they have tile or linoleum but generally not. His sister was there and she joined us. She is not a member, nor is his wife or some of his children which are living on another island. He holds the Melchizedek Priesthood which is really exciting because we don't have many on this island.
While we were there he asked us why we came. We shared our testimonies with him that we knew The Gospel was true, that Our Father in Heaven knows us and loves us all.
That true happiness comes from following Christ’s example and developing Christlike attributes such as obedience, goodness, honesty, gratitude, humility, love, charity, and forgiveness. It comes from serving others and helping them to follow Jesus Christ. It comes from controlling the appetites of our human bodies and following the promptings of the Spirit. It comes from working hard and having a healthy lifestyle, friends, family, and personal achievements.
He is always watching over us and will never leave us if we do our part to live worthy to receive his blessings.
Regardless of what you do or don’t have in this life, your deepest, most lasting happiness will come from knowing God’s plan and following it. One ancient prophet put it this way:
“I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.”
Elder Tiffany then invited him to come join us for the day to go out and find other members in the area. He was very happy and came along and guided us to some of the other members in the village.
We talked to this man and his family. He had been baptized many years ago but then had moved to this island and become inactive. He was very moved that we had found him and told us about how he remembered how he felt when he joined the Church. The spirit was quite strong and the missionaries made plans to teach his wife and children. They are very excited.
While there however an American lady who is married to a Chuukese man came up and told us that our boat driver had violated a law and when they went to talk to him he sped off and we were now stranded without a ride. We were summoned to come and talk to the local officials. Sounded a bit strange but after collecting information we went to their house and spoke to them. Our Missionary who has been here for 22 months took the lead, he being accomplished in the language. They told us that the boat driver, Esmeit, had dropped his anchor in a restricted area and that they were obliged to then take our boat and hold it until a fine of $3000 was paid. Two weeks they would hold the boat and if the fine was not paid they would keep the boat. Also there would be a fine of an additional $2000 for him fleeing the scene. Problem was the boat was already gone and we were left there. We established that this was an arbitrary settlement on their part but we thanked them for the information and said we would turn it over to our superiors. The Branch President, Sam Roby came around from the other side of the island and picked us up and took us to the next island where we met up with our fugitive boat driver and he whisked us off to our home island, where we immediately put the boat in the boat house and locked it up.
Esmeit, The Fugitive Boatman

Now this is the Lords work and he keeps us in his arms as we go about finding his lost sheep.
The next day the group showed up from that island to seize the boat. Our District President met with them and informed them that while that may have been the custom in the past there were better ways to handle the problem and that they were not obliged to hand over the boat. They however insisted and would not negotiate. They then went to the Police station to get the documents and have the constabulary assist them in procuring the water craft. The Police told them that this was not a matter for them to get involved in and that they would have to take it to court. So at this time the boat remains in the boat house and the fines have not been paid.

No comments:

Post a Comment