Friday, May 4, 2012

Hello from Chuuk

We are doing well, hanging in there.  Sometimes we look at each other and laugh because of where the Lord has sent us.  I will try to explain that a little, bear with me.  When we decided to go on a mission, we talked about where we would want to go.  Elder Tiffany said somewhere tropical, I said somewhere we could learn and experience a new culture.  So we put in our papers and requested New Zealand, but the next sentence read:  Or wherever the Lord needs us.  Well we all know now he choose to send us to Chuuk, Micronesia islands.  It is tropical here and it is a learning experience with an entire new culture to learn.  “I think maybe he nailed it”.  I know without a doubt he knows us, he is with us and knows what we need.  Even if we don’t understand sometimes.

We live in a hotel now called, “Trukstop” where we meet a lot of different people.  From all walks of life, they vary from Government people, US and from around the world people, to the humanitarian efforts, to conservation efforts, to the tourist here diving the wrecks in the lagoon.   First let me tell you about our move to Trukstop, we used to live on the other side of the island called Iras.  Our apartment was across the street from a mining area.  They are putting in new roads here on the island and they use the rock from that mine.  Needless to say it’s very noisy and dusty (when we don’t get rain) muddy (when it rains).  We lived next door to the Public defender’s office, so we had a lot of criminals trying to walk into our apartment daily.  To simplify about the place, it was not good.  Although we did like the people in that area and made some friends.
Well in April we got the opportunity to move to the other side. Yea! It is in the main downtown area (if we had something like that here).  Trukstop has 24 hour security, it is cleaner, the view is amazing and they do my laundry. Yippee! Yes I am super excited about that.  I do not like doing laundry at home; here I have had to use a laundry mat. Yuck! So this is priceless to me.  I know what you’re thinking SPOILED… Well yes I am and thank you very much.    

Chuuk is known to be the islands of tough/mean guys.  The history books tell stories about tough/mean people of the past and that reputation has not changed after many years.  We were told if anyone messes with you, tell them you live(d) in Chuuk.  Just about every person that comes here tells us they can’t believe they would send senior couples here.
In Chuuk’s defense we feel safe and loved here. In D&C 12:8 it reads “And no one can assist in the work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care”.  The people here treat us good, partly because we are missionaries. They respect us because we pay our own way and leave our family to come help them.  They also respect older people and to top it off we are white.
Not to mention that we are just dang fun people to have around…

The great thing is how small the world is when you have the gospel in your life.  We have taken our visitors to church with us and had them over for dinner.   Sometimes it feels like we are bridge builders to the outside world to give Chuuk a better reputation.
Each day is a new adventure; we take it in stride because we know we are on the Lords errand.  We feel him watching over us all the time, also our young Elders.  We all have the promise in DC 130:21 that reads “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”   As Missionaries our daily life is all about drawing down the powers of heaven so we can teach with the spirit.  We don’t have to know everything nor do we need to, because the spirit already knows.  We don’t have to speak the language perfect because the spirit teaches spirit to spirit.  Elder Tiffany and I rely much on the promises made in to us in the scriptures, because we are tested here daily.  We are very thankful that we have the opportunity to serve here in Chuuk.

The deal about the food here is this.  Breadfruit, yeah not so much, nor cooked bananas or taro or tapioca.  The Elders eat a lot of spam and rice and tuna, also not our deal.  Elder T says all the seafood here is sketchy.  So we are scanning the isles of the stores for food that hasn’t expired.  Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo so we’ll try to do a taco and some chips and salsa.
We live from container to container here.  Hoping for some good food to arrive.Wish us luck!

We get the opportunity to serve and love the Chuukese people; we have seen miracles here and have felt the presence of our Heavenly Father with us daily.  He truly loves each of us equally and fully.  I testify that it is true.  He has given us prophets and apostles to teach the principles and patterns that will bring us back to him.  As I strive to awaken the patterns, he desire me to live I am taught line upon line, and drawn closer to Him.  This mission is a humbling mission and I am very blessed to know that.  We want you all to know that we love you and miss you very much.  Stay healthy and pechechun (strong).

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