Friday, June 15, 2012

"Liv'in the pacific island life"

Well life out here in the middle of the Pacific has been pretty good; we have had a lot of rain for the past few weeks. We like the rain because it’s not so hot. It makes it hard to get out into the jungle but we can handle it now. Missionary work is going well; we had several baptisms last week. One of our Elders that left us a couple of months ago was able to be here to do one of the baptisms. He is an AP now and was here on an exchange trip. It was a tender mercy for him to get this opportunity, because he was here working for 11 months with this family before. He then got really sick after church on Sunday and we had him with us at our apartment on Monday all day trying to get him better. He is one of the Elders that we really love and became very close to. The following day we tried to get things all caught up for the week, because the next day we were to go to the outer islands when Elder Tiffany caught some bug and so did the outer island Elder. We had to cancel the trip and get everyone back up and healthy again.

Sometimes here in Chuuk sickness is scary because if it was ever very serious we have to get them out of here. Bad healthcare issues. (Socialized healthcare) The people that believe the government should take care of medical care need to come check it out. It may look good & sound good, but the outcome is dang scary. People from the states would never tolerate the healthcare here. It is seriously that scary.

Elder Dr. Archibald missionary that was here serving with us should be translated for his great efforts doing work here and doing it with a positive attitude each day. I am afraid if I had to go into that hospital daily I would be depressed and have to come home. We visited a small girl last week there; she was on the floor laying. It was so sad; people are laying on the floor with IV’s in them. If you can imagine the worse thing > multiply that it is worse. And there are a lot of them. Some of the members won’t go to the hospital when they are sick; because they don’t trust them and are afraid they will die there. The doctors here are very good people but they don’t have the medicine needed to help, so they do what they can with what they have. I seriously don’t even know if I am making sense.

But moving on I am happy to report everyone is doing much better now. Missionary work will continue.
Before going on my mission I served in the Primary teaching the CTR 5 class. The kids were also my nursery babies when I served in the Nursery years before. When receiving this calling I was thrilled because I loved these kids very much.

It always amazed me how many great women and men put so many hours of planning and preparing to teach these young people each week the gospel. They were incredible examples to me on serving each other. "The Savior taught His disciples, 'for whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it."

Since we’ve been out on our mission we get to spend a lot of time with small children. The Chuukese kids are adorable and we have such a wonderful time with them. The Primary here is different in many ways; all the kids are taught together in one classroom, around 40 of them ranging in age 2-11, by one teacher. This lady is amazing ~ she does the music ~ sharing time ~ the lesson AND she does it in a room without air condition. Normal temperature here is about 85-90 with 100% humidity. She keeps the children for about 2 hours while the parents are in other meetings. The children are very well behaved, but they are children.

"Although there may be times when a child does not listen with a believing heart, your testimony of Jesus will remain in his or her mind and soul...If a child is not listening, don't despair. Time and truth are on your side. At the right moment, your words will return as if from heaven itself. Your testimony will never leave your children."Elder Neil L. Andersen
I have requested air conditioning. Well, now you get the picture... I have been trying to figure out how I can help her even though I don't know the language. One thing I know is that the spirit teaches and loves each of us equally. This poor woman is very worn out and stressed by the time church is over. YES, SHE NEEDS HELP! I am now going in there with her to help out. 

I read this post from another senior couple’s blog and loved it. Small innocent children are the greatest teachers of all if we will pay attention. I hope you enjoyed this story. And please pray that we get air conditioning. . .  
“When I was 18, as I was preparing to serve a mission, my bishop called me to teach the Sunbeams. I had never before learned to love others more than myself until I had served those children in such a simple assignment. With time and patience I learned how to keep those seven children in their seats and listening to a simple lesson. “One day I invited Mike (name changed) to come to church and sit in my class. Mike was my age but had stopped attending church completely by the time he was 12. We had remained friends over the years as I had served as the deacon’s quorum president, the teacher’s quorum president, and first assistant to the bishop in the priest’s quorum. He had been the topic of many fellow shipping discussions and was often part of my prayers as the years had passed. Once in a while Mike would accept my invitations to come to an activity. It always surprised me when he did, so I kept inviting him. “At that time, Mike had long, black hair and a beard. His complexion was dark and pleasant. I don’t remember when I invited him to my Primary class, but one day he showed up. “’Class, I would like to introduce you to my friend Mike,’ is how I began my lesson. ‘He is visiting us today.’ “Mike sat next to me in front. The children sat in a semicircle with their eyes fixed on him. They were much quieter than usual. I was about five or six minutes into the lesson when one little boy got up from his chair and walked across the room and stood directly in front of my friend. The boy paused for a moment and then climbed onto his lap. I continued with the lesson as I watched the two of them from the corner of my eye. “The boy sat looking into Mike’s face. Mike was quite uncomfortable but did not interrupt the lesson or turn the boy away. The other children watched the two of them for a few minutes. “Then one of the girls climbed off her seat and approached Mike. I was intently interested in seeing how Mike would react and did not want to instruct the two children to return to their seats. The girl stood with her hand on Mike’s knee looking into his face. “Then it happened. The boy on Mike’s lap reached up with both hands and turned Mike’s face directly to his. I stopped my lesson to see what was about to unfold. “With the innocence of a child, he said to Mike, ‘Are you Jesus?’ “The look on Mike’s face was total surprise. It seemed, as I glanced at the children’s faces, they all had the same question on their minds. “Mike looked at me as if to say, Help, what do I say? “I stepped in. ‘No, this is not Jesus. This is His brother.’ “Mike looked at me as if in shock. “Then without hesitation the boy in Mike’s lap reached up and wrapped his arms around Mike’s neck. ‘I can tell,’ the boy said as he hugged Mike. The lesson went on, but that day the teacher who taught the most was a three-year-old child. “Mike spent more than a year getting ready to serve a mission. It thrilled me to learn that he left for the mission field a few months before I returned. I still think of the scripture in Matthew 18:5: ‘And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.’ Ken Merrell from the New Era, May 2000.

“In our diligent efforts to fulfill all of the duties and obligations we take on as members of the Church, we sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long to-do list, as a block of time that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules. We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.

We know that our Heavenly Father is watching over each of you, and even though you might go through things he will take care of you. We are thankful for all the blessings and tender mercies we receive each day. We do have an attitude of gratitude and are grateful for this opportunity to serve. Each day is a new blessing and opportunity for us to learn and get better, inspite of our weaknesses. Life is great, we are great and the work goes on. “We need to be constantly reminded of the eternal reasons behind the things we are commanded to do. The basic gospel principles need to be part of our life’s fabric, even if it means learning them over and over again.
We love and miss you more that you know… 
Stay Pechekun (strong)

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