Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Being taught @ The Ruins of Zarahelma

We arrived on Guam early Monday morning around 530am. We were grateful to spend some time with the other couples and looked forward to learning from them.

Us arriving at the Ruins of Zarahemla --
Monday night for Family Home Evening, we all carpooled to another Senior couples home, Elder and Sister Nortons, where we had been invited for dinner. 

Our honored guests that spoke to us after dinner were Brother and Sister Chris Gittens, who were in the Talisay Branch. They have lived in Guam 12 years. He is now the Stake Patriarch. We were richly blessed by the things they both taught. 

Sister Gittens transcribes the patriarchal blessings and said that on the first one she felt like she would make some changes to the words because she loves English and wanted everything to be said correctly. She said she could NOT move her fingers when she got to the place where she was going to make changes. She said they were frozen on the keys. When she decided she just better type the blessing exactly as it was given her hands flew across the keys easily.
Brother Gittens talked to us about how most of the work of the church is being done by Ephraim and sometimes Manasseh and occasionally other tribes. He told us to picture the baptismal font in the temple and how it is held up by 12 oxen. He suggested that when all 12 tribes are doing the work it will spread rapidly over the earth. When we think about the fullness of the gospel going forward with all the tribes it fills my heart with joy. Think what a great day that will be. But for now, Ephraim is to carry the work forward and finding the elect. The elect meaning those who hear the message and follow it.

Elder Tiffany and President Mecham sharing a laugh...
They called this place, The Ruins of Zarahemla. They had cleaned out all the debris and added potted plants, tables and chairs. Decorated with tiki torches, white lights and a tarp for the roof. "Good thing too cuz as usual, it rained"
They served a Café Rio menu of sweet pulled pork with all the fix'ins. She even made fried ice cream for dessert. It was scrumptious. We love Mexican food.
Amazing dinner Sister Norton, Thank You. (sister in the apron)

Brother and Sister Burgess are a wonderful couple that joined us for dinner.   

Sunday, July 22, 2012

One more wonderful Elder...

We know that the Lord only sends his very best to the Micronesia Guam Mission. We don't get to meet them all but what a blessing this was for us.

 We were fortunate to get the opportunity to meet Elder Cook. He has been serving in Saipan for most of his mission. We had heard many good things about him and what a great missionary he is from all who have served with him here. It was a real treat to meet him and his family in Guam. When we arrived in Guam, his father spotted us at the hotel and came right over. We became friends right away. Elder Cooks parents came out to get him and what a blessing it was for everyone. He was able to get released early so he could go in the water with the family. We're thinking that is a great plan... It was truly a gift to meet them all and spend time getting to know one another.

Elder Cooks family live in Vernal, Utah. 

I am a Child of God

Preparing the rising generation to build strong families to lead the Church in the future and then to return to their Heavenly Father is an important responsibility—one that involves leaders, teachers and most of all the parents.

This is a small part of our Primary in the Mwan Branch. When I decided to seperate the smaller children from the older ones, I did not realize how difficult it was going to be to teach with the language differences. The children here are some of the very best kids in the world. They don't fuss or fight and they like to learn. They really love to sing the songs.
A child can do the things which nourish the faith of others. Every word we speak can strengthen or weaken faith. We need help from the Spirit to speak the words which will nourish and strengthen them. The Lords work here is evident in our different callings and challenges. We are grateful for his patience and that is what our young people need from us.

Here is a chart of many of the Mwan branch Primary children. We have been teaching them to sing "I am a Child of God" in English. The song in Chuukese is also very beautiful, so they will be singing it in both languages for President Ringwood when he comes for our District conference this fall.

We are organizing them to sing "I am a Child of God" in English.

Part of the Mwan Primary with teacher "super woman" Sister Albert on the left and on the right is Sister Ewar who knows pretty good English so I have recruited her to help with this project.

We know that Jesus is the Christ. We know that He lives. And we know that He leads us in this work—His work—to bring to pass the eternal life of His Father’s children. He knows each of us and love us. We are all Children of God.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”

Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.
“If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24–25; see also Matthew 10:39). Changes can be very difficult and when changes come your way, it's up to you how to react to them.
"Ran Allin Elders" Welcome to Chuuk
“You can never love the Lord until you serve Him by serving His people.” President Monson

Our New Elder(s) Bower, Walters and Obray
The Chuukese headbands & sun glasses were given to the New Elders from their trainers so they would stand out because the white shirts, the badge, black pants and ties just were not enough on a tropical island paradise. :)
Elder John A. Widtsoe declared, “We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it].” That reality has current application to every trendy action, including immodest dress. As a wise friend observed, “You can’t be a life saver if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach.”

Elder Lavides with his new companion Elder Obray and Elder Lavides old companion Elder Lina
~Elder Bowers~ Elder Obray~

~Elder Walters~ If we love and serve one another as the Savior taught, we remain connected to our covenants and to our associates. Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others.

Elder Jones showing off his Kool-aid red finger it's bad for his teeth, but will he listen?
Elder Obray given thumbs up to his mother at home... he is not eating the kool-aid.

See my fingers are normal color ~ such a great Elder

Elder Walters, what a great smile :)“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24–25; see also Matthew 10:39)

“Whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” (D&C 10:69.)

We must not lose hope. Hope is an anchor to the souls of men.

Changes are very hard, we get close to these Elders and they become our children and we love them very much. It's hard for us when the time comes for them to be transferred to another island or they return home to their families. We miss them greatly. We know that the Lord only sends the very best to Chuuk and we are honored to have the privilige to serve with such valiant servants of his chosen young man.
Gordon B. Hinckley: Circumstances change, but our message does not change. We bear testimony to the world that the heavens have been opened, that God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, the risen Lord, have appeared and spoken. We offer our solemn witness that the priesthood has been restored with the keys and authority of eternal blessings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family Home Evening with Mama Merdy's family

[The Lord] expects us to have family home evening—one night a week to gather our children together and teach them the gospel. Isaiah said, ‘And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord.’ That is the commandment: ‘All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.’ And the blessing: ‘And great,’ he said, "shall be the peace of the children".

The group all together after a wonderful lesson, bearing of testimonies and beautiful singing  Chuukese style harmonizing.

Elders Allred, Elder Tiffany, Fita, Elder Shakespear after playing the game Black Magic everyone loves to try and figure out how this game works.
The Elders love playing this trick on them.

“If we live the gospel, people will come into the Church. They will see the virtue of our lives, and they will be attracted to the message we have to teach. That message places great emphasis on the family. The family becomes a very important thing in our teaching and in our practice. We believe that the family is the basic unit of society. You can’t have a strong community without strong families. You can’t have a strong nation without strong families—the father, the mother, the children as one unit working together. Now the family is falling apart all over America, all over the world. If we can just cultivate good, wholesome family life among our members, I don’t worry very much about the future of this Church”
(interview with Ignacio Carrión, El País [Mexico]

“You have to establish in your life some sense of prioritizing things, of giving emphasis to the important things and of laying aside the unimportant things that will lead to nothing. Establish a sense of justice, a sense of what is good and what is not good, what is important and is not important; and that can become a marvelous and wonderful blessing in your lives”

~ Always in the Middle of something ~ Today it's Uman

  ~~~The Saga of Tumbalina ~~~

~~~See that big storm coming behind Elder Tiffany
It's following us and we were hoping to beat it to the island ~~~

Well, we tried, but it didn't happen. As soon as we stepped on the long dock, it started to pour. Now this is not your little sprinkle rain storm, this comes in buckets and sheets here. Chuukese Style. Thank goodness for some members who were watching out for us and invited us into their home. We were completely drenched and they made a place for us, but we dripped all over their floor. We felt so bad because we were completely wet and didn't want to get mud all over. No worries! They just said, "Please come on in..."
Priesthood Power comes in all sizes and packages...

Up, up and up some more ~ come on Sister Tiffany, we are almost to the top ~

There is a sublime truth behind the idea that we are always in the middle. If we look at our location on a map, we are tempted to say we are at a beginning. But if we look more closely, wherever we are is simply in the middle of a larger place.
Looking through the jungle we are almost to the top ~just a little further ~

It's pretty thick, but we can do it ... make a good path Elders!

Elder Bowers letting us know that even the
young Elders need a Chuukese towel to carry for wiping the brow.

We have to go through that also.... really!
Good thing their is nothing dangerous on this island or is there????
Keep reading...

Boy this is a thick jungle...

When we looked at the birth dates and death dates on the headstone connected by the usual insignificant little dash, this small symbol of a lifespan suddenly fills our mind and heart with an abundance of rich memories. Each of these treasured memories reflects a moment.

We also locate the members that have passed away,
family history work and temple work marches on.

We try to establish sincere friendships with all of them and
visit them in their homes and elsewhere.

Lots and lots of Pineapples up here, it is a beautiful site.

Breadfruit prepared for cooking, then pounding.

~ This sweet, lovely members home ~

This lovely Mama and her daughter are inactive, her son is a preacher in another religion.
They were very kind to us and as we visited we shared our feelings, bore testimony and enjoyed each others comments. Branch President Billy expressed his love towards them and explained the reason for our visit, then he invited them to come back to church. The Elder lady (mom) has a really bad leg so she can't leave the house, but the daughter told us she would love to come back to church on Sunday. Elder Tiffany closed with a prayer.

"Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final. For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and an eternity of endings stretch out before us." We are always in the middle.
Here's Elder Tiffany in the middle of the thick, but we are forging on...

Elder Bowers also came this way...

This is a part member family. The father was very good to us and
had the family came out to listen and visit with us. 
After leaving this last home we were heading down the hill which is always harder to do than going up. The rain kept coming and coming and the mud here is very slick. It can be like walking on ice. Remember the movie "Romancing the Stone" where they are walking in the jungle and it is raining really hard and all of a sudden they are in a mud slippery slide. Well that is what it looked like the first time Elder Tiffany went down, he got up and then he was down again. He got up and took a few more steps and then he was down again... four times he fell. It was kinda scary. I said, "Oh
s---, Elder Tiffany, are you alright"!!! It scared me quick and it just spilled right out. Elder Bowers started laughing and it kept a grin on his face the rest of the day. This was a great day and we all were falling down, but Elder Tiffany won the competition.

This is what happens sometimes in the middle of the missionary work ~

One last home we need to visit along the way before calling it quits.
 ~The Lords servants shall go forth~

This is "Tumblelina's" back shot. He's just a little covered with mud,
smashed breadfruit and what have you. A little of this and a little of that.
Yup! that shirt went right to the trash, no way to clean that...

Elder Lavidas is only wet and sweaty, he doesn't have far to fall.
He's built a little closer to the ground, but his heart and testimony is like a Giants.

Elders Lavidas and Bower happily returning to their home, wet, sweaty and soggy...
Oh what a day! It is for sure, one for the diary.

The dock awaits us... Elder Tiffany went down here one last time on the dock. I tell you the man earned the nick name, Elder Tumblina, with grace, dignity and poise.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Seminary Graduation...Mwan

This small class is adorable :) Congratulations!
Their teacher is one of the most amazing ladies here, her name is Sister Oriko Ewar.
She loves her students very much and is extremely dedicated to her calling.
They just completed a study of the Old Testament.
These pretty young ladies and handsome gentleman have helped us learn the Chuukese language.
Yup, we are still learning....
We make them laugh apparently because we sound like dorks when we are learning and sometimes they just laugh, and laugh... Well we aim to have a good time and be pwapwa (happy), dang it!!!

Here we are waiting for graduation to begin...Island time is very different than real time > we were supposed to begin at 10am and all the branches were to attend. We have 3 outer island branches and 4 branches on the main island. The taxi was supposed to be on the other side of the island by 9:30am to pick people up and have them back by ten. It was around 11:10 or so when they arrived. This is very normal here and no one is bothered by it except those who are in charge of the graduation. The one thing we know we have learned is "relax, everything will work out", it just might take all day to happen. You roll with what ever comes because that is just the way the cookie crumbles. Oh we love the Chuukese's anytime :)
~President Thomas S. Monson said; I ask you to make Seminary and Institute a priority: Think of it.  Friends will be made, the Spirit will be felt, and faith will be strengthened.  I promise you that as you participate in Seminary and Institute and study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.  Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it.  That is a promise which I leave with you.~

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Updated version Miracle in Hawaii

The Lords work will continue on. . . the proper "why" questions will lead us to the proper "who", "what", "when" and "how "decisions. This tender mercy is truly worth the read, we love the Lord and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet Chad and Lynette Ellis.

By Chad & Lynette Ellis
Day 2—Monday 18 June 2012

Lynette and I are leaving on a dental humanitarian trip to some of the Chuuk Islands in Micronesia. The group I am joining to accomplish this is the Micronesia Dental Support Project. I am joining three dentists from California in Chuuk later this week. This is particularly interesting to me since these are the same islands I served my mission on some 25 years ago. Lots of planning over the past few years has gone into making this trip a reality.

As a side note: I will probably say Truk and Chuuk (Trukese or Chuukese) interchangeably throughout this so I will explain that right off. When I lived in Truk in the 80’s it was known as Truk but the local people called it Chuuk among themselves. It means mountain. The Truk Islands are the top of mountains that have been slowly sinking in the ocean for thousands of years. Anyway, when I was there the islands were a Trust Territory of the United States, which means that we would protect them if some other country came along to attack them. Also if there were a bad storm or disaster we would assist them. In 1995 they became their own country, The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). In the FSM there are four states: Yap, Truk (Chuuk officially), Pohnpei, and Kosrae.
~When Lynette and I flew into Honolulu on Sunday afternoon we were surprised to find out that our checked bags would have to be picked up at baggage claim during our 16-hour layover in Hawaii (instead of being directly routed to Truk-our final destination). The bags would then have to be rechecked in the morning before our 5:30 a.m. flight.
We had only rented a small car for a few hours so I asked the airport personnel at what time we could check our bags in for the “island hopper” to Chuuk. She said the airport opened at 4:15 a.m. I told her we had a flight to Majuro at 5:25 a.m. and she said to be at the airport right at 4:15 a.m. So we were.
~When I went to the ticket counter to check in I was informed that the flight was closed and that we should have come earlier. I explained what I had been told but was told the airport opens earlier only for the passengers of the Majuro flight at 2:30 a.m. She then looked at the next flight out (flights to Chuuk are only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). She said we could fly out Wednesday and arrive in Chuuk Thursday (crossing the international date line).
~I was extremely disappointed and frustrated! I had been planning this trip for years and needed every single day we had in Truk to be able to visit all the people in the plan. Lynette, the eternal optimist, made me laugh when she reminded me we were together in Hawaii for three days. There were a lot worse scenarios. But this trip was about going back to my old mission and meeting people I haven’t seen in some 25 years. So we decided to make the most of our situation.
~Since we were unable to travel, we were able to get our rental car back and our hotel back at the same rates as before. We went back to our hotel in Waikiki.
~One of the individuals that I had on my list to find while in Truk was Hans Williander. He was someone that was taught the missionary discussions and baptized while I was serving in Truk. After his baptism he wanted to take the gospel to his home island, Tol. Hans was the Lt. Governor of Truk and as such lived on the main island, Moen, in the Truk Lagoon most of the time. I was asked to be one of the missionaries to open the island of Tol (village of Nechocho) to the gospel. Hans and his wife Sechia became very close friends to us as missionaries and allowed us to stay in one of the bedrooms in their home while we built our missionary home.
~Hans was an amazing person. He had a personal library in his home (something I had never seen before or after during my time in Truk) with books from all different subjects. He had an international certificate of leadership training from Harvard University proudly displayed on his wall. This was no ordinary man! Now as a member of the church he soon became a leader. He invited all his friends and family to listen to us missionaries. We taught from sunup to sundown for the whole eleven months I was there (building our house in whatever spare time we had—with help also on the building of our home from the other missionaries from nearby islands). We quickly had around 100 members of the church and formed a branch of the church in Nechocho. Hans completed the translation of the Book of Mormon (the printed copy of the Trukese edition arrived 6 weeks before the end of my missionary service in Truk). In about 1994 he went to Salt Lake City (along with Herman Walter) to translate the sacred temple ceremony into Chuukese. After our meeting in Salt Lake City we lost contact for 18 years. During that time I heard rumors that he left the church and may have moved away from Truk but had no idea where he was.
~About 3 weeks before our trip back to Truk I was looking through our local Utah Valley newspaper. It will sometimes list missionaries that are coming and going on missions in our area. It is rare to hear of someone going to the Micronesia Guam Mission because it is a smaller mission of the church. However on Memorial Day weekend I saw that there was a missionary from Provo who had just returned from the Micronesia Guam Mission. In the article I saw his parents’ names and looked them up in the phone book. There are many island groups that missionaries serve on in the mission so I was surprised to find that their son actually served in Chuuk.
~I called and spoke with him about Tol a few days after his return and asked how the work was going there. To my surprise he informed me there was no missionary work going on at all there. He gave me the email address (I can hardly believe this is possible on such a remote island) of the missionary couple, Elder and Sister Tiffany from Centerville, Utah, serving in Chuuk. Through a series of emails I have been asking questions and getting answers in preparation for our travels.
~They did not know of Hans or his family. Later, after some of their inquires, I received the sad news that Hans actually had left the church and had moved to Hawaii and was rumored to be in poor health. I was so sad for a couple of weeks to know that my efforts as a missionary had this result. In my mind over the 25 years that had passed Nechocho was nearing the stage of having a temple constructed soon! I was glad to have this shock of reality behind me prior to my arrival in Truk.
~Now with a few extra-unexpected days in Hawaii my wife suggested that this delay would be completely worth it if we could find Hans and his wife; not an easy task with some 1 million people on Oahu. We made it our day’s quest! I searched the internet in our hotel room for Hans. I did find a Hans Williander that had lived in Kaneohe with a Honolulu post office box with no street address or phone number but that was it.
~I then called a former mission companion, Jack Damuni, who is a high school teacher on Maui. He always claimed himself to be the self-appointed “King of Laie” and knows Oahu like no other. When I explained our situation he suggested that we drive over to Kaneohe and look for a red and white striped truck with people selling malasadas (which are deep fried sugar donuts with no holes). He said there are always Trukese people working these trucks. He said through the “coconut wireless” (the local connections J) they could help us locate Hans. So we set out on our journey. Before we left our hotel we said a prayer together that we could find and talk to Hans before the evening was over!
~We stopped by the Hawaii Honolulu Mission office and asked a mission couple (Elder and Sister Smiley from Lehi, UT) about any potential contacts with Chuukese members or Hans in particular. They didn’t have any but showed us their library of church materials in several island languages. After showing us a copy of the Trukese Book of Mormon we informed them that we were trying to locate the person who actually translated the Book of Mormon into Trukese, Hans Williander. The only help they could offer was the name and phone number of the stake president of the Kaneohe Stake.
We drove on the Likelike highway to the windward side of the island to Kaneohe to the shopping mall where Damuni mentioned the donut truck would be. We drove around for a while but never located it. I was about to abandon the idea and call the stake president (which I did with no results). Lynette however asked a couple of people in the parking lot if they knew where the truck was. The first said they were just visiting the area and didn’t know what we were talking about. The second was a security guard who pulled out her cell phone (with the truck’s number already stored in her phone) and found out that there were two trucks selling today and the nearest one was in Hawaii Kai near a Costco.
~We drove around the island and located the truck. We walked up to the truck and ordered a half dozen malasadas. I spoke some Trukese to the girl selling them to me and she responded and asked how I knew her language. She was from Paata, an island inside the Truk Lagoon. Her name was Davely. She had lived in Hawaii all but the first two years of her life. We talked for a while and then I explained I was a dentist going to Truk to help them but missed our flight and was on a quest to find Hans Williander. She said she knew that he was living in Hawaii and that as a matter of fact she was with Hans’ daughter at a family funeral gathering the night before. I asked her if she could try to find out where he lived and we exchanged phone numbers so this could happen. She was very busy making sales. We stuck around there for a bit but felt like we were interrupting her work.
~We went over to the nearby Costco to look for some things we needed and try some samples (our lunch J). As we were getting some samples (we almost skipped this particular row but after passing it we decided to go back) two of the ladies serving samples were talking and I realized I could understand them. Although I may have been able to recognize Trukese people from other islanders at one time I no longer have that skill—they all look the same now. I asked in Chuukese if they were from Chuuk. They were surprised and we talked for a while. Their names were Rensi and Fumi. They both were from Dublon, an island in Chuuk. I told them I used to live there as a missionary for 4 months.
~Fumi was about to go on break so I told her I had some pictures from when I lived there. I ran to the car and brought in the iPad which had around 100 photos from my time on Dublon. Trukese people love to see pictures of themselves—especially the older ones (before digital cameras). It is a real novelty! As we looked through the pictures I had a picture of Fumi’s father and she teared up with joy. She said he was nearly 90 years old now. We talked for a while and then I explained that I was looking for Hans. She said she knew where he lived and that her cousin even knew the exact apartment. She said she worked until 5:15 p.m. and then would board the bus to get a ride to her home but would meet us at a local McDonalds. We made a plan that we would pick her up at Costco instead at 5:15 p.m. and drive her to Hans’ home and then give her a ride home to her family. We exchanged phone numbers.
~Lynette and I returned to Costco to pick up Fumi (Rensi was getting a ride home with her husband) at 5:15 p.m. We bought 3 boxes of malasadas (donuts) and gave a box each to Rensi and Fumi (and saved one for Hans’ family). We then drove Fumi to Hans’ apartment. It was in a very poor area that was set up by the government as low-income housing.
~We parked the car and then went to Fumi’s cousin’s apartment who sent out her daughter to walk us to Hans’ door. We knocked and they invited us in.
Hans looked very weak and sick and was laying on the couch—much different than the Hans I remembered. Sechia was by his side and didn’t look a day older than when I had seen her 25 years ago. It was good to see her sitting and relaxing. In all my days in Truk I rarely remember a time when Sechia wasn’t cooking, cleaning, or working. She rarely took time for herself but was always serving others. Amenita, their beautiful 16-year-old granddaughter (daughter of Ted) was faithfully taking care of them both. (In the Chuukese tradition, often times a grandchild would live with the grandparents to take care of them in their older years.) It took them a minute to register who I was and then the reunion I have been thinking about for years began.
~We spoke for a while about Hans’ health. He said he had to move to Hawaii for his medical care and has had 3 open-heart bypass surgeries in the past 5 years since he has lived in Hawaii. Hans and Sechia both have difficulty with mobilitiy.
~I pulled out the iPad and showed them roughly 400 pictures I had taken while on Tol. Tears of joy flowed as they saw pictures of their family and friends from a life far removed from where they are at this point in their life.
~We were together for nearly 5 hours reminiscing about our times together. They were very kind to me gave me many compliments. They loved Lynette from the second they met her (Hans had met her in SLC in 1994 but it was a first meeting for Sechia).
~Hans said he no longer had any contact with the church. He didn’t even have a copy of the Book of Mormon since he left Chuuk but that he would love to have one again. He once saw the elders come by their place and he asked them to return some day but has never seen them since. When I asked about why he wasn’t in the church anymore he said that before his father died he expressed his wish that they hadn’t left the Protestant church. So he felt like he was honoring his father by leaving it. He told us he knew it was still true though and would like to have the missionaries visit him again.
~Hans’ father was named Williander (the older Trukese people would take on their father’s name as their last name) and was a retired Protestant minister in Nechocho when I met him. We baptized him and after doing so had incredible success basically baptizing the majority of his old congregation. Williander passed away in 1989 and his wife Nemsi (Hans’ mother) in 1991.
~As we talked I learned that most of the people on Nechocho that we baptized have now moved from there to Guam or Hawaii because of health issues and better access to care. There is also no source of income in Truk and they needed jobs in the new way of their living (not just living off the land anymore like when I was there).
~WeThree (their third son) showed up while we were talking. He is just visiting from Chuuk to see his aging parents. We had a great time reminiscing and looking at pictures. He remembered with detail so many things I had long forgotten. He is going to be running for Lt. Governor in next year’s election. This would be the same position as his father, Hans. WeOne (their first son) is a state senator and lives on Moen. WeTwo (their second son) passed away in 1994 (any pictures we had of him were the source of many joyful tears). WeThree had a flash drive so I was able to copy all of the pictures over to his card for them to have.
~As the night went on I gave Fumi a ride home. I also took WeThree with me and I bought them some 5-gallon bottles of drinking water and helped them the best I could. Lynette stayed back to visit with Hans and Sechia. As our conversations continued Hans seemed to gain more strength and was sitting up next to Sechia by the end of our conversation. They asked if I would say a prayer on their behalf before we left. It was a little difficult to try to say all that I wanted to for them with my limited remembrance of the Trukese language.
~The events of this day were truly a complete answer to prayer. If I was told before that if I had to give up two days in Chuuk in exchange for meeting with Hans and Sechia in Hawaii I would have made that deal! It was a special opportunity to be a part of this miracle. We will follow up with a visit to the mission office tomorrow and take them a copy of the Book of Mormon that Hans helped translate into Trukese later tomorrow. What a beautiful opportunity that was ours on this day!

I will add some of Chad's pictures as soon as I figure out to do it...sometimes this blogging is tricky