Wednesday, July 11, 2012

~ 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.


  1. It looks like you have read the current message from President Uchtdorf "Always in the Middle". You related it very well to your recent travels up the hill to isolated members on the island. Enjoyed reading your post. Also liked the pictures of the bright colorful flowers. It is to bad that you have to wear Sunday best when climbing in the mountains. We are doing fine here. Just completed a suprise birthday party for Cathy Mitton. Love you both.
    Jane and Marvin Sanders

  2. Greetings! We are friends with Elder Bowers. How lovely to see a picture of him! Yolanda Breidenbaugh