Wednesday, August 29, 2012

~ True Servants of the Lord ~

“The office of an elder is a calling of dignity and honor, spiritual authority and power. The designation ‘prospective’ implies hope and optimism and possibility. Our greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel
Elder Jones and Elder Obray are wonderful > they are in a companionship in the Mechitiw Branch. Tonight they are treating themselves to Pizza. Elder Jones says see how buff I am :)
“The priesthood is not divisible. An elder holds as much priesthood as an Apostle. D&C 20:38 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ—An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize;
When a man receives the priesthood, he receives all of it. However, there are offices within the priesthood—divisions of authority and responsibility. One may exercise his priesthood according to the rights of the office to which he is ordained or set apart.
“Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith. … With all that there is to do along the path to eternal life, we need a lot more missionaries opening that gate and helping people through it.”Jeffery R Holland"
You can check more out about these two on Elder Obrays blog


What a month, we began teaching our English classes and Temple classes at the beginning of the month, which keeps us pretty busy planning and preparing lessons. This picture is missing a few other people that weren't able to attend this day.
One thing we have really learned is how to work together. Before we came out on our mission we felt like we were always together. We believe that is what a marriage is about, spending time together. Not just sharing children and a roof. Well...on a mission you spend a lot of time together, but it is more than just spending time. Let me set the stage, our apartment is smaller than our master bedroom at home.
So you can tell by just the apartment here we are together, very close. It includes our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and closet. The bathroom is the only room with a door for privacy. Now don't take us wrong, we are not complaining only setting the stage... Marriage is perhaps the most vital of all the decisions we make and has the most far-reaching effects, for it has to do not only with immediate happiness, but also with eternal joys. It affects not only the two people involved, but also their families and particularly their children and their children’s children, down through the many generations. When we got married in the temple we covenanted to give our time, talents, and everything we have to build the kingdom of God. When we were married in the temple, we understood the importance of never discussing the temple outside the temple, not because the ceremonies were secret but because they were sacred.
They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared”
> President Hinckley has said, “I like the word duty, something sacred. The temple is the Lord’s classroom. [The temple] becomes a school of instruction in the sweet and sacred things of God”
Marriage is and should be a sacrament. The word sacrament is variously defined, but among Christian people it signifies a religious act or ceremony, solemnized by one having proper authority. It is a pledge, or solemn covenant, a spiritual sign or bond between the contracting parties themselves and between them and God.
In D&C 49:16 "Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation"
"Marriage is the foundry for social order, the fountain of virtue, and the foundation for eternal exaltation. Marriage has been divinely designated as an eternal and everlasting covenant. Marriage is sanctified when it is cherished and honored in holiness. That union is not merely between husband and wife; it embraces a partnership with God.” We both come from different backgrounds and going on a mission and being together 24/7, there were some personal freedoms that had to be relinquished.There are many adjustments, unselfish adjustments, that must be made. One comes to realize very soon that your spouse has weaknesses and so do you that may not have been previously revealed or discovered. Marriage is ordained of God. It is not merely a social custom. Without proper and successful marriage, one will never be exalted. Teaching Temple Preparation classes and helping others understand their marriage covenants has helped us learn and grow together. It has been a learning process and we continue to learn.
As we are told in the scriptures
they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation
We are beginning to understand what that scripture means. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Chuukese people. We have been blessed with all of the spiritual resources we need to learn about, to teach, to strengthen, and to defend righteous marriage and that indeed we can live together in happiness as husbands and wives and families in eternity. We have the fulness of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We have the Holy Ghost and revelation. We have saving ordinances, covenants, and temples. We have priesthood and prophets. We have the holy scriptures and the power of the word of God. And we have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We know that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and helps us daily here on our mission. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.
The class will attend the Manila Philippines temple in the fall

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oh the fowls

We have a lot of Chickens and Roosters everywhere --- of course when they are walking across the street, they are on island time...(moving slow) I think we have single hens here and a lot of married Roosters! (Cock fights every Sunday) This was just too funny not to share :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Know your scriptures? :)

A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door.

Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the back of it and stuck it in the door.

When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, 'Genesis ' 3:10".

Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter.

Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.'
Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.'

Monday, August 20, 2012

Amazing Friend and Servant of The Lord

We want to take a minute here and spot light this amazing lady. Her name is Oriko Ewar, she is the mother of 7 children. Her husband suddenly passed away in 2010 and she was left here to raise her young family alone. 
This is her youngest son Encer -Below

I was watching a talk by Elder Hales yesterday when he said; the one righteous will save the few. Well that is Oriko for sure...
Oriko's calling in the Church is to teach Seminary. 

She doesn't have a calling from the Branch President per say, BUT... she does everything from substituting teaching young women's, to helping teach primary, to teaching Sunday school and on Saturdays, she makes sure the church is clean for Sunday.
She does all the Visiting Teaching in the branch to make sure all the ladies are well and know that we all love them.  She does this with  her companion and promise sister Malinta Alik (below) another beautiful sister or when her partner can't go, she takes the Relief Society President Marsina Joseph (top) another wonderful sister.
She recently got a job working at the Trukstop Hotel where we live. She works Monday-Saturday 7am-5pm. 
Now that in itself is a miracle and I will explain why... People in Chuuk work long hours and always work on Sunday. 
Before Oriko decided to get a job, many many things took place so bear with me. Her middle son was preparing to put his papers in for a mission, her other son just got married and is now having a baby, her middle daughter was going through some teenage rebellion and struggling a little, then out of the blue Oriko became really, really ill and just about died. 
It was very scary for the children and the rest of us. 
Here in Chuuk they don't have the medicine needed like in the U.S., it is social medicine, (be very grateful for your excellent healthcare). Oriko would not go to the hospital, she didn't feel good about it.  She told her children that if they would pray together, and have faith and if the Lord wanted her to stay with them, everything would be fine. It took 3 days of struggling, a lot of faith, prayers and a lot of tears but she pulled through and is strong again. 
Marvelous—astonishing; miraculous; of the highest. In the scriptures, the Lord asks us to do only one other thing with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. D&C 59:5 reads; 
Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him. This sister does serve with all her heart, might, mind and strength.

So when she got the job she explained to them that she needed to be off work by 3 pm so she could teach and that she couldn't work on Sundays.  This is very bold for a Chuukese person to say.  They were impressed by her strength and honesty and hired her. 
When Seminary starts up again, she will be getting of at 3pm so she can teach the young people about Jesus Christ. 
To describe this lady is "purity of thought, and a sincere heart seeking the Savior's guidance daily".
By serving in the Church, you show the Lord your love for Him and your commitment to your baptismal covenant. And service helps to build the Lord’s kingdom on the earth. 
As He said:  “Be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great".
Her son Bwieki received his mission call and will be serving in the Hawaii Mission. He goes into the MTC, November 27, 2012. A Missionary is someone who leaves their family for two years so that others can be with their families for eternity.

“Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days” 
(D&C 64:33–34).

Oriko had her husband and family sealed together for time and all eternity in October, 2011, in the Hawaii temple. She has a lot of faith and she teaches with conviction and unconditional love. Her students feel that from her and actually we all feel that from her when we are with her.  
To describe Oriko in one word would be "Christlike". We are all blessed because of her faith and honored to call her friend.  

~The List ~

First we want to tell you that anytime the missionaries are asked, "what do you eat, what can I send you, what do you want" --- it makes us all pause for a minute because of the lifestyle change here.
When we accept our mission call we say “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way … that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth”... 1 Nephi 3:7.  
We are sure you have done some reading up on the internet (some true, some not true) about Micronesia.  However...
It is very different than home and very different than what any of us are used to so when your elder says, "I am good, everything is fine", he really is.  
He is probably realizing how blessed he has been his entire life and how thankful he is for all his blessings.  This mission helps you become aware of things, oh so many things.  
I ask you to trust us in saying that your missionary is learning, the Lord has his hand in this work and is aware of the missionaries needs, wants and desires.  
 “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). There is no greater gift that comes to anyone in this world than a certain, reassuring conviction that God, our Eternal Father, lives and that Jesus is the Christ. 
You missionary is in great hands and he is becoming who he was meant to become, the Lords servant. We truly are living in paradise here and we all love the Chuukese people they are the Lords people. 
Missionaries are marvelous. They’re called of God by prophecy. Only those who are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators make the suggested call to a missionary, and they’re called by the prophet of God. They represent the fruits of all that is good within the Latter-day Saint family
"President Thomas S. Monson"
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost

After sending out a blanket text to the missionaries about what they are missing (besides family & friends) but would love to have, here is the final list.  

Candy - MM's, licorice, caramels, tootsie rolls, salt water taffy, sour gummies, gummy bears, worms, swedish fish, jelly beans, hard candies-jawbreakers, jolly ranchers, skittles, snicker bars (small bite size hold up-if it is cool in the states, they will make it-because they have nuts and caramel that help hold them together when they get hot)

Snacks - Trailmix, dried fruit snacks, jerky, nuts, breakfast bars, granola bars, power bars, cookies, cracker jacks

Foods - Soups, stews, chili, mac n'cheese, tuna in water (it all is in oil here and expensive) any other canned meat - chicken, shelf flour tortillas shells, muffin mixes-that you only add water.  Any kind of prepackaged food that might only need water to prepare that is fast and easy to make.  

They all have a propane stove to cook on, most everyone has an oven, all have a rice cooker, all have water treatment systems in their apartment. All apartments have basic spices for cooking.

Other things needed occasionally; cold medicine, cough drops, tylenol, benadryl, bandages, hydrocortisone creme for bites, antibiotic ointment cuts, antifungal cream (Clotrimazole brand).

These guys really could use anything you want to mail them.  We are very limited on everything, because we are on a small island, far from major industries.  And everything here is very expensive. They don't have a lot of time to prepare food, so anything tasty and fast.

Now, a word about Our mission president and his beautiful companion. They’re responsible for the missionaries’ success. Every missionary wants success, and the mission president shows him how to achieve success.
He helps each missionary to work, but more significant yet, he helps each one to work effectively so that the kingdom of God will grow under his inspired direction.
What the missionaries need more than anything else is your continual love, support, prayers and LETTERS.  
As the Senior couple here, we are here to love and support your missionaries and we also know how wonderful it is to receive packages and letters from home.  

So don't delay, pack it up, write a letter and send it!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mail system in Chuuk

Regarding mailing things to Chuuk Zone we thought that the best way to answer your questions would be best answered here.

Cost amounts --- It is all U.S. postage for all of Micronesia.
Everything MUST come priority or FIRST CLASS (otherwise it will end up on the slow boat from China and take at least 6 months). REALLY!

If you are mailing a package it is best to put it Priority mailing boxes (they are free at the post office) They charge by the box size, not the weight.

NEXT--- this is all very IMPORTANT if you want things to come safe and still be good.
* Tape the box up really, really well (tight and sealed) it has a long ways to travel > through heat, water and being thrown around with tons of other mail.
* When declaring your contents > be vague about it --- such as candy, write food items. "Gift" you don't have to write what it is.   You DO NOT have to list everything.

*If you are mailing something that cannot be replaced and gets lost or stolen, then it might be best to mail it DHL. (let us know and we can give you further instructions on this)
*If you declare your package is worth more than $200.00 they will have to pay customs and that delays the delivery.
*Keep your dollar amount low > even if you paid more for your things, it is safer when it doesn't look like it is worth much.  (You have to remember it is traveling a long way - a lot of people will be handling it) Put the odds in your favor.  And unless it has insurance on it > it don't matter.

*Breakable things > wrap really, really good in strong bubble wrap or something strong.
*Food items that could spoil --- DON'T MAIL.... The chances of that making it are pretty slim and it might come full of BUGs.  We don't like the bugs!!! We have enough here :)


We don't want this to sound as though the Mail System is bad here.  What it is, is a small island in a small island country.  The Mail Clerks here work very hard and are always busy getting the mail out, I have never seen a busier post office (even on tax day in the states).  They are about to move into a new building soon and are now dealing with a less than ideal building in the temporary quarters.

If you have any other questions or concerns and we can help you out please feel free to contact us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

"The tropical life"

We were attending a wedding today and realized we needed a updated picture at the church. So here it is... Life in Mwan Branch is wonderful we love serving with the people and Zone Leaders.  Sister Tiffany especially loves working with the Primary kids!

Chuuk Thugz now carrying the torch!

~Zone District Meetings happens once a month~
The Chuuk Zone 2012
The Lord needs every able young man to prepare and recommit,
to be worthy of a call from the prophet of God to serve a mission.
That whispering of the Spirit is an example of how the call comes to servants of the Lord to send missionaries to their fields of labor.
 Missionaries go forth two by two as appointed by the Lord, carrying that same message, with the same divine call to serve from the prophet of God.
Let's see, do we really want to meet in the little AC room?
I think not Elders!
Elder Lavidas talking about how to over come getting homesick... Missionaries go forth two by two as appointed by the Lord, carrying that same message, with the same divine call to serve from the prophet of God.
ZL "Elder Shakespear"
Elder Walters and Elder Allred 
Elder Sofele and Elder Allen
Sister Tiffany told them she only needed one serious picture from them for their parents and then they could pose however they chose.  Of course they had to get cookies to eat first, the Elders are always hungry... 
 Our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, has said of those called to serve: “The missionary opportunity of a lifetime is yours. The blessings of eternity await you. Yours is the privilege to be not spectators but participants on the stage of priesthood service.”


"Willing men who wear the workers seal"

Thou shalt not idle away thy time, 
neither shalt thou bury thy talent. 
Elder Obray and Elder Jones "Pizza time" ...
These two Elders work and share their talent in everything they do.  We decided that they deserved a reward for all the work they have been doing in the Mechitiw Branch.  
Today they built stairs with tiles and rocks for a older lady in the branch to be able to attend church. It can be slippery when it rains here and these Elders took her excuse away. “[The Lord] will not permit us to fail if we do our part. He will magnify us even beyond our own talents and abilities. … It is one of the sweetest experiences that can come to a human being" 
They enlisted about 7 of the youth to come help them and teach them how to work and build the church.  After having an amazing couple of weeks of missionary work, they continue to have one miracle after another.  We won't write their stories here because it's theirs to tell.  What we will say, is these two Elders are building the Church, having baptisms, getting young men ready for missions, inspiring others and blessing many lives. 
President David O. McKay was fond of saying, “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chuuk Zone Leaders . . .

Elder Allred playing --- Elder Butler (the guy that see's a camera and always pulls a serious face) 
Elder Tiffany playing --- Elder Meldrum (when the camera comes out he pulls a funny face)  
Don't get me wrong, all of these Elders are amazing and we love them very much but every now & then we just have to have a little fun. 
Sunday Dinner --- Chicken stirfry with rice (I know rice, as if they don't get enough of that-right) they are so fun to have around, all of our Elders our wonderful young men in the Chuuk Zone.  
Elder Allred and Elder Shakespear... 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Grateful for a 14-year-old boy, Joseph Smith"

Life is interesting; here I sit at the outside restaurant down stairs from our apartment.  I have not been feeling well since we came back from Guam.  Being sick is kind of a drag anytime but here it's worse, why???? You might be asking, well for most of us feeling sick is a drag, for me it really stinks.  I don't do sick well, I don't like going to bed, lying down or being the patient.  I would much rather be the care giver. Maybe you feel the same way.  Anyway at home when I don't feel good I go to work (outside) usually working in the yard. I have no yard here to work in, nor do I have a house per say to work in... Maybe right now your thinking well maybe you should go out doing some missionary work get your mind of yourself right! Well, that did cross my mind, but I am pretty sure the people I would visit don't want a sick missionary coming over and throwing up at their home.  Like I said before Chuuk is not a good place to be sick, not that anywhere is but Chuuk really isn't a good place to be sick.  Our island is so tiny you can't go anywhere or do anything only hangout in your apartment and for someone that doesn't sit still very well or long it is a real drag.  So the question for me is what is it I am to learn from this???   Well we try to teach our young Elders first line of defense.... Priesthood blessing.  "In a priesthood blessing a servant of the Lord exercises the priesthood, as moved upon by the Holy Ghost, to call upon the powers of heaven for the benefit of the person being blessed"
As many of you know fifteen years ago this month I was very sick.  I truly believe that I am here because of many Priesthood blessings, the faith and love of my wonderful companion, family and friends.  
Elder Tiffany has given me a blessing and we were hoping I will be on the road to recovery.  I know without a doubt that is my best defense and through my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ if I am to be healed I will be healed.  The priesthood is the power and authority of God delegated to man. Priesthood keys are the right to direct the use of that power. Priesthood and priesthood keys open the door to the blessings of the Atonement. 
3 Nephi 18:19, 20 "Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; and whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you". I am on the road to recovery now and I am so grateful that a 14-year-old boy, Joseph Smith, entered a grove of trees asking to know which church is right. I will be eternally grateful for the answer he received and the subsequent restoration of the priesthood and its keys through John the Baptist; Peter, James, and John; and other holy messengers. May we use this great power to bless all of God’s children, beginning with our own families, is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kopwe fakkun pechukun!

We have a couple of Elders that have had injuries this past week, so we needed to do a follow up and make sure they are healing.  Here in Chuuk our wounds don't heal the same as at home.  They tend to get infected easily so it is important to do followups with the Elders,  (boys will be boys).  The first line of defense we teach them is to give your companion a blessing.  "A priesthood blessing is a conferral of power over spiritual things. Though it cannot be touched or weighed, it is of great significance in helping us overcome obstacles". 

Elder Allred has his pants rolled up because he is trying to get air to his wounds and dry them out to heal.  Elder Fisher cut his hand with a machette and just left the hospital to get his stitches out.  They are both healing well and happy to be pechukun again.  
~ ZL Elder Allred, Elder Fisher, ZL Elder Shakespear, Elder Walters ~
Patterns are templates, guides, repeating steps, or paths one follows to stay aligned with God’s purpose. If followed, they will keep us humble, awake, and able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit from those voices that distract us and lead us away. The Lord then instructs us, “He that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom, according to the revelations and truths which I have given you” (D&C 52:17)
As we have stated before, the Lord only sends the pechukun Elders here! These young Elders are amazing and have strong faith. 
ZL Elder Shakespear says he is very, very tired... We told him that is what makes a great missionary!!!
"As we seek Heavenly Father's guidance, the Holy Ghost will help us prepare for and endure".

 “To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment. … Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right" 
President Gordon B. Hinckley 

We are very happy to be serving with all of these great young men.  We want them to have fulfilling experiences here so they may lead our church and our members in righteous paths and principles.  They truly are the light of a generation.  
We are engaged in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We, like those of olden times, have answered His call. We are on His errand. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

In the Beginning...

The first missionaries in Chuuk (formerly Truk), Donald M. Baldwin and Torlik Tima (Hawaii Honolulu Mission), arrived on 7 July 1977. They baptized T. M. Conrad Mailo and his wife, Nisor Cerly David, on 22 October 1977.  The Trukese missionary was Happiness Ichin, the second convert on the island.  
The Truk Branch (later Mwan Branch) was created on 26 July 1979.  By 1980, membership reached 170, and on 31 May 1981 the Truk-Pohnpei District, (later renamed the Namoneau Chuuk District) and Pohnpei districts were created.
The first meetinghouse on Chuuk was dedicated on 24 April 1983. The Truk - Pohnpei District was divided in 1985.
By 1990 the district had been divided and two more Church buildings were dedicated.  There are now eight branches in Chuuk.  
A visit to Micronesia in June 1991 by Michaelene P. Grassli, General President of the Church's children organization known as the Primary, and Virginia H. Pearce, board member. They included stops in Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Kwajalein.

Many people today think of the South Seas as a place of balmy beaches, sunny days, soft music, and bronzed islanders with little to do. This vision has been created by the tourist and film industries and by writers and painters who fit the “native” image better than the natives themselves. Reality in the Pacific is very different from the filmwriters’ fancied scripts. Life has always been difficult for the local people. Society here, as elsewhere, has prescribed what can and cannot be done, and of course nature has placed limits beyond which people everywhere cannot easily go. Many islanders are limited even today, for example, to a diet based primarily on fish, coconuts, sweet potatoes, taro, and fruits. A few canned goods, particularly canned meats, fill out the menu. Life in the Pacific is hard for most of its inhabitants.

When Joseph Smith experienced the visitation from the Father and the Son in the spring of 1820, the islands of the sea were almost simultaneously being prepared for the introduction of the gospel. Protestant missionaries introduced Christianity and it first reached Chuuk in 1874 with the arrival of missionaries in the Mortlocks, and the faith soon spread throughout Chuuk lagoon.
Today the work continues with concerted efforts to translate the Scriptures into the native languages so that the island people can better understand the Great Plan of Happiness.  The Lord has need of willing men, who wear the worker's seal.  Come, help the good work move along; put your shoulder to the wheel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Luxury of Senior Missionary living...

May we be filled with gratitude for the right of choice, accept the responsibility of choice, and ever be conscious of the results of choice.
This is our double oven setup :) We have baked brownies, muffins, cookies, burrito's, and lasagna in that little oven. 

They don't always come out looking great but they taste pretty good.  The 3 tower setup is our water filter, it is hooked up to the faucet so we have clean and safe water to drink.
This is our only shelf that holds a one burner stove. Sister Tiffany has learned the art of keeping food warm as she prepares a meal.   We use the large frying pan when cooking for our big eater Elders and for making pancakes. The smaller one we use for other meals, usually pasta or stir fry.  We do have a toaster but we don't use it because it is messy with crumbs and Sister Tiffany doesn't like to feed the bugs.  We did purchase a blender for morning smoothies and icy cold lemonade drinks on a hot day... The plastic box underneath is for our pans, bowls and cooking utensils.  

You need a plastic container that seals pretty good to keep things clean. Oh, living in the tropics has its challenges! 

This is our entire kitchen > we have no cupboards. We purchased that small plastic shelf for our dishes.  We do have a nice water cooler dispenser for after we filter our water of course.  See that huge fridge, anyone that know us knows how full our fridge is at home, well that little one is stuffed to the gills but we have learned condensing.  The rules when eating at Elder and Sister Tiffany's house are; make a mess, clean it up and NO left overs... The pictures on the side of the fridge are of the Elders, it is a calendar with other pictures on it. We couldn't see why we wanted strangers on our fridge when we could have the boys we love so much on it.   

This is a different view from the kitchen looking over to our bedroom.  That bookshelf is where we keep our books and pictures of our Family.  We could use a lot more pictures - hint. Yup that's the tour of luxury living here in the tropics.  One room, one bath, one burner and a lot of love...

We are engaged in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. We, like those of olden times, have answered His call. We are on His errand. We shall succeed in this solemn charge

Monday, August 6, 2012

It's official, our boy has gone home...

We are always sad when an Elder has served his time and ready to return home to his family.  You get very close to these Elders and learn to love them a great deal.  We have had so many wonderful times with Elder Johnson and made a lot of memories together.  It is his time to return home and he will do so with honor.  We have grown to love him as our own son and wish him the best in his life.  
Sister Tiffany greeting Elder Johnson, who has been serving in Guam as the AP, back to Chuuk with his parents.
1 Corinthians 2:4,5 "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God"
Elder Tiffany and Elder Johnson"Our spiritual journey is the process of a lifetime. We do not know everything in the beginning or even along the way. Our conversion comes step by step, line upon line. We first build a foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We treasure the principles and ordinances of repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. We include a continuing commitment to prayer, a willingness to be obedient, and an ongoing witness of the Book of Mormon"
 Elder Johnson with his parents Brother Russell and Sister Joan
We always had Sunday dinner together when Elder J was on Chuuk, so we wanted to share our love with his parents and tell them how much we loved their son with an American meal of meat, potatoes and spaghetti, Elder T made a chocolate cream pie for dessert.   The other gentlemen are visitors to Chuuk working on government projects.  
After their boat ride yesterday, they are just happy Papa Johnson is okay and able to eat dinner with us...
 Elder J's last Chuukese dinner and party @ President Tarsis' home with lots of family... We ate Chuukese dinner of fried breadfruit, cooked banana's, fresh tuna, fried chicken, rice, taro, fresh coconuts and cinnamon rolls.

Through the years we take these important spiritual steps over and over again. We begin to see that “he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24). Our questions and doubts are resolved or become less concerning to us. Our faith becomes simple and pure. We come to know what we already knew.
 (D&C 43:8,9) "And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given. And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me" 
All shared a story and testimony with Elder J and his parents.  What a special evening with everyone together.  They sang songs for him and each child and adult came and hugged him goodbye.  Then Elder J sat on the floor with the children and sang songs with them.  
He was a wonderful Elder and friend to all and will be sorely missed here in Chuuk.  
Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts—these are part of our mortality. But we are not alone. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we have enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In our days of difficulty, we choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).
Kot epwe nom roem ach chu sefan!!

Working with the Translations Team

We have had the opportunity to teach English and Temple Preparation on the island now for about 8 months and we just started another class.  We feel very fortunate to work with this group of Chuukese members and to prepare them for translation.  

The first priority when selecting members of a translation team is to identify individuals who are living lives that allow them to access the Spirit, said Jeffrey C. Bateson, Translation Division director, in an interview with Church magazines. “We feel, first of all, that translation is a spiritual gift, and anyone involved in that work needs access to the Spirit,” he said, quoting Doctrine and Covenants 9:9: “You cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.” That scripture serves as a guide for the Translation Division.
Next in consideration are translation skills. Potential team members are evaluated to see whether they would better fill the role of translator or reviewer. Individuals working for the Translation Division typically know the target language as their primary language and English as their secondary language.
The New Translations Team, Raiton Newyear, Marsine Joseph, Oriko Ewar, Emylyn Walter, Tasiana Walter are
making a commitment to brother DelValle.
“First and foremost, scripture translation is directed by the Lord through the Brethren at the highest levels of the Church.
The Book of Mormon is presently in print in over eighty languages and is now being translated or prepared for publication in many, many more. Consider the Church’s current process of translating the Book of Mormon from English into another language. The Church contracts capable, experienced member translators who are fluent in English as well as their native tongue who possess integrity and high moral character so that the spirit of inspiration will guide their work. Just as in Joseph Smith’s day, the ability to translate holy writ today is a spiritual gift from God. Unlike Joseph’s day, however, many of our modern translators utilize computers and word processors, lexicons and encyclopedias to help and guide them in their sacred assignment. The modern work is extensive, and each step must be critically analyzed by Church translation experts.
Brother Devalle explaining to the team what is required of them.  DC 42:49,50  "He who hath faith to see shall see, 
 He who hath faith to hear shall hear"