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.