We were greeted by some of the greatest missionaries in the world, who we have had the opportunity to serve with, get to know and love. Our Elders have been commissioned to “bear testimony of Him”. Missionaries are called, set apart, and empowered under apostolic keys and authority. They are therefore counted among “the chosen vessels of the Lord.” In other words, as the Lord’s authorized messengers, they, through their teaching and testifying by the power of the Holy Ghost, will introduce faith in Christ in the souls of those who hear them.
It's funny because the Chuukese are some of the most fun loving, honest, kick backed people you will ever meet. It's normal to say "you are fat" or "you don't look good today". They are not being mean and they would never think about being overtly rude to you. They are just childlike honest.
We have missed our children, our grandchildren, our families and friends a great deal. We also now miss missionaries that have gone home too. We have learned so many wonderful things and there are many things we didn't want to learn or think we needed to learn.
It has been said that “an ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from”
We're not sure we want to cast ourselves in the image of hogs but you get the saying, we hope.
We have some of the greatest stories now and have made some amazing friendships that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. One such thing is the names of people here, we have so much fun with them. Just the other day while working with the translation team one of the members wanted to send his daughter that lives in Minnesota an email. Her name is "Reverse". Yup, you read it right, not forward but reverse. She just had her first son recently so we asked, did she name him First Gear :) haha! Actually even though we are having fun with it, it could happen here. It's great!
We've been jostled on the roads, splattered by the mud, choked by the dust, slipped on the trails and chased by the bugs but our tests and trials have strengthened us. Our resolve and stickity tooity has become determined. Our firm love of these people and these missionaries continues to grow. It is with a heart full of gratitude that we press on.
Our faith is strengthened by our prayers that have become a part of our daily life and at times a part of our hourly life. The key to our obtaining power through faith is learning, asking, and acting according to the will of God. “Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me”
We continue on with our mission and we have grown to love "paradise hell" and the folks that live here. The Lord has revealed that we must give Him credit for our gifts and our accomplishments and be grateful for all things that He confers upon us. We are grateful to Him for the privilege of being in His service. We appreciate the opportunities that we have and hope that we can serve Him in some way and show our gratitude the rest of our life.