Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goodbye Micronesia friends for now

We have worked with many elders and Chuukese people while Serving in Micronesia and it is hard to say goodbye to our Chuukese family and friends now, but know we will one day meet again.

Follow are emails about the blog --- that we wanted to share with you.  We learned early on that this blog wasn't about Elder and Sister Tiffany as much as it was about being serving a mission for the Lord in Chuuk Micronesia, serving with the young elders, serving the Chuukese people and learning of their culture.
Elder and Sister Tiffany
My name is Trish, I am Andy Foss's wife. I have been managing the MG Mission site for him for some time now. I enjoy reading your blog so much. I did not serve a mission before I got married, (was in Mission Prep classes when I met my sweetheart) but through reading your blog, have strengthened my testimony of missionary work. Through your eyes, I have been able to catch a glimpse of what I have to look forward to later on.
Keep up the excellent missionary work (and the blog). When you meet with other couples from the mission, could you give them a nudge to start a blog as well. :) It is a great way for new missionaries to catch a glimpse of what is to come and for old ones to reminisce and renew their testimonies.
Trish Foss
MGM Admin

Wow! Hope everything is fine in Tchuk or is it thuk. The time is moving on and it is definitely beginning the downward slop. We are both out about eleven months now. We have been transferred to CapeTown to do Public Affairs there, as we have a new paid Public Affairs Director in Johannesburg now. He was a mission president and now works for the church here. There is not enough room for all of us, so they asked us to go to Capetown and we are looking forward to going. Capetown is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We will still be traveling to some of the countries as part of our assignment, but we'll work with three stakes and three different areas of Western South Africa. They are East London, Port Elizabeth, and Capetown. This is a different mission, and a different take on Politics. The ruling party there is a white ruling class, and that will be far different than what we have been working with here in Johannesburg. We are busy putting in directional signs for churches in the Johannesburg area. The are 66 wards and branches, and we are trying to get approved about 40 of the churches with six signs per church. Many of the churches don't have addresses and most people here don't drive, and take mini-bus taxis to church each Sunday. When we ask a black person for directions to go somewhere it is useless, as none of them drive, so they know a three block radius and that is about it for directions. Hopefully we can get that project done before we go home. Hope things are going well. The Mission President in Capetown is from Fairbanks, and is named Wood. DO you know him? Enjoy the Pacific and the great people there.
Lon and Susan Roberts
Elder and Sister Tiffany
We have been terrible friends, but I hope you know you have been in our prayers daily. We are enjoying our new ward, but trying to continue to go to FHE empty nesters. I teach R.S. and Kent and I serve together as "welfare specialists." We work with the Bishop and follow up his work with single sisters right now that need extra help. Kind of like inner city missionaries or extra home teachers. Some of the needs are developing a plan to get off church assistance, finding ways to juggle school and family, stop smoking, start paying tithing as part of a budget plan. Things like that. Most have no husbands, but the ones that do have inactive,  antagonistic ones. Some have problems with teenagers. Right now we have 5 to work with. We have 70 single sisters in the ward, mostly older but also lots of single moms. We just had single man baptized in our ward and a sister go through the temple for the first time. It is a very different experience than the old ward. We don't feel as old as the average age in the high priest group is 82. We can't believe you are getting close to the end of your mission and yet you have been gone a long time. We look forward to seeing you and hearing all about it. May the Lord continue to bless you as you bless others' lives. You have been such a great example to all of your family and friends. Love you, Wendy Bangerter
Dear Elder and Sister Tiffany,
My name is Rebecca Sanchez Devenport; I served in the Mwan branch from May,1994 to March, 1995. Your blog was such a delightful discovery! What a blessing to read of the way the Lord continues to work miracles in Chuuk.
Thank you so much for posting about Raiton and Malinta. When I arrived in Chuuk, Raiton was officially our Branch President, but he had stopped coming to church, so a few weeks after I got there, a new Branch President was sustained. We tried to meet with Raiton and encourage him and the Elders probably did, too. It was not until one of our senior couples, the Walquists, made a concerted effort with Raiton and Malinta that they actually seemed to make progress. Raiton and Malinta seemed to be doing better when I was transferred back to Guam.
How wonderful to hear of their family, their work on the translation team and, now, of their temple recommends!
What a huge difference couple missionaries make. Thank you for serving and for setting a vital example to all of us who are preparing to serve, again.
Malinta and Raiton probably don't remember me, but please tell them that Sister Sanchez is very happy for them and is praying for them to have a safe and joyous trip to Manila.

Best of blessings,
Hello Elder and Sister Tiffany!
I hadn't checked your blog for a while….and it sounds like you are coming close to the end of your mission!  You know, my first thought was: "Oh my goodness, how the people of Chuuk are going to miss them!  And my second thought was:  "Oh my goodness, the missionary moms are going to be DEVASTATED to not see frequent updates/photos of their missionaries!"  You have done an AMAZING job as missionaries and have truly jumped in with both feet and with your whole hearts---although I am proud of you for continuing to use utensils :)  I mean, you've got to stay healthy, right?!
So, let us know when you will be coming home (makes my heart ache because I know how sad I was to leave having only spent two weeks in Chuuk!) and when you will be speaking in church.  I am sure your kids are more than anxious to get you home and back into the role of Grandma and Grandpa (and you must be the most fun because you both seem much too young to be senior missionaries let alone grandparents!)
Life is good on the home front!  Our oldest son returned from his mission in February (best day ever!) and we are leaving as a family at the end of the week to spend our spring break in Oregon meeting the wonderful people our son was able to know and love on his mission.  Kids and callings are keeping us busy and out of trouble.  Lucky for you, winter will be mostly be behind us when you return (although last weekend brought us another snowstorm--luckily short-lived!)  I am afraid you would have frozen to death had you come home midwinter.  It was a COLD one this year!
My thoughts continually return to our sweet experience we were able to share with you both!  How blessed we are to have the gospel make the world a little smaller and our circle of friends/family a lot bigger! How blessed we are to be able to share the gospel in whatever capacity in every corner (and lagoon) of the earth.
Well done, Elder and Sister Tiffany!

Love you both!

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