Sunday, March 30, 2014

Root and branch

We have been busy this week doing Family History all around Guam.  On Tuesday night we worked with the youth from the Talisy Ward who are preparing to attend the Manila temple in April.

Wednesday night we drove up to Yigo and helped the youth there learn how to index.  They were so fast!

Saturday we enjoyed the Maritzo Crab Festival.  There were boat races . . . 

and local craftsman.  This is a master carver of sinihi, a traditional crescent moon shaped pendent worn by the worn by ancient Chamorrans as a sign of status.  

Here he is carving a design onto the bone.

Of course we tried some stuffed crab.  Delicious.

We also finally got a shot of a jungle fowl and her chicks.  They run wild everywhere on the island.

Saturday afternoon we attended the wedding of two members at a lovely beach.
The Family is Central the the Creators plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Jeanette attended the Dededo Ward "homemaking" and
learned how to make Philippine Chicken Adobo .  
Thankfully, she brought some home.  Tasty.

A few days later she learned how to make lumpia Shanghai - 
spring rolls - at the home of Lota Hidalgo.  She hasn't let me try it yet!
Sister Vave (Tonga), Sister Finau (Micronesia, Pohnpei?), Sister Ilaoa (Samoa/Calif),
Jeanette, Lota Hidalgo (Filipina/Guam) & Sister Whipple (U.S.)

Mangilao (village/neighborhood where we live) roadside beautification mural.

Hike to Talofofo Caves and overlook.  Near where the Japanese soldier, Shoichi Yokai, was discovered still hiding in 1972.
L-R:  Elder Martin (Heber), Jeanette, Sister & Elder Prince (New Harmony); Sister Martin (Heber);
Marthaline (local youth); Bishop Bill Davis (Guam)

Kawiki Davis; Jeanette, Sisters Martin & Prince; Bishop Bill Davis;
Elder Martin

Not the only reason I didn't go into the caves - but reason enough!

Guam, looking north along the Pacific Coast from Talofofo Caves.

Barrigada Ward Relief Society - women's organizaton - birthday dinner.
  L-R: T-Juliet Lawrence, Sr. Kalima, Tami Burton, Sr. Lawrence, ?, ?, Sr. Prince, ?,?,?
B-Suan Alic, ?, ?, Sister McClellan (Mission Nurse)

Also, you really need to check out our newly called stake president (ecclesiastical leader) in the island of Pohnpei, Lensper Kalio:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

It has been a sad and historic week in the mission.

For those of you who asked, here is a small map of our mission (outlined in yellow).  Our mission headquarters is in Guam.  We have about 112 young missionaries and 17 senior missionaries. As some of 

you may have heard, we lost Elder Miller Toa, on Thursday in a tragic accident on the island of Chuuk ( This definitely dampened the celebration surrounding the formation of the new stake on Pohnpei which took place today.  It is only the second stake in the whole mission.  On Wednesday, Elder Scott D. Whiting was in Guam on his way to Pohnpei and held a great zone conference with us and on Thursday, Elder Marcus B. Nash, Assistant Executive church Historian and Richard E. Turley Assistant Church Historian came to visit. and Grant and I were able to sit in on a group discussion of the history of the Church in Guam.  The two from Salt Lake City interviewed ten Guam "old timers" who had many interesting stories about life here in the years after WWII and up to the dedication of their first building in 1970.  The stake was created here in 2010. We work in a brand new service center located behind the Stake Center.

Our office is at the far left end of the building.  Inside are two desks, one for each of us, and two computers for patrons.


We have been visiting all the wards in the Stake on Guam and starting to get involved in their family history activities.  Tuesday evening we drove down to the Talisay Ward and sat in on an Achievement Day lesson.

Today we attended two joint Young Men and Young Women's meetings and taught them how to index.  The membership of the stake is very diverse and all the islands of Micronesia are represented.  There are also many service men and their families who are stationed at the Naval and Air Force Bases on Guam.  The variety of languages and cultures makes doing family history very interesting.

Saturday we visited the Dededo market and saw all kinds of strange new fruits and vegetables.

On the way home we stopped at Gun Beach at Tumon.  Here is Grant next to a Japanese WWII costal gun.

And here I am on a beach walk near Gun Beach.
Finally, a friendly hermit crab.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

First Week On-island!

After saying goodbye to our new-found Japanese friends, and after weeks of training and hanging in-limbo, we finally arrived at our new island home.  These are eight of the nine grandchildren (and one foster child) of our gracious Japanese hosts, Keiji and Miyoko Sugimoto.

We learned many things - disappointed that we can't chew or spit in the stores.

We visited the Chamorro Village where we found beautiful shells and exotic foods - which we are loving -

Fortunately we like squid -

We have found beautiful jungle hikes, this on on Nimitz Hill to Fonte Dam - 

and Indiana Jones type structures - (Fonte Dam built in 1910)

and now beautiful coastlines, once covered by the ravages of war.  This is where the Allied Forces landed to retake the island in 1944.

All in it has been an invigorating week as we have settled into our apartment and begun orienting ourselves to the work and the islands.  This coming week we will begin to focus directly on our assignment of working with local Church units and communities in assisting people in finding and recording their family histories.  It will be interesting working with a range of people from the military, mostly Western European, to locals with virtually no written records.