Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spreadng the good word.

Grant and I have had many opportunities to teach about family history this week.  Tuesday through Friday we led fifteen DARLING scouts of the Chamorro District of the Aloha Council through most of the requirements for the Genealogy Merit Badge.  It was a delightful experience and reminded me how much I enjoy WELL BEHAVED adolescent boys.  Here we are, hard at work at Scout Camp held at Polaris Point right on the ocean.  It was hot!

 Brother Lou Siakisiani, Stake Young Men's President,gave us a hand on Friday.

Wednesday night we joined the sister missionaries to teach a couple from Palau who are planning to be baptized next month.  They are excited to learn about eternal families and the blessings of the temple.

Late Saturday evening we flew to Yap, arriving there in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  We were greeted at the airport by young women in traditional dress (no tops) who presented us with these lovely leis.
Here we are in our room at the funky Pacific Dive Resort.  It is somewhere in between the latter two words--sort of Pacific shabby chic.

The lobby doors are wide open tonight and we can feel the humid breeze.  Colonia is quite so we can hear the rain falling and the occasional gecko chirp.  A large toad hops across the wooden floor.  Its wet where the rain came in but no one bothers to mop it up.  It will dry and then just get wet again.

There is so much beauty all around us.  I especially love the brightly colored and variegated leaves.

Tonight we met with the leadership of Yap.  They are an impressive group, strong and committed.  There are only six missionaries, one CES couple and about 320 members on Yap.

District President Jim Hachigeiresh and his with Kathy.Colonia Branch President Arron George Bamlul and his wife Anna Falting

Colonia Branch President Arron George Bamlul and his wife Anna Falting.

                And Thol Branch President Matthew Yarofamal and his wife Marguerite.
                                       They all, like us, want to have forever families.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Consultants, Farewell, Primary & Reconaissance

Barrigada Guam Stake Family History Consultant Training (youth and adult).   The first HPGL training was also being held next door in the HC Room.   Good progress!

Sisters from the Barrigada Ward conducting a lei and flower making session at Sister McClellan's (mission nurse).  The sisters were  from the Marshall Islands, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap.

President Mecham giving the missionaries the "what for" in his last training and motivational meeting in the Guam Zone.

 President and Sister Mecham on their Farewell Mission Tour!

 Barrigada Guam Stake Primary Family History Activity. Sister Hurst presented a "Who Am I?" booklet.  One little four year old girl looked at Elder Hurst and stated, "Your face is weird!"  He already knew that.

 Followed by dividing into "families" and . . . 

 Games - including water balloon toss felt good on such a hot muggy day!

And the week ended with a tour of the north end of the island, mostly covered by Andersen Air Force Base which is the home for a fleet of B-52s and multiple reconnaissance antenna sites but looked like Paul Bunyan's driving range!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Its Mango season in Guam

Last weekend zone leaders and sister trainers from all over the mission came to Guam for a Mission Leadership Conference.  Sister McClellan, our mission nurse and resident artist, organized the missionaries to paint a bus stop near our apartment.

The theme:  Families Can Be Together Forever.

 Monday night we presented a Family History Family Home Evening tot the Dededo Ward at the home of Bishop Necerio.  Grant tried a green mango, just the way the locals like them.  

The pot luck dinner was delicious and very Filipino.

Friday night we attended the Barrigada Ward New Member Activity where Bishop Davis talked about Family History and passed out My Family booklets for everyone to fill out.  This Chuukese family had a good time working together on theirs.

Saturday afternoon we attended the wedding of a couple in the Dededo Ward. Brother Delphin brought one of his famous sculpted watermelons.  As you can see, it was quite a creation.

Saturday evening we drove down to the village of Agat, pop. 5,000, to attend the Mango Festival. 

Here is a pensive vendor just hanging out with his mangos.
Various locals proudly displayed their produce. 


We watched the sunset over the Philippine Sea. It was a beautiful evening with amazing Pacific clouds.

We waked over to neighboring Nimitz Beach to catch the last of the sunset.  Almost 70 years ago, on July 21, two Marine Regimental Combat Teams and an Army Infantry Division landed here, one of five invasion points along the Agat coast.  Despite meeting stiff resistance from the Japanese they had taken the beach by the next morning and pressed on to eventually join the forces that had landed up the coast at Asan Beach.  The cost:  455 Marines dead and 536 wounded.  

After sweeping the Japanese from Agat, a refugee camp for the freed Chamorros was established there which at its peak, it held 18,000 people.  The only evidence of conflict today on this peaceful beach is an old Japanese coastal gun and some concrete pill boxes.