Sunday, September 28, 2014

Barrigada Guam Stake Family History Fair September 26 & 27, 2014

We opened the Fair with a great Fireside presented by our Stake Patriarch, Chris Gittens, on Friday evening.  Saturday we opened the doors to the first ever Barrigada Guam Stake Family History Fair. Brother Fee manned the Registration table.  Here he is with Bishop Nicerio of the Dededo Ward.

We had a fantastic key-note speaker, Jillette Leon-Guerro, who screened her video, Across the Water in Time.  Here she is (on the left) next to Marjorie Driver, a founding member of the Micronesia Area Research Center.  They are sitting next Sister Rose Cruz (in  pink) and her friend.

Other presenters included Monique Storie, interim director of MARC who presented on Family History Research in Guam.

Sister Darlene Reed, on of our Self-Reliance Missionaries, gave a great presentation on RootsMagic.

Elder Hurst and Kristian Dana, one of our new youth Family History Consultants, hosted a  "drop-in" FamilySearch hands on workshop.

At lunchtime we enjoyed a cultural show with traditional costumes representing many of the islands of the Pacific.  

Here are two of our youth in traditional Chuuk outfits.

A traditional Marshallese jaki (pandanus mat).

We were treated to a traditional Filipino courting dance by the youth of the Dededo Ward  . . .

and Hula by two sisters from the Barrigada Ward.

After lunch we were treated to a series of classes including "Family History for Families "presented by Wanda Davis . . .

"Resources at MARC by Omaira Brunall-Perry," curator of the Spanish Documents/ Manuscript collection there.

and "Adding Life to your Family History with Interviews" by Sister Martin, on half of the office couple.

Brother Val Welch from Saipan also presented "Traditional Technology," an island wide project he is leading to encourage youth to capture and share the stories of their elders using the latest technology.

Meanwhile, Sisters Kateila Kalima and Susana Sam conducted a popular Chuukese Family History Workshop.

The last hour of classes included Elder Martin's "Adding Pictures to Your Family History."

Tami Burton, the Barrigada Stake Family History Center Director, taught "Writing Your Personal History."

I hosted a panel of several presenters discussing  the challenges, strategies and resources for "Doing Family History in Micronesia."

A good time was had by all!

These beautiful sisters represent the diversity of our Stake:  Chinese, Marshallese, Chamorro and Yapese.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

There and Back Again

We finished our trip on Weno (formerly Moen), the capital and main center of commerce of Chuuk (formerly Truk) State.  One of our favorite places to eat is the Truk Stop Hotel.  Note the little sign under the big one advertising the"Hard Wreck Cafe."  

Elder and Sister Crisp, senior CES missionaries assigned to Chuuk, were a huge help on this leg of the trip.  Monday morning they drove us to Mechitiw where we worked with the members of the branch there. 

Next stop was Sapuk where we met and worked with Brother and Sister Ande in the little branch chapel.  This branch currently has six missionaries in the field. 

That evening we met with the Elders at the Moen chapel in Zone Meeting where Elder Hurst gave a My Family booklet presentation.

 Tuesday we flew back to Guam.  These are mwarmwar makers at the Chuuk International Airport.

Its good to be back!  We met with the Young Women of the Talisay Ward on Wednesday evening who have accepted the Youth Temple Challenge.  They came down to the Family History Center to start their search for a name to submit to the temple.

Saturday, our preparation day, we attempted to hike to Taguan Cave along the reef flats with Bishop Davis and Elder and Sister Martin. 

Although tramping across the karst was hard, it was nothing compared to walking along the shoreline on the narrow reef flat.  The tide was not quite out and with no offshore reef to buffer the waves they crashed along the  jagged limestone cliffs, sometimes covering us with water.  After about 1/4 mile we decided to turn back and try again another day.

There is nothing like a scary encounter with the unmitigated forces of nature to put us in our place.  Another casualty of the trip (besides our egos) was the camera.  The next one will be waterproof.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Eastern Carolines on our minds - our Second Great Family History Tour of Kosrae, Pohnpei & Chuuk continues.

Our great Family History Tour of the eastern islands of the Federated States of Micronesia continues with a two-day extension of our stay in Pohnpei and then off to Chuuk.

Kitti Branch members at the Panasang Pohnpei Stake Center preparing for an upcoming temple trip.  As there is limited electricity and no Internet at their branch they traveled to the stake center to meet with us.  President Conrad in the blue against the window and our prime consultant in Pohnpei, Bradley Spirin, in the white shirt in the top right side of the photo facing the camera!

Sapwalap Ward - our newest volunteer family history consultants, Jackson and Nayleen Makaya, and recently married couple.  Both are returned missionaries and have the best attitudes ever.

Sapwalap Ward continued.

Palikir Ward - this good sister joined the Church about four years ago and has a daughter currently serving a mission.  She plans on attending the temple when her daughter returns and being sealed to her late husband and children.

Kolonia Town, Pohnpei.  Ruins of the old German Bell Tower which did not survive the ravages of WWII.

Then off to Chuuk - first some atolls, then . . .

the Chuuk lagoon and islands.

And then off on our little boat to visit several of the outlying branches . . . .



More of Pata . . .

and the source of our trumpet shell, also in Pata . . . 

And then  on to Udot - notice no motor vehicles or roads on any of these outer islands.
Working with the Saints at Udot Branch on the Island of Udot.

 Mother and daughter in the Church "building" at Udot.
New family history consultants in Chuuk (Weda, Myan Branch) - the one of the right being the only officially called consultant right now.  She is an 18-year old student at the local college.

 The conclusion of a beautiful week in a stunningly beautiful set of islands - the Chuuk Lagoon.  But the tranquil waters belie the events of 70 or so years ago - as there are approximately 65 sunken Japanese war ships in the lagoon, many still loaded with their original cargo of tanks and munitions!