Sunday, March 22, 2015

Upon the isles of the sea: Chuuk and Kosrae

 We arrived in Chuuk on Wednesday, the first stop in a two week, three island trip to the Eastern Carolines.  On Thursday Grant traveled with Elder and Sister Hardy out to the island of Pata where the Hardies, with the help of Elders Paulis and Hakao, presented an Easter program to some of the members there.

Grant also followed up with some of the members on Pata and helped others start their family history.

I spent the day with Elder and Sister Eliason who are serving a medical mission to Chuuk.  We drove out to the village of Sapuk to visit some ailing members there.

They were kind enough to share fresh coconuts with us.  From Sapuk we drove back to Moen where the Eliasons gave me a tour of the hospital.  Pretty scary.

We enjoyed dinner at the Truk Stop with both the Hardies (at the back) and the Eliasons (in the front) on Wednesday and Thursday evening.  After dinner we had a good meeting with President Wainis. On Friday we flew to Kosrae and spotted this lone poster in the baggage claim.  Texas seems like a galaxy away.

Our quarters on Kosrae are the senior couple's house, currently vacant, situated right on the beach. We also have use of the senior couple's car.

You can see the large tanks used to collect rain water to the left of the house.

Here is the view from the back of the house.  We enjoy walking along the beach and exploring the reef when the tide is out.

Many people farm and have gardens on Kosrae and local fruits and vegetables are abundant.  Here Sister Hadley and AJ stand in front of her beautiful garden which includes tapioca, papaya and sugarcane.  The poles she had cut and tied the sugarcane to were even sprouting leaves!

On Sunday morning we enjoyed meeting with the members of the Lelu Branch.  Permides Mongkeya, the branch family history consultant,  greeted us as the truck pulled away headed for Utwe.

Brother Paul Nena enjoyed seeing the Book of Mormon online in Kosraen.  We are told that the hard copy is currently at the press and may be ready by July.

We drove from Lelu down to the Utwe Branch where we caught the end of Sacrament meeting.  We stayed for the remaining two meetings.  I enjoyed attending Relief Society with these lovely sisters and their children.

After the block of meetings some of us went to visit a sick member at her home.  We sat with her for over a hour singing LDS and protestant hymns.  The Kosraens are beautiful part singers, a legacy of their early and continuous exposure to New England Protestantism.  We will be here on Kosrae until next Saturday when we go on to Pohnpei.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Enjoying Guam as winter turns to spring.

We had an excellent meeting with the Governor Eddie Calvo, thanks to the efforts of the Barrigada Stake President, Arthur Clark.  We shared some census images from FamilySearch relating to the Governor's family and asked him to consider letting FS film Guam's vital records.  By all accounts the meeting went well,

President Arthur Clark, GAHurst, Governor Calvo, JJHurst, Tami Burton (Stake FHCenter Director)

The Yigo Ward YW came in on Thursday for another evening of getting names ready to take on their temple trip next month.  Everyone that is going has been able to find at least one name to take thanks to some great family history consultants:  Jamieliz and Sisters Gogue, Siren, Burton and Guercio. 

We love walking the beach north of Tanguisson where we found this little hermit crab inhabiting a gnarly piece of coral.

Jeanette in the curious little rock garden area some mysterious person maintains 
near Tanguisson Beach.

Barrigada Giuam Stake Relief Society Dinner - Safari Theme.  Sisters Thomas & Reed.

Sister Masau and her daughter Irene Nakamura, Sister Martin and Sister Johanis.  It was a lovely evening and well attended.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Farewell Visit to Yap

 We continue to enjoy the beauties of Guam.  Every evening presents a gorgeous display of light and water as the sun sets.  Friday, February 20 we decided to leave the office early and take a walk on Tanguisson Beach before dark.  We were rewarded by this beautiful display of color.

The next day we participated in an "Adopt a Highway" clean-up along Route 8 with members of the Barrigada Ward and the missionaries.  Here the Lieutenant Governor unveils the official sign. 

Late Tuesday night we flew to Yap for our second and last visit.  We met with members there to teach them how to use FamilySearch.  Here is Juanita Marngun (in the blue t-shirt) with her family. She is a returned missionary and now seminary teacher in the Colonia Branch who is also a very good helper on FamilySearch.  We helped members at the chapel in Colonia . . . 

and also made house calls.  Here Elder Hurst helps Teresita Lihpai while daughter Tracy Gayas listens in.  

Joseph Ayin, the patriarch of the family, showed us the little house he is building for himself.  His family has grown so much that he now has to sleep on the porch!

Sunday we met with many members.  Here, at the Colonia chapel, Anna Faltinag shows Sweetie and Aloy how to enter names into Family Tree.  They are hoping to be sealed to each other and their children in the Manila temple this year.

We enjoyed seeing some of the Yap Day celebrations on Monday, March 2.  This is a "Sitting Dance" performed by men from the district of Rull.  Behind is a traditional "Men's House."  Note the man purse there right below the window--a "must have" accessory for all men on Yap.

Mayleen, a member of the Colonia Branch, had a booth at Yap Day where she sold handicrafts.

Two little boys are "guarding" the traditional shell money.

We took a break from the festivities to meet some members of the Thol branch at the chapel in that village.  Sylvester and Deccawitta have both created trees in FamilySearch and have been trained to help others do the same.  

Tuesday we were lucky to meet and have lunch with  Danny and Julie and their beautiful family.

Here is Juanita helping Haviar Gogol.  She is one of the people we "left behind" in Yap to carry on family history work.  At this point no one is coming to replace us. 

 If you know of anyone interested in doing fascinating and rewarding work in paradise, please give us their name and number!

Back in Guam, Elder Hurst is getting a lesson in Chuukese from Kitaela Kalima, Barrigada Ward Relief Society President.

Yesterday we drove south to Uamtac to celebrate Discovery Day.  Magellan supposedly sailed into this little bay and the first European set foot on Guam on 6 March 1521.