Thursday, April 3, 2014

Exploring the Talofofo Caves

Hike to the Caves
Saturday morning, March 22nd at about 9am we met two other senior missionary couples, the Prince’s, the Hursts, and also Bishop Bill Davis, his son, and daughter Marthalina (14yr.) at the church. Our destination was the Talofofo caves. We drove to the trailhead with the Princes, about a half hour from their (now our) apartment. When we arrived, we equipped ourselves with sunglasses, water, bug spray, our missionary badges, and gloves, due to the sharp rocks. The moderate hike to the caves was only about 15 minutes. 

The Caves
We have never climbed in lava caves like this before.
It was a little scary but we didn't go in any long tunnels.

Bishop Davis mentioned that last time he came, one of the nearly vertical tunnels had a rope. But the rope was gone so we didn't attempt the descent in that area. One person threw a rock down but never heard it hit the bottom.

There were lots of cool spiders, lizards, butterflies, a toad and cock roaches. Marthalina skipped over the rocks and climbed up higher and squeezed through the tunnels with ease. 

We were a little slower. Some of the tunnels were a tight squeeze to fit through.

Kissing Window - Arch

 We saw an arched rock formation called “Kissing Window” which over looked the ocean.

One tunnel we practically had to lay flat and slide through. A few of our group stayed behind and didn't want to crawl through the smaller tunnels. Elder Hurst said he was claustrophobic. 

The air was actually warmer inside the caves than outside. That was very strange. 

Sister Hurst, Brother Davis, Marthalina, Bishop Davis, Sister Martin, Sister Prince

At the end of one of the tunnels was another beautiful overlook of the ocean. 
View From the Talofofo Caves - The tall white building in the distance is close to our apartment
We may want to come back and do this hike again someday.

Saturday (P-Day) Continued…
After leaving the caves, we stopped to see the missionaries in that area. They live in a little house. Then we drove back to the church, which was quite scenic.

Later that day there was a baptismal service for two people (one was Chuukese). The Priesthood bearer who baptized one new convert  had only been a member a few months. Elder Johnson baptized the other Chuukese convert. It’s amazing to watch these Elders speak in other languages. Elder Hadder, one of the AP’s speaks, Pohnpeian, Chuukese and is working on another. It is a blessing to see the spirit of the Lord work in these young men.

The Stake Relief Society had a special night for the sisters to celebrate the RS birthday. The stake Relief Society president; I think is Sister Miller. She did everything. She had lights strung around the edge of the ceiling and sconce lights on the wall; every table was decorated with fancy hair or hats, gloves, jewelry, fancy shoes, and purses.

The men served the women a multiple course dinner, constantly refilling the crystal glasses with water.
Elder Prince Serving Sister Prince
We had appetizers like shrimp, spinach dip with baguette bread, grapes, cheese, olives and carrots. We had rolls with butter shaped like purses, fans, and shoes. They also served a green salad, garlic mashed potatoes, tender beef brisket and cheese broccoli.

Sister Ta'ehia and Sister Alaalatoa with an investigator
The program began with a Relief Society video and then Sister Miller told a personal story about her conversion to the gospel despite the resistance from her father, who was a minister. Her uncles and her grandfather had also been ministers. She went on an LDS mission to Bulgaria and shared a story about a sister missionary in the mission that was weird and annoyed her. Later they became companions. Her companion was always making them late for everything, turning into a real trial. One time this sister shared her patriarchal blessing that said she was “a most beloved daughter of Heavenly Father”. She came to look at the positive character of this sister and shared how we need to be less critical and look for the good in other sisters. 

First she showed a video about Susan Boyle, the English lady who looked funny but Wow’d the judges on the television show, “Britain’s Got Talent”. The audience laughed at her and despised her until she opened her mouth to sing. She said Susan didn't change, but the audience did, as they applauded and gave her a standing ovation. Likewise we need to change our attitude about others. Mike stayed and helped with the dishes.

Then we went to Kmart after 11pm to pick up a few food items. We both had colds. Perhaps it’s from jet lag, lack of sleep, being really busy or a combination of things. We were late for church the next morning, and we both woke up with eye infections. But even with all of that, it was another great Sunday.

Ah Oh, another call and another crunch.  

Never a dull moment in the work of the Lord.

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