Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Week One in MGM (and some MTC)

We landed in Guam March 16th around 1:00am on a Sunday morning. We left on Friday morning from Salt Lake to Portland, then to Tokyo and then Guam. We sat next to Buzz Welch from SLC to Portland. He is in the bishopric where Mike’s parent’s are moving soon. He knew all about the house and his parent’s moving there. Elder and Sister Prince, the outgoing office couple, picked us up and took us to our hotel. They arranged a motel for us and put some food in the refrigerator, which was so nice.

They picked us up a few hours after we got to sleep, about 8:30am to go to church in the Barrigada Ward. See picture below.

Such a beautiful ward and grounds with flowering Plumeria trees, palm trees, etc., as you can see in the picture.

We also met the area Seventy, Elder Ringwood, as he was here because a missionary died Thursday from falling out of a coconut tree in Chuuk. He had to take care of the funeral arrangements. Our mission President, President Mecham was on the outer islands of Ponphei with the Elder Whiting, General Authority, forming the 2nd Stake in the Micronesia Guam Mission. We met many of the missionaries and members of the ward. We had some wonderful Sunday meetings even though we were tired and fighting jet lag.

There have been about 50 baptisms last year and 13 already this year. That’s just in Barrigada Ward.

We ate lunch at the Prince’s and after we visited they drove us around a little and then we went to Brother Daylon Deeds and Sister Deeds home for barbecued Pizza. They have a great family. She has 3 kids and then she is helping a sister being guardians for 3 other children for a while. See picture below.

This was a great first day of our mission. The spirit was strong and peaceful.

The missionary that died, Elder Toa, I believe was from Layton, Utah and I think his family lines go back to Samoa. President Mecham called this the saddest day of our mission. The work goes forward and his work will continue beyond the veil.

Our second day we were introduced to the office a little bit. Monday evening we went to the Mission Home where President and Sister Mecham live, when they are not traveling to the outer islands.
Often they are gone one or two weeks in a month. United has flights to all of the outer islands of our mission. Some are over a thousand miles away.

We enjoyed a welcome dinner at the mission home with the other senior missionaries. Everyone is very friendly and we know we will enjoy getting to know them. President and Sister Mecham are at one end of the table and we are at the other end. To our left are the MacCabes (military couple). Next to them are the Princes. To our left are the Hursts (family history), and next to them are the Carters, visiting from the island of Palau.

MTC ExperiencesGoing back to some of our experiences at the MTC the last 2 weeks. We stayed at home and drove down from Heber to Provo each day. For us it worked out well, because we still had so many things to take care of at home.

Our first week at the MTC we concentrated on, “Preach My Gospel”. The spirit was so great. It was wonderful being among many who felt the spirit to volunteer their time and efforts to building the kingdom of God on earth. We met the Wadworth’s and Michie’s who had served several missions. They were great examples, not only because they were going again, but because they also decided to attend the classes at the MTC again.

We practiced skills such as using direct questions, like “will you…..?” We were Encouraged to bear our Testimony frequently and to promise blessings. We were taught to INVITE investigators to Read the Book of Mormon, Go to Church, Pray and be Baptized. We practiced asking questions to determine why and what the concerns or reasons were that they wanted the missionaries to come to talk to them. We were able to share testimonies many times and it was great.

On the first Tuesday we skipped the evening MTC devotional to go to the Draper temple to see Ronda and Nate sealed. It was a wonderful event that we will never forget. Congratulations to Ronda and Nate for planning this wonderful evening.
The Lord will bless you as you continue to make good decisions in your life. We love all of our children and grandchildren so much. We didn't have any good pictures as you can tell.

During lunch we tried to take care of various matters to get our taxes, finances, insurance, and other things settled before we left.

The picture below is at the MTC where we are pointing to a picture of our Mission President and wife.

Friday we went to the Provo Temple with Dave and Stephanie. We ate dinner in the cafeteria. While we were there we saw Sharon Seiter from Heber. She’s a temple worker. Then we did a session and did some family sealings afterwards. We talked with her about Keith and Shanna Horner of Heber, who just received their mission call to East Africa. A couple of months ago they stopped us as we were crossing the street to our home from the church, and asked how much our mission cost. We didn't know that they were about to turn in their papers.
The Saturday before leaving to Guam, we went to Aubrey’s baptism.

I think all the our family came except Oliver, Heather and baby Jack. Oliver had a wrestling match and Heather just had baby Jack. Stephanie gave the talk on the Holy Ghost because Oliver couldn't make it. It was wonderful to see all of the grandchildren huddling up close to the font to see her baptized.

Shannon had cookies and lemonade right after, then those that wanted went to her house. We stayed for a little while. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we decided to visit Polly and Dick Henderson. They both live in different nursing homes. It’s sad and hard to get old. Mike promised them that he would write them once a month.

Sunday we went to church with Debbie and Christian and then we had dinner at their house with mom Sinclair too. Terry played with Xadrian and Kendrix a little bit. Then we had to go home and get ready for the next day.

The second week at the MTC we had classes related to working in the Mission Office .We had great teachers. We always had a devotional. Tuesday night we went to the Fireside. We met Elder Clark of the Seventy and his wife, who both spoke.

It was fun meeting Beth and Dennis Roberts there. It’s amazing how we were both at the MTC at the same time. We had lunch with them during the week and we went to the fireside with them. We finished our training at the MTC Thursday afternoon. We finished packing and prepared to leave in the morning. We drove to Salt Lake and picked up Kristine, so she could have the car while we are gone. Baby Ginette is still in the hospital. We pray for her every day. We hope she gets well and home soon. The past two weeks have been packed full with the MTC and trying to get ready to go. Debbie came over with Xadrian and Kendrix to get some food we had in the garage freezer. Xadrian said, “Don’t go, Grandma.” Terry responded, “well we are going to serve a mission”. He said, “NO mission.” We will miss all the grand children so much. We can’t wait to do video calling with them.

Back to our first week in Guam. It seems several people are coming down with colds; Mike, Sister Prince and Sister Mecham. And now Terry is also getting the cold.

We are learning more at the office each day, but know there is a lot of information yet to learn and understand. This picture is the office and where we will be spending most of our time the next 17 months. Our nurse, Sister McClellen deals with a lot of issues; rashes ,itching, urinary infection, malnutrition, worms, Ameba, and whatever else comes up. Lately, we have had about one car wreck per week, according to the Princes. Most of them lately are backing up in to trees, etc. The mission rule is to have a backer. Yesterday, a car was brought back. It was the most expensive car repair the mission has ever had. There was a big rain storm. The Elder saw a big rain puddle in the middle of the street; he decided to gun it and ended up flooding the engine and destroyed the front of the car. The engine had to be replaced and the front of the car which amounted to over $8,000. Needless to say, the Elder lets his companion drive now.

While in the motel we eat out a lot. The internet doesn't work in the motel. We get sandwiches at Subway, Thai Red curry chicken, McDonalds, Hawaiian BBQ, bread, turkey, jalepenos, lettuce, tomatoes, yogurt and apples from the store, etc.

We took a nice walk with the Princes down to the ocean one Saturday (P-Day) afternoon. Wow, what a great place to serve a mission. Even though most of our mission will be in doors, Saturday's we hope to get outside more.

Our next blog we will talk about the outing with the Bishop to explore the Talafofo caves.   

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