Thursday, May 29, 2014

Office, Caves and Missionary Work

Back from our 8 day trip to the beautiful islands of Kosrae, Pohnpei and Chuuk.

Several weeks ago I mentioned to Elder Luong that I love Pho Vietnamese soup. Elder Luong was born in Vietnam but raised in the US. After we came back from our little trip he surprised us with a spice pack to make the soup. He asked his mom, and she mailed her recipe and the spices to him. So, last week we invited him and his companions over for dinner. It was quite the process to prepare. We cooked soup bones overnight with the spices, chopped up lots of veggies, added rice noodles, meat, fresh Basil, Cilantro to the soup. Elder Luong and I (Elder Martin) loved it the most.




Office work just piles high when you leave it for eight days. Over 50 rent payments to process, 25 area gas payments to missionaries, processing paperwork to set up new vendors and landlords, 39 utility payments, ordering extra tires for our Toyota Yaris cars, shipped tires to the island of Palau, checked inventory and then ordered more Books of Mormon(various languages), DVD's and pamphlets, mission vehicle work, calls to/from concerned Zone Leaders on financial issues, processed receipts and refunded Zone accounts from 4 islands, checked and signed off over 100 credit card charges, around 50 disbursements and then balancing and refunding petty cash, deposits to the Bank of Guam, taught the Old Testament Gospel Doctrine class on Ruth and Hannah, etc., etc.

Sister Martin reserved over 40 United Airlines flights for missionaries (also several cancellations and changes), printed mission history books and bound them, about 30 letters to missionaries, Bishops, etc., over 40 baptisms records to research, correct and then process. We both handled tons of emails and requests. Last Monday we hosted the senior couples and Sister McClellan over to our apartment for a general conference edition of Jeopardy and homemade chocolate chip/pecan cookies. Whew...!  We love it! Especially the interaction with the missionaries. They are excited about teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to so many that are prepared and want to listen.

Two great Missionary stories...

In an earlier blog we talked about a young lady walking in off the street and asked to be taught the gospel. She said she couldn't wait for the church referral to schedule an appointment with the missionaries. Well, she was baptized in the ocean a few weeks ago while we were in Pohnpei. Today, Sister Martin saw her in the service/distribution center (about 100 feet from our office door), getting some books. She is one of the Relief Society teachers in the Talisay ward.

We were getting lunch a few days ago at the Hawaiian BBQ a few blocks from the office (quite a ghetto looking place), and a man walked up to us and said he would like to be taught the gospel. He lives in the AP's neighborhood and they have called him and set up an appointment.

Now for P-day fun. A Saturday morning hike to Pagat Caves.

We left our apartment at about 5:45am, not my favorite time of day but we were hoping it would be a little cooler than later. About 6:00am we arrived at the trail head and started down the mountain trail. They call it "medium" difficulty.

A few church members met us there which made it more fun. Two were in Young Women's that missed last week's hike here and wanted to come.

Sister Martin used a stick to clear away the spider webs along the path.



Quite rocky in some areas. There were a lot of these huge Hornets along the way. Bishop Davis said they look scary but they don't sting. Tried to get a picture as one was flying away.



Saw some interesting berries and flowers along the way.





Then we saw a beautiful butterfly fly by.



Then a hermit crab inched by.

video


About 20 - 30 minutes to reach the cave entrance.

Good thing we brought our water shoes.
As Sister Martin rolled up her pant legs she asked, "How deep does the water get?"


It get 4 - 6 feet deep in areas. We brought flashlights to light the way.

Looking up.

Time for a break.



Let's take a side trail. Also pictured...Marthalina and Bishop Davis.



Wow...the ocean!

We enjoyed hiking with Elder and Sister Hurst too.


Going back.


Up the steep trail back.


Photo Opp!


We made it.

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