Thursday, October 30, 2014

Learning to Trust in the Lord - Relief Society craft night and more stories

Welcome Elder and Sister Hardy

Elder and Sister Martin with Elder and Sister Hardy in our apartment. We had them over for dinner with Elder Hunter and Elder Ladore. Thai red coconut chicken curry & rice. They are our new Senior Couple on their way to the islands of Chuuk.
...I should have at least fixed my tie for the picture
Learning to Trust in the Lord -- A couple months ago, missionaries were transferred around to different areas as typically happens. One particular Sister was very disappointed that she was transferred back to the same area that she had served for several months just a few months before. As she was crying, Sister Martin and I asked her what was wrong. She told us that she had contacted every person in this particular area,

I commented that perhaps some of the people were now ready to hear the amazing message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. She partially agreed but was still very upset at the months ahead.

Last week I asked her how it was going since the transfer. She said it has been the most amazing time of her mission. More people were entering the waters of baptism and committing themselves to Christ than in her entire mission. The majority of one particular family had just been baptized and more were about to be. Others were just married and then baptized, etc., etc.

We then chatted about how putting our trust in the Lord, instead of our own judgement, is always the best way to go through life. Sometimes we don't understand assignments or callings we may receive from our inspired leaders.

Sister Martin and I continue to try and put our trust in the Lord as we personally feel very inadequate for our assignment. But we continue to go to the office everyday, praying that we will do our best and the Lord will make up the rest.

This is one of several pre-baptism pictures that Elder Samachy shared with me. Elder Naegle is in the middle. 
Another Tender Mercy -- Yesterday, a missionary glanced at a flight itinerary on Sister Martin's desk and asked if a particular Sister was coming to Guam this weekend for a leadership conference. After checking the tickets, she realized that she had booked a ticket for the wrong sister. What a blessing Sister Martin was able to cancel that ticket and re-book the correct one just two days before the flight. This was a little miracle as there are only 4 flights a week from this island and Saturdays are especially the most booked and that is the flight she needed.

A member of the Bishopric shared with me how when he joined the church, his boss and a fellow worker picked him up and threw him in a dumpster. A few years ago, he saw a picture of his former boss. In the picture he noticed in the background a picture of Joseph Smith. He found a way to contact him and was happy to find out that his former boss is now a member of the high counsel in the church.

These and many more tender mercies / miracles happen every week, sometimes everyday if we are able to recognize them. With so many prayers offered in behalf of this sacred work, it is bound to be watched over and directed by Heavenly Father and all who are enlisted until the conflict is over.

Sister Martin had fun the other night learning how to make floral head wreaths. It was a Barrigada Ward Relief Society craft and cookie night.

Finished product
I was walking down to our Service and Distribution Center a couple of days ago and ran into a our ward High Priest Group Leader. I asked him about his Family History work he was doing. He said he had been working on it and was amazed with the spirit he felt while doing it. He considered waiting until he could go to the Manila temple himself some day, but then felt strong impressions to do it now and submit the names to the temple immediately. He was deeply touched by the spirit and has a strong testimony of doing Family history and temple work. He is from the Marshall Islands and has ancestors from Hawaii.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We Just Climbed the Tallest Mountain in the World?

Well...not from the bottom and not from sea level. But, according to some scientists, Mt. LamLam in Guam is technically about 38,300 feet high, if you started measuring from the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the ocean. (Mt. LamLam is 1,332 feet above sea level.)

This makes LamLam about 5,000 feet higher than Mt. Mauna Kea in Hawaii and about 6,000 feet more than Mt. Everest at about 32,000 feet (measuring from the ocean floor to the peak).

Saturday morning for our Pday, most of the senior couples joined Bishop Davis for this hike up Mt. LamLam and then to Mt Jumullong Manglo. Thanks Bishop Davis for showing us the way and taking this group photo.

At the first view-point Bishop Davis told us about the trail and named the landmarks

Pointing at a brown tree snake

Bishop Davis is a Guam Geocacher. On the way up the mountain he stopped to check on a cache and found a brown tree snake sitting directly over it. He decided to stop on the way back down the mountain to check on it after the snake was gone. (FYI...Geocaching is a world-wide game of hiding and seeking treasure. Often, the treasure is just a log for others to sign. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate a geocache.)

The trail up to Mt. LamLam was at times difficult to see as the jungle growth covered up some of the markers

After an hour and 15 minutes we made it to the top of LamLam - Bishop Davis getting ready to raise the flag of Guam

Elder Guercio, our mission nurse, receiving first aid from Sister Guercio

At the Summit ---- Front - Elder and Sister Martin, Elder Reed. Back - Sister Hurst, Elder and Sister Guercio, Sister Reed

While taking a picture of the great views, a big dragonfly zipped by

Hiking back down

Now on the trail to Mt. Jumullong Manglo - This part is a little easier - Beautiful grassy hills

Hiking through some beautiful wild orchids

Arrived at Mt. Jumullong Manglo
Every "Good Friday" many people trek to this peak and bring a 500 lb. cross with them, symbolizing how Jesus Christ suffered as he carried the cross before being crucified. 

During this three hour hike we could see the vast ocean on both the east and the west side of the island.
Beautiful views from the top of Mt. Jumullong Manglo

Heading down the mountain. Another fun morning hiking with friends and seeing more of God's creations.

View of the top of Mt. Jumullong Manglo

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chocolate Ice Cream from Oregon - Tomatoes - Senior Couples - Conference

Ice Cream in Guam?

Yes ,we are enjoying Tillamook Mudslide Ice Cream from Oregon with Elder and Sister Proffit who just arrived to Guam. They are on there way to Palau as the new CES couple. We enjoyed getting to know them.
Elder and Sister Proffitt at Fort Santa Agueda, Guam 

Elder Proffit reminds me of my dad a bit, in that he traveled the world on business.

Elder and Sister Carter

The Proffits' are taking the place of the amazing Elder and Sister Carter.

The week before, President and Sister Zarbock hosted a farewell pot-luck dinner at the mission home to say goodbye to them. We will miss the Carters and their wonderful, loving spirits and great sense of humor.

Sister Martin saying goodbye to Sister Carter

We have been growing yummy fresh tomatoes just outside our apartment door. Just starting to get ripe. Can't wait to try one.

For FHE Monday night, all of the couples, including the Proffits, went to a little Vietnamese restaurant called, Pho Cafe in Mangilao city. Their menu claims, "The Best Fried Lumpia on the Island". This is definitely some good food.

Between conference sessions on Sunday, the Barrigada ward hosted a pot-luck dinner for everyone attending.

I mentioned to Elder Hunter, who was near the front of the line, that he should try some of my Thai Coconut Ginger Chicken Curry. He said he would later when he got in line for his own plate. He was getting a plate of food for a Chuukese lady who did not want to get in line.
lunch during conference sessions

Senior missionaries: Elder Curtis, Elder Martin, Elder Proffit

Sister Baum and Sister Orrock behind some cheerful members
We loved conference. My favorite talk is definitely President Uchtdorf's Priesthood session talk entitled, "Lord, Is It I". Click on the link to see/hear it.

Sister Martin's favorite talk is, Ponder The Path Of Thy Feet by President Thomas S. Monson.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Joy of Grandchildren

Dear Children and Grandchildren,

We have so much to be thankful for. One major blessing of our mission is being able to talk to most of you once a month using Google Hangouts. These video calls are an amazing, wonderful experience each and every time.

We love each of you. We miss you all more than imaginable. These are some pics we took during our video chats.

We love how you tell us all the news, even if you can't talk. The pictures are sometimes a little blurry but they remain great memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to talk to us -- We love you!

Talk to you soon,
Grandma and Grandpa