Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WWII Historical Lecture - More than we expected

A few hours before it started, Elder and Sister Hurst told us about a lecture on a new WWII based book being released, The Massacre at Atate, by Jose M. Torres. I expected a real snoozer but it turned out to be quite enjoyable. We enjoy learning about the cultural history of Guam.

When we arrived at the University of Guam Lecture hall, it was filled to capacity, and then some.

The event began with Guam cultural singing and dancing by groups from the University of Guam. They were great.

The evening also included introductions by UOG (University of Guam) President Robert Underwood, Chamorro Studies program director Michael Lujan Bevacqua and others. These people were involved in helping to get this book off the ground.

Jose M. Torres, Authur of the book and eye-witness to the events over 70 years ago, did a short reading from the new book. They finished with Q & A. 

Mr Torres received a standing ovation. A huge line formed for book signing and meeting Mr. Torres. In the lobby, Guam/Chamorro type refreshments were served.

Sister Martin, Sister Guercio, Elder Guercio, Sister Reed, Elder Reed. The Thomas's and Hursts were in front of them 
All in all a very interesting evening that we were happy to have had the opportunity to attend. We've learned that so many in Guam are wonderful, warm-hearted people. 

We bought a book and waited in line to have Mr. Torres sign it for 30 minutes. We then realized that we were taking Elder and Sister Hurst to the airport that night so they could catch their plane to Yap island. We also needed take President Zarbock's van to the airport because he was arriving back from Yap in the middle of the night. Oh well, we didn't get an autographed copy. But we are reading it and so far, it's an interesting story.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Barrigada Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Adopts Highway

February 21, 2015 - Guam's Lieutenant Governor, Ray Tenorio, unveiled a new sign on Purple Heart Highway (Route 8).

A new "Roadway Adoption Program" was introduced to help with the Island wide beautification task force. The Barrigada Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints adopted a .6 mile stretch of road near the church.

Over 40 missionaries and ward members, wearing "Mormon Helping Hands" yellow vests, were on location for the unveiling of the sign and the clean up.

Missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with Lieutenant Governor, Ray Tenorio 

In this video, Mr. Tenorio addressed the group about how picking up trash helps everyone in the community and makes it nicer. 

Bishop Davis and Ray Tenorio discuss details of the Highway adoption 

The Highway adoption sign is directly across the street from the airport

Bishop Davis directed and organized us into groups to help the clean up efforts be more efficient. He also said that we have agreed to cleanup the road at least quarterly. 

During the next 90 minutes, everyone started picking up the trash along both sides of the road. 

Two groups began at each end of the .6 mile stretch of highway.

Many people driving by would honk their horns, happy that people were helping to make Guam a more beautiful place.

When finished, the four groups met at the Barrigada Church to dispose of the trash.

The dumpster was overflowing until these young missionaries jumped in

Another great day of service to the community. 

Guam Para (kite) surfers, Piti Guns, an elegant "Mystery Dinner" and more

Asan Beach and the Para (kite) Surfers

On P-Day we went to a few more Guam sites. This one had a surprise show we didn't expect. Since it was a windy day, several Kite Surfers were out. They would speed by, jumping flipping and even flying a little. I got a little bit on video below.

We were amazed at these talented surfers.

Even more amazing are the talented missionaries who have decided to serve full time missions. Their sacrifice to the Lord Jesus Christ in his work is amazing. In addition, all are striving to be exactly obedient to the mission rules. By doing this the windows of heaven are showering down the spirit upon them and blessing them. 

Here's a few of them...
Elder Fabiano, Elder Plocher, Elder Matalolo, Elder Naegle, Sister Davis, Sister David, Sister Mika
So many in the Micronesia Guam Mission area are prepared to receive the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It takes a lot of work and preparation to do what these young missionaries do. And like the kite surfers, it takes practice to do it well. Click the following link Missionary preparation

One dedicated missionary, Elder Krueger, just went home to New Zealand. We will miss him. We anticipate that he will do well in life.
Elder Krueger, Elder Martin, Sister Martin

Piti Guns

Bishop Davis met us at Piti guns, a World war II Japanese, island defense site. This was a short 10 minute hike. Short hikes are currently preferred since Sister Martin hurt her knee a few weeks ago playing volleyball. 

These guns were installed but not quite ready for use when the US took Guam back from the Japanese. The intention was to defend from an invasion at Asan beach, which is where the Marines landed in July 21, 1944. 

A Murder Mystery Dinner

Finishing off the day, the talented Sister Miller of the Talisay ward in Guam wrote a "Who done it" type of mystery dinner for the church members in the area. Based on a French theme chef competition using Hershey chocolate in the setting of the Paris Opera house; various church members dressed up and performed the show between dinner courses.

Sister Martin and Elder Martin
Sister Matisima and Sister Misinale

Elder and Sister Guercio

Very enjoyable with this talented, enthusiastic group. Quite the comedy in certain parts of the play. They asked me to turn the lights on and off which I messed up several times but still had a good time. And they included a chocolate fountain for one of the desserts.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Service Projects, Baptisms and Valentines

We left the Mission Office at 6:15pm and drove down to the ocean to catch the last of the sunset. Noticed a small boy playing on the wet sand, a para surfer (kite surfer) finishing for the day, and the beautiful colors of the sunset on the horizon. Another great day to be thankful for.

Service Projects - the first 10 days of February
A few missionaries gave us some of their pictures to post from service projects on Guam. Energetic young missionaries do various service projects that help out the members of the community. See Ways to Serve

Elder Tafuna, Elder Taule'alo, Elder Samachy

Sister Kuau, Sister Muamoholeva, Sister Talakai, Sister Davis

Elder Stripling, Elder Samachy, Elder Arcayan

Elder Stripling, Sister Davis

Elder Holmes

Sister Davis

Elder Kata

Sister Muamoholeva, Sister Talakai

Missionaries - Front: Elder Afualo, Elder Roque, Elder Matalolo. Back: Sister Muamoholeva, Elder Taule'alo, Sister Davis
Tearing down an old shed.

Elder Kata, Elder Afualo, Elder Wright

Sister Davis shared these pictures of baptisms that occurred January 24th, 30th, and February 7th that we weren't able to attend.

The commitment of these missionaries and the people joining the church and coming unto Christ is amazing.

Elder and Sister Hurst invited us to join them to go to a fun Valentine dinner hosted by the Yigo, Guam Ward Youth. We had just walked out the Mission office door just as the Hursts were leaving the Family History Office, about 6:15 pm. So, Sister Martin and I decided to hop in the back seat of their car. It was fun and the food was good.

The young men and young women are raising money to go to the temple in the Philippines later this year.

Lifesaver/toothpick game

Looking at the items offered at the silent auction