Saturday, December 1, 2012

Feeding the 5,000

Apple Bobbing at the Missionary activity
Missionary Work is going strong in the Marshall Islands.  We just had a special missionary activity where the 4 Elders and 2 Sisters in our ward invited all of their newly baptized members and investigators to come to the church and have an activity.  The events were first games and sports.  The Marshallese people love volleyball and basketball.  There is a volley ball net tied between two coconut trees or one with poles every couple of blocks here.  Out in the rural part of the atoll there are always volleyball games going and nets tied up everywhere.  Well, we had some good volleyball going along with a game of basketball.  The Elders were having fun and so were all the kids and investigators.  Then the Sisters planned some games for everyone.  The game they liked the most was bobbing for apples.  They put apples in these big bowls and had people try to bite it.  They went crazy and had four bowls going at once and the ones having the most fun were the Moms.  All women wear guam dresses everywhere.  The younger girls and children don't always, but sometimes they do too.  Anyway, here is a picture of some women going crazy after the apples in the apple bobbing contest.

The ladies really liked to bob for apples
By the time the games were in full swing, there was a giant crowd at the church parking lot where the activity was being held.  I think the whole little neighborhood next to the church was here, including well over a hundred children running around.  There were some investigators and newly baptized members and a lot of regular members.  The missionaries and bishopric had planned the activity and the Bishopric was going to do the food.  They brought over about12 packages of hot dogs and a bunch of rolls.  Some of them were big hoagie type rolls and others were little dinner rolls.  There was katsup and mustard, and some malolo syrup to make punch.  The sisters asked me to go home and cook the hot dogs which I did.  I also hurried and made a big batch of cookies and stopped and got some packages of chips.  The ward mission leader had brought a sound system so they had Regae/Marshallese music playing and everyone was having a fun time.  Here everyone loves to sit on the ground.  Even the older people will just sit on the cement.  When it got time to eat, I was really worried about the food.  There were so many kids...Anyway we had them all sit down on the ground and passed out napkins.  They were so good.  They were all well behaved because I am sure they wanted to eat.  We cut the hot dogs in half and put them in the smaller rolls for the kids, gave them a cookie and a few chips and a drink.    We managed to serve what seemed like 5000 people with even a few hot dogs to spare. 
This was just a few of the kids we served.  We also served a lot of adults and teenagers

After we ate, we went in for the baptism.  A really nice lady was baptized.  I played the organ  for all the songs and the Sister missionaries sang while I accompanied.  I didn't get the chance to get a picture, but it was a very special baptism.  After the baptism, we all went into the Primary Room and watched The Testaments.  It was a long, fun day of missionary work.  The weather turned out perfect.  It didn't rain on us but it was a little bit overcast so it wasn't so incredibly hot.  I hope and pray that the investigators that were there will continue to receive the lessons from the missionaries and that many will be baptized.  I guess in our mission we have an average of about 7-9 baptisms a week, which is actually really good.  Actually maybe that is just on our side of the mission.

By the Mission Office

Last week was Thanksgiving and we had it at the Mission President's home.  He and his wife weren't here because they were in Kirabati.  The senior missionaries prepared the dinner and hosted it for all the missionaries serving on Majuro.  We had a great time and later had a fireside before everyone had to get back to work.  They don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here but of course we enjoyed being able to have the traditional turkey dinner.  We were able to order everything we needed.
The sisters eating Thanksgiving Dinner
Elders finishing up their pie

Our menu was the traditional turkey and dressing and we also had ham, yams, mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, relish trays, rolls and butter and of course pumpkin and apple pie

Another event of the past week was my birthday.  The best thing about it was being able to talk to all of my children and some of the grandkids.  Some of them even sang happy birthday to me.  I also had some surprise birthday songs from the Elders and Sisters and the Senior Missionary Sisters took me to lunch.  Sister Roota and Sister Mahit gave me a Guam dress.

Rena and me.  Rena helps at the mission office.
Birthday goodies
There are all these different walks sponsored by World Health Organization  This one was against domestic violence
The Lagoon just before sunset
Sunset on the Lagoon

We attended an Art show on the lagoon
The same place during the day
Elder Randall going home.  Everyone goes to the airport to see people off when they leave
The ocean right by my house

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