Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy 2013

Sister Roota, Me, Sister Mahit, Sister Lewis celebrate New Years on our P day.  Hats complements of Kimo and Kaye

 For New Years the Senior Missionaries were invited to Pres and Sister Shaw's house for a prime rib dinner and games.  We went home around 10:30.  Then around midnight the kids in the area start coming around singing songs and knocking on your door for treats.  Its like Halloween in the middle of the night.  The knocking and singing carried on until 2:30 AM.  What a crazy custom. The Sister missionaries, Sister Woods and I also got together on P Day New Years Eve day to make gingerbread houses and celebrate the new years.  They took the gingerbread houses to some investigators.  My sister Linda and family had sent me the gingerbread kits.  It was so fun.  I don't think the Sisters one from Kiribati and one from Vanuatu had ever seen anything like gingerbread houses before

Me, Sister Woods, Sister Mahit, and Sister Roota making Gingerbread houses
Sister Barlow, me Sister Woods, Siste Wayas and Sister Hillbourne

We live about 7 degrees north of the equator, so its pretty hot all year long.  January has been hot and humid and a little bit rainy.  When the sun is behind the clouds or it is rainy the temperature might drop a degree or two, but its still hot. I think the average year round temperature is 86 with a very very high humidity which makes it seem much hotter. I have never yet been cold or needed a jacket of any kind.  Long sleeve shirts are definitely too hot for this climate.  We run in the mornings from 6:30-7:30 am and I always come back totally drenched.  I have to constantly remind the Elders and Sisters to drink water to avoid becoming dehydrated, which can cause them to get nauseated, and start to throw up or get headaches.

The Senior Sisters always get together for lunch when it is some one's birthday.  Its fun.  They don't have many restaurants but this one called Tide Table is pretty good

The Senior couples here are awesome.  We all get along great.  Elder and Sister Wayas work in the office.  Sister Wayas is like the head secretary to President Shaw and the mission.  Elder Wayas is in charge of fixing bikes, doing the newletter, and is a wonderful artist.  He used to be our neighbor when we were little and lived in Hawaii.  He and his brothers and sister and parents lived behind our house in Laie.  They are from Arizona and have 7 children who are just beautiful with the Haole, Hawaiian, Filipino mix. (I will tell about the other couples later in this post)

Me, on an islet in the atoll on our Senior P-day a few weeks ago.

We have a lot of fun as senior missionaries and go someplace on just about every P day.  Here we are on a boat going to a little islet.  This is Sister Wayas, Sister Barlow and me.
Sister Wayas, Bister Barlow, and Me
Kids playing with a cooler.
Even though it is hot, it seems to be the cold and flu season.  I have had quite a few missionaries come down with Upper Respiratory Infections or stomach flu.  Luckily they usually resolve quickly.  Other missionary health problems include ingrown toenails, knee and back pain, rashes, and a few fungal infections.  We have also had a couple of more serious problems but I do believe the Lord is blessing us with mostly good health and strength. I actually had two elders this past week that I had to send to the hospital to have blood titers for possible Dengue Fever.  Luckily the tests came back negative.

Sister Woods, me Elder Woods, Sister Bonnemort, Elder Bonnemort, Sister Wayas, Elder Wayas

President Shaw has let some of the senior couples visit the other part of our mission.  We got to entertain Elder and Sister Bonnemort, the nurse and her husband, who are serving in Kirabati.  They are getting ready to go home in  March.  At one time I was going to fly to Kirabati and stay until a new nurse was called.  The President felt strongly that that was needed, since Kiribati has fewer doctors and the hospital is more needy there than it is here.  I took them around to visit some of the doctors, the hospital, pharmacy and other interesting health related place here on Majuro.  I think they had a good time.  I am not going to be going to Kirabati to be the nurse for a few months because they were able to get a nurse to transfer there from another location.  That will mean she can get there in time before the Bonnemort's leave.  I am glad they were able to get one because I think they need one here too.  I do hope (and President Shaw mentioned it too) that I will be able to see Kirabati sometime before I leave.  Maybe I will get to go to a zone conference there sometime.

You know how it is after the excitement of the holidays...everything seems a little unexciting and routine.  We have still had lots of fun on P Days as senior missionaries and more important than that...the work is going forward.  We have many baptisms every Saturday in our mission.  I always love going to them and feeling the special spirit there and to be able to congratulate the new members.

In the middle of a little village there is a WWII Japanese Bunker
Sister Barlow. and me at the Bunker

There is an old WWII Japanese Bunker on Majuro in the little village of Rita.  In order to get to it, you have to go walk through some people's houses and shops.  We did it anyway though and it is very interesting. 

Elder and Sister Barlow work in the office.  Sister Barlow is in charge of ordering, and petty cash and does many things for the mission.  Elder Barlow is in charge of missionary houses.  They are from Payson, Utah, but have a home in Mexico, a cabin by Bryce Canyon, and served a mission in Samoa with their kids about 10 or more years ago.  They have snorkeled all over the world.  Awesome friends.

YM and YW in my ward learning about First Aid
I had them pretend to wash their hands (using hand sanitizer)
I did a first aid/keeping healthy class for the young men and young women in our ward. last week.  It was pretty basic.  What do we need to do to become more healthy?I had them wash hands using hand sanitizer, Wash and put a bandage on someone else's sore, and we did wounds and I made a couple of them with my wound mix and fake blood.  Then I had the kids come and up front and show how to put on direct pressure and a pressure bandage.  It was fun.We are going to do it every couple of months and eventually get to CPR.  A little 11 year old girl died here about two weeks ago from choking on some meat.  Nobody knew the first aid for a choking victim.  There is a lot of need to educate people about things like this.     

One of the Young Women Leaders and her son
Some boys putting bandaids on each other (After they washed it)
One of the YM treating the impaled object
Direct pressure to a bleeding wound
Everyone seemed to enjoy the class.
Elder Woods playing his flute for the children
The Senior Missionaries and the APS
We said good-bye to Elder and Sister Hillbourne this month.  It was sad to see them leave.  They are from New Zealand and have been here for two years.  Elder Hillbourne has been in charge of all of the facilities management for the Marshall Islands.  Sister Hillbourne has been the secretary and has planted beautiful flowers at all of the chapels here.  They have done wonderful work here and will be deeply missed.  They lived right above me and I will miss them a lot.
Elder and Sister Hillbourne

Elder and Sister Woods  are from Orem, Utah.  They are CES/Humanitarian missionaries here.  They are really fun and are so good to me.  I run with Sister Woods in the mornings at 6:30 am.  They have 6 children .  They have done a great job here in the Marshall Islands.  They are in charge of all the seminaries and institute here as well as .work on projects to help the community.  Some of their projects have been to donate sewing machines to a school, ukuleles to a youth group, pans to the Wellness Center and many more.  (Picture of Elder woods above and Sister Woods below)
Sister Woods, Sister Hillbourne and me

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