Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Biit, Meri Kirimaj, 2013

Long Island Ward singing our songs for the Biit.  I played for one of the songs
Another view of our group
I played a keyboard with a sound system

Before we started we all came in doing a dance
We sang 4 songs and did a dance
President Anien led the songs:   3 Marshallese sons and Far Far Away
The younger girls dressed in black skirts and pink 
tops.  The ladies dressed in  a green and pink Marshallese dress

Elder and Sister Weir and Elder and Sister Wayas watch from the side
Sister Crane and  Sister Hu The Sisters did a Samoan Sasa
The Elders did the Samoan Slap dance
Ruby a;nd I in our matching Marshallese dresses

Sister Tofa and Me
Sister Moeai and me (She is Hopey's granddaughter)

Sister Tofa, Elder Foote, Elder Ingals, Elder Whetstone, Elder Mcomie
Sister Moeai, Sister Wayas, Sister Butler from Ajeltake Branch

Sister Moeai and Elder Sagapoulu

 Elders after doing the slap dance
Relief Society Sisters at the Biit (We sang two songs)

More RS sisters.  Rachel is a world teach teacher who is here

Anne's Grandchildren including Wilson


The Rita Ward dancing

Lena, a special needs girl who is from our ward

Kids from Rita dancing

Dancers from Delap

Rita ward performing

Kids from Rita singing and dancing

More from Rita Ward

Everyone gets involved

Delap Ward doing their walk in

People just line the stake center in several rows and others look on from the windows or doors

The Biit (or dance) is a big celebration that the Marshallese churches have on Christmas Day.  It must have got its start with the Christian Missionaries that came to the islands.  The people dress in their best clothes or matching clothes for their dances and get out and sing and dance and eat.  For the LDS Majuro Stake it is a tradition.  Each ward practices for months in advance and arrange matching clothes and spend most of their time and energy during November and December getting ready for it.  Everyone meets at the Stake Center for an opening devotional (the Broadcast from Temple Square).  Then in turn each ward does their dancing and singing.  They are allotted an hour but in year gone by, many of them have taken longer than that.  This year it did seem a little shorter.  Besides the wards, special groups also perform like the missionaries, missionary prep class, different primaries, the Stake Relief Society etc.  Towards the end, lots of the other churches come over to perform also.  Some years the Biit ends after midnight.  Each ward provides a plate lunch or food for their members.  This is how the people celebrate Christmas.  Many of them don't have presents or big parties etc., but this is very exciting for them and they love being in the songs and dances and listening and watching the others perform. 

Just Before Christmas

Ruby and I making pizzas and having fun

Family Home Evening Christmas Party
We made four Christmas tree pizzas

Our Family Home evening group got together for a fun Christmas Family Home Evening.  For supper we had Christmas Tree Pizza and Vegetables with Ranch dip.  For dessert we had Root Beer floats.  We saw the Nativity Movie, ate dinner and then read the Christmas Story in Luke.  After that, we played some fun games.  Everyone had a fun time.

Alisha, Daniel, Dilson, and Robbie
Ruby and I in the kitchen

Dilson, Simon, Alisha, and Daniel, back for seconds on Pizza

We all had a great time

Christmas Eve Missionary Dinner

Some of the Elders sat on the floor to eat (they get used to that here)

Elders enjoying their food
The Senior Missionaries cooked Christmas Eve dinner for the Elders and Sisters on Majuro.  We had ham and cheesy potatoes, fruit salad, corn, rolls and butter and lime cheesecake with cherry topping.  It was really fun.    After dinner we played the tie exchange/earring exchange game and watched Miracle on 34th Street.  Everyone had a great time.
There were about 53  of us

Senior missionaries relaxing at dinner.  I am at the end

Elders playing the tie game

Elders out to get the best tie
Sisters playing the earring exchange game

Sister Huni, Sister Crane and Lena

Other Pre Christmas activity included a Christmas Carol fireside where each ward youth sane a Christmas carol and the ward's YW or YM president spoke.  I played the piano for it.

December Activities 2013

Brian and Rosita Edijar and family on their way to the temple in Hawaii  I helped  them get ready to go
Rosita and Kayla, Brian and Bella, Me and Yana in the front

It was so exciting to see them be able to go to Laie, Hawaii for a week and get their endowments, be sealed and them do work for some of their family.  Pres Shaw wanted a Marshallese teacher so Brother Moranj taught the class and I assisted him and got helped them get their passports, temple recommends, and family history online and ready for work to be done.

The whole group going to the temple, Sister Barlow and me.  Elder and Sister Barlow taught a class in Laura and two families from there went with the Edijars

Rosita and Bella, me and Yana

Sister Barlow made the actual arrangements for them to go

Me and Rosita.  She is the Primary President in our ward

All the families were so excited to be going

Dilson, Romeo and Robbie