Friday, March 29, 2013


Hard to believe it is all over. We have seen some gorgeous sunsets over the last eighteen months here in Saipan. As the sun sets on our mission experience here in the Pacific we will share some of them on the blog.


Faces of Saipan

The cultural diversity of this small island in the Pacific is amazing. The faces of Saipan reflect a mix of people from Philipines, Chuuk, Palau, Kosrae, Pohnepe, Yap, Guam, China, Japan, Russia, Korea, Marshalles, Samoa, Tonga, India, Fiji, Hawaii and the mainland well as the native indiginous Chamorro and Carolinian peoples. Each of these groups speak a different language and has a different cultural background. My first church meeting is Saipan was the Primary Childrens Program which I labeled "25 Shades of Brown". Some of the faces are represented in this blog.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Matching SIsters

Sometimes we don't plan to match, but we do.
Sometimes we do plan to match.  We even had matching shirts made in Saipan to wear to Stake Conference in Guam.
And sometimes we plan to match the holiday.  This is at a baptism at Valentine's time.  Sister Valenzuela even got the memo.
I love Sisters Sulog (on the left) and Sister Tuioletai (on the right.)

Still in the "Middle" of our Mission

Middle of our Mission
One last FHE with Eileen and Moso and their daughters, Micki,
DaeDae and Lecka (nick-names) before they go back
to Hawaii to live and we go back to Utah.  This family has
been a special part of most of our mission.

Baptisms of members of the Taule family happen almost every week lately, Grandpa 
and Grandma Taule are on the right in the photo.  
We had a chance to teach early morning Seminary recently.  These youth are so great!  We love them and have such an apprecation for how they live the gospel!  They are small in number - about 18 of them - on an island with alot of youth; but they stand out!  They take the gospel to the people of Saipan when they leave Seminary each morning with gospel light in their faces and souls.  They also all go on splits with the missionaries every week helping to teach by word and deed.
We loved it even if I look mad.
This is at the Relief Society Birthday celebration.  I am at a table with the Sister Missionaries, Linda, Esper, Kylie, Pat and Mary.  The handsome YM served us.  One of them, Andres is in the photo with us. 

Just look at these bright piano students.  We had just performed a final recital together.  I am so  proud of how hard they worked with a novice teacher.  Standing by me is Mark Tuam-Iam and Christian Carulla.  In front l to r is Gehan Ruga, Li Lumbana, Jhanylin Cruz and Andrea Aberas.

Playing a little boogie duet with Li.
Linda's Birthday party and banquet.
 A "not so surprise" lunch for the Joneses at the District Elders apt.

We were invited to a farewell dinner gathering at the Silvanoe's new home.  Forgot to get pictures of the gathering, but the house looked so warm and inviting - which it was -  as we drove away. 
 A farewell dinner at the Cabael's.  Ann in blue, Al behind her, Koehoni in front and big brother Kyle in back with guitar.  The others are the recongnizable missionaries we are spending much time with before we go.  We sang many hymns together ending with "God Be With You Tell We Meet Again" and I did cry a little bit.....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Teaching with the Missionaries

We went to visit Linore and her boys.  They live in such a poor place.  They enjoyed having us come and bringing a lesson about keeping the commandments.  The neighbor children who were there had not been to Primary yet, but they sang "Keep the Commandments" with us and listened to a story from the Friend magazine about not swearing.  They enjoyed laughing at one of Elder Jones' jokes.
If we posted the other 8 or 9 pics we tried to take this night you'd know why we are laughing.  We were with the Sister Missionaries, Sister Mataele and Sulog teaching this Chinese group and the mother didn't know how to use our camera that apparently wasn't made in China.  This picture was finally straight, facing forwards and had no hand covering it.  We had just enjoyed a spiritual experience teaching this good little family and their friend, Victor (his chosen English name) standing next to Sister Jones.  Victor loves the church, wants it in his life but still feels confusion about some teachings.  The next day he was leaving for China, that huge place where the Church is hard to find.  We hope his prayers will be answered for him concerning the Gospel. 
This is Arnold's house.  It is really one of the nicer ones we have visited in, even though we did have to step over many kitty-cats as we went in the front door.  He said they have 22 kittens!  Kittens in Saipan are different than at home.  They don't even know they are kittens cause when you call "here kitty," they ignore you.  I've been told that you call "eechy" and they might come.  Well, there you have it.  But how do you feed 22 eechy's?  I don't know if you do, any eechie we've seen here looks hungry and skinny. 
Arnold was baptized last month after waiting years for the opportunity.  He seemed to find great strength and encouragement from a friendship with Elder Jones.  He asked Elder Jones months ago to baptize him when the time came, but when the time came, Elder Jones had the torn rotator cuff that would probably allow him to put Arnold under the water, but never get him up out of it again.  So the day following the baptism, Elder Jones conferred the Holy Ghost on him. 
Baptism Day for Arnold with us, Sisters Mataele, Sulog, and Brother Roy Dolon, January 26, 2013.
We went with Elders Loveless and Lina to this place of residence just before Elder Lina transferred to Guam.  A young single mother, Redge, watched with interest the DVD of the Restoration as we sat outside the house.  When asked if she had any questions, she asked where the gold plates are now.  She is studying many religions right now and we wondered if someone from another church asked her to ask.
Here is a FHE with Elder Loveless at a home in government housing.  Many Chuukese and Carolinian people who are native to the island live here.  Some of them still have houses in the jungles and live there part of the time.  They have "family by the dozens; aunts, uncles and cousins," so having a couple of houses is a pretty good idea.