Sunday, February 19, 2012

So This Is Missionary Work? (#23)

All week we were asking ourselves…so this is missionary work? We had some of the usual downs and some really great ups.

We had an inactive member cancel with us for the third time and schedule to see us in a month. We were stood up by another inactive member. We had rescheduled our CES In-service only to realize that it was Valentines Day. Oops! Are we romantic or what!

But we had some great experiences too. We had a FHE planned with a part member family. Sister Johnsen wasn't too sure about it, and then when it was time to go, it was raining really hard. But we made our way to their place, gave a simple but fun object lesson and then played a couple of games with the family. We enjoyed a treat together after a kneeling prayer. They told the Elders that they wanted us to come back and have Family Home Evening every Monday.

We were just ready to go out for the day when we got a call about teaching Seminary on Wednesday night. Elder Johnsen has a branch presidency meeting on Wednesday night so Sister Johnsen had to teach. That took care of our morning. But it was fun to teach the youth. After seminary is YW/YM and the YM had a great activity planned, but the YW were going to cancel and Sister Johnsen just felt like they shouldn’t because there were 3 nonmembers there. We came up with some fun games and the girls had a great time. By the middle of the activity 6 non members were present. It would have been terrible to cancel. The 16 girls (this is a TON for a Wednesday night) enjoyed playing balloon volleyball and text book stomp. The Elders ran to the grocery store and got some treats for us.

Thursday night is our institute night and we have added a game and a treat to the night to try to encourage more people to come. We played a game that Mitch calls “Pounce” but it’s basically double solitaire, or in this case quintuble solitaire (we had 5 decks of rook cards.) Sister Angie told a great story at the end of her lesson about an older man who walked with a cane and who was baptized several months prior to his death. She was at the baptism and was asked to bear her testimony after the service was over. She said that was the LAST thing that she wanted to do, but she said yes anyway. As the service progressed her reluctance was replaced by a feeling of most exquisite joy, so much so that by the time he slowly made his way down to the font she was practically jumping for joy. She was almost jumping up and down telling us the story. The memory of it was very vivid for her. After the baptism she noticed that he made the climb up the stairs and his way to the changing room without use of his cane. Then it was time for her to bear her testimony and she shared not only her feeling of overwhelming joy at his baptism, but also how much her testimony meant to her—it was one of the great spiritual experiences of her life. Several months later she felt doubly blessed when she realized at his funeral that he was then in the spirit world, and perhaps he would have the opportunity to share his testimony with some of her departed relatives and she was glad that he would remember her and be able to share with her departed ancestors Angie’s enthusiasm for the gospel and her testimony of its truth.

So this is missionary work? On Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. we headed out to camp Kattu for the civic action team handover ceremony. For the past 30+ years the USA govt. has had a 13 member civic action team working on Palau. Each team works 6 months and then they are replaced by another team. Our friend and church member, Mitch Hibbard, has been a member of the Army team that was replaced by a Navy team at the change of command ceremony. The event was attended by the who’s who in Palau. The President of Palau spoke, the US ambassador to Palau spoke, and particularly mentioned the work that Mitch had done; he totally busted the record of patients seen by any civic action team doctor. She said that Mitch visited every state in Palau and also all of the outer islands where he ministered to every resident. In his 6 months he worked with over 1200 patients which are more than double the patient count of the next nearest action team doctor. While all this praise was on going; both in incoming team and the outgoing team was standing at ease in the hot sun while all the spectators were in the shade under a canopy. President Kesolei was on the program to offer the benediction. Sister Carlson was there; she is the ambassadors right hand (wo)man. Minda was there to present a thank you certificate to the team from the Airai state government. We felt quite at home. They had a huge feast of food prepared but Sister Johnsen and I couldn’t stay to enjoy it since we had lined up a luncheon engagement with an inactive member who unfortunately stood us up. And we were saying, “Are you kidding me right now? We missed the crab salad and got stood up.

The big event on Saturday was our Meyun’s Spelling bee celebration party at Kalau gym. The facility was great. We started with snow ball fight which according to the kids was their favorite game of all time.

We ended up with 10 party goers which made it perfect for our teams, 5 on each side. They had a lot of fun with the dice straw bean game, we played balloon volleyball, I Never, and Do You Love Your Neighbor. Sister Johnsen sang “ In My Own Little Corner” and “Jesus Was No Ordinary Man” to the kids. Elder Johnsen gave a prayer on the food and what a spread of food it was: fried rice, potato salad, hamburgers, chips, cookies, ice cream, and candy bars. What’s not to like? In spite of being exhausted we stopped by the Hospital to visit with the Oei’s and give them some leftovers which they really appreciated. When we got home we had dishes to do, and we needed to prepare dinner for the elders which was on Sunday. Sister Johnsen made some homemade rolls. We did more dishes and then worked on the routes for our upcoming priesthood service night. The Elders are working on a new mission record as of yesterday. They were already at 31 member present lessons for the week. It feels like there has been a turn in the work here in Palau. Missionary work has been going very well. We have another baptism lined up for this coming Friday.

So, this is missionary work? We couldn’t have predicted it. But we have had a super great week!

No comments:

Post a Comment