Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve

     What a fun New years we had. We went out to an island called Nalup, it is about a 10 minute boat ride out across the ocean. We were there most of the day and then we came back and went to the party at the Sopolop Branch. We were treated to roast pig, with all the fixin's, and native dances and singing for the program. it was amazing. We were asked to do a "native" american dance, so we did the "Boot Scootin Boogie". All the seminary kids came up and danced with us. They loved it. it was great fun. As soon as I can I will post pictures

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Nett branch

     Have I mentioned how much I love these people and this amazing island. Today we hiked in the morning to some old Japanese gun turrets from world war II. It was a little sobering to see them and remember stories my Dad has told me about world war II. He served on Guam and many of these Islands that I am now on during the war. I thought of you, ,,,dad, I hope you figure out how to check on this blog.
     Afterwards, we went out to the Nett(Netch) branch for seminary. We had a little lesson and then we taught them the "Boot Scootin Boogie" they loved it. At the beginning we always sing a song, and oh how these people can sing. The song was I am a Child of God, as we sang, with no piano, the spirit touched me as I looked around at my wonderful Pohmpeins and all the sudden I knew we really are all children of God. No matter where we live, what color our skin it, what language we speak, whether we live in a house on a hill or a little shack with tin walls, dirt floors and a thatched roof, how rich or how poor we are, we are all His children and He wants all of us back home someday.
     I love it here, I love these people, I know the Gospel is true and I am seeing it change lives out here, ours the most and it is an amazing experience.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not a typical day

  Climbed through the jungle for 5 hours, fell down, crossed a river(walked very carefully through it) all to see a beautiful waterfall. my hip hurts and I have a great bruise, but it was all worth it. It was beautiful.
   Yesterday the Kjars (other missionary couple) son and his wife and 2 children arrived for a week long visit. Because our cars are small, we are helping them take there family around to meet some of the members and see the local sites.So today we all hiked to one of the many waterfalls on the island. We took all the seminary students and Sis. Conrad and her 2 little children( she is the seminary teacher and branch presidents wife) they are all in the Kitti (pronounced kitchi) branch. It was a long and rough hike right through the middle of some pretty dense jungle, but when we got there it was beautiful. there was a swimming hole at the bottom of the waterfall, so all the kids were swimming and cliff jumping, they even climbed up the rocks and found a way under the waterfall. It was so cool. as soon as we get the pictures ready we will post them.
     Tomorrow we are going to the gun tower. We will hike again( I hope i can move in the morning) and this is a place left over from when the Japanese were on the island during world war II. We have been told there are still the actual guns that they used there.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Dec. 26, 2011

      We called our family today to wish them a Merry Christmas ( it is Christmas back home today) It was great to visit with all our children and grandchildren. We also skyped with Dean and Janine and called Lynette through the computer. If any of you have skype capability let us know and we will add you to our skype. We looked for apartments again today. No luck. I walked down to the fish market and got some more banana's and cucumbers.
     We took the Elders to teach a boy named Billy. We met in the family compound.( Most families live on the same plot of land) We met in a "Nos" style home. Tin walls half-way up, wood poles on each corner to hold up the tin roof. A raised tin floor. It was dark by the time we started and this family has no electricity, so one of the neighbors brought over a kerosene lamp, so we could have a little light. Billy and his mom were there and as the lesson progressed we had 4 more of the adults come and join us. All 4 ask if they could come for the next lesson tomorrow because they wanted to know more. It was amazing, the spirit was so strong.
     We then went out to Nett (Netch) and taught another lesson to a lady that is suppose to be baptized with her daughter next Saturday ( Dec. 31, 2011) She is having a problem with the local made drug ( beetlenut) and she is trying to stop using it. She will be able to, I know the Lord will help her.
     It was a great day.

Christmas in Pohnpei

     Christmas in Pohnpei is a lot different, then Christmas back home. Everyone goes to Church on Christmas, Then families gather to eat all day. Each child gets one gift, and a good gift would be a piece of yam( yes, the same kind of yam we eat at thanksgiving). they wrap the yam or other gift in whatever they can find. some have enough money to buy Christmas wrap. Rarely do the adults get a gift. They gather and spend the whole day and evening together just visiting and eating. Family is everything to the Pompeian people. The celebration, we are told last all week, until new years day.
     We attended church in the Nett(pronounced Netch) branch. we met in what is called a "Nos". That is a building with cinder block walls about as high as my waist, and a thatched, or tin roof. It is open like a garage at the one end and open above the cinder block, except on the corners and in the middle of the sides, where they take the cinder block all the way up to hold up the roof. We were asked to speak about 1 minute before the meeting started. We had one of the missionaries interpret. What an amazing spirit there was there.
     then we attended a baptism at about 4:00 and after we fed Christmas dinner to all our Elders and Sister missionaries and played some games after. in between we had a couple of elders use our computer so they could skype home for Christmas. they were allowed to skype because phone service is so unreliable here.
God's Army in Pohnpei. 

Our sweet sisters and members from Ponrociede
(pronounced Pawn-Rock-E-Ette)
     It was a wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Non Madol

The crossing to Non Madol
Sis. Salaiau and Sis. Kennach
Non Madol

Non Madol

Elder Lefevre at Non Madol

We had a district activity and went out to some ruins called Non Madol. These ruins date back to approx. 629 a.d..  We had a great time. It is amazing to me to think how they got these stones here and in place without all the modern equipment we have today. they call this the "Venice" of Pohnpei, because it has waterways that go between buildings, just like in Venice, Italy. The history says that is how they traveled between buildings in the community.  I will add some pictures as soon as I can.
The Bridal Entrance from the Sea at Nalop

Missionary work is so hard on
Elder LeFevre

The Crab Wars (2 Crabs we caught on Nalop)
    For Christmas eve we went out to an island called Nalup, it was about a 15 minute boat ride across the ocean to get to it. It was so fun. We had beaches,  Little huts, to stay in , a old church, It was beautiful. it was a very small island about 1/2 mile long by maybe 100 ft wide. We got there just as the tide was coming in, and the waves were awsome. I will also add picture of Nalup later.
    When we got back we had snacks at the Kjars apartment ( another Sr. couple on the island), then we went to a small church groups gathering. The group is called Pohnrociet, they are not native Pohnpeians, they come from another island and all live in a little community on Pohnpei, they attend the Kolinia branch. they invite the missionaries over every year on Christmas eve and sing to us and give us hand made gifts. It was a beautiful experience.
     All of the active members here are so faithful and strong, but there are many who have fallen away from the church. That is our primary job, to find them and invite them back. I have walked through water up to my waist to get places, through jungle, because the car would not go further, through mud, that permanetly stained my shoes and skirts. All to help teach and find members, who have lost there way. It is such an amazing experience. I am learning  a lot about myself.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

new car

Our New Car,  It's a real "fixer upper"
The boat finally got here with our car ( it was late because it got caught in a storm), which is great because we may have to sleep in it. Our "Temporary" apartment sprung a leak. We had water coming in from the light bulb in the ceiling. Our landlord drilled holes in the ceiling and placed buckets on the floor, so the water could drain and not damage the floor. We will search again tomorrow for an apartment.
We went to study our language with Elder Gsau this morning, and then we were suppose to go to teach lessons all day with Elder Davis and Elder Gsau. Elder Davis was still pretty sick trying to pass a kidney stone, so we stayed and helped them for a while. Then we went out to the Mond (pronounced Mont) branch and helped with the seminary lesson and christmas party. these people love to learn the gospel and it is so new to them that we find we have to explain things a lot differently. We depend upon the Lord to give us the right words, so that they can understand. They also love to play games, we played "duck, duck, goose" with them, but changed the words to "Elf, Elf, Santa" for Christmas. They loved it. then we had fried banana's, fried Yam, and fried breadfruit for refreshments. It was wonderful.
Travel here is really fun, no matter which road you take, you end up either in the jungle or next to the ocean. It  is breathtaking. Even when I can post some pictures(we have got  to get more permanent houseing and a more permanent internet) they will not due justice to our little island and the rain is amazing. I love it.
We got back home and found out that Elder Davis decided to try on of the local remedies(don't tell his parents), So we are on call all night, just in case we have to run him to the "emergency room" tonight.
Well time to go again, I can't wait to post some pictures, so stay tuned, you will not believe some of the places we have been and the things we have done.
 One of the branch Presidents, Pres. Ungessol, brought us some banana's he picked from his tree, they are amazing. best we have ever had.

Friday, December 16, 2011


I don't know how long I will have the internet so I am going to type fast.  We arrived in Pohnpei and this has got to be the most beatiful place on earth. When we have better and permanet internet I will post pictures.  We went right to work. I have already taught Music lessons to some members, we have gone to 3 branch activities( in 3 different branches), I have traipsed through the jungle( and believe me this place gives a whole new meaning to the words " It's a Jungle out there"), we have taken care of one of our sick Elders and taken him to the hospital( please remember Elder Davis in your prayers, he has some really big kidney stones and they don't have the medical things here that we have there, Kammie, i knew you would appreciate what he is going through) and we have a baptism to attend tonight.
     Our biggest concern right now is drinkable water, we are trying to get by with about 2 quarts of water to share between us each day, and because of the heat and humidity, it is very draining on us. We don't have a permanent place to stay yet, so please pray we will be able to get an apartment soon.
     Other than that, we love it. The people are amazing, and so good to us. There spirit is wonderful as they learn what the Gospel is all about.  It more then makes up for the inconveniences we are having right now.
   I am grateful for a bed to sleep in and 1 quart of water to drink each day. We love you all, We love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We know we are in the right place.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Last Day MTC

Our last day at the MTC, we taught some inactive people today, it was challenging to get to know them and then learn why they had quit going to church and then figure out a lesson to help them feel the spirit again, so they will want to go back.
Our district, left to right, the Carvers, Us, the Normans, Sis. Reese( our teacher)
the Pattersons, and the Jenkins.
We have had the greatest district, there were the Patterson's, they are going to the Chicago Mission, then the Normans, they are going to either the bolivia or the columbia temple to serve( i get the 2 country's mixed up, please forgive me Elder and Sister Norman if you are reading this), then the Carver's, they are going to the New York Utica mission, and then the Jenkins, they are going to the West Indies Mission. we are all going for 2 years. we have grown to love our wonderful partners in this work.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

MTC Day 4

Wow, time flys when you are having fun. We are learning so much, we had another opportunity to teach some investigators today, it was a real learning experience. The spirit is so strong here and it helps so much, because we have so much to learn.
 We got our assignment for what island we will be starting on. We will be on the island of Pohnpei, in Micronesia. Google it, it is a beautiful island. We will have the opportunity to learn the language of Pohnpeian.
we met a young Elder from Pohnpei today, he arrived on Monday and he saw us taking our Picture in front of the big map, pointing at Micronesia, He stopped and asked us where we were going and we told him. He got so excited and told us all about his island. His father is one of the branch presidents there and he is going to help us with a few words to learn in his language so we will know how to say Hello and a few other things when we get there. ( I hope how to ask where the bathroom is !!!!!)
well we better go, we have to call our mission pres. tonight and it is time. We love this work.
The above picture is Elder Makaya from Pohnpei, he is amazing and a little homesick, so if any of you want to send him a letter or package just find the Address for the MTc and send it to Elder Jackson Makaya. He would love it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MTC day 2 & 3

 Wow, you think you know how to go about teaching the gospel, but YOU DON'T.  The Lord has an amazing way of telling us with all the love He can, that we have a lot to learn.
     Today, we had our first experience teaching investigators and it was very humbling. We had studied a set of lessons and our investigators came with a whole set of different concerns. We learned how to adapted. It was a great experience, but I learned I don't know as much as I think I do.
     It is not fun to be humbled, but oh how good it is to know that even at my age, I can continue learning.
We are dead tired every night when we get back to the hotel, but it is a wonderful kind of tired.
     I love the spirit in the MTC, it is great.  The Church is True.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The MTC - day 1

We arrived at 10:00 a.m., and found out immediately that they had run out of rooms for the senior couples, so we are staying at the Provo Marriott. Sweeeeeeeet, we even have an executive King suite, because they are remodeling.

     We had orientation and then training, then lunch, then more training, then dinner, then homework ( at the Marriott) anyway, we survived our first day and look forward to tomorrow. As soon as I get some pictures I will post them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Do you ever think about how much "stuff" you have? Just things. Suddenly, at the prospect of leaving what is really dear to me, my family, all the "stuff" doesn't really matter.
We have finished packing up. The only thing left to do is clean the kitchen completely. Jeff and Janelle have started moving there things in and it hit me. I am really leaving!!!!!!
 As I have washed the little fingerprints off my windows, computer, TV, etc, I started to cry, as I realize how very precious those little fingerprints are to me, and that I won't have those little fingerprints to wash off for the next 2 years.  Oh, how I will miss those precious little grandchildren and my children.
When I think about where we are going, and what we are going to do, in a 3rd world country, I am thrilled at the prospect of really being able to help someone else and at the same time I am realizing how very blessed I am. The real sacrifice is just starting to hit me.
     Take the time to tell your loved ones just how much you love them. Take the time to get all the hugs you can, they may have to last a long time. Forgive others, even when they never apologize and won't accept your apology. It's what Christ did! Tell the Lord how grateful you are that you have loved ones, There are many people who don't. Don't collect "stuff", it really doesn't matter, collect lots of love and memories, hugs and kisses, they are the only thing you can take with you.
     2 more days!!!!!!!

      The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Family.
           The Only Important "Stuff"

Sunday, November 27, 2011


 Wow, we got to spend Thanksgiving with all our children and grandchildren and Mom and Dad Desmond. As I looked around the table I felt such overwhelming gratitude for the amazing family I have been blessed with.
We also opened Christmas presents, since we won't be here for Christmas, it was so much fun, the grandkids, thought that was great. I think we might be in trouble when we get back in 2 years, if we don't have Christmas presents on Thanksgiving again.
Lydia's first Christmas Ornament

Enzo, sure loves his pop

Opening Christmas Presents

Yea, presents on Thanksgiving, is this cool or what?
Mom and Dad thanksgiving 2011

 Some of our extended family came to see us friday and saturday, we had a wonderful visit with Reed & Lissa LeFevre and Eileen & Brian Kasteler ( Alan's family) on Friday and then on Saturday we had a get together with my family. Mom & Dad, Phil & Linda, Vickie & Sheldon, Lynette & Paul, and Dean & Janine. It was nice to get to have some time to visit before we leave. I just have one murmer, it was like we are dying, and we are not dying, just going to serve the Lord for 2 years, we will be back.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Well, I didn't die.

Well, speaking in church did not kill me, so hopefully, it made me stronger. It was so good to see all of our family and friends. WOW, thank you all so much for coming and supporting us as we prepare to start our great adventure in Micronesia and Guam.  We love you all and thank you for your prayers in our behalf.

Thought you might like to see some pictures of the family, we are leaving behind to go serve the Lord in the vineyards of the Micronesia Guam Mission.                                   
Our  family
Our wonderful Grandchildren

Alan's Mom, Brother and Sisters and Spouses
Melanie's Dad & Mom, brothers & sisters & spouses

Saturday, November 12, 2011

talking in church

 Did I mention how much I dislike talking in front of people?  I know, weird, considering I am going on a mission and I will probably have to do a lot of speaking in public. I guess what does not kill us makes us stronger, so if you never see another post to this blog, you will know it killed me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Still Learning

My sweet daughter Stephanie, reminded me that I had not put where we were going. We are going to the Micronesia Guam Mission.  Our son Jeff and his family are going to live in our house while we are gone. We are off to a great adventure.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mission Call!

We were expecting to recieve our call yesterday, but it didn't come until today.  We had all of our kids and some other friends and family over when we opened it.  We don't know if anyone took any pictures, so if you did, please let us know so that we can post them. I was so shocked by where we were going, I started to cry and couldn't even read it.