Sometime I wish I could carry around a small camera and record everything I do so that I could go back and make a highlight film of all my favorite experiences. I would say that there was a few this week. ONE in particular that comes to the forefront of my dusty ole skull up there.
It all started on Wednesday. We had planned to go to an appointment, but when that fell through, we made a quick stop by visit to a family that had just moved here from the island of Pohnpei (Pon-Pay). They are only here for a short time, while their toddler son gets an operation on his foot. When we went to teach them, their landlord, a 30 year-old woman sat in on the lesson. We asked her if she knew about the Church, and she said, "Yes. I was taught by missionaries in Pohnpei, and I went to Church with them once. I loved it! I was planning on coming to your Church this Sunday," so we were pretty excited about that, because that doesn't happen everyday. And so we taught her about the plan of salvation, she told us she wanted to be baptized, and then we set up a return appointment on Saturday. So that's where it gets weird. So on Saturday we went back, fully expecting to teach this family, when there are more Pohnpei people in this house! And so we sit down to teach the family and the young lady, and a man walks in and tell us we have to be quiet because there is a "higher up" that is staying there. Well, we come to find out that the second in line to be king of Pohnpei is staying there to get treatment at the local hospital. This added a little bit more tension in the room, because the last thing we wanted to do was offend a future king. But we finished the lesson and right as we were done, a rather confident-looking man walked in and said, "Come. Have some lunch with me." Then the same guy who told us that there was a higher up staying there came in and said, "You have been royally invited to lunch. You cannot refuse." So we sat down at the table and had lunch with the future king. It was interesting to talk to him. He was a warm-spirited guy, but you could tell he had an air of pride about him. I guess that happens when you are about to inherit a rather large island. He was a pastor of his own church of about 500, so that in itself added a bit of tension, but he was very respectful of the Mormon faith and told us about how beautiful the LDS chapels in Pohnpei were. It was rather intimidating, because any wrong move by one of us could reflect the LDS church, so if we ended up offending him in anyway, that could mean the end of missionary work in Pohnpei, an island of 34,000 people. A big custom in island culture is to not refuse any food given to you. So when I saw a large bowl of freshly sliced raw fish I thanked Heavenly Father I had learned to love that stuff on my mission and it was not a problem. (if you think that's gross, I would encourage you to look up Dinuguan. I had it that night for dinner). Overall, it was a very great lunch. We ended by providing a Book of Mormon to him. The last thing he said to us was, "If I end up reading this and getting converted, the whole island would go into a riot." Whether he gets converted or not, it speaks wonders to us members that stand as a witness of Christ "at all time, in all places."
Well, that's the story of the week. I love you all!
1) I think I left something behind
2) nightly planning session