Monday, November 11, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Fresh chicken dinner on the island:

This was an unusual sight for Eric, and somewhat amusing enough to take a short video of it.

One Year in the Mission Field

June 13, 2013 marked Eric's one year in the mission field. His advice to a newly called missionary in our Ward: "Love the people. No matter where you are, that person standing in front of you is a Father/Son Mother/Daughter Brother/Sister [in Christ]. A person that can benefit from the gospel and especially the Plan of Salvation. The Holy Ghost will be your greatest tool."

You Deserve a Break Today

Remember the jingle "You deserve a break today so get up and get away at McDonald's"? Well this is Guam's version of McDonald's:

Wait....what is that building? Here is a closer look:
You saw that right - a fully functional McDonald's in a single wide trailer. Awesome.

Baptism of Mayleen Ropon

Eric was honored to baptize 18 year old Mayleen Ropon in June of 2013.  He was also given the privilege of confirming her and her sister into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The work continues....

Happy Fathers Day 2013

Eric's Father's Day letter:

"Oh My Father:

I wanted to write you today to celebrate your day, father's day. You have been an amazing father and dad to me. I love how it is father's day and not "dad's" day. You dad is your biological parent, but your father is the man who raised you, taught you, and loves you. I am very lucky that my dad is also my father. Our Heavenly Father has chosen this title over all others: Almighty God, King, Master - all true - but but he chose Father as his title and what a powerful word it is. You have been an excellent father. I have learned so much from your love and example. Since being here, I have seen all different types of dads, and my eyes have been opened to the tragedies that a lot of people face in their lives: the dad is not there, doesn't care, or worst of all degrades their children or belittles them. You, on the other hand, have been an excellent father. You have taken care of me and taught me a lot. I see how you treat my mother, and I want to mold my life after have always worked hard for our family and tried to provide and love....Father, I love you so very much. You have been a huge part of my life. I am so very blessed to be your son. I am sealed to you, and that brings me so much joy and happiness. I know that this Church is true, and that I have been so very blessed to serve a mission as well as share my temporal existence with you and mom. You are my father - Happy Father's Day."

Guam Beautification Project

The missionaries on Guam had an opportunity to participate in the Guam Beautification Project (GBP) for an unsightly bus stop in June 2013:

They worked hard:

 To Turn This:

Into this:
 The missionaries literally left their mark on the island:
What a great opportunity to serve in the community.

Mission Leadership Council

What was once Zone Leadership Council is now Mission Leadership Council,

 which includes the Sisters.

This is an awesome development. It's great to have the input of everyone in leadership to foster unity and exchange information and ideas.
Guam Leadership council June 2013

Eric wrote that being a Zone Leader is a lot of responsibility. You must earn the respect of the other missionaries. You must do administrative stuff on top of your proselyting duties, and that takes time. He said he is working his hardest to work smart. To be effective, you must be a source of influence to help the other missionaries work hard. Sometimes it is hard to show that there is happiness out there, even thought it can be hard to see it. He enjoys being able to do the work, it is very hard and stressful, but by far the Best Two Years*.

No matter where you are called or what position you serve in, you must keep in mind the goal: bringing others to Christ. You must always guard against namanam tekia (being prideful). The work is for others, not yourself.

* The Best Two Years is an awesome movie about serving a mission- highly recommend seeing this.

And the Favorite Shoes Are....

This is a familiar site on Guam:

The weather and the durability of Crocs makes them a huge favorite on the island. Had Eric's feet not been so big, he would have worn those on his mission. This is a tip for those called to the Micronesia Guam Mission. Crocs are the norm and worn everywhere - including Church. I really liked this picture.

Baptism of Sister Shirai

At the end of May 2013 Eric was delighted to have a hand in bringing the gospel to Brother and Sister Shirai. He was so happy to baptize Sister Shyleen Shirai:

He was given the opportunity confirm her and newly baptized member Joseph Castrol, the investigator of 10 years. Eric and Elder Cole are really enjoying the work together.

Teaching the Chuukese Class

Eric has had the opportunity to teach the Chuukese Sunday School class in the Ward during second hour. He really enjoys it. He knows the members laugh at this tall white kid who stands up to teach the class. But his Chuukese is surprisingly good because of the awesome companions he has had. This is a great opportunity, because he and his companion come in contact with Chuukese investigators and Eric gets to use the language. There is no substitute for full immersion to learn a language. At the class he met an investigator of 10 years whom he was able to teach. He said the spirit was so strong he felt impressed to invite the investigator to be baptized the following week. And he accepted. Eric said it was an amazing experience.