Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Make Us One...

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow! Once again there's so much to share.
We had a visit from the USS Pearl Harbor ship. There were several different groups traveling aboard this ship. For the first week here they put on a Health Fair.

There were several different stations where the people here in Kiribati received education and free items.

The stations were:
Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Oral Hygiene, Care of Animals and Eye Care.

At the end of the line was the table representing the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Charities".

The Youngberg's, who are our Humanitarian Missionaries

asked me to man this station as they had several appearances that they had to make at schools all along the island. The Church also donated thousands of school kits to several schools.
It was humbling to see these poor people's beautiful smiles, tears and gestures of gratitude as I would hand them a hygiene kit from the church.
Each kit had 5 toothbrushes, 1 large tube of toothpaste, 2 hand towels and 2 bars of soap; all in a zip lock bag. Some of the people would hold it to their chest and repeatedly say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" 

Some people would ask me what it was for, so I would teach them about keeping their bodies clean. It was a real treat to be involved and to feel the Spirit of the God, so strong! There was one man who is homeless and walks the streets; I've seen him on many occasions and bought him some food before. When I gave him the hygiene kit he was so excited that he just had to kiss me. I turned so he wouldn't kiss me on the lips but he was so happy and grateful!

Our young missionaries, along with returned missionaries from Kiribati, performed all the translation for all the military and other charity groups. They loved it and the military were quite surprised at their willingness to help and be of service - all volunteer!

The second week, their focus was on all the cats, dogs and pigs.
My friend, Turian, and I went to the clinic that was set up in Betio and she helped with translation
and I got to help hold the animals. The best was the baby pigs; Just holding them upside down while they got "fixed".

We had a great two weeks of working side by side with the military personnel from America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The ship's port is at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. Captain Lovely is the man in charge.
Elder and Sister Youngberg invited me to tour the ship with them. What a treat! It was amazing to see the back of the ship, where they sink it to 8 feet and then load everything inside there and the small sleeping quarters, the store, and the cafeteria. I wanted to order some "real" food and have lunch... not possible.
The guns were huge, though this in not an attack ship. All the gunners are for defense only.

We were transported to the ship via a small boat that sort of looked like a raft. It cost $350,000.00 dollars so I know it's alot more than just a raft. Anyway, I asked the driver if I could drive it, Wow! Halfway between the ship and land he said, "Now who wanted to drive?" I spoke up and said, "I did!" It was awesome!! He even taught me how to "spin a doughnut"! I thanked every military member for serving our country and keeping us safe.
They work hard all day long keeping the ship in top condition. It was such a wonderful experience.

Some of the military personnel had questions about the church, but as I worked with the people over the last two weeks, I had this overwhelming peace come upon me; that no matter how different our individual beliefs or religions were - we were all of "one purpose" - caring for the needy and less fortunate. It's just like the song that I love, "Make us one that our burdens may be light". That He did!

I love being a missionary. I love serving in any capacity. I love my new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Weir.
They invited me to go Tuna fishing with them along with President and Sister Tune.
We had a great time! I was the "bird watcher". That means, when we found a group of birds, we knew that is where the Tuna were feeding off the smaller fish. Well... we caught one. A HUGE one!
A yellow-finned Tuna. I named him George. We ate him for dinner one night and I must say, I love fresh tuna!

I love you all so very much. I loved these two weeks and helping serve with the great Forces, as we all were of "one mind and one purpose". Thank you to all who serve or who have served in the military; for your brave service to defend our freedom in America. May God bless all of you with his choicest blessings.  I love and miss you all so much.

Sister Cassita