Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gun Beach

On Saturday, December 5 the senior missionaries went to Gun beach to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of this island we live one. Why is it called Gun Beach?
During WWII the Japanese used this beach to fight off the invading Americans. Because of all the beautiful vegetation they could use the guns without being seen. There are also many caves along this part of the beach that they could hide in. Here are a few of the pictures we took that morning!
These are the senior couples in our mission, In the back E/S Guerico, E/S Hamilton, S Thomas, E Thomas behind her and me, of course Art took the picture so he didn't have to be in the picture! Here are some of the pictures of the beach and the creatures living in the water.

A latte stone is the term for a pillar capped by a hemispherical stone capital with the flat side facing up. Used as building supports by the ancient Chamorro people, they are found throughout most of the Mariana Islands. It's a little hard to see because of the moss that has grown over them, they are truly found all over this island.
 At the top of the picture is Two Lovers Point, we have picture of it earlier in the blog when we were there.

Thanksgiving Day....

The senior missionaries and the younger missionaries with the mission president and his wife served Thanksgiving dinner at the USO here on Guam. We were able to eat with them. We also stayed to clean up afterwards. The lady said they hoped to finish in an hour, she also said one year it took 3 hours to clean up. This is the first time that we have been involved with the USO and we cleaned it up in a half hour. They were amazed but we have great missionaries and everyone just pitched in. They are going to ask us to come back next year. It was a great way to give thanks to those that protect us so we can live in a country where we enjoy the freedoms we have.
This is everyone cleaning up after the dinner!
Elder Williams helping wrap all the material during clean up!
This is the group after we finished cleaning up!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ride the Duck...

We have an office in the service center for the church here in Guam, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving we had an activity and went on the Duck Ride.

Some of the people we work with, in the white shirts on the left are Augustine & Line Jiminez, behind Liz by the window (it's hard to see her) and next to her Kathy, behind her Dale West. We wore earphones because the loudspeaker was giving narration in Japanese and for all other languages we had to listen with phones.

Saipan Family History Fair

November 21 & 22, 2015
The Wiswell's are Family History Consultants on Saipan, we love spending time with them when we visit the island. The fair is something Val Welch has written a grant to do for teachers to have their students write about their heritage in their language and English. Val organized the Family History fair to train teachers so their students could write stories for the Man'Amko Memorial Day Memories Program.  There were three presentation on Saturday. The first was by Del Benson, he showed how we can make a photo family tree. 
Elder Williams did a presentation on DNA and what you can learn from it.
We also had entertainment between the sessions! They are singing songs in their native language. We love hearing this music!
Val Welch did the concluding session on how to use technology to record your story.
Sunday evening we had a fireside (on the beach with a fire) we learned why it is important to save and preserve the stories of these beautiful islands. Unfortunately we didn't get any pictures! 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Talofofo Falls.....

 We next stopped at Talofofo Falls, it has a gondola that takes you down to see the falls...

Meeting Aunt Janice...

When we were in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) one afternoon when we were picked up from the train station coming back to the MTC there were two sisters in the van. We began talking and found out she was going to Washington D.C. where we have family and we are going Guam where she has family. So we exchanged information. After visiting the village we stop by to see her Aunt Janice and her grandmother. So here is a picture of Aunt Janice, her grandmother and Sister Williams.

Saturday Adventures, first stop....

We started our day at a Cultural Village Tour, this is a village that is a living museum of thatched huts of early 20th Century Chamorro culture. There are demonstrations and exhibits of the Chamorro people.
Here they take sea water and boil it until the water is gone and they have sea salt.
 Our tour guides, they are teaching the young people so they can continue to show how the people lived in the early 1900's.
Elder Williams is learning how to get coconut out of the shell.
Elder Williams is learning how to make rope!
 Sister Williams learning to make baskets!
What can I say, it's warm so I'll use this fan to keep cool!
A typical hut from the early 1900's!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Newspaper article

The local paper came into the Family History Center one evening and did an article about family history. They even have a picture with Art in it. Here is the link if you're interested!
Trace family roots
Lacee A.C. Martinez , lcmartinez@guampdn.com November 17, 2015
(Photo: Virgilio Valencia/For PDN)
For a brief hour and a half on Thursdays, a room attached to the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Barrigada opens up to the public.
That’s when visitors crowd around a half-dozen computers in the Guam Family History Center, pouring over online documents like they’re trailing through clues.
Those “clues” are names, dates, and locations pulled from genealogy sites and other resources available for free at the center.
Genealogy, however, is only one part of what the center assists with, says Tami Burton, the center’s director.
“We see family research with several aspects and one of them is keeping our own records, writing stories about our lives and things that are important to us that we might want to hand down for future generations,” she says. “And then also researching for family members who have passed away and helping our children to develop a connection with those traditions and family stories. We think it helps them feel more grounded.”
Regardless of religious affiliation, the center offers free service for everyone interested in researching their family history.
Much of it begins with FamilySearch.org, one of the largest genealogy organizations in the world, funded by the church. FamilySearch works with archives, libraries and churches in more than 100 countries to give people access to records, which connect them to their ancestors.
While FamilySearch is freely accessible online, researching at the center offers access to other premium sites, including Ancestry.com, and help with researching your family history.
For example, the center often assists with navigating through the Micronesian Area Research Center at the University of Guam.
“Sometimes people are hesitant to go in there, and they’ll give us some information on their family and we’ll go in there and find it,” Burton says.
Researching family history goes beyond the libraries and records. It also means talking to family members, including older generations — something the center assists with as well.
It can be tricky to talk to island elders, however, especially when they’ve endured living through trauma, including the war.
“Some people are hesitant to talk about experiences,” Burton says. “Some things were emotionally shocking to them and difficult for them talk about it. But it might be therapeutic for some people to talk about things that were awful experiences at the time. The fact remains they were strong enough to survive it and their stories can strengthen their children.”
Burton knows of the obstacles many face when trying to interview family members who have lived through the occupation.
“We recommend that people try to talk to their surviving family members and do it with a compassion and not to push them beyond what the person they’re interviewing wants to give them, but to not shy away from it just because it’s not going to be a pleasant topic,” she says. “We want them to bring it up and not talk about it and pretend it’s not a part of the history, because it is part of the history.”
With wars, typhoons and a culture of oral history, records can be scarce for island residents and those from our region. FamilySearch and the center continues to move forward with digitizing documents all over the world, even recently collecting data other islands in Micronesia. The center also has completed some work with the MARC on digitizing different documents.
One of the next big projects include working with the governor’s office to digitize some four million vital records to eventually give the public more data to build their family history.
Yet even with digitization, there’s still another step before it’s accessible. The information must be indexed to be searchable. The Internet has helped close that gap, allowing people from all over the world to help index through the FamilySearch website.
You can look forward to that old, new information in the future as well as the annual Guam Family History Fair, to learn more on the subject and see presentations made by island experts.
This year’s fair took place on Sept. 26 where Guam historian Tony Ramirez spoke on preserving oral history and the Guampedia documentary, “Voices of the Elders” was presented.
In the meantime, you can check out the center once a week to begin your own search for your family history.
“It’s really fun and people really, really enjoy it,” Burton says. “Once you start looking, you start to find all kinds of things about your ancestry. It’s like a puzzle piece because you start with a little bit.”
·         What: Guam Family History Center
·         Where: Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints church in Barrigada (left side of the building)
·         When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays

·         For more information: Call Tami Burton at 487-7098 or email tamiburton671 @gmail.com

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Jeff's Pirates Cove

We have heard about this place, it is suppose to have the best hamburgers on the island. So we decide to try it out for lunch. We were not disappointed!!!!! It was the best cheeseburger that I have had in a long time. It's right on the beach, so when we finished eating we went to the beach to take some pictures.

 You can barely see the land on the other side of the beach but the white you see on the right is part of the University of Guam and then just to the left of it is a white taller building that is a 20 story apartment complex. We live between those two places.

Sankyo Gardens

Saturday is our day off, we want to take advantage of living here in Paradise! We don't want our time to go by and regret not visiting places on this beautiful island. Today our first stop was at Sankyo Gardens. We drive past the sign to this place everyday so we decided to stop and see the garden. It is a beautiful garden you get to walk through and then you set down and eat some local fruit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The end of our day........


UnderWater World

UnderWater World Guam is one of the longest tunnel-aquariums in the world. 

Saturday - our day to enjoy and explore this beautiful island....

We started our day at Two Lover's Point:

The Legend of Puntan Dos Amantes (Two Lovers Point)

Once long ago, in the time when Spain ruled Guam, there was a proud family living in Hagatna, the capital city.  The father was a wealthy Spanish aristocrat and the mother was the daughter of a great Chamorro chief.   The family owned land and were highly esteemed by all, Chamorro and Spanish alike.

Their daughter was a beautiful girl, admired by all for her honesty, modesty, and perfectly natural charm.  Her beauty bestowed the greatest pride and dignity unto her family.

One day, the girl's father arranged for her to take a powerful Spanish captain as her husband.  When the girl discovered this, she was so distraught that she ran from Hagatna all the way to the north of Guam until she found a secluded and peaceful shore.
There, on the moonlit shore, she met and fell in love with a young warrior from a very modest Chamorro family.  He was gentle, with a strong build, and had eyes that search for meaning in the stars.

When the girl's father learned of the two lovers, he grew angry and demanded that she marry the Spanish captain at once.  That day at sundown, she stole away to the same high point along the shore, and once again met her Chamorro lover.

Her father, the captain, and all the Spanish soldiers pursued the lovers up to the high cliff above Tumon Bay.  The lovers found themselves trapped between the edge of the cliff and the approaching soldiers.  All the young warrior could do was warn them to stay back, and the father ordered the soldiers to halt.

The lovers tied their long black hair into a single knot.  And acting as if they were entirely alone, they looked deeply into each other's eyes and kissed for the final time.  Then they leaped over the long, deep cliff into the roaring waters below.
Her father and all who remained rushed to the edge to stare in great anguish.

Since that day, Chamorros have looked to the jutting peak above Tumon Bay with reverence.  The two lovers remain a symbol of true love--a love in which two souls are entwined forever in life and in death.  Forever after, the high point on the cliff was known as Two Lovers Point.