25 October 2008

Youth Conference 08

25 October 2008
We did it! Our Youth Conference was this past weekend, and I'm glad it's over, but I'm also glad I got to be a part of it.

I say it over and over again, but the youth here are AMAZING! And so unified. It's a lot of work putting something like this together, but the youth in Saipan are unlike any youth I've ever seen. They make it all much easier and much more rewarding.

Today we had our testimony meeting, and I was really touched by the love that I felt for and from all of these kids (loads of testimonies and loads of tears). It's going to be really hard to move away from all of them in a year.

We be jammin'

Me & Nathan (Boss #1 & Boss #2)

Saemi, Tori, Abel

Can you spot the old lady above?

Kristina & Manny

Skylar & Jake

I got to play with a little Photoshop/Pop Art Display

Our T-shirt design
More photos here

13 October 2008

Saipodities Part 3

13 October 2008
So, apparently, this little guy heard about our new "Saipodities" section, and decided to stop by the house.

I was just sitting at my computer this morning, and I glance up and see this coconut crab on our deck. It was pretty cool. I'm glad it wasn't in our house though...they kind of creep me out with their little tap dancing claws....

05 October 2008

Survived 26+ hours in the Pacific

05 October 2008
James Bell, photo by Jacqueline Hernandez

Some of you may remember a previous post about Jim Bell, the 70 y/o swimmer in our branch. Well, we recently thought we lost him to the ocean. He completed his swim around the island of Saipan and decided to swim the channel back to Tinian. This particular channel has very unpredictable currents. So unpredictable that almost 30 years ago it took him 12 hours and just a few months ago it took less than 5. This time, however, he was in the ocean for an unbelievable 26+ hours fighting intense currents. I can't imagine being isolated and exhausted in the ocean miles away from shore in the middle of the night. (Apparently, he was stung several times by the jellyfish who like to surface at night)

At about 9 o'clock that night, after no one had heard from him, they filed a missing persons report and sent a boat and helicopter out looking for him. Apparently, the helicopter's spotlight just missed him at one point. He wasn't discovered until 11am the next day, 2 miles NE of Tinian, and even after all he'd been through, he still refused to get in the boat, and he managed to swim the last 2 miles to shore.

He may be stubborn, but he's also very loveable! We're so glad he's ok!

Check out the Clawsons blog for more details: http://tiniantimes.blogspot.com/

NEW: Jim Bell's account