We are just a couple days away from hitting our one month mark in Chuuk, and for the first time, this week seemed to actually fly by. I feel like I’ve hit some sort of stride in teaching. Don’t be too fooled – each day after school still brings the same thoughts and conversations of “what am I going to teach tomorrow,” but I feel like I’ve gotten into a bit of my Chuuk groove.
On a very exciting note, we had the opportunity to not only meet, but spend four hours with some remarkable General Authorities and Church representatives on Monday evening. Elder Gay, Elder Ringwood, Bill Davis and Darwin Halvorson within the Church’s Self Reliance and Perpetual Education departments visited us from Salt Lake City, Guam and Tokyo, and they sure make things happen!
They took us to dinner, got to know us, listened to us, answered most of our questions, gave us some much needed insight on the Church’s education vision for Chuuk, as well as left us with some incredible spiritual counsel. To say it was a much needed visit is an understatement! They shared with us how their vision even came to be and how we are laying the foundation for miracles to occur. We gathered that we will most likely not see any results of the vision while our group is here in Chuuk this round, but that we are planting some very important seeds. The Church’s overall vision for Chuuk is to build the education from the bottom up, with the current focus being on the new elementary school. We learned that the four of us high school teachers are mostly filling a need as the high school is in dire need of teachers. Once the internet situation improves and as a satellite is eventually installed, curriculum will mostly be taught on Chrome books and classes will be broadcast to outer islands. It’s exciting to hear that more students’ lives will have the chance to be influenced. We are optimistic that the generations we are interacting with now, will hopefully break their culture’s barriers and become motivated and positive influences in their various islands.
Towards the end of the evening, Elder Ringwood thanked us for “harkening to their semi-unorganized call,” and lifted our spirits knowing that someone at the Church knew we were on this little island. One of the things that has added to the frustration of this experience has been that we have been left without a point of contact in Salt Lake City; someone who knows of our situation, someone who can update us on the Church’s vision, as well as offer support. During our four-hour meeting, it was mentioned three times that there is currently an opening for that point of contact. This has been an interest of mine since I first heard of this Micronesia opportunity and as we each experienced a frustrating on-boarding process. After our meeting, I let Elder Ringwood know that I have been EXTREMELY interested in that open position. I have obviously been on the ground and am familiar with our situation in Chuuk, I have ideas of how efficiency could be improved and I REALLY want to work more with Self Reliance Services. As Elder Ringwood patiently listened to me pour out my heart in a short couple of minutes, he said to me, “just so you know, while everyone was doing their introductions, I made a few notes about you. I knew I needed to talk with you before you even approached me.” A few minutes later, Elder Gay (the one over all of Self Reliance Services) called me over and said, “Elder Ringwood tells me you and I need to chat more. Please send us your resume.” Dreams.starting.to.come.true! It’s currently a waiting game but I know there are good things to come!