Saturday, December 15, 2012


On November 25th, 2012, our 19th grand baby was born in Washington, Iowa.   Her name is Grace Anne Hunger.  Her parents are Jeny Hunger, our youngest child, and Dennis Hunger.  Grace was born at 9:23 pm and weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz and is 21 1/2 inches long.  

What a welcome addition Grace Anne is to our family.  Thanks to the blessing of skype, we were able to see Grace just minutes after she was born.  It has been a challenge to be so far away from this sweet little family during this important time. Jeny has been so kind to send daily snap shots of the baby by email.  Brenda, our oldest and her 9 year old daughter Gwen, traveled from Nevada to Iowa to help with the baby.  Brenda also sent many pictures of the baby and activities with the family during the week they were there.  We have been so blessed to be able to share in these happy times from so far away.  Technology is wonderful!!

Grace Anne in her car seat, ready for the trip home from the hospital.
Gwen holding baby Grace Anne at 1am as she and Brenda arrive at Jeny's home.
Gwen made Jared lunch each day.  They became great friends!!  Jared loves to eat!!

Sarah and Emma love baby Grace

Beautiful baby Grace Anne

Sarah, Gwen, and Emma made lots of crafts during the week
Andrew and Jared also enjoyed making the crafts, but were not interested in the picture/taking part.

Pretty in pink!!
Grace Anne sleeping in the cradle Ken made 38 years ago, for our children, just before Brenda and Brice were born.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Our 2nd Thanksgiving while serving in the Solomons was a quiet one.  We prepared all the traditional American foods that were available in Honiara.  There were just the two of us this year, but we loved celebrating this important day together. 

Our thanksgiving feast

A very, very happy senior missionary watching over his homemade rolls, pies, and mashed potatoes!! YUM!!

Can you believe, 3 pies for 2 people?????
It just doesn't get any better than this!!!!!!
We reflected on this special day of thanks how grateful we are for our many, many, blessings from the Lord.  

Friday, November 23, 2012


The Honiara Solomon Island District Conference was held on the 18th of November 2012 in the Honiara Meeting House.  The Honourable Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of the the Solomon Islands has visited many of the Churches in the Solomon Islands during his year in office.  We mentioned this to Elder Hamula before his meeting with the Prime Minister in September.  In that meeting, Elder Hamula invited the Prime Minister to attend our District Conference in November, and he said he would like to. 

About 2 weeks prior to the Conference, we prepared a formal invitation to invite the Prime Minister to the meeting.  Through a tender mercy from the Lord and minor miracles we met and shook hands with the PM as we entered the building to deliver the invitation.  We proceeded to leave the invitation with his executive secretary and left thinking that was the end of it.  A couple of days later  his secretary called to announce the acceptance of our invitation and followed that with an official written acceptance.  During the week of preparations for the conference we met with the PM's security detail and the members prepared every needful thing, flowers, decorations for the chapel, lei's etc.  We contacted Elder Vinson and asked if it would be appropriate to present a nice set of scriptures to the Prime Minister during the meetings.  He agreed and said he would bring them from Australia.

President and Sister Brewer arrived on Thursday afternoon and Friday held a Zone Conference for the missionaries.  We picked up Elder Vinson Friday afternoon and the conference sessions began Saturday at noon.  First a RS, Primary, and YW leader training meeting was held while the Priesthood leaders held their training meeting.  Then a new member meeting, followed by the Adult session at 3pm.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcey Lilo arrives for the conference and is introduced to Elder Vinson and President Brewer by Elder Mitchell

During the Sunday session Ken was released as District President.  Matthew Sauseru was sustained as the new District President, with Peter Rimou as 1st counselor, Michael Mani as 2nd counselor, and John Kwanafia as clerk.

Elder Mitchell conducting the District Conference
Pres. Mani, Pres. Sauseru, Pres. Rimou, the new District Presidency

The Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Gordon Darcy Lilo, spoke for over 10 minutes during the meeting and gave an excellent talk.

Following his remarks Elder Vinson of the Seventy, who presided in the meetings, presented the Prime Minister with a leather bound scripture quad.

A Primary Children's choir provided music.

Prime Minister leaving after the meeting

Elder Vinson was here last year for the conference when the District was organized and Ken was called as District President.  We felt it a great blessing to have him assigned to this conference as well.

It was a busy whirlwind weekend

Newspaper Article and pictures printed in Solomon Star and Island Sun: 

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo addresses LDS Conference




Primary Children’s Choir



Prime Minister Lilo and PS Anga singing with Congregation



Elder Vinson presents LDS scriptures to Prime Minister Lilo



Prime Minister visits LDS Church Conference



The Honorable Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, attended the Honiara Solomon Island District Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday 18 November 2012.  The Permanent Secretary to the Prime Minister, Barnabas Anga, accompanied the Prime Minister.


Visiting authorities from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were, Elder Terence Vinson of the Seventy, who presided, and the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission President, Larry Brewer, accompanied by his wife Maryanne.  More than 200 Solomon Island members of the Church attended the meetings.


During the service on Sunday, Prime Minister Lilo, spoke to the assembled members of the Church.   He stated that he knew that the members of the Church were a law abiding, God fearing, freedom loving people, and he commended them for this.  He spoke of the Children’s Choir and the song they had sung in English and in Pijin, “I am a Child of God”, and how important it is for all people to understand that we are all children of God.  He stated that the freedom we have in the Solomon Islands is a gift of God.  He emphasized the importance of standing together as a nation, as one country, and one people.  He expressed his belief that it is the role of government to create a stable environment for the people, that provides freedom of religion.  Members of the Church felt honored and blessed by his comments and presence at the conference.    


President Brewer encouraged members to follow the doctrines of the Church including the 13 Articles of Faith.  He emphasized that “we believe in God,  the Eternal Father, and in his Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”    He also reminded members that “we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”


Elder Vinson’s message included stories from the Old Testament and their meaning and significance in our lives today.  He taught of Aaron and Hur who held up the hands of Moses so that Israel could defeat Amalek.  He spoke of Joshua and Caleb and of their remarkable faithfulness to the Lord.  He reminded the congregation of the widow of Zarephath who through her faith in the Lord and service, was blessed that her barrel of meal never wasted and her cruse of oil never failed.  He encouraged all members to be faithful and serve the Lord with all their hearts.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages members to study the scriptures daily.  LDS scriptures include the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon which both testify of the Savior Jesus Christ.  During the meeting, Elder Vinson presented a leather bound set of scriptures to Prime Minister Lilo.


During the Conference a new District Presidency was sustained.   Called were; Matthew Sauseru as President of the Honiara Solomon Island District of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Peter Rimou as 1st counselor, Michael Mani as 2nd counselor, and John Kwanafia as district clerk.




Prime Minister Lilo, Elder Vinson, Pres. Brewer

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


In April we were able to download General Conference on the internet and then show it to the members just 2 weeks after the meetings were held.  We decided that it worked so well we would show October Conference just 1 week after it occurred in Salt Lake City.  So up at 2 am to start the 5 hour process of downloading a 2 hour session of conference.

179 Solomon Islanders watching a 32 inch TV and enjoying every minute of the conference session.

139 stayed to watch the afternoon session at 1 pm.

We even used our kitchen chairs and bar stools to accommodate the crowd.

We all have our method of staying awake during meetings, this young boy practiced his weaving skills.

We sent some of our pictures to the public affairs director for the Area office in New Zealand.  He wrote an article and posted it on the Pacific Area News Room on the Church web site.

We are so happy that the Saints were blessed to see and hear the leaders of the Church again during this fall session of conference.

Miracles do happen and technology is wonderful!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


In the spring when we found out that the Solomon Islands would be part of the new Vanuatu Port Vila Mission, we wondered if we might ever get the chance to visit Vanuatu.  When President and Sister Brewer came to the Solomons two weeks ago to visit Malaita, Gizo, and to hold Zone Conference, he told us that he was going to bring us to Port Vila to meet the couples in the Mission office and receive some training.  Sister Brewer picked us up at the airport and took us to the Mission Home.

We were able to visit with Brother James, the security guard at the Mission home.  He served in the Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands Mission and was serving as Branch President in the Burns Creek Branch when we arrived in the Solomons last year.

Each morning we went out the gate and started our 3 mile walk.  We enjoyed the beautiful Island and the wonderful cooler weather.

The views are amazing

This huge house is one that executives stay at while working in Port Vila

Wednesday afternoon President and Sister Brewer took us on a tour around the entire Island on a nice paved road.
We visited the Church buildings, beaches, jungle, and enjoyed the beauty of the Island.

This building was just erected on this new site.  The Branch that used to meet in it on another part of the Island just had a beautiful new building built.  They took this one down, moved it to the other side of the Island and put it back up as a service project for this small branch.

This very old pig was doing guard duty for the building.

                                        The color of the ocean and the waves were spectacular!

A bit windy but we had fun trying out new hair dos.

We're not quite sure what the fruit on this tree is.  Someone told us it was a Noni tree, but all we know is that it's not a pineapple.

Friday night we were invited to a couples activity at one of the branches.

Saturday evening we enjoyed a Senior Missionary dinner at the Mission Home.  It was great to get to know the other couples, the Chynoweths, (office couple), the Mortensens, (President Brewers counselor) and the  Wallaces, (he is in charge of missionary housing and vehicles and she is the mission nurse). 

Sunday we attended church at the "Numba Won Branch" in Port Vila.
They have a beautiful, big building and a large, strong branch.

Many of the Vanuatu Sisters wear the traditional "Island dresses"

Port Vila is a popular cruise ship stop.  There are many tourists on the streets.

President and Sister Brewer were so good to us and we really enjoyed our week with them.  They made us feel at home and a part of the Mission.