Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arrival in Guam . . .

Sean left the MTC at 3:15 a.m. on Monday, January 28, 2013. Everyone at our house woke up at 5:30 to talk to him before he boarded his plane. He wasn't very talkative but we figured it was because he was tired as well as a bit anxious :). He and his MTC companion, Elder Vause (who we have now learned is from Ogden) were traveling together to Guam. They had a short layover in Los Angeles and then on to Honolulu. This second layover was a bit longer, so they both had time to call their families. Sean was much more talkative after getting some sleep on the plane from LAX. On the flight to LA, he sat by a man who immediately got on his phone and began using "colorful" language about his plight in life. Once they announced all electronics needed to be turned off, Sean said this man immediately closed his eyes and didn't open them until they were at LAX. Needless to say, he could tell this man definitely did not want to talk with him. On the flight to Honolulu, he and Elder Vause had the opportunity to sit by an asian lady who spoke to them a bit. He didn't leave the airport, but said Hawaii was beautiful and looked warm!

He arrived in Guam at 6:47 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29 (1:47 a.m. in Utah). Yes, Mom woke up at 1:00 a.m. She was able to get online and make sure the plane landed in Guam :). President Mecham called Tuesday afternoon and spoke with Parker. He said, "Elder McEwan arrived safely, they were going to orient him and then he would be on his way to his area." Sean will be serving on the island of Chuuk for his first area and will be learning the Chuukese language. After Sean received his mission call, we learned of another missionary, Elder Nick O'bray, who is also serving in the Micronesia Guam Mission since July 2012. Nick's family lives in West Mountain and he is also a graduate of Salem Hills High School (year older than Sean). Sean and Neely had the opportunity of talking with Elder O'bray's mom before Sean left and she told them lots about the mission and showed Sean the many pictures he had sent home. We never thought in a million years that they would serve together. However, Elder O'bray will be Elder McEwan's trainer! Even though living conditions are not the greatest on Chuuk, Sean was very hopeful that he would get to serve there at some point in his mission, but said, "I'm sure Nick and I won't serve together though since we are from the same town/area." This is a tender mercy from our Heavenly Father that Sean will be serving with and learning from Elder O'bray. What a great blessing for him as well as for us.

Sean will be in the city of Weno (pronounced Wooda we think :). His address is listed here. We have been told (from our new dear friends the O'brays), that letters take about 10 days and packages about 2 weeks to get to Chuuk. If you send a package, USPS flat rate boxes are the best and least expensive. Tape them very well. We don't think packages are gone through (like other countries), but we have learned from another family of missionaries that if you put a picture of Christ on the package, it will not be gone through. Most places are very respectful of this (All these new fun things we get to learn and share with others).

Sean will remain in Guam until Friday and then will have yet another flight to Chuuk . We are so excited for the experiences he will have and the people he will get to love. What a great opportunity for our family to also learn of these wonderful people and get to love them from afar!

1 comment:

  1. I can't say enough about how excited we are about these two being companions. Nick LOVES everything about his mission. We have seen him grow and change and become even more amazing than he already was (we think he was anyway.) It is rough living conditions, but they are strong boys and they don't seem to mind. The people are truly amazing... so kind and wonderful to the missionaries. The island is a tropical paradise and Nick says he is constantly aware of it's beauty and how fortunate he is to be serving there, so the tough living conditions are minor to all the amazing blessings. We are grateful for this adventure and can't wait to hear more from you and Sean.