Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Elder Becker's trip to Lae (one of the outer islands)

On October 25, 2013 I (Elder Becker) left Ebeye Island and took a boat ride to Lae Island.  President Thomas Weir (Mission President of the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission), President Johannes Seremai (President of the Kwajalein Marshall Islands District), and I were accompanied by about 30 other members.  What was supposed to be a six hour boat ride actually took nine hours.  We were supposed to arrive on Lae Island at about 4:00 PM but actually arrived there at about 10:00 PM.  We were met by about 50 church members who greeted us as we walked from the beach up to the chapel.  We were fed a feast of tuna, rice, lobster, breadfruit, coconut milk and much more.  The members were so nice and it was so nice to see them up this late to greet and feed us.  President Weir and I slept in the elder's house with Elders Adam and ElderVano.  President Weir brought an air mattress and slept on it and I chose to sleep on a two-inch pad on the floor.  We all woke up the next morning and visited with a number of the church members throughout the day.  President Weir had to do a number of temple recommend interviews and a number of other district business items.  In the evening we held a fireside in the chapel.  The chapel is just what one would picture on a Pacific Island.  It is built on stilts about three feet off the ground.  It is made completely of wood with  windows on each side.  The chapel is large enough to seat approximately 100 members.  There is lighting in the chapel but no air conditioning.  Needless to say it gets very warm in the chapel but once in awhile you feel a little breeze blow in from outside.  Sunday morning church services started at 10:00.  There are about 90 LDS church members who live on Lae, but at this church meeting we had about 115 people who attended.  This is really amazing when you consider that there are only approximately 300 people living on the entire island.  The highlight of the church services was the Priesthood Meeting.  All of the Priests took a folding chair from the chapel, walked outside to the beach and placed their chair under the palm trees.  It was the most beautiful setting I have ever attended for a church meeting and I'm sure that I will never live to see a more peaceful place.  The spirit was definitely there at this meeting and I continually looked around at the awesome beauty that the Lord had provided for its faithful members on this beautiful island.  We had a final meeting at 4:00 in the afternoon for all adults in the branch.  Once again we set up folding chairs outside under the palm trees.  One thing I did learn on Lae is that you need to be very careful where you sit.  On Saturday while President Weir and I were sitting under some palm trees a couple of coconuts fell from the palm trees.  The church meetings I attended on Lae Island are meetings that I will never forget.  They are etched in my memory for all time.

Elder Becker on the boat leaving for Lae.

Elder Becker, President Weir, and President Seremai

Lae Chapel, Elder's house, and Restroom

Relaxing under the palm trees on Lae Island. 

President Weir and Elder Becker attending Sunday Priesthood Meeting.

After being on Lae for a while I decided to take a tour of the little island.  I started off by walking on the small sandy road.  I ran into a few children playing and they all wanted to shake my hand.  There were a few homes (huts) that one could see along the road hidden back in the palm trees.  A couple of men passed by me on bicycles.  Sister Becker told me to buy a souvenir and I did try, but I found out that there is not a single store on Lae where you can buy anything, not even a Diet Pepsi.  There is no smog on Lae because you will not find a single car.  What little electricity you will find on the island is provided by solar power or generators.  There is also no internet on Lae.  To communicate with the outside world they use radio which was not working while I was there.  After walking the road for about a mile I decided to walk the beach back to the church.  I ran into Modin and Limon Phillip who had ridden on the boat with us to Lae.  Brother Phillip is the district mission leader and they had family on the island that they wanted to visit.  As you can tell by the pictures the beach is more beautiful than words can describe.  I have never been on a more quiet peaceful beach in my entire life.  I was deeply touched by God's Hands in creating such a beautiful and quiet place for me to witness.  I walked for about an hour on the beach and ran into one person.  A young boy, about 10, saw me walking and joined me.  We tried to talk but soon realized that neither one of us could speak the other's language.  We immediately became friends and I took a picture of him and he took a picture of me.  I tried picking up a few shells but they all crawled away when I went to pick them up.  When I did pick them up they crawled out of my hand.  I soon realized that every pretty shell I wanted was also wanted by a hermit crab.  I did manage to find a couple of lovely broken shells that were not occupied. 

President Weir and I woke up at about 3:30 AM on Monday morning unable to sleep.  We quickly dressed, packed our clothes, and grabbed two folding chairs from the chapel and walked down to the beach.  We sat there in the dark enjoying the beauty of the ocean, the stars, and the serenity of everything around us.  We talked about a number of things including our families and work experiences.  We both eventually laid down on the cool sandy beach and fell fast asleep.  At about 6:30 other people started coming down to the beach for preparation of leaving Lae.  Approximately 75 members of the Lae Branch came down to the beach to see us off.  Before leaving we all gathered around and sang, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."  We loaded the boat and left at about 8:00 AM.  Oh one more thing, they tried to load a large live pig on the boat but from what I have been told live pigs are not allowed to be brought to Ebeye.  The return trip on the boat took about nine hours and I took enough Dramamine to help me sleep for five hours.

The only road on Lae.  Notice no cars anywhere.

Gilligan's Island?  No Lae Island.
The little boy I met

The beautiful blue waters of Lae.
Modin & Limon Phillip with Elder Becker

Elder Becker soaking in the beach, sand, and sun on Lae Island.


  1. Wow! Amazing experiences you are having.

  2. So nice to hear about the wonderful work you are doing. Thanks for sharing it and all of your pictures here.

  3. Ei that gonna be where my son missionary in the next 3 to 6months and thanks elder becker for posting up these photos!

  4. I know me and my companion were jealous of Elders Lloyd and Kaminaga who got to serve out on Lae in 1993. We were on Ebeye but never got the chance to take the ride there. Such a beautiful island and the stories they had to tell about the members out there.

  5. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures on your mission. I miss being a missionary in the Marshall Islands. May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you. Jerammon ilo rainin