Monday, December 23, 2013

Our Christmas Gift

We put together a DVD of pictures from all the missionaries as an overview of 2013. It was put to music and was shown at the Mission Christmas Devotional. As soon as possible I will post the DVD so all can enjoy it, but to our surprise, we received an 11x14 picture made up of each of the individual pictures used in the DVD. The picture posted below shows President and I in the midst of all our missionaries. 
When it was presented to President Tye and I at the end of the Devotional, we were told that it represented our missionaries becoming a part of us. I love this idea and knowing that we will have an eternal relationship with these wonderful Elders and Sisters. How wonderful this thought is to me! I will always remember our first six months in the Philippines and the strength I received from them. They truly are a part of us!  This three year experience and their righteous examples will be in our hearts forever.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Welcome Lunch And Meeting

Our newest missionaries met at the Molino Chapel for orientation. We started with lunch and then we introduced them to their first companions and trainers.
The ones from the Provo MTC were so tired! Their flight did not land in Manila until 3:00am. After checking into the hotel, they only had 2 hours of sleep before they had to get ready for a new day. With the usual jet lag and lack of sleep, they were trying their best to stay awake. Oh how I love the missionaries! They never fail to be an example of devotion and faith. Think of an 18+ year old entering a foreign country, meeting someone they don't know - who will be their sole companion for the next 12 weeks, then Christmas is a week away and you miss your family, and add to that exhaustion.
All of them fill out a questionnaire when they arrive and one of the questions is, "What is the primary reason you are serving a mission?" A few of the responses from this new batch were:
 "I came on a mission so that others could receive the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want others to be happy like I am."
"I feel I owe to give 1 1/2 years of my life as a tithing to the Lord. I have a strong testimony and have seen the blessings it brings to my life. I want others to experience it as well - the love of God."
"1) To teach others about the things that give me peace. 2) To become a worthy husband and father."
"I prayed to know if I should serve. I received the answer that I needed to leave home because I could help so many people."
"Because it was my dream when I was a little boy. To forget myself and Go To Work."
I believe we will see great things happen in Cavite because of the missionaries we have serving here.
 Sister 'Eteaki
Sister Seleue, Sister Fa'alogo, Sister Aukitino
 The two new missionaries in this picture are the two in the foreground - Sister Mitsvotai, and Sister Calder.
 Elder Leaupepetele, Elder Roberts, Elder Park, Elder Dennison

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Welcome Sign

We are back at the Welcome Sign with 22 new missionaries.
 Sorry! Every picture we took had 2 elders partially hidden.
We are starting to do jumping pictures of the new missionaries - kind of a "yippee! I'm here" picture - but getting this many people to jump at the same time is difficult. This time it became a ripple.
Look at the air some of these sisters and elders got. Perfect!

Here is the line up of new elders and sisters.
Welcome! Welcome! to Cavite,
Now we rest from every care.
(Ha-Ha, I'm just playing with ya.)
Elder Chidester 
 Elder Park
Elder Baniago 
Elder Fiame 
 Sister Mitsvotai
Sister Calder
 Sister Rodgers
 Elder Go
Sister 'Eteaki 
 Elder Dela Cruz
 Sister Fa'alogo
Sister Seleue
 Sister Aukitino
 Sister Vaitaki
 Elder Erickson
 Elder Ballantyne
 Elder Dennison
Elder Jackson
 Elder Leaupepetele
 Elder Roberts
 Elder Bell
 Elder Lily
Sister Heisel
Sister Heisel arrived on December 30th, two weeks after her batch from Provo. She was ill when the others came and spent the extra ten days recuperating at the MTC in Utah. It is great to have her here and officially start her mission in Cavite. 
A big smile from Elder Erickson 

 Elder Espinoza is one of the trainers.
President and Sister Tye are jumping for joy - the picture taking is over!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hard To Say Good-Bye

 The Great Eight
 Leaving us is Sister Cayago, Sister Daquila, Sister Vaki, and Sister Mendiola. Elder Fernando, Elder Villa, Elder Caliao, and Elder Morales.
They met at the Mission Home at 7:30 a.m. to start their going home activities. First thing we did was sign the quilt. Then after the traditional breakfast of Loganisa rice and sweet rolls, we headed to the Manila Temple to do an endowment session together.
Next we stopped off at Jamba Juice and Krispy Kreme, then went back to the Mission Home to talk, relax, and Hold to the Rod with the ties. We had dinner and then ended the night with a testimony meeting. 
President and I want to have the same experience with these eight, that Alma had in Alma 17:1-3. We pray that in 14 years they will still be our 'brethren in the Lord."
Dessert - Sister West, Elder West, and Sister Davis
My life has truly been blessed by becoming friends with, and knowing these eight missionaries. I look at them and see great leaders in the church. Their love for the Savior and faith in His Atonement is evident in the people they have become and the testimonies they bore. I dearly love each of them - Good bye.