Friday, August 30, 2013

The Sisters

During the heavy rain storms that the Cavite area had a few weeks ago, we had eight of the sister missionaries stay in the mission home because of flooding and loss of electricity. What a blessing that was for us! Having five daughters of our own, these eight sisters brought back many memories of having a home full of Fabulous Females. 
One night while the sisters were washing the dishes from dinner, I secretly recorded them singing, "I Love To See The Temple." I want you to see how happy and cute they are even in the middle of a typhoon and how blessed I was to have them stay in the mission home for a few days. While here, they spent the time in personal and companionship study, reading scriptures, and  SINGING! Once the rains calmed down, they were sent out to their areas to work. You should have seen them jump for joy when we told them they could go and work again. Their love of the gospel and the knowledge of their purpose as a missionary was evident.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mission Tour

We just finished our first Zone Conference, but this time it was a Mission Tour because we had a visiting authority with us. Elder Ardern, First Counselor in the Philippine Area Presidency, and his wife stayed in our home and spent two days teaching and bearing testimony to our missionaries. We had a wonderful time!
 This is only half of our mission. I didn't get a picture of the other three zones- their conference was held yesterday. Most of them left before I realized I needed a picture. Oh well - it was our very first time - we will get better.
 Lunch was delicious.
Elder and Sister Ardern visit with sister missionaries. 
The Oreo Commitment Challenge.

Bug Of The Month

My bug of the month is honestly a big waste of blog space. I have over 100 mothers waiting to see a picture of their son or daughter and I post this mini arachnid.
Actually, some elders killed a spider that was hanging out in their shower - he was 6" long. Oh my!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Apartment Visits

One of our favorite things so far is visiting the apartments of our missionaries. When we go, the senior couple assigned to that area goes with us and we check for cleanliness and evaluate any repairs needed. We explain to them that each apartment and everything in it was purchased through tithing and other member donations, and that even the smallest item represents sacrifice and obedience from faithful members of the church. Thus their apartment is sacred and should be cared for in that respect. Just for fun I have posted some pictures of the inside of the missionaries apartments. I especially enjoy reading the inspirational thoughts written on white boards!
 I love this front door!
 This refrigerator is awesome. Looks like it was a "set up" - nope, just a sister apartment.
The Zone Leaders are very organized. 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Tropical Storm 'Maring'

All missionaries in the Cavite area are safe and dry tonight. The storm has been a big one and we have seen a lot of rain! Our prayers go out to all the Filipino people who are without homes or electricity.

Tuesday August 20
Again tonight - Tuesday August 20 - all missionaries are safe and in their apartments. We know it is hard when parents hear news reports and have no idea what is really happening. We just want you to know that everyone is doing fine. There are six zones in our mission and 2 of the zones have flooded areas from rain water. But all of our missionaries are safe, have clean water, and electricity. We truly are watched over and protected while doing the Lord's work! All weather reports are telling us the storm will leave by tomorrow afternoon and all missionaries will be staying in their apartments until it is over.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Easel

We recently attended a baptism and I just wanted to share the experience. There were actually 25 baptisms within our mission on that day and it was a blessing to be a part of at least two of them. The young couple who were being baptized had made some huge changes in their lives. When the missionaries told them about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they knew it was true. When the missionaries asked them if they wanted to be baptized, they asked "how soon?" And when the missionaries told them about repentance, the law of chastity, and about being clean inside and out, they quickly took the necessary steps to fix their past mistakes.
Their baptism was very simple. There was no piano playing as we sang the hymns, there was no microphone to hear every word of the given talks, but the spirit was there. On the table in the front of the room was a picture of Jesus Christ. There was no easel to hold the picture, but someone had taken a shoe box lid, covered it in wrapping paper, and taped it to the back of the picture to prop it up. It was the most humble and simple of things, and I cried as we sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." I looked at the picture and thought of how perfect He is and how He doesn't care if we have flowers or posters or handouts  or easels. All He wants is for us to be like this sweet couple - to know it is true, to take the necessary steps to fix the past, and to have the attitude of "how soon" can we enjoy the blessings of His Gospel.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Transfer Day

With only 3 hours of sleep we pressed forward towards a new and exciting day - Transfer Day!
The first ones to arrive at the Molino Stake Center were the new missionaries from the Manila MTC. They had breakfast and interviews with President Tye.
Here are four of the twelve missionaries from the Manila MTC.
(The Provo MTC'ers are still asleep at the hotel.)
By lunchtime we had all the new missionaries and their trainers at the church. I arranged for a caterer to take care of our lunch and I was very careful to order a meal that would be pleasing to all the new taste buds. We had an assortment of American and Filipino dishes - like Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Pork Hammonado, Osso Bucco, and Leche Flan with Peaches. But when I checked on the food minutes before serving I was surprised to find that the menu was not what I ordered. With everyone very hungry and waiting only for a prayer to start our lunch, I could do nothing but serve what had been prepared. I asked the caterer NOT to tell anyone what they were eating.

Even though we were served beef tongue, pork livers, and stuffed fish, the whole meal was actually very good. I have learned a very important thing so far in this calling and it is that nothing ever happens by accident. Perhaps the change in menu was to make someone who was homesick for home feel better. Or maybe I was being taught that the missionaries are adults and are more than willing to take on this new adventure in their lives. A taste of the culture of where they will be serving the Lord for the next 18-24 months was a great way to welcome them to this beautiful country - the Philippines.

After lunch we had the New Missionary Orientation . . .
. . . and then it was time to hand out new pillows and take a picture with each of our 24 new missionaries. These missionaries will always be known as the FIRST missionaries called to the Philippines, Cavite Mission. Someone in this group was the first person to be called as a missionary to this mission. That would be a truly unique opportunity - to be one of the 58 'first' called to new missions in 2013.

So get ready for a long line up of the new Missionaries that will always be known as UNANG - the First.