Our first transfer week just ended and by last night I was exhausted! I laid down on the couch at the mission home and slept for twelve hours. That's crazy! I think I remember getting up and finding my bed in the middle of the night. Ü
On Monday the leaving missionaries met at the Mission Office for breakfast and ERC. ERC is a seven hour training session on finding employment, filling out a resume, etc. . . . in other words, helping the leaving missionaries prepare for life after the mission. After ERC, they came over to the Mission Home for dinner and FHE.
Tonight was "American Night" with hamburgers, potato chips, french fries, Hawaiian punch. and brownies.
As President Tye interviewed, we played Kerplunk.
The Provo MTC missionaries come to the Philippines with a suit coat. During their two years here, the coats are stored at the Mission Home. Tonight they got their suit coats back so that they can be worn on the flight home. They all felt very POGI in their coats.
The Tie Ceremony
President and I wanted to do something unique involving our last name and so we have a tie ceremony for all the leaving missionaries.
At the end of The Missionary Purpose it says, "Endure to the End." The theme of our mission is "We Are The Lord's Hands." So we put those two sentences together and ask the missionaries to take their hands that have served the Lord so valiantly, and Hold To The Rod.
We ask them to hold tight to the rod as they go forward in their future life. We beg them to never let go. It is our desire that they have a full and happy life - and it will happen if they Endure To The End. Taking one of their ties, (a symbol of a missionary's strict obedience for 18 months - 2 years) and tying it to the handrail of our banister is a promise that they will remain faithful and obedient. A promise that they will never forget what it feels like to have prayers answered, or witness someone's life change because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We want them to always remember that miracles and blessings come from God when we are obedient. We hope they never forget how it felt to sing "Called To Serve" in Tagalog with a room full of missionaries, or the indescribable joy that comes in listening to an investigators first prayer.
The tie on our banister with their name written upon it is a promise that when we see them again, President Tye and I will know that they are still on the path to Eternal Life.
Six future leaders of the church.
On Tuesday, the leaving Elders came over for breakfast. It was "Filipino Food" day and so I made Loganisa fried rice. We also had sliced mangos. Yummy! We then went to visit the zoo in Tagaytay, and then we went bowling.
After bowling we returned to the Mission Home for Chicken Adobo and rice. Then after testimony meeting, we took the Elders to a hotel and drove to the airport to pick up the new missionaries arriving from Provo.
We picked up our new missionaries at the Manila airport at around 11:30pm. My pictures are a little blurry - sorry about that.
Luggage and tired missionaries were loaded into the vans and driven to their hotel. Someone in the group mentioned that they were hungry and so President and the Assistants went to McDonalds at 1:00am and brought food back to the hotel to calm the hunger pains.