Friday, February 28, 2014

A Trip To The Temple

We have 10 missionaries leaving in the next transfer. We usually take them to the Manila Temple for their going home activity, but the Temple will be closed on that day. Because we didn't want them to miss out on doing a session at the Manila Temple, we took them three weeks early. It was a beautiful day and our experience in the Temple was wonderful. Two of our Senior Couples also joined us in the same session.
This will be the largest group to leave us since we arrived in July '13. All of these missionaries have held leadership positions from trainers and district leaders to zone leaders and A.P. - we will greatly miss their willingness to serve, their talents, and their obedience.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

President Tye's Counselors

President Tye has been blessed with two wonderful Counselors. He could not get everything done without their help in the Districts and in the general welfare and running of the mission.
 President Tye
President Briones and President Pipit
We had the Presidency and their wives over for dinner. After we ate, the men went into President Tye's office and took care of some business while Sister Briones, Sister Pipit, and I talked about our children and what we are doing in the church. (In fact, Sister Pipit is showing me pictures of her grandchildren in the above picture.) I was surprised at how much we have in common. I guess a mother's love for her children and our combined love of the gospel makes us kindred spirits!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Missionary Follow-Up

We were so happy to have all of our newest missionaries gathered together again and to see how they are doing. Follow-up is also a time to ask questions and receive more training - and a time to eat.
 Elder Mole, Elder Colcol, and a Ward Missionary
Elder Baylon, Sister Jones, Elder Rindlesbacher, and Elder Espinoza 
 Sister Davey and Sister Koluse
Sisters: Lasalosi, Unga, Ma'u, Sefeti, and Koluse 
Back row: Elder Sessions, Elder Hansen, Sister Griffiths, Sister Teoti, Sister Hingano. Front row: Sister Nkwocha and Sister Hale 
Ready to start the meeting.
We sure have a lot of missionaries sitting towards the back. They must not know that there is a special reward in heaven for those sitting on the front two rows.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Every three months we have interviews with the missionaries. President sees each one individually and I usually talk to them about health issues or dress and grooming. This month I checked to see if they are dressed properly - according to the rules in the Missionary Handbook. I made a checklist and awarded them points depending on how well they were following the handbook. I gave them extra points if they had money in their emergency fund. This was a competition between zones and the winning zone will be announced in the upcoming Zone Conference.
Because we have so many colds and coughs among the missionaries, I also gave them a list of 5 ways to avoid getting sick. These were listed on a blank page in their handbook.
Elder Moshier, Elder Grant, Elder Chon, Elder Tago
 Sister Peters
 Elders: Tongi, Chua, Salimbot, Acosta, Dasalla, Molina

This zone was the most organized of all the other zones. When we arrived, our rooms were set up and a schedule was printed out. They also had a zone meeting after interviews were completed. At the meeting, tables were set up in the back of the room for practicing and role-playing. Thanks to the zone leaders, Elder Cornelius and Elder Tadina.

Elder Iraola, Elder Roda, Elder Dennison, Elder Lilly, Elder Collins, Elder Ripdos 
Sisters: Faalogo, Rivero, Leavitt, and Seleue 
Elders: Ripdos, Haufano, Matina, Tinasas, Iraola
Sister Jones, Sister Saavedra, Sister Rodgers, and Sister Teoti

 Elder Colcol, Elder Tumala, and Elder Shimbashi
Sister Arnson, Sister Calder, Sister Domantay, and Sister Folau
 Sister Nkwocha and Sister Carter

 Elder LuLab, Elder Leaupepetele
 Elder Park, Elder Phillips
Elder Doloritos, Elder Barney, Elder Burbidge, Elder Calipes, Sister Montemayer, Sister Berrera, Sister Vaitaki

And here is where I sit for 6 hours, three days a week, and talk to the best missionaries in the whole world.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Very Short Three Months

It has been three months since Typhoon Yolanda destroyed parts of Central Philippines. Immediately after the storm, church leaders began searching for the full-time missionaries who were serving in the hardest hit city of Tacloban. Within a few days all were accounted for, but because of the destruction and loss of apartments and clothing, the missionaries were divided up and sent to other missions until further notice. We received 13.
One is missing in this picture - Elder Burton - who was recovering at the MRC in Manila. He arrived a few days later.

Our job was:
To love them - EASY 
To help them feel welcome - EASY
To purchase new clothing for them - EASY 
 To treat them like one of our own - VERY EASY
To learn from them about strength in trials and commitment - EASY
To keep them for a season and then return them to Tacloban - DIFFICULT!

We knew three months ago that this time would come, but it is still hard. Each one of them are dear to President Tye and I. Within the last three months in Cavite, two of them have been blessing us as Zone Leaders. Three others are serving as District Leaders, and four are currently training newly arrived missionaries. Our hearts are aching but we understand the need to have them return to where they were first called to serve. It is in Tacloban that they are needed to assist in the rebuilding of the community and offer peace and hope to others through the Gospel. 

One of the Tacloban elders, Elder Johnson, asked me if I would make him one more home cooked meal before he left. So a small group came over to the Mission Home and we had a good-bye dinner before they headed to the airport.
Elder Banawan prepares for the 'hold to the rod' promise. 
 The promise is complete! 
   Although we will miss them dearly, we are thankful for the chance we had to enjoy their great leadership qualities. Paalam!

Friday, February 7, 2014

February MLC

Another month is here and time for MLC. February will be devoted to the Christlike attribute of Charity. The following pictures will let you see how our day went.
Before we invested in this shoe rack, we had shoes all over the entryway. Wish I would have taken a picture while they were scattered all over the floor. It was a grand sight! (but this is more organized)
A few of our Zone Leaders
Elder Cornelius, Elder Grant, Elder Anderson, Elder Tadina, Elder Chon, and Elder Lulab
Some of our Sister Training Leaders
Sister Fernando, Sister Sabordo, Sister Villanueva, and Sister Sarmen
Elder Durfee and Elder Tumala are in the background. They are the only ones in this picture that have not been named on the blog yet.
 We have 20 elders and sisters who are part of the MLC.

Starting from this picture, I need you to do something. Left click on the next picture and when it becomes full screen, click on the small pics at the bottom of the screen one at a time to see this group jump in slow motion.
Perfect and very cool!

 If you think all we do is eat and jump in this mission - well you are surely mistaken. These awesome zone leaders, sister training leaders, and all of the other 170 missionaries in Cavite work hard to be obedient to the laws of God and the mission rules as set forth by President Tye. They wake up at 6:30am and don't return to that bed until 10:30pm. Every one of them LOVES the Filipino people and use every ounce of their strength towards inviting others to come unto Christ and helping them receive the restored gospel. Yep, they could be home playing video games, dating, driving their car, hanging out with friends, or going to college - but they have chosen to devote this time to the Lord. It is their way of saying thank you to Him and Heavenly Father for all they have been blessed with. They will return home more grown up and mature. They will bring with them a stronger testimony of prayer, dedication, faith, and a determination to do what is right. They will be better workers, employees, and students because of the way they faced challenges and resolved the stress and fatigue of missionary life. I see in each one of them future leaders of this church. Their compassion, strong will, and faith amazes me. Some have had a parent or dear friend pass away while here. Some have had siblings get married or have worried about family being caught in the middle of typhoons and blizzards. But here they stay, valiant and steadfast in serving the Lord. So I say, "go ahead and jump!" Laugh, be silly, and have a wonderful time because soon it will be time to get back to work. Continue making this one of the best experiences of your life.