Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kawit District Meeting

On Tuesday we visited the weekly District meeting in Kawit. We arrived kind of late, but we still had a chance to practice with them as they did role play. President and I were assigned to sit across from Sister 'Auaea and Sister Lamson as they practiced using inspired questions on us - the investigators. I was ready to be baptized after just five minutes! I became so caught up in the spirit and their strength as a companionship. Great job sisters!
Elder Kalio and Elder Burbidge (Elder B. is the District Leader)
 Sister Mayberry, Sister Sevia, Elder Burbidge, Elder Prospero, Elder Velasco
Elder Tinasas and Elder Tadina - Zone Leaders

Looks like I didn't get a picture of Sister 'Auaea and Sister Lamson - and we spent a lot of time with them as we worked at the role play. I'm so sad. But I happened to get this cute picture of Sister Mayberry and Sister Sevia.

 Elder Burbidge and Elder Kalio did a fantastic job with the District meeting today. I hope we did not make them too nervous when we showed up. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Visiting Apartments

Visiting the apartments of missionaries is always fun and sometimes very . . . hard. Let me explain -

When we visit, the elders and sisters are called ahead of time and notified that President and I will be knocking on their door. Visits are always on a Friday and are done between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. According to the Missionary Handbook, this is when all missionaries are in their apartments doing their weekly planning. They are to be dressed in missionary attire, have a clean apartment, and be involved in "planning" with their companion.

Today we visited 32 wonderful elders and sisters in their apartments. Most of them were anxiously waiting for us to come. Their apartments were clean, they were dressed appropriately, and they were planning the coming week with their companion. BUT, a few of them forgot that we were coming.
This is where it gets . . . hard.

President and I dearly love our missionaries, but walking into a dirty, unkept apartment and elders not dressed appropriately disappoints us. If these few were obediently following the rules as set up in the daily and weekly schedule, there would be no panic or apologizing at our arrival. There would be no scrambling to clear a path, or to find a clean white shirt and tie. They would have been up since 6:30 am, exercised, had a shower, eaten breakfast, and had personal study so that between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm on Friday, they would be planning the coming week. Inviting President Tye inside would not be a worry even if we had not called ahead to make an appointment. Showing respect for us and for the Savior, who's name is in bold letters on their name tag, should bring diligence in being obedient.

I have a few pictures of the apartments and missionaries we visited today. Next week I will add more. 
 Elder Tongi, Elder Espiritu, Elder Gonzaga, Elder Espinoza
Elder Hora, Elder Goldthorpe, Elder Anderson, Elder Seau
 Quickly grabbed shirt at President's arrival. Torn and falling apart. Not good.
 Sister Dulay, Sister Nkwocha, Sister Tritit, Sister Bulabon
 The Zone Leaders keeping track of the whole zone's progress
Elder Manlulu, Elder Dela Cruz, Elder Shimbashi, Elder Gaso
 White board used as part of the next weeks planning
Elder Seau takes the sponge and cleans the refrigerator inside and out.
Thank you Elder!
Look at those floors! Spotless and shiny apartment. Beautiful! 
 Elder Esmejarda, Elder Fiame, Elder Tumala, Elder Coffey
 Elder Johnston, Elder Calaunan, Elder Roberts, Elder Utai
Sister Sefeti, Sister Van Tassell, Sister Lizada, Sister Lasalosi
(Really fuzzy, but I know there is a mom out there who would rather see a blurry picture of her daughter than nothing at all.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Superhero's And Senior Couples

Senior Couples Are Superheros!
Did you know that? Well, to be completely honest, I never realized how treasured a Senior Couple is until now.
The First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, and other church leaders are constantly asking for older, able members to serve missions -  and now I know how much they are needed. I have seen the miracles they preform first hand, and I am aware of how they can become the heart and success of every mission.
Right now we have four wonderful couples. They have some pretty amazing superhero powers too. A few of these are:

Mega Strength 
Ability to take heavy loads off of a President's shoulders.
Superhuman Endurance
Walking up and down stairs at least 40 times a day delivering furniture and checking out missionaries and their apartments.
Jedi Mind Tricks
The Jedi prefer non-violent solutions when possible. Mind tricks are used to convince missionaries that "you don't need a maid . . . you will show respect and clean this apartment - you will be joyful about it."
Super Speed
The act of getting everything accomplished on their daily list within the allotted time. Even in super slow Filipino traffic.
Knowing what the President needs and having it started or completed before being asked.
 Compassional Empowerment
The ability to love the missionaries at all times and with all their heart.

Another Superhero Couple Joins Our Ranks! 
Our newest Senior Couple are Elder and Sister Richards. They are currently from Logan Utah, but three years ago they moved to Utah from Maine. It is in Maine that they raised their family and lived for many years. They have 3 children and 8 grandchildren - but grandchild number 9 is on the way. Elder Richards served as a full time missionary in Sweden, and Sister Richards served as a health missionary in the Philippines. (Manila mission) 
We are very blessed to have the Richards with us in Cavite. They arrived with hearts full of love and enthusiasm for missionary work. I know we will see the Philippines Cavite Mission blessed by their Superhero Service during the next 18 months.

**If you would love to be blessed with these and other 
Superhero Traits,
go see your Bishop and start the process to become a Senior Couple. There are a lot of Mission Presidents who need your love, talents, and service.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Medallions On Missionaries

While editing photos of our missionaries, I noticed something that many of the Sisters were wearing around their neck - and it has made me realize just how wonderful these young women are. I cropped the pictures and decided to post them, letting you see what has touched my heart. It is their YW Medallion.
Having five daughters of my own, I know the dedication, diligence, and commitment it takes to be successful in achieving this award. I also know that there are many who never make it to the end and give up when it seems to them to be unreachable. 
A few years ago I had an experience that made the Young Women's program, combined with a determined daughter of God, hold a place of honor in my heart. President Tye and I were called to teach Sunday School lessons to women incarcerated at the Salt Lake County Jail. One week I felt inspired to ask the fifteen women dressed in blue jail-issue scrubs if any of them happened to know the Young Woman's theme. Three of the fifteen raised their hand, so I asked them to stand and say it to the other women. I thought it would be a good way to bring the Spirit into the cold cinder-block room where we were about to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To my shock, not only did the three who raised their hand stand, but twelve of the fifteen stood and repeated the beautiful words of the Young Women's theme. Every one of the twelve were in tears - a few were weeping. One of these sisters even thanked me, saying that she had not repeated those words in many years, and was amazed that she still knew them by heart and then she said, "I needed that today."
 This was a touching experience, but I found myself wondering what had happened to these "young women" who had once stood in their home ward and repeated this theme every week, but were now standing in a county jail because of arrests for identity theft, drug use, prostitution, intoxication, and child abuse. Yes, making right choices in a polluted world is hard work, but is it do-able? You bet it is!
Right now we have 68 Sister missionaries who did it. It has not always been easy for them either. They may have struggled at one time or another; a foot may have slipped off the path and gotten a little dirty, but they knew what they had to do to clean it off and keep walking. Their focus was not centered on the things that were pulling on them, but rather on Him who was reaching for them.  
The Young Women's program taught them how to do it each week as they repeated, ". . . we will stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places . . ."  And here they are, wearing their Young Women's Medallion, and being a witness of God in all places, like Cavite. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Missionary Orientation

All 21 missionaries who just arrived from both the Manila and Provo MTC's, met at the Molino Chapel for orientation and lunch.
President is about to read the list of new companionship's.
Who will be paired as trainer and newly arrived missionary?
 Sister Lacsamana and Sister Arnson
Sister Calder and Sister Labarda 
Elder Johnston and Elder Utai 
 Sister Tiritit and Sister Bulabon
 Sister Van Tassell and Sister Lizada
 Sister Peters and Sister Ramil
 Sister Calunod and Sister Passey 
Sister Atai and Sister Seleue
 Elder To'o and Elder Flores
Elder Chua and Elder Rogers
Elder Puason and Elder Devinuwara 
Sister Eddington and Sister Koluse

 Sister Murphey and Sister Dryer
Elder Isip and Elder Ritter 
 Elder Holdaway and Elder Baynado
Sister Bergeson and Sister Folau 
 Sister Barrera and Sister Abasanta 
Sister Pedroso and Sister Manu 
Sister Ortile and Sister Vaitaki
Sister Mayberry and Sister Sevia 
 Elder Mariano and Elder Perkins
After lunch and waiting for group orientation to begin.

I love it when new missionaries arrive. The whole mission gets excited and everyone wants to see and meet the new batch. While we are involved in orientation, half of the mission (it seems like it) is gathered across the street at the mission office getting new phone assignments, picking up mail and supplies, trying to figure out where a new apartment is located, taking pictures, and we have luggage everywhere! The other half of our Cavite missionaries are either in a jeepney transferring to another area or out working because their companionship was not affected today. This is what transfer day is all about, and although we are exhausted by the end of the day, we really do love it because we know we have been a part of one of the many miracles of missionary work. That is - getting 188 elders and sisters moved, settled, and orientated within 9 hours.

That is pretty amazing when you realize that it would take me
F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get 4 Young Women to clean a 4'x6' bathroom at Girl's Camp.