Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Visit With Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Wow! Lucky us!
Elder Oaks, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, came to shake hands and speak with our mission on October 28. This was a great experience for the missionaries because they were able to watch him speak by the Spirit, feel his love for them, and witness his testimony of obedience as he pounded his fist on the pulpit and told them to always act as messengers of the Lord! His decision to have everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to Sister Ardern (the Area President's wife who also spoke at the meeting) was a fun and spontaneous glimpse into his cute personality.
Here are some of the things Elder Oaks said - as written on my Ipad:
* The foundation to a happy life is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Priesthood. Trials will come to all of us, but we will be able to find peace and our foundation will be solid. 
* Time. Use time wisely and use it to be FULL TIME missionaries. Cease to sleep longer than is necessary.
* When you are away from your apartment, you are a missionary all the time. "Keep your line in the water." You are fishers of men. Always stay with your companion. Every time there is a broken rule of a mission, or a missionary gets into trouble, it is because he was not with his companion. 
* Teach the fundamentals. Don't assume that the investigator understands what you are talking about. One day Elder Oaks was visiting a meeting and the speaker was talking about priesthood blessings. Elder Oaks could see in the eyes of those present that they did not understand what was being said. He stood up and asked, "By the raise of hands, who knows what a priesthood blessing is?" Upon seeing that most of the people did not know and were confused, he showed them by demonstration.
Make sure you are teaching step 1 before step 2. Go slowly with the people you teach. You are building a foundation first.
* Be patient. God will answer prayers in His due time. You can't tell the Lord how and when and where to answer you.
* Listen. The Lord never shouts, He whispers. Be an active listener.
* No inspiration comes when you are physically tired. Elder Oaks said that he gets his best ideas and inspiration in the early morning after a good night sleep. He said a good example of this is a dog - when the dog has been actively playing outside or has eaten a big dinner, he lays down and goes to sleep. It is hard to get his attention. He is not alert. (This part was for me! I was so exhausted last night that I couldn't get my thoughts together. I never realized that I could even wear out the Spirit!)
When President Tye spoke, he talked about the word "HARD!" Many of the missionaries will use the word quite often in their P-day letters. Like, "missionary work is hard," "the language is hard," and "working with the ward mission leader is hard." President made the point that it is only hard if you allow it to be hard. It's all about attitude. When Elder Oaks got up to speak he also commented on the word "hard." He said that in the days of Noah, there were many people who were HARD-hearted and would not listen to the Lord. The Lord cleansed the earth at that time with water. Today, the people of the world are once again hard-hearted, but this time the Earth will be cleansed with fire. The Lord will save you if you do not let yourself become weak. "Do not become like the world (hard) or you will start thinking, "Why am I here?" (on a mission or a member of the church.)

It was a wonderful experience! Elder and Sister Oaks and the Ardern's (Area President) left immediately after the meeting. We kept the missionaries for another hour and talked about the impressions and personal revelation they received while Elder Oaks spoke. A Great Day!
The Sister Training Leaders are practicing for the song they sang for the Mission Conference with Elder Oaks. Sister Arnson is the pianist - she is so talented. She rewrote part of the music so that the sisters could shift to another key during the song. She was nervous and yet it turned out so beautifully. Their voices and the piano filled the chapel with the sweetness of the hymn, "We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet." I sat behind them as they sang and I kept saying to myself, "Those are OUR sister angels! Those are OUR sister angels!" I love our missionaries.
Sister and President Tye, Sister and Elder Oaks, Sister and Elder Ardern

 The Davis', President, and I made 240 lunches for the missionaries. They were all packed and hanging out in every available space in the mission home refrigerators and freezer. I see so many miracles happen in the mission home kitchen! I am amazed that I can cook like I do, get pre-prepared food into our two refrigerators, and always find another place in the pantry to store more! Sometimes before a big event I will talk with Heavenly Father and say, "O.K., I need your help today!" And - it always works out.
 This is inside the house, and below is the freezer outside.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Testimony of Elder Holland

President Tye and I just received the talks from the 2014 New Mission President Seminar held last June at the MTC in Provo. We have been listening to the training and instruction given by members of the Seventy, Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency. Everything on these 26 CD's is wonderful, but I wanted to share Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's closing testimony. 

"In about an hour or so, you are going to be leaving here [Provo MTC] and you will be taking 130 different roads, you will be trying to find 130 different mission homes, and you will be trying to find your way to 130 different mission offices. You will be trying to find 30,000 or so missionaries, plus priesthood leaders, members and investigators - the legion who await your arrival. 130 different roads and a lot of people to find. May I suggest a 131st road for all of you to travel in common, and that is the Road To Damascus.

 I ask you not to worry as much about finding your missionaries or your mission home or your priesthood leaders and members as much as I ask you to find the Lord Jesus Christ. Somewhere out there is a moment on this road in which you are to be knocked on your back. For some, it could come dramatically and in an instant. For many and perhaps most, it will be more gradual; it will be over time. In any case it should have an impact for 36 months and more. It should have an impact forever, it is an essential encounter. In all your finding, we ask you to find the Savior and Redeemer of the world.

Consider this verse culminating what Elder Maxwell once called the second greatest sermon ever put in print:
'For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?' (Mosiah 5:13) 
King Benjamin's final question after a wonderful, instructive sermon. It is my final question to you in this seminar. How can we know a master whom we have not served, who is a stranger to us and far from the thoughts and intents of our hearts? Somewhere out there for each of you is that road to Damascus, that road to Palmyra, that road to Gethsemane, and that road to Calvary; ultimately the road to glory. God bless you to find it and ask as Paul (Saul) asked when that moment came to him. He asked only two questions, 'Who art thou, Lord?' and 'What wilt thou have me to do?' (Acts 9:5-6)

I testify that this is the Church and kingdom of God on earth. I am more certain of that than that you sit there and I stand here. I am more certain of that than anything I know in time or eternity. God is our Father and Jesus is the Christ. They appeared to a boy prophet and the world has never been the same since, and it must not be and cannot be until the Savior comes again.
I testify that the keys of the priesthood are restored, that in this Church alone, is the saving power of redeeming covenants and ordinances that God requires of all His children to experience someday, somewhere, somehow if they will. To that end I offer you my love, send you forth with my conviction . . .  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Welcome Sign And Orientation

Welcome to our nine newest Elders and Sisters!
This is the smallest group we have welcomed since the opening of the Cavite Mission in July 2013. We could immediately tell that this is a faithful and strong group. The 7 who came from the Provo MTC arrived in the Philippines a week ago and have been staying at the Manila MTC getting all of their immigration papers taken care of. It was there that they met the others and became a batch of 9. They came to us today ready to get away from MTC life and begin serving the Lord as full time missionaries.
 Elder Mataele
 Elder Seeley
 Sister Talataiga
 Elder Cahan
 Elder McClellan
 Elder Boam
 Sister Moromi
 Elder Turituri

 Elder Flitton
 Elder Cahan, looks like he got some air, but the cameraman cut him out. Thanks to President I had the best jump of the day and didn't hurt my knees at all. 

We gathered the new missionaries and their trainers at the Molino chapel for orientation. Right before lunch we joined them into companionship's.
 Elder Coffey and Elder Durfee are the AP's and they spoke about the 12-week program.

Since we have a small group I will post the companionship's.
 Sister Labarda and Sister Moromi
 Sister Talataiga and Sister Eddington
 Elder Boam and Elder Espiritu
 Elder Hora and Elder Flitton
 Elder Kauer and Elder Mataele
 Elder Calaunan and Elder McClellan
 Elder Nicolas and Elder Seeley
Elder Creager and Elder Cahan 
Elder Turituri and Elder Lasley