Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This Is How We Do It Back Home

A few of our Polynesian missionaries decided to roast a pig, "the way it's done back home." After getting all pday responsibilities finished, they slow roasted the pig, then served it for lunch the next day at their District Meeting. President Tye took some pictures of the lunch. He told me that when it was time to cut up the roasted pig, the Polynesians jumped right in and did the job like pros! I would have loved to have been there to watch. It looks delicious!
 Eating with your fingers is common here.
Elder Flitton likes pork ribs.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mission President Seminar

Twice a year, all Mission Presidents in the Philippines get together with the Area Presidency and staff for instruction and spiritual uplift. The first one of 2015 was held this week in Manila. President and I count down the days till each seminar because of the rest, love, and spiritual support we receive while there. Once again, the meetings were wonderful! We are very blessed to learn from and associate with all of these amazing people. 
 A short break between meetings
 President Reeder (Naga Mission) and Elder Bowen (1st Counselor, Area Presidency)
Elder Echo Hawk, 2nd counselor, has been released for medical reasons. We will miss him and his sweet wife. They are two of the most loving, kind, and humble people we know. I hope and pray he feels better soon!
 Sister Tanner (Cebu East) and I by the pool.
 Elder and Sister Arner going for a swim. He is one of our Area Medical Adviser's
 Aha! The women want to do some shopping and the men happily go back to the hotel.
 President and Sister Reeder - Naga
 President and Sister Rhalf - Cauayan
 President Tye "volunteers" to be in a role play with
Elder Ardern - Area President and President Monahan - Urdaneta
 On President's plate is a mango crepe topped with ice cream. This was one of his favorites from the dessert bar.
If you look closely at the plate sitting between us, you will see a half of an orange which looks really out of place there. I think President put it on the plate to help us not feel too guilty.
I am so thankful for these few days of being spiritually filled and also being with our dear friends. President Tye and I are extremely blessed.
The highlight of the seminar for me, was the Sacrament Meeting we had on Sunday. The most solemn and sacred part of our Sacrament Meetings is partaking of the sacrament. One would think that a hotel conference room could not provide the appropriate atmosphere for such a sacred ordinance. But in the basement of that downtown Manila hotel, with jeepneys and buses scurrying around outside; the Spirit was strong. Everyone there felt it. When the prayer was offered and the bread and water were passed, tears freely fell. There was peace and reverence during the sacrament, which offered those of us who were there some quiet time of pondering on the Atonement of the Savior and a deeper understanding of His constant and infinite love for each of us.  I will forever remember this moment and experience. I believe that any place can become a holy place when the Savior and the Priesthood are present.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Specialized Training

Every third month is designated as a "Specialized Training" month. This means that President can select certain areas, or missionaries to receive needed training or instruction. 
Today, the Zone Leaders and District Leaders met with President Tye at the mission home to receive further training on BCR's (Baptismal Confirmation Records), District Activities, Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion, plus CSP's (Community Service Projects).
The sister missionaries met with Sister Tye at the Bacoor Stake and had training on Budgeting Their Support, Healthy Foods and Recipes, Match the Message (dressing and acting as missionaries), and making Memory Banks. The sisters also received instruction on Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion, plus they ended their day with a talk by Sister Tye.
I don't know about the elders, but the sister missionaries had a great day. We all seem to get re-energized when these kinds of meeting take place. Today our lamps were refilled with oil.

Sister's Day
Preparations were started early. Children's banks were purchased and scrapbook paper was gathered for one of the classes. Material was cut and sewn into Kleenex holders to go along with the talk. Our Senior Couples were amazing in their preparations and the classes they taught. By the time the day was over, the sisters were so happy and filled with the spirit and love for the Savior.
'Be The Chocolate Chip' Kleenex holders were cut and sewn.
 We bought 75 children's coin banks. These will be made into Memory Banks - to put little notes and/or thoughts of tender mercies that happen to the sisters during their mission. These little banks have to be cut open, so they will stay sealed until the sisters get home. At that time they will enjoy the special memories inside. Each one was as unique and beautiful as each of our sister missionaries. 
Elder and Sister Petersen taught this class.
 Sisters' Su'a, Moromi, Vaitaki, Dariagan, and Bodota 
 Sisters' Devi, Aukitino, Dryer, and Rodgers
Sisters' Hale, Talataiga, and Seleue
Completed Memory Banks
 Sister Richards taught the Healthy Eating class and she made a cookbook for each apartment - filled with recipes using local ingredients. 
Menu planning
 Sister Patolo and Sister Domantay taught a class on "Match the Message." Sister Raterta and Sister Gecaraya joined in the lesson and did some cute skits about the principles that were taught. They were so funny and "spot on" to some the of problems we see in the mission.
 As part of their presentation, the sisters were asked to take 2 minutes and make a modest yet cute skirt or shirt out of a garbage bag. He have some very creative sisters!
Sisters' Balena, Picar, Ballatan, and Atay
Sisers' Campos, Sani Obrien, Villanueva, and Ramil
Lunch Break 
 Sisters' Rodgers, Bihag, and Aukitino
 Sister Sala and Sister Su'a
 Sister Estorgio, Sister Ma'asi
 Sisters' Pedroso, Van Tassel, and Aguinaldo
Sisters' Labarda, Calunod, Delos Santos, Magro, Tampac, and Pedroso
 Sisters' Dryer, Calder, and Mitsvotai
 Lumpia, pineapple chicken, vegetables, Mechado, and Oreo cheesecake pie.
 Sister Semilota, and Sister Fa'alogo
Sisters' Perez, Va'enuku, Vaitaki, Sefeti, Seleue, and Delos Santos
 Sister Raterta and Sister Dizon
Sisters' Semilota, Balena, Rodgers, Picar, Abarquez, Adriatico, and Gecaraya
The sisters of the Philippines Cavite Mission.

Zone Leader / District Leader Meeting
 I took a lot of pictures at the sisters meeting, yet President only had a chance to take a few of the elders. 
Hahaha - notice there are no decorations on the tables, or even tablecloths. I love it.
Elder Roberts and Elder Erickson 
 Elder Johnston and Elder Neilsen teaching