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.

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