Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014 Fathers Day

My theme for this week has been that we can make choices that will bless our entire lives.  Last Sunday we attended a seminary fireside in EB Magalona.  The seminary teacher has two children.  Her husband works abroad to support the family.  He returned in December from a 3 year job in Japan and is now off to New Zealand for 3 more years.  We loved her 11 year old son CJ who speaks several languages (he learned from video games) and wants to be a missionary.  She is essentially raising her children alone, but chooses to make the best of the situation and use her time to help others.

President & Sister Pagaduan--Spiritual Giants
We have been among spiritual giants this weekend.  George and I were asked to “host” the Cebu Temple President and his wife, President and Sister Pagaduan.   We were able to spend one on one time with these choice individuals which included six hours of travel along the National Highway.  We went to Stake Conference in Sagay (87 km one way) on both Saturday and Sunday.  They shared their conversion story and the choices they have made in their lives to learn more of the gospel of Jesus Christ and their willingness to accept callings that have come their way.  President even gave up a government position in his chosen field, to work for CES so he could learn more about the scriptures.

Elder Echo Hawk of the First Quorum of the Seventy (and former BYU football standout)
We also enjoyed a dinner and an early breakfast with them along with our mission President and Sister Lopez and Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy.  Our breakfast included the biggest sardines I have ever seen!  No I’m not quite up for that yet, but George said it was pretty tasty.  We were not only physically fed, but spiritually.  And we were there!

After the Stake Conference today, we gathered for a group picture which included our 26 young missionaries assigned to this area, President and Sister Lopez, President Abat (counselor in mission presidency), President and Sister Pagaduan, Elder Echo Hawk and George and myself.   There were many people snapping pictures, it will probably be the closest I ever feel to being a celebrity.  Following the group photo, several people came up and asked to have their picture taken with me.  [this is George; note they wanted a picture with Karen, not me; can't blame them LOL]. The people here are so kind and know how to make us feel a part of things.  I received many hugs and handshakes.

Missionaries from the Sagay Zone (and some stragglers ;-)
We are so proud of the young missionaries who are work so hard.  These missionaries sang Called to Serve, at the Saturday adult session.  Moms and Dads you would be so proud!

One of our licensed nurses; Sister Montemayor (left) and Sister Tanes
We were able to have those missionaries in our mission without typhoid immunizations receive their immunizations this past week.  Two of the Filipino licensed nurses who are currently serving as full-time missionaries readily agreed to help.    When I asked the President how we would make this happen, he said let’s do it at zone conference, which was only a few days away.  Our contact in the Manila Area Office made it happen and the immunizations arrived hours before the first zone conference started, which was a direct answer to my prayers.  Our Heavenly Father loves his missionaries.

One last note; Thursday, June 12 was Independence Day in the Philippines.  Government offices and banks were closed.  We had a special treat when we heard a marching band sound outside the office and walked down the street to explore--there was a full-blown parade going on.  Due to our unique appearance, and since we were the only ones dumb enough to stand on the sunny side of the street on a 90+ degree/humidity level day, we got many stares back from the parade participants.  Here's a picture of a cute girls marching team.

Girl's Marching Team

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