Monday, September 29, 2014

Twenty-four hours

Dear Family and Friends,

  Really, you will get more like 27 hours, but that in the subject line just doesn't carry the same punch.

6:30 am. Leave for the Iba District family week celebration. We have a plan we think we will carry out through the day.

8:00 am. Arrive, see the church parking lot full of costumed baton twirlers, a marching percussion group, and families, including investigators, with a variety of banners and signs proclaiming 'family!', a few in matching t-shirts made just for today, even some banana leaf woven hats. (Very cool). And of course, missionaries!

8:30 am. We all march through the town, us under our bright green umbrella and wishing like mad that we had about a hundred family proclamation pamphlets to pass out like candy! One of these days we will start thinking ahead of ourselves. We give out our pass along cards without getting too far behind the parade. 

9:00 am. Arrive at a large pavilion all set up with professionally made banners that tell about our church and all that it offers to bless families. There is a large stage and many chairs. This is a beautifully conceived plan with great potential! There are booths set up to the side for health tests and donating blood; missionaries are not allowed. Food vendors gather around the back with their carts of tempting marienda (treats). The band plays while the twirlers twirl. Someone hands us a program that shows President Dahle as the concluding speaker! Surprise! There is also a nice slot titled Guest Speakers: that's me. :) Surprise again! That is when I start praying.

9:45 am. Again, I am blessed with a little idea of what to say. I say again, because this kind of speaking invitation happens regularly for both of us. President Dahle doesn't bat an eye. I do. But here I must say that those excruciating hours of standing in front of institute and seminary students ( and I should have bolded the word excruciating because my faith and my fear had many arm wrestling bouts), paid off. By the kindness of a loving Father I am able to do this.

10:00 am. (Here is where our own plans are tossed out) There is an hour of really fun games and activities before the closing remarks are given by the mission president. Wow! He really teaches every time! I am married to this man! He too, knows what to say. Elder Uchtdorf said it's okay for me to say, "I am so proud of him!"

11:30 am. Lunch. Someone so kindly hands us each a specially ordered meal from Chow King.

12:30 pm. We take the Elders and Sisters to their respective apartments in Botolan. We see that the Sisters new apartment is lacking in a few basic items, like drinkable water and a rice cooker. Almost equal in importance!

3:00 pm. Arrive at a baptism for four, our Elders' investigators. We are the 'concluding remarks'. Surprise!

4:00 pm. Shopping for Sisters, then a treat of Greenwich pizza! Hawaiian Loaded!

6:45 pm. Return to Sisters' apartment. Here I will note that the Sisters' apartment is located at the back of a large family compound which is guarded by five dogs, and an uncountable number of chickens. Uncountable because they run squawking hither and yon from the dogs. Naturally, the dogs are anxious to greet the new strange lady who reeks of terror, by barking and growling ferociously the whole way. (Only my walking partners can fully appreciate this scene.)

7:30 pm. Back on schedule! Now we are heading to Castilliejos to welcome and interview a late arriving Elder and his trainer. 

9:30 pm. Headed for home.

7:30 am. Head back to Botolan for church.

8:55 am. The congregation sings "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" as a prelude/time to be quiet hymn. :-D I am not kidding! This is business as usual for the -ber months! It is wonderful. The night before we heard Kenny G. playing something holiday on his saxophone in the grocery store! I love Kenny G. for Christmas! Even now we are listening to him play, ...and so, I am offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two... We usually wait for the first snowflake to fly, but we are out of control this year!!

9:00 am. The meeting begins, and you will never guess who the concluding speakers are. 

We cannot believe how greatly we are blessed! 
Our prayers are also with all of you!

President and Sister Dahle

Have you ever seen anything this charming?
The definition of cute

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Transfer Day

Here are some of our heroes:

Olongapo bus station on transfer day:

Our newest batch!