Sunday, January 25, 2015

Seven Months, But Who's Counting?

Dear Family and Friends,

Seven months ago today we celebrated our 35th anniversary at the MTC! Our most memorable anniversary EVER! Does that number 'seven' sound great to anyone else? So nice to have that much time behind us; steepest learning curve in the universe! 

We have had three grand zone conferences! It is the best, best ever to meet with our fellow missionaries! We used Sister Esplin's conference talk on the sacrament as a spring board for our spiritual instruction segment. Then, the training was based on foundational principals that we received from our Mission Presidents Seminar in November. We also had the missionaries practice using the council system by having them work as companionships, then districts, then combining in zones to do some problem solving for two different concerns we have had for our mission: "Considering our culture of obedience, where are we, where do we need to be, and what do we need to do to get there?" Also, "Use of time and key indicators." They were dynamic! The zones came back with solid, real solutions and plans. President Ballard's talk at our MTC Seminar was the impetus for using the council system in this setting. The missionaries came having read that and Sister Esplin's talk. Powerful!

Inspired by Elder Bowen. Designed by collaborative effort, led by President Dahle! Part of Zone Conference training. 

Has everyone seen "Meet the Mormons?" It hasn't been showing at a theater near us. Shocker! However, we received a copy in the mail yesterday marked "RUSH," and tonight there will be a Premier Sneak Preview in our living room for all available Senior Couple Missionaries! Yessss! Date night! Pop the popcorn!

Another six week cycle is coming to a close with the exciting job of planning the next transfers resting squarely on President Dahle's shoulders. There is so much involved in this Rubik's cube of all Rubik's cubes! That little square of six different colors? Child's play. :) Perhaps I shouldn't use that comparison. In the transfer process there is a synthesis of facts about needs, timing, strengths and skills, even personalities, that has to occur. Combine that with the choosing of leadership and trainers and the numbers going home and new missionaries coming in? Wow! All of this guided and confirmed by the power of the Holy Ghost, earnestly sought by some initial counseling, then fasting, prayer and hours of pondering. For the twelfth time this hour, I'm so glad Dennis is the president, and my companion!

Last Sunday we got up nice and early and travelled the two hours to Mariveles for church. After an hilarious detour (the GPS guided us in our giant van to a nice little Assemblies of God church in a tiny nook and cranny type maze of skinniest streets), we arrived at a chapel that looked like a temple! It is on a hill with an amazing view! It is beautiful! Oh, for the day when the temples dotting the earth can extend to the most southerly tip of the Bataan Peninsula in the Islands of the Philippines! 

The Mariveles Chapel

The View

Now that's a pass along card!

Young Women! The 2nd branch YW President is 18. So are her counselors. 

President Dahle takes every opportunity to shoot a hoop and make a friend. 

Out on the basketball court tonight there is Institute Basketball! Local members and their nonmember friends regularly meet here to play. President Dahle has been teasing them that they need to come and be taught the gospel before they can play. Tonight, our basketball playing assistants, Elders Albano and Taylor, have organized just that. First they play, then the Institute teacher will welcome all 15 or so sweaty YSA members and investigators, for a rousing lesson! 

The lizards say "Hi!" They've been working on their survival-in-the-house skills since daydreaming Lulu lost track of time and stayed in the kitchen sink too long. She got so cold she couldn't get out. Couldn't even wiggle her little pink toes. She was rescued by Elder Taylor, when he carried her gently on his fingertip to the great outdoors and the warmth of the sun to thaw. Her hero!

With love,

President and Sister Dahle