Sunday, January 4, 2015

Under Construction

Dearest Family and Friends,

Christmas and New Years over! Check. And life is carrying on! A 2015 calendar is taking shape and we think we mostly know what kinds of things to put on there. One thing for certain...there are very few blank spaces. None, actually, because just like all of you, there really is more to do than 365 days can hold.

We finally succeeded on President Dahle's birthday, in getting an hour on the beach! We sat at a little thatch covered picnic table and held still. A breeze blew. There was no one at all to cti, so we watched the South China Sea roll in. President had downloaded a book, Ghost Soldiers, which is about the history of this very region after the Bataan Death March. We read some together! And walked in the surf! Happy Birthday for both of us! 

Happy Birthday President!

The assistants and office elders with Elder Gorringe.

Trick candles on Sister Gorringe's famous carrot cake!

Happy Birthday to you!!!

Maybe we should have had some orange cones on our doorstep this past six months to warn all that we are under construction! We have taken note as some old roads we travel regularly are demolished, huge concrete chunks slammed apart by heavy machinery. Occasionally it's done in smaller pieces, chiseled away by men with shovels and picks. Eventually the nice new road appears. Are you seeing a metaphor here? Then, of course, there are the more subtle signs of overhaul elsewhere, like the online version when you get the blank screen that just says 'sorry, this site is closed for maintenance.' (I actually used that trick for a couple of days last week! Pillows over my head! It worked great!) We really have had our road bed scraped out past what we thought was our bottom layer, and yet I know with certainty there will be plenty more where that came from! The cones are permanent! Maybe eternal. Hark! Growth! And we are being carried.

The Metaphor

A note about our Christmas. Many, many miraculous missionary mothers sent us packages loaded with essentials as well as fun to be given out to each and every missionary who hadn't yet received a Christmas package! We filled our big room with boxes and bags and wrappings and undertook a most exciting Santa task! Everyone close at hand helped out. We gathered in two different zones conferences on the 23rd and 24th, hauled along our little tree and piled the packages all around. Every missionary came prepared to give a short message on each of the 9 Christlike Attributes focused on in Preach My Gospel, then 9 names were drawn! We had hymns in between. There was the scriptural Christmas story and prepared musical numbers given by each zone. A big lunch, and a wild rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas finished off each day. The packages were given out to delighted Elders and Sisters amidst picture taking and happy visiting. Fun!!! So fun! A big THANKS to any of you who were involved! 

And thanks to all of you for support and prayers sent our way! 

We send our love to you,

President and Sister Dahle

Missionary Christmas:

Ho Ho Ho! 

Monogrammed face and fingers cloths for each missionary. 

Christmas Eve story for another time. 
Don't worry, President Dahle taught the first discussion to the nicest policeman ever!

Happy New Year 2015!

New Year's Social: Brother Barangan never disappoints.

District Presidents and 
Mission Presidency and Wives

Seen in passing: