Friday, April 10, 2015

New Arrivals

Dear Family and Friends,

Sometimes there is just an obvious theme! Today's letter is one of those days. 

It all started on March 23 when Hiram Paul Dahle was born! We were visiting the zone meeting in San Antonio when a face time call came through from Trevor and Leah. I leapt from my chair and ran out of the room thinking I would see that they were heading to the hospital. Instead, it was hours old Hiram looking all the wiser and taking in the new scenery! I held back my shrieks of joy so as not to be the cause of baby shrieks. How completely and totally thrilling! Grandpa Dahle was in the middle of an interview but the minute he finished we REJOICED together and called them back! How amazing to see Leah and Trevor, new parents! Miracles and blessings! Hooray, hooray, hooray!! (I would have put hallelujah but I didn't want to spell it three times! :-D)

A few days later we traveled to Manila to meet and greet our new couple missionaries, the Gardners, put them in our car, and race back across our mission boundaries before anyone could change their minds! Okay, we did take time to attend the sealing of one of our sister missionaries to her parents! It worked out time-wise for the same day! We brought her to Manila with us, and her family met us there. She got to spend the rest of day with them, then tearlessly said goodbye and came back with us. She will return home later this year, but in the meantime she will teach the doctrine of temple sealing and eternal families with new fervor! 

The newly sealed Conciso Family
Elder and Sister Gardner, and our assistants, Elder Hill, Elder Matapule, and Elder Albano

But still speaking of arrivals, we get to keep the Gardners for 18 months! They have already settled in and are going gangbusters in their area. It is such a blessing to a mission when the couples come. No question, it is a sacrifice for them and their families! And there will be 'those days', but don't we have 'those days' when we are at home as well? I've been thinking about that one.

The very next week we got to do it all again, only we really did zoom into Manila, grab yet another new couple, The Woods, and roared right back home. It's too good to be true, but it is true! Two ready and willing to serve couples! We have done some recruiting, and two of our 'recruits' were called to other missions; one to Quebec and another to Uganda! So it was especially lovely that we got our friends, the Gardners, and then, this amazing bonus couple, the Woods! Elder Wood served his mission in the Philippines, so he is right back in the saddle again with his own chosen companion this time! Needless to say, we have the dream team of couple missionaries! Now if they would all just stay for 2 years and 3 months. :-)  We have a slow leak though, and will have to say goodbye to the Gorringes at the next transfer. They are the office couple that has held us all together while we began our service. (We are still beginning.) It helps so much that we have the Winters here to step into their places! WAIT. How did a paragraph about arrivals turn into talk of departures? 

Advertisement: Last Saturday this newly assembled 'senior dream team' met for the monthly strategy briefing and counsel. It was powerful! I cannot express the spirit I feel even as I remember the scene. (Thank you to any of their families who may be reading this.) The meeting was followed by a two hour cruise where we enjoyed the fish eye view of Subic Bay with all of its ports, ships, and Grand Island, a pot luck lunch and time for everyone to get to know each other! 

A main focus in our mission: Cleaning up branch records and finding the lost members to build up the branches. This continues to produce wonderful results. The following is the Experience of the Week that was included in our weekly newsletter, The Handoff: "We were so delighted by the experience we had this week. We found 19 new investigators, all because of Cleaning of Records, and found less active members who are willing to return to church..."  Just to let you know a little about what fun the boots on the ground are having. 

Easter dinner was special: We were invited along with the Winters and Woods, who are now serving where the Winters were, to the home of the Lubao 1st Branch President. President and Sister Juco were the first family we met when we drove across mission boundaries last June. They were so generous to host all of us the very day after their oldest daughter was married in the Manila temple! The meal was delicious, and was followed by brownies that they make and sell for a business. As we left, several other members were arriving to greet and congratulate the newly weds. They live out amidst beautiful rice fields and we took pictures like the tourists we sometimes are.

The rice fields in Lubao
Juco Family with the Winters and the Woods
A closer look at the ADORABLE Juco baby. 
Grandpa Juco, age 92. President Dahle committed him to be baptized. 

 Informationally: the Manila temple provides a few lovely wedding gowns and silk bouquets for these little brides to choose from so they can have something really special without the expense.  

And so you don't get worried, the lizards are thriving, though we know for certain we are hauling the indulgent ones out inside the trash! So much easier than chasing after the live catch. But they really should know better than to stay at the all-you-can-eat buffet after the sun comes up! President Dahle spotted two in there as he tied the top last time. We mourned, but he chose not to reach in to save them. Would you have?!!

With all our love,

President and Sister Dahle

Sailing race!!
For my birthday our children paid for dinner at TGI Fridays, stipulating dessert first. 
Oreo Madness!!! :) A perfect 10!

Our First April Zone Conference:

President Dahle in his teaching mode. 
At zone conference I introduced a new workout. This is the deep breathing pose. :) We had fun with this. 
Zone Conference for four zones

An evening drive to Taugtog: