Sunday, May 8, 2016

It's May!

Dear Family and Friends,

Remember us?! At first I was writing every week and it felt like a lifeline of sorts to connect and share the new parts of our lives with our familiar and dearest ones back home…like a weekly dose of desperately needed oxygen. I’ve gotten more and more tardy with these over time, apologies all around. And now, surprisingly, we are looking ahead at the final third! Still so much to do, day by day, month by month, but it seems there has appeared a tiny pin dot of a light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, we miss you.

But enough of looking ahead! What has been happening around here anyway? The six-week cycle and quarterly cycle of events roll forth! We have had zone conferences, mission president interviews, departures of the Woods and the Winters, and the blessed arrival of two new Senior Sisters! Sister Epperson and Sister Hays are learning the office from the interim Elders that have carried on without the Winters for the past six weeks. These two Sisters are actual sisters who decided to serve a mission together and also checked the box indicating they were willing to go foreign! We are the LUCKY WINNERS!!

At the San Antonio Zone Meeting
Mission Caterer! The Barangan Family
14 new missionaries for my birthday!

It is summer! School is out and the sun shines brighter and hotter than ever before. There are beach vacation locations all the way up our one road to the north so the traffic is seriously terrific! It’s also an election year! The campaigning is found in the form of signs and rallies and parades all rising in fervor culminating with voting day tomorrow!  It's a national holiday!  Missionaries will be going in early tomorrow night to avoid the aftermath, whatever form it may take.

Mango shopping. On the campaign poster, Ed Navarro is related to the Mango stand owner, 
running for Mayor of San Narciso and is President Dahle's 2nd counselor in the 
mission presidency. :-)

Mother’s Day calls and Skype sessions are in full swing. One of the two best days of the year for missionary families! 

We have had a most lovely visit from our daughter, Sheralee! What a gift! We hadn’t really planned on any visitors as we left home, but have had TWO: Dan and Denise last December and now a bonus week with Sher. The time was precious! She got a pretty good overview of our lives: Attended zone meeting and ended up answering questions about what it was like growing up with President Dahle for a dad. Now why would our missionaries be interested in that? HA. She handled it very well! We three, joined by one of the area doctors, Elder and Sister Thuesen and their visiting family, rode a bunka boat over to Corregidor Island for an onsite World War II history lesson. The ruins are fascinating and the boat ride was most memorable! We made a drive to the lahar (Mt. Pinatubo ash flow) and to the mango highway. For girl time, she accompanied me on a late night ER run for a missionary, and later in the week we also relished in some retail therapy at the open-air market and at the mall! Sigh. Awesome week!!

Sweet ride! 

Big guns and bomb caters
Malinta tunnel. Used for offices, hospital beds, and more. 
We went to a lesson with the Limay Elders. 
Afterwards, pass along cards proved popular with the local youngsters. 

Each Monday there is a publication that comes off the presses from the mission office and mission home. It’s called The Handoff. There are three short bits, one each written by President Dahle, Sister Dahle and by the Assistants to the President. Next are calendar items and other needed info, a list of birthdays, some photos of the week, and then the favorite part, Experiences of the Week. All missionaries write a weekly letter to the president, and he chooses two or three of their experiences to share upon their consent, with the mission. These are the heart of the work. Here is a sample:

#1: Well we had a productive week last week and a
little stress, but it was good for us. We challenged
ourselves with finding more investigators in one week
than we would usually find. We did it! One of the
missionaries in our zone meeting shared something
about always having the finding spirit on. That was our
motive for the week. Each morning we would encourage
ourselves to have the finding spirit on to be led to those
who were waiting. As we kept ourselves motivated
and to trust in the Lord to lead us, we would find
people. I noticed that as our approach at the start of
work was not "ready to find" we would not find. When
we arrived in the areas where we would work being
"ready to find" we found people who were ready to
be found. We taught people outside of their homes in
groups and taught short lessons that included unique
and important truths to keep us moving faster. We
found that we were more successful in our finding
efforts when we held our chin up and had our finding
spirit always switched on!

#2: I emailed [our foreigner investigator] a link to
President Uchtdorf's recent address in conference, in
which he opens with a story about Dresden and centers
his message on the chapel they rebuilt in that city after
World War 2. Before we parted ways, I asked him if he
had watched the video I emailed him. He said he had
not yet taken the time to watch. I then said "You'll
enjoy it, it's about Dresden." With surprise in his eyes,
he exclaimed "Dresden!? Now how would you know to
send me a talk about Dresden before I even told you
that I was born there?" He laughed and shook his head in
disbelief. "How did you know you to send that? How did
you know to find me here again? How did you know you
would find me to give me that Book of Mormon the
other week?"

#3: President, thank you for sharing that inspiring story
with us last conference. I too had a similar experience.
We were coming from our morning work when out of
the blue, I felt impressed to use the long road to our
apartment. It was around 11:30-ish am and we were
biking when we rode past this couple. We stopped by to
say hi to them when suddenly, Brother started naming
names of missionaries previously assigned in our branch.
Little did we know that they were former investigators!
For some reason, the missionaries just stopped visiting
them. We set a return appointment for Sunday and
yesterday, we were able to teach them. They waited
for us and were even so excited to be taught again.
They were just glowing with the spirit. At the end of
the lesson, we extended a goal date for June 2016. And
they happily accepted it! President, what are the
chances that day that they were going to be walking in
the same road that we were taking? I truly testify
President, just like what you have shared that Lord is
involved in this work! That He is hastening His work on
the earth and that we as missionaries must do all in our
power to invite our Brothers and Sisters to come unto

There you have it! We are still here, trying to do what is right and best each day. Just like you.

With all our love!

President and Sister Dahle 

Hauling mattresses

Riding shotgun?