Saturday, July 30, 2016

Stuff

There are many reasons to serve a mission but one result of living away from home for an extended period of time is that it provides an opportunity to reflect on how much 'stuff' is collected over forty years and how much one really needs to get by and be happy. We came with only 6 suit cases and some of what we brought we haven't even used since we arrived. Honestly, the things we miss the most are people and places.

President and Sister Maughan were on Bohol most of the week doing interviews and giving flu shots when they found out that their shipment of personal items from the states was due to be delivered Friday. They have been living out of suitcases for the last month. We were asked to be at the Mission Home to take delivery and went over Friday afternoon to meet the truck. If you've ever wondered how much mission presidents take with them for three years, here is a visual representation.
The middle box is for Maughans.
This is it. 23 boxes for three years.
Our appreciation for mission presidents and their wives increases every day.

After all this talk about stuff we don't need we managed to go out this week and buy a new camera. It was a want more than a need but the pictures this week are the result.

Knock, knock. Who's there?
You've heard of Kermit the Frog? Well, here's...
Hermit the Crab
A side door to the Mission Home is now called the Crab Door because of the number of crabs that like to hang out there. We didn't realize that hermit crabs could climb like this.
These pictures were taken walking along the beach below the Mission Home.
?
See the starfish?

Thought for the week:

 “As we confront our own … trials and tribulations, we too can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, that we ‘might not … shrink’—meaning to retreat or to recoil (D&C 19:18). Not shrinking is much more important than surviving! Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus.”
Neil Maxwell - General Conference, October 1997

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ouch!

Flu season runs a bit different here than in the US and so while President Maughan was interviewing missionaries Sister Maughan was giving flu shots. Nothing makes a missionary smile like getting a shot in the arm. We heard no screams but some hand holding was necessary.
This is not a picture of Sister Osumo getting her shot.
This week was mostly working on follow-up items from last week and getting things ready for the next transfer in August. We were able to take a day Friday and venture further into Cebu than we have yet been when we helped Sister Maughan take a missionary in to a clinic for an exam.
Checking into the doctor's office.
On the way to the doctor we passed this building under construction. There didn't seem to be anyone working on it.

After the doctor we came back by the Cebu Temple grounds to find that the temple is closed for cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning the outside of the temple.
Next stop was Burger King for a late lunch. We absolutely can not let it get out that we took Elder Crapo to Burger King after his doctor's appointment or we could see an epidemic of missionaries suddenly needing to be taken to a doctor in Cebu.
Having it 'our way'.
We end this week with a picture of the elusive domesticated Elder. This is in contrast to the wild Elders that are usually seen in their natural habitat wearing name tags, traveling in pairs and riding bicycles.

Thought for the Week

"The difficulties of a mission are nothing compared to the treasures of a mission."
Sister Larona

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Two down, one to go...

July 2016 Batch + 3
This week was the second big transfer of the summer with one more coming in August.  19 seasoned missionaries went home, 11 new missionaries came in. Our numbers are dropping a bit but, so far, not as much as some other missions that we've heard about. We miss them already and can't believe they are no longer with us. The good news is that another senior couple is scheduled to come to our mission in October.  We are looking forward meeting and working with the Weatherstons from Logan, Utah.

We have a lot of pictures this week from the transfer. The three Elders below were excited to try on their suit coats again after two years of storage in the mission home (the coats, not the elders).  About a year ago the policy was changed so that missionaries are no longer required to bring a suit coat to the Philippines but it was interesting to see how much these missionaries wanted to be in a suit when meeting family at the airport.
Elder Larsen, Elder Christensen, Elder Schnoor
Monday was check-out day at the mission office followed by the last supper at the mission home. It was breakfast for supper with German Pancakes, sausage, eggs and fruit. Very tasty!
Tuesday was temple day for the departing missionaries followed by dinner at Army Navy.
Although the food is good, the main reason they like to come here is to have their picture taken.
Five of the Elders who were going to the US and Canada had to go to the airport right after the meal at Army Navy. Elder McNett was able to go with them to drop them off.  They were so sad.
Elder Remer (Colorado) , Elder Lewis (Utah),
 Elder Christensen (Oregon), Elder Larsen (Utah), 
Elder Schnoor (Canada)
The next morning (Wednesday) we met at the office at 6 AM to pick up luggage and three of our Philippine elders to drive to the airport again. Time will tell if they take to heart the wise counsel we gave on dating and marriage. It is always fun to point out that their next companion is not assigned, but must be chosen. Again we see how sad they are to be returning home.
Elder Sombilla, Elder Albar, Elder Miranda
After dropping off it was time to pick up the new arrivals. While Sister McNett was in the terminal on the phone to Manila trying to make new travel arrangements for three missionaries who barely missed their early morning flight (two Philippine Elders and one sister flying home to Fiji), Elder McNett was circling the airport due to a five minute parking restriction in front of the terminal. It is OK to leave, make the circle, come back and then park for another five minutes or so. When time was up the guard would walk by the truck, smile, make a little circle motion with his finger and off  we'd go to do it all again. By the time the new missionaries had arrived and their luggage loaded in our truck, Sister McNett had made the necessary travel arrangements and we were able to eventually make our way back to the mission home for orientation, lunch and to watch as new assignments were made.
Lunch for the new missionaries and trainers.
Sister Cook (in red skirt) is a trainer now. She is our batch.
Instruction from President Maughan
We now have six weeks to get ready for the next transfer.

Thought for the Week

"First, fill your mind with truth;
Second, fill your life with service;
Third, fill you heart with love."

Thank you Sister Larona for this quote from President Monson

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Welcome!

Imagine what it would be like to add 194 members to your family overnight by traveling half way around the world, immersing yourself in a new culture and taking over the responsibly for the health, welfare and work assignments of almost 200 missionaries. Welcome President and Sister Maughan to the Philippines Cebu East Mission! Aside from a few minor issues with jet lag, adjusting to new food, learning to drive here, and the pressure of preparing for a transfer next week, they seem to be doing well, They are certainly doing better than we were one week in.
Sister Maughan
President Maughan
The Maughans held a series of four meetings this week over two days. Two meetings were on the island of Bohol and two in Cebu. The purpose of the meetings was for Maughans to introduce themselves to all 194 missionaries.

During the meeting held here in Lilo-an, the one we attended, President and Sister Maughan introduced each other. They are from Logan and have 4 children and 12 grand children. Sister Maughan advised the Elders against using the pick-up line that President used with her. According to her it was "How short are you?".  Maybe not great, but it must have worked. President Maughn was a teacher with the Cache County School District for 36 years and served in the Logan Stake Presidency for 18 years, including 9 years as Stake President.

Sister Maughan worked in the health care industry, most recently as office manager at a clinic in Logan.  President Maughan paid her a very moving tribute as he talked about an incident that happened in her clinic just last year. You can read the newspaper account here: HJnews Article

The pertinent paragraph from the article is:
"Richardson said Maughan was the final staff member to evacuate as she stayed with the subject in the waiting room, continuing to keep him calm until hostage negotiators and tactical officers from Logan and Cache County entered the building after securing the surrounding buildings in the area."

According to Sister Maughan, when the police officers came into the room she and the suspect were in, one officer immediately placed himself between her and the man with the gun until she could get out of the room. During the incident she was able to text that she was OK, but President Maughan didn't really know what had happened until she got home that night. Apparently she and the doctor stayed to finish out the work day because patients were still calling and coming in. When the time comes, these are the kind of people we'd like to have in our hand cart company.

For those who live along the Wasatch Front, President and Sister Tanner are reporting on their mission experience next Sunday in Brigham City. Here is the information on when and where.
Sunday 17 July 2016
Brigham City 4th Ward 9:00 A.M.
25 North 300 East 
Brigham City, Utah


Thought for the week: 

"On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal.
May we all believe more readily in, and have more gratitude for, the Lord’s promise as contained in one of President Monson’s favorite scriptures: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … my Spirit shall be in your [heart], and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”  In the process of praying for those angels to attend us, may we all try to be a little more angelic ourselves—with a kind word, a strong arm, a declaration of faith and “the covenant wherewith [we] have covenanted.”
Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Ministry of Angels", October 2008 General Conference

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Torch is Passed

President and Sister Tanner, President and Sister Maughan
This was an eventful week. Monday evening our zone went to the Mission Home for a final Family Home Evening with the Tanners. We grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for an American style buffet. This was the first time to our knowledge that there was a meal here without a single grain of rice to be found. We can state with certainty that no one went away hungry.

Instead of packing, Tanners were entertaining visitors, giving interviews, dealing with mission related issues,in short, doing things for others. Sister Tanner made cookies to take around almost up until the time they left. We have never witnessed two people do so much for so long on so little sleep.

Thursday, June 30, was our second June Transfer. This particular transfer is on a three year cycle and although small in numbers has a large impact on the mission.

President and Sister Tanner drove to the airport to meet and pick up President and Sister Maughan whose plane landed just before noon. They then made the hour drive back to Lilo-an, came by the Mission Office for brief introductions and went to the Mission Home for lunch and to show Maughans around their home for the next three years. The Assistants then picked them up from the Mission Home to drive them back to the airport so that Tanners could catch a 4:15 flight to Manila and then bring Maughans back with them. There was all of a 3-4 hour overlap between Mission Presidents.
Welcome Home
Tanner Family
It was sad to see Tanners leave but we hope they get some much needed and much deserved rest. We were able to meet with Maughans again on Friday and are really looking forward to working with them and getting to know them over the next few months. They plan to hit the ground running by holding a series of meetings this coming week so that all the missionaries can get to know them. This will be followed by our next regular transfer on July 13th.
Thank you President and Sister Tanner for this beautiful mission quilt.
We are now in the rainy season and, yes, it seems that it rains every day. The temperatures have actually moderated a little bit and there have been times when they have given the hint of almost approaching cool. Of course rain does not detract at all from the humidity.  Not too long ago we bought three thermometers to hang around the house to track the temperature. It doesn't seem to matter much where we hang them, they always read about the same, within just a couple of degrees. We even put one in the fridge once just to see if they were broken. They aren't. We also have an air conditioner and fan downstairs which actually helps lower the humidity inside but doesn't move the temperature by much.
Outside
Inside Downstairs
Inside Upstairs

At night when there is standing water after a heavy rain our house is surrounded by...
well, we can't really describe it so here is a sample. This is loud enough to hear through our thick cement walls. Just try sleeping with this playing all night. 

video


Thought for the Week

"Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles."

President Maughan