Sunday, August 28, 2016


Pop Quiz.
1. What does PCEM stand for?
2. What does CFE stand for?
4. How many CFEs does it take to screw in a light bulb?
5. Where did I put question number 3?
6. Is it nap time yet?
7. Did Sister McNett come up with the questions for this quiz?
8. How many questions are in this quiz?

Meet the current PCEM CFE.  As any mission financial secretary knows, things are rarely as calm as they appear in this picture.  Working within a  banking system that is foreign to the CFE to keep funds dispersed to 175 missionaries in 9 zones on 3 islands so that the mission functions smoothly in many and varied situations is at the very least daunting, not to mention just the beginning of a long list of duties.  The CFE in this mission is dedicated and works hard every day to make sure the consecrated funds of CEM are managed with great care.
On any given day or time Elder McNett also serves as IT specialist.  Here he is re-setting the router which was down on arriving in the office that day.  We are grateful for the many ways the office benefits from his years of experience in the computer field.
You may have to look twice at this one, but it's legit.  Who gives the mission nurse (aka wife of  the mission president) her flu shot after she has administered said shot to all other missionaries?  If you guessed Elder McNett you score bonus points (not redeemable, just satisfying).  He seriously did do this. You might wonder why President Maughan and Sister McNett were not assisting?  Just can't say enough about the value of having Elder McNett in CEM.
This would be evidence of yet another hidden talent of Elder McNett.  If anything, he is even more valued at home than at the office.  He is so willing to do whatever needs to be done, including scrubbing the CR.  He never even has to be asked or reminded.  If something needs to be done he just jumps in and does it.  One more secret - he is a better cook than his companion, who appreciates very much all he does. . . .
. . . . which even includes remembering to bring her flowers.

Thought for the Week

"I don't believe there's a higher honor that can come to us than that the Lord would consider our offering as worthy and appropriate and that he would respect and receive it."
Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Answers to Pop Quiz:
1. It stands for Philippines Cebu East Mission and is totally legit.
2. It could stand for Chief Financial Elder but, if so, it would be totally made up.
4. What light bulb? Where did I put the light bulb?
5. The same place as the light bulb - and my glasses.
6. Always.
7. Absolutely not! (The pop quiz is what happened when I asked Elder McNett if he had anything to add to the blog this week.)
8. Seven, including this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2016


The Mandaue Stake held a welcome party for President and Sister Maughan on Friday. The youth of the stake provided most of the entertainment and the following video is just a sample.
There was a lot of talent on display and they all seemed to really enjoy performing. The highlight, however, was watching Maughans dance - but not just any dance - they were Tinikling!

According to the internet, Tinikling is a traditional Philippine dance which originated during the Spanish colonial era. It involves two people beating, tapping and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who step over and between the poles.

The name "tinikling" is a reference to birds locally known as tikling and the term tinikling means "tikling-like".

The dance originated in Leyte, an island in the Visayas in the central Philippines. It imitates the movement of the birds as they walk between grass stems, run over tree branches or dodge bamboo traps set by rice farmers. Dancers imitate the birds legendary grace and speed by skillfully maneuvering between bamboo poles.
Substitute "President and Sister Maughan" for "Dancers" in the previous sentence and it pretty much describes what we saw. 

Thought for the week.

"The devil is carrying on his game as far as he can get permission."
David Ian Kendall

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Temple of Leah

There is a memorial built high on a hillside overlooking the city of Cebu. This is not your typical memorial with a simple monument and a plaque. It was certainly not something that we had ever expected to see in the Philippines. This is a larger than life replica of a Greek temple. The reason for its existence is explained on the plaque shown below.
 It is still a work in progress but enough is completed to see the size and scope of the project. We were here right after sunset and the view of the city of Cebu is spectacular. There are rooms filled with furniture and other items collected by the family.  It is located high enough on the mountainside that the air temperature was noticeably cooler than in the city.
Statue of Leah
Construction on the columns.
Elder Bock, Elder Baladad, Lion, Elder Head
City lights.
Apparently even 53 years was not enough time together. We are grateful for the sealing power of the Priesthood and the knowledge that family love can truly be eternal.

Speaking of the sealing power found in temples, our oldest grandchild, Janica, was sealed to her eternal companion this week in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. We are so happy for her and Colton and wish them all the best.

Thought for the week.

"When God's warriors go down on their knees, the battle is not over, it has just begun." 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Getting Around

This week we would like to share some of the pictures collected in our 10 months in Cebu.

It seems that much of an area's culture revolves around the various forms of transportation used. This is true of the Philippines. We are amazed by the variety found here and see something new each time we go out.
Manila Jeepnee
The picture above was taken when we were in Manila. The jeepnees there are typically larger than the ones seen in Cebu and have the engine compartment in front. We occasionally see this style here, but they are rare.  The three pictures below show an example of one we saw in Cebu with close up shots of the interior.
'Manila' style in Cebu
The jeepnees we see most often in Cebu are similar to the one below. Most are decorated, many quite elaborately. They are often customized with lights and fancy paint jobs. At first we wondered how people know which jeepnee to ride but have learned that they do follow set routes which are shown on the outside - once you know what to look for. The numbers on the back and printing on the sides indicate the route.
This is our neighbor's jeepnee. He is usually gone in the morning before we leave for the mission office and doesn't return in the evening until well after dark.
This one is probably customized just for personal use as it has no route markings.
Notice what the passenger in back is carrying here.
Bringing home dinner?
Next will follow some pictures of tricycles. A tricycle will generally work in a given area but operate more like a taxi in that the driver will take passengers right to their destination. They will also operate on side roads while jeepnees stay mainly on the main roads.
Of course there are motorcycles everywhere. Some are for hire and will take one or two passengers wherever they need to go. Due to past injuries and the additional risk involved, missionaries are no longer allowed to catch a ride on a motorcycle. This does place some limitations on the areas they are able to cover, but also helps mission presidents sleep better at night.

This next series was taken one day as we were stopped because road construction allowed only one lane of traffic at a time. It shows what happens anytime traffic is backed up - motorcycles seem to come out of nowhere and fill every available space.  
Motorcycles will - literally - fill every available space.
Notice the direction of travel.
Here are a few different trucks. Some of these small trucks would be really nice to use around home.
Setup to bring family to church.
Carrying passengers in the back of trucks is common place.
This was something that came as a total surprise. Most of the motorcycles we see are lightweight and very maneuverable - but there are alternatives available. 

Thought for the week:

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Bilbo Baggins