Saturday, November 26, 2016

Special Witness

We mentioned last week that something special took place on Friday, November 18th. On that day our whole mission came together to meet with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He came with his wife, Mary, and was accompanied by Elder Shayne M. Bowen, the Phillipine Area President, and his wife, Lynette.

Considering that there are now 418 missions world wide, it was indeed a special event for an apostle to come here. There was a lot of planning and preparation involved - much of it done by President Maughan's two Assistants, Elder Grimpluma and Elder Clark. They arranged transportation by ferry, bus, and jeepnee in order to make sure our 180 missionaries made it to the Mandaue Chapel by the appointed time. One bus came from Bogo (to the north of Cebu) and two other buses met missionaries at the port who came by ferry from Bohol. Many of the missionaries assigned locally came by jeepnee. We all made it with time to spare - which was no small miracle in itself.
Bogo Bus

Local Jeepnee
Another part of the preparation, which Sister McNett helped with, was to arrange for a small group musical number to begin the meeting. Drawing from our local missionaries (to allow for practice sessions) a group consisting of Elder Bajan, Elder Calumpang, Elder Cabasag, Sister McMaster, Sister Gil, Sister Jaranilla,  and Sister Arguilles accompanied by Elder Manarin on the piano was assembled.  It was hard to limit the group as there were many more who would have liked to sing.
Song Practice
The plan was to have all our missionaries assemble in the chapel as they arrived and then move to the cultural hall to be ready for a group picture when Elder Cook arrived.
Filling the Mandaue Chapel.
We were there early, helped the Assistants set up chairs for the group picture and took a test shot.

Elder Grimpluma, Elder Clark. Group Picture Chair Test.
With everyone present it was time to set up for the group picture. This was the first opportunity to take a picture with all of the Cebu East Missionaries since the arrival of President and Sister Maughan. Mission wide meetings are pretty rare - this was only the second one in the 14 months we have been here.
Setting up for the group picture.
Within minutes of getting everyone set Elder and Sister Cook arrived with Elder and Sister Bowen and we had our group picture. Then as we filed back into the chapel we shook hands with an Apostle, a Seventy and a Mission President and their wives - pretty special.

The meeting was very uplifting and enlightening. Sister Cook's love of music was apparent as she spoke. She even directed us in singing 'Hark All Ye Nations'.  Elder Cook spoke to us in a very personal way. His first assignment as a General Authority was to serve in the Philippines and his first visiting assignment in the Philippines was in Cebu. He stressed the importance of teaching about the Restoration and Plan of Salvation because of the way those topics invite the Spirit and it is the Spirit that converts. He also bore a powerful testimony of the Savior. We wish everyone had the opportunity to hear an Apostle bear witness in a setting like this. It is not something we will soon forget.
Philippines Cebu East Mission with Elder and Sister Cook

Thought for the Week

"How we preserve time for family is one of the most significant issues we face in most cultures."
Elder Quentin L. Cook

1 comment:

  1. He came to Mongolia too! Loved his and Sister Cook's visit there!