American Cemetery in Manila

We had to go to Manila on Friday to get finger-printed for our visa and to pick up an Elder that had his appendix out last Friday (we took him to Manila, because the local doctor told him last Friday that he had acute appendicitis and that he would see him on Monday....wait, what?).  Anyway, we had a minute and our office couple and our new senior couple took a minute and went to the American Cemetery.  It was a humbling sight and I was in awe.  I lost some relatives here, my Dad served here and many, many died.  I was surprised at all the Filipino names among the missing and dead.  They served valiantly alongside the Americans.

1st Batch with the Davies!

Our first "batch" came today.  5 Sisters (4 Filipino, 1 Tongan).  They are amazing and excited to be in the mission field.  They all came for different, yet the same reasons.  President Davies did his homework, yet the Lord had a final say to their new companions.  All a good match!  It will be fun to watch this group as our first!  Interesting that this particular group all came from active families (second generation for most).  Lots of support from home, a great blessing, not always the case.

Paalam! Goodbye to great batch!

We had our first batch of missionaries leave last week.  What an amazing thing to see them at the end of their missions and the changes and growth that have occurred.  We were amazed at how hard it was to say goodbye to them, even though we've known them for a short 4 weeks.  Some are going home to hard circumstances, but our thoughts and prayers will always be with them.  God Bless!

Tri-Zone Conferences to Meet the President

What a great three days.  We were able to see more of the mission, be more important, we were able to see meet all the great missionaries of our mission (except for one that was in the hospital).  We met the wonderful senior couples that help keep track of them as well.  What an amazing group of people, young and old. The light in their eyes was amazing to see.  Here's our gang!

Welcome to the Philippines!

We arrived on Friday, June 30th just at dusk.  I don't know why it surprised me, but it took my breath away when I looked out the window of the plane and it was sooooooo green.  I know, I know, I've apparently lived in Utah too long.

Our traveling companions, the 4 native Filipino Mission Presidents, were very kind and we are life-long friends.  They had talked in English around us and I didn't realize that wasn't normal, until they got to the airport and we boarded a bus to the hotel that they had worked at that fact, because as soon as they were "home" they began chattering in Tagalog and you could tell they were happy to be home!

We were instructed for the morning by Elder Schmutz of the Area Presidency and then we said tearful goodbyes to our new friends and counter-parts and boarded a van to go to San Pablo.

After an exhilarating drive.....😅😅😅😅😅 , we arrived.  They had painted a banner and had it hanging on the gate.  The office staff, the groundske…

Mission Presidents Seminar

Catching up on the most amazing week ever.  There were many teachings, nothing new, just amazing reminders as to what the gospel contains and how important they are.  There were some things that surprised me (Barb), however.

I wasn't prepared for the fact that the 12 apostles and Presidency would come and stay all day with us, eating, visiting, sharing their love for us and the work we are about to engage in.  Elder Hales and President Monson did not attend because of age, but all others were there.  There were 127 new president and their wives.  Also, many of the seventy with their wives.  We were taught and given apostlic blessings that will forever be in our hearts.  I sat in the meetings, wishing all of you could have sat next to me.  They talk on a different level when their audience are people who are about to join them in consecrating their lives to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and leave all else behind.

Sometimes we would be in the auditorium in the MTC with everyone …

Terrifying and exhilarating

I have had the funniest thought that explains how we feel as the days near for us to start.
Several years ago we went on a Caribbean cruise and went zip lining.  I am afraid of heights but was determined to do this and not hold Doug back from this experience.  We hiked and then climbed until we were on the first of 7 or 8 VERY tall trees in a rainforest and then we were outfitted with extremely safe harnesses that forced us to sit up, connected at both the waist and the shoulders.  The problem with the very safe harnesses is that as we got ready to zip to the next tree,  I was sitting up, looking down.  The man helping us asked if I was ready and I would say yes, but then couldn't push myself off.  He asked a couple of times, my answer was the same, but I couldn't do it on my own.  Finally, I would tell him he would have to push me off this one.   Immediately, it was the most terrifying (as evident my my screams) and exhilarating experience.  This we repeated on each tower.  I…