Saturday, March 21, 2015

21 March 2015

Today is the culmination of a very different week. We haven't been all that busy but we have been involved in some very different things for us. I will detail the different things we did as you read through the blog.

I mentioned a week or two ago that we had been approached by a member of the Stake about speaking at a Workshop for Naga College Foundation.  The sister is a member and a Professor at the college and the group that wanted us to speak is her group of 8 Graduate students.  All of them are currently working as teachers but are striving to improve themselves.  She also teaches undergraduates which were also there in abundance.  The Workshop was opened to anyone else who wanted to come and I understand that there were MBA's in attendance as well as a host of others.

Program for the workshop which we spoke at today
All of our spare time this week has been spent preparing for our presentations to the Naga College Foundation where we spoke this morning.  I am very sorry to say that we did not take our camera with us and thus were able to only get a few shots with an IPad.  Others took hundreds of pictures so we will get a few and post them at a later time.

There were a lot of people there and even though we spoke in English, they seemed to understand quite well and were very attentive.
We think the presentations were very well received as we have already been asked to come back again.

This picture was taken with an IPad and is quite grainy but the best we have.  The Auditorium is supposed to hold 250 but I think there were probably 100 there.  This is taken from the 3rd row back and there were many in front of us.

We were there at 8:00 am and the program was to start at 8:30 but as Filipino time goes, we didn't get started until 9:30.  After we finished about 12:30, they asked us if they could take pictures.  We were there for another 30 plus minutes with group after group coming up and wanting pictures with us.

This is our last picture of the Workshop with Elder Watson presenting.  The board behind him has a printed poster that they had made for the occasion.  Another thing of interest is the two women in the front row.  The one on the left is the College President and the other is the Dean of the College.  Both spoke on the program and afterwards were very grateful for our coming to speak.  Both also asked us if we would come back again and speak to a group of the teachers.

The last thing was lunch down the road at a nice restaurant with the Professor and her 8 graduate students. We just had a very nice time.

The week started out much like other weeks. Last Saturday, I went to a Family History Training for the Goa Stake. We have been helping a couple who has been called by the Area Presidency to train the Stake and Districts in Family History. Kathlene stayed in Naga to attend a Relief Society Program in our Stake with Sister Reeder.   On Sunday, we attended the Pamplona Branch. A good sized Branch about a half hour north of Naga. We did not know of any great issues in this Branch but have spoken with Missionaries who really wanted us to come and visit and had set up the time with the Branch President. The Branch President is like so many we have met here. In his mid 30's and has been in the position for only a year. In fact, he had been called while living in another area and moved to this area to be the Branch President. He and all the members were so gracious to us. Several members there, including the Branch President, asked if we were or could be assigned to their Branch and we had to tell them no - that we were only visiting for the day. I was able to spend some special time with this Branch President and learned that he was a returned missionary with a small business in another town. He has a college degree but has chosen the business because it is the only thing that will allow him to ultimately get ahead. He told me that working as an employee in the Philippines, a person earns just enough to get by and never anything more. He said there would never be a way to build his own house if he worked as an employee. I asked about his family and he told me that he has a wife and 2 children. The oldest, a boy, is a special needs child and is 8. I met this boy before the meetings started and could tell that he has some severe impairments but I do not know why. The couple watching over him told me he was the President's son. There is also a girl who is 6. He had spent 3 years working in the Middle East as so many do but, "I am away from my family and now I am back and will never go again". As he talked to me about his family, he told me of their struggles and how hard they work.  He and his wife get up at 4:00 and feed their animals - they have 100 chickens, 50 ducks, turkeys, goats and a pig. Then they head to their business which is an electronics repair and sales shop. They return home about 7:00 pm and do this 6 days a week. I just sat there staring at this nice looking young man and he looked me in the eye and said, "We are a happy family". Wow! How many people can say that? This is how the Filipino people are. Even with so very little, they always seem happy. Here was one who declared to me that he was happy and working hard to do better for his family. I think that is worth some thought on our part. We who have so much, how happy are we really? I really love being here and meeting these people!

Tuesday found us in a van with President and Sister Reeder; the Gardners and the Watsons headed to
one of the old volcano mountains which is nearby. It was a "Fun Day" that Sister Gardner has been planning for quite some time at the request of Sister Reeder. We hiked to a waterfall and then we drove to a very nice resort area where we had lunch. A very enjoyable day.

A very nice pool behind us with only one individual swimming when we got there.

The waterfall with the pool

Maybe Sadie will like these animals at the resort

On Thursday, we went to a District meeting in Pili where we will attend Sacrament meeting on Sunday. Pili is a ward in the Naga Stake about 30 minutes away. We have been told that they have severe problems with member's records and we have not been able to see any information on the ward so we will see Sunday what we can find out.

Bishop of Naga 3rd Ward at Ward Council.  

Even with all of the things going on Sister Hoopes approached our Bishop in the Naga 3rd Ward about helping organize a choir for Easter Sunday. I know most of you reading this will say, "Wait a minute. That is General Conference". But I must remind you that we will be in Sacrament meeting on Sunday when the Saturday night Preisthood session is in progress. We will watch conference sessions here the week following. So, Bishop asked if we could attend a Ward Council which we did and, of course, everyone wants a choir. Now again, we are involved in choir practices for Easter Sunday.

Have a great week!

Elders for dinner on PDay - Monday

Naga is in the background but too hazy to see


  1. As usual, such good things to think about!
    It looks like you are able to enjoy some fun time, too. Is it miserably humid or pleasant? Seriously, shorts?

  2. This just looks like a whole lot of fun, that's all!