Friday, March 27, 2015

28 march 2015

This has been quite a slow week for us other than last weekend.  Since it was quite slow, I am going to spend a little  more time today on the message for the week which follows.  I will also post some pictures on our Naga College presentations from last week.  

You will remember from our last week's blog that  we spoke at the Naga College Foundation last Saturday.  Between the photo shoot after speaking and lunch with the sponsoring class, we were out most of the day.

Member and Prof in white blouse.  Red blouse Dean of College

Undergraduate teachers

The Speakers

A few of those attending who wanted pictures with us

Sunday found us in Pili Ward which is part of the Naga Stake and then hurrying back to get ready to go to Pamplona  with the Family History couple we have been working with.  We all needed to eat lunch before leaving so we had invited the Gamil's to eat with us after the meetings and before leaving for Pamplona.  Then we found that President and Sister Reeder were here for church that day so Sister Hoopes invited them also.  We had a quick lunch at our apartment and then headed out on our way which we were then informed was to Sipocot rather than Pamplona.  Pamplona is a half hour away and Sipocot an hour away.  So, it made for a very long day and by the time we got back, we were very tired from the whole weekend.  Thus, an easy week this week was very good for us.  Sister Hoopes has started doing a lot of piano teaching with a couple of regular students here in Naga but we are going to Sipocot tomorrow morning to teach a large group.  We cannot go there weekly so they will have to learn the basics and then do a lot on their own.  Brother Gamil will be going with us as we are going on to Daet (Stake) to do another Family History training in the afternoon.

Thursday was Zone Conference in the Naga Zone.
Reeders enjoying cookies from Sis Hoopes

 It was at the Stake Center which is the other
chapel in Naga so we road over there with the Gardners.  It was a very nice day.  We had some teaching from the Assistants on some new advertising that the Church will be doing for Easter and beyond.  Then we were able to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons".  We had seen it before we left home but were very pleased to see it again.  The best part of the day was with President Reeder teaching.  He had assigned all the missionaries to read the talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the last conference entitled, "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves".  I especially love the quote that is used in the Ensign.  It is: "It is God's will that we be free men and women enabled to rise to our full potential both temporally and spiritually."  President discussed all of this extensively focusing on the spiritual part of the message.  And that was highly appropriate for missionaries.  The other word is "temporal"and that is what I will focus on today.  

Elder Christofferson asks, "Who bears responsibility for what happens in our lives?"  Following are quotes from the talk:  "Because of the moral agency which has been given to us, it is God's will that we should act for ourselves.  It is his plan that we have the principle decision making role in our lives.  He will not live our lives for us nor control us in any way.  From a temporal perspective God will not make us something we do not choose to become.  We can choose to become the kind of person that we will and with God's help, we can be even as He is.  In matters both temporal and spiritual, the opportunity to assume personal responsibility is a God-given gift without which we cannot realize our full potential....Personal accountability becomes both a right and a duty that we much constantly defend.  We must defend accountability against persons and programs that would make us dependent.  And we must defend it against our own inclinations to avoid the work that is required to cultivate talents, abilities, and Christlike Character.  It is God's will that we be free men and women enabled to rise to our full potential both temporally and spiritually, that we be free from the humiliating limitations of poverty and the bondage of sin...I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency.  My plea is simply to take responsibility and go to work so that there is something for God to help us with."

I have been contemplating this message now for two days and find this to be one of the most profoundly deep and enlightening talks I have read in some time.  We are going to be teaching the Life Skills class for missionaries returning home starting in two weeks and I am going to use the above information to begin our discussion.  The message is simply this:  We determine who and what we are going to be and once we make the determination, then God will step in and help us if we ask him to.

I suggest that everyone print this talk and read it again and again.  I would love to hear others perspective upon it.
Lunch or dinner at Chili Peppers.  Pork Chop w/rice

Piano Lesson at stake center

The rest of this week is busy again starting first thing in the morning.  At the request of President and Sister Reeder, we are doing more to assist them with the sick and afflicted.  I am talking about missionaries.  It is really the responsiblity of Sister Reeder and she will always be the decision maker but she has been asking us to sometimes pickup and/or go see a sick missionary; or this past week go and see a sick sister and pickup a sample for a test that needed to be delivered to the hospital.  That is filling up our time and will probably increase.

Otherwise, we are doing great and feeling good.  Take care until next week.


  1. Very profound message. With all the things going on with my kids, this seems to be a principle we really need to focus on right now. Once again, thank you for sharing. I don't know how you keep up with everything!

  2. I love this so much. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us.