Saturday, April 18, 2015

18 April 2015

This week starts the birthday marathon in the Jon Hoopes Family tree.

Today is Jesse's birthday.  He was born in 1987 so that makes him 28 years old today.  Happy Birthday Jesse!  We hope you have a great and memorable day.  This picture of Jesse is from one of our trips to Florida where we visited Shark Valley National Park. He has always liked little creatures. Thankfully this alligator was well fed before Jesse got his picture taken.
James' birthday was on April 15 and we hope he also had a very happy birthday.  He didn't have the luxury of having the day off but we here he had a pretty good birthday anyway.

Happy Birthday to the rest of our birthday list!
Logan Hoopes April 21
Justin Hoopes April 26
Jason Hoopes May 10
Jared Hoopes May 13
Jon Hoopes May 16
To our unknown readers, I bet you can't guess which ones are our sons.  We love them all.
Logan is our eldest grandson.

Happy Birthday to our other relatives and friends,  we won't name you and give your ages so you are very lucky!
I spent many hours at the church next door working with a Sister who came from a long way away to give piano lessons.  I taught her my Jon Schmidt way of reading notes and she added her method and there are many students doing very well.  They just keep coming.  She is spending about an hour travel time each way and 7-8 hours a day and plans on doing this 4 days a week for the summer.  She said that a couple missionary taught her to play the piano when she was 18 years old and is giving back now by teaching all of these students.  Just the cost of the Jeepney fair is probably 25% of her family income for the day.  I admire her dedication.

This afternoon we were invited to evaluate a group of professional English tutors. They tutor Japanese students in English.  They were mostly young people and they spoke very well.  We hate judging people but we tried to be very supportive as we offer suggestions and criticisms.  Something very interesting happened which doesn't speak well for us English speakers.

In our conversation we found out that they are taught in their schools that we say our T's like a D.  I was to instruct them to say little as liddle, and bottle as boddle.  I said wait a minute we say our T's like a T and not a D.  But even in kindergarten, they are taught English this way.

I thought wait a minute, I'm not back in Germany!  So, we corrected an ages old misunderstanding of the  English Language.  I guess we Americans are just going to have to speak more clearly.  I thought this "Glitch" in the language was just an accent, instead, it has been taught that way for decades!  Who would have thought????

A quick thought for today.  We were reading a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland when he was Commissioner of Church Education before becoming president of BYU.  He was speaking at BYU and it was on March 18, 1980.  The talk was titled, "For Times of Trouble".  He said, "I watch an early morning news broadcast while I shave and then read a daily newspaper. That is enough to ruin anyone’s day and by then it’s only 6:30 in the morning. Iran, Afghanistan, inflation, energy, jogging, mass murders, kidnapping, unemployment, floods. With all of this waiting for us we are tempted, as W. C. Fields once said, to “smile first thing in the morning and get it over with.”  There was so much more in this talk to help those who struggle in any way but this was quite humorous and I thought might help some of us who get down each day reading about what is going on in the world and the country."

We said goodbye to Sister Richmond Sunday before the General Conference broadcast.  She brought
her parents to meet us and they brought us a big  Costco Cashew bottle.  It was wonderful to meet the parents!  At the same time we were sad, Sister Richmond was a ray of sunshine in the Naga Mission.

If you think your car is crowded...try this!
This is a common sight here in the Philippines.  This little family was headed home after the general conference broadcast at the Stake Center. Very few people can even afford this type of transportation.  Actually, this is very new and modern.

This is just a motorcycle even though it looks like there is a roof on it in the picture.  That roof belongs to a Tricie which is sitting to the side.  We have shown them before in pictures.

Our other adventures of the week included a 2 1/2 hour drive to Daet to pick up a missionary for a transfer.  We treated the Zone Leaders to lunch on the beach in Daet and then we headed off to San Vicente which is another 26 km from Daet. Considered the "Promised Land" to the missionaries, they enjoy being sent here.  Notice the beach in the next picture which was just outside this restaurant that we ate in.
The next day we head in the total opposite direction to Iriga, which is on the southern most boundary of the mission.  We attended a District Meeting where we encouraged them to help the branches get their records in order.  I strongly encouraged them to clean up their apartments and take care of their health.  Of course, I brought them cookies, so they still love me and won't mind if I come back again.

For a week that we didn't think we had much to do, we have been very busy and now very tired.

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