Friday, April 3, 2015

4 April 2015

Hi everyone,

We heard last week of a Super Typhoon which was going to hit the Solomon Islands and the area of Guam and would potentially be heading our way.  As many of you know, it is heading this way but it has weakened considerably and is no longer a Super Typhoon - one of only 6 ever in recorded history to start before April 1.  The good news is that it is now heading more towards the northern part of Luzon and will not be of much consequence here.  We did get some heavy rain about 4 am and some wind but it quit and is quite good outside at this time.  (remember we are 14 hours ahead) See if you can find where we are located on the map below.  See the note for Manila? We are below that tag where the ocean juts (bay) into the land on the upper coast.  Naga is just below the bay.

We do anticipate some effects of the storm to hit us but it is not expected to be very severe.  Still, we are prepared with food and water; are in a concrete building and on the second floor.  And we are staying home.  We cancelled piano lessons in Sipocot and Pamplona which are an hour away.  We did not want to be out on the roads if it rains heavy.  We will just enjoy our time in Naga for Saturday and Sunday.  But we are going with the Gardners to lunch in about an hour at Shakeys Pizza.

Sister Hoopes with Sister Gregorio
We attended a Zone Training yesterday in a city named Goa.  There is a Stake in Goa and there are 36 missionaries in the zone.  Apparently the largest zone in the mission.  We had a beautiful drive getting there and back and an enjoyable time with the missionaries.  They, of course, knew all about Sister Hoopes' cookies and were excited she brought some to share.    It is about 1.5 hours away from Naga.  We also met a Sister Missionary who the Forsberg family have been writing to.  It was the first time to see her and she was so excited to see and visit with us.  She wanted to give me (Elder Hoopes) a hug but I suggested that she go find Sister Hoopes and hug her.  She is, of course,  a Filipina and has loved getting emails and letters from her foster family, the Forsbergs, in the US.
Two Sister Missionaries enjoying their Cookies

Us with Sister Greogorio Missionaries
We have been preparing all week for the Career Workshop for missionaries going home which will be on Tuesday of next week.  We will have 10 returning missionaries we will be teaching.  There is a course workbook which we will be referring to but it would take 3 days to teach so we have been using the Gardners condensed version and adding our own touches to it.  It will be a Power Point presentation and I have added many new slides.  The change basically will be that we will be teaching the missionaries what Elder Christofferson taught in his message I quoted last week on Temporal things.  His talk in October, 2014, on "Free Forever" is a great starting point.  I have long studied the concepts of God wanting us to be successful and giving us everything that we ask for.  There are several scriptures that tell us this: "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my faith...behold it shall be done unto you." (Moroni 7:26)  And I love these following quotes which always mystified me although I believe them.  Napoleon Hill said, "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve".  Another  wonderful quote is,"  Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.  This by William Hutchison Murray. (underline from me)

This quote from W. H. Murray says that when we really decide then Providence moves also.  After studying the talk by Elder Christofferson, this all makes sense.  Murray referring to Providence is saying that God is the one that makes it happen.  Once we decide, as I pointed out last week, then God will move with us to make our dreams and desires come into being.  I believe this with all my heart and encourage everyone again to read the talk by Elder Christofferson and then look at quotes like these above from great men who have spent a lifetime studying and teaching these concepts.

Monday was donut day in Naga Mission
Last Saturday was a long long day.  We left early for Sipocot where piano lessons were taught for 2 hours and then went on to Daet for a Family History Training which we have been supporting.  Daet is 2.5 hours away from Naga.  Everything went late, of course, and we got back to Naga late.  We had been invited to a wedding reception by the young couple you see above and so we thought we should go even though we were tired.  We found our way to the Stake Center in the dark and happened to meet them shortly after arriving.  We said hi and wished them well and then left.  We felt bad as we would have liked to stay and  experience a reception in the Philippines.  This young man stood next to me in the choir for Stake Conference and is a good singer.  He is also in our ward.  He and his bride are both returned missionaries.  They went to Manila on a bus along with 24 other youth from our Stake to do baptisms for the dead.  This couple went to get married in the temple.  The bus left on Thursday night and drove all night.  They were in the temple all day Friday and then left to come home on Friday night and got back here on Sat. morning.  This couple returned home with them.  So they returned from Manila about 6:00 am Saturday morning and were having a reception that night.  A long day for these kids.   I think that is a great story for their kids to hear.

The pictures on the left show the process of donut making in the Philippines - at least at our house.  These donuts now have a name:
Crispy Hoopes Donuts
The finished product 

This mountain really shows up on the way to Goa and we were able to get a nice picture on our way back.

Typhoon update:

It has been raining off an on since morning and sometimes really heavy.  Should things change, we will do another post if we have internet capability.
Thats all for this week.


  1. Oh, I'm glad it's going to be okay for you, for the most part. Hope everyone else there is protected. The donuts look great, Kathlene!

  2. I like the Crispy "Hoopes" Donuts--which is entirely different than regular Crispy Donuts I guess? Glad you are safe.
    I love the message that correlates with last week. Before you said that, I was already thinking, "This builds upon last week's principle." Such good lessons!
    Did you get to hear anything of Conference. It was excellent. And it seemed that so many of the talks related to me and my family's lives right now. Very inspiring messages. And exciting news for the new temples!
    Glad you are safe!