Friday, May 29, 2015

30 May 2015

This is starting to become a chore to write this every week.  The problem for me is two fold - it seems like I am sitting down to write this almost every other day; and that our weeks are all starting to be the same.  So, I will try to describe a little of the things that are different from the weeks previously and put in a few pictures.

Some of the District Leaders at Tuesday's meeting
President Reeder asked me to teach a section at the District Leader Training on Tuesday of this week. He invited both of us to come and spend the day with these leaders from the entire mission.  I think there were 26 or so District Leaders there along with the Assistants and us.  My assignment was to teach Section 3 of the Red Handbook (Handbook 2) which is, "Leadership in the Church of Jesus Christ".   I wondered about how to teach it because it is really focused on Leaders in a church Stake or Ward.  However, I quickly realized two things:  1.  That I am teaching these young men how the Lord wants them to lead in their current assignment as a District Leader and, 2.  That they will all go home eventually and will become the next generation of leaders in their Wards and Branches.  So, I decided to teach them right from the handbook and emphasize parts that affect them now and things they should remember for the future.  Another thing I quickly realized is how different the Lord's view of Leadership versus the world's view.  With that in mind, here are some thoughts...  "All Church leaders are called to help other people become true followers of Jesus Christ.  To do this, leaders first strive to be the Savior's faithful disciples, living each day so that they can return to live in God's presence.  Then they can help others develop strong testimonies and draw nearer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ."  (Handbook)  A few more principles from the handbook teach that all leaders should prepare spiritually; participate in councils (I think this is really the Lord's way); learn how to minister to others; and teach the Gospel.  There is more but this is sufficient to show how the Lord does things.  I now see things so differently than I used to.  There is great wisdom in the scripture where the Lord says, "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32)  That is how we are to lead in the church; in our families; and in our communities.  We need to work hard to become "true" followers of Christ.  Believe Him and Love Him by keeping His commandments. Then our job is do everything we can to help those around us.  This is what the Lord calls Leadership!

Last Sunday we were in the Pamplona branch and I met with the Branch President who is a man that I have talked about before on this blog.  I really love him.  He works 6 days a week with a small business and then has Sunday for all of his church work.  I presented to him Sunday some thoughts about how to improve his MLS (membership records) information gathering and data entry by the correct use of forms.  After talking to him about it, he said to me, "I can see that this is the Lord's way".  I really do love this man!  I find most of the Branch Presidents to be really good men but some catch the vision much quicker than others.  This one is great.  He just needs help because he has no time to do it all.  Maybe some week I can talk about some of the things we are doing here to help these Branch Presidents collect information and get it entered.

Sister Hoopes has been very involved with helping Sister Reeder with sick missionaries this past week.  There are so many problems here with so many different things.  We spent a good portion of the day on Monday visiting and working with a sick missionary.

The path to the missionaries living place.  It is behind the wall
on the left.

There is always something for us to do here.  I spent the morning yesterday being trained on the Church's new program to manage vehicles.  It is called CARS.  I don't remember what the acronym stands for but it is a complex management system for all the vehicles.  Since being assigned to be the vehicle coordinator, I have had to get much involved in knowing about and dealing with vehicle issues.  Thank goodness we only have 6 vehicles to manage.

I spent time this morning in a vehicle coordination meeting with all of the office Elders who drive the vehicles.  There has really been no records kept of oil changes or any maintenance on the vehicles.  That all changes now as we will be maintaining records on the computer.  It will require considerably more work for me but I actually enjoy it.  Monday is the first of June and I will have all the reports in and start entering the data that afternoon.  My big challenge will be getting access to the office computer since it is Monday and it is a big day for all the Elders to do their emails.

We are going to a baptism in Pasacao this afternoon.  The Elders saw us on Thursday at their district meeting and invited us specially to come.  Maybe they want Sister Hoopes to play the piano but whenever we go to these things, we are treated like royalty.  I am not kidding.  They act like it is some special thing to have us come. I don't understand it yet.

Until next week.

ps:  I received this early this morning from Elder Watson who is from Canada and is working in the Iriga area.  They have a house but have problems with power going out all the time.  I thought you might enjoy his note to me.

 Yesterday, after a really hot busy day we got home in the evening to no power, but that is expected, and no water.  When the water did finally come on they pressured about 3 miles of line without  bleeding it so when we turned on the taps we would get huge blasts of air…didn’t know that in time.  I desperately needed to do one load of wash to hold us until P-day.  I turned the water on manually into our  washer to fill the tub and blew the hose off the faucet.  Me and the room got a good soaking.   I finally filled buckets in the house and dumped them into the washer tub and did the wash that way.  When I see Jon Denver next I am going to sing his song about the sweet simple life down on the farm then punch him in the face!  If you find this incident funny in any way we are no longer friends!! 

Sorry but I did laugh a little.  Just glad it isn't us out there.


  1. I got your blog address from mom today and was reading up on your last 5 months. I was adding up all the extra activities that you are involved in like; piano lessons, car upkeep, accounting, budgeting, cooking, nursing, singing, management, counseling etc., Did you ever think growing up that all your learning would bring you to this 18 month experience where everything you know would be so important and beneficial to so many people in a 3rd world country. We are so blessed (even if I'm still in a 5th wheel after 18 months). You guys are missed but amazing. Thanks for your ya

  2. P.S. Weston just got engaged and is getting married August 14th in Bountiful temple to Alma (pronounced Uma) from Reno Nevada. Brittany had a hand in this one. lol

  3. Great comment from Beverly; she is so right. I love to read about what you are so willingly doing to serve and to lead and to teach others how to lead.