Saturday, June 13, 2015

13 June 2015

I mentioned last week that Sister Hoopes was helping with a piano recital that was in our church next to the mission office.  A sister from another ward has been teaching piano lessons for the past 2 months, during their summer break.  She wanted to do a recital and requested Sister Hoopes to help and include the youth that she is teaching.  It was last Saturday and it turned out to be a very interesting day.

An interesting day, because was all very Filipino! Here is the story as told by Sister Hoopes.

Sis Brines left and Gia on the right took lessons from me
 It started a couple of weeks ago when I was asked by Sister Brines to help with the recital. We had worked together a little throughout the last couple of months.  I checked with our Bishop to ensure that there were no other activities for the planned day.  There were none and then the original date got changed by the Stake which wanted it later so that it could be announced in the wards and get a lot of people there to support the piano recital and to encourage others to learn.  So, we moved it to last Saturday from 3-5 PM.  I talked to the Bishop and the building was clear. I said to him, "No meetings, no baptisms, no primary.  No meetings between 3&5".  He said OK.  We were at a members home on
Thursday night before the recital and Elder Hoopes was told that there was to be a Family History training for all of the stakes and Districts in the mission on Saturday afternoon. He asked where it was going to be held and was told in the Panganiban Chapel - conflicting with our recital. He called me over to talk to the Brother and I told him flat out that the chapel had been scheduled for the recital and it is the only room with a piano.  He said that he had not checked with anyone before scheduling the meeting and would gladly hold it in a different room of the church. Saturday afternoon, as the primary children began arriving, we learned that there was a primary activity also scheduled for that afternoon
Bishops oldest daughter played well with both hands.
7 years old!
and so there were kids running around the building during the recital as well. I stood guard at the door, keeping the noise and the children out. We also heard there was a baptism scheduled and they were filling the font.  That really would have messed things up because the font is just off the chapel, separated by accordian sliding doors. but it was actually at 6 PM, later than our recital.  And, just to help you understand the Filipino way, the Stake President, who was supposed to speak at the recital, never did get there until after it was over, as he was at a CES meeting across town. The Family History meeting went on from 2-5.  In addition, the reason for changing the date was so that announcements could be made..... didn't make any difference because none of the Bishops announced it in the stake.

The final touch:  Kathlene didn't see Sister Brines for several days and wondered how things were going.  My wife had already agreed to put a program together and make up some certificates. On Thursday afternoon, we were running to the Presidents Home and we see her walking into the parking lot so we made an appointment for later.  They went over the program and talked about certificates.  We were going to meet the next afternoon but then Sister Brines didn't come.(It was raining cats and dogs)!  She had 1 student that was there for 3 or 4 hours waiting.  Kathlene was to finalize the program before press time. But NO ONE came. On Saturday morning Sister Brines asked about decorations but none of
Our bishop speaking in place of the Stake President
the Bishops had budgets for decorations so  Kathlene gave her some colored paper and some scissors to decorate.

On Saturday afternoon, one of the younger Sisters in the ward, who takes lessons from Sister Hoopes, offered to do a Power Point so  the kids names could be projected on the wall.  It was a nice way to introduce the kids and the songs.
Half of Kathlene's students canceled  the night before and I think 2 of the others students didn't show up.

The program did, however, turn out pretty good and there were some parents there.  Sister Brines had arranged for refreshments and the parents were proud and happy. So this recital was a big success in the Filipino way.

These are the Bishops 3 children.  The oldest played in the recital and the youngest I showed in a picture a few weeks ago.  She just turned 3. They are really beautiful little girls.

The rest of the week was pretty uneventful.  We went to Baao on Sunday at the request of Elder and Sister Watson.  Sister Watson was doing sharing time in Primary just to show the leaders and kids how it is supposed to work.  She asked for help from Sister Hoopes.  We had a great day there with them in their old rented house.  After Primary, Sister Hoopes was asked to give the lesson in Relief Society.  Go figure!

With all the English testing going on and Piano lessons, I have been much more domestic than is usual for me.  I have actually put clothes in the washing machine and dryer.  And I have been doing the dishes which is quite extraordinary, I think.

Next week is going to be huge with an Area Authority Seventy coming to spend several days.  Will let you know next week how we are involved and share what we learned.
All nice and clean again

Just this last thought:  I was in a Sunday School class on Sunday and it was in Tagalog, of course.  So, I was day dreaming a little but I realized I was being asked a question.  The teacher in English said, "Elder Hoopes, this Sister wants to know why the Lord lets good people be poor and the bad people have money". ?  My first question was, "Is that the lesson for today" because I thought it was totally something else? And secondly, why ask me the question but I thought, okay, I am going to give it to them good.  I asked, "Do you believe the prophets"?  If so, go read the talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson from last October General Conference on Free Agency.  He tells us that men choose their own circumstances in life.  God will not make us anything that we do not by our actions choose to become.  So, there is the answer.  I doubt they understood it at all but an American Missionary came up to me afterwards to get the reference so he could print it and read it.  Good for him!


  1. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

    Viktor E. Frankl

  2. “To be cheerful when others are in despair, to keep the faith when others falter, to be true even when we feel forsaken—all of these are deeply desired outcomes during the deliberate, divine tutorials which God gives to us—because He loves us. These learning experiences must not be misread as divine indifference. Instead, such tutorials are a part of the divine unfolding.”
    ― Neal A. Maxwell

  3. of the lessons from this week is to not try to schedule the building for anything :)
    You are truly learning many things there. Even though there might not be the same problems in Utah, there exist a different set of problems!