Saturday, June 20, 2015

20 June 2015

Elder and Sister Pajaro with the two couples
in the mission.  
This past week we had "Mission Tour".  That means that a General Authority visits all of the mission.  In this case, an Area Authority, from Manila was assigned to come in place of Elder Larry Echohawk who was a councilor in the Area Presidency and got sick, returned home and was released. Elder Pajaro and his wife arrived on Tuesday morning by plane and left on Friday. They had a half day session with missionary leaders from the mission on Tuesday afternoon and then two full day sessions with all the missionaries. Both days were here in Naga at the Stake Center.  The missionaries all traveled in for their assigned days and then back home after the meetings were over.  We attended on Wednesday at the request of Pres and Sister Reeder although our normal day would have been on Thursday.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Sister Reeder had asked my wife if she would prepare a dinner for Thursday evening for the Pajaro's, Reeder's, Watson's and us.  So, our week and Thursday were completely occupied by shopping, cooking and preparing for the meals and English testing.  Sister Hoopes had volunteered to take lunch to the Reeder's and Pajaro's on Tuesday at noon and so between the food service and English tests which are still on-going, we had a very busy week.

Kathlene's rolls for the lunch on Tuesday
 Elder Pajaro is a native Filipino who joined the church with his wife when they were just newly married.  He is a full time employee of the church working in Manila as the Human Resource director.  He is a very humble and loving man.  We loved being around him and his wife.  On Wednesday afternoon, with tears in his eyes, he thanked all of the missionaries for their service to the Filipino people.  He thanked those who had come from thousands of miles away and those who were from this country already.  He made it sound like he cared personally for each missionary and thanked them over and over for their willingness to be here and share the gospel message.  He then shared with us portions of a document which was a "blessing" on this land by Elder Gordon B. Hinckley.  At least I will call it a blessing because I didn't fully understand what it was. The country of the Philippines was originally dedicated for missionary work in 1951 and then Elder Hinckley blessed the land in 1961.  It was like a rededication but he didn't call it that. It was fascinating and beautiful to see the promises in the blessing and to be a part of the experience now.  It is wonderful to see how this blessing is coming true and being fulfilled.  I asked him for a copy of the document that he shared portions of and he said that he would ask when he got back to see if it could be shared.  I hope that we can get at least some of it and I will share if I can.

Our dinner on Thursday night was very nice.  Kathlene had planned on serving a light chicken cabbage salad but after having chicken on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, she and Sister Reeder decided it should be something else.  So, we had German Schweineschnitzel and Kaese Spaetzle. That is Pork Schnitzel and the German homemade pasta with cheese.  It is a heavier meal but it was just really good.  Sorry I don't have pictures of the meal.  It looked really nice and tasted great.  Our conversation was just down to earth -  talking about how we met our spouses; hearing about the conversion of Elder and Sister Pajaro; some mission talk.  We started at 6:00 and didn't leave the Presidents home until 9:00 pm.  The Watsons then had to drive back home which is nearly an hour and made a very long day for them.  But we had a wonderful time and noted again how Elder Pajaro thanked us individually for our coming to serve in the Philippines.  It made us feel like we are really wanted and needed.

The Mission Tour meetings each day included several zones.  On Wednesday, it was for the Daet and Pamplona Zones.  I have included some pictures from the day for the record.

This is the Pamplona Zone.  I included it for some parents of Missionaries who are following this blog.

Cinnamon rolls.  Elders enjoyed!!!!

I am also including some pictures of the foods that Kathlene cooked to try before she took anything to the visitors.  The Elders in the office and some Sisters who were here for English testing were the recipients of most of this good stuff  (I also benefited).

Lemon Meringue pie.  Sisters got some but didn't like
the tartness that well.  I loved it!!!!

We finished up the week with a new assignment. We are now teaching at the CES building every Friday afternoon at 3:00 until 4:40 Piano and Conducting.  We went until nearly 6:00 last night because everyone was late.  I suspect it will be that way most of the time.  We did end up with 10 students and some of them were very good. They will pick it up quickly and be playing soon.  It was actually quite fun to be there.  We have been to the CES building before and have posted pictures on the blog already.  It is a beautiful building in almost downtown Naga.

President Botor of Baao branch.  He works as a Security Guard
for the CES building.  Starts at 4:30 pm and works about 5:00 am
 6 days a week.  We love this man!!!

We are in Iriga this morning teaching piano lessons again.  Only 2 kids showed up.  We had about 50 the first time we came and about 12 last time.

I am using the time to finish this blog and "chat" with my sister Kristen.

Hope all is well at home even though we know all have challenges to work with. Please know that we pray for you every day and know that you have all been blessed and will continue to be blessed.  We know that the Lord is watching over you.


Mom and Dad
Jon and Kathlene
Elder and Sister Hoopes


  1. Please accept our appreciation and gratitude for your untiring service to our people. It may, at times, require patience dealing with how we do things but it's worth the effort. People don't realize and recognize their talents until someone like Sister Hoopes steps in and shows the way. Thank you both for keeping them, especially young ones, exposed to music and piano lessons. Thank you again for your love and service. Mabalos! Salamat!

  2. Oh, Kathlene's rolls!!!!!!!!!!