Thursday, October 8, 2015


8 October 2015

Hello to all the wonderful friends of our Perry 6th Ward. This started out to be for the Ward Newsletter in October but after I had it done, I thought it wasn't quite appropriate for the Bishops Message.  So, we are sending it as a special letter to the Ward through the medium of our blog.  

Our going away party with the Augsburg Ward in Germany.

How the time does fly! 

Our mission to Germany flew by and was over so fast.   Our 2nd year anniversary since coming home from Germany was in February and we were already here in the Philippines. Our mission here in the Philippines is now half way over.  When one is busy and enjoying what they do, then the days just disappear.

Many of you probably do not know that this is our second trip to the Philippines.  Over 20 years ago, we traveled here to pick up a son who served in the San Pablo mission which is just north of this mission.  We had a nice visit but after seeing the living conditions; heat and humidity; and all the challenges, we thought that the Philippines would be the last place we would ever visit again.  In fact, when President and Sister Reeder asked us to come and join them here (just after we returned from Germany), we answered “no thanks, we’ve seen the Philippines”.  We are here to testify that the Lord really does soften hearts and change perspectives because a year later, we decided that going back to the Philippines might not be so bad after all and perhaps we might be able to help and assist in some ways.  So, here we are and we have very much enjoyed this opportunity to serve.

Our kitchen whch is quite nice.
We have been very blessed to have nice living accommodations.  In fact, they are better than we had anticipated.  We have running hot and warm water and air conditioning which none of the missionaries have but those who work in the office.  There is also a generator for when the power goes out which is often.  The only drawback is that we have no air conditioning while on emergency power.  

This is the Naga Mission Office.  We live upstairs in the front.
There 2 apartments upstairs.

We do have an old washer and dryer for which we are grateful.  All the missionaries do their clothes by hand as do most of the Filipinos.  If we could just eliminate the bugs and lizards that frequent our living quarters, life would be much more tolerable.

It is amazing what they carry on motorcycles, bicycles,
Jeepneys and Tricies.
We do have a car and it is a blessing as it would be so difficult to get around anywhere on a schedule that we would be terribly unproductive.  But that little blessing also brings its' own set of challenges.  Driving here is like nothing you have ever seen or experienced.  Imagine a little road with 2 lanes – one for each direction.  But that is frequently turned into a 4 to 6 lane road.  How they can squeeze a Jeepney and a car side by side into a single lane with a motorcycle is simply amazing.  

Cars, motorcycles, jeepneys, etc. pass on the right or left side as desired regardless of oncoming traffic. 
This is a family going home after Stake Conference.
All on one motorcycle.
Everyone just seems to know that someone will move so they can go where they want to.  If this system were tried at home, there would be all out war every time you got into your car.  Here, everyone just lives with it and it is okay.  There are no stop signs and only 2 traffic lights in this entire city.  The system works, however.  When you come to a cross road, you just poke your nose out a little at a time until somebody stops for you and then you go on through.  Easy!

We have been blessed to meet many wonderful people here.  We love them all.  The members are so humble and gracious and just love to have us visit at church whenever we can.  We do travel around a lot and visit branches mostly on Sundays.  We try to go to a Missionary District meeting or Zone training meeting every week and support and teach them.  We love being around them and they treat us with the same love back.  Maybe it helps that Sister Hoopes feels it is her duty to supply home baked cookies, cake, or brownies each time we go to a missionary event. 

Piano lessons in Pamplona.
 We stay busy with piano lessons (Sister Hoopes); English testing for non English speaking Missionaries; Mission Vehicles; training for Branch Presidencies in MLS; teaching in workshops and other missionary leadership training; visiting and helping sick missionaries; shopping for groceries and everything else we need; washing clothes; washing dishes; cooking food including treats for missionaries and traveling to branches for church on Sundays. 
A baptism in Sipocot.  Of course, they want us in
their pictures every time.  
We try to go to as many baptisms as we can which are generally held on Saturdays.  We love being out and around the people.  They are so kind and humble and pleasant.
We see President and Sister Reeder often and it has been a blessing to us to be able to serve with them.  They are doing well and know the time is progressing rapidly.  Unfortunately, you will see us before you see them as we are being released on June 16, 2016.  Yes, we already know the date and will be home in time for Fathers Day.  The Reeders will not be leaving until around July 1, 2016. 
Out to Shakey's for a Banana Split for OUR anniversary.

We have been greatly blessed and know that we are where we should be right now.  Our eyes are opened every day to how much we have compared to these wonderful and humble people who have so little.  We love them and are grateful the Lord opened our hearts and blessed us to come here to serve.  We love all of you and miss you and pray that the Lord will watch over and bless you.

In the name of Jesus Christ,  Amen.


  1. Beautiful Testimony of missionary work and how our lives are blessed when we serve!

  2. I haven't read your blog in awhile, and it was great reading about your mission, your testimony and of course, all the pictures. It must be a wonderful feeling to know that you are making a difference.--Alana