Friday, December 11, 2015

12 December 2015

Here is a summary of this past week's activities which I will elaborate upon in due time.

1.  First Christmas party in the Philippines. (there are more to come)
2.  A SNOW BALL fight in the office and parking lot.
3.  A District meeting in Ocampo.
4.  A broken down oven and new range.

But first, a message from the Book of Mormon.

We received our Christmas package from Jennifer.  All our
presents are under the tree and our new stockings are hung
from the drapes with care or they will fall down.

One of the scriptures which jumped out at me recently is in 3 Nephi 11:29.  The Savior had just appeared to the Nephites who were in the area of Bountiful near the temple.  He taught them many things but one of the points he brought up is in verse 29.  He said, "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another."
It is the middle of December and this is new rice planted
just last week.  This is the field we monitor.  The cycle starts all over again.
We think it is just so beautiful.
 In discussing this verse, we thought it was interesting that it is one of the first things that the Lord pointed out to the people when he appeared to them.  Therefore, it must have been important then and it is probably even more important today.  Do we not see the spirit of contention in so many aspects of our lives today?  What about political issues and major world issues now happening?  What about sporting events?  What about even driving down the road?  What about how we treat each other within our families?  It is Satan's desire for us to find fault and be angry with each other but that is not of the Lord.  He wants us to love and forgive each other.  Elder Russell M. Nelson declared "It matters not to Satan what the contention is all about - whether it is about worldly wickedness or the doctrines of the kingdom.  It only matters that contention and conflict be created in the hearts of men, because it is a corroding canker of the spirit that unless checked by repentance can lead to spiritual death."  It is more necessary now than ever to strive to love and forgive every day; to repent when necessary and make the changes in our lives to live as the Lord desires of us.  I promise we will all be much happier and better prepared for the return of the Lord in the Latter Days if we will strive to keep the spirit of contention out of our lives.


The first Christmas party in the Philippines was at the Mission home with President and Sister Reeder.  It was their annual party with those who associate regularly with the President and included those who work there; all of Facilities Management; Councilors in the Mission Presidency, Stake President and all of their families.  It was a large group of people.  All participated by bringing some food items and a talent to display.  We enjoyed great food and some entertainment.

Sister Reeder, Hoopes' and Watson's talent was singing a
different version of Away in a Manger.


Notice the snow on the driveway.
 Wednesday started out to be a quiet day but Sister Hoopes quickly discovered that the oven in our range was not working right.  It is a propane stove and we could turn the oven on but could not turn it off without turning it off at the tank.  We called FM who quickly came and then called a repairman who took it all apart and spent the day trying to find a new gas valve but to no avail.  The stove was declared "unfixable" by that afternoon.  While waiting for the repairman to come, Sister Hoopes decided it was time to defrost the freezer and as the ice started to melt, she scooped it out into a bowl and then announced she was going down to introduce the Elders in the office to "snowballs"!  I was going

Some of those involved in the SNOWBALL fight.
to go and assist but as we were walking out the door, the repairman came to work on the stove. I stayed to show the him what the problem was while Sister Hoopes start a snowball fight in the office. As soon as I could leave, I started down the stairs and as I got to the bottom I heard the back door of the office open and slam shut and then an Elder came running from the parking lot from behind the office and went out the gate and turned onto a sidewalk running full speed.  I thought that was a little unusual until I saw another Elder running from the same area with a "snowball" in hand.  Walking a little further with camera now in hand, I discovered Sister Hoopes providing "snowballs" to other missionaries to throw and even heaving a few herself. Elder Salmon from Canada was clearly familiar with snowballs, he was the one on a run and one of the Americans, Elder Christensen knew exactly what to do with it.  The Filipino Elders had never seen or experienced snow. One little ice cream carton of snow did not last long in the Philippines but hopefully the memory of the snowball fight in Naga City Philippines will last a life time and bring back memories of home to the North Americans.


All the Elders waiting for Sister Hoopes to pass out the brownies.
Nothing big to report here but after we decided to go to Ocampo, we discovered there were 2 packages for one of the American Elders waiting in the office.  We were able to deliver those packages and thereby relieve anxiety with family about whether he would have a Merry Christmas or not.  We had a great day with the District in Ocampo. We always do a little teaching on the English test process and how they can study better and then also some teaching on how to work with Ward Leaders on the membership records.

Both American Elders.  Elder Davis (left) from New Mexico and Elder
Sessions from Mountain Home, Idaho.
Pres and Sister Reeder came over Friday morning and we went
shopping for a new stove.  This one is pretty basic but it works
all right.  At least the first fresh pineapple cake turned
out just fine.  (the brownies for Thursday were cooked
next door)