A very different and interesting experience this week!
|This was taken during the early procession|
into the meeting hall. They grabbed
ahold of me like I was going to escape.
After a while, two young women came and asked me to go with them.
|The US flag was recognized and the National Anthem was|
played by the band. It was beautiful and great to stand at
attention with our hands over our hearts in a foreign country.
|The graduating students.|
When everything finally got going, we had a speech from the President followed by lots of different recognitions during which the students all came forward in a slow procession again to receive their awards. At some point, the Canadian named Francesco Cena spoke. He is a young man who is an entertainer, Mr. World Canada, Mr. World Talent, a debate coach, along with many other accomplishments. They had 2 pages of written material that they covered for him. I was feeling quite inferior by the time they finished with his Bio. But, he was very genuine and a great speaker.
|Taken during the Dinner Party. Frankie Cena on the right. |
Next to him is the President and then the Administrator is
the woman standing in the middle.
I was scheduled as the closing speaker and it was probably about 8:30 in the evening so we had been there for a long time. The theme for the event was "7 Billions Dreams, 1 Planet, Consume Carefully". I took one look at that and said to myself, "I am not going to give a green speech, that just isn't me". I decided to talk to everyone as an individual about God's plan for us; what God wants for each one and how we relate to each other. I basically gave a shortened version of the workshop which we do for the Missionaries going home.
|The dance group outside in the courtyard in some of their costumes.|
It was truly a memorable evening and I am glad that the Watsons went with us. We had a great time.
|The dancers in the Gazebo in the courtyard.|
The whole week was busy with transfers going on from Monday through Wednesday. After the long night on Monday, we taught the all day workshop on Tuesday and it was probably one of our best days ever. We had invited our Bishop, Alan Bigtas, to attend and he was really helpful and offered good insight from a Filipino perspective. The concepts we try to teach are especially important as there is a special emphasis on Self-Reliance here in the Philippines.
Wednesday, we helped with the orientation of 15 new missionaries, who arrived that morning from Manila.
That is enough for this week. We will have lots of pictures of new missionaries and transferred missionaries next week. Take care......
|Saturday lunch at our place prepared by Elder Luardo who|
went home on Wednesday.
|Elder Luardo with a plate of Mexican WEDDING cookies|
made by Sister Hoopes. It was a special joke for him
to remember to go home and get married. We will