Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December Happenings

 December Mission Leadership Council 

   Mission Leadership Council was on December 11 and we welcomed several new leaders. I talked about the importance of having integrity and keeping the commitments we have made to the Lord. In Preach My Gospel we're taught "What you choose to think and do when you are alone and you believe no one is watching is a strong measure of your virtue." The Assistants gave a great workshop using Jacob 5 and relating it to finding, teaching, and baptizing. President Mangum taught about a variety of topics including information from the mission presidents seminar. He taught the importance of having a vision and had the council decide with him on the focus and mission goals for 2016. He also taught about what it means to establish the Church. He taught that as we truly work we will have real growth but we must act on our faith. He used President Monson's quote "Fear not. . . the future is as bright as your faith."

December 2015 Mission Leadership Council

Christmas Open House

     On December 12 we held a Christmas Open House for the Mission Priesthood Leadership (Stake and District Presidencies, Bishoprics, and Branch Presidencies) and their wives. Because of the distance some brought their children with them. We had talked about having one last year and it never worked out so we started planning this in October. When Bart presented it to the Stake and District Presidents they said it needed to be all day to accommodate the people from all of the areas. We had it from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and pretty much had people there the whole time. The sweet sister who helps at the mission home baked hundreds of cookies and made macaroni and buko salads. I made four different kinds of sweet breads and made cabbage salad. We also had fresh fruit, vegetables and dip, artichoke dip, cheese ball, crackers, chips, and salsa. As you can see it was mostly American food. I called it an American Merienda because that means snack so they wouldn't think it was a meal. They seemed to enjoy the food although there were a couple of people who asked where the rice was.
     We had around 100 or more people come and we enjoyed visiting with them. We even had a few from the two islands which was so nice that they had made the effort to come. We were happy to be able to express our gratitude as well as give them the chance to come to the beautiful mission home. Many of them had never been here. It was so fun to host a Christmas party and fun to see everyone visit and enjoy themselves. It was a great day!

Christmas in the Philippines

Some of the Christmas decorations we enjoyed during the "ber" months.
The first time we saw a countdown it was 79 days until Christmas.
It came and went too fast as always!

Saying Good-bye

     Sometimes, especially in December, we have missionaries go home off cycle for different reasons. We said good-bye to four great missionaries including a wonderful former assistant to President Mangum.

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