On the final evening, we were invited to dine with different apostles. We were assigned to be with Elder Anderson. As nice as that was, we were anxious to leave because just yards away in a parking lot across the street, were 4 of our little grands waiting to bid us farewell. We even had a surprise visit from President Gordon and Sister Pat Brown, former president of the Chicago mission. We will miss our loved ones but know they will be watched over and have a work to do in the Philippines.There is nothing like General Conference! The Prophet spoke to us in our seminar as well as other leaders. Imagine our delight when over the course of 5 days we heard from each of them. Not only that, they stayed and mingled with all of us. We were able to talk to many of the leaders. We saw Elder William Walker and his wife. We caught up with our friend Gregg Dunn. We learned much but felt even more. It was an experience of a lifetime that neither of us will forget.
We definitely packed heavy but it must serve us until our shipment arrives in late July. We flew into the Tokyo airport. We were able to talk with President and Sister Ostler who will be serving in the Manila Mission. We met the Ostler's as they were in the Naperville 3rd Ward when we arrived in Illinois so many years ago.We made it! To prove it we are all riding on the bus from the airport. We are weary yet happy campers.We met the Philippines Area Presidency and their wives across the street from the beautiful Manila Temple. President Brent Nielsen will be moving to Utah next month but is was nice meeting them. Our batch consists of eight new Mission President's and wives.New 2014 Batch of Mission President's & Wives:Front Row: President & Sister Ian Ardern, President & Sister Brent Nielsen, President & Sister Larry Eckohawk2nd Row Left: Pres. Dennis & Sheralyn Dahle-Olangapo, Pres. Efren & Marissa Lamoglia-Davao, Pres. Terry & Judy McCurdy-Cebu, Pres. Bart & Renee Mangum-San Pablo3rd Row Left: Caleb, Pres. Creg & Saundra Ostler-Manila, Pres. Kim & Jennifer Bertin-Quezon City North, Pres. Scott & Sandy Clark-Angeles, Pres. Wayne & Tracy Maurer-TaclobanTonight we are back in our lovely home at Las Hacienda Luisita, Tarlac City, Philippines after our first full day as Mission President and wife. Our street is named Cadena DeAmor Street in the San Miguel Barangay. We live in a beautiful home and work with great missionaries. The learning curve is REALLY steep! Missions are not small or simple operations. Hour by hour we deal with difficult and diverse situations. Yet we also get much joy and satisfaction in seeing our young missionaries serve, succeed and grow. We are just at the beginning and the pace of life is already mind numbing.