Sunday, September 28, 2014

Our Second Daughter's Second Child

                                           TEAGAN COLLEEN WILLIAMSON
     Freshly delivered into the arms of
              her mom and dad.                                      Our princess one week later.
     Our hearts open wider and our gratitude grows for the birth of our seventh grandchild!
                                                We love you, little Teagan!

Family Week

Each year the Philippines celebrate National Family Week.  The Mormon church gladly joins in Family Week Celebration.  We participated with our Cabanautuan Stake in family celebration of music and dance.  Each ward or branch was given a song from a certain decade to perform.  It definitely took us back to our younger days.  No we did not sing or dance but we did speak at their closing fireside.  A great time was had by all.  
(This was a past banner since I forgot to take a picture of the current one).

Senior Day!

Each month we are so pleased to meet with our senior couples.  They are the bloodline to assist our missionaries when we can't be there.  It is unbelievable the support they are and the things they will do at the drop of a hat.  We enjoyed gathering, talking and even role playing this month.  We love our senior couples!  Sister Lopez makes certain we are well fed.  Her cooking skills save us throughout the weeks.  There are days when I'm pretty certain she doesn't want to cut one more piece of watermelon or cook anymore chicken....but every day she has a smile on her face.  This was a two meal day below!
The Lund's are amazing as they spend their time in Baler.  They teach English, they care for sick missionaries, support Branch leaders and generally, minister as the Savior ministered.  They are a light-house of security and guidance in the most distant part of our mission.  They model self-reliance.
The Weber's live in Camiling. Sis. Weber is running the Lost Sheep program and Bro. Weber oversees a significant portion of missionary housing.  Together they are a force for good in upgrading our missionary houses and helping our missionaries seek those who have gone astray.  He has had to purchase a hard hat so that he can go where no man without a hard hat should ever go again.
The Woodruff's are anchors in the Mission Office.  They are amazing workers and keep things organized, up to date and operating as the church intended.  They are loved by the missionaries for all that they do to make their lives better.  Elder Woodruff manages their "support" (money) and Sis. Woodruff handles pouch (mail).  These are critical parts of missionary life.   We don't know what we'd do without them!
The Hobbs are a great Senior Couple.  They specialize in Family History but are equally adept and eager in working with Branch leaders and less active members.  They have helped so many of the members and their friends to love searching for their ancestors.  They are the parents of some good friends we knew in Naperville, Illinois.
The Naegle's are our Self-Reliance Senior Couple, specially called to launch a new self reliance program in the Philippines.  They do double and triple duty as Elder Naegle serves in the Mission Presidency and they often run to the aid of missionaries who are in need of a ride to get medical attention.
President Clark is not only the President of our Mission but also responsible for FIVE Member Districts.  Tonight we met with his Presidency and their families.  Another great meal was enjoyed.  I love getting the china out and being with people we love.  The Presidency is now set apart and armed with the ability to go and serve the districts faithfully.
President Naegle (1st Counselor), President Clark, President Compos (2nd Counselor) and Elder Woodruff (Executive Secretary).
How grateful we are to have so many incredible seasoned Saints serving with us in the Angeles Mission!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our First Zone Conference

I do believe this will be our last first.  Okay, maybe I shouldn't say that but it will be the last of the expected firsts.  We have 250 missionaries.  The large area makes it difficult to meet all together at one site.  Former Zone Conferences have been held in groupings of 3 to 4 zones at three separate locations.  Essentially the same Zone Conference repeated three different times in three different places.

When we had our Mission Tour, we were instructed to use teaching methods which require more direct instruction and missionary involvement.  Therefore, we decided to hold five conferences.  We started our Conferences on Tuesday and finished up on Saturday.  Each day we started at 9 a.m. had a catered lunch for 45 minutes then ended at 3 p.m.  The topics included:  Becoming Immersed in Preach My Gospel, Using Pamphlets in Teaching, Lesson Planning, Health and Fitness then a talk by President Uchtdorf to top it off.  These subjects may not grab the interest of everyone out there but our missionaries loved it!  We are all on our way to becoming Master Gospel Teachers!

These Conferences are often a high point for our missionaries.  They love to gather, share and grow together.  We love being a part of it all!


For more pictures of our missionaries at different Zone Conferences, see the section in the "Our Missionaries" tab above. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Claire Ann Koudelka
7 lbs. 4 oz.
19 inches long

Claire is beautiful.  She looks a lot like her sisters.  God has placed  her in good hands with loving siblings and strong parents.
We are grateful! 

A Little Rain Must Fall.....

It is a fact of life.  The rainy season is upon us in the Philippines.
It was a week that was supposed to be one of catch-up on things
left undone.  Somehow it didn't turn out to be such.  Instead we had many
difficult situations that arose.  There was a wide variety of
missionary illnesses.  I could scarcely get off one call before
another would come.  Some days are like that.

 Luckily a new day comes... the sunshine fills the 
land... and our souls. There are far more sunny days than grey days
in our mission and in the Philippines.  Even the grey days are not that bad.
There is always open sunshine somewhere beyond the horizon.
That's the nature of living on an island in the Pacific
and in serving a mission with 250 young people.
The proof that hope springs eternal and that grey days will pass by
is in new life.  The rainy season of the Philippines brings new
life to this beautiful nation.
For us a new grandchild bring new life to our family.

We received word that our 6th grandchild was born.
She is fresh from heaven and into the arms of her mother and father.
While my arms ache to hold her, I know President Clark and I 
are just where we are meant to be.
We are in love!!!!

Mission Leadership Convenes Again!

We were honored to have another Missionary Leadership Council Meeting
at our home. 

We started the morning with many hands making a delicious
breakfast of pancakes, eggs and juice.

There was much training on various topics including our Mission Culture.

The Assistants did a fabulous job teaching about The Book of Mormon.

Can you tell these Elders love getting together?

Somebody needs socks for Christmas!

A major photo bomb!

I just love our Sister Training Leaders!

 Another successful day of training, learning, laughing and sharing!


Our second trip to Baler did not disappoint.  
We actually saw it during the daylight hours and no rain.

 We stopped in a small area in Baler called Dingalan.
Elder H. walked me a to the church where they meet.
It was a charming and quaint chapel setting.
This is the room that stole my heart.  As soon as I walked in, there was 
a special feeling.  This is where the children sing, learn and share. 
I only wish I could have seen them there. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Have a Very Merry .....

I LOVE the Christmas season.  So imagine my surprise when I heard that Christmas is celebrated when the "ber" months begin.  Any month that has a "ber" at the end of it means Christmas music and holiday joy a plenty!  Not to disappoint, I just happened to be in Robinson's Grocery Store on Septem"ber" 1st.  While I walked down the aisles of the grocery store, I heard familiar and some not so familiar Christmas songs.  That must be why my grocery cart steered me into the baking aisle.  I think I better keep President Clark far away from the stores for a few months.  

So from here in the Philippines.....

Have Yourselves a  Very