Sunday, June 5, 2016

Cebu Interim MP Seminar to Remember - May 17-20, 2016

Area Presidency & Wives, 21 Mission President's & Wives and Other Supporting Advisors & Wives
This year for the Philippines Area Interim Mission President's Seminar we traveled to the city of Cebu.  Cebu Island is long and narrow with a mountainous central spine and the most important island in the Visayas region of the Philippines.  We stayed at the Crimson Resort Hotel.  

Before our flight to Cebu, we stayed overnight in Manila at the Crown Plaza so we could to get to the airport early.  There is nothing like a gathering of all Mission Presidents and wives and the Area Presidency and wives.  Many Area support personnel also attend.  We truly are one in purpose as we work each day to love and support the Work of the Lord.

Sisters Ardern & Bowen at the airport!  
President and Sister McCurdy reside in Cebu.  They brought their mission van and our Batch all piled in to go sightseeing.  No one minded the close quarters.  First stop was Algre Guitar Factory. Cebu has the some of the best guitar craftsmen in the Philippines.  It was amazing to see the wood that cures for 3 years before being crafted into the final product. The skilled employees painstakingly create handmade guitars that sold around the world.                                                                                                                       

Next we went to a Native Store but we (I) was too busy looking around the shop to take any pictures.  
Each night we enjoyed dinner with all seminar attendees.  We definitely never went hungry! 

In the morning we found the room that we gather to learn.  Each day the location of our seating is different.  This day we were front and center!

One of the most anticipated events was going to the Cebu City Temple.  Because we don't have a temple in our mission, we aren't able to attend the temple.  Walking in the front doors brought an excitement and energy.  It was like visiting a long lost friend that we had been away from for two years.  The temple was beautiful and the session will be a cherished memory. 
McCurdy's, Lamoglia's, Mangum's, Bertin's and Clark's
With Returned Missionaries at Cebu Temple
Bro. Fernandez & Sister Tacon
While in the temple we had a wonderful surprise.  As we sat waiting for the session to begin, I looked up and one of our recently departed elders walked in.  A few moments later, recently returned sister entered.  I quietly jumped up to give the firmest handshake (to the elder) and warmest embrace (to the sister) ever.  In Ang Tinig (our weekly newsletter) I write a section called "Sermom".  That week I shared the following:

..."One thing that I will never forget is when we attended the Cebu Temple.  It is the first time in two years that we’ve been on a session in the temple.  We were preparing ourselves for the session to begin when in walked one of our recently departed elders.  My heart leapt with joy as I saw him enter the room.  Then, imagine my surprise when one of our recently departed sisters walked in as well!  Both live in the Cebu area.  This was a double delight!

Elders and Sisters, this experience made me realize that we are a mission family.  We love one another and would do anything for each other.  As I witnessed these two recently released missionaries enter the Celestial Room, I realized that this is an eternal experience we have as missionaries.  We teach the gospel and help others to “endure” to the end.  “Endure” means qualifying for the temple and living our lives so that we can always enter the temple.  This is what we know.  This is what we teach.  We are blessed to share it together as an Angeles Mission Family!

Sis. Mangum (San Pablo), Sis. McCurdy (Cebu), Sis. Bertin (Quezon City North), Sis. Lamoglia (Davao), Me
Across the parking lot from the temple is the home of President and Sister McCurdy.  It was fun to see the mission home of another mission president and wife. 

Sister Reeder (Naga) and me.  The Reeder's service will end on June 30th.
Our paths will cross again I'm sure.

This group of ten presidents and wives will be returning home soon.  Their spots will be filled with ten new mission presidents and wives.  Friendships have been formed and will always be treasured.

During our stay in Cebu, President Clark celebrated another year of birth.  Our office elders sent word out to the missionaries.  All during the day, he received birthday wishes from many of the missionaries.  They sure do love their President!  Happy 57th Birthday, President Clark.

As Mission President and Wife, our schedules are pretty full.  Having a day to relax at the beach doesn't happen often.  We were delighted to have a dinner ocean-side with live entertainment.  Delicious food and great dinner guests made for a very nice evening.

Sneaking a lemon bar before dinner!


Philippines Batch 2014-2017
We love them all!

As grand as it is to see our fellow mission presidents and wives throughout the Philippines, we are always delighted to return to our mission that we call home.  We missed the missionaries when we are gone.  They were only a phone call away but it is always a delight to arrive back in the mission.  Special thanks to our Area Presidency for a wonderful and uplifting event.  We will miss President and Sister Ardern who will soon be assigned to Salt Lake City.  Elder Bowen will become our Area President with Elder Haynie as 1st Counselor and Elder Evan A. Schmutz will be the 2nd Counselor.  Elder & Sister Schmutz served as mission president and wife in the Cebu Mission from 2011 to 2014.  We will miss the Ardern's but are excited to meet the Schmutz'.  

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