Sunday, September 4, 2016

AUGUST WAS WET AND WONDERFUL

IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING!
No words are needed when describing what took place during the month of August.  Some areas of our mission saw over 10 inches of rain in less than a week.  We had a few tropical monsoons visit the Philippines.  We had lots of wet missionaries but thankfully houses stayed dry.  That is a big improvement over last year's experience.

WELCOME TO THE OFFICE!
left to right:  Elder Naylor - Assistant, Elder Tuvera - Assistant, Elder Lastierre - Office, Elder Smith - Office
With a new transfer period, we say hello to two new missionaries in the mission office.  Elder Naylor is our newest Assistant and Elder Smith is an Office Elder.  We work these elders hard but as you can see, they continue to smile and love what they do!  We surely love our missionaries!

A CHILD IS BORN
Another grandchild is born!  Of course no grandchild is just "another grandchild".  This child is our baby's first baby. We are grateful for a beautiful, healthy Grace Eliza Clark.  Mom Shelby went into labor at 31 weeks.  It looked like our little one would enter this world much earlier than anticipated.  Through much prayer and modern medicine, Grace wasn't born until she was bigger and ready for life -  more than a month later.  Her parents are over the moon with love for this little one and so are we.  Grace is grandchild #9 with 2 more on the way before the end of the year.  We are in love! 

Our bunso with his bunso.

Beauty times two.

She's happy to be a Cubbie's fan!

MABALACAT STAKE BISHOP'S AND WIVES
We very much enjoyed the Mabalacat Stake leadership coming to the mission home for dinner.  The members loved joining us.  Sister Lopez is from the Mabalacat Stake so it was fun for them all to see her and enjoy a meal she prepared.  She was even able to serve her brother who is a Bishop in one of the wards.  The members loved having their picture taken.  Above is a picture of all the priesthood leaders' wives.

This has been the largest group of Bishops and wives that we've enjoyed at the mission home.  They were all very gracious and appreciative.  We love getting to know them better.  We've been able to now enjoy dinner and discussion with all but two of our thirteen stakes and districts within the mission.

OUR SISTERS BAPTIZE
It was our pleasure to meet this cute sister who is ready to be baptized.  Her husband is already a member. When we spoke with her about her big day, she broke down in tears of joy.  She will be a wonderful addition. 

       COORDINATING COUNSEL MEETING

Once a quarter, all of the stake and district president's come to the mission office and meet with President Clark and our Area Seventy, Elder Babida.  Afterward a lunch is provided.  About a year ago I served a meeting without rice.  That was the last time.  This month we had a major rice malfunction and I didn't realize it until they were nearly ready to eat.  The Assistants ran out around the corner to one of our members who runs a candelaria.  Sis. Yang saved the day and provided rice to go with the ulam.  We offered to have them to eat their dessert (caramel brownie) first. That bought us some time.  Another save by our Assistants!
Rice at last!

TARLAC YSA'S MEET!

President and Sister Clark were asked to speak at a Young Single Adult Conference in Tarlac.  Afterward was a dinner/dance.  Sister Clark was asked to speak on temple marriage and President on missionary work.  Sister Clark had an interesting experience as she prepared what to share with the YSA.  The night before, in the wee hours of the morning, a thought came to her mind while sleeping on what she should say to the young adults.  Half asleep the words were written down on paper.  The next morning she couldn't remember the thoughts she had.  It was good that the words were written on paper.  It helped her form a talk that seemed to be well received.  President Clark helped them learn about gospel "hot spots".  We all need them - critical places where we can access the Spirit.  We all should become one - a bright beacon that emanates gospel sharing.


RUNNING WATER AND OPEN EARS!
Our Tarlac Assistants, Office Elders and Zone Leaders woke up on Sunday morning to no water.  One of the elders text, "Sister Clark, Good morning.  We don't have water in our house since last night and also the zone leaders."  Since it was Sunday and they wanted to match the message, I told them they could get ready at the mission home.  Since we only had four showers for them, President took opportunity to counsel with the Assistants before they got ready for the day.  They got an odds and ends breakfast with the deal.  We had to kick them out so we could get to Mabalacat Stake Conference.


MABALACAT STAKE CONFERENCE
After having all of the Mabalacat leaders to the mission home a couple of weeks earlier, we were able to enjoy their Stake Conference.  They had a visiting authority, Elder Vicencio, preside over the conference.  The above picture is of us with President Dulay's daughters and his wife.
Below is President Dulay with his counselors, Elder Vicencio and the Clark's.
What a great group of greeters for the Mabalacat saints coming to conference.  They were a particularly happy group of members.  It was great to watch them interact with our missionaries!
Mabalacat Stake Conference - August 20-21, 2016

ENDING ZONE CONFERENCES WITH A BALER WEEKEND

At the end of our Zone Conference week, we traveled to Baler.  Workers have been painting the Baler building.  This is the scaffolding they use.  
We went to sacrament meeting in Maria then joined the branch in San Luis for their RS/Priesthood meetings.  They meet at a refurbished home turned into church building.  It suits them well.  Sister Clark enjoyed talking with them after church while President did interviews.  They were kind as they tried their best to understand her English with a little Tagalog sprinkled in.  The Young Women shared the YW theme with her.  We love being able to meet with the branches and wards throughout our mission!  Such great people!

ELDERS SMITH
There are naturally last names in a mission that are often duplicated --- but three?  We have three Elder Smith's!  A.N.T. Smith's  This is the first time they've been in one place.  It was a definitely Kodak moment.




 Today was a special day.  We called all of the mission leadership to a conference in Tarlac.  First up was the Mission Leadership Council for 1 1/2 hours.  Afterward, the District Leaders joined for the rest of the day.  Our mission has been studying faith for the past 2 months. President Clark has received additional inspiration for the mission. We have a new initiative that will be focused on for the next 2 months.  It is called, "October-blest."  Over the past six months, our missionaries learned of tools that will help them find, teach and convert better.  We will put these to the test as we focus on 8/30 member visits, Lesson Staffing, Follow up 200 and Baptize Weekly.  October is going to be a blessed month.

Leadership Games were added to the mix.

Here are our fearless leaders who chart the way and help the rest of our missionaries do their best.  They are a source of strength and power.  
Here's to a fruitful 'October-blest" month!



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