A Picture a Day - 2nd


A PICTURE A DAY!

Day 386 - July 17, 2017

 We made it to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Our little Grace was the perfect hostess.  Brian and Shelby weren't bad either.  
It was great fun seeing in person this little one that we've looked at by FaceTime since she was born.  She is a smiler and a waver.  She loves watching Moana and rarely moves from the spot she sits to watch it.  Below Grace and Calli were enjoying the entertainment. 

Bentonville has some incredible cultural exhibits.  There is a Crystal Bridges Museum which is outstanding.  On the right is an incredible likeness of a man.  Even the hair on his head was perfect.  


 This was an interesting display of apple flavored candy. Below is the explanation of this art.  
 “We need our own space to think and digest what we see. And we also have to trust the viewer and trust the power of the object. And the power is in simple things.”
 —Felix Gonzalez Torres
A strip of hard green candies individually wrapped in cellophane is placed directly onto the museum floor inviting you to take a piece. This work, “Untitled” (L.A.) by artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, relies on your participation as the viewer to contribute to the work’s power.


 
 We fortuitously discovered that two of our sister returned missionaries are living in this area with their spouses.  Sixty minutes after discovering their proximity, we were all together, enjoying mission memories and dessert.  #sisters #doinggreatthings #philippinesangelesmission #once-always
Before leaving Bentonville, we enjoyed breakfast with the Saumweber's and the Boswell's.  President and Sister Boswell just completed their service in the Peru Lima Mission.  It was great to share experiences with our fresh from the mission friends.  They are going through the same type of adjustment we are.  We are grateful for friends, old and new.  After all, it's the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey!   

Day 385 - July 16, 2017
There were moments while in the Philippines that I thought about what I would possibly say when I returned home to express the love that I've felt while serving in these wonderful people. I suppose I concluded that the talk would be a difficult task and it would be best to simply share a few experiences and my testimony.  We were assigned to speak about keeping the commandments.  This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.  Hopefully as Scott and I spoke, the members felt of our passion and our conviction for obedience.  We enjoyed the experience of speaking to our home ward and received many gracious and kind comments. 
   
Day 384 - July 14-15, 2017

On Friday Brian flew in to be with us for the weekend.  It was good to see him and can't wait to see our little Gracie.  She and Quinn are the only babies we haven't seen yet.  Brian was great to help around the house getting things back together.  On Saturday morning we went near the Chicago airport to meet with one of our returned missionaries.  The timing didn't work out so I took the car back home to an appointment I had.  Scott and Brian took the train home.  They stopped in the city to remember the sites and sounds of Chicago since it had been three years.  The two of them had a great father-son morning and did a little ministering along the way.  Family and returned missionaries turn out to be our highest priority in this time of life.  

Day 380-382 - July 13, 2017
Let's just say that the next few days were those of frustration and overwhelm.  It wasn't until we finally said, "Let's drop everything and go to the temple" that we felt peace and calm with life.  Our returned missionaries would always tell us how difficult the transition is in returning home, now I understand a little better what they were going through.  I don't want to overstate the challenge.  We are living a very good life with many blessings.  But adjustments are necessary and not everything goes as planned. (Sounds a lot like the first several months when we started our mission).  The Lord knows what he's doing with his children.  We are learning His will and His way. 

Day 379 - July 10, 2017
                                            
At approximately 6:30 a.m. on Monday morning we arrived at our home in Naperville.  Another wash of emotion fell upon us.  We were tired from traveling but rejuvenated with an enthusiasm for next steps.  My good friend, Lisa, welcomed us with balloons and notes all over the front door.  Our home looked so well kept.  Our friends who stayed here while we were gone took tender loving care of it.  It's good to be home!


Day 378 - July 9, 2017
The next 24+ hours was spent on the road, catching a few hours sleep, Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming and more time driving and experiencing the landscape of the west and midwest.  My instagram post was, "Same moon; different hemisphere.  Still magical." #goinghome #chicagoland #nextadventure   

Day 377 - July 8, 2017
Before driving back to Illinois, we had to stop and see our Koudelka crew in Boise!  Although we didn't have a long visit, it was enough time to share a meal with, see their new home, talk and play games with.  It was a boost to our hearts to hug another family of ours!  Can't wait until we're all together again.  
 
 Grandpa playing tick-tock!

 Three years means a lot of growth!  Isaac, Lolo, Lola, Claire, Sadie and Liv.
God made us family!


Day 376 - July 7, 2017
My mom is a party planner.  She has thought about a Homecoming gathering for Scott and me for months.  The time finally came when she could have her party.  It was a first on many levels.  The first time we gathered together for 3 years with loved ones.  It was the first time Dad Curtis has been to the house since he went into the rehab center.  It was the first time Dad Clark has ventured out of his home for anything other than a doctor's appointment in a very long time.  It was wonderful seeing everyone again.  The pinnacle event of the evening was when Mikale presented us with a gift from our children.  It was a picture of the Philippines Angeles Mission Home.  When we saw it, there was an immediate emotion of love and sense of reverence.  That home was a refuge to us for 3 years.  We love the memories of the meals, the missionaries, the members, our friends, the preparation, the respite from a hectic days work, the place where many prayers were offered, where we skyped with family, where we learned and listened...so many people and events that have touched our lives and made us better.  This is a gift that will be one of our favorites always. At the end of the evening we had another surprise.  One of our missionaries came to visit.  Sierra Allen was an incredible missionary and now off having great adventures and doing great things.  It was fun catching up with her!  We love our missionaries!

Day 375 - July 6, 2017

 Today we went to the Gateway Children's Museum with the Williamson family (sans Ammon).  They had so many great areas for the children to explore.  Kai and Teagan were in their height of glory.  Even Lincoln loved being there watching his siblings and being doted on by mom, grandma and great-grandma.  We took our sandwiches to the place grandpa Curtis calls home for a while.  The kids were able to see great-grandpa in action during his therapy.  He likes to call it the torture chamber.  It was a fun day.

Day 374 - July 5, 2017
This has been the home for my dad for about a month.  After a fall he took in a parking lot, this care facility has taken good care of him.  Mom and I would come and visit him each day.  A little diversion from the daily routine is always a delight.  It is a great thing to see our parents!  



Day 373 - July 4th, 2017
We celebrate Independence Day in America on the 4th of July.  Although we hadn't been in the United States for more than 24 hours, we were excited to celebrate the 4th with our Williamson family.  Little Lincoln, one of our newest little grands, was his Lolo's buddy.  It was fun eating fried chicken and enjoying family.  A great way to spend a celebrated day!    

Day 372 - July 3rd in USA 
We are home!  Well at least we made it to Utah.  A stop to see our parents and family members before heading to Illinois was a sight to savor.  Family is everything!



  

The Naegle's were in the mission when we arrived.  They served us, the missionaries and the members in the self-reliance program devotedly.  They were in the background filming as we arrived and didn't come over until we had hugged our family members.  They are now wonderful friends who share many memories of our mission with us.  #alwaysremember

Our mission is over but will never be forgotten.  Once an Angeles missionary, always an Angeles missionary!

President Scott B. and Sister Sandra G. Clark
Philippines Angeles Mission
June 2014 to June 2017
"Knowing Who You Are, Changes What You Do!"

Day 371 - Monday, July 3, 2017
A man and his board!  This is the transfer board that President Clark spent hour upon hour studying, pondering over and praying about.  He looked over the board (all of his missionaries).  He discussed the board with his assistants.  He prayed over the moves (transfers) he made with the missionaries in their individual areas.  He worked for the "one"; every missionary and every decision was important.   Then when the time came to make the transfer, confirmation was given by the Spirit that it was right and the transfer was finalized and the missionaries were informed.  We completed 26 full transfers and a few emergency transfers over 36 months.  It was a mighty and daunting task.  President Clark loved it.  He loved the process and how he felt after going over it time and time again.  Many times he thought he was finished but someone else knew he wasn't.  He would go back and change it, then it felt right.  Often times he would get the board complete and ask me to come in and look at it.  It was amazing that the previously troubled spots were changed and things then felt right.  I am convinced that he wasn't the only one working the board.  He had Heavenly assistance.  It was too critical that he never work alone.  So now the board will be closed to him and opened to another.  The mantel and the ministry is transferred.  I know President Clark will miss the feeling, the love and the amazement he once felt.  It is but a memory...one that will last eternally. #alwaysremember
  
 We have walked from the parking lot through these doors more than a thousand times.  They lead to a place of refuge for our missionaries.  The Angeles Mission is a place of greatness in our memories.  On our final day, we stand side by side.  It is the way we began and the way that we finished.  It has strengthened our resolve to continue to serve others.  I'm not sure that we will ever be as consecrated to the Lord as we have been but will certainly strive to find other ways to serve.  Oh how I love this man! #alwaysremember
  
Yes...this room serves too masters.  First is the combination storage room and mailroom where pouch lovingly is sorted., Secondly, it is my office where important work is done.  I have created talks, entered medical records, come up with programs for health and welfare of the missionaries and kept picture memories in this space.  I like to think of it as my own little corner.  It will now change hands to one who will continue to lovingly serve our dear missionaries. #alwaysremember
    
 When we arrived, we knew we were picked to be in the Angeles Mission because there was a community in Angeles named Clark.  From 1903 to 1991, this was known as Clark Air Base previously a United States military facility.  The base was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces during the final months of World Ward II and a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War until 1975.  In 1991, after Mount Pinatubo erupted, it was handed over to the Government of the Philippines. It is now the site of Clark International Airport and Clark Freeport Zone. For three years we have wanted to go around and get pictures of all of the "Clark" signs.  But you know how that goes.  









Well, it finally happened - on the last day of our mission.  Oh how we will miss it.  
Day 370 - Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday morning we picked the Johnson's up at the mission home.  I had Sister Johnson in her car and she even drove to the office!  They will be a grand addition to the Philippines Angeles Mission, where only the finest serve!  We did some training for a couple of hours then it was time that they went to Church.  President Clark and I stayed to wrap up some computer items.  
Final pictures with old and new Mission Presidents in the Angeles Mission. 

 With our wonderful office couple whom we love dearly, the Richard's.  
 To the office elders and assistants who will be the lifeline for President and Sister Johnson.  They are in for a real treat.   


Day 369 - Saturday, July 1, 2017
 Saturday morning was spent finishing our packing and trying to make four bags weigh exactly 23kg.  We definitely didn't make it but that's what the postal service mail is for.  We scurried about trying to make sure that everything was fit as a fiddle for the Johnson's arrival.  We have lived in the mission home for 3 years.  We knew every square inch of it, decorated it and loved it and the memories created inside it.  What do you do to ensure that it is ready for a new mission president and companion who will come in, adjust to and begin to love it as well?  It was shelter from the storms.  It was a place to show our appreciation to our District and Stake leaders.  It was a place of training and council for our Missionary Leadership Council.  It was a place where our departing missionaries could spend the last two days of mission life before returning home.  It was a place where the arriving missionaries developed trust in their new leaders as the missionaries learned how much the leaders loved them from the very minute they set foot into the mission.  The memories are valuable, varied and will last for an eternity.  We are so very grateful for the grand opportunity it has been to labor for 3 years in this humble portion of the Lord's vineyard.   

The pacing begins as our guards, Jose and Danilo are waiting (patiently) for the Johnson's to arrive.  They were so excited!

The Johnson's arrived on Saturday evening after a long drive from Manila.  We had dinner and introduced them to Sister Connie who will make their lives much smoother by attending to their needs in the home for 3 years.  President and Sister Johnson are lovely people on Skype but even better in person. They will be loved by many...including us!

 Day 368 - Friday, June 30, 2017
I have a pair of shoes here.  I love these shoes.  They were very well made.  Before I purchased them, the salesperson took an imprint of my foot so they could see exactly what shoe would be best for me. 
I have worn these for over 3 years.  They have seen many miles…me and my shoes.  Many of the miles (kilometers), have been right here in the Philippines.  They have served their purpose.  In fact, I tried getting another pair of shoes.  They were not like these.  They were not comfortable.  I gave the new shoes away and kept wearing these.  You can see after 3 years plus, they are getting worn.  They are getting holes on the inside.  The rubber is pulling apart on the side. My shoes are still functional.  But they no longer have all of the padding and cushioning like the once did.  They are getting worn out. 
I look forward to going back where I got these shoes and get a brand new pair.  My feet will feel cushioned and recharged.  I will be able to run faster and jump higher. 
We will soon be having a change in our mission life.  The change is a new Mission President and companion.  They will have new energy.  They will be highly motivated to this mission and to the lives of our incredible missionaries.  They will have fresh inspiration and new ideas.  It will be like our missionaries will all get a brand new pair of comfortable shoes to run in!  We are happy to welcome President and Sister Johnson here.  They are so very excited.  They are the perfect couple to take over the Philippines Angeles Mission. 
Our missionaries are ready to receive them into their hearts.  We know they are already in their hearts.  We know that the Lord has handpicked the Johnson's especially for the Philippines Angeles Mission.  We know they will be in wonderful and capable hands! 
We were grateful for Tarlac Zone today.  We saw everyone except the Assistants who were busy transferring a last minute change in the mission.  We love them all!  #alwaysremember
Day 367 - Thursday, June 29, 2017
Gapan Zone was the place of choice today.  We met with the healthy and not so healthy but they all presented mighty smiles to remind us why we love them so much!  We hurried back and accomplished much in the office.  The supply room looks much better and files, medication and documents were organized.  One step closer.  #alwaysremember

Day 366 - Wednesday, June 28, 2017
  Gratitude and love just begins to express how we feel about Elder and Sister Pugh.  They both retired from their jobs to answer our plea for senior couple help.  They have faithfully served for 18 months in the Camiling area.  Everyone who meets them, loves them.  They will be departing our mission soon and returning to a eager family reunion.  The three words we have chosen for them are "Camiling's Ministering Marvels!"  Their absence will be felt but their memory will be cherished.

Elder and Sister Spung joined us for farewell to the Pugh's and happy birthday Elder Spung.  The Spung's also graciously agreed to join us in the Angeles Mission to serve as senior couple.  We take great comfort as we leave the mission, knowing they will remain to assist President and Sister Johnson for a few months.  Carry on, good and faithful servants!  
Happy Birthday, Elder Spung!  #alwaysremember  

Day 365 - Tuesday, June 27, 2017
We would be lost without our senior couples!  Elder and Sister Richards have stepped into the office and stepped up to most demanding positions.  We asked them to join us for our last visit to the distant land of Baler on the east coast of our mission.  They were great traveling companions and the mission will benefit greatly in the future from their familiarity of this remote area.

Farewell beautiful Baler!  #alwaysremember

Day 364 - Monday, June 26, 2017
Meanwhile back in another part of the world, there are people counting the days.  

Day 363 - Sunday, June 25, 2017
                                     
How fitting to have our final Stake Conference to be the Paniqui Stake Conference.  How we love President Nadado and his family.  It was an emotional experiece from the time I stepped into the room and saw many loved members and missionaries.  Listening to them sing sweet hymns with power and love will be another emotional memory.  The choir sang a hymn for the closing prayer.  I dare you to guess what it was....yep!  "God Be With You Til We Meet Again."  I'm sure you probably know what it did to me.  I think the fact that song has been band from the mission home for 3 years caught up with me in the past month.  We had snap shots on the phone as well as in our memories of these wonderful final moments on our mission.  #Hisday #alwaysremember









Day 362 - Saturday, June 24, 2017
A great way to spend a Saturday!  Interviews with our Camiling missionaries in the morning (2 missionaries missing) and Paniqui Stake Conference in the afternoon.  The only thing we would ask is that things slow down a bit so we can take it all in.  #alwaysremember

Day 361 - Friday, June 23, 2017
Interviews today were home visits in Paniqui Zone.  We went into bukid areas that we have not seen before.  We were only lost one time when we went so far we nearly ran into the river.  There was some beautiful areas that we covered.  Some of the pictures above were sites we saw along with our missionaries.  The best part of our visit was seeing the missionaries in their homes.  We were impressed with most of them.  Thank you for keeping your homes like heaven on earth.  #alwaysremember

Day 360 - Thursday, June 22, 2017
 With an early morning trip to Cabanatuan, we met our trainers and trainees who came into the mission nearly 6 weeks ago.  With the help of their trainers, these young missionaries are on their way to being master gospel teachers.  They are learning much in their few short weeks.  I love watching the respect they have for one another in their companionship.  It was a great final trainer-trainee meeting.  #alwaysremember #angelesmissionaries
Our Cab side district leaders met for final instruction before receiving President and Sister Johnson.  Most are experienced district leaders - some are past zone leaders.  We know that their districts are in great hands under their direction. #alwaysremember

After trainer-trainee meeting, President interviewed and I enjoyed conversation with our Cabanatuan Zone.  After being spoiled by them last Monday, it was great to sit and enjoy some final moments expressing appreciation to them.  Oh how we love them!  #alwaysremember #angelesmissionaries

Day 359 - Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Loved meeting with our Guimba Elders and Sisters!  They are wonderful, dedicated missionaries.  All went well except the bridge that was closed and delayed our start time.  Nothing that meeting with great missionaries won't take care of.  After finishing interviews in Munoz and Guimba we raced back for Trainer-Trainee and District Meetings!  Below are the memories!
Trainers-Trainees!
Tarlac Side District Leaders!

Day 358 - Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Remember the service project we did during April with the Returned Missionaries Reunion?  Well these ambitious missionaries helped us complete the task.   All we had to do was offer up breakfast at the mission home afterward and they were all in.  It will feel good to drive by the entry way walls now and see that they have a fresh coat of paint everywhere.  
What a treat it was for us to have them all in the mission home again.  Many reminisced about their first days as they sat around that table in that very room.  #alwaysremember

Day 357 - Monday, June 19, 2017
Sunday night we were invited to speak at a Missionary Fireside in Cabanatuan.  We snapped a few pictures at the very end of the night.  One last picture of our little mission apo, Aison Clark DeGuzman, his momma and aunties.  We also needed a picture of some of our Angeles Sisters!  

Today, Monday we were invited to a Zone Activity in Cabanatuan.  What a delightful treat was in store for us.  The theme was unity.  We had lots of fun games, a truly treasured moment when each missionary shared very kind words to President Clark and me, then we ended in a Boodle Fight!  We were given a model trike and jeepney to remember this special day on our mission.  #alwaysremember

Day 356 - Sunday, June 18, 2017
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
To the father who raised me and who loves his children and my mother.  How I love him!
Happy Father's Day to the father who raised President Clark.  
How he loves his children and they love him!
Happy Father's Day to the father who helped raise our beautiful children.  How I love him!

Happy Father's Day to our sons and sons-in-law.  They are raising our wonderful grandchildren.  How I love them all!


Day 355 - Saturday, June 17, 2017
We enjoyed our interviews today with the Angeles Zone.  Another great visit with these missionaries where only the finest serve!

Day 354 - Friday, June 16, 2017
Today was a banner day!  We left the house early and returned late but saw lots of stalwart missionaries in between.  San Jose was the place for interviews today.  We visited some missionaries in homes and others at the Church.  We met great investigators preparing for baptism.  We are cherishing the moments that we get to be reminded just how lucky we are to work with the finest missionary force anywhere!     

Day 353 - Thursday, June 15, 2017

Newly minted trainer - trainee companionships joined with us for a photo before their departure lunch.  They soon departed for their assigned areas across the mission.  

Day 352 - Wednesday, June 14, 2017
There is not much time to mourn the absence of departing missionaries because the next day, we receive the next batch of incoming missionaries.  The cycle of mission life continues.  We perpetuate the title, "Where Only the Finest Serve" with these new missionaries.  Welcome Batch #26!  We are delighted to call you Angeles Missionaries!

Day 351 - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This Batch distinguishes itself in two ways.  They are the smallest departing batch we've ever had in 26 transfers.  It is also "our" batch.  They were a great group of missionaries.  It is only fitting that we give them two "3 word phrase."  The first is "Super Batch Tayo".  Tayo means us (meaning all of us).  The second 3 word phrase is, "United and Kind".  We have observed these missionaries for some time now.  They have shown great integrity.  They have served their fellow missionaries very well.  Even at the mission home they showed great discipline and decorum.  They are prepared to go home and serve.  We will also be saying goodbye to Elder and Sister Pugh.  They have been incredible servants and great friends.  Our missionaries have benefited immeasurably from their association with the Pugh's.  This wonderful couple has modeled celestial marriage and pure religion.  They will be loved forever and missed after their departure.  

Day 350 - Monday, June 12, 2017
 We Are Batch!  These missionaries are our final batch of transferring missionaries.  They are also our smallest batch. We treasured having them in the mission home while the Spung's and Pugh's trained on next steps after mission. They mark the 26th batch.  Tomorrow we will stand on the driveway and wave until the vehicle drives away and they commence their lives as returned missionaries.  How we love these dear ones.   


Day 349 - Sunday, June 11, 2017
 This Sabbath Day took us to Bongabon District for the Area Special Conference Broadcast from Salt Lake City.  We were pleased to hear from Elder Robbins, Sister Oscarson, Elder Ardern, Elder Bowen and Elder Bednar.  We had the unexpected pleasure of being the featured speakers of the first 30 minutes of the meeting.  That means we spoke to our local congregation in Bongabon before the broadcast started.  All in a day's work.  Meeting with the Saints of Bongabon was a pleasure.  Below is a cute sister who will be baptized soon.  She is so delighted to qualify for baptism.  She and her daughters will be a welcome addition to the Branch.  
When we returned to the Mission Home, we hosted some of our returned missionaries.  Although they've been gone for a few months, it was still a joy to be with them.  The saying, "Once an Angeles Missionary, always an Angeles Missionary" rings true as we converse with these dear missionaries after they return home.  They just get better!  #Hisday 
 



Day 348 - Saturday, June 10, 2017
 Today was a double banner day!  It seems as if we've been running fast and furious.  I was asked to speak at the Camiling District Leadership Training.  After mountains of pictures, President Clark and I ran home before our guests arrived. 

Below we honored many people who have helped us fulfill our mission duties.  These people are our guards, our care takers, cater our missionary meals and our friends.  It was fun being with their families and treating them to a lovely dinner.  Sisters Lopez still worked hard and we had a difficult keeping them out of the kitchen.  They were also treated to deserved recognition. 


Day 347 - Friday, June 9, 2017
 Today we had the opportunity to travel to a beautiful area of our mission.  We were invited to speak at a Young Single Adult Conference in Gabaldon.  There were YSA's from 3 Stakes totaling about 200.  What a great group of youth.  Many were baptized at 8.  Some were baptized at the age that Elder Andersen speaks about - 16 to 25 years old.  They were attentive and very kind.
After speaking with the YSA group, we visited some of our missionaries for interviews.  Although there were brownouts all over the area, we enjoyed conversation and time with our missionaries.  

Day 346 - Thursday, June 8, 2017


Elder and Sister Pugh!  Oh how we love them.  Nearly two years ago, President Clark sent an email with an invitation to join us in the Philippines.  They were on vacation and both working.  They heeded the call to serve.  They both retired early and jumped on a plane to a land that they had never been to before.  They have served so many.  They have lived in the Camiling District area.  The missionaries love them!  The members love them!  We love them!  Today they shared their testimony for the last time during Zone Conference.  The missionaries were spellbound.  The Spirit was strong.  God bless you, Elder and Sister Pugh.  You are mighty and strong servants!

                         CAMILING ZONE                                 TARLAC ZONE
                       MABALACAT ZONE                                          ANGELES ZONE  


SANTA IGNACIA ZONE

Day 345 - Wednesday, June 7, 2017
This picture isn't the greatest quality but it was a quality moment.  Our missionaries were learning the song, "In the Leafy Treetops."  This was taught by none other than their Mission President.  As you can see, they are enjoying the little stretch moment before being taught again.  It was another great conference.  Today we watched the "2nd Year" video.  Watching the presentation is quite startling to recall the multitude of experiences we've had.  Again our dear missionaries sang, "God Be With You" and yes....I was again a mess.  

                                Baler                                                  Cabanatuan
                               Gapan                                                Bongabon

Day 344 - Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Today we began what might be called, "The beginning of the end."  We had our first of three final Zone Conferences of our mission.  All things went well until the end.  We were asked to sit with the congregation for our closing song.  Suddenly a video with pictures of our first year were put to music.  There were many wonderful memories accumulated on this video.  What happened next pretty much put me over the edge.  There is a song that I have banned in the mission home as our missionaries depart.  I learned early on that it was too difficult to sing.  Imagine my dismay as the music to, "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" began to play.  Suddenly I was in a complete puddle.  When I was finally able to look up, I saw that every missionary had turned to face us while they sang.  I was able to look at each one before the song was over.  I was amazed at the love I have for these wonderful servants of the Lord.  President Clark and I count ourselves so blessed to have been able to love and serve with these incredibly dedicated missionaries!

              GUIMBA                             PANIQUI                              SAN JOSE

Day 343 - Monday, June 5, 2017
We have begun our final interviews throughout the mission.  We LOVE our missionaries!  Look at them.  How could we not?  The topic for this interview is obedience.  The missionaries share with me how obedience blesses their lives.  They truly inspire me to do better and be better!  These missionaries are from Baler and Mabalacat Zones.

Day 342 - Sunday, June 4, 2017
On this Sabbath Day, we traveled early to Muñoz.  After an interesting run in with the car battery, we made our way to Guimba.  When we drove up, it was clear that the power was off in the Church building.  In the Philippines, this is common.  We hold meetings without missing a beat when the power goes out.  I walked into this Primary and the leader was singing with the children as they were doing an activity.  It was a tender moment for me to observe that no matter the conditions, the faithful saints want to worship on the Sabbath Day.  #Hisday

Day 341 - Saturday, June 3, 2017
 Friday we had another nice event so I'm sharing it on my Saturday post.  The Gapan Stake invited us to a restaurant that we invited them to over 18 months ago.  Their Stake and Ward leaders made us feel very loved.  We will miss the wonderful, kind and devoted members all around our mission.  They will always be in our hearts!

Day 340 - Friday, June 2, 2017
Once a month we try to gather with our senior couples to take a few hours to renew friendships.  Our senior couples are truly the BEST!  Although President Clark and I haven't always been able to go on the senior outings, today we made a special effort to gather.  Nyong (Village) Pilipino was the place of choice.  It is a cultural paradise.  There were cultural dances and different villages of the people throughout Luzon.  We had a great time together and topped it off at the Quest Hotel Buffet.  Let's just say the desserts did not disappoint!  WE LOVE OUR SENIORS!

               








Day 339 - Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bright and sunny makes for an interesting MLC picture.  It was another great Council joined by a few new members .... and a couple of really old ones.  

Day 338 - Wednesday, May 31, 2017
 Today we took a couple of preparation hours to explore Mother Falls in Baler.  It is one of nature's beautiful spots on earth.  Two of our Elders escorted us.  There were few pictures but it was enough to remember this great activity.
 Today we took a couple of preparation hours to explore Mother Falls in Baler.  It is one of nature's beautiful spots on earth.  Two of our Elders escorted us.  There were few pictures but it was enough to remember this great activity.

Day 337 - Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Although not our regular schedule, it was great to visit our Baler Elders today.  After our interviews we told the Elders we'd take them to eat.  They were thrilled because it is the end of the month and funds are light.  We thought they'd opt for rice but they decided on the over sized pieces of pizza.  I don't know why we've never known about Chloe's Pizza before.  It was fun to be with these great Baler Elders.


Day 336 - Monday, May 29, 2017
When I look at this picture, the words that come to mind are "Consecrated Servants."  Each couple has a place in our hearts.  These leaders range from Area Presidency and wives to Area Medical Professionals to Mission Presidents and their companions.  We gather two times a year under the direction of the Area Presidency.  These seasoned servants come from all over the world...Philippines, Netherlands, Europe and America.  All come with singular purpose but bring a multiplicity of talents.  A quote by Joseph F. Smith nicely sums up our feelings about these splendid saints, "Gratitude is said to be the memory of the heart."  We will never forget them and how they served us.   

Day 335 - Sunday, May 28, 2017
This weekend was President Clark's final District Conference in which he presides.  It was also Camiling District's first Conference after the combination.  It was a delight to be with the saints of Camiling.  They came in great numbers.  They sang praises with vigor.  They inspire us!  President Clark gave some excellent training both on Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the perspective Elders meeting.  There were many great talks given by members in the District.  It was a weekend to remember how grateful we are to be part of this marvelous work.  (Below is President Clark at the Saturday evening meeting.  He spoke about forgiveness thus, "Let it Go!")  One thing I love about the members is they always have paper and pen with them.  They take notes about truths that inspire them or ways they want to do better or be better! 
 The perspective Elders meeting was attended much better than expected.

The blended voices of the choir was inspiring.
Camiling District Presidency with President and Sister Clark.
 I'm honored to stand with representatives of the Savior! 
 This is a common picture after a meeting or Conference.  Shiny tiles clean up nicely with Filipino grass reed walis (brooms).

Day 334 - Saturday, May 27, 2017
In one day, this beloved couple will be married 65 years.  They have been examples of true devotion and love.  They taught me the importance of family.  They have been side by side through thick and thin.  Oh how I love them.  It won't be the anniversary they hoped for as dad is in the hospital after a fall.  The brief separation due to dad's health problems will assuredly end with a tender reunion in a few days.  Separation makes the heart grow fonder...even after 65 years!   Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!


Day 333 - Friday, May 26, 2017
This picture speaks volumes.

Day 332 - Thursday, May 25, 2017
 We welcomed eleven new missionaries to the Philippines Angeles Mission.  They are a happy bunch.  They seem very ready to serve faithfully.  We had a great matching meeting as they met their trainers.  Welcome Elders and Sisters!  Get ready for a wonderful journey!

Day 331 - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mission presidents and their wives from all over the Philippines hold up their completed copies of the  "My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together" booklet during our recent seminar. It's a great way to build family unity across the generation.  I feel a family home evening with the "little grands" coming on!  Have you completed your own booklet yet?

Day 330 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

  Rainy season is here!  The tears were not only falling from our eyes but from the heavens.  I don't recall another departure where we received so much rain.




Day 329 - Monday, May 22, 2017

Our 25th Batch of Departing missionaries gathered today.  They are such a fun group.  They have grown by leaps and bounds since their first day in the mission.  We will enjoy teaching them tomorrow.  Until then....  

Day 328 - Sunday, May 21, 2017
This is the place that we have called home for nearly three years.  It is our sanctuary from the storm.  It is the place we go to find peace.  We share it whenever we can with leaders, members, investigators and missionaries.  We love so many things about this beautiful edifice.  For over a week now this beautiful home has been in the process of a makeover.  It is being prepared for another couple to love it as much as we do.  
The Sabbath day reminds us that there is no place like home!  

Day 327 - Saturday, May 20, 2017
A great evening at the San Jose Stake Conference.  We were able to have dinner with President and Sister Cruz and Elder & Sister Richard Baquiran and sons afterward.  A lovely evening was enjoyed!



Day 326 - Friday, May 19, 2017
 Today we celebrated President Clark!  Our missionaries have been sending email for the past couple of weeks.  We compiled them and the Elders set out to make sure it looked great.  With a huge grin, President Clark read each of the treasured messages from his missionaries.  We are used to the birthday celebrations that go beyond the actual day.  This was another one for the books.  The senior couples all gathered and we went to Fortune Restaurant.  Elder Pugh and President Clark were the birthday celebrities of the day.  




Day 325 - Thursday, May 18, 2017
Today is President Clark's birthday.  It is also the final day of the Mission President Seminar.  This is our final Mission President's Seminar.  It is a day for me to reflect on just how wonderful this man is.  He is my strength, my go-to adviser, my knight in shining armor.  Our adventure in the Philippines has deepened my desire to be with him through the eternities.  
A witness and testimony! These are days never to be forgotten!

Day 324 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017



Our second day concluded with happy hearts and full stomachs. We enjoy the company of these wonderful friends.

Day 323 - Tuesday, May 16, 2017
We pause to celebrate our sweet Beckham's 2nd birthday celebration.  Beckham was just a baby when the family visited nearly 18 months ago.  He reminds me a lot of his dad at this age.  He loves to climb on everything, eats anything and loves playing outside.  He stomps around like a dinosaur and will roar at you so you will run from him.  It seems like yesterday when his daddy did the same thing.  We love you Beckham boy!  

 
 After a great day of training, Mission Presidents and wives were treated to a performance from the BYU Chamber Orchestra with guest star Tim Pavino.  It was a benefit show for Caritas (Catholic Charities) Manila.  We were able to catch up with President and Sister Hiatt who serves in a neighboring mission.  They are doing a fabulous job.

Day 322 - Monday, May 15, 2017
 What do you do when you have 7 Mission President's wives in a vehicle in slow moving traffic?  You love every minute of it and wish the traffic would slow down.  How I love these wonderful wives who uniquely understand every part of my calling. (Sad to be missing Sister McCurdy).
Here's our Mission President & Companion Batch!  We all started together in June 2014 - June 2017.  Salt of the earth and forever friends!

An incredible evening of reflection, sharing and tender moments.


Day 321 - Sunday, May 14, 2017
Happy Mother's Day to all mothers who have mothered children in whatever form that takes.  Since becoming a missionary, my heart warms to know that our missionaries get to call and speak with their mothers.  This only happens two times a year.  I used to worry that they would get homesick because of the call, but now I delight in knowing missionary families get to enjoy a mini reunion (electronically) of sorts.  Mothers in particular hear their child's voice and know how great their missionary is doing.  We stress to the missionary to bring their family to where they are here in the mission field instead of going where their family is.  It is an interesting balance.  The missionaries often report to President Clark that they "won" the territorial battle and they were successful in helping their family feel the spirit of the mission.  Hope you all had a wonderful celebration of motherhood.
This picture reminds me of missionaries preparing for their Mother's Day call - writing down what they want to share with their families so they don't forget what's most important.
These are the people that make my heart melt with joy.  By virtue of their existence, I bear the proud title of "mother!"  

Day 320 - Saturday, May 13, 2017
Today was the CCM - Coordinating Council Meeting with all District and Stake Presidents plus our Area Seventy, Elder Babida.  We have very much enjoyed our association with Elder Babida.  He wants to help make life better for all he comes in contact with.  We will miss his charitable service.  Luckily he will continue to serve the Angeles Mission!

Day 319 - Friday, May 12, 2017
This picture brings us such joy!  Three of our children returned to the alma mater.  All three of them spent a significant part of their high school years in this very room.  Their beloved choir director was retiring.  They all traveled from different states to bid farewell and sing once again on the stage that they learned to love. How my soul would have loved hearing the music and hugging those cute kids!

RM's are the best!  Another one graced us with her sweet presence.  The time went by so quickly.  Thanks for visiting Sis. Connell!  Tandaan mo mahal kita.  

Day 318 - Thursday, May 11, 2017
 This morning President Clark and I left very early to arrive at a resort in Cabanatuan for San Jose's Youth Conference.  This time our charge was a 2 hour presentation.  It was the third day of the Conference and the youth were champs. These are the future leaders of the Philippines.  We were grateful to be in their midst.
 What I Know....What I Want to Know

Stake Leaders and more pictures than one can think possible.  These are great leaders of the Young Women in San Jose Stake!

Day 317 - Wednesday, May 10, 2017
 A President with a few of his loved Elders!  Yes....he absolutely loves them all.
There seems to be a theme here.  The way to a missionary's heart is through his stomach.  Cabanatuan's Standard of Excellence!  

Day 316 - Tuesday, May 9, 2017
This is Isaac.  He is our oldest grandchild.  He is a great big brother, athlete, piano player and scholar.  He has accomplished a lot in 11 years.  A bright future lies ahead of him as he prepares to receive the Priesthood.  He is his mother's best helper and favorite son.  He is his dad's pal and co-adventurer.  We look forward to spending more time with him in the upcoming year.  Although we are 3 days late in sharing this, happy birthday Buckwheat!  We sure love you!

Day 315 - Monday, May 8, 2017
Rainy days and Mondays.... They are actually a welcome relief.  We drive by this building with darling umbrellas all of the time.  We finally stopped to take a picture.  Umbrellas are a staple of the Philippines.  Rain or shine they are respite from the heat.  I'm thinking that this is inspiration for some upcoming event or gathering.  

This was a great preparation day activity.  Our day included nearly 30,000 steps, driving down, through and across many river beds, and a beautiful hike to the Mt. Pinatubo crater. We celebrated our birthdays by a day together in the sun.  We were able to view another aspect of Filipino beauty.  Happy birthday to us!

Day 314 - Sunday, May 7, 2017
Elder & Sister Revillo, President & Sister Clark, Sister & Elder Schmutz
 This weekend, after the Youth Conference, we drove to the other side of our mission.  Gapan is in Nueva Ecija.  Gapan Stake is very supportive of our missionaries and we so appreciate them.  For their Stake Conference Elder Evan A. Schmutz, second counselor in the Area Presidency was presiding.  He and Sister Schmutz brought along Elder and Sister Revillo.  Elder Revillo is one of the new Seventy's in the Phililppines.  We knew the Revillo's because they were Mission President and wife to a neighboring mission when we arrived.  It was good to catch up with them again.  It was a great couple of days to see the saints in Gapan and enjoy the Spirit of the meetings.  When listening to the speakers, there were 2 questions we kept in mind:  1.  What did I learn?  2.  What will I do with that knowledge?  
 Gapan Stake Presidency with President & Sister Clark

Day 313 - Saturday, May 6, 2017
ASK!  We had a great time with the Paniqui Stake youth early Saturday morning.  They are the future leaders in the Philippines.  I feel very comfortable that they will do a great job.  What a fun venue - Goshen Resort.  Youth Conference in the Philippines is a beloved event.  Youth flock to go.  No one would think about letting any other activity get in the way of going to Youth Conference.  It is a treasured experience.  We loved having a tiny part in their Youth Conference.  It was good practice for another Youth Conference coming up next week.  

Day 312 - Friday, May 5, 2017
 It was a sizzling day outside in Cabanatuan.  Inside the Spirit was strong and the music inspiring and innovative.  It was a great day to end our Zone Conference for another month.  Sweet Sis. Lea came to say goodbye.  She is such a strong supporter of our missionaries and works with them often.  She has many talents and it was the beginning of difficult goodbyes.


Day 311 - Thursday, May 4, 2017
Santa Ignacia was assigned to sing in Tarlac Zone Conference.  They sounded terrific!  Santa Ignacia is one of two zones that have no sisters in it.  The male voices really blended well together.  It was real music to our ears.  

The sisters are on clean up duty after the Tarlac Zone Conference.  The brooms are called walis tambo or ‘soft broom’. Usually made from dried stalks of grass, this is used for sweeping dust and dirt off the floor inside the house. The walis works very well in the Philippines since most floors are very smooth.  You see Filipinos sweeping both inside houses and outside in their yards.  Most often, the morning time is spent sweeping the rocks off of the dirt path in front of your home or business.  I often think this is because the slippers worn (flip flops) are thin and if you step on a rock, it will really hurt.  

Day 310 - Wednesday, May 3, 2017
 This was the first day of Zone Conferences.  Paniqui, Guimba and Camiling Zones attended.  Lessons were learned through music not ordinarily heard on the mission.  It was presented by President Clark with a specific message in mind.  There were many smiles and a-ha moments - "I Believe There are Angels Among Us!"  It's a great day to be an Angeles Missionary!
These missionaries were waiting for a jeepney to pick them up.  The jeep had broken down before coming.  The tender mercy was that it didn't break down when our missionaries were in it.  

Day 310 - Tuesday, May 2, 2017
MLC sans President Clark because of an interview.  Hopefully we can photo shop him in. Fine leaders in each one of these missionaries.  It would be difficult to find better anywhere!

Day 309 - Monday, May 1, 2017
Today was a divide and conquer kind of day.  We had some medical issues early in the morning.  President Clark went to speak at a Santa Ignacia's Returned Missionary Reunion.  It started at 6 a.m.  I stayed to take care of missionaries while he spoke.  Sta Ignacia RM's take turns being in charge.  The RM in charge gets to sponsor their different mission.  It was Naga's turn this year.  It went very well.

I drove to Paniqui to deliver SOE Pizza after the zone's activity.  We had a drink that originates in the Polynesian Islands.  It is called "Otai" and it was soooo good. I may need to duplicate that some day.  It was great seeing our Paniqui missionaries.



Day 308 - Sunday, April 30, 2017
They continue to come!  Sisters Brady and Rose joined us for a Sunday meal.  It was a great time to catch up on the two years that they've been away.  We definitely saw that they both continue to do great things!  

Day 307 - Saturday, April 29, 2017
 Today we drove over to Baler early in the morning.  Monday is a national holiday so we couldn't find a vacant hotel room.  This meant we did all of our work in one day.  We did our interviews with these dedicated Elders then took them to an all-you-can-eat buffet.  It began as a quiet meal but as their stomachs began to fill, there was more conversation.  They are true Elders!  After they finished eating, we went around to each apartment and inspected.  I'm happy to announce that they all had clean apartments.  





Elders being taught.


Day 306 - Friday, April 28, 2017
We love when they return!!!  It's really special when they return with a spouse.  Brandon and Sarah Christensen visited us during their current trip to the Philippines.  They are great adventurers traveling about the mission visiting Brandon's former investigators and current members.  We were pleased to host them for a few hours in the mission home.  

Day 305 - Thursday, April 27, 2017
We have been doing missionary interviews all week.  Today was home visits in Cabanatuan. Again I left one apartment without getting a picture.  Here are the others that we visited. Despite the heat in Cabanatuan, these missionaries wore brilliant smiles.  Yes, we had a bright glow most of the day but we loved visiting with our beloved, hard working Elders and Sisters.  Cabanatuan is the hottest area in our mission.  Today the temperatures were 95 degrees and with heat index it was 114.  There is no air conditioning in the homes.  Heat rises and most interviews were upstairs.  It made for warm conversations and moist clothing.  We glowed in the warmth of the gospel.  

This is one of our newest and definitely smallest homes.  It is compact but clean and well suited for our dear Sisters!  



Day 304 - Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Another element of beauty in the Philippines.

Day 303 - Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Despite the blazing hot temperatures, there are fields of green along our driving route.  It allows every living thing to continue.  We are grateful for the beauties of this land we love!

Day 302 - Monday, April 24, 2017
GRATEFUL!

Day 301 - Sunday, April 23, 2017
This picture touches deep in my heart.  It is what every Philippines missionary understands very well. It is the Sabbath Day.  These fine Elders are waiting for their investigators to arrive at Church.  Church attendance is a vital step in one's conversion.  Every Sunday I watch the missionaries wherever I am, waiting.  Our Sacrament meeting began and our missionaries were sitting alone in the chapel.  Suddenly they jumped up during the opening song and to the door to meet their investigators...a family!  Big smiles all around as they entered the Chapel and took their seats with the Elders.  I offered a silent prayer of thanks for helping our missionaries enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Those prayers are offered day and night for our valiant and treasured missionaries and those that they work with.   

Day 300 - Saturday, April 22, 2017
The Final Act!  T-shirts were donned to help us, "Remember when..."  This was after the final meeting and right before President Clark and I had to say a quick farewell.  It made it easier to quickly say goodbye and run.  God be with you our dear missionaries, until we meet again!  Once an Angeles missionary, always an Angeles missionary!  

Day 299 - Friday, April 21, 2017
                                                          "I Remember When..."  
We did it!  Over 40 of our returned missionaries came back to the mission home.  They all came and went at different times and we never were able to get a picture with everyone. This was one of the first pictures taken Friday evening before the sun fell.  As they continued to arrive, it felt as if our long departed Angeles family was coming home.  We know that many wanted to come but weren't able to.  They each hold a special spot in our hearts.  

Day 298 - Thursday, April 20, 2017
SerMOM Article...this explains what we are going through right now.  One of our zones has temps of 45C - 113F without heat index!
Here Comes The Sun!!

It’s Hot Outside!  Summertime in the Philippines and the heat is on.  How hot is it?  It’s so hot the balut salesmen have become telemarketers.   It almost feels like Deuteronomy 28:22 is upon us.  Maybe even feel like Lamentations 5:10. Its days like these we wish for Isaiah 4:6. 

The heat makes it hard to stay outside for long periods but out we must go to find “scattered Israel”.  For the next few months we can expect daily temperatures to be around 40 degrees (or more)!  Dehydration and heat stroke are serious problems we can avoid.  But we can’t just hope for Revelations 7:16.  Wise missionaries will take all necessary precautions to avoid heat related illness.  Including:

·        Drinking water (no caffeinated drinks) frequently, even if you are not thirsty.  Urine    should be clear or lightly colored.
·        Rest in the shade to cool down as you feel fatigued.
·        Wear an approved hat or carry an umbrella; wear light-colored clothing.
·        Be aware of signs of heat related illness:  headache, dizziness, nausea, sweaty skin, weakness, fast heartbeat, confusion, fainting.  Take action immediately if you or your companion experience any of these!

SYMPTOMS OF HEAT STROKE:
Headache, dizziness, disorientation, agitation, confusion, sluggishness, fatigue, seizure, hot dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty.  A high body temperature, loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations. 

IMMEDIATE TREATMENT FOR HEAT STROKE:
  • Get the person to a shaded area.
  • Remove clothing and gently apply cool water to the skin followed by fanning to simulate sweating.
  • Apply ice packs to the groin and armpits. 
  • Have the person lie down in a cool area with their feet slightly elevated.  Cool the person rapidly however you can.
  • Electric fans are good to provide comfort but taking a cool shower or bath are better.  
As we protect ourselves from extreme heat we will know the blessings of Isaiah 49:10.  You will be able to work safely and effectively under the hot Philippines sun protected by good common sense and the company of angels.
Tandaan mo, mahal kita....Sister Clark

Day 297 - Wednesday, April 19, 2017
There's a change of guard in the office.  Elder Bleazard was given the opportunity to be a Zone Leader for his last transfer.  The missionaries love being able to go back out in the field before returning home.  Elder Matheson joins us as assistant to the president and companion with Elder Sabangan.  Elders Sinamban and Swaney remain as our office elders.  We are grateful for all of their service.  We throw some crazy things their way and they always serve with a smile (or a text that says, "I'd love to!")  

Day 296 - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today we did home visits for our Zone Interviews in the Guimba Zone.  The above pictures were just a few that we saw as we drove around.  It was a pleasure to visit with these consecrated missionaries.  Sadly I must not have pushed the button with our San Antone Elders.  Their homes were clean and they looked forward to interviews with the Mission President.





Day 295 - Monday, April 17, 2017
Saturday was a busy day so I carried over our evening event to Monday's picture. Throughout the year we have entertained Bishops or Branch Presidents and their wives to an evening at the mission home.  We love to get to know them better and have an appreciation dinner for them.  They assist our missionaries a lot!  We talk about some of the things going on in our mission and let them take lots of pictures.  Camiling District was our final group.  Every single Branch President and spouse attended.  We heard that they have been excited about coming for weeks.  They met at the Church and carpooled together.   They especially seemed to enjoy introducing themselves to all of us.  We had a lovely time. 

Day 294 - Sunday, April 16, 2017
Today the world will celebrate Easter remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter, like Christmas, has become a mix of very sacred remembrances and peculiar worldly traditions.  Christians will gather in churches and families to feast, attend church services and hunt Easter eggs.  In the Philippines, Holy Week has its own unique form of worship and celebration. 
Last week we saw religious figures being carried through a town on top of carriages.  In our mission, we observe the most striking feature of Holy Week in the Philippines – Filipinos publicly whipping themselves.  Some not only whip themselves but also have their feet and hands nailed to a wooden cross.  Tourists come from all over the world for the sight!
While we respect the devotion and sincerity of our Filipino Catholic brothers and sisters in celebrating Easter, we know there is a better way.  Our Easter celebration should center in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its glorious reality.  He became “the firstfruits of them that slept.” (1 Corinthians 15:20).  He truly rose from the tomb the third day.  In very deed he was, “the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25).  He broke the bands of death for all of us. Easter should remind us that we, too, will be resurrected.  Our spirits will be reunited with our bodies, never to be separated. 
Dear Ones, may God help us, as His Covenant people, “to arise and shine forth” and be a standard for the nations and a light to the world, as the Lord has commanded us (D&C 115:5). May our Easter commemoration help do this!  Happy Easter! I know that my Redeemer lives!
Tandaan mo mahal kita,

Sister Clark
(Article for Ang Tinig)

Day 293 - Saturday, April 15, 2017
We started our next round of interviews after transfer day.  Angeles Zone will get home visits this week.  Powerscrub was perfectly timed and the homes looked good.  I failed to get pictures from one cabahay of 4 sisters and our ZL's.  The picture with the mountain is of Mount Arayat.  It is a great landmark whenever we need to figure out where we are.  President Clark had wonderful personal interviews with each of these missionaries.  I enjoyed discussing General Conference with them.  It's amazing how important it is for them to listen to the Prophet's voice.  Most of them had pages and pages of notes.





Day 292 - Friday, April 14, 2017


This is a tradition that I will never understand and yet it fascinates me.  This is what happens during Holy Week as Catholic adherence flog themselves and drag crosses through the public streets.  Self-inflicting pain and physical harm are thought to honor and reverence the crucifixion.  To appreciate the self imposed agony, you must appreciate that these men are walking through the streets in summer heat; the heat index often exceeds 100 degree Fahrenheit.  

Day 291 - Thursday, April 13, 2017
Power Scrub is done two times a year.  The easiest way to remember is to do it the Monday after General Conference.  Most of our missionaries look forward to this much needed deep cleaning of their houses.  I received several pictures that I will put on another post.  Our missionaries realize that, "A clean home is a happy home!"


Day 290 - Wednesday, April 12, 2017
 We received a wonderful gift....15 bright and cheerful new missionaries today.  When they come from the Mission Training Center, they haven't had much sleep.  On the day of departure, missionaries going to different missions leave at varying times.  Friendships are formed and no one wants to miss saying goodbye.  Therefore, the missionaries are often awake most of the night since missionaries going to different missions begin leaving at midnight.  Earlier in the day there were great signs of fatigue.  They perked right up after dinner as President Clark spoke with them about our mission.  We see a bright future in the Angeles Mission as we welcome this group.  They are eager to learn and serve!  We welcome this addition to our little force of 200 warriors.  
Sister Lopez demonstrates how to clean and prepare fruits and vegetables.

Day 289 - Tuesday, April 11, 2017
We bid farewell to nine wonderful missionaries today.  They were smart, funny and very talkative.  They will go home and contribute much to their homes, wards and branches. They are quite dissimilar but with one big thing in common....they love the Lord with all of their heart, might, mind and strength!  The three words for this group are "Triumphs Amidst Trials." President Clark and I found out early on our mission that every missionary who comes to the field will have trials.  Some are greater than others.  Health concerns happen a lot.  We all deal with trials differently and can learn great lessons through trials.  Out of our adversity we might seek our greatest triumph.  From Joseph Smith's experience in Liberty Jail, we learn that, "All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."  D&C 122:7. These missionaries have been triumphant through their missionary lives.  They know that strength and experience come through every challenge we face.  It will be an important lesson for the future.  When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace.  Carry on dear ones.  You are surely loved!

Day 288 - Monday, April 10, 2017
It's transfer time!  We have nine missionaries returning home this week.  It is always a tender time as we reflect on days gone by.  Above is one of our missionary's being picked up to travel back to the mission home.  
Below is a picture of a mission family.  Sister O is the apo (grandchild), Sister T is the anak (child/trainee), and Sister L is the nanay (mother/trainer).  Sister L travels to the mission home to prepare for her trip home.  It is a moment of understanding and appreciation for those who will soon leave. It is also a grand realization that you've become a better person because of the decisions to come on a mission and expand your area of influence.


Day 287 - Sunday, April 9, 2017
In the Philippines, we watch General Conference the weekend after Conference takes place.  On Sunday morning, we viewed Conference in Bongabon.  It was translated in Tagalog.  It was a sweet experience as we watched President Monson get up and announce there would be a new temple in the greater Manila Philippines area.  The energy in the room at the moment was an emotional one.  Even though everyone had already heard of the announcement, hearing it from the mouth of our prophet, was electric.  It was a beautiful snapshot memory to me.
  
Sweet Sister Charity thought we would never see each other again.  It was wonderful to get a picture of she and her cute daughters after Church.
 
Just a few of the missionaries that I love!
 
We were able to see little Clark Aisan again.  He's growing so fast!
Another wonderful Sabbath Day learning and feeling in the Philippines!  #Hisday #PrinceofPeace

Day 286 - Saturday, April 8, 2017
These are pictures that we see a lot as we travel around our mission.  It is summer time in the Philippines.  It is difficult to find the water needed for such tasks as washing vehicles or clothes.  Going to the water is the answer!
 When we travel to Cabanatuan, we know it will be covered with trikes.  Why not!  After all it is the Tricycle Capital of the Philippines!  When the Dansie's lived here, instead of driving their car to get from place to place, they would hop in a trike.  It takes you door to door and no one needs to spend the time parking the car (which can take a long time)!  Brilliant!
It's festival time.  I've written about the love of festivals that Filipinos have.  In fact there are times that you drive on the road and there is a rope held on either side to block you from passing by.  Those holding it hope it get you to contribute with a few coins to help them with the cost of their festival.

Day 285 - Friday, April 7, 2017
So this is the real day of the celebration of my birth.  Sixty years ago, my parents welcomed me into their lives.  It was a miracle.  After many years of infertility and much fasting and prayer, a blessing was received in the temple from Elder LeGrande Richards. I arrived not long after.  I'm grateful for them, their faith and unending love.  And the rest is history.
 
I started the day at the LTO (DMV) since my drivers license would expire.  It was a surprising quick trip to obtain the proper documents.  Next a staff meeting for our upcoming transfer.  We added a few loved missionaries to the table because of some staff changes.
 
A lunch at the "Pancake House" put a smile on many faces.  I have been collecting hats in the Philippines.  They found one I've been looking for but unable to find.  These will someday be placed on a wall in my home. 
A trip to the quilt shop to pick up my final order.  Rosa's Quilts is an amazing, and sometimes dangerous place to go.  A quiet dinner at home with the President and rock in my life made it a perfect 60th birthday celebration.   

I cannot end this post without one of the favorite parts of my day.  My phone has been singing the whole day long with messages from our missionaries, past and present.  The kind and heartfelt messages they sent were an incredible testimony to me that we are doing a great work with some of the finest missionaries who will or have ever served!

Day 280 - Thursday, April 6, 2017
What's a birthday celebration without cake and ice cream?  No celebration at all....especially with a house full of missionaries.  This was taken on Tuesday but it is the day before the big day so I needed to share.  There isn't another place I'd rather be to turn 60 than in the Philippines Angeles Mission!

Day 279 - Wednesday, April 5, 2017
In the Philippines, Holy Week is one of the largest celebrated religious holidays.  Today we drove by a parade as they began their celebrations.  Holy Week or Mahal na Araw in the Philippines includes numerous traditional events. This is the country where Roman Catholics make 81% of population. 5% of Filipinos belong to Protestant churches. 4% of population belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Philippine Independent Church, Seventh Day Adventist, United Church of Christ and other Christian communities. Christianity of the country was in many ways influenced by the Spaniards who ruled the country for more than 300 years.  The Filipinos have proud traditions, most of which are tied to the nations Catholic background.  We seek to build upon their staunch Christianity by bringing them the fulness of the restored gospel.



Day 278 - Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Today was MLC.  Friday will be an official date of monumental proportions.  My age will no longer begin with a 5.  President Clark kept telling me that we would celebrate all week. Today it began with hats, cake and an amazing video from loved ones near and far.  We watched a few with our missionaries.  Emotions overcame me throughout the video.  People I haven't seen in years, family and friends back home and others who also serve in the Philippines. I am blessed beyond measure!  My cup runneth over.  

Day 277 - Monday, April 3, 2017
 
This cute sister is one of our Angeles returned missionaries!  She traveled early in the morning on a bus from Manila so that we could meet and work on some details for the reunion.  She is a HUGE help as we hammer through our planning.  She was also my translator as I met with some people about a service project.  Thanks for going above the beyond the call of service.  Because of your presence, angels helped move forward some issues I couldn't get through on my own.  Love our missionaries....past and present!

Day 276 - Sunday, April 2, 2017
Yesterday during General Conference, a new General Relief Society Presidency was sustained.  How exciting to see Sister Jean B. Bingham is the new President.  Just last month Sister Bingham and Sister Oscarson visited our area in the Philippines and we were able to personally meet them.  I am grateful for this presidency and the service they will provide to one of the largest women's organization in the world.  

Day 275 - Saturday, April 1, 2017
Saturday after Zone Conferences, I spoke to the sister leaders at the San Jose Stake.  I used my companion in this effort.  Together we taught the sisters about two of the topics that were requested and added one of my own.  The program said "Women's Meeting with Sister Clark" but I'm grateful that President Clark and the sister missionaries from San Jose were there to assist.  I was grateful to get this picture to remember this event even though many sisters had already left.

Day 274 - Friday, March 31, 2017

Tarlac Zone missionaries during the Zone Conference sing beautifully, 
"Search, Ponder & Pray."

Day 273 - Thursday, March 30, 2017
Missionaries from the Cabanatuan Zone Conference who achieved Standard of Excellence or Baptized Weekly during the month of March. 

Day 272 - Wednesday, March 29, 2017
This is the San Jose Zone after completing their 72-hour kits at the Zone Conference.  It is a great feeling to know that you are prepared and obedient to the call of having a full 72 hour kit.  

Day 271 - Tuesday, March 28, 2017
These sisters are assigned to proselyte at a university in Muñoz.  With the help of a wonderful members all of the missionaries in the area, they provided information with great displays for every person who would accept their invitation.   The CLSU open house had 6 different stations.  It was a wonderful success.  Hundreds of people stopped to see what the Mormons are all about.


Day 270 - Monday, March 27, 2017
Day 1000 in the Philippines..."and they lived after the manner of happiness"...

Day 269 - Sunday, March 26, 2017 
The Sabbath found us visit one of our favorite little branches, Dipaculao in Baler.  Last December President Garino and his wife moved to Manila?  Well he returned and was called as Branch President of Dipaculao again.  It was a joyful reunion. The sisters in the branch sang today with their special necklaces they made during a Relief Society activity.  They shared one with President and I to remember them.  It was a great Sabbath in our distant "end of the row" portion of our mission heaven.  #Hisday

Day 268 - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 2nd
After leaving Guimba we drove to Baler.  We had interviews with these great missionaries.  Since we took them into their dinner hour, we decided to treat them at the Costa Pacifica.  Needless to say, they were quite delighted.  After dinner we got a shot by the ocean but it was too dark to see the water behind.  We were able to get them out early enough to make their reminder visits to get investigators to Church in the morning.  We are grateful to be working alongside such wonderful servants!


Day 268 - Saturday, March 25, 2017
A Relief Society Birthday Celebration took place in the Guimba District.  Sister Spung and I participated in this celebration.  We both presented during the hour long opening of the event.  The second half of the celebration included cultural dances, songs, food and entertainment.  President Clark and I left early to get to Baler but we were grateful to have participated with these elect sisters.   



Day 267 - Friday, March 24, 2017
During our upcoming Zone Conference, our missionaries will bring their 72-hour kits along.  Each kit will be inspected and completely stocked.  Our senior couples have spent hours leading this effort.  Elder and Sister Richards did a dry run to see how long it would take to go through the kits.  This included checking expiration dates and verifying all contents.  The efforts of our senior couples will allow our missionaries to be prepared if needed. 

 Day 266 - Thursday, March 23, 2017

This guwapo little guy is one of the first children I met when I arrived in the Philippines.  Josh was nearly 3 years younger at the time.  Even thought I didn't see him for about 6 months at a time, he would run up and greet me with an adorable grin.  Look at those eyes.  They leak light!  In January we had a District Conference in Josn's area.  I had a pretty difficult time saying goodbye to him.  He promised me that he would go on a mission when he was a few years old.  Imagine my shock and awe when I walked into the hallway after interviews in Cabanatuan and heard a very familiar voice say, "Hi Sister Clark!"  I knew at that moment why I had two extra cookies.  They were for Josh and his dad.  Having a Josh sighting made a great day even better!

Day 265 - Wednesday, March 22, 2017
 We had our Zone Interviews in Camiling.  This was a zone where we visited each of the houses.  In the middle of our interviews, we stopped for some interviews with President Clark.  This is a picture with two sisters that are going on missions.  They were able to receive a temple recommend.  The wiser (and a bit older) sister came for a temple recommend interview as well.  This sister is armed with an umbrella for very good reason. The weather in the Philippines right now is HOT!  Today was about 106 degrees real feel. This cute lady walks everywhere she goes.  To walk to the church is over 2 km's.  When she walked in she looked fresher than me.  I had been in warm homes of our missionaries just sitting and looked like a drenched rat.  This sister walked in after her walk and looked as fresh and cute as could be.  The Branch President was here to make sure the tagalog and english team worked properly.  President Clark is a pro at giving the temple recommend in Tagalog.  No nose bleeds today!  


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