Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015-05-28 Puerto Zone Conference

Thursday was a wonderful reunion with our Palawan Missionaries!  We miss them so much.  We love every chance we have to see them and appreciate all the hard work they do on the island.  We had a great zone conference, and all of us left the meeting with more skills that will bless us as missionaries and throughout our lives.  Enjoy looking at the pictures of these WONDERFUL missionaries!  We are so blessed to serve with them!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


These are pictures from the first day of zone conference when I didn't have my camera.  Thanks to Sister Hiatt for the pictures!

 Here is Angel and her sisters, daughter and niece who all helped serve the missionaries a wonderful lunch!

      It's been such a blessing to have President and Sister Hiatt here!

                 Our mission photographer at work...Elder McQuarrie

                            Elder Northrup, our faithful finance man!
                                   Elder and Sister Northrup

                        Elder Hiatt's class on Commitments

                                      Elder Sinco returns!!!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

2015-05-20 Zone Conference

The past two days have been absolutely wonderful!  How can you have a better day than seeing 200 of your favorite children and being able to teach them and feel of their faithful spirits?  (Only having my own biological children here would be better!)

I've only posted the pictures for today.  I'll post yesterdays as soon as I get them.

We had a rich outpouring of the Spirit and learned so much together. We began each zone conference with Rob Gardner's version of "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul".  Tuesday, Elder Ballif sang it.  He did a wonderful job.  It really invited the Spirit (and got Sister Ostler crying).  Wednesday, Elder Dodini sang it.  As he sang, his testimony was clearly evident.  He had studied the life of Christ in preparation to sing, and as he sang, we all knew how much he loves the Savior.

President Ostler talked about why we are here and why we want to share the gospel.  It all centers in the atonement of Jesus Christ.  He shared the example of Elder Bruce R. McConkie's last testimony.  First he read the background of him discovering he had cancer, then he read Elder McConkie's son's description of what that last year and a half were like.  It concluded by sharing how ill he was before the conference in which he gave his last talk.  Despite his very weak condition, and against the counsel from his doctors, he insisted on being able to read the testimony he had prepared.

Then, we had the blessing of listening to his final talk and testimony.  His complete commitment to the Lord was a powerful example for all of us.  He lived and died truly converted.

Then we talked about the difference between being a baptized member and a converted member or in other words, a fully active member.  In the past, we have only counted progress by the number of baptisms.

We are now changing it to match the church form for leaders, missionaries and members.  It shows their progress towards baptism (salvation) and the rest of the steps towards the temple (exaltation).  From now on, they will be counting the progress of their investigators and recent converts or returning members along the path of exaltation.  Each step is so important, and we feel that by acknowledging them and tracking them, more progress will be made.

We are encouraging a higher sense of urgency to the work.  Lessons will now only be 30 minutes long.  They will be so busy teaching, they will need to make every minute count.  Meals will only last 45 minutes and will be enjoyed with the intent of receiving referrals or encouraging members in their missionary work.

The missionaries rotated between 5 different classes:  Commitments, Using My Family Booklet, Using Planning Forms to help achieve our new goals,
Teaching Towards Baptism, and Using the Powerful Tool of Music in our lessons.  President and Sister Hiatt stayed in Manila so they could fully participate in the zone conference.  It has been more than wonderful to have their fully consecrated spirits around us.  They see and anticipate every need and quietly go about helping without attracting attention.  Truly, they are followers of Christ.  Each of them taught one of the classes.  Our assistants, Elder Thurber and Elder Wilson taught about Using the Forms, Elder Hadley and Elder Johnson did a fantastic job teaching about how to weave in the importance of baptism as we teach various principles. Sister Ostler taught how powerful music can be.  You would be proud of the missionaries!  Each companionship prepared and sang a song together in front of the rest of the class to demonstrate how they could use a hymn for specific situations in a lesson.

Being with these missionaries is amazing!  We wish this experience for all of you!  How can you not know the gospel is true as you watch it have such a strong influence on the lives of these young adults.  They are so GOOD.  They do make mistakes, yes.  They do immature things, yest.  But, they are so wonderful.  We wish we could let you see a glimpse of what we see!
This blog is a meager but sincere effort!  :)

After the classes, we concluded back together and reviewed all the things that we had learned.  The missionaries shared together the various principles they had learned.  We were so pleased with how much they remembered. We have faith that it will make a major difference in how we are doing as a mission and they go forth and apply it.

Sister Narag, yesterday, and then Sister Indino, today, sang "I Stand All Amazed" as a solo for all of us at the end.  Their testimonies and beautiful voices inspired all of us.  We left uplifted and more
determined to be more faithful discliples of Christ.

Here are a few pictures:

    Elder Thruber teaching planning with specific forms to aid them.


Elder Sabado did a wonderful job helping Sister Hiatt helping the missionaries catch a vision for how to use My Family Booklet to share our message.
          Sister Hiatt is a bundle of faith, diligence and enthusiasm all rolled into one!

      Sister Dissanayaka is training Sister Mayo.  They have great companionship spirit...that's why they are "twins".  Sister Nallonar is Sister Mayo's cousin!  How fun to serve in the same mission.

                  Here are some pictures from our delicious luncheon!

            Birthday cupcakes are in the background waiting for after lunch celebration.

            Sister & President Hiatt and our guests,  Sister & President Andrada (who will be serving as Mission President in the Philippines, Loag Mission)

Sister Ostler Teaching about the Power of Music

                           Elder Hadley and Elder Johnson teaching about pointing investigators towards baptism.

                                            "This picture is for you,  Mom "(Sister Stratton)!  With Love from Elder Stratton