Monday, November 16, 2009

Editor's note: The timing and pacing of Elder and Sister Reed's mission responsibilities makes it impossible to post a report of every interesting experience they have in a timely manner. However, if you take into account the untimeliness of the timing they live with (15 hours ahead of home time--have they accidentally called you at a ridiculously early hour? Eeeeeh with a slight cringe) then a post about something a few weeks back isn't so bad.

A mission is a microcosm of life; you go along pretty regular-like, then all of a sudden you burst into high action. November has been this way for us. We continue methodically with our office responsibilities and piano/English teaching, and the high action peeks out here and there. Actually, high action isn't quite the right word all the time; this weekend was more like high spiritual contentment.

It started on Thursday with an island tour shared by Brother and Sister Sorensen, the In-Field Representative for 30 missions in our region. Elder Sorenson's assignment is to support the mission presidents in the challenging situations a mission president encounters. They came to Cebu for the mission president's seminar which was the following Sunday through Tuesday. Their home base is in New Zealand and wanted to taste the Philippines for a day or so. You bet! We headed across the mountains to the west side, then up the coast a ways, then back across the mountains to the east side and back down to Cebu.

It was a great day for a walkabout.

The Sorensons are avid photographers. (See our last post--here we are with MORE camera people!) They clicked their way over the mountain and up the coast. Elder Sorenson has "the big gun" and Sister Sorenson has a sporty little point-and-shoot. Sometimes we pulled over and got out for pictures, and sometimes they just put their wondows down, Kevin took his foot off the gas and they click, click, clicked as we drove. You can do that with "big gun" cameras, you know. They were cute together; both interested in the images of the island, coaching each other to "get this" or "get that" image. Elder Sorenson was very good at simply pointing his camera out the window, clicking and getting good shots.

I began the day taking pictures but figured out pretty fast that they had me out-clicked and maybe they'd share.

My fun was taking pictures of the picture takers.

Taburan was on the coast just before we turned inland again. The Catholic church was a stop-n-look:

Our drive back over the mountains was filled with scenic snapshots; rice farmers drying their rice on the side of the road, carabou pulling the plow; Filipinos about the business of life.

We stopped in one little community to see if we could visit with a woman sitting on the side of the road making jewelry. Elder Sorenson gave it a valiant try--he talked, she talked, he talked, she talked--I'm sure they were expressing important things! Only neither could understand the other. As you can see, there is a little difference in their size.

Indeed she was tiny little thing, barely coming up to Elder Sorenson's elbow!

Friday night was a single-adult fireside that we attended by invitation. It was an open forum hosted by Elder Quinten L. Cook, Keith B. McMullin, the Philippine Area Presidency and a few other big guns.

Saturday was a priesthood training meeting for bishops and stake presidents. Kevin, of course, is neither, but he attended anyway.

Sunday the general authorities divided and conquered, each taking a different stake for a special conference.

In three sentances I didn't begin to scratch the tip of the wealth of spirit we experienced over the weekend. How do you like that? We came half way around the world to experience this fine collection of apostles and prophets. Pretty fine.

And Julie Beck is coming the end of January.