Tuesday, June 29, 2010

About the Contractor

The Article about Knute Klavenes is from LDS Mag or often known as Meridian Magazine. An online LDS Magazine created and owned by Scot and Maurine Proctor. They have interviewed this contractor who has an amazing story of his conversion and about his family. Its a must read. We met this great man in Cebu and found him to be everything that the Proctor's have written about him plus more about his personal experiences. The link is posted below.



Monday, June 28, 2010

Enjoyed an evening with a departing Missionary Couple

We enjoyed an evening with the Elder and Sister Fitzgarrald along with another missionary couple over dinner last night. The Fitzgarralds were the Family History Missionaries and taught others to index and find their ancesters here in the Philippines. They shared some missionary highlights from their mission and we all enjoyed some good laughs. Itwas pleasant for all of us.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Huntsman jet departing June 14th, 2010

This is our picture at the airport seeing the Prophet off on the Huntsman jet. Click on picture for larger view.

Friday, June 25, 2010

June 25th 2010

Today marks 5 months that we have been on our mission. January 25th we entered into the MTC and then to the Philippines on the 6th of February. We have been busy the whole time. We wondered what we would do after the Cebu Dedication that we were so focused on but now since we have been back to Manila find that we will be concentrating on several other matters. One being the repair of the guardhouse, CCTV cameras, hiring an outsource agency to help with our continued operations here at Manila Philippine Area complex which includes the temple. This work is very corporate in nature and needs to be if there is money involved. It is our business to keep the Sacred Temple safe and in keeping with excellence not only in the facilities but in the integrity of the personnel that we have here.

Our work is still cut out for us.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Back to Manila

After two weeks in Cebu we are finally back in Manila. We love Cebu but we are residents of Manila so back to the busy congested dirty city. Oh well.

It was a very eventful time for us with the security plans for the cultural event and the dedication. All very fulfilling and very adventurous. An experience we won't forget.

Before we left our hotel in Cebu we got in about an hour and a half of pool time. The pool at the Marco Polo is especially clean and so beautiful. I got a sunburn, Elder stayed in the shade however he got sunburned also. We are feeling it today.

The plane ride was eventful....got about 75 miles from the Manila airport and we were told by the captain that the weather was bad and we had to go to a holding pattern until the weather cleared up. Well we were in a holding pattern for 30 minutes and running out of fuel so the pilot took us back to Cebu where the plane was refueled and the rain in Manila cleared up and then it was back to Manila. So what was to be an hour plane trip turned into 3 hours. We arrived at our apartment at about 11:45 pm. Had McDonald's deliver some food. Started the washing machine and went to bed. Now we are back to the apartment ready for the next week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

For further information on the Cebu Temple Dedication

Please see the Meridian Magazine on line that tells a lot of the history of church here in the Philippines. it is www.meridianmagazine.com . The authors are Scot and Maureen Proctor. They have done a wonderful job of journalism.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lot and President Monson

On the front page of the Church News is Lot our Officer in Charge and President Monson. Lot Revilla is helping to control the crowd from pressing in on President Monson. All four of our Officers in Charge had the opportunity of shaking President Monson. They were so thrilled because it is seldom the Prophet comes here to the Philippines.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beautiful flowers of the Philippines

We had some down time today and took a ride up into the mountains of Cebu and found some beautiful foilage and flowers. Stopped to take a picture of it....we have really not seen any of the philippine beauty as we were so focused on the dedication for months. On to other things.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cebu Temple Dedication June 13th 2010

Today the Cebu City Philippine Temple was dedicated in three sessions by President Thomas S. Monson. In attendance was President Eyring, Elder Oaks, Elder Walker of the Temple Department, Bishop Burton of the Presiding Bishopric.

Elder and I were doing our job watching out for and looking out for and securing doors and watching while the paid security did their thing with the Visiting Party. It went well with absolutely no incidents other than some very excited people wanting to rush Elder Oaks but that was under control in no time.

We listened to President Monson three times with his own personal remarks before he read the dedicatory prayer. He had some awesome things to say and many remembrances to share. Some from his days as a boy in Primary collecting Pennies for the Primary Children's Hospital. President Monson is 82 years old and starting to feel it. Since we could not be out in one of the rooms with everyone else, we were in one of the offices with a closed circuit TV watching the proceedings. It was a wonderful experience.

After the dedication was complete there were Filipinos everywhere taking pictures of the temple and of each other and several approached Elder and I and asked to have their picture taken with us. You would think we were rock stars. We figured out that some of the people come from Islands where missionaries are the Filipinos that live here and we are a novelty as some islands do not see American Missionaries at all. So now we are stars. Goodness.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Special story about our Office in Charge Manny Francisco

Manny Francisco is one of the Officers in Charge for Security here at the Cebu Temple Complex. He was posted at the door of the Cebu Temple as President Monson came in for his personal tour. We followed behind in the tour as was our position there. President Monson stopped to shake the hand of Brother Francisco and made note of his very shiny patent leather shoes he had on. Our OIC's wear white shirts and ties and dark slacks and shoes to their liking. President Monson slipped something in Manny's pocket but Manny didn't take much notice of it as he was so overwhelmed to be able to speak to the Prophet and shake his hand. Being tearful later, he reached into his pocket for a handkerchief to wipe the perspiration off and a few tears. He found a piece of paper in his pocket and didn't recognize it until he pulled it out and found it was a one dollar bill. I captured his big smile about this today in a picture shown here.

I have become fond of many of our officers on the Security Staff and call them "My sons". I told Manny, "You are my son". He is about the same age as my son Bradley. Tonight he was standing next to me as we took pictures with our cell phones of Elder Oaks and Bishop Burton and respective wives and said to me...."I am standing next to my mom". I turned to him pleased that he said this but then he volunteered the information that his mom isn't here as she passed away when he was 4 months old. No siblings and his natural father died also. I was very touched by this. Good man and priesthood holder...proud to call him son.
This is a post script....forgot about this. Manny told me that when the ground was broken for the Cebu Temple, he was with Elder Dixon. Elder Dixon was our predessor two couple missionaries back. Manny heard that there might be church employment in Cebu and felt impressed to put a down payment on a house here. When he was offered a job as OIC in Cebu he already had an idea where to live....the place where he had put a down payment on several years ago.

Saturday the 12th, President Monson's tour of Temple and Cultural Celebration

When we arrived at the coliseum by way of the motorcade we were greeted by the youth dancers in their costumes. Waving at us as if we were celebrities. We were surprise by the reception we received but we shook their outstretched hands and their smiling faces and we gave them hugs and told them how beautiful they were. It was fun but we didn't feel like we deserved all the adulation. They think of the LDS Missionaries from the United States as something very special...but we didn't know that. Elder and I just happily and gratefully greeted them
This young lady is one of several dancers with ornaments on their head waiting for their turn to dance before President Monson

One of many cultural dances performed tonight. Amazing colors and beautifully performed dances.

Dance Instructors in their native formal dress.

President Monson and Elder Ko in front of the Temple after President Monson's personal tour of the Temple.

Today Saturday the 12th of June, Independence Day in the Philippines is also the day the Prophet President Monson went through the Temple for his own personal tour, along with Elder Oaks, Bishop Burton, Area Presidency and respective wives. We were able to follow them through the temple tour but we were to stay back as we are in the capacity of security. I never in my life thought I would be that close to the Prophet and it is/was a privilege. Later in the day we went by police escorted motorcade to the Cebu Coliseum for the Cultural Event which consists of Filipino LDS youth performing ancient dances through more modern dances. It was beautiful. The youth went to great sacrifice to get to perform. The funds for the costumes, travel and accommodations were from the youth selling empty cans and other items to be recycled to whatever they could do to earn money. Some youth could not come to the coliseum so they were filmed on various locations and it was shown on screens in the coliseum. The heat inside was intense but the whole show went very very well. Better than anyone ever thought. Came together perfectly.

Friday, June 11, 2010

motorcade and inspecting the Cebu Coliseum

Inspecting the Coliseum for safety for all participants, General Authorities and attendees
First Counselor to the Area President for the Asia Pacific Elder Ko consulting with others regarding the Cultural event.

Floor of the coliseum for the cultural event

Participants waiting to rehearse.

Motorcade to the airport.

The Motorcade and drivers for President Monson's arrival

President Monson and General Authorities disembarking from the plane in Cebu

Motorcade lining up at the Cebu Temple Complex

Us and all the Drivers going to the airport.

Police Officers that escorted the motorcade. They were absolutely wonderful getting our motorcade to the airport and back with out incident. They blocked streets to make way for the motorcade and if we got separated they came back to get us. It was a great driving experience here in the Philippines. I am glad I got to ride in one of the vans. Pretty exciting.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Last few days

We have been here in Cebu since Saturday night the 5th and it has been non-stop details to get in order. Trial runs to the airport to the cultural center, meetings with drivers, who they are, phone numbers. Been to meetings today and to another one tonight. I am beginning to understand my role here. When I don't feel actively involved it is because I am to observe and interject questions or comments. Seems to easy for me but somehow it turns out worthwhile. I meet other missionaries that are in the temple patron complex and I ask a few simple questions that need answers and then the next few things I need to do goes forward quickly. Nothing is by accident. It is all meant to be. Divine intervention and I know it.

I will be in one of the greeting cars at the airport on the arrival date and then I have volunteered to help a Sister Missionary out of the Mission Office in Cebu with the meals for our visiting authorities, etc. She said she could use me as there are some Sister senior missionaries that have become ill. However, one of the area Presidency has to approve of me. I am told I am a likely candidate so we will see. I don't think I have ever seen anything so tight with instructions and approvals. It is a little bit stressful because I have not experienced this before. Elder Burningham has worked especially hard and I try to relieve his stress when I can.

We had two security men from Salt Lake come here to oversee the operations and one of them fell ill the other night. Last we heard he may be coming down with pneumonia. As soon as he gets back to Utah his wife has an appointment set up for him to see his doctor.

The Temple looks wonderful and last minute details are forming all over the place. I know the contractors are blessed as they push forward to make sure every detail is done. Our security men have really worked hard in making the open house safe and look forward to the dedication. Me too. We will really enjoy this amazing event.

While we have been in the hotel we have met several return missionaries from years ago that served here in the Philippines that are here for the dedication. This is pay-day for them as they had served here in the Philippines increasing the church's population through baptism on their missions. Now to see a second temple here is truly rewarding for them. This seems like a lot of hard work to me...all these very important details, not to mention the stress that we feel...well, it will all work out. I feel like we are in an army pressing forward towards victory in making it all happen. Not just us but everyone that is involved. If you are reading this, whoever you are, please pray for our Presidency that they will be safe, comfortable and that the dedication will be with the spirit guiding them. This is really the work of the Lord and he is blessing us his Royal Army to make it happen for the Spiritual Redemption of all those that have not had the opportunity to receive the blessings of the Temple. The Filipinos are SO excited to have this temple in their midst. Well, I have said enough. Love to all, Sister Kathy