We've been busy transitioning from the Baguio Mission to the new Urdaneta Mission. There have been a few email and computer glitches, otherwise the work of the Lord continues to move forward with the commitment and dedication of our Urdaneta missionaries. Urdaneta Mission continues to receive letters and packages for missionaries who remained in the Baguio Mission. We will get their mail delivered to them as soon as possible. Remember that Baguio Mission now has a new address--please refer to the "Mission Split" post for their address in San Fernando La Union.
During the first week of July, we met with President and Sister Balledos who now preside over the Baguio Mission. Some of their family members happened to be with them and we had the pleasure to meet and visit with them. The Baguio Mission and missionaries are in good hands with President and Sister Balledos.
July 2nd, Elder and Sister Mortimer completed their mission as senior couple in the Employment Resource Center. One of their responsibilities was to meet with departing missionaries and give them help and ideas for employment when they returned home from their missions. They also participated in many community service projects, especially helping in Dagupan last rainy season when many members' homes were flooded. We appreciate their service and wish them well!
During the second and third weeks of July, President Monahan and I were pleased to spend one day in each of the eight zones for missionary training and interviews. In the quarterly "Zone Interviews," President and I spend time teaching, we listen to missionary experiences and successes, then President has the opportunity to visit with each missionary individually while the other missionaries participate in work shops and role plays directed by the zone leaders and the Assistants to the President. We enjoy getting to know our missionaries and providing the training, love and support they need to be full-time servants of the Lord.
July 19th, we welcomed a new senior couple. Elder and Sister Shamrell are from Gresham, Oregon. Their family includes 7 children and several grandchildren. They will be working with members and leaders of the Mangaldan and Mapandan Districts. We thank them for their willingness to leave their home and family to serve the Lord in the Urdaneta Mission.
July 22nd, was a day we did not look forward to--it was the day we said good-bye to our wonderful friends, the Engels. Elder and Sister Engels served as the office couple for the past 18 months. Sister Engels was the mission office secretary who answered mission emails and telephone calls, maintained the busy mission calendar each month, prepared all correspondence for arrivals and departures of missionaries and many other tasks too numerous to mention. Elder Engels was the mission supply manager who purchased all the appliances and furniture, etc., for the missionary apartments. He took care of all mail and packages and also ordered supplies for the mission. They kept the mission organized and running smoothly. Their many hours of service to the mission, to us and to all the missionaries is greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten. We love them and thank them for being dedicated, faithful disciples of the Lord.
We are happy to say that President and Sister Mortensen have accepted the responsibilities of mission office couple and will continue where the Engels left off. Elder and Sister Engels trained the Mortensens well, so the Urdaneta Mission is in good and capable hands. The Mortensens are from our home town and we had a little something to do with them having the opportunity to serve in the Philippines. They have been serving for over 6 months. President Mortensen is the 1st Counselor in the Mission Presidency. He and Sister Mortensen have been working with the districts and stakes in the mission to train and support the leaders and members, especially the youth. They will continue doing that, as much as possible, along with their many duties as supply manager and office secretary. We love them and feel so blessed and thankful to work with them in this part of the Lord's vineyard.