Friday, November 25, 2016

Sister Missionary

Yesterday I walked up the incline to the MTC and went to the front desk to find a missionary sister to bring her to the dental clinic. First time visitors often get lost because we are at the back of the property under the gym beside a huge storeroom. When I found her we walked back to the clinic together and chatted about the meaning of her name and her reason for going on a mission. She told me that she knew her teeth had serious problems and had decided to go on a P-day to get her tooth extracted, “when it starts to hurt.” She was grateful that she could visit a dentist while in the MTC.  I helped out Dr. Stewart and kept smiling and talking through the extraction and filling up of cavities along that side of her mouth. When I walked her back to the MTC she kept saying, “Thank you so much. I’m really grateful that you would do this for me.” Then she gave me a hug and a whispered, “I love you,” as she slipped through the door.
It was nice that it was raining so no one was around to see the tears.

I knew she was really thanking Dr. Stewart for being there for her.

Ideas and Convictions Turning into Reality

Bits and pieces of the dental clinic story are starting to emerge.*  One rumor is that one of the mission presidents urged a dental clinic to be formed because he had so many missionaries that had to be sent out for dental care while on their missions.

Two dentists wrote out on a napkin in an airport what they would need to have a dental clinic. It started out as an idea. One of the dentists was either a home teacher to a Seventy or was home taught by a Seventy. The dentist talked to the Seventy who thought it was a great idea, though with a “Good luck with that”.
How ideas and Vision is born

One of the dentists had another classmate or confederate who had some ideas and ways to get donations and got them. Who was the mover and shaker? The MTC Dental Clinic was up and running about 6 or 7 months later.

If anyone has experienced how projects run in the Philippines or getting church approval you would know immediately that this came about by sheer miracle.  All of the dental chairs and fixtures and equipment were donated.
The Stewarts were called to be missionaries with one of the dentists who got the clinic up and running. A week after their shared opening and starting up business, the Stewarts were given the key to the door and told they were in charge. The idea from the talks to the dentist the Stewarts had previous to going on their mission was that they would be doing dental work for about 4 or 5 hours a day and be able to experience the Philippines the rest of the time.
I can testify that they work 6 days a week usually 5 in the morning until 5 at night except for half a day on Saturdays for two weeks and then they will have a Wednesday and sometimes a Saturday off on the third week – working 12 hours a day on the other four days. Dr. Stewart is a surfboard aficionado and has checked out the beaches on a few of those Wednesdays. Regardless they both will never see 60 again and work very hard long hours.  It is all totally worth it – but that is a post for another day.

*I’ll post the whole story when I find out.

8 Pies and all the Trimmings

So the rumor is that Nate and Kelsi made 8 pies for the Thanksgiving feast. Andrew made his usual green bean and French onion dish – with a twist. You will have to ask him for the story. Rachel made the mashed potatoes and Rebekah’s Michael made the turkey and all the trimmings. He practiced ahead of time and everyone raved about dinner. I heard that Michael’s grandmother and grandfather came with an uncle and all had a really good time- even the grandmother with Andrew’s twist. I asked if anyone had taken pictures and the answer was, “Kelsi had your back.” Have I ever mentioned how much I love my daughter-in-laws? They are my reward for having so many boys. It sounds like Thanksgiving in America went really well. I am not even going to explore the idea that it may have been better that we weren’t there. In the Philippines, there is no Thanksgiving. We will share a feast  Monday family home evening with the other missionaries here.   

Friday, November 18, 2016

Very Important Person

Jeffrey told me we were invited to see a play at the Buddhist Temple on Sunday night. I said ok thinking how nice it would be to see a performance, but the reality was a little different.
First off people who valet the car met our group and we were escorted past milling groups of people up to the 3rd floor where ladies put a gold ribbon around our necks with a little gold leaf with inscription that we found out later translated to - very important person. Then we were ushered up front to the second row in the middle. The first row had people with gold ribbon around their necks too.
Adams with Elder and Sister Davenport

The performance of “Siddartha” was very professionally done with singing, dancing, acting, the drama, storyline and characters that would have been something Lisa Lambert would have enjoyed watching. I thought it was great. It was the story of a young prince who went through great changes, depths and highs and met challenges until he became enlightened and at peace. He became Buddha. Here is the link if you are interested in his life:
When the lights came up and the actors took their bows the lady Buddhist in charge of the Buddhist temple we were located came up and thanked all those who were instrumental in putting it on. We found that the whole front row were the people who had written, choreographed, put together the music and instrumentality, and were responsible for this group going to Taiwan, Singapore, and other countries. They were the very important people. Then she asked us to come up and take pictures with the cast.
I couldn’t figure out why we were asked to go up on stage. I felt uncomfortable being honoured when I had done absolutely nothing but show up. Jeffrey said, “We are representatives of the church.” So I plastered a smile and went up on stage to have our picture taken with the cast.
Cast of "Siddhartha"

A few days later Elder Cook came to visit this area and he took a tour of our new dental clinic – there is only one in any MTC in the world. As a truly very important person he was very gracious when asked to pose for photos (not me by the way) so I got my picture taken again with a very important person. (sorry no picture yet, I did ask for one)

I think I enjoy being behind the camera and witnessing important people so much more than acting like one.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Deseret Mabuhay House

What happens when a baby is born with severe defects? He/she can live quite a miserable life unless “someone” helps him/her out to a more normal or acceptable life.
Luckily, a group of doctors are dedicated to bringing a better life to these children and others. The Mabuhay House is a place that families and people can stay while they are getting treatment – sometimes for months at a time.
Children and families singing with missionaries
The missionaries from the Area, MRC (Mission Recovery Center) and MTC offices go once a week to entertain the children for about an hour.
Sister Peel, The Bishcofts, Sister Hoem
On Wednesday we drove over and when we walked in there were a lot of people. Last time there were about 30, now there are closer to 70. The Bishcofts are a couple that loves to sing and entertain and Sister Crockett used to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Jonah's aunt, Luis, Jonah, Sister Crockett with girl in arms, Sister Peel, The Bishcofts, Sister Hoem, Elder Peel
I'm taking pictures 
 The other missionaries are enthusiastic. They all have come for months and have grown to love these children very much. Each child may have two or three others with them, sometimes a larger family.
My presented a picture of a bad tooth and a good tooth, I said how important it is to take plaque off by brushing everyday. I had Jonah from our office translate it to Tagalog

My part was to talk about brushing your teeth. I encouraged them to brush everyday and explained that I got to see 18 to 20 year olds in our office and was sad about the condition of their teeth. I wanted everyone to brush every day. Sister Crockett led a song, “Brush, brush your teeth, take the plaque away. Brushing teeth is good for you, do it every day”. 

Showing a shy girl the teeth from the dental office with a toothbrush
I felt very bad that we didn’t have enough toothbrushes. If you are ever in doubt that your hygiene kit isn’t being used, don’t worry about it any longer – there are never enough.
This time they sang Christmas Songs

One little boy was very shy and wouldn’t even look at the missionaries a few months ago and now he sings and participates in the songs. One little girl jumps up and sings the familiar songs into the mike along with the missionaries. There are some really wonderful miracles happening here. I noted today there is a Facebook page. Some of the children shown in September are still here.
So nice to be associated with high caliber singers!
Sister Crockett and Sister and Elder Bishcoft