Thursday, July 12, 2012


Zone Conference---June 2012
Senior Missionaries front row l-r 1. Sister Bell (E. Bell took the photo) 2. Elder Bird 3. Sister Bird 4. Sister Fahrner 5. Sister Washburn 6. Elder Enderle 7. Sister Enderle 2nd Row l-r 1.Sister Candland 2. Elder Hardick 3. Sister Hardick 4. Pres. DeLamare 5. Sister DeLaMare 6. Sister Farnsworth 7. Elder Farnsworth 3rd Row l-r 1. Elder Candland 2. Elder Boehme 3. Sister Boehme 4. Sister Hull 5. Elder Hull 6. Sister Fleming 7. Elder Fleming 8. Sister Hadlock 9. Sister Whiting 10. Elder Whiting 11. Sister Fonbuena 12. Elder Fonbuena Back Row l-r 1. Elder Miller 2. Sister Miller 3. Elder Harris 4. Sister Harris 5. Elder Hadlock 6. Elder DuPaix 7. Sister DuPaix

 Senior Missionaries Living at Pioneer Highlands -- Sis. Goss, E/S Bird, E/S Bell, E/S Hardick, E. Goss in Tricycle
Senior Missionaries Pose with Jeepney During Zone Conference---April 2012

Sister Bird, the Jeepney Passenger
Zone Conference---New Years Eve 2011
Front row l-r 1. Sis. Riddle 2. E/S Enderle 3. E. Bird 4. E. Boehme 2nd row 1.E. Riddle 2. E/S Fleming 3. Sis. Christiansen 4a. E. Hull 4b. E. Christensen 5. E. Hardick 6. E. Bell 7. E. Sorensen 8. S. Boehme 9. Pres. & Sis. DeLaMare Back row 1. E/S Goss 2. S. Hull 3. Sis. Christensen 4. Sis. Hardick 5. Sis. Bell 6. Sis. Sorensen 7. E/S Beckstand
Front row l-r 1. S. Goss 2. S. Sorensen 3. E/S Howell 4. E/S Beckstrand 2nd row 1. E.Fleming 2. E/S Bird 3. E. Goss 4. E/S Bell 5. E. Sorensen 6. S. Christiansen 7. Sis. Fahrner 8. Sis. Fleming 9. E/S Hull 10. E/S Enderle

One of the  biggest surprises to us, as prospective senior missionaries, was to learn of the many different types of missions you could be called to.  There is quite a variety right here in the Quezon City Philippines Mission......possibly because the Manila Philippines Administration Building is located within this mission.  The types of assignments seniors (couples/single sisters) are serving in, here in our senior zone, are as follows: Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency, Public Affairs, Perpetual Education Fund, Country Director of Welfare, Humanitarian...Wheelchair Specialists, Area Medical Administrator, Family History, Employment Resource Center, Mission Office Couple, Mission Office Couple over Finances and Real Estate (finding apartments for seniors), Member and Leadership Support, Church Education (vacant right now), Missionary Training Center President, MTC Nurse/ Executive Secretary to MTC President, Missionary Recovery Center, Assistant to Area Legal, English as Second Language, Mental Health Specialist, and Temple
All of these mission calls have been from 18 - 23 months.  The ages of most of these missionaries range from late 50's to late 70's. There is also a variety of assignments you can be given within the senior zone. Some within our zone are as follows:  Zone Leaders (Randy and I were called to this a month after arriving here and are still serving in this capacity), Quarterly Excursion Leaders, Coordinator for Travel to Monthly American Women's Bazaar, New Missionary Orientation Couple, and Monthly Birthday Dinner Coordinators.
These missionaries have truly become our dear friends. They have come from all parts of the United States and Canada.  Many are on their 3rd, 4th, and even 5th mission...they are truly amazing and are an inspiration to us. There are so many reasons a mission is wonderful...but the other missionaries you meet and become friends with are just an added bonus!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Elder Isaac Hawlader Points to His Hometown, Dhaka, in Bangladesh

Elder Hawlader Enjoys a Brief Moment in Front of the MTC

E/S Bird, Elder Hawlader, Sis. Farnsworth, and E/S DuPaix Pose in MTC Lobby

Recently, Randy received an email from the MTC President informing us that they had a new missionary that arrived from Bangladesh...the first missionary EVER from that country....we don't even send missionaries there yet!!  Public Affairs was given permission to interview him and do a story for the Philippine newsroom and Church News. Sister Farnsworth would do the interview...she actually did the interview with "first missionaries" from two other European countries and one Asian....Elder Bird would be the photographer...and I and Elder and Sister Dupaix would just observe. When we met him, I was surprised at what a handsome man he was!  I don't know what I expected, but he looked very Arab to me.  My first impression was that he looked like he came from a "well to do" family....he carried himself very well and was very friendly and easy to engage in conversation. We took a few photos and then sat down for the interview in the foyer area of the MTC. We all shed many tears as we listened to this humble young man share with us the very difficult life he had experienced. Below is the story that was published.

Elder Isaac Hawlader is the first missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Bangladesh. Born June 2, 1993, he comes from the capitol city of Dhaka and is 19 years old. He is assigned to the Philippine Cauayan Mission and arrived in this country without “purse or script.” He was a member of a small congregation, but he had never seen a missionary before coming to the Manila Missionary Training Center (MTC).

From July 2011 to June 2012, Mormon missionaries have arrived in the Philippines from 11 countries for 19 days of training at the MTC before returning to their home countries to serve their people for 18-24 months: India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia...and now from Bangladesh. Elder Hawlader is unique in that he will not be returning to his home country until after he serves for two years in the Cauayan area. He is learning Tagalog so that he will be able to donate his time and energy helping the Filipino people.

Isaac Hawlader joined the Church four years ago at the age of 15 through the influence of an email from a relative who was a member. He wanted Isaac to read the Book of Mormon.

Elder Hawlader has a sister who is 16 years old. She also wants to go on a mission when she is old enough. His parents are not members but they are very supportive of his being on a mission for the Savior. Both of them are also Christians. When asked, “Why did you decide to serve a mission?” Isaac responded, “Because Heavenly Father has a special plan for my life. I want to share my personal witness.”

Bangladesh has not yet recognized the Church, but members are allowed to meet. Isaac has been meeting in a congregation of about 43 members including Americans working at the U.S. Embassy. The former management officer of the Embassy, Adam Lamoraux, was the Church leader in Dhaka at the time Elder Hawlader joined the Church. He baptized him.

On his fourth day in the MTC, Elder Hawlader gave this interview and said that, “The MTC is really good for me. It is a blessing to me". He had already learned five sentences in Tagalog and his pronunciation was excellent. He spoke those sentences with joy and enthusiasm.

Elder Hawlader learned English in college before coming on his mission. At fifteen he was given the opportunity to participate in a work-study arrangement for his schooling. He had spent eleven years previously in an orphanage. His sister was also placed in the same orphanage but they were unaware of each other for many years. They had such a joyful reunion when they became re-aquainted.

Isaac’s parents had to place them in orphanage care because his father had been injured in an accident and his mother had mental problems before and after his birth which made it impossible for her to care for her children. All the years that he spent away from them, he longed to know about them and to see them. A friend kept encouraging Isaac to read in the Bible, but to him, Heavenly Father did not exist. “There was no God in the whole world.” Finally, one night, he was feeling so sad that he decided to read a single verse, but only one verse, and when he opened the Bible it fell open to Matthew 6:6: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Isaac received an answer that night in a dream that God lives and knew him personally. He awoke his friend in the wee hours of the morning to tell him of his experience. Later,when he heard from his Mormon relative he decided in his heart that, “God spoke to me in the Bible. If He says the same thing in the Book of Mormon I will know that God also speaks in that book and I will join the Church.” He opened the Book of Mormon to 3 Nephi 13:6 and found the same scripture as in Matthew about praying in your closet and the Lord being there. Elder Isaac Hawlader became a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

One of the blessings he received was that he found his parents and although he realized he needed to be in school instead of home, he rejoices in his association with them. College was “so tough” and he had to study very hard but then he made the decision to go on his mission, thus, continuing on with more education.

He recalled that Adam Lamoraux told him that he just needed to decide one way or another to go on a mission and the rest would be taken care of. That counsel came true. With many personal sacrifices, great faith, and a few miracles, Elder Hawlader made it through customs and was able to leave Bangladesh for his mission.

One of the other Philippine missionaries going to the Cauayan mission reported that Elder Hawlader is learning Tagalog more quickly than he can believe. There is no doubt that this young man has been chosen and called up by the Lord from his people in Bangladesh to represent Him in the Philippines. He joins with the other dedicated young missionaries whose greatest desire is to serve the Lord and share their witness of Him…that He lives and knows and loves each one of His children.