Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hello, serving two missions at the same time has its privileges!  We get to meet many different people and it helps keep us busy. Sometimes too busy!

On Sunday the 17th of May I made a big crock pot of chicken noodle soup to take to church.  We have a Stake Temple Devotional after church so the Bishop wanted to feed the YSA hoping to keep them there to practice our song we had to sing and stay for the devotional.  It worked.  We had a lot of them stay and Reed and I sang in the choir with them.  It was a great evening. The very best choir there was the Samoan Ward in the stake  They really get a lot to participate, even the men, and they sang beautifully!

We had two visitors coming from Hawaii for our Counsellor's Summit and there were no more rooms at the Spencer hotel so we decided, here at the office, instead of paying so much for a different hotel we have Elder and Sister Aland's flat sitting there empty that we are paying for so why not use it.  Of course, that means I have to go in and clean, wash sheets and towels, make beds and make sure there are food supplies available.  Who knew this mission would include hospitality knowledge as well. (he, he)

On Monday May 18, 2015 all the counsellors from all the church schools, including the one from Juarez Mexico, arrived for the Counsellor's Summit.  It was so nice to meet them all in person. I have been on many WebEx meetings with them and emailed back and forth but it is not the same.  They are all so fun and kind.  That evening we took them to Genghis Kaun for dinner and then went to Bruce and Sarah Yerman's for Family Home Evening and dessert.  It was a great evening.

On Tuesday the 19th we arrived at the office at 7:00 a.m. to get breakfast ready for all the counsellors and attendees.  We also made sure all the water bottles were out, notebooks and pens, nut cups filled and the candy treat for the day was at each place.  We had treats for each day that went with the theme, chocolate hearts for heart, might we had sweet tarts shaped like building blocks, mind, we had smiley faces and strength we had silver mini jaw breakers.  The counsellors loved them and were excited to see what each new day brought. 

Today is also our grandson, Zack's, eight year old birthday.  He will be baptized in June.  We are sorry to miss that important event but we love him and are so proud of him.  He is a great young man.

Bruce Yerman on the far right is the Director of Church Schools here in the Pacific.  He is a great leader.
 Queenah Faifili one of the counsellors from Samoa. We got to know her really well when we served in Samoa.  It was so nice to spend some time with her here.
James Faustino, sitting, is the Director of Admissions for BYUH and Fitzgerald Seamus is the Director of Talent Management for the Polynesian Cultural Center.  They were here to help the counsellors understand the IWORK Program and about scholarships and admittance into BYUH.  They are the two that stayed in the flat.
Ameet on the far left is our new TVET Director and Bob and Susie Wood are our ITEP Missionaries in Tonga.  He has been helping me with the counselling calls each month since he supervised counsellors as part of his job in Weber County School District.
 The counsellors did presentations on the Career Portfolio and SSEOP's.  They also shared personal stories of successes with teachers, administrators and students.

Front row:  Seamus, Ameet, James, Katt, Lei, Sister Spencer, Vika Kivalu, Vika Kaufusi
Second row:  Vito, Vaomaile, Queenah, Sister & Elder Wood, Mary, Mereoni, Moana, Bruce
Back row:  Lokeni, Paula, Satini, Talia'uli, Aaron

Aaron Wi Repa on the farthest left in the picture on the right is the S& I Director over all Seminaries, Institutes and Church Schools in the Pacific Area.

 On Wednesday, May 20, 2015 the summit continued.  Elder Wood presented and then he was a one man band.  He taught everyone a song that went with his presentation.  He is always so full of fun and life.  They all loved. him.
Reed and Dean Westerlund talked to the counsellors about our Education Initiative and Self-Reliance.  They explained all the different study groups, scholarships and pathways to help the students further their education.
Ora is on the right.  She is the S&I Human Resource Support Specialist.  She helped get all the hotel rooms, shuttles to and from the airport and helped with the whole conference.  She is so creative and does a great job.  I could have never pulled it off without all her help.  She got all the breakfast food and I took care of all the lunches.  We had plenty of food and everyone was happy.
On Thursday, May 21, 2015 we had Sister Wallace, Michael Satele, Elder Whidden, Sister Fugal and Elder Wood be our discussion panel.  The counsellors asked them questions and got some pretty good discussions going.  Michael works for the LDS Church Services here in New Zealand and the other three missionaries are serving here in the Area Office and have served as school counsellors or principals.  We decided they were here now to help us along with their other callings.
Reed talking about supporting and lifting the saints a little bit at a time.
Vika Kivalu is the vice-president of the counsellors association and from Tonga.  She is so kind and fun.  She did a great job collecting personal information about everyone in attendance and spotlighting them so we could know a little bit more about everyone.
 Mereoni is the president of the Church Schools Counsellors Association and from Fiji.  She had this so organized and was so great to work with.  She really pulled it all together.  I just love her
 For the last hour of our summit on Thursday afternoon they honoured Bruce and Sarah Yerman.  This will be Bruce's last big event.  He is leaving church employment the end of July.  The counsellors gave him an Aloha shirt and flag from each of their countries and showed their appreciation for all his guidance these last four and a half years that they have lived here in the Pacific.  It was very touching.  They were really good sports.
Front row:  Bruce, Sarah, Lei
Second row:  Moana, Judy, Nada, Vika, Vaomaile, Mary, Katt, Satini, Sister & Elder Wood, Vika Kaufusi
Third row:  Reed, Queenah, Mereoni,
Fourth row:  Vito, Paula, Ameet, Lokeni, Jeremy, Talia'uli

They wanted a group picture before we all said good bye for the last time.

It was a wonderful summit.  We enjoyed meeting and getting to know all these great people.  We had a lot of fun together and learned a lot.  This is one of the big benefits of serving two missions.  Rubbing shoulders and being involved with wonderful events such as this. These counsellors work hard and are doing a good job.  Five years ago counsellors did not even exist in the church schools so they have come a very long way.  Good things are happening.

We hope you enjoyed seeing some of what goes on here at the Area Office with the Church Schools.  This is one of the blessings of being ITEP Coordinators.  We are well, busy and trying to do our best to help the Saints here in the Pacific.  Until next time.

Love, Elder and Sister Spencer (aka Reed and Nada) 


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