Sunday, June 22, 2014



SORRY about no blog last week.  I did start one, and in fact, it was accidentally published before it was finished.  I never do that, and always have Elder S read it first, so that he can correct errors and things that are badly worded or shouldn't be shared!
 So, I went to work on it again, and found it already up, and it was a full paragraph of complaining!  Not sure where it came from, but it came DOWN, fast!  

Yes, I had a couple of stressful weeks, and yes, I let them get to me more than they should, and yes, I was tired.  Even had a full-blown migraine, which I have not done for decades!! But, we focus on the light, right?  So, here are some of the best things in the last two weeks!


The Whittakers called us to see if we wanted to go to dinner Saturday night for Father's Day, so we did.  We ate at a very nice, noisy, Italian place in our mall, that we had not tried.  A little bit spendy.  But the food was good, and they treated us to dessert, A  Fabulous Italian Custard.  Don't know what they call it, and it is probably 2000 calories per serving! , but as you see, Elder Schlager was not complaining>

Mother's Day and Father's Day were both a little different than in the states.  We also prepared a song for the father's, and that was performed in Sacrament Meeting.  Then, all the children came off the stand with these:  Yes, it's a backscratcher.  It has a poem attached about "what is a Dad".  Elder's was delivered specially to him, and it has a picture on the back of me, with the primary.  I guess they feel like, by association, they are ALL his children!

In actual fact, though, OUR children are in the States, and we were very happy on OUR Monday, to see/speak with all of them.  Plus Grandchildren, of course.  A happy weekend.

ONE of the stressful things that got me down, was a discontinuation of most of  the flights to/from Mindoro.  We now can only travel back and forth on Fri, Sun, and Mon morning.  I had about three days of trying to find flights for District conference, MLC, Cluster meetings, fingerprinting, etc, before they quit telling us "sorry, flight is fully booked" and we got the truth.  Poor President has to do a lot of rescheduling and planning.  We had to bring Elder Peck up for his exit clearance fingerprinting, and he had to stay from Mon to Friday.  Over his birthday, so we had a party.
The office Elders ordered Pizza for lunch, and suggested WE get the cake.  So, we did.  At Purple Oven, by the temple.  The decorations on top are candy, what we call seafoam, dipped in dark chocolate.  They gave us a whole bag with the cake---just what this over-stressed woman needed!

Another happy thing for Elder S!  He got to take two lovely young women to lunch!  The office has been full of busy missionaries, and the STL's, Sister Cutia and Sister Sanders, were practically living there, preparing workshops, handouts, etc.  They said, "Elder and Sister Schlager, we would really like to have lunch together some day and get to talk to you."  So, the next day we took them out to BANAPPLE, a popular (due to cheap) eating place with all of them.  We had not been there.  They appreciated it, and we enjoyed it.  

This is the Philippines Missionary Training Center.  It is in the same block as the PAO, across from the Temple.  A very lovely place, where many of our missionaries are trained.  Last transfer, NO ONE came from Provo.  All 13 were from here.  (11 Filipino, 1 Samoan Sister and 1 Pakistani Sister)

I had not been inside before, but we went, due to ANOTHER small trial.  
I have mentioned our problems with immigration before, stemming simply from the way their government does business,  and the desire to get the church to pay bribes to get and keep our Missionaries in the Country.  We cannot do that, of course.  They have required us to reapply for our visas every two months, a huge headache for about 4000 foreign missionaries and the travel office.  
On Wed night, I got an email from Travel, big red flags all over it, attached to the immigration forms for 24 of our missionaries, all needing to be filled out, signed, and pictures attached BEFORE Tuesday morning.  ALL of them had been done at least 3 times previously.  They just refused to extend the visas for them.  These missionaries were all over the mission.  5 seniors, two on Mindoro, some I had photos for and some not.  
We ran all over, sent them with Barlows, Jardines, Whittakers, even went to the MTC to deliver the ones for the Nurse and her husband.  By Sunday night I was a wreck.  One couple had been out of town.  We took theirs to them on Sunday at 10:00 pm, and they promised to get new pictures done and deliver them on time (their office is next door from Travel.)  

Well, I am getting the last of them collected, and I get a text from her.  When they turned them in, Travel told them, "You don't have to do this.  Your permanent extension is already applied for."  When they explained they were only doing what they had been told, she said ,"Well, they are out of the loop."   THIS is the office that sent me the forms 4 days earlier!   I went by their office, apologized for causing the trouble, and said, " JUST SHOOT ME NOW!"

Here is the good news, I think.  We are told that the immigration office kept telling us, "You have too many missionaries.  We don't have the manpower to handle all the volume".  (Their own fault, as they insist on doing them over and over again!.   But the church listened, and offered to hire two full-time people and put them in the immigration office, to be trained and help carry the load.  That has been done.  

Street Band.  (Sometimes they follow the hearse!)
They gave me an idea, and I decided to make a rhythm band for the primary.  
As you can see, I used what I had, and made the instruments, mostly.  An Oatmeal drum, shakers from Elder Schlagers M&M pots, Wooden spoons to beat the rhythm with, even a (less successful) bell made from a tin can.  I am open to suggestions on that one.  The children LOVED it!  We had a very good time in Primary today, and we didn't even use it all, yet.  I know they are looking forward to what comes out of the bag next time.
Dinner with our friends at the Sheffers' after our meeting Friday afternoon.
Elder and Sister Johnson hamming it up in the Mall park.  We went to Johnny Rockets for ice cream and he got up and danced with the young ones.  So many happy moments.  All of the seniors work SO HARD.  In fact, we often laugh that "this is retirement?"  Most of us never worked so hard before, ever!  (And in reading this, it sounds like we never ate so much, either!)

AND, it's (usually)


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