Last week we traveled to Naic to attend a the Naic District Conference. We are going to start visiting the branches in our mission more, so this was a chance to be with them all.
There are 5 Stakes and 1 District in our mission. For those who do not know, a District is a geographical area like a Stake is. However, a Districe is not yet strong enought to be a Stake. The Mission President is also the District President. He has two councilors in the District Presidency who will help him run the District. There are no wards in a District, only branches. A branch is usually a smaller version of a Ward, although it appears that some of the branches in the Naic District are big, and possibly ready to be wards. The Church has some criteria for a District to become a Stake. I will not go into that here, but it is my opinion that the Naic District is getting close.
The Area President, who is also a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, was in attendance. His name is Elder Arden (hope I spelled that right). He is from New Zealand and has a really cool New Zealand acent.
From all I can tell, he has chalanged the District Leadership to become a Stake by next year. This is going to be fun to watch. When the Cavite Mission was organized about a year and a half ago, there were two districts in the mission. One of those has already become a Stake.
There are 8 branches in the Naic District.
Sister Petersen and I gave ourselves plenty of time to get to The Naic chapel. You never know about traffic in the Philippines. We got there 45 minutes early. The building was almost full. And this is not a small building. President Tye got up and asked all the missionaries who were not there with someone to come to the front to make room for others. So we were setting on the stand. We could see all the people. The Priesthood were setting up chairs throuout the entire meeting. There were chairs everywhere there was room for chairs. The building was full to say the least.
We are not to take pitchers in the Chaple, but I wished I could have. I was looking out over a sea of people with black hair and beautiful brown faces. And the light in their eyes. It was wonderful. These are wonderful people. It makes my heart glad. The future of the Church is bright in the Philippines.
Some photos of people leaving the Conference. Notice the different modes of transportation.
I thought these two kids were just setting on top until they were ready to leave. No!
All the way home.
Americans can learn some valuable lessons from the Philippines. All of our regulations do not make us near as happy as these folk are.