Ramadan started at the beginning of June. This is a month where strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. For Muslims, this is a time of deep spiritual discipline where they reaffirm their relationship with Allah, and through which their sins will be burned away. Along with serving as a means for deep contemplation, fasting represents one of the five pillars of Islam, a set of practices every Muslim must follow. For the entire month, observers of the fast cannot eat, drink or smoke from daybreak to dusk. There is a big meal at the end of each day, and at the end of the month of fasting there is a big festival called “Eid al Fitr.”

Experiencing Ramadan in real life together is a humbling experience. Stores and restaurants are closed during the day, and traffic is considerably decreased. The night becomes people’s day and the day becomes the night. Like our Muslim brothers and sisters, we have made this a time to renew our relationship with family and our Heavenly Father and recommit our dedication to His service.

The Piano Guys

President Leishman invited us to his home, where we enjoyed dinner with his family. Following dinner, we enjoyed a special night of entertainment from the Piano Guys, who were in town after filming a new video in Petra.


Dinner with President Leishman


Piano Guys Performance


A lot of the families have returned home to the US, so Sandi graciously fed the “Branch Bachelors” a much appreciated home cooked meal earlier this month.

We had some important meetings with Nabil Haddad and Dadel Mohammed Humoud, Secretary General of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA). We discussed interfaith harmony, karma and focusing on the family to be the focus of an upcoming conference. They will be presenting the concepts we discussed to the Queen, and they feel she will be excited to lend her patronage to a conference on family dignity. We were invited to take a tour of the new offices at NCFA, and we were very impressed. One of their five floors includes a nursery for the children of the staff, complete with mini sinks! Overall, it was a positive meeting and there is a great deal of excitement between NCFA and LDSC to develop an outstanding international conference on the Dignity of the Family.


Mini Sinks in the nursery at the NCFA


Phillips, Sec. Gen. Homoud of NCFA and Father Haddad


Sidewalk meeting with NCFA Sec. Gen (1), two Council Members, Father Haddad, Sister & Elder Phillips


Cleaning crew for a service project with Father Kildani


Cleaning the inside of a church with hoses and squeegees

Royal Hospital Wheelchair Ceremony

Royal Hospital wheelchair ceremony with Phillips, Dr. Khatatarh and Zaid on the far right


Sis Phillips with new baby Joury


Sis Phillips accepting a flower from a student at Kildani’s summer school.