Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 3

Here are these weeks excerpts from dad's letter! Enjoy!

" Well week three has passed. We have had an interesting week. We are becoming more familiar with the area and the members and I think that we are building greater trust with the branch members. We visited 5 families this week to invite them to a Branch Family Activity on Saturday evening. I know that I will never be the same after these visits.
The Branch Activity was fun. It was to start at 6:00pm. We started at 7:00. They asked mom to give a spiritual thought and I was asked to give the lesson (a lesson at a branch activity?) Mom did great. I was asked to give a lesson about member referrals. - I told the story of Lehi’s dream – and guess what ? – I happened to have brought the iron rod with me!! We talked about holding fast to the iron rod and how the scriptures would help us understand the Atonement. As we understand the Atonement in our own lives we all will be able to have the desire to share the gospel like Lehi did. I guess it went ok (Mom said that he did a great job!)I know that the little boy that I had holding onto the rod had a great time. This morning in Church he found me three or four times and smiled a big smile and shook my hand. We then played a couple of games. We were divided into 2 teams and they put word-strips in front of us on the floor. They would sing a hymn and stop. The team had to then complete the next line of the song by using the word-strips. Of course they wanted mom and I to be on the teams. It was fun- I guess. You know how much of a fun person that I am. The next game was just for the men. We were divided into 2 teams. One person would be the ‘guesser’. A person would stand behind the guesser with a picture or item and the guesser would then ask simple questions to find out what the thing was. The team members could only answer yes, no or maybe. Guess who got to be first? Yep – I can make a fool of myself quicker than anyone, but I did guess what the thing was. When it was the other teammates turn they would ask 2 or 3 questions and then pass. I didn’t know I could pass! It was fun – one of the members came up to me after and said that this was the Pilippines best game – it is called Philippine Genius.
We have our first interview with the Mission President (President Howard) on Tuesday morning. We saw him briefly on Saturday in Manila at the Temple. The Missionaries had another Temple Tour Saturday. Mom and I decided to go into Manila and brave the traffic. For the most part we were successful – we only had one minor detour. If you miss your turnoff it is very difficult to turn around and get back on the right street. There are too many one-way streets and way too much traffic. But we made it. The missionaries had over 250 investigators at the Temple on Saturday. It is nice to be with all of the Elders and Sisters and to meet their investigators. I spoke with one investigator that is a retired general in the Philippine Police Force. He is very interested in the Church. I told him that he would not regret the decision to be baptized. As we were leaving, he found me again and we spoke for a few more minutes. I think that he will be baptized soon. The Elders of the San Gabriel Branch had 6 baptisms on Saturday afternoon. They have 20 firm baptism dates for October. These 2 elders are remarkable.
On the lighter side, I have learned a very important lesson about getting dressed in the morning. I must always shake out my pants and shoes – since the other morning I found a friendly gecko (at least I hope he was friendly) in my pants.
I have also learned that when a driver in the oncoming lane flashes his headlights at you, he is not being kind and letting you turn. The flashing lights mean that I AM COMING THROUGH don’t you dare turn in front of me. I learned that lesson very quickly and I didn’t have to repeat that lesson to have it imprinted in my mind. Coming home to our apartment in the evening we often see kids with flashlights looking through the tall grasses. I asked one of the members what they were looking for – frogs. The frogs are a real delicacy for the family meal. I asked if they ate the legs – nope, the whole thing and I mean the whole thing boiled in water. (now I understand a little better about being careful when eating with members and investigators). One of the recent converts that we visited told Mom that she was beautiful for her age. The Filipinos are not afraid to ask your age, in fact that is very common. She said that Mom was beautiful because most Filipinos that are lucky to live to be 60 look like they are 90. Mom smiled and said, ‘Why thank you very much.’
Christmas is in full swing here – most department stores have an electronics department and karaoke is very popular here. I must admit there is nothing like a department store worker singing White Christmas or Santa Claus is Coming to Town as loud as he can while you shop.
The weather is still hot and humid. We had three days this week where the temperature reached 40 degrees C (that’s 104 F) with 85% humidity. With that humidity the sweat doesn’t dry off of your skin. We have learned the benefit of carrying a sweat cloth and an umbrella with you everywhere."
The rest of the letter told us how much they love and miss the grandkids :) They love it and are having a wonderful time serving the Lord. Pictures to come!

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