Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 7

October 18, 2010

Dear Family,

It looks like we survived the typhoon. (Brady picked this picture)Apparently it is one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines in years. It hit ground north of us so we just got a lot of rain and wind. All last night the rain came down so hard – I thought that we were in a very long car wash. It looks like there hasn’t been too much damage in our area but this morning it is still raining so we haven’t been out yet to see the extent of the damage. I worry about the members because many of the homes do not have glass window panes. I don’t know how they stayed warm and dry. We were blessed with safety and protection through the storm. We will see later how extensive the flooding is due to the continued rain.
We have had a very busy but very spiritual week. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve, Elder Jay Jensen one of the 7 Presidents of the 70 and Bishop Keith McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric have been in the Philippines for an 11 day tour of the missions here. On Wednesday we were honored to have Elder Cook (pictured to the left) conduct a missionary meeting for our mission. This was a wonderful experience. Before the meeting began he asked if he could shake everyone’s hand so all of the missionaries lined up and shook his hand. It was a good experience for all of us. He taught us many wonderful things and at the end of his message he made a promise to the missionaries but then he stopped and said , ‘No I prophesy to you …’ He did that twice so he wanted us to know that he was prophesying to us about the future of this land and people. I thought it was electrifying. President Howard then asked us as senior couples to come back on Saturday morning for a 4 hour leadership meeting with Elder Cook, Elder Jensen (pictured on the right) and Bishop McMullin (pictured on the left). This was a priesthood leadership meeting so Mom and the other Sisters stayed at the mission home while I went to the meeting. This was a great meeting with these brethren. I have always enjoyed being taught basic truths of the gospel from the scriptures and that is what they did for 4 hours.
We were able to attend a baptismal service for 3 individuals on Saturday evening. One was a 15 year old girl and the other an older couple. We had met this sister and her husband at one of the Temple tours and later at another baptism. We kept asking her to tell us when her baptism was so that we could come and be with them. I think they were happy to see us there. He was a born-again preacher and was not going to be baptized but as the missionaries taught them he had some remarkable experiences with the spirit and he wanted to be baptized. After the baptism we ran back to our branch to attend the Branch Social – of course we got there just in time for the games. They love to have us participate in the games and most of the time we don’t understand the directions so we stand there and smile and do whatever they tell us to do. I think it is building a trust between us and the members – or maybe they just like to get a good laugh.

On Sunday I asked the Branch President about when the next Temple Preparation class would be taught. We have visited some members and they need to go to the Temple. The Branch President’s counselor said that was a coincidence because they were going to ask us if we would teach the class starting next Sunday. We told them that we would be honored to teach the class. He then said that there could be a problem since the families they have asked to attend don’t speak or understand English very well. I guess we have 1 week to learn how to teach the Sunday’s lesson in Tagalog.
We were able to do a number of visits this week. My goal is to visit everyone in the Branch and then get to the point where I can take the Home Teacher with me. So many of the members we visited couldn’t believe that we would visit them. One sister kept saying, ‘You are in my home. My home’ She was so grateful for our visit. We also were asked by Sister Howard to begin doing apartment checks on the Elder’s apartments in our Zone. We will probably get the assignment to do more zones as time goes on. The Elders were also excited since we will start next week with having them over to our apartment for a monthly Family Home Evening. I don’t know how it will work out with 12 people in this little apartment but it will be fun for everyone. Our Zone has their assigned Temple day this Wednesday morning so we will be able to go to the Temple with them.
On the lighter side: I have had several people tell me that I remind them of someone famous. Some say it is a movie star from the Saturday matinee movies (of course these movie stars are from the 1950’s) But my all time favorite is the barber that kept saying that I looked like a very, very famous person. As he was cutting my hair he finally figured it out – He decided I look like Al Gore! I didn’t know what to say so I said to him that I would take that as a compliment. He said, ‘O yes compliment sir, compliment’ I laughed.

Well, we are doing well. We’re getting more into the work and one of these days we will begin speaking Tagalog (hopefully pretty soon). We love this land and people. We miss all of you and hope that everything is going well in your lives. The gospel certainly brings hope and joy into our lives. It’s good to see life through a different set of eyes to allow us to appreciate what we have been given. Please take care and write soon. It’s so good to talk to you each week. We love you all so very much.

Mom & Dad, Grandma & Grandpa

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Glad the typhoon missed you!
    Cool you could meet and be taught by an apostle. But sorry, don't see the resemblance to Al Gore. :)