Thursday, December 16, 2010

Week 14

December 5, 2010

We just came home from church and decided we should sit down and write a quick letter. It is a beautiful December day – the temperature is 89 F (the internet weather says it feels like 94 F due to the humidity) and the sky is a beautiful blue. I’m sure you know what comes next - It’s hot and humid - still! We have had a busy Sunday. We were up early to make sure that we could meet the District President and give him a letter for a baby that will need several operations to correct some birth defects. We are praying that the Mabuhay House will approve the request so the baby can receive the medical treatment she needs. We then went to our Branch meetings, taught our last Temple Preparation Class, went to the Carmona Branch to a youth baptism and then finally back home. Come to think of it, Sundays haven’t changed a lot – they are still busy days. But I look forward each week for Sunday to come.

Our last Temple Preparation class went well. We will probably start another one in January or February. I am looking forward to going to the Temple with the Cagas Family. In the first weeks that we were here, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with this family and teach them about temples. I will never forget this young father as he kneeled on the floor of his humble home and poured out his heart to Heavenly Father that a way would be opened that their family could go to the temple. We are so very close to that happening. The Elders in our Zone are absolutely great. We went to 2 of the 3 baptismal services yesterday. There was 1 sister baptized in the Binan Branch, 1 sister baptized in the GMA Branch and a mother and her 4 sons (ages 12 to 18 – the Young Men’s program just doubled in size) baptized in the Carmona Branch. Our Bulihan Branch has 3 baptisms scheduled next Saturday. I believe their goal is 20 baptisms in December. They work hard. Our Elders had 10 investigators in Church today.

Wednesday we went to Manila with the Smith’s for Zone Conference. Brother Smith really wanted to see where the Jeepneys were manufactured. He researched it online and found a Jeepney factory in Manila. So, off we went to find the Jeepneys. Well, we went right to the place where Google said the factory was located but it wasn’t there. We did get to see Manila Bay close up and experience some wonderful Manila traffic. President Howard had a Christmas party for the Elders and Sisters for Zone Conference. We began conference with song practice for the missionary fireside and then he spoke briefly to the missionaries. After he spoke, he told them that he had a surprise – he gave each of them a Snickers candy bar – one would think that they had just been given $50. Then he told them that they could just sit back and relax and they could watch The Other Side of Heaven and The Best Two Years. I was delighted to watch the reactions of the missionaries. The President had popcorn and soda for them and then they had Philippine Hot Dogs for lunch. I came away thinking how grateful I am for what I have and how the ‘little’ things in life mean so much. I guess we only appreciate those ‘little’ things when we are away from them. We are truly blessed. We were able to purchase a small Christmas tree for the apartment. It is nice. We decorated the tree with silver garland and small red ornaments. Mom set out the Philippine Nativity Set under the tree. It looks very nice. We also put some lights and garland on the staircase and I happened to find 5 little 3 inch Nutcracker soldiers to put on the stairs. I wanted to decorate the tree with something ‘true Philippine’ but they really don’t have Christmas trees as part of their Christmas celebration. Friday mom taught the District Family History Consultant at the Binan chapel. The training went well. I was pleasantly surprised (and delighted) when we registered him on Family Search and then had him sign in. The home page welcomed him by name to Family Search. He was taken back and asked how they knew his full name and had all this information about him in the computer. We told him that we have ways of knowing these things! He was even more surprised when we were able to find his parents and grandparents on the website and were able to link them to him. We will continue to work with him on training and then work with the consultants in each branch.


Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Grant and Janene.

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