January 24, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
It appears that the cooler weather is beginning to wane now. The past two days we have begun to warm up again and the humidity remains high. Last night the cool breeze never came so we’re afraid that we must say goodbye to those few pleasant nights of 70 degree bliss. We will remember them with fondness. :) The Elders tell us to just wait and see how ‘stinkin’ hot it gets here – oh joy, I just can’t wait! That sweat rag will come in handy. The lawn is starting to grow so I finally had to break down and purchase a lawnmower. I am the proud owner of a sleek new pair of hand grass clippers. When I get a little more experience with the lawn mowing techniques here I will venture to upgrade to a bamboo stick and a machete. Right now I’ll stick with the grass clippers to avoid any future trips to the hospital.
Another week has passed. One of these days we will surprise everyone (including ourselves) and just start speaking fluent Tagalog. Sometimes it is so frustrating. Some days I can understand what the people are saying and other days it is as if I have never heard this language before. But, this has been a good week. We were able to get the Family History Center set up in the District Meetinghouse. We made some minor repairs and replaced some parts on the equipment. The computer is working, the microfilm readers are functional and the micro fiche reader is set. We will meet with the District Consultant tomorrow and have another training session with him. Our District President has asked us to conduct a training session on February 13 for the District Council about the Family History Center.We enjoy meeting with the other Branches on Sundays in addition to our regular Branch meetings. We met with the Binan Branch yesterday. It is so exciting to attend their Gospel Essentials Class. The class is so large that they have to hold it in the overflow area of the chapel. There were about 45 people that attended this class. After the class one of the Elders announced to everyone that 2 of their investigators just decided to be baptized (they had 15 investigators attending). I guess that the class was one powerful Gospel Essentials class!
Yesterday at Church we asked a sister how her family was doing. She had tears in her eyes as she said that her little baby was in the hospital with pneumonia. The daughter is a beautiful little baby that has Down’s syndrome. They were going to name her Angel but when she arrived at birth they decided to name her Precious. I asked the sister if she would be going back to the hospital but she said they didn’t have the budget for her to go back to the hospital. The father would stay at the Hospital because she had to work. Mom and I decided to take off on another one of our wild night adventures and take her to the hospital in Manila. She speaks very little English and, well, you know about our Tagalog! :) We were so happy that we were able to help her. You could just see as she held her baby that they needed each other. The father and I were able to give her a blessing also. The funny thing is – we should not have been able to travel to Manila last night. We never know what or where we will be asked to do something so I make it a habit of always filling the gas tank on Saturday night. Well, I didn’t fill the tank on Saturday evening. It takes us a minimum of 1/4 tank to get to and from Manila. And that is only if there is no traffic, we don’t take a wrong turn somewhere or miss a turn-off. We only had ¼ tank of gas. Heavenly Father would understand if we put gas in the car this one time on Sunday. That wasn’t the answer. We had to go into a part of Manila that we did not know and this good sister in her limited English had only been to the hospital in a Jeepney the night before. Heavenly Father showed us a tender mercy and taught us a wonderful lesson. There was very little traffic on the road and typically the traffic on Sunday evenings going into Manila is difficult since people are returning from the Provinces. We drove directly to the hospital without making any unnecessary turns or adventures. We were on His errand and He provided for us. We got home last night and the gas gauge showed just under ¼ tank. That may seem like a little thing or just a coincidence but we know better. We have had many similar little things show us that this is His work and He is watching out for us. We have been very blessed.
This evening we have our monthly Family Home Evening with the Zone at our house. We have 2 additional Elders now in the Zone and we will likely have Br Jun and the Branch Mission leader from the Carmona Branch. That will be 16 people in our little apartment! Let the fun begin. :) These missionaries are wonderful and we are blessed to have them in our little home. The Zone had 6 baptisms last Saturday – they should be on target for 20 this month. We also have our 6 week interview tomorrow with President Howard. It is always good to be with him.
We have been blessed in our work. We hope and pray that each of you are healthy and happy and are enjoying life. Count your blessings each day. We drove by a factory that had some hiring notices on the entrance gate. I was interested in one particular sign. They needed an electrical engineer but the qualification was that they could not be over 35 years old. In the States 35 years old is when an electrical engineer is valuable because of his or her experience. Thirty-five in the Philippines is too old – there are many workers without a job here partly because they can hire someone out of school for a lot less money.
Thank you all for your love and prayers. We couldn’t be here without your support. Please take good care of yourselves. We love all of you and miss you so much. As always: BE good, DO good and BE men and women of Christ. Oh – and always remember to say your prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant