This has been another great week in the Philippines. There is a lot happening and we are excited to see the work rolling forth. The weather has cooled down again (it probably heard me whimpering) and the nights are delightful. Everything is beginning to ‘green up’ and grow again so summer can’t be far behind now. Sister Lasaca said that it would get warm starting in February. I asked her which month was the hottest and she said: “March, April, May June …” I think I’m going to melt into a little puddle.
We had our monthly Family Home Evening on Monday evening. There was a record 17 people in our little apartment. I think we all had a good time and enjoyed a lot of food. We decided to play Pictionary using words from the scriptures. It was fun and the missionaries were very good at guessing. Our Elder Bugtai (Boog tie) was the hit of the night. He has Cerebral Palsy and his fine motor skills are not as refined as some of the missionaries. This did not stop him. He drew ‘John the Baptist’ from the pool of objects to draw. He got everyone excited as he drew and the finished picture looked like a scribble page. The missionaries were guessing all kinds of things and then one said, “I have no idea what that is.” Another one said, “It’s probably John the Baptist.” The whole room went crazy. We love Elder Bugtai. After a message about listening to the Spirit I packed most of them in the car and took them to the Jeepney station. We have come to love the Family Home Evenings with our missionaries.
We made an unexpected but pleasant trip to Manila Hospital this week. The little baby that we had blessed last Sunday was able to come home from the hospital. The doctors said she would be in the hospital for 7 to 10 days. The blessing brought that stay down to 4 ½ days. There was an additional blessing realized because the shorter stay meant a smaller hospital bill for the family. We were able to take her mother to Manila to get her baby. It’s these little things that bring us reassurance the Heavenly Father is near.Sunday morning we attended the Carmona Branch. Eight months ago they had an average attendance of 40 at Sacrament meeting. This little branch has caught the spirit and they now average 160 at Sacrament meeting. The missionaries are doing a wonderful work with the members and Br Jun is also teaching Gospel Essentials and Elders Quorum. I have always believed (and now I am convinced that its true) that if you just teach the basic principles of the gospel with the spirit in all of the meetings the Lord will take care of the rest. He has brought people to church.
While sitting in the combined Priesthood and Relief Society meeting in the Carmona Branch Brother Jun passed me a note. The note said: Elder Morgan will give a talk on the third Sunday in February. Topic: Missionary work. There was no indication whom it came from. I thought Br Jun was playing a joke on me. I read the note and looked at him and said, “Talaga (really)” He said, “Talaga”. I again said “Talaga” and he said, “Talaga”. I still didn’t believe him. After the meeting the Branch Mission leader came up to me and asked if I received his note. So, I guess that I will be speaking in Sacrament meeting on the third Sunday. I’ll try to do it in some form of Tagalog. :)
We are doing well. We are busy but I’m sure there is much more that we could be doing. The Lord will give us those opportunities as we are ready. We love you all. Thank you again for your love and prayers. We miss you and pray for each of you every day. We were so excited to see the pictures of Noah’s first Cub Scout Pack Meeting. Oh, that brings back so many fun memories. Wish that we could be there for his baptism. Adam, Ari and Sarah – thank you for your letters. We love to read them. Please take care of yourself and write if you get the opportunity.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant