March 6, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
When we saw this comic it just said Philippines and bugs to us. Most of the time we never know what is crawling on us and the thought just makes you want to scratch all over. Last night as we were reading scriptures we found that we had numerous little friends all around us so we searched for their entry. We found it and then sprayed the ‘heck’ out of them. Great plan till we realized that we were in the bedroom and so going to sleep was quite difficult. After saying prayers and coughing through most of the prayer, we both hoped that we would see each other again in the morning. Good news, the bugs are gone and we are still here! We know that the Lord will protect us but we sometimes wonder who will protect us from ourselves. We will look back on this and just laugh for a long time.
Greetings once again from Greenwood Heights in Dasmarinas, Philippines. We are doing well and enjoying the work. As we look back on this week it has been just one of those ordinary weeks. One of the blessings we had this week was to visit a recent convert and begin to help her with her Family History. This was a good experience for both of us. We were fortunate to have the full-time missionaries with us to help us with the translation part. We will go back again this week to see how she is doing. One of the problems that we encounter is that many Filipinos don’t know their father and even fewer know their grandparents because the life expectancy is not as long as in the United States. Many die in their 50’s while their children are still young so when the children grow up they have very little recollection of their parents and grandparents. It is a sweet experience as they first begin because they often say they don’t know anything and then as they continue they begin to remember ‘little’ things and we can see them catch the spirit of the work. There is so much more to do here. A funny thing happened while we were at this member’s house. Mom was sitting at the table with the member and one of the missionaries was leaning over watching them write down the information. Something dropped from the ceiling and landed on mom’s hand. She quickly shook it off and one of the Elders saw her do this. He asked her if she knew what it was – it was gecko poop! So mom can now say that while she was in the mission field she had to endure all kinds of crap! We had a good laugh about this one.
We have a Family History training session on Saturday March 26 for the Branch Presidents and Branch Family History Consultants. We will be working with another couple from the Family History Center in Manila. We hope this will help to kick-start the Family History work in the District. Our branch is doing well. We are focusing our efforts even more now on finding the lost ones and helping them return to the fold. The retention rate is really pretty good here but there are still those who sometimes fall through the crack. These people face a whole different set of challenges with their activity than we do. Many are far enough away that they can’t afford the trike fare to and from church – sometimes the decision is do I buy rice for this week or use that money for the travel cost to church. We have found however that the situation may be different but the problem is the same no matter where they are – can we trust in His promises. That is a difficult thing to teach them. We encourage them to trust in the Lord and we pray that they will do what is best for themselves and their family. They are a remarkable people.
We thank all of you for your love, support and prayers. We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for your letters. We hope that you are all doing well are healthy. We understand that the ‘flu’ bug has hit almost everyone now – we do hope that you are getting better and felling well. Happy Birthday again to Grandma Zelma. We love you. As always, BE good, DO good and be men and women of Christ – and always remember to say your prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant