March 23, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has just flown by. Today is transfer day. We have had some major changes to our Zone. We have only 3 foreign missionaries in our Zone now (the Americans are the foreigners). It is great to see how the Philippine missionaries are so willing to serve and they are excellent missionaries. Yesterday we were able to attend the Temple with the missionaries that have completed their missions. This is always such a spiritual session in the temple. We are very blessed to have this opportunity.We decided that after 7 months in the mission, we would take the opportunity to attend the orientation for new missionaries. We were blessed to be with 5 brand new missionaries (2 Filipino and 3 American) for the day as we were oriented – now I know what not to do in the Philippines.(Maybe like, not eating mutant pineapples??....) The spirit was strong and we enjoyed the opportunity to meet these new elders. Our Branch had a Temple trip planned this week. We woke very early to make sure that we would be at the assembly point (the 7-11) on time. We figured that we missed them and so we took off for the Manila Temple.Turns out that they decided to cancel the trip the night before and we were not informed.
We felt bad because we had visited with the family that had just been recently endowed and they were so excited for the temple trip. Had we have known earlier, we would have just taken them with us. We told the family on Sunday that we would set another time and take them to the temple. They are so excited about the temple and want to do some of the temple work for their ancestors. (To the right: flowering bushes in front of the temple)We were blessed on Saturday to have conducted the Family History Training for the District. We only had about 20 people in attendance, but it was a good meeting. We really hope that this will be a stepping stone for the members to get started on their family history. The Area Presidency is asking that the stakes and districts in the Philippines provide the names to keep the Temples busy here. Our District President has a great idea for next month’s Youth Conference. They are going to have computers set up in the cultural hall and the kids will register for Youth Conference and also for Family Search at the same time. He feels strongly that the parents may not know how to use the computer but the kids do and they can do their Family History by helping each other. This will be fun. We couldn’t believe that they can run a 3-day youth conference on $2 per person. That’s amazing.
We continue to work with member retention and reactivation. We love the time we have to study together. We have started reading the Book of Mormon together in Tagalog. It’s a slow process but it is fun. We have come to love and cherish the Preach My Gospel Manual. This is such a wonderful book. We have become part of the Branch PEC and Branch Council and are trying to get the missionaries to work more with the part-member families. We believe there is a small spark that has started in the Branch that hopefully will grow into a warm, cheery fire. There is so much to do and it is difficult to not do everything for them. We encourage and love and remind them. They are such a sweet people.
We hope that you are all doing well. We pray that you are healthy and happy. We pray for each of you every day and know that the Lord will take good care of you. This is a great work. We hear that the kids are doing well in school. We hope that they will always love and enjoy learning. We love each of you. Thank you again for your love, support and prayers. Remember to BE good, DO good and BE a man or woman of Christ. And, ALWAYS remember to say you prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant