Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 38

June 13, 2011
What a wonderful land this is. We never cease to be amazed at the wonders and beauty of this island nation. It seems that almost everything is intense, the heat, the storms, the traffic and driving and the zeal for the gospel. We have had some pretty intense storms lately that have dropped a lot of rain on us. The temperature drop was very nice but the amount of rain was incredible. As we were coming home late one evening this past week we had some fun experiences playing the computer game ‘Frogger’ in real life. We must have seen over 50 frogs in the road (some with a death wish) jumping in all directions and catching many, many flying bugs. It was fun to watch and experience this ‘game’. From our calculations we made it safely back home with only one casualty and there was absolutely no way to miss that mutant frog (man, he was big).

  The days and weeks are beginning to melt together and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish when or what day we did what. As we reflect back on the week we think of experiences we have had but then find that it happened the week before. That’s a good sign – right? We’re not losing our minds quite yet? But we have had some wonderful experiences with the members. We continue to distribute Triple combinations and copies of the Liahona and challenging them to read every day from the Book of Mormon. Many reassure us that they have testimonies of the gospel and they know it is true but they don’t come to church. Little by little we will get them back. In many cases we find that they don’t attend church because it is too far for them to walk and they don’t have the money to pay for a trike or jeepney. We just don’t have a clue how poor they really are. We have been blessed because the past 2 weeks we have had 104 members at Sacrament Meeting.
We are starting to understand a little more of the Tagalog language but it is still very difficult when they speak so fast and have little dialect variations. We often get frustrated but we smile and try to talk back in Tagalog to them. Thank goodness they throw in some English words every now and again so we can make some sense of what they are saying. They are so kind to us. After a couple of really good visits on Friday, we went to one home and the member wasn’t at home. We had the thought to visit the Cagas family just to see how they were doing. Their little baby had a respiratory infection and was having great difficulty in breathing so we asked if we could take them to the hospital. We felt that we were prompted to visit them that evening.
Our Zone had 5 baptisms on Saturday. One was a young single adult sister that did the choreography for the District Jubilee Celebration. At the baptismal service she stood and shared her testimony. It was very touching as she described how the youth and young single adults had affected her life for good. They were all good examples of Christian behavior. She never knew she could be this happy.
Last November, I had been asked by some of our missionaries to visit a family and explain about family history. Both the mother and father had had dreams where their ancestors had appeared to them and were asking them for help. One of the ancestors specifically told them to find the Mormon missionaries. I was able to teach them about the spirit world and why we do family history work. They were excited and they began to be baptized. Mom was first along with the youngest daughter. The oldest daughter was next. Last Saturday the last 2 girls were baptized. The father is the only one left. He knows that it is true but won’t give up smoking yet  
The other two baptisms were the younger brother and sister of Sister Cagas (their last name is Morgan). They are such good kids and have strong testimonies of the gospel.

This next week will be busy. We have transfer week upon us again. We will probably have a big shake-up in the zone since we have had some elders assigned here for a long time. It will be interesting to see where the Lord will send them. There is some anxiety associated with this transfer because on July 1st we will lose one zone to the new Quezon City Mission. Everyone is wondering if they will be transferred to that zone and will end up in the new mission. We are excited also because we would like to know if we are going to Palawan or not. We still won’t know until mid July when our new mission president will make that decision.
One morning last week as we were studying at the kitchen table, a large SUV drove up and abruptly stopped in the middle of the road. Two people jumped out of the car and came to our door. As I was talking with the 2 people, the SUV turned around and parked in front of our home and the other 2 men came to the door. They were serving a foreclosure notice on our house. They asked me if I was the person listed on the letter (good thing I had my name tag on) but I told them I wasn’t him. They asked me where they could find him. I assured them that we were renting this house and I had no clue who this person was. The name listed on the letter wasn’t the name of our landlord. They were quite forceful but I told them I had no idea who he was. They told me that I needed to sign for the foreclosure notice but I insisted that I was not going to sign for anything unless I could read what was in the letter. They said OK, so I read the letter.  After I read the letter I told them that this was very serious and they needed to give the letter to the actual person. They insisted that I sign for the letter and give it to our landlord. I showed them proof that the landlord was not the person on the letter and told them they could give it to our landlord. I told them where she worked but they wouldn’t go there. Well, I signed or the letter and took it to our landlord. She said that the letter was not for her.  Who knows? Maybe we will be out of the house before the decision is made to go to Palawan. So, I guess that the decision to buy that little retirement house and Jhon and Cris Store is out of the question now. We will have to look for some other retirement idea.
We love you all. We hope that everyone is having a fun school break. We are healthy and well. We are surviving the heat and humidity. We truly hope that we are doing some good over here.. We love you and pray for you always. Please take care of yourselves and remember to BE good, DO good, and be a man or woman of Christ. And ALWAYS remember to say your prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant

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