Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 39

June 22, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
One day it started to rain . . . and it has rained every day since. The temperatures have moderated to the mid 80’s but the rain has made everything so humid. It’s certainly great for the dry skin! We have had some new experiences lately with the start of the rainy season. We already wrote about the frogs but last Saturday morning we came downstairs and found a number of earthworms on the kitchen floor. We decided that they were trying to find some dry ground but got stuck in the house. We have had worms on our floor now a couple of times since then. That took some ‘getting used to’ but then Monday the flies came. They are everywhere! We told one of the members that we felt that maybe we were back in the days of Moses and the plagues in Egypt. She laughed and said that we should place a large bowl of water on the counter near a light and the flies would come and drown themselves in the bowl water. We had never heard that one and besides we didn’t have the patience so we brought out the bug spray and the fly swatters. We have them under control now.  We just laugh at each other and think what could be next?
We are doing well. We have had some great experiences this past week and are looking forward to the next few weeks. So far we have not been forced to move from our little home. We are trying to stay dry. We are healthy and happy (although the humidity is physically draining – something that we didn’t really expect).
Tuesday we went to Manila to the Temple with the missionaries that have completed their missions and were going home. There were 13 this time but President Howard asked the July batch to come along since he won’t be here in July to see them off. After the Temple we went back to the Chapel and had dinner and a testimony meeting. It was a good day.  We enjoy being with these missionaries and to see their excitement and shock about going home.
 We will receive 34 new missionaries in July. The new Mission President will be able to open some new areas with the addition of these missionaries.
Our Zone went through another transfer day – we have 6 missionaries that were transferred into the Zone. There a lot of new faces to become acquainted with. The work goes on here. Monday evening we were visiting with a member and as we were visiting with her one of the city (barangay) councilors came to visit. He was very nice and was asking questions about the church. He was very complimentary of the church and the service that the church has provided to the community. We were able to tell him the story of Joseph Smith. He was very interested and wants us to come and visit him. The member said she would be happy to go with us. It felt so good to teach an investigator again since most of our time is spent with member reactivation.  We ventured out on our own to visit one day this past week (we usually try to take a member with us when we visit for translation purposes). We have a recent convert that wasn’t in Church last Sunday and we wanted to make sure that she knew we were having District Conference this Sunday. We didn’t want her to spend the money on a trike ride to the church only to find out that there were no regular meetings on Sunday. She is so kind. Her husband doesn’t want anything to do with the church so he usually leaves when we visit. We told her about church (she understood our Tagalog) J and then she wanted to talk. We had a good discussion about the scriptures and challenged her to read every day. We were amazed that she really did understand us! 
We attended the District Conference leadership meetings on Saturday afternoon. It was nice to have all of the Senior Couples attend these meetings also. In the adult session, President Howard called on Mom to come up and talk about some things we did in our family that helped us endure to the end. She did a great job.
The meetings were good and then all of the Senior Couples went to King Bee, a Chinese restaurant, located in the city of General Trias. The great thing about this – Sister Howard came to the dinner. It was so good to see her. We really didn’t think that we would be able to see Sister Howard again before she and President Howard will be released. She is doing well. We all had a good time. Sunday morning both of us spoke in the General Session of the District Conference. We only had a total of 10 minutes between the both of us but we did it. Everyone was very kind giving us many ‘thank yous’ for our talks (we had 10 minutes to talk about the importance of Family History).
After the Sunday conference we had a wonderful experience at the re-baptism of a member. It was very touching. He has waited seven years to return to full fellowship into the church. He hugged the person that performed the baptism and he cried for what seemed to be forever. After the service, I hugged him and told him how pleased we were that he was doing the right thing. We have visited them often. His wife is a wonderful sister and at our last visit she cried as she told us of the troubles they have had without the gospel in their lives. She shared with us her testimony and the spirit was very strong. This was a wonderful experience for us.   We confirmed him last night, Tuesday evening, in his home. Just after the confirmation it started to rain hard. Their roof leaks but they just brought out the buckets like this was a regular occurrence (with all of this rain it probably is a regular thing for most homes).  That was also a very humbling experience. We met in his home to perform a priesthood ordinance and it didn’t matter what was going on outside in the storms of life. This was the most important thing.
It was so good to talk to all of you Father’s Day. We hope that you all had a great day. Thank you so much for your letters and your love and support. We love you all so very much and miss you. Some days are harder than others. When we see the pictures of the kids on the blog we just love to go back to see them over and over again. They are getting so big and growing up so fast. We are doing well. Hope that you are healthy and happy. 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