July 27, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
It is Wednesday morning in the Philippines. We have gone from intense heat over the past 4 days to intense rain. It began raining on Monday evening and has rained continuously until this morning. Word is that there is another major storm heading our way. Right now, the sky is still overcast and there is a little sprinkle but the humidity is 100%. This country is so diverse in so many ways. It is beautiful and intense.
President Stucki asked that the senior couples attend the Saturday leadership meetings for the Naic District Conference last Saturday. After the meetings President Stucki had numerous interviews to conduct before we all went out to have some dinner. After his interviews, President asked if he could speak to us. He asked us to accept an assignment to live in Naic. We will be moving this week since Elder and Sister Peterson will be leaving for Palawan on Monday. We leave this area with mixed emotions. The San Gabriel Area has been very good to us. We have begun to see some fruits of our labor and so it is sad to leave the members here. We look forward to the challenges and the opportunities that await us in Naic.
We have had some great meetings with members this past week. The Lord is blessing our area and is touching the hearts of many of the less active saints. They are starting to come back to church and there is an excitement in the air. We feel that there is something big that will happen here in the near future in the church. We met with a less active family last Wednesday evening. We shared some thoughts about the church and then extended an invitation for them to read from the Book of Mormon every day and to have family prayer. They were very receptive and we shared with them 2 Nephi 33:4 – how the Book of Mormon will persuade them to “do good” and to “believe in Christ.” It was a good meeting and the spirit was strong. Early Thursday morning we received a text message from the father and he thanked us for coming to visit them. We have another appointment with them this week.
This is also transfer week for the mission. We are losing a missionary from each of the 6 companionships in our Zone this transfer along with us being transferred. So, the Zone will have a completely different look this time. Yesterday, we were able to go to the Manila Temple with those missionaries that are going home. This is always a real treat for us and we enjoy being in the Temple with our missionaries. We also had dinner and testimony meeting that evening in the recently remodeled Mission Home. The Mission Home is beautiful.
Friday we took a ‘day off’ with the senior couples and went to Tagaytay to see the Taal Volcano. Elder and Sister Swenson had never been to this area and they will be leaving in about two months to return home. So, we decided to take part of the day to see part of this beautiful country. The locals say that the Taal volcano was the most perfectly symmetrically formed volcano until the last eruption. In the last eruption, one side of the volcano was deformed. It’s still beautiful and it sits in the middle of a fresh water lake. However, Friday was overcast and we didn’t have a clear view of the volcano. It was still fun and beautiful. We sat at one of the little picnic tables and just talked about things. We enjoy being with the other couples. For lunch we decided to go to a local hotel for their lunch buffet. We made a wonderful choice because we found out that the hotel had a floor show of professional dances that performed native Philippine dances for the tourists. They were fantastic and provided a marvelous program. It was a great day. On the way home we stopped at a little fruit stand and bought some pineapples – they are the soooo sweet.
We have been busy and have taught more lessons this week than we have since we have been here. It is so good to teach and testify of the truths of the gospel. It just doesn’t get any better than this. We love the work and we love the gospel. It is true. Thanks so much for your love, support and prayers. We love you all and miss you all very much. Hope that you are all well and that you are healthy and happy. As of July 23 we have just 1 year remaining here in the Philippines. The time is going by very quickly. Remember to 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