|Elder Young, Dad, Elder Palmer|
September 13, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Another week has gone by. We are staying busy. The fun and excitement never ends! We had a Zone Family Home afternoon yesterday that turned out to be a great experience. This is the first family home evening for the Naic Zone. We told our missionaries that we didn’t have time to celebrate Labor Day last week so after our District Meeting everyone came to our apartment and we grilled hot dogs. Mom made some really good potato salad (I couldn’t believe how fast the salad went) and we had chips, root beer, fruit salad and whatever else we could find. I think they all enjoyed it. They just stay at our house for quite a while playing chess, card games and talking. We have some very good missionaries.
We decided that all of the senior couples along with President and Sister Stucki should visit the Tagaytay volcano once more before Elder and Sister Swenson leave, so we were off to Tagaytay again on Saturday. This is such a beautiful place and on Saturday morning the weather was horrible. When we arrived at the Taal Hotel where we ate, one couldn’t see across the parking lot because of the rain and fog. We were starting to feel disappointed because President and Sister Stucki had never seen the volcano and the weather wasn’t going to cooperate with us today.
Well, we had lunch and watched the native dances and then the weather cleared and we had the best view ever of the volcano.
I think the highlight of the day was the Philippine singers that came to our table to sing old western songs (there was just something that didn’t seem right). It was delightful.
I was able to convince Elder Swenson to sing with them long enough so we could get a picture. Of course, we talked to them about the church after.
|Swensons, Spencers, Stuckis, Morgans|
Our Temple Preparation class continues to go well. We love to teach about the blessings of the temple and the blessing of making and keeping covenants. We are excited for this branch. The people are so good to us and we love them. We have become a part of this branch very quickly. We had the opportunity of going with the missionaries this week to visit members and investigators. It was a good experience. Sometimes it seems that I can understand what they are saying to me and then other times it seems as if I have never heard this language before – and this all happens in one day! One day it will just happen – I keep looking forward to that day.
We are continually amazed at the resourcefulness of the Philippine people. This area seems to be a poorer area according to money but they seem to be better off than those in our last area. It’s difficult to explain but the houses are much nicer and not stacked on each other and the pace of life seems to be slower. Naic is a farming community and there is a sense of living off the land. Many don’t seem to need the money for day-to-day survival – they live off the land. Money becomes a bigger factor to them when illness strikes and they don’t have money for doctors and hospitals. Many go without the medical care. It is a very humbling experience and an exercise in faith for us as we watch them live. The gospel makes them happy. Our branch president had a son that was ill and had to be seen by a specialist in Dasmariñas. They didn’t have the money to travel to the doctor so we helped them. They went to the physician on Monday morning but were told that he couldn’t see the child until Friday. The father felt that they had done everything they could do so he gave his son a blessing that he would be ok until the doctor could see him – and he was ok! Their faith is truly amazing.
Just some thoughts about resourcefulness - Getting used to the sheep, goats and cows is another story. We seem to have ‘little, messy surprises’ in front of our gate every day after the cows have spent the night in front of our apartment. We have come to the point that we are not surprised at what we find driving on the roads. We took a picture of a car that has no tail lights and no license plate. Those vehicles are really fun when you are driving at night on these small, very dark 2 lane roads. My biggest fear is that I will hit someone because I can’t see them or they have no lights to tell me they are on the road. The roads in Naic are under a lot of construction. It looks like they have found a use for old tires (at least the ones the jeepneys don’t use for spare tires). They paint them orange and white and then use them as construction warning devices. Pretty resourceful, but we found that they are not reflective at night but they do bounce off the vehicles pretty good.
And finally, we found a house that has used 8 different colors/styles of tile to construct his house. It has to be the most awful looking thing we have seen. It almost hurts the eyes to look at it. They make use of everything.
We are enjoying the opportunity to study the gospel more. We love to read the Book of Mormon. We have read the Book of Mormon together many times since we have begun our mission. We hope to complete it one more time before the end of this year – our goal is to read it together 4 times each year. It is a remarkable book. We continue to be well. We are healthy and happy and still wet - but we love it. We hope that you are all well and that you are healthy and happy. Hope that everyone is enjoying school and doing well. Thank you again for your love and prayers. We love you and continue to pray for your success and well-being. Keep working hard. Please write when you find the time.
Remember to BE good, DO good, and BE men and women of Christ. And as always, ALWAYS remember to say your prayers.
Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant