Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 64

December 4, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

            We survived the transfer week! There were a lot of transfers (54) this cycle making for a lot of changes to our paperwork here in the office. We also received 9 new missionaries (6 from the Provo MTC and 3 from the Manila MTC). They will be a good addition to the mission.

In conjunction with the transfer day, President Stucki wanted to train all of the missionaries concerning the items he received at the Mission President’s Seminar, so we had a mission conference along with the transfer day activities. Whew! What busy time. We have received direction from the Area Presidency to have all the missionaries work on retention and reactivation. As we have said before, we seem to retain the new converts for about 6 months, then after that time period, the retention rate dips very low. So, all of us are now on a ‘rescue mission’. I think that baptisms will decrease slightly but will remain constant because the less active and part member families will provide many opportunities to teach investigators. This is exciting. 

The week has been busy but satisfying. Saturday, we had an Area Training meeting from 8 am until 3 pm. A member of the Area Presidency and an Area 70’s attended. It was a good training meeting. President Stucki asked me to attend the training for the Clerks and Executive Secretaries. Since I am in the office now, I am also the Executive Secretary for the Mission. The training reinforced the direction given to the Mission Presidents concerning activation and retention. There is so much to do. I can’t help but think that this concern is not just for the Philippines but is a worldwide concern. Later that evening, President and Sister Vicencio took all of the senior couples out to a very authentic Japanese restaurant as his Christmas present to us. We all had a great time. 

Our new office couple began their training this week at the Provo MTC. It was reassuring to receive the e mail telling us that they were in the MTC. They are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday evening Dec 13th. We also have the Mission Christmas party coming up on that Thursday Dec 15th. It appears that we won’t begin training until Friday. We will just make several additional ‘mail runs’ to get them accustomed to driving in the ‘city’ and so they can get their directions firmly seated in their minds.  Mom and I have introduced all of the current senior couples in the mission to the Philippines. We hope we did it right! That is a scary thought. We have left a mark on this mission hopefully for the good.  We are looking forward to the arrival of our new senior couple.
President & Sister Peterson

Elder & Sister Spencer
Elder & Sister Forinash

I was able to teach the Gospel Essentials Class again in Sunday School on Sunday. The missionaries have 2 investigators that speak English so with the help of chalkboard illustrations and a few Tagalog words I can make myself understood. After I taught last week’s lesson I asked the Elders what they would like me to teach this week – without hesitation, they said “baptism”. So we talked about promises and covenants and then receiving covenants through ordinances. As we began the lesson, one of the investigators ‘tightened up’ when we mentioned baptism. I guess the missionaries had already talked to him about being baptized. His younger sister is going to be baptized on Saturday December 10th but he hasn’t committed yet. As we talked, it was so fun to feel the spirit work on him. You could see a physical change in his countenance and then see him relax as he read and answered questions. He is really a good young man. It is fun to teach and have the both of them respond so well to the questions and the promptings of the spirit. Next lesson will be about the Holy Ghost.

 We love to see the influence that the spirit has on the members and investigators. Three weeks ago a young man (Brother Santos, he is 25) was baptized. The first week after his baptism he was dressed in shorts and a tee shirt for church. Last week he wore a white shirt and jeans. Today he was dressed in a white shirt and slacks and carried a shoulder bag like the full-time missionaries. I watched him in Priesthood meeting as we looked up scriptures during the lesson. He had his scriptures opened and he was marking the scriptures that we read. What a difference ‘having a vision’ of who, where and why can make in people’s lives. We love the gospel and it is so wonderful to be a part of this great work. 

Next week is our District Conference and we have the Area President, Elder Teh as a visiting authority. We are excited to attend conference. Well, that is the good news this week. It is difficult to write about something different since the daily routine of the office is ‘routine’. 
Elder Stirland & Elder Misa

We hope that you are all healthy and happy. Time seems to be going by so quickly. Thank you again for your love and prayers. We are grateful for each of you and can feel of your strength. We are so blessed. 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

Week 63

November 27, 2011

Dear Family and Friends, 

We hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year’s celebration was much different than last year. Last year we had a wonderful feast at the mission home the week before Thanksgiving but I remember writing in my journal that Mom and I celebrated a very quiet Thanksgiving Day by ourselves. After our appointments we came back home and had Hot Pockets for dinner (and they weren’t even turkey). This year, Sister Stucki, with the help of the Senior couples had Thanksgiving Dinner on Thanksgiving day. It was very nice. The food was good (although it is still difficult to have purple sweet potatoes) and the friendship was better. We love President and Sister Stucki.

Last Saturday evening Sister Stucki called and asked if they could take us to dinner for my birthday. We went to the Texas Roadhouse and had a very quiet time. It was nice. Sunday we had a very quiet birthday and I didn’t tell anyone about my birthday. Elder and Sister Spencer asked if we could come to their apartment after our church meetings for dinner so we had a quiet dinner of Tacos and corn on the cob. At church one of the Cagas family came and told us that yesterday (Saturday November 19th) was Precious’ birthday. We were excited to hear about her birthday and then mom said that it was my birthday today. Well, we almost kept it quiet. 

Monday morning, Elder and Sister Forinash (they replaced us in Naic) called and said that they were going to be in Manila on Monday and wanted to do lunch. Elder Forinash served in the military and was stationed here in Manila. He wanted to come to the American War Memorial Cemetery on Veteran’s Day but was not able to come, so he asked if we could take them over to the cemetery. We spent a good part of the morning in the cemetery. It was nice to be there again and remember those who had given their lives for our freedom. That is a very sacred place and touches my heart every time I walk those grounds. It made Thanksgiving even more meaningful.   

We had a very nice Friday ‘date night’. President and Sister Stucki invited us to a concert at the Community Center where they live. The concert was presented by the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. It was a great concert. The conductor wanted to introduce the people to some of the unusual instruments in the orchestra. He played a French Horn solo that was beautiful. He also told us that the French Horn is one of the most difficult instruments to play and to master. Later he had a young woman play an oboe solo. It was also beautiful. This brought back so many memories of school concerts.  He then told the audience that the oboe was the most difficult instrument to play. So I must apologize to both Kim and Chris for teasing them about the instruments they played in school. They chose the most difficult instruments to play. The conductor also had a 10 yr old boy play a xylophone solo and he was brilliant. It was so fun to watch his concentration. He was perfect in his solo and delighted the entire audience. It was a fun night and provided a night that was ‘different’ than all of our usual nights. Who would have thought we would be able to listen to the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra while here. We have been very blessed.

Transfer week is upon us. The fun and merriment will begin early tomorrow (Monday) morning. We are excited to go to the Temple on Tuesday. This will be our last transfer in the office. We should be leaving the office just before Christmas, but we don’t know for certain (Sister Stucki wants us to spend Christmas here) – so we may have just another three weeks left before we go to the island. We are excited to work with the people again and to teach the gospel. We need to concentrate on reactivation and strengthening priesthood brethren and families in the short time we will be there. I’m still struggling with the language but I know that one day it will come. I can read and translate just fine. But I just can’t seem to get the words out of my mouth. I’m still praying for the gift of tongues. The new office couple should arrive late night on December 13. We will probably start training them later that week after they rest from the jet lag and recuperate from the driver’s license process. By the end of that next week we could be leaving. We are fortunate that there will be a partial transfer on Dec 17 because we have 7 missionaries that will be going home before Christmas in order for them to start school in January. This will give the new couple a feel for what happens during a transfer. It is another one of those tender mercies we have come to appreciate and rely upon.

We enjoy the mission field. We enjoy working with the Assistant’s, the Office Elders and President and Sister Stucki. The Sister Missionaries in Manila asked us to speak at a missionary fireside on Dec 11th. That should be fun and exciting. We have been very blessed. We are looking forward to doing some Christmas ‘drops’ in the Branch just before we leave. That is always so much fun. We love each of you and hope that everyone is doing well. Thank you again for your prayers and your support. We couldn’t do this without you. We are excited to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas next year with all of you. What a wonderful time of the year. Congratulations Noah on the musical!

Well, as always, BE good, DO good, and BE men and women of Christ. And always remember to say your prayers. Group hug! We love you.


Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Week 62

November 21, 2011

Dear Family and Friends, 

Sarah Morga
Happy Birthday to Sarah!
We love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday. 

Once again this week has slipped by so very quickly. We continue to keep busy here in the office and we enjoy the opportunity to learn new things and associate with President and Sister Stucki, the Assistants and the Office Elders. We are very fortunate to be able to work with them. 

The week seemed to go so quickly because there was something new each day. Our Bulihan Branch Primary Program went very well. They only had the senior Primary children participate and they did a wonderful job. They sang lots and lots of songs – we really don’t have a pianist in primary so they sing along with the recorded tapes or CDs. The children did really well and they stayed up with the recording. Our pianist for the Branch taught himself to play the piano. He plays ok but sometimes very slow.  He is in the process of completing his missionary application so he will leave in the next 3 to 6 months. Don’t know what we will do in the Branch for a pianist (of course we will pray really hard for someone to move in or for the missionaries to find a pianist but we know that the Lord will provide).

We did provide the ‘treat’ for the primary kids after the program. We struggle sometimes because the guidelines say that treats should not be given in Primary – but the kids are hungry and go without food more often than we want to think about. Our Branch is quite poor (money wise). From our count there are only 4 families that have adequate employment that they can meet their day-to-day needs. It breaks our hearts. We assist as much as we can and hope that is enough. They are such good people. I was blessed on Sunday to teach the Gospel Essentials Class because they didn’t have a teacher. I volunteered and we hope that it went ok. I decided that I will prepare a lesson each week just in case I have the opportunity to teach again. 

President and Sister Stucki were gone most of the week to a Mission President’s Seminar. We always pray that while he is gone that everything will be quiet and that the missionaries will behave themselves. Well, we had an emergency transfer on Tuesday morning. OK – we got through that one. No problem. Then we received an e-mail from the Senior Couple in Palawan. There is a young man that had received his mission call to serve in Australia and would need to come to Manila on Tuesday to go through the Temple, get his suit, white shirts etc and then leave for the MTC in New Zealand on Thursday. No problem. We could take care of that on Wednesday. He arrived on Tuesday at 11:30 and was scheduled to fly out Wednesday morning at 10:00am. Well, we picked him up at the Temple (the Assistant’s went to the Temple with him as his escorts because he had no family members here) at 7:00pm and then off to the Mall (which closed at 9:00pm). We experienced so many tender mercies that night. Here was a young man from the island - first airplane trip, first time in the Temple, first time in Manila and Manila traffic, first time in a mega-mall, and first time ever putting on a suit coat – what a whirlwind for him. Needless to say, we were in a rush to get everything for him in about 45 minutes. I laughed as I watched him try to put on a suit jacket. There were arms everywhere and it was a struggle. Then I realized that this was a completely new experience for him. My heart melted into a puddle and started to leak out of my eyes. We found the suit and he looked good. Oh, but we also needed to have the pants altered – at 10 minutes before 9 – there were 2 women at the sewing machines in the alteration room – they said that they would each take a pair of slacks and within 3 minutes – done! Off to the white shirts – we asked him what size he was – small of course – but the size small shirt he was wearing was way too small for him. So we tried the medium – way too big.  Well, we asked if there was another type of shirt – and this one was just right  - you should have seen the clerks face when I said we needed 7 long sleeved white shirts – Seven? Are you sure? I repeated it back in Tagalog, yes I need 7 shirts. Off she ran to the back room – they only had 6. That would just have to do. Well, we were the very last people to leave the store –we decked out that missionary in 45 minutes and made the clerk a good sales commission on top of it all. What a fun experience. As we drove back to the office late that night we talked about how this young man will bless his little branch when he gets back home in 2 years. He will have a testimony of the gospel and a great command of the English language (although with a funny accent) and will become a leader in the church on that island. The investment we made that night will bless him and many, many others. What tender mercies we have seen and how  fortunate we are to be here and be a little part of this work. 

We thought to ourselves, what else could happen this week? We didn’t dare say it out loud because then we knew it would happen. We were blessed to have relative quiet for the rest of the week. Just a few little things here and there. We have been blessed to be here.

Well, that is the most of our excitement here this week. We hope that each of you are doing well. We hope that you have a safe, fun and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. My mother would start weeks in advance to get everything ready for that one day. Then on Thanksgiving morning with everything cooking she would wait to have family come back home. She had done everything she could do. All the preparations were made. The anticipation on her face to see her family was worth everything. We didn’t have very much when I was a kid, but we did have the family. I feel that way now. We have been very blessed and the Lord has been very kind and patient with us. I can imagine in my mind that He has made all the preparations and is just waiting for all of us family to come back. 

Have a great Thanksgiving. We love you all so very much and we miss you. We wish that we could give you all a great big hug. Be happy and enjoy the time together and create memories. Remember to BE good, DO good, and BE men and women of Christ. And as always, remember to say your prayers.

Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant

Week 61

November 13, 2011

The Christmas music started many weeks ago but now the decorations are coming out in all their splendor. We are trying to get somewhat festive since everyone else seems to be getting into the Spirit, but it seems so difficult to be in the Christmas spirit when the temperature is 93 degrees and the wind is gently blowing the palm branches (and this is the cool season). 

We were delighted to go to one of the ‘real’ Philippine markets this past week. There are plenty of American malls over here but this was the first time we went to an authentic market type mall where one can bargain with the store owner and the prices are very, very reasonable. Sister Stucki wanted to get some less expensive decorations for the mission home. 

We asked Sister Briones about the area and she said that she would go with us as our ‘bodyguard’. Thursday morning Sister Stucki, Elder and Sister Spencer, Sister Briones, her mother and her brother came with us to shop at the Divisoria. We have never seen so many shops and retailers in one place and soooo many people. We were told that this isn’t as crowded as it usually is at Christmas time (thank goodness). The prices were very inexpensive and this is the ‘bargaining place’ over prices. We were delighted to see Sister Briones bargain with them for the best price. It reminded us of Chris in Brazil with our hammock deals.
I’m not much of a shopper but I must admit that this was fun. We had to ‘dress down’ and couldn’t wear any watches or jewelry. We found some fun places and were able to experience the Philippine economy. It is still fun to see people walk by and stare at this big white guy. My biggest problem was getting hit in the head by the umbrellas as people would walk by. I am just the right height. It was a long day, but Sister Stucki found what she wanted and we had a fun and wonderful adventure. We love this country. 

I was able to go to the American Embassy this week. One of the missionary apartments was robbed and one Elder had all of his identification (including his Social Security Card) stolen. His parents wanted him to go to the Embassy to report the theft so I took him and his companion to the Embassy. It was a new experience. It was such a busy place. There were probably 400 to 500 people there in the lines just for Visas. I guess, even with the all ‘bad’ things that America has done or is doing, people are still trying to get to America. Well, after a couple of hours at the Embassy, there wasn’t anything they could do for the Elder. He is going home in about 30 days, so they told him to just apply for a new Social Security Card when he got back to the States. 

That has been our excitement for the week. We are gearing up for another transfer for the last week of this month. The time continues to race by so quickly. We work about 4 transfers into the future to keep things moving well. Sometimes it gets confusing because we could be working on 2 different transfers but doing the same thing for each one – it just gets confusing sometimes.  

We enjoy the time that we can study. We are still slowly reading the Book of Mormon together in Tagalog. Some nights it is slower than we would like but it is exciting. We love our morning study and treasure those quiet whisperings that help one understand what one is reading or gives personal insight into ones life. This Gospel is so exciting and so comfortable. When Joseph Smith said that the gospel was delicious to him, I think I am beginning to understand what he meant by that statement. It is delicious. It is satisfying and I want more. 

We love you all. We miss you all so very much. It is hard to think of Christmas without you again. We hope that everyone is doing well. How is school going for everyone? How cold is it now? Is there a lot of snow again this year? What is everyone’s plan this year for Thanksgiving? We are doing well. We are healthy and happy. We are enjoying the work but also looking forward to being out with the people again soon. Remember to BE good, DO good, and BE men and women of Christ. And always remember to say your prayers.

Mom and Dad, Granma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant

Week 60

November 6, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Good evening from Manila. Again, it is difficult to believe that another week has passed. We are doing well and the office work is starting to make more and more sense. There just always seems to be something going on. We had the opportunity to attend a Sacrament Meeting in the San Gabriel Branch last Sunday and it just happened to be the Primary Program. The program was excellent and they included a lot of music. It was a fun meeting. It was so delightful to see all of the little Sunbeam children lined up on chairs in front of the row where the Branch President sits. They were forever standing up and sitting down – almost like they had springs on their chairs. It was quite funny and then it occurred to me that when they sat on their chairs all we could see was their little foreheads – they were so tiny that they couldn’t see over the wooden partition – so of course they had to stand up to see. The program brought tears to my eyes as they sang. They also had quite a few musical numbers that were duets and quartets with the children and the teachers. The people just love to sing. Our Branch Primary Program is this coming Sunday. We were asked to supply the treats for the children after their program. 
Elder Ardern
We have been busy this week with our Mission Tour.  Elder Ardern from the Seventy toured the mission this last week. We were able to be with him on Wednesday. The conference was great and Elder Ardern’s comments were wonderful. We had to bring the four Elders in from the island of Coron for the Manila Conference and they stayed overnight with us here in the office. They were happy to be on the mainland again and especially to eat at a ‘fast food’ place since Coron has no fast food establishments. It was a wild night with those 4 and our regular 4 elders in the office. Coron is a small island off the north coast of the island of Palawan. Last Sunday a branch was created there. Missionaries have been on the island for 3 months now. Their first sacrament meeting as a group had about 20 in attendance. Last Sunday they had 72 in attendance. There isn’t a regular chapel there so they meet in a makeshift building/meetinghouse. The Elders there are really excited about the work. 

We thought that you would enjoy these pictures. One of the Elders on Palawan shared these pictures with us of one of their baptisms. They are in a small group (not a branch yet) in TayTay. They don’t have a building yet so they meet under an open shelter outdoors. So there isn’t a ‘real font’ so they just find a suitable place with water. As you can see, there was a special visitor at this baptism.

We are looking forward to some of these adventures when we are assigned to Palawan. It should be fun and exciting.

Well, back to the mission tour. Elder Ardern spoke a great deal about the power of the Book of Mormon, obedience and also about the responsibility we have to keep or retain those new converts. The mission has a great retention rate up until 6 months after baptism then things begin to tumble after that. So we have a lot of work to do. Elder and Sister Ardern visited the mission office after the Manila Conference and it was nice to show them around the office and hear his words of encouragement and gratitude for senior couples. We are blessed to be here.

Durian fruit
Thursday afternoon we went to the Area Office to deliver some items to the Area Presidency and were asked to stop into the Manila MTC to pick up a package for one of our missionaries. We were happy to do this and as we were about ready to leave, the MTC receptionist came outside to find us. She said that there was more to the Elder’s package. She brought out this plastic ice cream container and it was filled with a fruit (Durian fruit). She said that we needed to keep this frozen otherwise it would stink really bad. I put it in the trunk and off we drove. Of course the temperature is still in the 80’s here and so it wasn’t too long until we understood what she meant. This awful smell began to fill the whole car. It brought tears to my eyes and made me cough and cough. It didn’t help to roll down the windows because the smell of the road exhaust and pollution just added to the stink. It also didn’t help to be driving on the EDSA (one of the main roads in Manila) which is always bumper to bumper traffic. What a fun experience. There are very few smells that I have smelled that would even come close to the smell of this fruit (thank goodness)! When we got back to the office, we texted the Elder and asked him to come and get his package as soon as possible. The Zone Leaders said that he couldn’t come and get the package until his preparation day. We told them what it was and the Elder showed up at the office about 2 hours later. I had to tease him about the smell. He said, “My home town is the only place where they grow this fruit. It is delicious and so good.” I said that you had to plug your nose when you eat it - right? “No sir, it is very good just like it is. My mother sent it to me to remind me of home.” Now we couldn’t deny him that! I wish that there was some smell that I could compare this to, but there just isn’t anything that would come close (not even a ‘muddy’ diaper). 

It was fun to see the pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes. What a fun time for all of you. Sounds like the ‘cousins’ party was a great success. We hope that everyone is healthy and happy. Hopefully you didn’t eat too much Halloween candy. We are well. The routine of the office is setting in and we are becoming accustomed to the work and the stress. They are still continuing the work on the new mission office building and we hope that it will be finished before year end. The new office couple should arrive on December 12th and we will begin the training and possible move to the new office. We were talking about going into our new area – it will be the fourth area where we will have to ‘start over’ again. So goes the work. We are so very blessed to be here in the Philippines. The mission has a goal to baptize 300 in December and all projections indicate that this goal will probably be exceeded. The work is going great. We are excited to get back out to teach and visit people. 

Thank you again for your prayers and support. We love you all. We miss you a lot. Please give everyone hugs for us. 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
 The qualities of the Durian! 
Durian is famous for its odor. The opinions about the qualities of that odor are quite opposite! Most Asian people say that the odor of the durian can be compared to a perfume. Other people, especially foreigners, say that the fruit, when the skin of the fruit is opened, stinks. "It smells like h- ll and tastes like heaven", is how some foreigners describe the fruit. Listening to foreigners, the conclusion can  be as follows: " can stand the taste of the durian fruit, but not the smell..."
Most airlines don’t  allow the durian fruit on board. In Singapore, the Asian country with the most rigid policy and rules concerning the care for the environment (in the Pacific and probably in the world!), the durian is forbidden on subway-stations and trains. One  historian declared: "To those who are used to it, at the first time the durian fruit seems to smell like rotten onions, but after they have tasted it, they prefer it to all other fruits."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 59

Saturday October 29, 2011

Dear Family and Friends,
 Things have started to quiet down this morning so it is a good time to write a letter. Yesterday was the Zone Leader’s Council. The 4 Zone Leaders from the island of Palawan missed their 4:00 afternoon flight so we got them booked on a flight this morning. Whew! – that was a tender mercy of the Lord – trying to find a flight for 4 on a busy holiday weekend. So we had them stay here in the office overnight. They enjoyed the air conditioning, the warm shower and then mom cooked pancakes for them this morning. I told them if they missed this morning’s flight they couldn’t come back! They were very excited to find out that we were coming to Palawan after we finish this office assignment. We are also excited.
 It is difficult to believe that this week is gone already. It has been a blur in many ways. There never seems to be a dull moment in the office – because there is always ‘something going on’ and several deadlines to meet. The work is very rewarding and it is good to help the missionaries and President Stucki.  It is a privilege to work with President and Sister Stucki. They are wonderful people.  

Today is our preparation day and we looked at each other and decided that we need to get outside and get away from the office. We are still deciding what and where it will happen (we’ll probably just go to the market) since this is a long holiday weekend and traffic is already bad enough. Monday is a holiday in preparation for the actual holiday on Tuesday – All Saints Day. It is similar to our Memorial Day. There is some trick-or-treating in the ‘Americanized’ subdivisions.  All Saints Day is a day to remember loved ones that have passed away, and most importantly to pay respect to those that paved way for their families to grow. I found an interesting item about this holiday:

             “On All Saints Day, all of the thirteen Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines hold mass and novena. A novena offers prayers for the deceased to bless and to continue to guide them out of darkness. After the Novena, thousands of families all over the Philippines return to the cemeteries where their love ones are buried. Families decorate the tombs with candles, flowers, balloons, toys, and pictures -           anything that would remind them of their love ones. Others would just repair and repaint the damage that has happened to the tomb over time, and just put simple candles in front of the tomb. Some families would have potlucks and eat and drink right beside their love ones. The men would sing and rejoice to celebrate the spirit of their loved ones because on All Saints day in the Philippines, people believe that the spirits of their loved ones roam around looking after their families.”

Isn’t that interesting - they believe their loved ones roam around looking after their families – maybe that is part of the reason why Family History is accepted by so many Filipinos. We have had a lot of success with reactivation efforts when we talk about family and extended family.

Wednesday of this coming week, we will begin our mission tour with Elder Ardern of the Seventy. He is also a counselor in the Area Presidency here. We are looking forward to the training and instruction we will receive on the tour. We will probably have 4 more missionaries stay with us overnight on Wednesday. They are coming from a small island on the north tip of Palawan. A branch was organized this week on that island. There are only 2 days with flights off of the island to Palawan so we are bringing them to the Manila Conference since there are daily flights to Manila and back. I am learning to become a travel agent as one of my office duties.
We are doing well. We are enjoying good health and the weather is really very nice now. We are at the time of year where the temperature is about 90 degrees and the humidity is lower. We typically get an afternoon rain storm about 3 or 4 pm but the nights are very nice. We have come to look forward to the ‘ber’ months because the weather is much nicer than any other time. Tomorrow I have the opportunity to go back to our previous area in Naic and speak in a District Priesthood meeting. I am honored that the District President wanted me to come back and speak even though we are no longer assigned in his area.
We hope that you are all well. Hope that you have a happy and safe Halloween.  It is hard to believe that November is here so soon. The time just races on. We love you all and are so blessed by your love and prayers. Thank you all so much for your love. Please take good care of yourselves and make sure you give all the grandchildren lots of hugs from the both of us. We miss you all very, very much. Write if you have time. And as always, 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