Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 86

April 30, 2012
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An afternoon t-storm or two Hi 89°
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Dear Family and Friends, 

I had to include Saturday’s weather report with this letter just to add drama or seek sympathy. It is hot and humid!  Sometimes I think it would seem cooler if I didn’t know what the temperature was! But what better day to travel in the air conditioned van for hours to attend a baptism at the riverside of Sabsaban Falls in Cabar. 

Morgans and Petersons
What a beautiful place to have a baptism.
Last Sunday while we were at the Branch Conference in Cabar we told the Elders that we would come to the baptism on the following Saturday. The Falls is a public swimming, bathing and laundry area. 

They rented a bowery to conduct the service...

Petersons, Elders Morales & Kummer, Morgans
 ...and then went down to the water to perform the baptism. In most places that were quiet enough for a baptism, the water was only knee-high to a Filipino – and that is not enough water to immerse someone. So we ended up going up to the pond by the falls. The manager was very kind. He talked to the people and said that we would be having a baptism and so they came out of the water and quietly watched the service. 

Elder Kummer
 Needless to say, the baptism was very well attended. They were reverent and kind and the missionaries even had some referrals from the crowd. It was a wonderful experience. These are some of the first baptisms to come from that area in a long time and the Elders and Branch members were very excited. It was a very refreshing experience on a very warm day. How blessed we are. 

Our youth in the District have their temple trip this week. Last week we have spent a good amount of time in the Family History Center at the District Center helping members prepare names for the temple. It has been such a good experience to work with them and it looks like the interest is such that we will continue our training 2 or 3 mornings each week. Our Branch Relief Society President, Sister Jona, had set up the workshops. She talks to the sisters and then brings them to the Church. She just doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.  One day she asked mom to help her find her grandmother’s information but they just didn’t have enough information. One could see that she was a little disappointed but Sister Jona doesn’t quit! After mom had helped some of the people she asked Sister Jona to come sit on the chair next to her and they began to ‘remember’.  After putting some dates together they came up with an approximate birth date – sure enough they found her grandmother. The excitement on Sister Jona’s face was delightful. She hugged mom. Sunday we had a combined lesson on Family History and the Branch President asked if we could help the Branch with their Family History. He wants every branch member to find one name to take to the temple. The next few months could be very busy. 

This week has been busy with travel to the Elders apartments for apartment checks, planning meetings with the Petersons and Family History. We had a memorable experience on Wednesday evening. While we were in Puerto for a meeting with the Petersons, President Peterson released a young Sister missionary from her mission. We met her at the airport and took her to the church and then took them all out to get some dinner. After dinner, Sister Peterson asked if we would take them to their home in Kamuning (it was on our way back to Narra). We were glad to help. To set up this experience you need to know that most of the Filipino missionaries seldom write home to their parents because 1). There is no postal delivery system to individual residences and 2). Most of them cannot afford 70PHP (about $2) to mail a letter. Most likely, this Sister had not talked to or heard from her family for 18 months. We took her to her house which was located in this small town and we kept driving deeper into the wooded areas on this little dirt road. She told us to stop and we saw her little home. When we opened the door, about 20 people came running out of the house. When the Sister stepped out of the van, they mobbed her and began jumping up and down and screaming. It was so fun to be a part of that. What and experience. The mother just smiled and kept saying, “That is my daughter”. Family is so important to them. What a welcome home celebration! 

We finished off the week by speaking at another Branch Fireside. It has been a great week. Every day we are more and more grateful for this opportunity to serve here. We love the people and this beautiful land. We love being missionaries. We have been blessed in so many ways. The ants are still here, as are the giant spiders but that is OK. 

about 6 inches across!!!!
It just doesn’t get any better than this (right now anyway)! 
We love each of you. Thank you once again for your faith, love and prayers. You are a big part of our being able to serve right now. We hope that you are all doing well. We pray continually for your well being and success in all things. We know that you can do it! We miss you all and are excited to see you soon. Please take care and write when you get a chance (no telling how the internet will work or if it will work). 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      

1 comment:

  1. Isabel says that she LOVES your purple shirt mom :)