May 21, 2012
Another week has slipped by so quickly. Transfer weeks are like that however. We had an interesting experience this week that just adds those ‘quiet assurances’ to strengthen our faith and deepen our testimony. We were asked to speak at the District Youth Conference on Friday. We had the feeling that we needed to ‘drop by’ the youth conference on Thursday just to see where it was so we wouldn’t get lost on Friday morning. The Relief Society President was very glad to see us. There was a Sister Welcome that has lived in Italy for the past 25 years. She came home to the Philippines to visit her family and passed away. According to her daughter she wanted to have a Mormon funeral. We sat down with the Relief Society President to help her know what needed to be done. They wanted to have a Memorial Service at the home and a funeral service later. Our biggest problem was trying to find out if she had been endowed because we knew nothing about her. Her children are not members of the church and they did not know about the Temple. Well, we thought it would be best to have just a Funeral Service and that we would visit the family instead of having a Memorial Service. We suggested that we take the full-time missionaries with us along with a few members and visit the family to explain a little about what happens at a Mormon funeral.
The missionaries were able to teach the plan of salvation to the family and to answer any questions they had. While talking with the family we discovered that Sister Welcome had been endowed and she went to the Swiss Temple. She had told her children about going to Switzerland. She was also a branch missionary and was instrumental in helping bring many (the daughter said about 20) Filipinos that live in Italy into the Church. As we learned more about her we found that she was a remarkable woman. We explained to her daughter that we needed to do some preparation of the body before burial and she said that would be okay. Mom and several of the Relief Society Sisters went over on Saturday afternoon and dressed Sister Welcome in the Temple clothing. It was a wonderful experience. The family was very appreciative. The daughter commented to me that she liked what the Mormons believe and that she wants to learn more and come to church. Heavenly Father touches hearts in different ways to help His children recognize the truth. Death is one of those ways that He touches their hearts.
We have been trying to help one of the members with his family history but it has been difficult to get him signed into the New Family Search program. He has come to the church three or four times but we have not been able to get him registered. We finally signed him in under mom’s name with mom as the ‘helper’. Well, we had him come over to our house because he needed to check his e mail and confirm his registration. The church computer won’t allow any personal e mail accounts other than myldsmail.net and he had an account with yahoo. So, we brought him over to the house and signed into yahoo only to find that he has not used his yahoo account in a long time so his user name was given to someone else. Now we couldn’t confirm his registration – then the power went off. Well, we took him back home since we didn’t know how long the brownout would last. About 2 hours later he walked back to our house because he noticed that the power was back on. Mom got on a chat line with the Family Search in Salt Lake to see if they could help. We gave them our cell number and they called us back. They were great and said that they had fixed his registration. The only problem is that it wouldn’t work on our end. They had us try numerous things to fix it then decided to use remote access – just as he got into the computer we had another brownout – argh! This brownout lasted much longer so we took this good brother back home and said we would try again on Thursday when we would be back from transfers in Puerto. It just seems that there is opposition in almost everything that is good. I don’t know why we have had so much difficulty with getting this brother into the Family History – it seems that everything we did was thwarted. But, Thursday – it worked and he was able to sign in. He is so excited to work on his Family History.
Well, transfer week was a busy one. Our Zone had changes in 4 of the 6 companionships and we also had the Narra B area reopened. We are sad to see some of our missionaries get transferred but also excited to work with our new missionaries that have been assigned here. They are all such wonderful young men and we enjoy being with them. On our way back to Narra on Wednesday afternoon we realized that we will be a part of only one more transfer week and then we will be coming home. In a way that is sad.
|half of these are leaving|
|Our new missionaries for Palawan|
We did find out that there is another couple that is coming over here. They leave the US on July 23rd – the same day we fly out. Unfortunately there won’t be any overlap so we can show them around. Maybe that is for the best. We will just make sure that we have a good area book for them to use.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was the Narra District Youth Conference. The Petersons and we were asked to speak at the Friday devotional after their testimony meeting. The conference went well. Every youth shared their testimony. We enjoy working with the youth of the church. It is a blessing in our lives.
We are doing well. It is truly a wonderful opportunity to serve here in the Philippines. We so love this country and most especially these wonderful and delightful people. They make us smile and appreciate life. President Stucki told us that 94% of the Philippine people have a belief in God. That is remarkable! We are so blessed to be here. We hope that we have done some good for them but it seems more and more that they have blessed our lives much more than we have blessed theirs.
We love being missionaries and doing His work. We hope that all of you are healthy and happy. We continue to pray for each of you every day. Thank you again for your love, prayers and thoughts. We do miss you and are excited to see you again. Please give all of the kids lots and lots of hugs from us so they will be well prepared when we get home and smother them with lots and lots of hugs! We love you all! 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