June 11, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
How are you all doing this week? We have had some of our Elders with a stomach flu that has hit them really hard. We have tried to assure them that they will be alright even though they can’t eat, their stomachs are cramping and they just know they are going to die. We have been fortunate that we didn’t get the bad stuff that they have experienced. Some have been sick for 10 days and many have lost a lot of weight. We hope that you are all healthy.
This week has been busy but fun. We had a tremendous Zone/District Meeting on Tuesday. Our Zone leaders are hard workers and great teachers and examples to the other missionaries. As we do apartment checks we have found that if the apartment is clean we leave them a jar of peanut butter. That is a good incentive for them. They often text us and ask if we are coming to check their apartments because they need more peanut butter. Whatever works! We also had the opportunity to make some visits with the Relief Society Presidency on Wednesday of this week. The sisters are always an inspiration to us as they leave a simple message and express their love for each of the sisters. They always ask if I would like to say something. I always try to talk about the Savior and His atonement and invite them to come to Church so they can partake of the Sacrament again. There is a great rescue effort underway here and it is exciting to be a part of this work.
Thursday through Saturday we were in Puerto Princesa for the Senior Couple Retreat.
|Stucki's, Paddock's, Dietrich's, Spencer's, & Forinash's flew in|
Thursday afternoon we were able to tour the Memorial Gardens and the World War II museum. This is always a touching time for me. One day we will be able to share some of the thoughts and feelings about this place and the people that gave their lives so freedom would allow the gospel to be preached in this beautiful land.
|Elders and President at the World War II Museum|
I asked Petersons if they would include a trip to the Memorial Garden on transfer days so the new arrivals to Palawan could get a feel for what the Filipinos and the Americans have done together to preserve freedom in this land. I think they are going to do this for our missionaries.
President and Sister Stucki asked that the missionaries in Puerto organize an investigator fireside for Thursday evening. President showed ‘The Stonecutter’ video and then asked some of the senior couples to share their testimonies with the congregation. The chapel was full and the missionaries said that they had a lot of investigators that attended. We hope that we did some good. We were impressed with the conversion stories of many of our couples. It was inspiring. President then asked if I would share my testimony. I wondered why he would ask me and then I realized that I was the only one of the group that had come from an inactive family. Someone needed to hear my testimony. We had a great time and it was a great start to the senior retreat.
Friday morning we were off to the Underground River. Since both the Petersons and we had large vans we became the tour guides and drivers. It was fun. The ocean was so beautiful and we love to just walk on the beach.
|President & Sister Stucki|
|first boat to go|
|Elder & Sister Morgan - aren't we cute!|
|headed into the underground river|
We had a fun experience with the monitor lizards. I took lots of pictures and videos.
Saturday morning we had arranged to visit a small farm that belongs to one of the members. They showed us what they raised in order for their family to subsist.
|Elder Forinash ate a little hot pepper - notice red face and pink eyes!|
|Cacao Tree - these will grow into large cacao pods|
|Elder Peterson and mangoes with Sister Ramualdo|
|guyabano fruit above and below - sweet and good!|
We were delighted to see the ‘tatay’ or father climb up to the top of a coconut tree and cut down some ‘buko’ (green coconut) for each of us. They chopped through the outer covering and we all had a drink of fresh buko juice. As we talked with tatay he told us that he was 65 years old. Amazing! We all had a delightful time and enjoyed seeing a different part of the Filipino life.