July 2, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRADY !!!!
|Ben, Isabel, and Brady|
and HAPPY 4th of JULY to EVERYONE! ! ! !
|Adam, Sarah, Isabel, Gma, Ben, Jon|
We hope this letter finds all of you healthy, happy and doing well. We are also doing well. It has been another busy week. It has been a bitter-sweet week. This was transfer week and it turns out to be our last transfer that we will experience with our missionaries. We had a big transfer this cycle since the mission has 20 missionaries going home and only 6 new missionaries arriving. We had 2 areas close here on Palawan. This transfer affected all but one of the companionships within our Zone but fortunately only 3 missionaries from the zone were transferred off of Palawan. The other missionaries were transferred to different areas within the zone.
|Elders Jensen, Halterman, McGowan, Chiong, Christie,Corry, Sister Campoto|
We tried something a little different with this transfer. When our newly transferred missionaries arrived at the airport, we quickly took some pictures and then loaded them into the vans and went to the Memorial Park in Puerto Princesa. There, President Peterson spoke to them about the importance of the rescue that started at this World War II prisoner of war camp. He reviewed the terrible events that happened here to the 143 POWs and of the 11 that escaped. This started a rescue effort to save 500 other POWs at Cabanatuan. Bishop Richard Edgley spoke of this rescue effort in the April General Conference. We wanted to give the missionaries a ‘sense or feel’ for the love we should have for the Filipino people because of what they did and also a sense of how Heavenly Father has preserved the land of the Philippines for His purposes. We hope they sensed that something significant happened here.
|Us, Elders Morris, Labinpuno, Domantay, Galagal|
We spent an extra day in Puerto to be escorts to Elder Stirland and his family.
|Elder Stirland and his parents|
We came into the mission field about 2 weeks after Elder Stirland arrived – so we were new missionaries together in San Gabriel District. We have ‘kind of’ followed him around the mission and it was fun as our paths crossed many times during our time here. We were fortunate to have worked with him in the Mission Office – so he has become one of our ‘adopted’ children. We were blessed to show them around Palawan and introduce them to a little part of the Philippines. We took them to the Memorial Gardens, the World War II Museum, to Bakers Hill, the weavers shops and of course to the pearl shops so they could purchase things for their family. It was a fun time. I hope that they enjoyed our quick tour. We are grateful to the Peterson’s who came along with us to help. They know Puerto much better than we do, so their assistance was valuable. They are such a wonderful couple and dear friends.
Mom continues to do Family History training for the Branch several days a week. We spent another day with the Branch Family History consultant on Friday. Sister Nelieta does very well speaking English but sometimes doesn’t understand everything. She would frequently ask if we could understand her. Mom asked her a question about something and she answered something totally different. It was fun. Mom laughed, hugged her and then said how much she loved this good sister. We are so humbled by these good people. Sister Nelieta smiled a big smile then said, “Thank you for loving me.” She was so sincere. It was one of those moments we will never forget. We just love the people here.
|Sister Nelieta Agustin|
Saturday, we had the opportunity of meeting with another senior couple that are assigned as Perpetual Education Fund (PEF) Missionaries. I think they have a difficult assignment. They are assigned to cover the whole Philippines, a part at a time, to find those who have been assisted by the fund and make sure that they have found jobs or are using their education to improve their lives. What a monumental task that is! We had to laugh when they first contacted us. They wanted to fly into Puerto and then take a taxi to Narra. I don’t know that they completely understood how remote this place is. We tried to explain to them that there are no taxis on Palawan. We put them in contact with President and Sister Peterson and they brought them to Narra to meet with the District President and the Branch Presidents. I was also asked to conduct some additional training for the Branch Presidents. I was informed of the training as I walked into the meeting. We have learned to be prepared to speak at any time. It is a great experience.
We have just 3 Sundays remaining here in Palawan so we have been praying to know which Branches we need to attend in those last three weeks. This week we visited Aborlan Branch. We had a great visit. It is difficult to say goodbye to many of these people. We love the Philippines and these wonderful people.
Again, we hope that all of you are doing well and we pray that everyone will be safe with the fireworks this year J. We are so thankful for your love and prayers. We are excited to see you in a few weeks. 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