July 9, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
How is everyone this week? We hope that your celebrations were fun and safe – stressing the safe part!
Our 4th of July was just another day – no fireworks or barbecue. We will save that for a time in the near future. We began our week with a working preparation day. The Zone Leaders and I met with our 2 new District Leaders to conduct a new leaders training. We enjoy helping with the training of our missionaries. They are such good young men. While I was conducting the training, mom was in the Family History Center conducting training with 2 other members of the Narra Branch. It is really exciting to see how the members are excited about finding their family history. As mom finished with her training around 1:00 pm, some other members came to do some research of the films that we had ordered. The microfilm readers have not been used in about 5 years, so I had to replace parts from one machine to make the other machine work. After some frustrating moments, we were successful and the research began. We spent the entire day at the Family History Center, but that is not unusual!
Tuesday was our missionary District Meeting and semi-preparation day. There seems to be so much that needs to be done before we leave. Wednesday we were back at the Family History Center and Thursday it was many hours of driving to Rizal and back to do apartment checks in Quezon and Rizal. It was raining when we left Narra so we didn’t know exactly what the road conditions would be going over the mountains to the west side of the island. It seemed that the further we drove the worse the rain became, but once again the Lord blessed us with another one of His ‘tender mercies’ and allowed us to travel the roughest portions under very favorable conditions.
It is a strange thing, but Rizal seems to get farther and farther from Narra each time we travel there. I think the neighbors wonder what we do and where we go to get the van so dirty and muddy!
Friday we were off once again to Puerto to do some shopping. We have put a lot of miles on the van this week.
We attended a Family History Class in the Aborlan Branch on Saturday morning. They are doing a lot of Family History work when compared with the other branches. Again, it is exciting to see how the members are excited to do Family History.
Afterwards, we were on our way to Brookes Point for apartment checks. We decided to stay overnight at a small resort in Brookes Point so we would not have to travel down and back again in one day. This would also allow us to visit with the Cabar Branch on Sunday.
We arranged our schedule so that this Sunday we could be in Cabar. We felt that we needed to be in Cabar for meetings. This is such a beautiful little branch hidden in the jungle. The members are so faithful and the best way to explain them – just plain, humble people.
Many struggle just making a daily living. Most of them are coconut farmers. The missionaries that are assigned in Cabar pack in their food and water for the day. There is no ‘clean’ water station or little store to buy water. Sometimes the farmers will give them a coconut or buko so they can drink the juice or give them a papaya to eat. It is a tough area but the missionaries love it.
|Elders Kummer and Morales|
Our trip back from Cabar was exciting. It has been raining for much of the week and as we started back for Narra, the heavens opened up again and it poured. As we went through some of the mountain passes the roads were downright fun to navigate. In one particular area the roads were completely flooded over. We knew that there were many holes and ruts in the road but now we couldn’t see any of those holes. We just had to go forward in faith and hope for the best.
|This is water pouring off of the road.|
We made it home safely and breathed a sigh of relief. Sunday evening as we talked about our adventures I think we both decided that if it hadn’t been for the many prayers that have been offered for our safety, we wouldn’t have made it. Heavenly Father has watched over us and kept us safe.
We have just one Sunday remaining here on Palawan. The Narra Branch asked us to speak in the Narra Sacrament Meeting this week. It will be difficult to say goodbye to our friends. I received a message from the District President in our first area. He would like to see us before we go back home. I’m afraid with our schedule and his that we won’t be able to meet him. There are so many people to visit and to offer them our heart-felt gratitude and thanks. We hope to attend meetings in San Gabriel on our last Sunday in the Philippines. We have so many plans and hopes, but accomplishing everything in the little time remaining will be difficult. We hope they understand that they will always be in our hearts and in our prayers. We love them all so dearly.
We hope that this letter finds you all in good health. We pray that you are enjoying life and that you are happy. Most of all, we hope that we can send this letter to you before we come home! We will continue to pray for the internet – in this case I think that is appropriate. We love you all and are excited to see you soon. 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