Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!

We had our Thanksgiving dinner today with the Elders and it was a lot of fun!  Boy some of them can really eat.  Elder Saipa'ia ate almost a whole chicken himself.  We planned for half a chicken each, but the American elders only wanted a quarter. We have 3 Filipinos, 2 American, and 1 Tongan (Elder Saipa). No one was too crazy about the stuffing.  I had to use Stove Top because that's all we could find, the gravy was really good because we had a lot of juice off of the chicken and then some packets.  They ate most of the potatoes, and Filipinos have to have rice ALWAYS, so they ate that as well.  And they did pretty good with the pie as well.  But we had some left over so we took it outside and all the neighbor kids came and finished it off.  They really liked it. 

Last week was super busy, and so far this week is the same.  Last week we had a trip to Puerto for transfers and then to Rizal, Brookes Point, Cabar and Aborlan. This past Sunday we went to Brookes Point again for their Branch Conference.  It was really good. This Friday we will be going to Puerto again because it is our District Conference and we need to pick up our mission president and the visiting GA, Elder Adduru and bring them here. 


We are so excited for their family. After the Elders finish their follow-up teaching we will start the living the gospel daily lessons and then temple prep.  Hopefully we will still be here then and can go to the temple with them! Well, this is kind of short, but it is late and we have a service project tomorrow morning so I'll close. We love and miss you all so much!  I will try to write more next week. 

Ingat palagi,
Dad and Mom 

Kumusta po kayo sa lahat?

November 10, 2014

Kumusta po kayo sa lahat?

We are doing great!  We are so busy working on our two projects, but that is good.  We just don't seem to have enough time for everything.  Last week we attended the Bi-district YSA conference in Puerto.  We were asked to give a presentation on preparing for temple marriage.  We stressed out about it quite a bit, mostly because of the language barrier, but things actually went pretty well.  We prayed continually that there would not be a language barrier, and they really seemed to understand, but we can't be sure.  After we were done they had a question and answer period for us and the gal that spoke before us, which we did not know they were going to do.  But the other gal is native, so most of the questions were directed to her.  However, at the end someone asked if there was an age when they should be married.  I laughed and told them what Brigham Young said about men becoming a menace to society after age 25. They all laughed, so I guess they understood that, at least.  

We had our little Halloween party for our neighbor kids.  There were sixteen.  We just watched a kids video, played some games, ate hot dogs (not our hot dogs! - and we didn't eat any), and had some treats.  Yesterday, when I was getting out of our truck one of the little girls, Kristen Joy who is 5 said, "Ma'am, ma'am (they always call us ma'am and sir), Party, and I laughed and said "kalian?", (when?) and she said "bukas", (tomorrow).  I laughed again and said, "hindi, pero, seguro para sa Christmas." (No, but maybe for Christmas.)  They really seemed to have a good time and it was fun for us as well.  

Earlier that week it was heart breaking as the mother of the kids next door (ages 11, 13, 14 I think), left to go back to Hong Kong I think. The 11 year old girl just cried, just a really heart wrenching cry, begging her mother not to leave as she chased down the street after her. I just cried for her.  I don't know how a mother can do that.  I know they think they are doing what is best for the family, but there has to be a better way. Last Sunday, well, the first Sunday in November we had a broadcast with Elder Oaks and several others.  He use to be the Area president here several years ago.  He said that there are about 3,000,000 mothers who leave and work outside the country and bring home about 6 billion dollars a year.  He stressed how this is destroying families, and it really is. And, what seems to happen is the mother goes off to work so the father doesn't really think he has to work. And, marriages break up.  Anyway, there are some women in our Branch that have talked about it and I have just really tried to help them see that it is very detrimental to the family.  Another sister told me that she would not do it because her mother did and her dad found another woman.  Here, there is no divorce, except for the rich - you can actually pay to get a divorce but only the very rich can afford it.  

So...  Anyway, the weather has been really hot.  Not much of a rainy season.  But the other evening Dad and I went for a short walk and it was actually almost a little cool.  It was actually bearable.  But, today it is hot again.  87 degrees in our air conditioned living room.  But I will not complain, because at least we have air con. 

Just a little more good news.  Brother Magsino, whom we have been going to visit with different sets of missionaries since we got here, is doing really well with overcoming his addiction.  He is scheduled for baptism on the 29th I think.  We love that family!  

And one of the families from Bagong Sikat has been coming faithfully and the father and 8 year old daughter will be baptized on the 22nd. He had to overcome his coffee addiction but is doing well.  We love them too.  

We had a fun Branch activity on Saturday at the beach.  Quite a few of the recent converts were there, which was so good.  We had a good time!

Well, better go.  We hope you are all doing well.  Keep us posted.  Let us know when we can Skype again.  We miss you all so much.  I can understand why they only let young missionaries talk or Skype with family twice a year because I love seeing and talking to you all, but my heart hurts afterwards because I miss you and love you so much.  But it is a blessing to be here and we're grateful we can be here, and are so very grateful for your support and prayers!

We love you all!
Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma

Mailing Address

October 24, 2014

Hey everyone, I just received this email from Sister Paine in the mission office. We are not asking for mail, but some have mentioned mailing things and I don't want it to get lost.  Love and miss you all!

The post office has asked that letters and packages for our mission be addressed as follows:

Philippines Manila Mission
c/o "Missionary name"
PO Box 1997
Makati City
1200 Metro Manila (note the change of zip code)

There has been a change in personnel at the post office so it is very important to put the mission name first. Christmas is coming and we expect lots of packages. Hopefully putting the mission name first will help ensure that we actually receive the packages.

Sister Paine
Manila Mission

Brother Tana's Baptism!

October 20, 2014

 The Tana family - all baptized by Brother Tana (with Elders Rosario and Calixto)

Brother Tana's baptism


October 20, 2014

 Elder Rivera

  Elder Lewis

A pitiful dog where we were building the house.  Most of the dogs here look so bad - I think they are just slowly starving.

Dad and I thought this was so funny - how often do you see a welcome sign to a prison???

Monday, November 24, 2014


October 20, 2014

  Bahatala staff

 I thought this flower was beautiful!

 The Gatuds. We love this couple!  They are so faithful!  We go out visiting with them every Thursday. They have a granddaughter leaving on a mission to Temple Square in SLC and a grandson going to Arizona.

Distributing wheelchairs

More Pix

October 20, 2014


 I actually played basketball at a branch activity.  it was a hoot!

 One of our bigger avocados

 Bahatala - the nonprofit organization that the Church works through to distribute wheelchairs. This is the founder's wife - he passed away. They not only get wheelchairs, but they specially make wheelchairs also. There are many children with cerebral palsy here. For many, they get fed in the morning and then the parents leave them all day because they have to go to work in the rice fields. They make chairs that can be taken to the field with them. It is a great organization.

They also make artificial legs. They are made by hand by the man in this picture. They do not have modern equipment, but he does a good job.

Otober 20, 2014

Kumusta ang lahat?  Napakabuti kami!  On Saturday 

The rest of the Tana family were baptized, by Brother Tana.  They are just an incredible family and we know they will be a great asset to our Branch.  We have a new focus, a new direction and I am really excited about it.  We are going to start meeting with recent converts and begin preparing them to attend the temple to be sealed. Recent converts include those who have been members less than a year - and actually a couple of the families we will be working with have reached their year mark, but there has not been any temple prep class so they are not yet prepared.  One of the families is starting to become less active so we are really hoping this will make a difference.  I discussed this with President Ostler in our temple recommend interview and he had great counsel.  For the Tana family and others who have a year or almost a year we are going to set a date for them to do baptisms for the dead in about 5 or 6 months.  There are also a couple of families that the father has not been baptized so we will focus on baptisms for them as well.  We will start with teaching them about living the gospel daily in their lives - personal and family prayer, scripture study, FHE, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc.  We will also focus on family history (thus my need for that info), because they are really pushing for new converts to submit names and do the work for their ancestors.  Then we will move into temple preparation. With those who have already passed their year mark or will soon, we will meet with probably weekly.  Those who have more time we will meet with less frequently. At least, that is the thought now.  We will see.  I am so excited about this direction and focus.  Dad and I will work on this and his self-reliance programs together, but he will do the planning, prep, etc for SR and I will work on TP.  We will have to come up with our own lessons for living the gospel daily, and will use the temple prep manual for that.  If you have any personal stories about prayer, scripture study, FHE, etc etc, please share them with me.  That would be so great to be able to share them with these families.  I do not know how the language is going to go.  We are going to take a member with us on each visit.  Probably a different member for each family.  I have prayed about this, whether to have the member teach and we just listen and testify/share experiences, or if we should teach.  I think it would need to be in Tagalog, or mostly in Tagalog, and I am not sure if we could do that.  But I have prayed and plan to fast about this.  Dad would most likely have to do English, but I would really like to be able to teach in Tagalog, but I mostly want what is going to be best for these families.  We shall see.  It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds, but I know that it is needed and inspired.  Like President Ostler taught in our last zone conference, missionaries focus on faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.  But that is not the end.  It seems like here, many of the new converts just sort of get dropped at that point.  The missionaries do the follow-up teaching, but then that's it.  And the first year of membership can be so hard for some people. I guess some wards may be very good at fellowshipping and helping new members, but ours is not, at least not yet.  We are also hoping including members in the visits and teaching, they will see the need. Well, I didn't mean to ramble on.  I just am so excited about this.  And dad is excited about his SR.  Both can be a great benefit for the people here.  We appreciate your continued prayers in our behalf.  We need them so much, and we know they help!

We hope you are all doing well!  We LOVE hearing from you! We miss you all so much!

Ingat palagi!

Love, Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad