January 5, 2015
Wow! Can you believe that we are into a new year? It is kind of unbelievable to me.
Things are going well here. Busy, as always! It was a busy week last week, with transfers. They are typically on Wednesdays, but with last Wed being New Years' Eve, President wanted to have them on Tuesday. But he was very busy with departing missionary activities, so it was all kind of last minute and we ended up having to stay over Tuesday because the incoming missionaries didn't arrive until Wednesday. But it all worked out well.
We had stormy weather throughout the weekend so the Pamulags cancelled our appointment for Friday, because they have just a tiny house so we always meet with them outside and it rained all that day. And our other 2 families cancelled on Sunday, so not a very productive weekend but hopefully this week will be better. The Abrigos cancelled because Brother Abrigo has to work in Puerto for the next 6 months on probation. Then if he gets the job they will send him somewhere permanently - we hope, and they hope, back to Narra. They told us about this last week and we said that we could hold off on our weekly meetings or whatever worked for them but they said no, they are committed to going to the temple and want to go with the others in the Branch, so that was good. We really love this family. The other family does not seem so dedicated, but they are good people and we will just keep working with them. We are hoping, with this program and a new branch presidency we can get some momentum going in the Branch. There is so much that needs to be done here, and so much that can be done if the Branch is motivated and united. We are going to start meeting with another family tomorrow and there are a couple of other families that we want to start with as well. And we want to start meeting with the Tanna and Magsino families, probably in February or March. They cannot be sealed until October or November, but hopefully they will be able to go to do baptisms. We were planning on about the 2nd week in May, and found out on Friday when we met with our branch president that the District temple day isso that would be perfect. We are hoping these families will be ready!
We were finally able to find someone who can clear and till the Church property. He is a less active member and he said he will go to church next Sunday and then check out the property (because it is just across the street) and let us know how much. He said he thought 300pesos/day per worker, and probably 3 workers, but he wasn't sure how many days it would take. That is actually very good wages for here (which is so sad- that's about $7.50/day) so it will be good for his family, and at least one of the other workers will be another member of the branch who doesn't have work right now. So that will be good. We have to get estimates on everything and submit them and go from there. Dad plans on starting classes at the end of the month, just teaching gardening and then helping families plant the trees etc that he has started here, on their property. When the Church property is ready we will probably divide that among those who are interested in doing it and they will plant more of a variety of fruits and veggies.
We are planning to start our English class again, but we need to get these other things going before we do that. I also want to teach a Book of Mormon class in English. President and Sister Hiatt are doing that in Puerto and are having really good success with it. We mentioned it to our new BP and he was really excited about it. His English is very good. He is very young, 24, but he is willing to work hard and we feel like the presidency can really make a difference. For the past couple of weeks he has felt pretty overwhelmed but he is getting his feet on the ground and we think things will start moving. He has scheduled a weekly meeting with us and the young Elders here so that will be really good.
The missionary work here has been kind of slow, I think with the holidays and everyone is busy and doesn't want to be bothered. But I think things will pick up. It seems like we have these slow times once in a while.
The weather was a little cooler, windy and wet last week, but today is HOT! We will be into summer in a couple of months, but really it feels like we have never been OUT of summer.
Well, not much else new here. Today Dad helped the Narra A and B elders bring their trash over here to burn it. I think there was a few months worth - which is A LOT with 4 elders. Anyway as they were gathering it up the elders found 2 BIG scorpions - about 5 inches long! They ended up burning them, but then they pulled one out of the fire to show me. So we had to take a picture of it.
Our camera has not been working and I was really sad that the pictures of the little boy in Rizal with casts on didn't turn out, but we will try to get others when we are there this month.
Well, we hope you are all doing GREAT! I We love and miss you so much! We are so grateful for each one of you and pray that this coming year will be an amazing, wonderful, faith-filled year. We are so grateful for this opportunity to share the gospel and serve the Lord here. It is challenging sometimes, very challenging sometimes, but so rewarding. We so appreciate your prayers and support. It is what gets us through those challenging times! The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it can bless the lives of all who accept and live it. We are all so blessed to have it and to be able to share it with those around us. Having an eternal family is what it is all about, and obtaining that is worth our very best effort and every sacrifice because without our family - every member of our family, eternity will be pretty empty.
We love you so much and pray for you always.
Mahal naming po kayong lahat! Ingat palagi!
Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma