January 26, 2015
Well, another busy week has passed. It was a great week! We have been doing some studying, well, mostly dad has been studying about Family History. He has contacted all of the branches to let them know they need to have a FH consultant. Then startingwe will be going around to the branches to train the consultants. One big problem is some of the branches don't have very good computers and their internet service is not very good. But they are working on getting better and more computers. That would be very helpful, but, things move slowly here so don't know if it will happen while we are here.
Our family temple prep visits are going well. We have been keeping President Andres informed about what we are doing, and have also asked him to visit the families because he needs to discuss the financial part of it. The Church has a financial assistance program for families going to the temple for the first time, but they like the families to contribute as much as they can because things are more meaningful when we have to sacrifice to obtain them. So in our meetinghe said he wanted to go with us and to visit all the families. just he went with us, but the whole presidency came, along with the branch clerk and President Tanna's wife. We had some really wonderful visits! It just seemed to make it more of a reality for them, talking with the branch president about it. One of the families is struggling, they had started to become less active, after being members for just about a year, and they aren't really committed to attending church and doing the other things, but they committed to start doing them. We really love this family and hope that they will continue. President wants us to visit them more often. The other three are doing great. We get really excited to think about all four of these families going to the temple together. It will be such a blessing in their lives and they will be a blessing to the branch. Something that I tried to explain last night to the family that is struggling is that we are not just preparing for the temple but we are preparing for eternity. All these things that we do are helping us to become an eternal family - to be worthy of that great blessing.
Oh, and the branch presidency asked me if I would teach the Temple Prep class. I told them that I would love to but my Tagalog is not good enough.They said that was ok because one of them would be in the class to help explain things. There is also the problem for the next two Sundays we will be doing FH training. They said they would discuss it and let me know. I REALLY would love to teach the class, but it is in the Lord's hands. He may have other ideas.
We are hoping to start the small Self Reliance class in March. With the FH assignment we had to delay that a little bit. We will be starting the English class the first week of February. The Sandoval group is doing ok, but struggling a little bit. We hope to get all the paperwork in to request the organization of a branch there. Actually we don't submit the papers, President Ostler does, but we have gathered the information and sent it to him. But we have been waiting for the list of Active MP holders who are full tithe payers. We were a little concerned if there would be enough but President told ushe has interviewed them all and he thinks there is enough. He will send us the list and we will forward it to President Ostler and see what happens.
Things seem to be getting busier, which is good. Things seem to be picking up. We have baptisms on the next two Saturdays, maybe three.is this cutest little couple. They are old, but so cute. And their daughter and her 4 kids came as well. Our branch president is really doing a great job and we are so grateful to have him. It is funny, almost since President Ostler arrived here, after he found out about our past BP - his wife working abroad and not being around to help and support him, he has been saying they were going to call a new president, but it just didn't seem to happen. I think we all got a little frustrated. But, the Lord knows what he is doing. He was just waiting for President Andres to move here. I think they had only been here for about 3 or 4 weeks before he was called. Anyway, we are grateful for him and grateful for a reconfirmation that this is the Lord's church and He is at the helm.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to be serving here at this time. We just wish there were more senior couples. Every branch in the Narra district could use a senior couple. We feel like we really need to concentrate on Narra because it is the biggest branch and the Area is really hoping it will become a ward soon. One of the senior couples went home in December and another one is going home in February, and there are no other senior couples coming to replace them so they are once again going to have office elders to help with the work there.
Well, I'm sorry I go on so long. There is just so much to write about. By the end of the day we are exhausted - I have slept better here than I have in a long time - it seems like the minute my head hits the pillow I'm out - but we love being missionaries and are so grateful for the Gospel.
We love you all so much and hope you are all doing well.
Grandpa and Grandma, Mom and Dad