March 30, 2015
Sa isang pinakamaganddang pamilya sa buong mundo!
Oh my goodness! It is HOT here! We are just finishing up the first month of summer and it is getting hotter every day. Some say the raining season starts in May and some say June. I am hoping for May!!! And we are REALLY hoping for a good rainy season. But other than that, things are going really great!
We have 5 baptisms this coming Saturday. A mom, dad, and one of their daughters, and then 2 daughters from another family. This family, the father is a member but the mother is not. He use to be active but is inactive now, but the girls are really awesome. President Andres, our BP went with the missionaries to teach them and he asked an inspired question, what are you afraid of? One said she was afraid of what was going to happen to her family when they died and the other one said she was afraid of judgment day. These answers from a 10 year old and a 12 year old. They have been so eager to learn the gospel. Hopefully the mom will become interested and they can become a strong, active, sealed family sometime soon. We have not met the parents because they are always working.
We are excited about our 4 families that will be going to the temple. Just one concern - reservations were not made for temple housing so that is not available and also we don't know if the endowment and sealing sessions have been scheduled, and we are afraid that since the temple housing is all booked that they may be all booked for those 2 days as well. We will call tomorrow morning and find out. But we see so often here that the Lord's hand is in His work, and things will work out one way or another.
Speaking of that, we will hopefully get our meds on Friday. It has been such a fiasco, but there were a couple of brethren that work in the area offices that really put effort into finding the package. We had to send dad's passport and his Philippine DL. Finally, the one brother emailed us saying the package was available but it would cost us 8200 pesos to get it released - about $200.00. But this brother went back to them and convinced them to release it without a charge!! We couldn't believe it! We have been and are so blessed! Just to get the package is a HUGE blessing, and then to have the fee waived. The thing about the fee is, it would probably have gone into someone's pocket. There is a lot of that here. And it is pretty blatant. We are just thankful, and the zone leaders are going to Manila and will be back on Friday so we should have our package then.
Things are moving ahead on the property. It is tilled and we should have water to it by next week. And hopefully we can get it tilled within the next week or so. It is done by karabaw and plow, not with any kind of mechanical equipment.
On a different note, we were visiting with one of our temple prep families about family history and in the middle of the lesson in comes this BIG scorpion! Not quite as big as the dead one we have, but still big. Bro. Palo pulled out his machete and cut it's tail off and then killed it. That is pretty scary to have it in their home. Sister said they also have snakes come in. And today walking we saw another scorpion, bigger than the previous one, but it was dead. Dad actually saw our first live snake since we have been here. Fairly long, but skinny, shiny green and FAST! I hope I don't get so lucky.
This past weekend we had a sick elder in Brookes Point. He ended up in the hospital for about 3 days. All of this because he ate balut, which is "bawal" (not allowed) according to mission rules. He is an American. His Filipino companion ate it too and he had no problem. We know the Lord blesses these people and causes their stomachs and digestive systems to adjust to their circumstances. We will not be trying it. Several of the elders have tried it. I guess its a rite of passage, even though it is bawal. Some have also eaten tree worms. I may have told you about that. They are about a foot long. They are a delicacy and are quite expensive. I guess you get them in a restaurant in Puerto. They probably have them in Manila also. They are eaten raw. One elder showed us pictures of him eating it. I imagine they are bawal too.
We are really looking forward to Conference, although we will get it a week later than you. We can actually go on line and watch it too, but will probably not have much time for that so will watch it with everyone else on the 11th and 12th.
Well, sorry to ramble on and on. We hope you have a wonderful Easter. I imagine you have all heard about the video the church has put out for video #Because He Lives. It is really good. We are so blessed to have the gospel and the understanding and knowledge that we do. Satan and his followers are working so hard to cause doubt and uncertainty in the minds and hearts of many people. We have to work really hard, we have to be so very diligent in sincerely studying the scriptures, praying, keeping the commandments and living up to the covenants we have made. I am so very, very grateful that we have living prophets and apostles who continue to testify of our Heavenly Father's plan for us, of His Son, Jesus Christ, and His infinite Atonement that makes the Father's plan perfect. Repentance and forgiveness are real. They are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father through His son as we exercise faith in Him, repent, and strive to follow Him. It is hard here. It is hard being away from all of you! We love you and miss you so much! BUT, we are so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord full-time. I don't know that we make much of a difference, but it has been and is such a blessing to be part of this work.
We love you all!
Grandpa and Grandma
Dad and Mom