Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mission Call

May 18, 2015

We were able to deliver another mission call. This time to Sister Batolata.  She was so excited! When I called her to see if she could meet us at the church her voice was so shaky, even though I didn't tell her what we wanted. She knew, I think because we have delivered 2 other mission calls there in Quezon.

Touring Manila

May 18, 2015

 Sister Northrup and I are in a trike. Most trikes are powered by a motorcycle but the 2 trikes we rented were operated by the 2 men in the next picture.

Fitch and Elmer - I cannot imagine the leg strength on these men. There were 3 adults in each trike and they pedaled us everywhere. And the one man on the left had a deformed foot. It was amazing that they, and especially he, could do that kind of pedaling. It was kind of funny. When we got out of the car they came up and asked if we wanted to use their service. They showed us a sign that indicated 350 php / 30 minutes per trike. We thought 350 and the tour would be 30 minutes. Well they took us to different places in the intramuros, we toured some of the cathedrals and the fort, not realizing it was 350 per 30 minutes.  When we got back to our car they were so excited. Then we found out why when they explained the 350/30 minutes. So instead of 750 total it was about 3300 php because the tour was much longer than 30 minutes. That is only about 80 US dollars, but probably more than they make in a month! It was so fun to see them so excited and so happy! For me, it was the best part of the tour! They thanked us over and over and over again. I will never forget that experience.

 Inside one of the cathedrals. It is blurry, which is too bad because there is some amazing workmanship in these churches. They  are very depressing though. With coffins and crosses. I'm thankful we worship the Resurrected Christ.

 Another cathedral.  

This is the entrance into the fort within the intramuros. I tried to look up on line about the intramuros but the computer was being difficult. I believe this fort is where Jose Rizal was held before he was executed. He is a national hero, but I can't really tell you too much about him. It is terrible, I should know more of the history  of the Philippines. Maybe someday. Maybe that can be a school project for someone and you  can teach me all about it.

Skyscrapers in Manila. When you  look at this picture it looks like a pretty modern city, but the next picture is just right next door to the skyscrapers.

I don't know if you can really see the condition of the houses etc in this picture, but the houses and stores are falling down, it is really, really terrible. Manila is a hard place to be in. People here in Narra are poor, but I think most people have some type of shelter. We do not see people, families sleeping on the streets.

Well, that's it for now! Hope you all have a great week! We love you!

Families Are Forever

May 18, 2015

 Working on family history with the families going to the temple. I think they all had names to take, but we did not have time for them to do the work themselves. Susunod na lang po!

 Everyone (except the Abrigo kids) at the temple before we went in. I think I have told you that Filipinos are always late, but Tuesday morning we were suppose to be at the temple by 9am. We told them to be there by 8:30am to be sure everyone was there, and we got a call at about 8:15am saying, "where are you? We are all here waiting for you!" I think they were excited!!! And a little nervous. They are all beautiful families! We love them!

The Corpuz Family

The Palo family - I'm not sure who the other gal is. I forgot to ask Sister Palo.

The Pamulag family I wish I could have gotten a picture of Bro. Pamulag's face after the sealing. It was pure joy!

 The Abrigo family - After a VERY long day, Adam had had enough so they left before we could get pictures in their whites. When they brought Adam in he had a car and a truck, one in each hand and he would not let them go. So, they got sealed to the family as well. I'm not sure how that works!

 Everyone but the Abrigos after the sealings. It was in the shade so not the best picture. This is where I wanted to take the family pics but there was a newly married couple taking pictures and everyone was tired and didn't want to wait. Vinise was especially tired. She is so cute! One time when we were visiting I said, "oh mabuti! mabuti!" about something, and she thought that was funny so every time after that when she saw me she would say, "Mabuti, mabuti!"

A Beautiful Week!

May 15, 2015

Well, the week has flown by! Can't believe it is already Friday. But it has been a great week!

 I may  have already told you this, in one of the first zone meetings with President Ostler, it might have been the first one, he said, "One a mission the bad days outnumber the good, but the good days outweigh the bad." That is so true. 

It was a wonderful experience, really beyond words, to see those families in the temple, receiving their endowments and being sealed. It really is what the gospel is all about! While we were in Manila we did some touring with the Northrups and the Hiatts. We went to a place called the Intramuros. It is basically a walled city that was built, I'm not sure if it was during the Spanish invasion or what but there are really some amazing buildings. If you have time you might want to google it. I was going to before I sent this email but no time. 

On Tuesday evening the Ostlers invited us to dinner and then we had an interview with President Ostler. We don't have them very often because he is so swamped with all the young missionaries and everything else. But it was good to visit with him. His focus is getting families to the temple so he was really  happy about the 4 families. He asked us whats next. We told him we have 4 more families we want to  work with to help them go to the temple by the end of November. He was considering moving us to the Santa Monica branch in Puerto, but since we have these families in mind he is going to leave us here for now. We are so happy about that. He also asked us if we know any couples that might be willing to come on a mission to the Philippines. We are so short on senior couples. When we first got here there were 9 but 6 have gone home, with no replacements. The Northrups go home in September and we do have a couple coming in about that time. They are friends of President and Sister Hiatt and they talked to them about coming. They agreed to indicate on their application that they were willing to come to the Manila mission, and that is where they were called. We have come up with a couple of names and are trying to think of others. 

Anyway, by the time we got home Wednesday night we were pretty exhausted, but happily so. Thursday was another fun day. We were able to take a mission call out to a sister in Quezon. She was so excited! We didn't really know her because Dad didn't have to help much on her paperwork, but she just thanked us over and over again. In the Philippines it takes a lot longer to receive the call. I guess it is mailed to either the Area presidency  or maybe directly to President Ostler. Then he sends it to Palawan and if it is in the Narra district we get to deliver it. It's another really fun part of our mission. We also had to deliver somethings - a bike caliper, thank you cards to the BP of Cabar and Brookes Point from President Angoy,and a wallet the Elder Dela Cruz left at the zone leaders apartment in Puerto. Tomorrow we have a service project at the Pamulags, a baptism (child of record), and choir practice. Sunday is our Branch Conference. Next week we will be helping with District Youth Conference, so it should be a busy, fun week. 

Well, we've got an appointment in just a bit so I will close. I will send pictures in a separate email, after the appointment if possible, or tomorrow morning. 

We love and miss you all!!! Thanks for emailing us and keeping us up to date on how life is going. We LOVE hearing from you.

Grandpa and Grandma,
Dad and Mom

Friday, May 22, 2015

Just Real Quick

May 10, 2015

Yes, this one really will be quick. We are leaving for Manila in a couple of hours and won't be back until Wednesday night, and on Thursday we have to go to Quezon and Brooke's Point.

 We hope you are all doing well.
We love and miss you SOOOO much!

Dad and Mom,
Grandpa and Grandma

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hello from beautiful (but hot!) Narra

Hi Everyone!

So sorry I didn't write last week. I try to do it on Monday, (even though it seems most of the time Monday is not really a P-day for us), because if I don't the week just slips away. But last week the elders wanted to have their monthly luncheon, which would normally have been on Tuesday, on Monday, along with a district activity, which was to watch a movie, Big Hero 6, at our house. So, it was a very busy day! And, as usual, the week just slipped by. 

We went to Puerto on Thursday for interviews. We do not usually have an interview, but Sister Ostler schedules classes for the elders while they are waiting for their interview and we have been asked to teach the last 2 interviews. It is fun! We love being with the missionaries. 

Yesterday we were able to attend the Sandoval group. It was so good to be with them! We love them and with branch conferences and such we have not been able to attend there very often lately. After meetings we did the apartment checks for Narra C and Aborlan. Today we did apartment checks for Narra A and B, and we took Narra C's bikes in for some repairs. Tomorrow we will go to Rizal and Quezon for apartment checks. Then in the afternoon President and Sister Hiatt will come to Narra to do temple recommend interviews for members in the Narra district. Our 4 families that will be going to the temple will get their interviews and while they are waiting we will be helping them prepare names to take with them to the temple. President Angoy, 1st counselor in the mission presidency and not a full-time missionary (actually he is over CES here) was just transferred to another area so he will no longer be in the presidency. They are really good people and we have really enjoyed getting to know them. 

Wednesday will be transfer day, which is always pretty crazy. Flights are often delayed, and even more so through the tourist season, which we are in now. But it is fun to meet all the incoming missionaries. 

Thursday and Friday will be preparing for a district Family History training, which will be held on Saturday. It started out as a district RS activity and we were going to do training for all the sisters in the district. Then it was changed to just the leadership of the district. Then the district president got word that Bro Nucum was coming out on the same day to do some FH training as well. I'm not sure what his calling is but it is something to do with FH. So we are not sure exactly what our part will be. 

Next Monday we will be traveling to Manila to go to the temple with the 4 families from our branch. We are so excited for them! We will leave Monday morning and return Wednesday night. They will go through the noon endowment session on Tuesday and then be sealed afterwards. If I understand correctly, the sealings will all be done in the same room, one after another, so they can witness each other's sealings. I am glad about that because we want to see them all. On Monday we will be going with the Hiatts and the Northrups to see some sights in Manila. It will be fun. Our original plan was to just take a taxi from the airport to temple housing and stay there the whole time because even though there would probably be a car available for our use, we do not want to have to drive in Manila. It is a nightmare! So it was so nice that the Hiatts offered to pick us up and take us back to the airport and then have some fun on Monday.

The work continues to be kind of slow here. Just a slump I guess. But with transfers things will probably pick up. We don't go out with the missionaries as much as we use to. I really miss that. But, Elder Merrill, who was here early on when we first got here, is coming back to Narra as a zone leader, and he would have us go out with them quite a bit so I hope that picks up. It is hard here, because it can be overwhelming to have 4 missionaries show up, and most of the houses are very, very small so it can be pretty crowded. We OYM every day, and have gotten several referrals, but none of them have developed into anything. For some Filipinos it is hard for them to tell you no, so they agree to have the missionaries come, but then they either refuse to have them come when the elders text them, or they aren't there for the appointment, or whatever. Mostly I think you can tell that they are not really interested, just being polite. But some I have really thought they were interested. One gal seemed interested but when the elders went there she told them she is, I don't remember the name of it, but kind of like a witch doctor or something. She does healing by magic, something like that. I was surprised. But, you never can tell. Most everyone has been very nice though. With the young missionaries that is not always the case, but they do have respect for older people here so they are usually nice. Everyone stares at us, and usually it looks kind of like they have a scowl on their face, but if we say hello or magandang umaga po they usually get a big smile and respond. The older people are so friendly and will usually talk to us a little, even if they are not interested in the gospel. 

English class is good. And we still have not had any rain, but dad decided he will start the self Reliance classes the first Saturday in June, whether there has been rain or not. It is cloudy today, and we have had a lot of thunder the last couple of days, but no rain. Well, that's about it for here. Not a lot of anything new.  I have really been contemplating starting an addiction recovery group out in Sandoval. There are several members there that need it. The missionaries would have to be there to interpret, because the program is in English, but it is such a good program. We printed off a copy of the book for one brother and the missionaries have been meeting with him, but I'm not sure how it is going. For it to be effective they really have to want to do it, so we will see. 
Well, we miss you all so much! Can't believe summer is almost there in the states! And hopefully almost over here. With the cloud cover today it has been a little cooler today, which has been nice. Let us know how you are all doing when you have time. It is great being missionaries! Really hard, but so worth it. One thing that President Ostler said at one of the first zone conferences we had with him is, "On a mission the bad days out number the good days, but the good days ALWAYS outweigh the bad days!" It is true!

Grandpa and Grandma,
Dad and Mom