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

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