June 1, 2015
Mainit talaga dito!!!
So, we hope everyone is doing great! I assume you are all out of school for the summer, which has to be a great feeling! I always loved summer when you were all home. Course, I don’t remember, but I was probably ready to have you go back to school and get into a regular (somewhat) routine again.
Last week was a really crazy, busy week! But it was good. On Monday we went to Quezon and Rizal to do apartment inspections. It was a long trip, but not too bad.
Tuesday was our monthly missionary luncheon, which is always fun. We normally have district meeting right after lunch, but because we had zone conference later in the week we didn’t have district meeting. So we went out with the Narra B elders. It was fun to go with them. We visited a few families, some less active. They are all such good people and we love them. We know that if they would commit to living the gospel fully in their lives it would make such a difference. There would still be many trial and difficulties, but so much more joy and peace, and help with the trials. We also went out with the Narra C elders that night, to visit the Magsinos. It is always so much fun to see them.
Wednesday we went to Cabar and Brookes Point for inspections. There are 2 new elders in Cabar – that is called shot gunning an area when they are both new – and Cabar is a really challenging area. It is beautiful, but it is really off the beaten path, way off, and there is not a lot of things available. To add to the challenge, they have very little well water. They have to buy drinking water, but they have an outdoor pump to shower, do laundry and cleaning, etc. But, because of the drought, there is not much water coming out of the pump. I’m sure it must be that way for many of the people here. We hadn’t really thought about that, but many people here just use pump water, so it could get pretty difficult. We are really praying for rain!
Wednesday night we had English class. It was fun! The elders help and they really make a difference. I think I’m pretty boring but they liven things up. English will probably end in a couple of week and I am not sure if we will do another class or not.
Thursday we went to zone conference, which was SO good! President Ostler now has a new vision for our mission and it is so inspired. You all probably know that the proselyting missionaries have steps and key indicators, things that they need to do with each investigator to help them progress to baptism. Then after baptism they reteach the lesson and continue to visit and encourage. These are the steps to salvation. But President has added the steps to exaltation, which is to help these new converts and less actives prepare for the blessings of the temple. These steps are from the New and Returning Member Progress form, so it’s not anything new, it is just focusing on it and having the missionaries continue to work with the members and the branch president/bishop to help these new or recently returned members stay on the path. Anyway, I probably didn’t explain it very well, but it is inspired and inspiring. We are excited! It really is needed because President has always stressed that baptism is not the end. It really is just the first step. And we have tried to stress with those that we have worked with that we are not just preparing for baptism, or for the temple, we are preparing for eternal life so we need to keep doing those things that lead us to baptism.
At conference we met Elder and Sister Duford, the couple that is serving on Coron. Coron is a separate little island but is considered part of Palawan. After conference we arranged to meet them for dinner. It was so much fun getting to know them. We had a really good visit, and pizza that was pretty good. So, to continue with the week, we had planned to stay in Puerto on Thursday because on of our elders had to go to Manila to be fingerprinted (everyone leaving the country has to be fingerprinted). He traveled to Manila with the AP’s after zone conference and was to come back Friday evening. That was fine because we had shopping to do. But on Friday afternoon we got a call that he had missed his flight (not his fault), and they weren’t sure when they would be able to schedule another flight. So we debated whether we should go home and come back when he flew in or just stay. I really wanted to go home. We decided we would get a few more things done, go to McDonalds for dinner – which is a real treat! – and see if they had his flight information by the time we were finished. And they did. He was flying in at about 930am the next day. So we stayed, even though we had no extra clothes etc. I felt really bad about that because we had a mission call for a brother in Aborlan and we were going to drop it off on our way home. He was so excited. The missionaries from there told him on Thursday that we had it so he was so excited. He knew we would not be coming until Friday so on Friday he sent us a text wondering when we would be there. He said he hadn’t slept the night before because he was so excited. We felt so bad to tell him that we wouldn’t see him till Saturday. He took it well, and said he would be in Puerto Saturday morning so we arranged to meet him and deliver it. Unfortunately we did not have our camera because we didn’t know we were going to get the call, but it was still so fun!
It was really good to get home on Saturday! That evening we went with President and Sister Andres to visit 2 of the families who are preparing to go to the temple. We are excited for them, and glad we are starting earlier so they have more time to prepare, both spiritually and temporally. On the way home we got a text from President Ostler. He asked us to go to Cabar on Sunday to help a family there fill out the paperwork for temple assistance and get it to him. We were happy to do that! We are waiting to hear if they will be going in June or July. They are a cute, young family, 2 little girls. Then we did an apartment inspection in Aborlan after we emailed the form to President. It was a busy, but really good week!
One thing we do in preparing families for the temple is have them fill out the “My Family” booklet and then input information and hopefully prepare names for the temple. I was just thinking last night that it might be really fun to get these booklets and have all of the members of your families (that can write) fill them out. You can go on line to get names, birth / death / marriage dates and places, and you can get pictures if they are online. We have just shrunk them down and printed them off. I think you would all really enjoy it. It would probably be a several day project, or maybe just work on in for FHE for a while, but you really do feel the spirit of Elijah as you see your ancestors and learn about them. Many of them have stories about them also, so you can get a little feel for what their lives were like. Anyway, just a thought.
Just one more thought. President had us read a conference talk by Elder Oaks called “Desire”. It is really good. He says, “I hope each of us will search our hearts to determine what we really desire and how we rank our most important desires. Desires dictate our priorities, priorites shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving, and our becoming.” I have really been pondering and working on applying this. It is so important that our daily actions reflect our deepest desires. If they do not, we will not be able to achieve or obtain those things. Anyway, it is a really good talk.
Well, sorry so long. They usually always are! And I am sorry, but there is so much to tell. It is hard to get it into one email.
Anyway, we love and miss you all so much! We are so thankful for you! We are so blessed with a truly wonderful and amazing family!
Grandpa and Grandma, Dad and Mom