June 22, 2015
Well, we think we are finally into the rainy season! We have had rain everyday for more than a week. Some days not too much, but the last 2 or 3 quite a bit. Everything and everyone is really loving it! It is especially fun to hear all of the frogs. They make the funniest noise but you can just tell it is a happy noise.
Last week was a pretty busy week. We had more apartment inspections and transfers. We only lost one missionary from the Narra district, but 5 total in the zone. Still not a huge transfer. We have had 8 or 9 at a time. While we were in Puerto we visited the Butterfly something or other. They had many live butterflies flying around and exhibits of other little creatures native to Palawan. They had the giant scorpion there but the guide said they are poisonous, but not usually deadly, but it depends on how your body reacts. I’m not sure what that means. Along with that there is a native tribe that is there and puts on a show or demonstration. It is the Palawa’an tribe. They have their own dialect, which is not uncommon. There are over 1000 dialects in the Philippines. They demonstrated their instruments and also their blow dart guns. It was pretty cool They also have a pet python that is huge! We petted it, which was interesting because it was not slimy at all. They kept saying we could hold it but I really wasn’t up for that. We didn’t have our camera so we are going to go back one of these days and take some pictures. Maybe I will hold the snake then???
While in Puerto we also attended a “Finish Strong” meeting that they have for missionaries that will be going home in the next transfer or two. It was a really good meeting. President Hiatt wanted us to attend because he and Sister Hiatt are the ones that do it for the missionaries on Palawan, but they will be going home the end of September and no one knows if there will be another couple on Palawan, so we may be doing that class, as well as the Train the Trainer and New Leaders Training meetings. There is one couple coming in September, but the Hiatts and the Northrups go home in September. The Northrups are in the office so it has not been decided where the new couple will go. We hope that more couples will be coming because they are really needed.
On Friday Elder Wilkinson, who was a missionary here, came back to Palawan. He is officially “dead” as a missionary and his parents and one brother came to pick him up and to tour a little. So they had lunch with us. Then Elder W had planned on taking his dad and brother out proselyting and asked if we would entertain his mom. He suggested teaching her to cook some Filipino food but since I don’t cook I invited a sister in our branch to come over and teach. She brought a couple of other sisters. Anyway, long story, but we all, along with several other members and the missionaries in Narra ended up going to Jollibee’s (Philippines Mc’Donald’s) and taking the food there and eating and visiting. They actually let you bring in food from another place there. It was fun. And the Wilkinson’s bought everyone an ice cream sundae. Filipinos love ice cream but I don’t think they have it too often. It’s pretty expensive.
Yesterday we visited the Corpuz, Abrigo, and Palo families to ask them if they will go with us each month to visit and teach the families that are preparing to go to the temple in December. They each have one or two families to visit. We felt it would be a good idea to have them teach the lessons that we taught them because it will help strengthen their testimonies and remind them of the things that we all need to be doing continuously in order to stay strong in the gospel and also to help them remember the. covenants they have made. Like people everywhere, sometimes we get excited and motivated to do something, but then afterwards we fall back into old patterns or habits. We want to help them on the path to true conversion. It is also good that they attended the temple recently and can share that experience with the families. And we think it will be great for the families that are preparing also. It is good to establish good friendships so hopefully this will help.
Just one more thing that we are excited about. We have been trying to get this self-reliance program going but with no rain we haven’t been able to get the property tilled. Now we have the rain so we will be able to get that done. But the thing we are really excited about is that we just found out that this cute little old couple in our branch that were recently baptized has a GREAT garden!!! We were told about it a couple of days ago so went to check it out this morning. It is big, beautiful and so organized, just like dad likes to do. They have had to water by hand, actually I imagine by bucket because they do. not have a pump I don’t think, or a hose. But they have kept things alive through the drought. They said several times today what a blessing the rain is. Anyway, we think it would be a great thing to get them involved with the project, maybe being called as self-reliance specialists. They have the knowledge of what grows here and how to grow it, and how to keep it alive when there is a drought. And, they speak Tagalog. We think it would also be great for them to have a calling and be serving in the Church, and able to do something they obviously love to do. We were told that they are trying to produce all of their own food, which would be a good thing for the members here to learn.
Anyway, that was our week! Thank you all for the Father’s day and birthday wishes. I will send individual thank you’s as well. We love and appreciate you all, and MISS YOU SO MUCH!! Thank you for your prayers and support.
Remember that striving and working to have an eternal family is the most important thing we can do on this earth, and it is worth every sacrifice.
We love you all!!!
Dad and Mom
Grandpa and Grandma