Monday, July 13, 2015

Kumusta po kayong lahat???

July 13, 2015

Dear Family,
Not a whole lot has happened since I last wrote because I wrote later in the week. We did have a good service project with the elders at the Church property. Dad decided on how big of a teaching garden he wants and we all spent about an hour and a half using large trimmers or bolo knives cutting down the grass and weeds. You wouldn’t believe how many weeds and how much grass had grown back since we had it cleared before! We should have just waited, but we had no idea that it would take so long to be able to till it. Anyway, it was hard work, but we had one elder, a native Filipino who is a brand new missionary, and he really knew what he was doing. He worked so fast and so hard and he took the weeds and grass right to the ground. We were just trying to get it cut down some because now we will bring the rice hulls in – they will bring it in in truckloads, and then we burn it. Actually what we have seen is it just smolders, but the man next door said that is the only way you will kill the weeds and especially the roots so that it can be tilled. So, I guess we will try it. Not sure how it will work because of so much rain, which we are thankful for. Everybody burns here. That is how they get rid of their trash – or whatever. It surprises us, sometimes they start their fires right next to their little bamboo fences, but they never start on fire, at least not since we’ve been here. Sometimes you’ll go down the street and there will be several fires burning, and sometimes just smoldering off the side of the road. I remember when I was growing up my dad, and lots of other people would burn the trash, but he had a big incinerator (that’s what he called it), it was like a big 55 gallon drum that he would burn in, about once a week. I’m sure it was pollution that put a stop to that. 
On Friday we took care of a couple of missionaries, one of whom had been really sick, until the Hiatts came to pick them up and take them to Puerto. 
Saturday we had district meetings, me with the district RS presidency and dad with the branch presidents and the high council. It was a good day. Sister Belmonte, the RS president, has a son serving a mission in Alaska. He was in the Philippines for a while waiting for his Visa. He left in February but has only been in Alaska for a couple of months I think. I thought he would have a really hard adjustment to the cold, but she said it is not too cold there right now, which is good. Anyway, it was a good day, except that I started getting sick. I thought it couldn’t be from the elder that was at our house on Friday because it was just the next day, but then I remembered he had been at our house on Monday night as well, using our laptop for a presentation for district meeting. I think that is where I picked it up. Nothing serious, just a cold, but feeling pretty miserable. I didn’t go to church yesterday, most especially because I didn’t want to spread the germs. There are several older couples in our branch and none of them can afford to go to the doctor or to even buy medication so I really didn’t want them to get sick. 
Dad went on a temple prep teaching visit with the Palos. They taught the Gineza family and Dad said they did a great job! I am so proud of them because Brother Palo is kind of shy but he took charge and they even sang an opening and closing hymn. President and Sister Ostler want the missionaries to at least have an opening hymn at each teaching appointment. It really does invite the Spirit. I wish I could have been there. We just really love these families – the ones who have gone and the ones who are preparing to go to the temple. 
Also, good news today, we think there may be 2 more families and 1 more sister also going in December. Our branch president has really caught the vision. It seems like it should be the natural step, after baptism, at least for a recent convert family, but sometimes we think that we get them to baptism and that’s the goal – that’s the end. We are really grateful for the vision of President Ostler. And we hope the other branches are catching the spirit. We did a training at the district meeting (not the missionary district but the Stake/District) on the Temple Patron Assistance fund on Saturday. Actually, we trained 2 of our missionaries here and they did the training so it could be done in Tagalog, so hopefully they all understand it and are excited to get members to the temple. Anyway, that is about all for the week. Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow and can go to district meeting. We got some good rain today!
Well, we love and miss you all so much! And we love hearing all about what is going on with all of you.
Love, Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma  

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