Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ang isa pang linggo!

September 29, 2015

Ang isa pang linggo!

How is everyone doing? How is church and work and school and callings and all the other activities that you are involved in? How is the weather? It is so strange to think about you going into fall weather there. Here it is still  hot. However, some days are a little cooler because of the rain. It is interesting how our bodies get use to things. Here, when it cools down enough that we can feel a little comfortable the Filipinos are wearing jackets and hats. We actually feel like we have acclimated somewhat to the temperatures here.The other morning when I got up the temperature was 79 in our house and I had to get a towel to wrap around me because I was cold. The only blanket we have is the one dad uses at night. 

We have been getting a lot of rain. We hear different stories about when the rainy season is – May – July, June – August, June – November -  so we don’t really know how long the rain will keep coming. We did hear on Sunday that when there are typhoons they get more rain here. Everyone says that Palawan is the perfect place to live because they never have earthquakes or typhoons or any kind of natural disaster. Those kinds of words make me a little nervous. “Never say never.” But thus far we have not really had any warnings from the area presidency about possible typhoons. We had some last year, but I think it might have been later in the season, but I’m not really sure. 
We had a good week last week. We were able to meet the new couple, Elder and Sister Wolcott from Montana, who will be taking the Hiatts place. They came out to Narra and we went to Estrella Falls. I will try to remember to include some pictures. (I am typing this as we are driving to Rizal for apartment checks. I type it in microsoft word and then cut and paste. I do that all the time now because for some reason when I type in yahoo it takes forever. And then sometimes I accidentally delete and I don’t know how to recover what I delete there so I have to start over. At least I know how to recover in Microsoft.) Anyway, it was fun and we said our last good-byes to the Hiatts. They are home now I think. It is 8:15am Tuesday morning here and they left Monday  morning at 9:30am, our time. Not sure how long it took them to get home. It is about a 16 hour flight I think but they had a couple of long layovers. It was kind of funny, Sunday night all night long I dreamed about them. First it was that we were going home and they were staying and then it was that they were going home. I hadn’t really thought much about them that day, but they must have been in my  subconscious. 

All the new paperwork has been turned in for the Sandoval branch so hopefully we will hear something soon. We were told if it is approved they will also include an area called Plaridel because it is currently in Aborlan area but is closer to Sandoval. We have been having a few members from there attending in Sandoval. The last few weeks we have had 50 or more in Sandoval, which is really great. Last week we went to visit some less actives in Plaridel. We found one old man, 81 years old. He was fun to visit. He probably won't come to church because he has problems with his feet, but I believe he has a testimony. He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. 

We also spent some time last week looking or a place for President Ostler to stay when he comes out for interviews next week.He usually stays at the Crystal Paradise resort but they were booked, which is really surprising because whenever we have gone there, there is never anyone there. We found another nice resort for him.  There are what they call a “pension house”, where people can stay, but they are not any place you would want to stay. We were glad we were able to find something. 

We were able to go to all three of our temple prep visits on Sunday. The Corpuz’ were unable to go with us but the Palos were willing to go so that was good. We visited the Lagan family for the first time. It has been hard to connect with them. They are a cute young couple with a 1 year old boy.We had a good visit. Not sure what we will do this Sunday. We have two visits but there is also the General Women’s rebroadcast and President Ostler is suppose to arrive sometime  Sunday afternoon, The Wolcotts will bring him to Narra and then we will drive him around to whereever he needs to go. Interviews will be on Monday and Tuesday we will take him back to Puerto to fly back to Manila. 

Yesterday we got the Narra A and B elders moved into their new place. Actually dad and the elders did the moving and I prepared for our luncheon. We usually do it on Tuesday but since we planned to travel to Rizal and Quezon today we had it yesterday. After they left to finish the moving I made cookies to take for the apartment checks. We always take a treat for them. After the apartment checks for this transfer we will only have one more time that we will do them! We will be here for the first half of transfer starting in December but we plan to let the Atkinsons do that one. Can’t believe it! 

Anyway, tomorrow we will go to Aborlan, Brookes Point and Cabar. While in Brookes Point we hope to  check out some places to rent for the Atkinsons. I can’t remember what I have told you, but they are suppose to arrive on Palawan about November 9th so President Ostler is going to have them stay in another area for maybe 3 months to try to help that branch. Then probably they will move back to  Narra. They will continue to rent the house we are living in. President really wants to help some of the other branches. We felt from the beginning that we needed to focus on Narra because they were struggling so much. But with the new branch presidency things are going better here and getting more established so it would be great for a couple to help the other branches. We have felt that it would be great if there could be a senior couple in each of the branches here in the Narra district. Maybe someday!. Well, that’s about it for now. 

But just one thing I would like to share with you. Something that I had never really thought of before. President challenged all the missionaries to read the Book of Mormon in 3 months – July – September and focus on a certain area. I can’t remember what the different areas were, but I chose the Atonement because I have been reading and studying about it. I was reading a talk, I can’t even remember now who it was by but he was talking about Christ suffering pain, sorrow, temptations etc, and the word temptation stood out to me. I don’t think I had ever thought about that – Him suffering temptations. I mean, I know He did, we know Satan tempted Him, and I think that’s all I’ve really thought about as far as Him being tempted – when Satan tempted Him to turn stones to bread etc,  but I’ve never thought about Him suffering temptation, more than man could bear. But as I thought about it, I think that Satan and his followers must have been relentless. I know in my life there are so many temptations and I am so weak, and Satan works on us, sometimes it seems like constantly, but if he causes us to fall then that’s one person, and maybe a few more because usually when we sin or fall others are affected, but if he could cause Christ to sin JUST ONE TIME it would have completely destroyed our Heavenly Father’s plan and any hope we had for eternal life and exaltation. It would have been like the scriptures say – our mortal bodies would have been left to rot in the earth and our spirits would have become subject to Satan forever. So no doubt, Satan would have been relentless in his efforts. Of course Christ heeded them not, but to be subject to that kind of influence continually would have been so emotionally, physically and spiritually draining. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said only the man who has overcome temptation understands the strength  of temptation. If he gives into temptation he does not know the full strength of it. Christ overcame ALL temptation, which is so amazing and miraculous in and of itself. But because He did, we through His suffering, have access to His power and His strength to overcome the temptations which do “so easily beset [us]”. It is such a blessing that the  Atonement is not just for repentance, as absolutely essential as that is (and for which I am eternally grateful), but it also provides strength for us to be able to overcome temptation, and to change us, even our very  nature so that we have no more desire to sin. I am so grateful for the Atonement!  We are so blessed to have scriptures, living prophets and apostles, and the gift of the Holy Ghost to teach us and help us understand the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ better. I know that as far as my understanding goes, I have not even scratched the surface but I am so grateful we can learn and that our Father has provided so many resources to help us in our efforts. And I know that if we are faithful and continue to study and be obedient, eventually, not in this life I  don’t think, but eventually we will understand ALL things.

 We love you all and miss you SO much!


Dad and Mom

Grandpa and Grandma

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