October 20, 2015
Kumusta po kayong lahat???
Mabuti kami talaga! We are doing much better than many people on the mainland, where the super typhoon hit. The death toll has stayed low compared to the typhoon in 2013 – 16 so far. But that is expected to rise as they receive reports from the outlying areas. The biggest problem with this typhoon is it is moving very slowly across the Philippines, allowing it dump A LOT of rain, which is causing flooding, flash floods and landslides. We saw a video yesterday of police in water up to their chests, trying to rescue people. We also read of a family that were putting their pigs on tires trying We to save their hog farm. Many of the rice fields are destroyed from what we hear. It will be so hard on these people who are already so poor. But we did hear that after the typhoon in 2013 the church went in and of course helped rebuild the nipa huts, but also started a program to train people for on how to do construction and other occupations so many of the people are doing much better financially than they were before the typhoon. If I remember correctly the people had to go through the course and if they completed it the church provided them with their personal tools so they can work. It is amazing to me how the Lord works! We have had some wind and rain, but nothing out of the ordinary. I think I have told you, everyone here says Palawan never has any of the natural disasters that are frequent in the Philippines. The word NEVER makes me nervous, but from the direction the typhoons typically come, at least the ones we have followed, Palawan is kind of protected. We are thankful for that.
Our cooking class was a lot of fun! With every one that I have held I always get so stressed about it, and wish they would cancel. But EVERY SINGLE ONE has been so much fun! Sister Fetalco also came and we just had a good visit and emjoyed the time together. Sister Fetalco’s husband works in – I can’t remember now – but out of the country and she only sees him about once a month. She said he has been taught the gospel and has said when he returns he would like to learn more. We hope it all works out. She has a really good family. We have got to get pictures of all these people so you can see them!
Unfortunately, ALL of our Sunday visits were cancelled. The sisters of both of the couples that teach were sick, and also the daughter of one of the families was also sick. Hopefully we can get some of them this Sunday. The other 2 we will just visit on our regular day, the first Sunday of the month. They will just have to combine the lessons. Last Thursday we had some great visits with the Narra C elders. We visited a family that was having some struggles because of some gossip (which is called tsismis in Tagalog – it is pronounced cheece-meece) in the branch. We were able to talk to them and hopefully help them understand that it is Satan that is working on them because he does not want them to become and eternal family. They are just the cutest little couple! She is in her early 50’s and not sure how old he is. Afterwards she gave me a big hug and the brother gave Dad a big hug. It was just really awesome. We then went with them to visit an investigator who is the sister of the sister we had just visited. It was a good lesson, but not sure how interested they were. But we shall see. The woman’s son, in his 20s I think, had been bitten by a cobra. It was wrapped up but Dad got a little bit of a look at it and said it didn’t look very good. I’m not sure it was a cobra because one of the members or missionaries told us they say every snake is a cobra. Still, it definitely would not be a good thing. The elders told us in that area where we were – we had to walk a little distance – they have seen a lot of snakes! It was dark when we went there so I was a little nervous about that, but, we were blessed.
Yesterday the Narra missionaries came over to learn how to make Chicken Pot Pie. We had served that for our last missionary luncheon and they really liked it. So they bought the stuff and came over. It really turned out well. They ended up being here for quite awhile but it was fun.
Tomorrow we will go to Puerto for transfers. I think we are getting 8 brand new missionaries! I guess this was the biggest group of missionaries leaving this transfer and the biggest group coming in, at least for President Ostler. I honestly do not know how he keeps going. The first of October he had missionary interviews in Puerto, and also the district conference there, along with interviews for members and leaders of the church in Puerto. Then he came out here for interviews. He went back and had to prepare for MLC. Then transfers and all the missionaries leaving. I don’t know when he has time to sleep. We really love him and Sister Ostler. They are amazing people.
Saturday we will go to Aborlan for the district RS activity I think I told you about in my last letter. Next week we will go to Brooke’s and Quezon again to continuing looking for a place for the Atkinsons. We found one possibility in Brookes. It is actually a new little place, but the key word there is little. But it is in a safe area, and I think we would be fine with it. We have to measure the bedroom though to see if a bed will fit in it. We also saw one in Quezon that looked nice on the outside but no one was home so we don’t know if it would be suitable. With transfers this week we didn’t want to burden the elders with loking and going with us, but we have asked them to see what they can find the rest of this week and we plan to go there on Monday and Tuesday. We really need to find something as it is only about 2 ½ weeks before the Atkinsons will come.
Well, that’s about it for now. I will try to send pictures next week. We hope you are all doing well! We know you are all very busy! We love and miss you so much!!!
Dad and Mom,
Grandpa and Grandma