Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thanksgiving Baptism

After our Thanksgiving dinner, we traveled to San Pedro to attend a baptism. I was very impressed with a couple of things and took some pictures so I could remember them.
 First: the girl in the green shirt is the one who was baptized. All around her stand the Young Women in her new ward. Each of them had on matching pink shirts with the 2013 YW theme on it. They were all wearing skirts - so they were properly dressed to attend and take part in celebrating this sacred ordinance. Each of them participated in the baptism - they gave prayers, lead the music, played the piano, gave talks, and sang a beautiful song that their advisers and the newly baptized girl also sang with them. I was so touched that these YW and their leaders are doing everything they can to welcome and love this new sister into their ranks.
 Second: This is the Bishop giving a talk. While he was speaking, his young daughter came in the door to his right. She had been playing in the hall and just needed to check and see if her father was still in "a meeting." As she came in the door, she was a little noisy and she reached out and grabbed her fathers arm and hand. He never paused or stopped speaking, but gently patted her head and pulled her next to him and gave her a little hug. Next thing you know she is right back in the hallway, door closed, and happily playing with her friends. I was deeply touched by this tender display of affection from a father to his daughter. He could have been upset that she interrupted him, the Bishop,  during his talk. He could have shooed her away or pulled his arm out of her reach telling her, "you must be quiet, I am in a meeting!" But instead he gave her just what she needed - reassurance and love. Instantly it became obvious to me of how my Heavenly Father lets me know He loves me. And although He is very busy, I will be comforted with just a gentle touch or the calming peace of the Spirit.
The Sister Missionaries who found and taught this young woman.
Sister Folau and Sister Saavedra, Sister Jones and Sister Dela Cruz.
The Sister Missionaries found the left over turkey dinner in the back of our car. This is a tailgating party Mormon Style!
(in a church parking lot after a baptism.)
Celestial Tailgating?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Dinner

I am so thankful for my little family here in the Philippines! On Thanksgiving Day we gathered at the apartment of Br. and Sister West, and had a delicious Thanksgiving meal. All of the senior couples helped with the meal and we also played a game after dinner.
 These are the famous cooks - Sister Pugsley, Sister West, Sister Tye, Sister Davis, and Sister Maxfield.
 The Pugsley's are testing out the vegetable plate.

 Sister Davis' green beans were my favorite!
 My rolls do so much better in the Philippines.
And they did not forget my birthday.
It was so nice to relax and visit.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Today we went on a shopping spree with the Sister missionaries and the Senior Couple who came to us from Tacloban. During the typhoon they lost everything and while they stayed at the Manila MTC they were able to pick out some clothing from donations supplied by members and the local leaders of the Church. Everyone has been so wonderful to care and provide for these missionaries who have been through so much physically and emotionally.
Our shopping trip today gave them the opportunity to receive all the things they still needed. It was made possible by the loving donation of money from a family member. I am still touched that this husband and wife lovingly gave so much to help these missionaries get a good start on their transfer to the Cavite Mission. I told them to get whatever they needed and we spent five hours doing just that! By the end we were exhausted, but 3 Sisters and the Senior Couple had new shoes, luggage, skirts, shirts, belts, umbrellas, journals, make-up, and under clothing.
 Sister Zaballa
 Sister Sorronda
Sister Sorronda, Sister Tierra, and Sister Zaballa
While at the store, we ran into the Elders who were also shopping. On the far left is Sister Maxfield, (from Tacloban), Elder Cole, Elder Espinoza, Elder Johnson, (from Tacloban), and Elder Teitiewa 
Finding shoes 
 Our cashiers
What a kind thing to do. This made these missionaries so happy.
Thank you!
Worn out

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tacloban Arrivals

The destruction that was left in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan ended up temporarily closing the Tacloban Mission. After all missionaries were found, the job of transporting them to Manila and reassigning them to other missions throughout the Philippines began. I have no doubt that this process involved mighty prayer and guidance from the Spirit. I listen to my husband explain how the Lord's hand will move his hand every six weeks on the transfer board, and I believe this is how the process worked in this "larger than life" transfer. 
This is a picture of the Tacloban missionaries right before they were separated and taken to other missions.
In Cavite, we consider ourselves to be one of the lucky eleven missions to receive a few of these missionaries. At first we were told we would be receiving 27. We scrambled and had a late night meeting with our office staff. First thing on the agenda was - how many available apartment spots do we have? Our finance elder left the room and returned with the answer - 28. That was our first of many tender mercies we would receive during this emergency transfer.  A day later we learned that the number coming to our mission would be reduced to 16. This included a senior couple. We had just lost a senior couple who had to return home early, and we had their apartment and truck available. We were elated! The arrival date of our Taclo - Cavite missionaries was Saturday Nov. 16th. There was so much excitement within our mission. One apartment of sisters sent us a text and said that their hearts were already full of love for the sisters and they wanted us to assign some to their apartment. The sweet part of this request is that their apartment was already full with four sisters. But they didn't care, they would have slept on the floor.
On Saturday, November 16th, our little group of survivors arrived. We really ended up with 12 instead of 16 - one elder will arrive next week. He needed some more time to  recover and rest because he had walked so far to get to an airport. An elder who cut his hand while crawling out of a window will go home to have surgery. Another elder who is still at the Provo MTC, will arrive on Wednesday. This would have been his regular transfer day to Tacloban, but his detour is Cavite. A sister who has had trouble sleeping, is returning home to recover there. I am amazed at the goodness of God and the miracles that have come to pass in behalf of the Tacloban Mission. God really does watch out for and protect the missionaries!
Here are the pictures of our newest Cavite missionaries. They are now members of our family for a season.
 Elder and Sister Maxfield
 Elder Jansrikesorn
 Elder Manley
 Elder Johnson
 Elder Lazan
 Elder Kesler
Elder Untalan
 Sister Teirra
 Sister Sorronda
 Elder Banawan
Sister Zaballa
Elder Burton - he just joined us. (11/19)He has been recovering at the Manila MTC. Its not often that President gets to look at someone straight in the eyes. Elder Burton's companion is just as tall as he is - we call them the twin towers.
Extra Pictures of the Day

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bacoor Baptisms

On November 9th, seven people became new members of the Church in Bacoor Stake. Most of them were younger children and teenagers. Elder Lasley and Elder Hora preformed the Baptisms.
 Elder Lasley in his whites, and Elder Zacarias
 I love the Filipino children
 In the Philippines,  the person who gets baptized will bare their testimony after they have changed back into their regular clothes. These two were so special. This little girl was really shy and she would lower her heard when she spoke. The young boy was also shy and he did a wonderful job too. I felt bad at the time because some of the people sitting down were not listening to either the little girl or the boy. At one point while the boy was speaking someone started to laugh. They weren't laughing at him, just laughing at something that was being said by the person sitting next to them. But this darling young boy looked so crushed, almost like he thought they were laughing at him. It broke my heart. He became even more shy, but he finished his testimony. I wanted to tell him that even though I could not understand Taglog, I was listening and the Spirit told me what a fine young man he is. I wonder if the people who were talking during his testimony heard the Spirit's whispers?
 One of the families made some soup to eat after the Baptism. I thought this little young lady was so pretty.
Elder Zacarias and Elder Lasley
On November 16th, there were 2 baptized in the Bacoor building - one investigator and one child of record. Sister Vaki and Sister Daquila were the missionaries.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two Zone Meetings

We visited two zone meetings today.

 Las Pinas Zone
Elder Anderson and Elder Kauer
 Sister Folau and Sister Saavedra
Through the Elders we see Sister Clifton, Sister Lasalosi, Sister Murphy, and Elder Sanchez - the Zone Leader
Since we visited the Las Pinas Zone last month, we only stayed for a few minutes.
San Gabriel Zone
 Sister Manu and Sister Cabusca teach about locking your heart
 Elders Creager, Villa, Parilla, Baylon, Ripdos, and Colcol
 Zone Leaders - Elder Magistrado and Elder Mole
 The San Gabriel Zone
Front row l-r: Elders Villa, Ripdos ,Cauilan, Parilla, Caliao, To'o
Second row: Elder Colcol, Sisters Vanfleet, Tabayay, Cabusca, Manu, Davies, Sarman, Elder Mole
Back row: Elders Holdaway, Baylon, Creager, Barney, Collins, Magistrado