Pebrero 18, 2014
Clearly, we are not in the Philippines yet. Sandy and I have been preparing; doctor appointments, pharmacy appointments, new glasses appointments, colonoscopy, dental appointments, gathering clothing, putting all together so we can leave our home, studying Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures, searching the mission on the Internet (blogs, lds.org info etc.), emailing with Elder and Sister Taylor (senior missionaries in the mission who have been valuable in helping us with details), buying Prilosec to take with us and repellent and rubber shoes. We have been getting an apartment ready to rent, getting things stored in the house, taxes done, I have been exercising/dieting trying to get stronger so I can work, doing our church work in the ward, home teaching, transferring insurance to the church insurance group, getting clear on travel baggage, getting the laptop working well so we can skype, reading about the Philippines, and wondering how it will be.
I have been studying Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) language. It is tough. It took me a week to learn to count to ten. There are many words from Spanish, but many sound like jibberish to me. And, dictionaries don't always agree. It is fun and interesting though. We are told that English is prevalent on the island of Panay, so we don't need to study, but I want to speak a little at least, out of respect.
They say"Hi" and "Hello" and "Ma'ayong Aga" (good morning). There are several greetings with Ma'ayong for mid day, afternoon evening and Ma'ayong adlaw meaning good day.
So, I am just starting the blog/Journal today, February 18, 2014. We are to report to the MTC on 3 March at 10:45. They tell us that a bunch of senior missionaries will arrive that day. I know that none will be coming to our mission, but it will be fun to study Preach My Gospel with them for a few days. We leave on 10 March at 11:00 out of Salt Lake. I do not look forward to the travel. "Bulig!", or Help!
It has been an interesting and instructive time from the Lord. We asked for a year mission, in someplace that was not hot and humid, where we could take our own car and not be in closed-in circumstances; perhaps a temple . . . They payed no attention. I was excited when we opened the call, and torqued after I thought about it a little while.
Candace and Dave Gingery helped me think more clearly, and Bishop Hilton, and things started happening and the Lord's hand started appearing about daily and in so many different ways. I have felt the Spirit and now I know the call was from Ang Manugdumala (the boss). I will go where he wants me to go. Sandy was fine with it from the beginning I think.
We talked to the President (Presidente (Pangulo) Aquino) via e-mail. I inquiered to see if we had to have a Japanese influenza vaccine ($300 a pop for each of us and we needed two pops each). President was nothing short of ebullient to hear we were coming and wanted us to come sooner, if we could. He told us he had checked with the mission doctor and we didn't need that shot. He said we would be assigned to the Antique (pronounced on-tick-wa) District to help with them becoming a stake, we will check apartments once every 6 weeks, and we will help with English acquisition for non-English speaking missionaries. Sounds very interesting.
He told us he loved us . . .which hit me like a ton of bricks. Since then, I am his loyal geezer missionary, anxious to get to Iloilo and get going. Ma'ayong adlaw kag bugay sa ka. (Good day and blessings to you.)