Monday, June 30, 2014

Martes ang 1 ni Julio

A new month. Where did Junio go?

We attended District Meeting this morning. Sister Sessions and I met with the Elders from Tibiao/Culasi and Bugasong this morning. Them met with us today because of all the Elders that left for home. It was good to have them and hear from them. I expect it may be the last Tuesday that we will see many of these missionaries. So, we had a photo opp:

Elder Mondragon, Elder Latchumanan, and Elder Ualat, with crazy Sister Viliami looking in . . . Cool group.

Elder Alforque

Elder Hopkins and Elder Watkins in the background. . .
Elder Christensen
It was bitter sweet. Bitter, because we may never see some of these again. Sweet, because they are all faithful missionaries and we love them and will miss those that are going to new areas to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. SWEET!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Domingo ang 29

Good Sabbath Day today. There were a goodly number at church today and an additional group from BYU visited as well. The speakers were good, and the Sacrament was spiritual.

Sunday School was taught by Brother Beriong's daughter as he couldn't attend. I don't know why. She taught from 1st Kings 11 thru ??? She did a good job and there was good participation. Much of it we couldn't understand.  The focus was on Solomon being replaced, at his death, by Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was a poor leader who ignored older, more experienced men whom he asked for advice. He, instead, followed young, inexperienced (meaning those with less wisdom). He added to the tax burden and led Israel to idolatry again and into heavy taxation and governmental oppression. (Important to remember after Solomon, that the Children of Israel divided into Judah (and a great part of the tribe of Benjamin) and the Children of Israel, north of Jerusalem, as I understand the division. Judah remained more righteous than the other 10 tribes and, again, the whole Old Testament seems to be about idolatry and immorality along with idolatry.

We got into a discussion about leadership, with Rehoboam as the example of crappy leaders and the problems brought on by poor leaders.

I turned to Mosiah, because I know that King Benjamin was a superior leader. There are many good leaders in the BoM. At the top of page 148 in Mosiah, I found a note I wrote some time back from Neal A. Maxwell, "King Benjamin gives the manual for discipleship." I would say he gave the manual for leadership as well. In Mosiah 2:11-18, King Benjamin describes great discipleship/leadership qualities.

A question arose, "What should we remove from our homes so we are less influenced by 'other Gods', like cellphones/technology/television?"

The question sort of stumped us. Nobody wants to give up tools that help us so much. I thought that perhaps we need not do away with the things that the Lord has given to further our progress and that of the Church, and that Lucifer has turned for evil.

Instead, I thought, and commented that perhaps what we ought to do away with is weakness and, instead of doing away with something, go ahead and strengthen ourselves to use the gifts provided only for good in our homes and lives. That seemed to be an answer that everyone could buy into. It is obviously difficult and there are many weak individuals who delve into pornography, constant cell phone use, television (have done this one myself) and the use of cell phones to the detriment of their family and friends. Call us "natural men."

[Sister S and I were in a restaurant in Birmingham and saw cute little family sitting next to us. The man and woman never took their eyes off their cell phones. There was no conversation. Their cute little son and daughter sat there waiting for their meal. There was no communication in the family. We thought how sad that was and how much we missed our children and grandchildren.]

Today was the fifth Sunday, so when we finally got into Priesthood, we were informed that we would meet in a combined meeting. We all went to the gym. The young men and young women met with the older Priesthood and Relief Society. However, nothing had been planned. We were very disorganized and I was flat out embarrassed.

Finally, Brother Demata of the branch presidency took the floor and asked the Zone Leaders to go over the new direction for missionary work in Antique. Elder Schaffer did a nice job, but the youth used the time as a visiting session and were very disruptive, talking the whole time and not listening. I was not impressed with the whole time and I envied those who went home early. We simply have to offer more and better instruction and use of time, if we want members to stay for the block of 3 hours.

This afternoon, we went with the missionaries to Brother and Sister Aldemita's house for dinner. It was very good and we got to see Elder Bohman, who leaves for Iloilo and home tomorrow morning.

The mission is taking a hit tomorrow as Sister Ili, Elder Aiolupotea, Elder Bohman, Elder Lopez, Sister Cabrera, Elder Mallillin, Elder Inoke, Elder Nakaata, Elder Stacey, Elder Truner, and Sister Uno go home Tuesday. We will miss several with whom we have been acquainted and come to love. We pray for blessings for them and we know the Lord loves them and will be blessing them whenever/however He can.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Huwebes the 26th
6:34 pm

Got home from a rough afternoon on painting in Dao with Paulo and Rodell. It was very fun and relaxing.

Things are going pretty well. We had a "brown out" last night. That means the electricity shut down in town. We were lucky and the evening was relatively comfortable. We opened the windows and slept fitfully, but not bad. I am so glad it didn't happen a few months ago. I would have had to sleep in the running car in the air con.

We have had about 3 down days, with little going on mission wise. I have been working with Jon Sia to get the WiFi going at the branch building. It has been down 4 months. He said they would come today and it worked out that the power came on in time for them to work. I have texted him to see if we are wifi'ing in San Jose yet. Haven't heard back . . . not a good sign. We will have wifi . . .

Tomorrow I go with the missionaries to visit and tomorrow evening we have a leadership meeting in the San Jose District. We are running it by agenda. It ought to be a good meeting and we will accomplish a good deal.

Some photos from today:
Painting partners. We did some good work today and I learned a bunch about painting ocean and beach.
School gets out about 5:00 pm and the kids fill the streets and highways walking home.

Still a sucker for colorful unbrellas . . .
This is Elder Bohman. He is heading home Monday. He will be missed. He is from Las Vegas and has been given the gift of tongues. Good man, great missionary.

Sabado ang 28th

Good day today. We walked; it seems like a long time back now. I worked on the District/Branches Mission Plan and received e-mails from the Mission Office. I got the truck cleaned and read scriptures.

The guys cleaning the truck did a detail on it. They like that I give them a good tip for their help and they go overboard.

Sister Sessions took the truck today and hauled the Relief Society leaders and the sister missionaries to the chapel. They cleaned, then they went visiting teaching.

While they were going, I finished the rough draft for President Villavert and President Amar and took some e-mails to President Villavert from the Mission Office. I rode a trike and then walked back to the house. I read scriptures some more, then rode a trike to the chapel for baptisms this evening. W

At the church, there were a whole bunch of youth and members there for the baptism and to just socialize. The church is a meeting place each evening for basketball in the parking lot and for the youth and young singles to get together and play and visit.

The baptism was well done and I had the honor of doing the closing prayer. I tried some Kinaray-a, but ran out of words pretty fast and shifted quickly to English.

It was a spiritual meeting. I looked at Matthew 11:28-30, then to 3 Nephi 9:15-22 while the talks on the Spirit and Baptism were taking place. I can't understand enough to make the talks worth while yet. I was thinking of the two people being baptized, Brother Agsunud and Sister Karen (?). How they were taking upon them the yoke of Christ and what blessing lie in store for them if they keep themselves "in the way". The music invited the Spirit and the baptisms were sweet.

We were going for ice cream after, but we started giving rides home three sisters that live in the compound and forgot to go to ice cream. . . we will make up for it Monday.
Add caption

Sister Viliami. What a great missionary and what a fun person.

From the left, Elder Ortiz, Sister Karen and her little girl, Brother Agsunud and then his daughter, Sister Agsunud and their boy, then Elder Schaffer. Brother Agsunud bore testimony after the baptism and he looked like he belonged at the podium. Hope to see him there often in the coming months.

Brother Kib recording the goings on. He is the mission leader, among other callings and he photographs everything and shares on Facebook. Lots of fun . . .

Sister Winward visiting with the young women while they make little flowers to share. Pretty cool flowers.

Sister Sessios visiting with the Relief Society President (Sister Aldemita). Sister Viliami in the foreground playing a little volleyball with the kids.
Great time. Sabbath Day tomorrow and confirmations of those baptized. Maybe we will get to visit with some branch leadership tomorrow. Anyway, we look forward to taking the Sacrament and learning in Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Biyernes ang 27, 2014

Going to haul Elders and Sisters to visit less actives in the Belison area at 1:00 today. We meet with the District President and Branch leaders at 5:00. We look forward to doing something . . .

Tomorrow the Dao "Angels" (Elders Mondragon and Ualat) baptize two young women. I will try to ride a jeepney up to support them, but a brother is getting baptized in San Jose (one we have been involved with in teaching and fellow-shipping).

Dulito called at 4:30 this morning from Cebu. He is on his way to Tacloban to try and locate his family, if they are still alive after Yolanda. We employ him to keep us supplied with peanuts and to sweep/clean around the house one day a week, and I bought some bamboo from him to make easels. He has been able to save enough over the last month, or so, to travel to Tacloban.

I don't know if he knew the time, if he didn't really care, or if he figured we would be up. I was awake, but barely, when the phone sounded. I told him to be careful and we hope he finds his family alive and well.

Painted this up near Dao yesterday. It is hard to get a good photo of the painting, but it is one that I like. Not many have turned out well.
7:04 pm     We had a good day with the missionaries visiting in Belison. Then, we had a good meeting with President Villavert and Brother Amar this evening. We explained the focus for missionaries and suggested the process for the District Mission Plan (and Branch Mission Plan).

The plan for the Branches and District would focus on leader visitation and building home teaching and visiting teaching in each branch. We teach: Individual and Family Prayer, Scripture Study (individual and family), Family Home Evening, Church Attendance, Paying Tithing, and Individual Evaluation of Personal Progress.

We talked about callings and went over the handbook regarding callings. We talked about confidentiality and interviewing. I think it was a good meeting and a good training. We have far to go, but we have willing leaders with whom we are able to work. Pretty good day. Tomorrow . . . baptisms.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lunes ang 23rd

Back from Iloilo. We left pretty early, but the roads through the mountains and the traffic into Iloilo were killers. It took us longer than we thought. I drove like a crazy man for the last 40 minutes, and that put us 12 minutes late. I hate being late.

When we got to the mission home, the missionary that set the appointment for 9:00 am was not there yet. He was about another 20 minutes. I hate lateness. . . here is my thinking, for what it is worth. With our agency, comes our choice on how to spend our time. We sometimes do well and sometimes we waste our time. My thinking is, You don't get the choice to waste my time. Yes, I bend, but I have been known to leave.

President Aquino came into the office and asked to see me in his office, but he had to interview some sisters first. That saved the appointment for signing our paperwork. I was just about out the door. Had a good talk with the President. He is pretty ill. I told him to see a doctor, but he told me he had lots of medicine. . .

We went to China Art, looking for a good art supply dealer. It was very poorly supplied. Gion's in San Jose has more and better supplies.

Sister S wanted to go to MacDonalds. We did so. I could only eat fries and drink a coke. The sores on my arms are not improving. Don't know what to do. I guess we will go back to Iloilo to a dermatologist there.

It was a beautiful day. The light seems to have changed, like it does when summer changes to fall. Some pics:
Mid-Iloilo. There are Catholic cathedrals all around Panay. They are quite beautiful and very old. . .

The shore near Anini-y. Pretty bay and pretty day.
Just some buildings I liked off the "fly-over" near Iloilo Proper. This translates to a picture from the overpass in downtown Iloilo.
We were pooped when we got in the door. Sister S is taking a nap and I am worrying about my sores, wondering what to do with them. I have tried several prescription creams from Boise and from San Jose. I have tried neosporin(sp?), actually a walgreen double for the same. The dogs are barking. Think I'll heat up some soup.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Domingo ang 22nd

Good Sabbath. Good church meetings. We have the missionaries coming over for a cottage meeting this evening to plan for continued visiting and invitations.

I went with Brother Saturnino Demata this afternoon visiting. We had a good time and I think we were successful, and perhaps even a blessing to some. But, I was so terribly struck by the poverty of those we visited. I know that it is the wrong thing to do, so I didn't, but it is so difficult not to just pull out a 1000 peso bill (about $20) and say, "Here. . . Pay your tithe and live for a month with food and water."

When we see people at church, they are all dressed in their best and look prosperous enough. One would never guess at their home circumstances. We pray for them and we pray that The Lord will help us and them, to be more faithful and prosperous, in that order.

Of course, not all the people are in such straits, but is a huge percentage that are. I know The Lord will bless them if they do their part.

Sister Agsunud had her children sitting beside her in Sacrament this morning. Her daughter (high school age and very petite), and her son sat next to his sister. About half way through the time, the daughter moved to the other side of her mother. She and her brother then snuggled up and lay their heads their mother's shoulder. Two thoughts ran through my head. One was, "I wish I could still do that with my mom.  Second, moms are the same all over the world.

9:40 pm:   Good meeting this evening. I think we are on the right track. Heading to Iloilo in the morning to take our visa papers to the office. We will get some supplies and head back.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sabado, June 21

We have had great outpourings of rain the last few days. We have only been able to exercise at the track once this week. Hopefully we can go this evening, after leadership meeting.

We have done our Antique apartment checks and little else. Last evening I was able to go with the Elders to the Angsanud home (sp?). We taught the restoration and I was able to teach about prophets and Joseph Smith and bear testimony. We had a good meeting. Mostly, when Elder Ortiz talked about prayer and family prayer, I was moved to testify to the family that they would look back, in the not too distant future, and recognize the blessings to their family from family prayer and family reading of the scriptures. The other things that I taught were from me and I did not feel the Spirit.

Having a tough time with sores on my knees, elbows, chin, and rear. I saw the doctor two days ago in San Jose. She is a dermatologist and she prescribed medication for me. It cost me about 7 dollars for the doctor's visit and about $40 for the medication. I am to take the medication and use the ointment for two weeks. So far, I feel better from the antibiotics, but the sores are not improving. I have jungle rot of some sort under the thumbnail of the weird thumb from Michael's inpetigo. We are losing a bit of weight and feel pretty strong, just rotting away slowly.

We are teaching in Leadership Training this afternoon for the district. We are teaching on shepherding and sort of look forward to the opportunity. San Jose has a long way to go . . .

Some Pics from this week's travels:
This is an old church/school about half way to Bugasong. I can't remember the name of the barangay.
Boat builder near Francis' house. They roll the big boats up on palm trunks so they can make repairs to the bottoms.
For some reason, everyone loves to have their pictures taken. They will never see the pictures, but they don't care. The boat builder wanted me to take his picture and the two people talking to him were pleased to be included.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Martes the 17th

We went to Iloilo yesterday morning. We transported Elder Millellin (pronounces milleelin) to the mission home to take his CLS English test online. Sister Taylor administered the test and trained Sister Sessions and me how to do the same in Antique.

We left San Jose at 8:00 am and got to Iloilo about 10. We went to get a quick bite to eat at Pie Surprise. We did the test stuff and took Elder Millellin and the Taylors to some bamboo shop run by the Catholic Sisters in LaPaz. It was a pretty neat place. Elder Millellin had them make several replica name badges from bamboo and made them into key chains. They are pretty cool. He is giving them to some of his close missionary friends in the mission prior to leaving for home (in two weeks).

The Taylors separated from us at the shop. I was sort of surprised because we would have been glad to run them over across the way to the dock where they could catch a pump boat home. I think I bothered her with my driving. We went to Robinson's Market and got a few groceries and some treats for the 4 hour ride to Culasi.

Elder Millellin is a fine missionary and is finishing up his mission in two weeks. He extended for a few months to help and was a delight to Sister Sessions and me as we went about together for the whole day. We drove him back to Culasi last evening and had hours of gospel/missionary discussion.

The down side of the trip was we came to a barangay just before Annini'i and a man had been killed in a motorcycle accident. The motorcycle was in the middle of the road and the man was in the far shoulder. I couldn't see and broken limbs, abrasions, or cuts. The motorcycle seemed to be okay. The guy was dead though, and we wondered if he was hit, or if he fell off. Many ride while they are in the bag. It is a common death, we are told.

Another downer was when we tried to mail a package to the US for the second time. The place ticked me off so bad that I just took the package back from the dork lady who was messing with me and got out of there.  When we got to Culasi, I asked Elder Stacey to mail it when he gets home in two weeks and gave him some money to do so. No more packages going to the US from us.

We got home to San Jose about 10:00 pm and got to bed. I am behind in my Old Testament reading. I read a few minutes in Jeremiah and couldn't handle any more. It is one boring book of scripture. Some of the Old Testament is miss-named . . . Boring Testament would be closer. They ought to have cut it down to about 3-4 good books.Well, I will keep after it and will get into the New Testament in about a week.

We took P-day today, after district meetings at the church this morning. We took cake for Sister Pappleye's birthday and after, I went painting with Rodell and Paulo.

We had a good time, but it rained like crazy. We went to a little beach resort and painted from under a nepa roof. (SP?) It was quiet and relaxing and they taught me some good things. Good guys. I am trying to get the chance to open my mouth to them. I taught Rodell about the Word of Wisdom last week. They joked about it today saying, "Let's go get a beer." They thought that was pretty funny. Obviously, Rodell had shared our lesson with Paulo, but they wouldn't bite on any little hints today. We had a good time and enjoyed each other's company. Patience.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Domingo the 15th
Here is is Father's Day. We had no idea until we got to church this morning in Culasi. We have no idea what day it is most of the time. We missed Mother's Day too. Lucky for us somebody remembers and knows the date. Happy Father's Day to the boys and Brian. Be great ones . . .

We had a wonderful evening last night with a major family home evening at Bertolano's up in the Hamtic hills. Lorna's whole family was there and I think Robert (the father/husband) is softening. We took pictures and had a lot of fun joking with everyone. Sister Sessions made snicker doodles and they were a hit. We had a lesson on agency and we played some games and ate treats. It was truly good and fun and the Lord was involved, softening hearts helping friends. Sweet!
Left to right/back to front: Robert, Rensi, Lorna, Little Robert Ryan and down front, Ralph. Lorna made Robert change his T-shirt because the other had holes. He is a good guy and I hope to see the whole family baptized before we come home. Good group!
We picked up President Villavert this morning and drove to Culasi. Sister Sessions and I were asked to speak in their sacrament. Sister S spoke on prayer and I did testimonies. We did okay. President Villavert spoke well and it was sort of fun because he threw in enough English that I could understand what the talk was about. We had a great conversation during the two hour trip and he used some of the things we talked about in his talk. It was a good, fun day in humble surroundings with humble, joyful people.
Getting ready for sacrament meeting. President Villavert center rear. Good man.

Semi Whacky Picture after sacrament meeting. Then we spit with Sister Ortega (down front) taking the primary and Elder Millellin (back left) teaching Gospel Essentials. What a great time.
 We met in the walkway between a concrete wall and the houses in the compound. They have tarps over the seating area in case of rain, and to keep off the warm sun. The sacrament was very special and I just absolutely loved being there and talking to people. Many are about to join the church through baptism.

Each person was to introduce themselves in Sunday school. I stood and said, "Ako si Elder Sessions, taga United States." You'd think I was a rock star. They smiled and laughed and got a real kick out of the old geezer speaking Kinari-a. It was a hit. Sister S would not try it . . . next time maybe.

We talked to a young man (far right in the group pic) that was attending for the first time. I thought he was a member. He led our group in Sunday School. I asked him when he was  being baptized. It was the first he had thought of it, but I told him the Lord loves him and wants him in His church. He is suppose to call us and let us know so we can come to his baptism, in the ocean.

He told Sister S that he would get our information from the Elders and that he would call us for sure. What a great young man. He works for a bank in Culasi and said he was a temporary employee there. I told him that may change. The district needs him and the Lord just may have plans for him as well and to stay flexible. Just a great day.

We drove back to San Jose, had lunch at the house with Elder Millellin and then deposited him with the Zone Leaders to go work. We are pooped and waiting for Francis to come and have a little language lesson.

Tomorrow we take Elder Millellin to Iloilo to test in English at the mission home. He goes home in two weeks and needs that certification to help him in so many ways, inside the church and in the work sector. We look forward to spending a day with him and learning about the CES test program. We will be administering the test to Elders/Sisters who finish their English study in Antique. Two great days, with a third on the horizon.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday the 13th. . .

Actually a pretty lucky day. We walked this morning and there were very few people there. Then we had breakfast and waited for Francis. He didn't show up, so we fired him a text, "Sino ikaw?" (Where You?)
Sounds strange, but "are" is not used.

Francis texted us back that it was raining so hared at his house that he couldn't come. It was not raining at our house at all, but I don't doubt his word. We have been in four inches of water about half mile away and it is dry in our driveway when we get home. We set up to meet Sunday evening for a while to study.

We had nothing going today, but Rodell and I went painting and I had a great time. He showed me how to paint lighter by demonstrating with a portrait. We went to the Kammai Beach Resort and it was peaceful and quiet. The ocean waves were coming in and the familiar sound of waves crashing on shore was comforting. It is usually so calm that there are no waves.

Yesterday we inspected apartments in Dao, Hamtic and the San Jose Sister's apartment. Being independence day, Dao held a parade. We caught the end of it, but it was the only float. Mostly, people just wore different colored T-shirts and walk in groups with umbrellas. Not sure what the draw is.
No idea what we were looking at here. Miss Visayas and Miss Minda  . . .can't read it. No idea, but they were all dolled up.

This morning, Rodell and I went looking for a place to paint. We went down to the port area, but there were too many people to have a little quiet privacy to paint.
This looked like a fun subject to me, but Rodell didn't like all the people looking on.
 Not much to report. Tomorrow, Sister Sessions has some appointments with the Sisters, but again, I have nothing on the docket. Sometimes it is pretty slack here. I have lots of scriptures to read and language to study . . . Sunday we get busy again for a few days, then back to slack, unless something comes up with the Elders/Sisters.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thursday the 12th
Today is Philippine Independence Day. We had no idea, but Grace Villavert called this morning from America and told us. We have seen little snippets of patriotism today during our travel and the Philippine TV.

We drove to Dao this morning early to begin apartment inspections. The missionaries were prepared well. We checked area books and plan books. We asked if they had some cash stashed for emergencies and if they had 72 hour kits. We checked their furniture and asked about progress in English for native speakers. Sister Sessions checked the houses for cleanliness, cleaning materials, screens on windows, whether or not land lords were storing personal things in missionary apartments, and safety issues like smoke and CO2 detectors.

Sister S awarded sleeves of Chips Ahoy or Oreos for "celestial" apartments and she gave them some items to go in 72 hour kits to help build the kits (sardines and crackers). Sardines are big here in the Philippines, bigger than Spam even. She gave them a bottle of Ajax as well  because they have to buy their cleaning supplies themselves and some months money is short.

I have been sick since last night, tired, and my eyes burn. I am a bit worn down I suppose. I just got up from a two hour nap and I feel a bit logy, but my stomach is not upset like last night.

Sister S is with the sister missionaries this afternoon. They took the truck and went visiting less active sisters, visiting teaching and inviting them back. I am sure they are having a good (sister) time. She is probably really enjoying it because the sisters all speak English and they can converse.

Our language study is slow, but progressing. We both need to review for our lesson tomorrow morning.

I have been reading on the internet concerning America's involvement in the Philippines since 1889. Perspective make history differ some. I would like to read a non-biased book regarding the actual truthful history of Spain . . .America . . . Philippines and the independence of the Philippines. The Phillipine Google is not that place.

Raining daily and humid. Rain pounds on the roof as I write this. We still have a leak it appears. We are doing well enough, but this is sort of a down week. It is good that my little sickness hits this week.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Martes the 10th

The zone leaders put on a training this morning. They did a good job. The teaching was about having the Spirit to teach and find. We have had good success with being led by the Spirit to find and invite back less active brethren. Last Sunday, the number of returning men was 12 and many brought families with the. We need to retain them and help them become tithe payers and committed disciples of Jesus Christ. Clearly, the Spirit does that also, with missionaries as tools and helpers..

Dulito came over today to work. I have been calling him Dunito since we met. He has been too kind/shy to correct me. In all the searching for his records, it is likely that I slowed things up with misspelling his name. He has been calling us "Mother" and "Father". I think he did this out of respect for our ages, but we cleared the nomenclature up today and learned his name and he now refers to us as Elder and Sister. It is much more comfortable.

We have a good little arrangement for him to help around the house and procure some items for us that we can't get for ourselves. For instance, he brought me 9 lengths of young bamboo in about 2 inch diameter and about 8 feet long. I build a tripod/easel out of some of it and will likely do more as I learn how to use the stuff. He bought kilo of fresh prawns for us (me . . .Sister S doesn't like seafood)this morning at the market. I payed him the same amount I usually have to pay (as a foreigner) and he pocketed a few hundred pesos. He worked at the house til 3:00. We trimmed off the bottom of a sticking door. I am so much more happy when I can get into the rooms of the house without problem doors.

In the training today, Elder Shaffer taught about Elder Arden's method of study, which is to look at a set of scriptures and ponder them thoroughly, asking how they relate to him, to his calling, to his family. We used 1 Nephi 17:7-13. We read the scriptures . . . we focused on one word . . . we pondered how it relates to missionary work in the Antique Zone.
Naturally, some focused on "Arise" right away, so did I . . . so, a study chart would look like:

Verse 7           "Arise"           Missionaries rise early in the morning to study and get going.
                                            Rise up of men (and women) of God.
                                            Or, ????

Verse 10          "tools"           What are the tools of a missionary?
                                             How does a missionary use tools to share the Gospel?
                                            Or, ?????
 Mine, which I did not share:                                    ship
Verse 8            "construct"    Thou shalt construct a disciple of Christ, after the manner which I shall show
                                            thee, that I may carry my disciples across the waters of their lives." Not a                                                     quote, I know . . .

Perhaps a bit loose with the scripture, but I enjoyed the process and can see how it can help us learn, study, and have fun with study. It is actually fun to learn in this way and to feel the Spirit. I was absolutely amazed at the depth of these few scriptures as I looked at individual words, themes, possible meanings, and related them to our mission and my life.

Elder Ortiz taught about revelation and the role of revelation and inspiration in missionary work and beyond. It was a fine training and we enjoyed the morning.

This evening we go with the sisters to visit a less active man. We look forward to a great spiritual meeting. After, we are taking a cake to Elder Watkins. We learned today that his birthday was the end of May and everyone missed it. He is pretty new in the mission, so we wanted to pay a little attention to him. He is going to be a really good missionary.

It rained hard this morning from about 3 til about 6:00 am. About 4:30 am I felt the bed moving around. I was laying on my stomach. I thought it was Sister Sessions tossing and turning, but when I looked at her to stop raising all the ruckus, she was dead asleep. I thought, "Well my heart must have been pounding."

About 15 minutes later the same thing happened. I looked at Sister Sessions, then looked at the curtains to see if they were moving in case it was an earth quake. They were still. I didn't know what was going on. At the meetings this morning one of the Elders asked if we had felt the earth quake. It was pretty minor.

Some Pics . . . reflections I want to paint perhaps:

Can't see the reflections as well in this one, but the farm hut is tough to resist.

Elders Noleal and Ortiz last evening. We went to see a man in the Chooks to Go. The man is from Hamtic, so the Elders got his information and promised him they would refer him to the Elders there. Took this quickly through the window, hence the filtered look. I like it though.

Saw this jeepney loaded to go in Sibalom when I took Dulito back this afternoon. I couldn't resist it. Perhaps a new record. They seem to overload for the trip to San Remegio. We are going to try a jeepney ride one of these day. I want Sister S to ride on the back with me, but she seems reluctant.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Domingo the 8th
Sunday night:

We took President Villavert (district president) to Dao this morning for church. It was a beautiful day. The wind blew off the ocean and kept the building cool until noon. We then met with the branch presidency after the block and the weather had warmed  so the air coming through the windows was warm and wet. We talked about calendar and some things that I had no idea on (language problems). Meetings went well.

Dao branch meets in a house the church rents, but it has been big enough for quite a long time. The missionary work in Dao is slow. I know we are not supposed to say that, but in this case, it is very true. However, they do have several baptisms scheduled for the end of June. The missionaries there are good ones (serious and hard working) and we pray for them to find, teach, and baptize.
Break between Sacrament and Sunday School. I ran and got the camera.
I planned to visit this afternoon with President Guilingen, but he texted me that he was ill. We hung out at home and rested until this evening.

The San Jose missionaries all came for a cottage meeting and Sister Sessions made tacos. We enjoyed the meal quite a bit, but the native missionaries thought it only fair. It is so strange that we love the food we are brought up on and are used to, while the new things bother us. Rice is just way big here and we can't figure out why. (plain white rice

We had a good meeting and made plans for future improvements in visiting and finding. The two support one another.It was actually a very good meeting. We will meet in two weeks and check our progress.
From left around . . . Sister Viliami, Elder Shaffer, Elder Ortiz (zone leaders), Sister Winward, Sister Dotillos, and Sister Rappleye. Good group of hard working missionaries. They are really fun and we made plans for Sister Sessions and for me to visit/teach with them. We are excited.

Tomorrow we will have a normal P-day I suppose. We will help the missionaries get their laundry done, walk . . . then we are unplanned. We have some little chores to do, but not much. It has been a pretty good week.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Sabado the 7th
June is flying past. I expect Sister Gingery and President are in Jamaica about now, it seems like this is the time. I am anxious to hear a report.

We went to Iloilo yesterday and toured the Univeersity of the Philippines Visayas' art collection. It was in an old building that was the city hall in the early 1900's, and was also taken over as headquarters for the Japanese Army in WWII. It has a strange musty smell and it is definitely historic.

We met a wonderful young woman at the library/gallery who took us on the tour. She was very knowledgeable and helped us enjoy the collection. I told her, near the end of our visit, that the Lord wanted her to join His church. She said she was comfortable in her present church. I told her just to keep it in mind . She said she would, but these folks would rather tell you what you want to hear than the truth . . . perhaps a seed though.

These are three favorites from the tour. We were allowed to photograph as long as the pictures were for personal use.

Other paintings were older, and many lacked matting and the frames were very poor, but the paintings were wonderful; done with substandard materials, and great talent. I really enjoyed the tour, and I think Sister S. did too. We are going to try to do more of this type of P-day activities.

We visited the Iloilo Museum as well. It was interesting, but small. There was not much art, but the artifacts from the island were interesting. We shopped at the grocery stores where we find US goods and had a nice ride.

It was our best time in Iloilo thus far. I usually want to get the heck out of there about 2 minutes after arriving. But, this time the traffic was not so bad and the day was fairly comfortable. The weather in bearable now and we are not so uncomfortable in the heat and humidity.

Today we walked and I went to pick up Dunito. He came to the house to work a bit. We had a nice lunch and we talked to the missionaries. We have been unsuccessful in locating Dunito's baptism/membership records. We are going to check under a couple of different spellings in Salt Lake City, but we suspect that the original record was never "recorded". Therefore, Dunito will have to be re-baptized. It bothered him to hear that, but the missionaries, using their language skills, were able to explain the process to him to his satisfaction.

This afternoon and evening I went with the missionaries visiting less active families. We had a good, spiritual time and I sure enjoyed meeting and sharing testimonies.

We have been working with Brother Francis on our language and enjoying that very much too. We may even learn enough to be dangerous before we leave for home.
Clouds from the parking lot of the SM mall. The skies and mountain scenes here are spectacular. I want to learn to paint these before we come home too.
I have been working on an easel. It is bamboo. This stuff is tough to make do what one wants. When you drill it cracks. When you saw it, it cracks. I almost finished a part, when it cracked. I epoxied it rather than start over.

Going to Dao tomorrow for church. We are taking the District President with us. We have talks prepared just in case we are asked to speak. It happens. The drive to Dao is beautiful and we love the missionaries. We look forward to the trip.