Nothing happening today. Yesterday I met with President Villavert and President Nabong. We had a good meeting and we hope it will be fruitful for Hamtic Branch. Sister S and I went to James' house with the Elders in the afternoon and had a good lesson on the commandments. We promised to get him some videos of conference and some information on the history of the church. We committed him to continue reading in the BoM, which will help him more than anything else to progress toward baptism. We told him he had to attend church 4 consecutive Sundays to indicate his commitment and then he can be baptized . He is a good man and he committed to attend church Sunday. We pray for him and pray he will keep his committments.
Today I went to find a place to paint after breakfast. I immediately got to a place that looked promising, but not great . . . then I needed to use the CR (comfort room . . . toilet), so I ripped back to the house. I then drove down through the town looking for a place to paint. I couldn't find a place where I liked the light. I went over to the port. The tide was out. Kids were trying to catch some fish to eat.
The ladies were pushing a tripod type scoop (I will get a photograph later), collecting microscopic fish. I could barely see them in the pans. I asked what she would do with them. I couldn't imagine that one could even taste them if they were put on rice. It would take thousands to make a good bite. The lady told me that if she collected 100 of the little, I shall call them fry, she could earn 20 pesos. Holy Crap. She worked for two hours while I walked and she told me she had 50, and she was very happy. I walked away and tears came. I pray for these poor people. Here, there are the haves, and the have nots, and the have nothings.
It felt so good to walk on the beach that I had gone too far and barely made it back to the truck. I drove up the way up the road and found another place to pull off and stopped. There were some sailing boats, fishing boats actually, heading in to shore. I grabbed my board and paper and hurried down to the sand, then quickly sketched two boats coming in and sat down to paint. The fishermen came in and I went and talked to the men for a few minutes. They were old, like me, had no teeth, and we laughed and visited about their catch. They tried to gross me out telling me they eat the eyes of the fish. I know that they do. I just laughed and congratulated them on all the fish they had gathered.
On the way home, I racked my brain on how we might help these people. All I can think of is to try to share the gospel with them. I know it will bless their lives like nothing else, but I also realize that they live in such poverty that they think of little else beside food and shelter. I know the church is trying to help members learn to be self-reliant. The leaders say, "The Lord is self-reliant." Well, I know it is true, but I do not enjoy the argument, comparing oneself to the Lord.
On the way through San Jose, I stopped at my favorite fruit stand and bought some bananas and mangoes and felt guilty that I could so easily take care of myself and not worry about buying food, clothing, shelter. . .
Tomorrow we are heading up to Culasi to help them get their branch application papers filled out and we will make plans with them to move apartments and set up an apartment in Tibiao where the missionaries can live and hold meetings. We look forward to the drive. It is very pretty and we have not been that way in over a month.
If anyone reads this, offer a little prayer for our brothers and sisters living here; those we don't even know. Pray also that their government will help them and stop stealing from them. Corruption appears to be rampant.