Home nine days. We saw the Stake President at church last Sunday. He said he would be in touch and release us. He has not done so. He is a pretty loose guy though. Our applications papers sat on his desk for weeks. Nobody seemed to look at the papers when they went in. He asked if we would do 18 months opposed to the 1 year we had requested. We went to a hot place, with little medical assistance, and flew for long periods/distances that I specifically asked not to do.
In spite of all that, it doesn't matter. We were sent home by an area authority 70, so I figure we were released in Manila.
It was a tough time. We met many people we loved. We met many who played us. There were many people who play the church for assistance. There many others who are genuine and "pure in heart." We ask the Lord to bless those, pure in heart and the missionaries and the mission president and his wife. We pray for the Philippines and her people. Sorry to be home early, but happy to be home. We await test results from doctors and hope to see a doctor that will help my hearing problem.
Going to get this blog published as our/my journal for the last 13 months. That's it . . . .
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Home for a day. Can't get time straight. 3:39 am. . . Been awake for over an hour.
We got home night before last. Greeted at the airport by the family. It was such a joy to see them and an undeserved blessing.
We spent all yesterday getting some minutia completed and we had a fine visit with Taylors in Meridian. We talked about the mission with some of Taylor's friends who served missions in Thailand and Maylasia. They knew the drills.
Our High Priest Group Leader and his wife visited us and gave me a home teaching assignment. I am so pleased. It was like a message to keep going, it is not over. The battle rages.
Trying to contact doctors for appointments. Going to watch Parker play basketball this morning, later. . .
Got up at 4:30 to be ready by 5:30. Boise took us to the airport at 6:00 . . . Filapinp Standard Time, I will not miss that. I texted our close ones for our last text and we were on our way to the airport. Boycee knew the dates the Philippines were dedicated for mission work.
Joseph F. smith dedicated the land in 1955 from Clark Air base. Then, president Hinckley dedicated the land again in 1961 from the Cemetery. Boycee said the dedication prayer is available on LDS.Org.
I will check it.
We wait to fly to Tokyo, then to Portland, then Boise. I hope to do some sleeping.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
We went to breakfast this morning in the Kasteler's apartment. That is usual. They oversee the MRC and feed the recuperating missionaries. Then we went outside, thinking reception might be better, and face timed to let all know we will be coming home in a few days.
I am adding entries I have written in my sketchbook here. Sister Sessions wanted me to say nothing until we knew what the leaders were recommending. She wanted to wait til we thought departure may be close.
Reading the Old Testament again with the mission. I really don't want to. I e-mailed President Aquino and President Holzapfel to inquire about the efficacy of reading the OT.
Then I opened to Genesis 26, a chapter I have read many times with no registration. The inspiration was clear. We read the Old Testament to find how The Lord blesses us, even when we don't deserve blessings. Sometimes He blesses us to fulfill a covenant promise, because of covenants made to others ( Abraham, mothers, fathers, children). Sometimes He blesses us because He chooses us, or plane old chooses to bless us. Anyway, I am reading the Old Testament reverently and I re-e-mailed the Presidents and told them to disregard my messages.
I did some research for Elder Tracy regarding Zion. The phrase that struck me was, "pure in heart." I thought about how we become pure in heart through exercising faith, studying, serving, and through the Atonement (heavy on The Atonement), and think also that many come here to earth already pure in heart. They are those that immediately recognize the truthfulness of the Gospel and after hearing the Gospel they cannot even be driven from the Church, let alone be offended by someone. . . Joseph Smith, Presidents Hinkley and Monson . . . Sisters Gingery and Sessions, for instance.
The rest of us struggle and study and stop and start and work to become pure in heart. I am reminded of the Lord's paraple of soils.
Anyway, I think that Antique will become a stake when enough "pure in heart" are baptized, or build themselves, so they can take the lead . . .(Jacob 3, Alma 5:19, Matt. 8:8, Mormon 9:6*, Moroni 7:47-48.
Having ear/hearing problems all of a sudden. It started a few days ago. Have been to the doctor here in San Jose. Prescribed 10 days of anti-biotics and more exercise. That did nothing. I complained to President Aquino and he got me in touch with Elder Arner, the Area doctor. He wants us to come to Manila to see specialists.
He wants us to pack and bring all our gear as he is pretty alarmed by medication, history, and now this. We asked that we just travel and see the doc. I offered to pay for any extra travel. (The church travel bill must be enormous). I hope it is something pills can treat.
We got back to San Jose from Manila today. Medical information was not pleasing. . . Another nail in the coffin. . . Nerve damage due to age was his diagnosis. He prescribed Vitamin B-12 and ginkgo biloba and to come see him in 6 months. After waiting in his office for two hours, then having to go to another part of the hospital for a hearing test, then coming back for him to see the tests, I was about to rip his head off.
Elder (doctor) Arner discussed the situation with Sister Sessions and me in our room for quite a while and advised that we go home. He said the Philippines is not a place for fighting illness. We are saddened and excited. Sad to leave people we have come to love and excited to get a good meal. Of course we can't wait to see all our family.
Arrived Manila 10:30 am. Because traffic is so crazy, we made it to immigration at 1:30. The airport cannot be more than 2 miles from immigration. We had great company, or I would have jumped out and walked. We only took about 30minutes in immigration. We got back into traffic and made it to,the MRC at 6:00 pm. We were worn out. I was sick all night with stomach cramps and diahrea.
At the MRC waiting for passport info and instructions. I have been sick for several days now. Need diapers.
Manila is huge and way crowded. It seems prosperous here, but looking behind tall walls we see everyday Filapinos suffering. It is a sad place to me, with all the show of wealth which is vested in foreigners, or politicians, or a very few Filapinos. Praying to depart soon. I keep feeling crappy and wondering if we will actually ever leave.
BACK TO TODAY
We went to the American/ Filapino war cemetery today. It was much more than expected. We loved it. There was a feeling of peace, cleanliness, quiet reverence, freedom, appreciation. I offered many prayers for the heros interred there, for the thousands of unknowns who just never came home, for the Filapino fighters who fought along side US soldiers and share the cemetery. I am thankful to know that The Lord knows each one and where their remains are and He loves them. They are in His keeping.
What an interesting place. What a great experience. The hallowed ground was a favorite place for President Hinckley. In fact, we are told, that Pres. Hinckley dedicated the Phillipines for missionary work at the cemetery. It feels like a holy place.
I thanked the guard, a Filapino at the front gate as we left. He said,"This is your place." I told him,"Salamat po, for taking such great care of the place and the soldiers." I patted him on the shoulder and he grinned.
I have been pretty down, but The Lord indicated to me Monday afternoon as I knelt in tears, talking to Him and apologizing, that our effort is acceptable to Him and that we will have more assigments somewhere, sometime, that we could go home.
Monday, March 2, 2015
We went to Mabuhay House (Mabuhay means long life, or good life). It is a really nice place where people can go for help. It is member supported and started by a past mission president doctor. We had a lot of fun playing with the kids, and adults too. We sang for them. We played some learning games and just visited. The sisters made some cookies. I don't think the cookies were very good. When I asked the little girl seated with Sister Sessions, below, her eyes were watering and she looked as if she were gagging. She nodded that they were good, but just good culture, I think. Fun morning.
There were about four little ones wait him for palette surgery. Some of the least of Father's children come here. It is great that they receive such treatment, love, and care.
One year and on day on the mission. We are in Manila and very tired of the place. The MRC is a nice place and the people special, but we are pretty bored. The traffic here is a nightmare.
We attended church with the lead couple here at one of the Manila wards two days ago now. The chapel here was dirty, as have been most that we have been in the past year. Only Sibalom cleans their chapel, in our limited experience. One wonders what happened to the teaching that the chapels are Heavenly Father's houses and are sacred buildings. I remember that from when I was little.
We have gone to the Megamall the last few days and walked. That felt good. Yesterday afternoon we went to the temple, now closed for two weeks of cleaning, and folded temple clothes for a few hours in the basement to help out. The temple goers here don't have their own clothes and almost always rent, so the laundry is super busy.
Last night Sister S and I conducted the FHE. We taught a short lesson and did "two truths and a lie" and had banana splits for treats. After, Sister S and I sat around after with Elder and Sister Garrett and swapped stories. Today we go to Mabuhay House to visit and see if we can recommend ways of helping mothers teach their children to read and do math, or teach mothers the same things if they don't know how to read/write.