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.