Sunday, February 23, 2014

WELL, Thank you for your guesses, but you were all wrong. * 

Beauty is all around you here, in unexpected places. But it has to be strong to survive, so it IS! 

* President okayed our callings, and today I was sustained as the Primary Music Leader. Kind of a funny story. When he called me, Branch President Soriano said, "They have heard you sing." Nearly I laughed, thinking, "And They want me ANYWAY? " But when i was set apart, I was blessed that my voice would be good.   I had a great time this week, taking a break from the  apartments; singing and making words / pictures for the songs, etc.. .. .......... ..  

Maybe you had not thought of this, but It occured to me that I am teaching the songs in English, to children who do not speak it very much. Those who are not yet in school do not really speak it at all. So a music leader in the States could have a few words in the song that he / she needs to define for the children. I could have 20 or 30! Here is my new primary, playing a game of "right or wrong choice".  

We are not sure what happened with Elder's calling. He was PREPARED for today, but was not sustained. From what went on, it Appears that we have have "a failure to communicate" .. Certainly, WE fail to communicate often. But, maybe the people in the know just were not able to talk to the people with a need to know, so we will suppose things will be straightened out next week.  
When we were called on our mission, our son-in-law said, "They have four seasons: hot and hotter and wet and wetter." Well, we think he missed one. Since December, we have been having
cool and dryer. In fact, it is SO dry, weeks and months without rain, that things are beginning to look like Missouri in August. The hills are brown, and things look parched. 
Also, They tell us that the heat is coming. March and April are the REALLY hot months, and then the rains begin again. So, it is just going to get dryer, I guess.  

This week, we missed the beauty of the earlier months, but I have been meaning to share the wonderful landscaping and nursery Businesses here. These are just a few, right in the city, down the street from the Temple. But you also find them, tucked into the hills, as you drive around the provinces.   

Landscaping materials. They deliver. They pretty much have to, with guys in the truck bed to unload and plant, etc ....  

WED we had zone conference, and it was really wonderful. President and Sister Revillo are SO good at this. They are inspiring, and encouraging, but also very aware of THEIR responsibility to teach and train. Actually, I did a bit of training, too. I was asked to begin working on the English Language course the Filipino Missionaries are supposed to be able to pass When They leave. So, I made ​​them laugh, but also worked on Helping them understand that this is a responsibility, but also a real opportunity for them while They are here. So, I spoke three times. Got it pretty good by the last try!

These three missionaries are going home this transfer.  They bore testimonies. The sister just made ​​us cry.  
She joined the church about 3 years ago. Her family has not been supportive, and she had to hide her study materials and study secretly.  When she decided to serve a mission, her parents told her that if she did that, she could not come Home. They would not help her with support, but just before she left, a friend gave her the money she needed. Well, no one has talked to her at all. But she is ready to go home, and her father contacted her and told her how excited they all are to have her home again. She served her entire mission, believing that she would have no home to go back to. Such courage.  

These are the sisters serving in a ward near the Mission Office, in the city. They have been looking for a new apartment. (Nearly everyone is, and we are having such a hard time finding people who will rent to us on our terms. They just think we are crazy to expect them to pay the taxes on the income!)  

Anyway, They found a pretty good place, and the landlord is currently Renting another apt to us, so he understands the advantages and the also the requirements. This place was destroyed, except for the walls, in the last bad storm, so it has been completely redone and is an all new and shiny for them. They really like it. But is is a little small, and laundry will be challenging. The landlord is willing to make some adjustments for us, though. He already knows what a bargain we are! This was an EASY one!

We saw one for the elders in Binangonan this week, would be great, but it has been vacant for Several years. "Fixer Upper" does not begin to describe it. If the owner can be persuaded to be honest, though, he says They are willing to do the work to make it clean and bright again. These elders really need a new place. theirs is subject to all kinds of theft from the neighbors. Not safe at all. 

Weddings: 3 

Baptisms: 6

Well, actually 10. Rizal had 4 as well, are the priority we saw confirmed this morning.  

Maybe the highlight of this week was Saturday. Teresa Branch, where some of the people we love most live, had a very big week. 

Three young couples chose to be baptized. But none of them were married, so that had to be taken care of FIRST. No problem, the branch planned a wedding and the Bishop came from Cogeo and married them.  

 This is Ava and Liza Tajeresas. They have two small children, the baby and the tiny girl in blue. His mother is Sister Mercy, in the wheelchair, and he has a small brother, in blue, and a handicapped sister.  

Here are Patrick and Mary Rose Pajuayan. They have a baby boy. Next to them is the Bishop.  

This couple are Alex and Jennielyn Polborido. They have 3 small children. It was a really fun day.  

Here are the three newly wed couples, enjoying a special lunch after the ceremony.

This one thought the Bishop talked way too long!

And this one was a lot happier after the food showed up. She just kept eating, after everyone else had started to clean up and get ready for the next part of the program!

The baptisms!

All six of them were baptized. Each bore a testimony afterward. I REALLY wish I spoke Tagalog. They had a lot to say, and we only caught small parts of it. But, what a blessing.  
Three new families in the branch. All with fathers ready to be ordained to the Priesthood.  

Of course, it is the Philippines. Just after the last baptism, the power went off. No lights, no fans. No problem. They just shrug, "brown out", and carry on. By the end of the meeting it was too dark to see in the halls and there was still some cleaning up to do. Oh well.
It's more fun in the Philippines! 

On the way out, we were talking to the missionaries. I said what a great day it had been, and complemented them on a terrific job. One said, "I NEVER want to do that again." They all agreed! Too Stressful! Another one said, 'He just never quits! "
They meant guess who? The enemy of all righteousness, of course!

I laughed, and agreed. I said, sometimes I feel like punching him in the nose.

Elder Argyle said, 'If he had a face, I would!'

I can only think that pulling this all together was an exercise in faith and commitment. For the elders and for the investigators.  
But a great quote is:  
The Road to Exaltation will ALWAYS be uphill '
It helps to know when we are going in the right direction!

I found another one I really like this week. It is from CS Lewis.  
He says:
There are only two kinds of people. 
Those who say to God, "Thy will be done." 
And those to whom God says, "Alright, then, have it your way."

A couple of other things from this week:

1. The area presidency had a special devotional for PAO workers and missionaries. Sister Burton, General RS President, and Sister McConkie, General YW Counselor, are touring here this week. They spoke to us on Friday. There were about 150 of us, I guess. Anyway, They both hugged me! Really, though, one of the really wonderful things about serving a mission is the opportunity to "hang out with" (or at least meet!) Really special and incredible people.  

2. And our great Office Secretary, Elder Smith, wrote to the Jackson County Courts and plead my case for excusing me from jury duty. He must have done a good job. We Received this: 

Elder Smith,
The judge has granted a one time of Sister Schlager postponed to March
30, 2015. We will mail her a summons Approximately one month before that

Thank you,

Kyle M. Diederich
Jury Assistant Supervisor - KC
Circuit Court of Jackson County
Phone: (816) 881-1476
Fax: (816) 881-3669

Please note that I have only been given a stay of execution, not a reprieve. The really funny things are that first, I will probably not be needed anyway, when i check in, and second, no one in THEIR right mind would want me to serve on a jury. I am far too opinionated and stubborn.  
Impartial? Not hardly!

Still having trouble with Google.  The errors are NOT MINE!  

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