Sunday, August 17, 2014


We had another FHE with the seniors, and learned about Mental Health.  Guess what?  Serving a mission is stressful!  Do you think???  And that holds true for senior missionaries, as well.  They talked to us about how many things in our life have changed in the past year, and how to recognize the signs of stress-----

Memory Loss       

Yes, we pretty much had them all, and a lot more symptoms.  

Weight Gain

Of course, you could also use this definition to come to another diagnosis

  OLD   (Some of the seniors are not that senior, though.  We are at the top of the ladder)

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

I watch these young people. some of whom do not stay for the "anticipated" 18 or 24 months, and I think of Zion's Camp.  Many felt that was a failure, but from Zion's Camp came the leaders the Lord needed.  
The Prophet later explained: “God did not want you to fight. He could not organize his kingdom with twelve men to open the gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their direction to follow in their tracks, unless he took them from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham.” In February 1835 the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Quorum of the Seventy were organized. Nine of the original Apostles, all seven presidents of the Seventy’s quorum, and all sixty-three other members of that quorum had served in the army of Israel that marched to western Missouri in 1834.

For us who are older, and we hope wiser, there is "a time to rest".  As I told one Sister last month, when she said that she needed a break, "When you are about to 'hit a wall', you stop!"

TUESDAY we had two adventures. 

 First, we went to redeem Elder's Driver's License from the Police.  As I was thinking about that in the morning, I knew we should not try to do that on our own.  So, we negotiated a contract with Elders Yourglich and Gonzaga, Office Finance and Housing.  They brought their Tagalog, came with us, and we took them to lunch.  It's all good! 

There was an air conditioner in the little office (OVR  - ordinance violation redemption) but it was broken, of course, so see the big fan beside them?  

And, there is always a guard, (or  more) with a gun, 

and it all takes at least four steps.  Window 10 to tell them why you are there and turn in your ticket.  Window 8 to pick up your fine.  Window 6 to pay your fine.  Window 3 to redeem your license. 

 See the sign that got us into trouble?  Are you thinking, HOW did they miss that?  Especially since they are on ALL the corners there at that intersection.  Well, in defense of Elder S, it was dark, and these are brand new signs.  Only been up a week when he got caught.  There is an officer at each corner, catching everybody.  A great new revenue maker for the city.  When he took his ticket up to the window, to pay his fine, they laughed.  

We celebrated at a Big, New Shakeys. Oh, life in the city!
 Never been there before.  Will go back.  The two Elders loved it, but Elder Gonzaga said, "I want rice."  So, he got it, with Chicken and Mojos and his first Root Beer Float!

The second adventure had to do with a sweet sister in the mission.  She came a few months back, and was sent straight to Mindoro.  (Now THAT is tough!)  She is a Filipina, but was a foundling, and she was adopted by an active family and raised in England.  In Mindoro, the bugs nearly ate her alive.  She came back last transfer covered with bites and scars.  So, on Tuesday, I get an email from her parents, with a picture of a huge boil on her hip, where one of these got infected. She sent the pic to show them. 'As she is coming into zone conference, could we please have it looked at?'  HUH??? Those are calm parents.  
Meantime, I get a text from Sister Johnson, saying they can't reach Sister Revillo and this young woman needs treatment NOW.  So they took her to a clinic, then to the hospital in Antipolo.  They want to do surgery.  But is is not a boil, it is cellulitis. Too dangerous for the doctor there.  I am texting with Sister J, chasing Sister R and trying to find and talk to the Mission Medical Adviser.  
Long story short, we all wound up at the St Luke's hospital in Global City, which is the only Class A hospital in the Philippines.  (Not sure we even have one in US---I never saw one like that.)  Anyway, that is where we are all supposed to be treated, and many of the seniors have spent considerable time there, but we had only driven by.  
Two good things came of this--
She got good care, did not have surgery, at least not yet, and she will take better care of herself.  She was crying, and she said, "Sister Revillo is really mad at me"  Sister Johnson and I hugged her and told her it was Okay.  She said, "She's not mad.  She's worried.  But she should be a little mad.  You have not been taking care of yourself, and you didn't let her do her job."  Her companion said, "Now will you listen to your companion??"  (When we met them there at the hospital, she also said, Boy, the Lord really brought out all the big guns for you!)
{I wish I had a picture of Sister Fewster, but she was not in the mood to pose.} 

And, now we know where the Hospital is and how to get in and get help if we need it.  Our goal was to NEVER be inside the place, but maybe it is better to be prepared.

Pearls of no great price
lf you are a senior missionary in the Philippines, you buy pearls.  
They are cheap, plentiful, and gorgeous.  (They can also be extremely expensive, of course.) So, as I am now counting down to our one-year mark, it is time to begin purchasing souvenirs.  On Friday, we had a date night.   We ate "street food" from the vendors across from our apartment. * actually watched them cook our salmon steaks and put them on rice to take with us. *  Elder and Sister Sheffer took us to the "pearl market" which she had been to with Sister Whittaker.  I had so much fun.  She has 8 children, 6 daughters and 2 daughters in law.  So, she negotiated and bargained, and purchased 8 sets of (yes, REAL) pearls, with matching bracelet and earrings, for P300 a set.  (About $7.50)  They are fresh water, not perfect, but lovely and in all colors.  These pearls come in all kinds, grades, sizes, etc.  I am more attracted to the smaller ones than the larger ones, but some of them are as big as a hazel nut.  They come in white, cream, gold, yellow, pink, purple, black, brown, iridescent blue, grey, peach, etc.  I HAD SO MUCH fun shopping for the people I love.  And for me--the little strand on the right has a Mother of Pearl ornament on it, and it falls just below my collar bone. Can't wait to wear it. I am not finished yet, but I did a fair amount of damage.  
 Nothing I purchased was over $25. 
                                                    Some as low as $5.

Speaking of our one year anniversary, it coincides with our 46th wedding anniversary.  So,


President has given us permission to fly to San Jose, Mindoro, and spend the weekend with our friends the Horsleys.  We go very early on Friday morning, Sept 5,  and come back to Manila very early on Monday morning, in time to work that day. We will stay at the White House resort hotel.  That is where they always stay down there.  We bought the tickets and reserved the room today.  YEAH!

Just FYI, the missionary work is going great down there.  The big problem is that the people can't get to the church easily.  At present, we have 20 missionaries down there, and two couples. They serve in 3 branches, and mostly have to work within easy travel to the three buildings.  They are in the process of starting a "group", which is another unit, not yet a branch, for those who want to attend but live too far from the branch available. We will be happy to share all the fun, when we get back!

I have, recently, made the time to read a little bit to relax.  I just finished one really good read, and I am in the middle of a second.  If you share my love of reading, I can recommend:
We Band of Angels  by Elizabeth M. Norman (interesting to me as it is the story of the American Nurses caught when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. I have been where they were.)
Living in the Eleventh Hour  by Robert L. Millett  (self-explanatory, a spiritual journey through the times that are leading up to the glorious return of Our Savior.)

We had to go one morning and jump the Sheffer's van before we could all go to work.  One good thing about having several couples, is that we REALLY can be "part of the solution" when we are there to help each other and don't have to call on President with our little challenges.

And here is your funny story.  Elder never was sustained to the calling he received, no big deal.  He has, however, been teaching once a month in Elder's Quorum.  At District Conference, he was sustained, and we looked at each other and said, "What was that?" (Tagalog, remember?)  Well, turns out, he was sustained as the first counselor in the Sunday School.  The President told him the next week, "I guess you are my counselor". Neither of them had been talked to.  So, today, President Soriano asked him to come in, and called him to the calling he was sustained to last month.  President Revillo says, "The Gospel is in the Philippines; the Church is coming along."

Very happily, we have made some friends.  This is Shresh, a brilliant man from India, who has decided he likes our company.  He is married to Vidia, and these are their sons, Big Sy and Little Sy (?), 6 and 4.  They live in the adjoining building.  He makes opportunities to talk to us, and we really enjoy the boys.  We hope to be able to get together soon for a social occasion.  They are religious, and he is a consultant and works from home, on the phone, all over the world.  They spent several years in the US, and the world troubles him. (Well, it would.  He has two little boys!)   He likes to talk about what is happening.  FYI, they had an arranged marriage.  When he finished his education, he went home to India to get married.  

Happy Anniversary to our Son---

Happy Birthday to my dear Sister----

I am thinking of you today, and miss you more than I can express.

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