Thursday, September 4, 2014


WE passed our one year mark!

On exit day, August 26, we took a minute to brag that it was one year since we ENTERED the MTC. But that was all the time we had to think about it. 

We were with the exiting missionaries all day. We lost some of our favorites this time. Elder Tipene, on the left, and Elder Harris, Elder Blackham, and Sister Sikotilani. Here is the funny story. Elder Froud went home about 5 months ago. Sister Wilson went last transfer. Both amazing missionaries. At the Exit Meeting that morning, Sister Revillo mentioned that Elder Froud and Sister Wilson  are "courting". So, we get in the van with some elders to go to the Memorial, and the first thing anyone says is, "Froud and Wilson! Wow!" And then Elder Harris says to Elder Blackham, "Do you want me to pull the knife out for you now?" 

Apparently there was a small crush there. The missionaries tell us that when they do their exit interview with President, he asks them if they have any "crushes" in the mission, and he tells them he will  "Fix Them Up". He and Sister met in the mission. They were in the MTC together, Both left a "steady" at home, and she went home 6 months before him. When he got home, they were married three months later.  

Motorcycles are the worst!

Friday was a difficult day. OUR transfers do not really finish until Friday, because we can not get our missionaries to / from Mindoro until that morning.  We had six come up that day, and the APs and Office Elders were taking them to their areas.  So our office guys put one in the car and headed out to the Taguig Zone, quite a few kilometers south.  At 3:00 President is in a meeting, and he came out and said, "Elder Schlager, can you help me? Elder Yourglich has had an accident and the man is hurt, and they are on the way to the hospital with him.  Please call the insurance people and find out what we need to do and help them."  So, he called the insurance man, I called the legal counsel.  We talked to the Elders, and they were upset.  (Of course, the man is hurt!, and they don't know how badly.)  The insurance man and the legal man both told them, "take him to the hospital and get him cared for.  DONT  say 'I'm sorry,' DONT offer to pay for anything, DONT say anything except tell the police exactly what happened."   
They were making a left turn, and signaled and did it all just right, but these motorcyclists just come zipping by on either side of you, trying to get through the traffic, and almost everyone has had some run ins with them.  Our medical adviser says they average 9 accidents per day, and five of them die!  Well, you can see how hard the cycle hit the car.  

It turned out alright.  The man on the cycle was bruised, but not broken, the insurance man got there and handled all the negotiations, the Police and the cyclist agreed it was his fault, our Elders paid P1000 pesos, and everybody signed and it was done.  Then, our APs called from somewhere and asked us to help them find the hospital and pick up our Elders.  So, that night, we are on the internet and using maps, and finally Elder sort of talked them to the hospital.  Later we got a text, "we have Elders Yourglich and Gonzaga, and they are OKAY."  So, we went to bed. They drove the car back, with flashers, following the APs carefully all the way.  The side mirror is their souvenir.  It sits on their desk!


That is the number of baptisms in our mission for the month of August.  They set a goal, some months ago, of 1200 for the year, which averages to 100/ month, or one baptism for each companionship each month.  Well, we have been close, but this was the first time we knew we would be over the goal.  President started calling the APs at 6:30 am Monday, and of course they called Elder Schlager, because the Zone Leaders report to him.  We were all really excited when it went over 100, but we didn't know how much it would be for a few hours.  Elder S and I took pulled pork to the office for dinner to celebrate with all the office guys.  A good day all around.
Here are eight of them--a family baptized on Mindoro, in the ocean!  Elder Culango just got down there this transfer.  Pretty good work!

  1. Typhoon Ketsana, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Ondoy, was the second most devastating tropical cyclone in the 2009 Pacific typhoon season with a damage of $1.09 billion and 747 fatalities,

THIS is the Lana family.  Chris, Chee, and their three little children.  They are both return missionaries.  He was employed in Manila, until 2009, when the typhoon destroyed their home and they were refugees.  So, they moved to Angono, and he began a welding business.  They were caretakers of a property there that the church rented for missionaries, and he builds beds, desks, etc. for the mission apartments.  They lived on the back of the property.  He was a counselor in the Bishopric. This year, we had to move our missionaries, and the property was listed for sale.  So, they had to move again.  They are now living, very roughly, on a piece of property that they own near the lagoon.  That put them in the branch we serve in, and he is the branch mission leader and she is a counselor in Relief Society.  They plan to build a small home on the property, but right now, it is all he can do to feed them and keep the kids in school.  So,  we have made a plan with him and with Jhun and Dexter to get a project together and get them under a roof as soon as possible. 

This is the deal--we need about $1000.  We have about $200 so far, from donations.  That will put them in a 10x14 hollow block and plywood home, with a cement floor and a tin roof.  He will also have a place to continue his business.   That will also provide work and income for three families for a couple of weeks.  Chris is very able, and he will do a lot of the work himself.  Our missionaries will help, too, as a CSP (community service project.)  

This is Sister Felipe, with her companion/ trainer, Sister Oyler.  Sister Felipe is from Mindanao, and she was not able to come and go to the temple before she came to the MTC.  Our temple was closed for the month of August, so our FIRST priority as soon as it opened on Tuesday was to get her there.  Elder S and I got to take them, and then we took them to lunch, too.  So many wonderful things happen every day.  

And now it is Thursday night

and tomorrow we will wake up at 2:00 am, catch a taxi to the airport, and fly to Mindoro to spend the weekend of our anniversary on the beach.  
More stories when we get back.

Happy Birthday to our Son in Law!!

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