Friday, September 26, 2014

Whew !!!

What's been going on?

Typhoon Mario came to town.  Friday AM looked like this:

Several areas in our mission were flooded.  Two houses of sisters were completely out of our reach. The APs drove though flood waters, picked up 2 of them from one house,  and  got them out and moved to another house just in time. They texted to President and said, "we have the Provident Sisters and they are safe."  He said, "Good. Get out of there NOW!"   6 in Cainta however, four living there and 2 STLs staying there on exchanges, got caught.  The lower floor flooded to above their waists.  
OKAY, here is your funny hero story. The six of them carried their refrigeration upstairs to "save" it.  We could not reach them very well,  because they had no power and had to keep their phones turned off to save the battery.  By Sat afternoon the water had receded from the lower floor, but was above their knees outside in the street. They began cleaning their apartment.  (Every surface has to be disinfected).
Elder and Sister Sheffer drove over as close as they could get in the truck, and the six sisters held their bags above their heads and waded out to the truck.  They went to Sheffers, she fed them everything she had in the house, (They were HUNGRY), took the STLs home to their apartment, kept two with them, and sent two to us to stay.  Poor things,  they had to be bathed in alcohol.  
Here are two of them, Sister Pau (left) and Sister Strebel.  SIster Pau is from Independence, MO, and is related to some of our friends at home.  She came in the last batch. (Aug 27).  She said, "I have been here three weeks, and so far I have been through a typhoon, waded through flood waters, and carried a refrigerator."  

It's more fun in the Philippines

Immigration continues to plague us.

 It is costing the church a fortune, but we are still trying to work with the legal system, to get permanent visas and easy exits.  We are the least of the problems, because we are right here.  But we have to get all the foreign missionaries (foreign to the Philippines) in for fingerprinting and photos to get ACRI cards.  So, we took 20 of us last week, another 29 yesterday.  Everyone has to travel in to the office, get on a shuttle, and go in to Manila personally.  Other missions have to fly them in, put them up in hotels, and fly them back.  

We went last week, and we got kind of a kick out of it.  Our missionaries did a lot of OYM that day, got referrals.
 Elder and Sister Sheffer went, and here they are next to the sign warning you not to pay anybody to "help" you with your immigration/visa problems?!?

  It's more fun in the Philippines!

Measles Campaign

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in working with the Department of Health to get all children under the age of 5 vaccinated for measles (and polio).  Guess who paid for the vaccine?  And the publicity?  But, our missionaries can, and are, helping in the clinics, barangays,(local political areas like precincts, sort of),  and some even are done in our buildings, so that all the people know they  can come and get their children vaccinated for free.  

Special Temple Trip

Aren't they beautiful?This is Sister MarajGill, of our mission, from Pakistan.  She came in July.  Sisters can not be missionaries in Pakistan, so all the Sisters come out of the country to serve.  This is her brother, Elder Daraz, who is serving his mission in Pakistan.  But he is in his third transfer, and could not get to the temple until now.  He came for 12 days, to get his temple blessings.  While he was here, they got permission to meet at the temple to do some family names.  They could not get them all cleared in time, but they did get to do baptisms, and Elder Daraz was baptized for their deceased father.  Well, to do it, we had to get 5 Melchizedek Priesthood holders to work in the baptistery.  

So, it became a sort of Senior Activity.  We had a great time.  We helped with confirmations. and as witnesses.  Elder Daraz had his companion, of course, and they took turns doing the wet work.  Sister MarajGill had her companion, Sister Rupp, as well.  And the pretty woman on the left is the Pakistani teacher at the MTC, who helps the Sisters who come to the missions here, as they don't speak English OR Tagalog.  Usually, only Urdu.  It is rough for them.   

Serving in the church

This is Sister Botista, and Louise, her 15th child.  They are there every week.  Louise is about 5, I think.  They wanted a picture with me.  The typhoon flooded them out of their home.  
On Sunday, two things happened.  Elder Schlager and I had to speak in church again.  Not our favorite thing to do, and President Revillo and President Jose were there.  ARGGGGHHHH.
That was because, they traveled all over the mission that day to sustain Elder Schlager as the Mission Executive Secretary and Clerk  
Kind of a big deal, I guess.  Our little branch thought we were leaving them.  No, but as Elder says, "it's another meeting I have to attend".


Work has begun on the house for the
They are so excited.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, to those of you who made charitable "donations" to this project.  It will be 10 x 14, with a concrete floor, cement foundation, plywood walls and a tin roof.  AND he will still have the shelter behind for his business.  Eventually, he will probably add other things.  But see how lovely the area is?  And they are out there by themselves, no one to bother them.  

And, Jhun and Dexter and Abba have work, so several families are helped.  


  Our trip to immigration took us out of our mission, to places we had not seen before.  This building is across the street from the Immigration bureau. This is the Santo Tomas Internment Camp ruins.  When I read "We Band of Angels", about the military nurses that were imprisoned here by the Japanese, I was so impressed by their dedication and valor.  This is the hospital they were kept in, for 3 long years, and they continued to care for the wounded and to take care of each other.  66 Army nurses, 11 navy nurses, one anesthetist.  NOT ONE DIED.  .At the end, the rations were cut to less than 500 calories per day, and many of the prisoners died of starvation. This is the time when my father was here.  For the last year of the war.  I think of him so often, when I think about the war and the suffering and the courage of these people.  i DON'T THINK THEY WERE HAVING MUCH FUN.


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