Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Glorious, glorious, glorious...

Spencer and me last July..what a kid!

The most glorious day occurred in our family last Sunday night in Utah and Monday morning for us.  We were invited to attend [by SkyPe] the ordination of our first grandson to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and to be ordained to the office of an Elder in that priesthood!  What a grand experience it was for us to see those men gather around him and to have his dad place his hands on Spencer's head.  The blessing he gave was wonderful and because of that ordination, that sweet boy that Grandma Cheezie always called 'Pence' will be eligible to fill out his papers, submit them to the church and follow us into the mission field.  It will be so exciting to see where the Lord needs his skills and his personality.  We had an Assistant to the President here whose name is Elder Hale.  He became such a beloved missionary because of his love for everyone, his radiant and willing smile, his work ethic-he was always there to help with anything with NO hesitation-his contagious laugh, his humility and most of all, his love for his Father in Heaven and his Savior.  Randy and I always felt drawn to him and just this past week I realized how much our Spencer is like Elder Hale...he is kind, compassionate, loves his family and the Lord.  Spencer has always been such a 'yellow'...if you know the color/personality test you will know he is fun, happy, non-confrontational, gets along with all people and in short...a joy to be around.  When Spencer enters a room, everyone is attracted to him.  We are so pleased with his choices in life and will wait for the call that we need to be on SkyPe for the opening of the envelope!  Randy and I told Spencer to let us know and we will get up in the middle of the night if needed to attend that event!  I will be most interested to find out where he is going-he is a physically fit guy [currently holds the state record in javelin in Utah] so a physically hard mission [like the one we are currently serving] would be a piece of cake for him.  There are many such missions in the world, mostly in third world countries, but time will tell...I will give you all an update when that day arrives.

Our Zone Leaders had a great training lesson on Tuesday.  We have either Zone or District meetings on Tuesday morning and I am always amazed at the communication and teaching skills these young men have.  They are basically just kids and come here for two years to serve the Lord.  In that time, they gain so many wonderful life skills.  These two, Elders Griffin and Rausa [we lovingly call them 'Mutt and Jeff' because of their height difference] taught us as the Savior would.  We love these two young men and are so grateful they are our leaders.

Elder Griffin and Elder Rausa
When Randy was in his District Presidency meeting last Thursday afternoon, I teamed up with the Sister Missionaries and because we then had a vehicle, were able to cover quite a few visits together.  One home we stopped by was the Delphinodo family.  The nanay has been an active and supportive member for a long time but the tatay hadn't been to church in about 8 years.  The sisters had been by and visited but I had not met them.  We sat on the porch of their humble home and the sisters shared [in tagalog] a message with them and then turned to me.  I only speak in English so the sisters usually need to translate if the members/investigators don't understand much English.  I had been tuned into their discussion and had the basics of what the sisters had shared so I knew they were asking him about his faith.  I am not sure if it is because I am an American...I am so tall to them...I have light skin, hair and eyes...or what but many times I have had the ability to be very bold with the members and not offend.  I felt that I needed to corner this man and those of you who know me know I am not the confrontational type.

I simply asked him why he didn't attend church.  He muttered some answer and I took his chin and turned his eyes to meet mine.  I told him the Lord loved him...the Lord needed him...his wife loves and needs him..and finally asked him if he was praying and reading the scriptures.  With downcast eyes, he shook his head 'no, sister'.  I again turned his eyes to meet mine and asked him why he was not reading his scriptures.  'I cannot see them Sister'.  When I asked him if he WANTED to read them, he hesitated for along time and shook his head yes.  Then I gave him a challenge with a promise...'if I provided a way for you to read them, would you promise me that you would pray and read them every day, finish the first chapter of 1Nephi before I come back next Tuesday and go to church with your wife on Sunday'?  He nodded yes.

We finished our time together and then hopped in the car.  IMMEDIATELY we went to the palenke, bought a pair of reading glasses and drove back to his house.  We happened to pass him on the road as he was bicycling to work and he stopped.  The surprise on his face as he realized I kept my promise and the hope in his eyes when he then realized he needed to keep his.

Tuesday we went back as promised and Randy got to come with-HIS ENTIRE COUNTENANCE HAD CHANGED!!!  I am not kidding you...he looked so different!  We did introductions, started with a prayer then I turned to him-did he follow through???  ABSOLUTELY HE DID!  Then in tagalog amid many tears he related the following story..

He went to church as he promised me he would and when he walked in the door, the members flocked around him shaking his hand and patting him on the back.  How do you think that made him feel??  It was a glorious day for him.  He had a home...he was wanted...he was needed...he was back!  He related that experience to us and with tears streaming down his face [and ours too], told us that he has had a total change of heart.  He no longer wants to partake of coffee, miss prayer with his wife, miss studying the scriptures with her and most of all, activity in his branch has become a high priority to him again.  

The Delphinodo family with the Sisters and us on their porch
Last night a similar thing happened as we visited with President Munoz.  I again challenged a man who has a wonderful family, a return missionary for a son, a wife who is active, etc.  When I asked him about reading the scriptures and got the same answer, I just held my palm up to Randy, he handed me the keys and off I went, right in the middle of the lesson.  This time I bought 6 pairs of reading glasses!!  hahaha!  He has promised, as did brother Delphinodo, to rise up to my challenge and time will tell if the fruits of my efforts will pay off again.  I feel like my new tools are a nudge from the Lord...I can afford the glasses and because of the poverty here, it is difficult for many of them to solve that problem and soon, their inability to read becomes their excuse...I am simply removing the excuses.  A simple investment of 100-120 pesos [about $2 US] will bring them blessings they can't imagine!  Oh, I almost forgot to tell you...the Delphinado's are talking temple, had questions about the cost, and are enrolling in the 'prep' classes on Sunday.  I know, it is only ONE week that he has returned but if you could all have seen his would also know he is back!!  
My new tools...

Our weather is warming...the air is becoming more humid...the rice is planted...our lives are ever changing.  This is such a grand experience for us-I thank my Father in Heaven every day for allowing me to come and trusting me, this silly mid-western gal, to touch the lives of these precious people.  I remember Sister Carlos telling me about them before I even considered a mission and she was right-they are the most humble, loving, happy, content, and inwardly righteous people I have ever known.  We are definitely the ones being blessed!


  1. Cheri, that is beautiful! I can only imagine all the good that you and Randy are doing with your big hearts and warm smiles. What a blessing you are to many! Be well! Hugs.......

  2. Thank you Cheri for sharing your wonderful experiences with everyone. Every once in a while, I share your blog with Kristy (my 9-year-old), to try to get her to understand what this Church is ultimately about. Thank you so much!