Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hi ho! Hi ho! It's off to move we go!!

Finally!!!  A goal is accomplished!  A few months ago, I was visiting the sister's apartment in Roxas and needed to use the CR.  I was appalled!  It was less than adequate and I privately sent myself on a mission...FIND THOSE GIRLS A NEW PLACE TO LIVE!!!!!!  Lo and behold, we found out a couple of week ago that this summer when the Russell's go home, we will be in charge of all of the housing in the mission and so I guess my quest wasn't too out of line.  One house we found a month ago was wonderful but we didn't act fast enough and it was gone...then we found the greatest place for them in the same area as our Zone Leaders...in fact, they are backdoor neighbors..but a very tall cement block wall topped with barbed wire separate the two!  hahaha!  Elder Griffiin, one of our current Zone Leaders, is so tall that he actually was looking over the wall on moving day and found out 'our secret'...we knew it but we weren't going to inform the youngsters..

This past week we had our District Meeting on Tuesday then all the missionaries in the district stayed to help move the sisters.  We also had help from two Elders who came from a nearby town to lend their muscles.  Many young arms and hands make OUR work much easier.  It took us 5 trips and the move was accomplished...those girls were prepared and completely packed!  They were awesome in having stuff ready to go.

We went to lunch first at Jollibee...the Philippines answer to fast food-a little like McDonald's but not really.  They have burgers and fries but also fried chicken, rice, spaghetti, and other Filipino dishes.  Each bought their own lunch and then I treated them all to dessert-a chocolate sundae.  They all smiled when the tray came sporting their desserts.

Our district at Jollibee
Elder Rausa modeling my new hat and Elder Caamic, our District Leader

The cute sisters, excited about a new house

Elder Laurente helping carry in the stuff!

Elder Oliver and Elder Llorin taking a needed break

Here comes the beds!!

So glad we had the muscles to help!!
Elder Shaner and I decided a couple of weeks ago to help with the rescue mission by giving the members in our district some 'tools' to help them in their fellowshipping and in their own families.  My children would tell you that we were far from perfect with OUR Family Home Evenings when they were MY kids but it wasn't because we didn't try.  Back then, there were not as many helps available and our first home evenings were pretty boring I think.  Then we had teenagers who didn't really want to be there and interrupted constantly so we finally just gave up and did activities together for the most part.  Since coming here, we have seen the true benefit of having regular family home evenings and have also witnessed the benefits in our children's families who use that program for family time.  With that said, we have put together a one hour fireside that will give the members some valuable tools to use within their families.  Randy did a power point with some fun slides, [we even have Kim delivering baby Jesus in our slide show!] and we do a fun presentation with lots of good information he gleaned from the lds.org website.  Our first fireside was last Sunday and we got some good feedback.  Our next one is tomorrow night and we have two others booked.  Our hope is to instruct the members, give them a small handout with the bullets and information we used then, if invited, help them in their homes to work with their families and teach them the value of that program.

A week or so ago Sister Carlos emailed me about the possibility of our being asked to attend a Family Home Evening in Naguillian.  Apparently there was an investigator family who had experienced a recent tragedy and with our history of losing a precious grandchild, it was thought maybe we could help and empathize with this sweet mom and wife.  I guess Bryan was working on a truck with another employee in their company and unbeknownst to him, the other fella was not a good man.  He was targeted in a nearby mountain province for assassination and unfortunately, Bryan got in the line of fire and was killed.  That was on December 31st and his mother just cannot move on. [the words of the sister missionary]  We went on Monday and had a nice evening.  The mom 'can't move on' and I assured her that there was no set timeline for 'moving on' and she needed to take the time she needed.  It has only been 6 weeks!!  Her family was getting frustrated, I think and we discussed the fact that there is NO set timeline.  This was her favorite child and she is devastated, as I can imagine.  He had a 5 month old son and a beautiful wife who are now living with his parents.  In the Philippines, there is a tradition of 40 days...40 days after the death of a loved one, the family gathers and celebrates and Monday night was HIS 40 days.  Because of that, all of his siblings, cousins, etc. were there so it was utter chaos!  Randy gave the lesson he had planned and people disbursed some but it was still very noisy.  He took the mom away from the action and knelt down in front of her-he bore his testimony, shared her pain and through her tears, she was very grateful.  There is some violence here but not in the areas where we are living/serving.  The mountain villages are more primitive and we see lots of corruption and violence.  Guess we will stay here where it is safe!

Part of the Paclibar family-Bryan's widow and baby Justin on the left

Baby Justin Bryan Paclibar
It is springtime in the Philippines with cooler than normal mornings and pleasant days.  I can honestly say I don't miss the snow...YET!  I love the seasons and really mourned the loss of fall.  When we come home in a couple of years, we have NO idea where we will live, what we will do, if we will work, where we will work...those things are 'by and by' as my Filipino friends say, meaning 'eventually/in the future and not to be concerned with now'.  Everything will work out and for now, we are doing all we can to strengthen, uplift, teach, support, and in short, work our own little miracles here in the vineyard the Lord has trusted into our care...ingat [take care] and remember to hug your loved ones.  That is probably what I miss the most...

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