Sunday, November 6, 2016

2016-11-2 So Much To Catch Up On

We've been visiting branches and missionaries on Palawan for the past week and have had a wonderful experience.  We have also been reminded how grateful we are to have senior missionaries and a counselor in the mission presidency to handle the concerns in Manila while we are on Palawan where communication is sometimes unpredictable.

A highlight of the trip was being able to interview some wonderful single adults who are submitting their mission applications soon.  It is absolutely amazing to see their faith, their love and their dedication.

President and Caleb enjoying a few minutes of ping pong while waiting for a ride.

Early Morning Testimony Meeting
      Messages from Caleb, President and Sister Ostler

Quezon Branch comes out in abundance for baptism!

Saturday night, we were blessed to be able to attend the baptism for the parents of one of those sweet sisters who is turning in her application to go on a mission.  It was a real miracle!  The children were all members for years, but the parents weren't interested.  As the young sister (Happiness) prepared to serve a mission, her parents' hearts softened, and we witnessed the miracle of the oldest son baptizing the parents.

After the baptism, we got to eat a nice dinner and talk with a new investigator.

      Caleb made a bunch of friends after the baptism.  Everyone was so friendly and kind to us.

                           This family was sealed about a year ago.

                                 This is a small branch out in the jungle.  The single adults' spirit is strong!

                                   This is the Cabar Branch Building in the middle of a jungle.

                                                          Sunday School Youth Class

The fancy mode of transportation...a trike. The father of this family taught Caleb how to drive it.

 After church on Sunday, the elders took us to visit some of the members and investigators. It had rained a lot and they found a lot of muddy roads, but they never said one word of complaint.

One family graciously invited us to stay for a dinner.  It was one of the grandchildren's birthdays, so all the extended family was coming.  We felt bad eating their food, but they were very kind and shared.  It was delicious and very generous.

           This is pancit.

                                This is called "sticky rice".

This is a picture that represents the miracle of the atonement.  This sister burned her hand badly while trying to get oil from the coconuts so she could pay to get enough pesos to ride to the church for her temple recommend interview.  When President Ostler interviewed her, the burn was still fresh and looked like she would be scarred for life.  But now, it is completely healed!  What a beautiful thing healing is. Just as this hand was healed over time, so can our sins be washed away and the scars and pain of sin removed. 

As we walked through the jungle looking for the family's house, we heard a familiar sound.  It was Primary music playing on a cd with the sound floating out the window of their house and surrounding their little cottage with a sweet feeling a peace.  Their siblings and parents live nearby, so they all came to meet with us.  This is several of their siblings and families, the missionaries and our
wonderful senior couple, Elder and Sister Atkinson!

   How can anyone not want to join us on this incredible adventure meeting these wonderful people!

This is one rare place in our mission where they ride bikes.  The helmets are so sweaty that they put bandanas on their head under their helmets.

The missionaries' apartment.

Flying back to Manila on Monday, the plane circled all around and we got a great view of the whole
city and area.

That night was Halloween, and we continued a tradition of having Angel, her children and grandchildren came for a Halloween party.  They are a fun group of young adults!