Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Magical Week

Almost two years ago before we came to the Philippines, our oldest grandson, Isaac, was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was a beautiful and sacred day as his father baptized him and later confirmed him a member of the Church. 

Isaac’s younger sister, Sadie was 6 ½ years old at the time and was so happy for her older brother. She couldn’t wait until it was her turn to be baptized.  But Sadie soon realized that President Clark and I would not be  there to see her baptized because we would be in the Philippines. Our family recognized that Sadie’s baptism would be one of the most important things she would do in her life.  We all wanted to part of this special event.
Working together we figured out a way that President Clark and I would be able to share Sadie’s baptism with her.  One week ago today, Sadie was baptized in a beautiful river in Gabaldon, here in the Philippines.  She was surrounded by her parents, brother and sisters, aunts and uncles and President Clark and I.  What a glorious and magical day it was. 

A scripture in the D&C explains how we each felt watching Sadie’s baptism and confirmation.  “Lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.” D&C 25:13    

Walking to the natural baptismal font in a place called Eco Park.  It is in the city of Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. 

Sadie and her dad before changing into baptismal attire.

 The little children thought the rock tossing added much to this momentous occasion.
 Ready for a beautiful and life changing event to take place.
 Sadie and her family!
 Uncles Preston and Brian prepare to be the witnesses.

We are two very grateful parents/grandparents to have the family that we do.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Lucky #13 Batch!

DECEMBER 30, 2015

 In the Philippines Angeles Mission we have the largest number of stakes and districts of all 21 missions here.  There are 8 stakes and 5 districts.  Our missionary complement went from 250+ when we arrived to a current number of about 220.  It may drop down to 200 in the future.  We luckily haven't dropped there yet.  Each transfer we hold our breath hoping that we gain more missionaries than the number who depart.  As you can see, we are grateful and feel blessed that this was a BIG transfer.  Five of the missionaries were assigned in India and needed a place to land before getting their visa's to return.  They thought they could come for just a few weeks then go to another country in their mission but that didn't work out.  We love having them and will keep them as long as needed.  It's no wonder we had a great group come in.  This is the 13th Batch we've received since arriving in our mission.  Hence, lucky 13!  Welcome Elders and Sisters to a mission where the finest serve!
Elder Apolinario 
 Elder Armstrong (India Visa Waiter)
 Elder Asetre
 Elder Berdin
 Elder Calupit
 Elder Canoy
 Elder Daguplo
 Elder Dela Cruz
 Elder Dolor
 Elder Facundo
 Elder Hymas (India Visa Waiter)
 Elder Lindsay (India Visa Waiter)
 Elder Pejo
 Elder Peterson (India Visa Waiter)
 Elder Singh (India Visa Waiter)
 Sister Aries
 Sister Baer
 Sister Epili
 Sister Evans
 Sister Lalisan
 Sis. Lenogon (visa waiter)
 Sister Melgar
 Sister Pantila
 Sister Pata
 Sister Peñaflor
 Sister Saavedra
Sister Villanueva
 Sister Pablo (short-term)

There are, of course, words in the Tagalog language for mother and father.  Trainees often refer to these names when speaking about their trainers.  So the trainee in these pictures are on the left and the trainers are on the right.  The sisters will call their trainer "nanay" and the elders call their trainers "tatay."  It is quite a privilege to be a trainer.  They often become great friends during their mission as well as after.