Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014 - Escalante City, Negros Occidental

Self-timer picture
(On Mother's Day we were able to speak to Adam for 1/2 an hour on the phone.  Waaaaay to short, but it was awesome to hear his voice and know that he is happy. - trina)

It was so nice to be able to talk to you! It was really a great experience, and I really liked being able to really visualize the craziness of being around the house at a holiday dinner. 

(President Arch Haskins, former president of the Whittier California Stake passed away this week) 
It makes me sad to hear that President Haskins is gone. I really consider those Saturdays I spent at his house "A time for a young man to be tutored by one who has the wisdom of age and experience, something I'm concerned your father may lack," as he may have said. I hope to be able to carry a bit of that fire in my work here. I know that he was so full of love for every person he met, and showed his respect in great ways and I really had a lot to learn from him.

This week, I have been doing a bit more of leading kind of work. I've had to lead the planning, and a bit of the teaching and all of our walking since I am the senior in this area, and for at least this first week, I'm really having to lead as the one who knows the area. This hasn't been too hard, but just trying to think of what we "normally" do sometimes is a little hard. But it's good, I'm really starting to learn how to do this work (even if it is by trial and error sometimes.) 

 Walking to try to find a tricycle back to Balintawak (The barangay that is central Escalante.) If we're too late out at some of the outlying areas, the tricycles stop coming around and we have to walk and find one. 

The path to Sister Jessica's house. She's a recent convert and she's always really kind and wants to learn more about this gospel.
In our apartment, one of the books that we inherited is this big volume of all the Ensign magazines from the year 1989. It is really interesting to read through, to read through the conference editions, some of the news bits, and just as a whole see the themes repeated 25 years ago. Some of my favorites were that at that April conference, President Benson was awarded the highest honor of the International Scouting Board, and pretty much all of that Priesthood session was about scouting and its merits. There was a story about the Centennial celebration of the Paris, Idaho Tabernacle, which heralded the settlers of Bear Lake Valley as being "a hardy group of saints", out of whom came many influential members of the church, and in Conference one of the Twelve told about the work that had been done in the German Federal Republic, which had recently opened the Freiberg Temple and allowed in missionaries. It is really truly interesting and inspiring to me to see the stories and the inspiration of  all the modern prophets, some still living, and some passed away.

Sister Colleen had a camera mono-pod arm thing that was fun to play with

There are constantly trucks driving through town that are ridiculously large, the size of double stacked shipping containers. and stacked full of sugarcane. This one got stopped for being too tall, and by the measuring stick it looked like it was over 12 meters tall.
So in our work this week, we were walking around Mocabog, and area of Brgy. Washington, and found that there weren't really many people around, it seemed everyone was out and about. So as we were walking, I decided to go to the Magnot House. The Magnots are a Nanay and Tatay, who aren't able to go to church sometimes because of the cost of the fare to get into town, but they've had several children go out and return from missions and have families of their own now. The Magnot's house stands in the middle of a grassy knoll surrounded on two sides by still-young fields of sugar cane, and a stand of coconut palms on the other. Their actual house is now just a concrete platform and solid lumber frame, after it was destroyed by Yolanda. They now live in a house a few yards away from the old one, cobbled together of the materials left from the old house. So we walked out there and found only Sister Magnot to be home, but she gladly came out and started talking to us and greeted Elder Montano. So we sat down on the grass outside their house and started talking. When I asked how it's going (An inspired question, that is,) she replied that it's going good. She said she's got plenty to be happy for. That she has a husband, and they have a house and land. She said there's plenty to be worried about, that there are plenty of trials in her life, but she's had plenty of blessings. She had plenty to be happy about. As we sat there on her grass, with chickens running around, dogs coming home for the night, and the cow laid down to rest and as the sun set behind the eastern Clouds, I knew that was true. I knew she knew this peace. 

 I'm so happy I'm in a place with palm trees. 
I know that this gospel is true. I know there is peace to be found here. I know there is work to be done here. I know this work is not to be borne entirely on our shoulders. But I know that to take the yoke of the Savior, you need to find it.

Thank you always. I love you always.

Elder Dunford

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