Sunday, August 24, 2014

August 13, 2014 - Ayungon, Negros Oriental

The moon has been super this week. I didn't know that it was a super moon, but Grandma told me it was, and I would believe it. This last week, when we walk around at night, we haven't needed flashlights or anything, the earth has just had a secondary degree of glory. The tide has also been super strong this week, the difference between high and low, and the speed with which it changes is really cool. It's also really cool that I know all about tides now, because one of our areas is literally built on the water, and everyone's a fisherman.

But our house is fun. It is actually a little compound, we have two houses and a little court between. In the back of the court, we have our water tank, which is a big, open tank of water for showering, cleaning dishes, and anything but drinking, really. That's actually only new here as of last transfer, before the elders here in Bindoy would either shower at the public water tank off the highway, or down at the river. So I'm a little sad I missed out on that experience. So we have hot water if the sun is shining, the water gets pretty warm. And there is AC in our apartment, but we just use fans for the electric bill. But right outside of our house, there's just corn fields and coconut trees.

Elder Castro is really fun. He is by far the most talkative person I've met on the mission, which is very good. I've tried a great deal to learn a bit from him. But he's super friendly and talkative with anyone. He can always make people smile, and is really good at getting close to people in that way. He is from Mindanao, from Zamboanga del Sur, which is in the heart of Muslim Mindanao. Apparently it's in a semi-constant state of warfare, so it's pretty different here in quiet little Ayungon for him. But the thing that I have really seen is that he loves the people here. He has done a ton to help our investigator couple, Johnny and Rosie, that they can get married (and baptized!) and get all the legalities dealt with, which I have seen means the world to them. And I have just seen the love that he has for the people. I have seen so much that I can learn from him, with how to really show the love of Christ to the people here, and to everyone.

This last sunday was the Special Sacrament meeting in Ayungon, in Anibong. Once a month, they hold a sacrament meeting behind the house of Sister Melatuna for the members in the Ayungon area. The meetingplace is a little concrete platform that sits above a bay lined with mangrove trees, that looks out to the sea and Cebu. We were asked to bless the sacrament, because there weren't enough priesthood holders present. As I participated in the administration of the sacrament, and as I looked out over this 30-strong little congregation, sitting out in the shade from the sun, I really felt that God was with us in that meeting. That he recognized, and accepted this ordinance, no matter how humble. I saw this in the light that was there. There was the Glory of the Lord in this place, where the incredible tropical creation of God was the chapel. It reminded me of the early saints of the church, whose humble meetings preceded the greatness that the Church of God would become. But I really saw last Sunday, that no matter how great the meeting, by the measure of man, the glory of God is what truly is important. I have seen this glory. This is the light of Christ, which shines with perfect light. We can see a bit of that perfect light today. We don't just have to wait for that perfect, millennial day. I know that that perfect light shines today on this earth.  It is comforting, that our God dwells in perfect light. There is no guessing, there is a surety in this. 

I feel your help and prayers every day. I have seen the help of the Lord in this work. I have seen his help, even if I feel I have not done enough of my own part. I know he lives always. I know he loves all. Even if we feel we have not done enough, he accepts what we have done. He works with that. And he draws us closer to Him. He brings others closer to Him through us. Thank you for everything you have done for me. Thank you for everything you do for me.


Elder Dunford

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