Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February 3, 2015 - Talisay City, Cebu

This week was good.
Elder Tolentino and I in the hills of Linao. This area reminded me a ton of our hills, except our hills have no bananas, coconuts or great variety of fruits growing.

On Wednesday we had Zone Interviews. So we took a taxi to Lahug to the Temple complex, where we got ready along with Central and Kamputhaw Zones to hear the messages of President and the APs before we were interviewed. There I met for the first time in just about a year several of my batch! One was a bit unexpected. As I was standing outside the patron house, one of my batch who is in Cebu East came running out, Sister Lauck. They were going to the temple. We chicka-chicka-ed (talked) a little bit, which was nice. It was all very unexpected, that was the first time I'd seen any of my Cebu East batch since SLC. And then one of her companions said "Hey, I know Dunfords!" She was from Texas, and was all buddies with the David Dunford people! So tell them I saw Sister Wolfe, as well. You should probably say hi from me, too.
After that little exchange, we went inside the chapel, where I met for the first time in a year my batch, Elder Moffat! Elder Moffat went home from the MTC, and just came out last transfer, but I was so excited to see him! It was a very joyous reunion. I was the first of our batch that he's met, because the rest of them are on Negros right now. But It was a day full of happy meetings and many pictures

Last P-day we had lunch with the Osores family! They are the family that Elder Gama and I had dinner at every night in Lawaan. It was super cool to catch up with them.

But Receiving the teachings of the President McCurdy was super cool. I am always just so impressed at how full of Love Sister and President McCurdy are. Then Elder Tolentino and I were the first to be interviewed, because of all the missionaries at the meeting, ours is the farthest area. The Interview was a great experience. President McCurdy kind of has just a list of specific questions which don't really change very much from transfer to transfer, but I felt like it was a very effective reporting. I also felt like all this time that I've been just about as far as possible from the Temple as possible, that I've still been known. It was a really nice, fun experience.

So I want to share a little experience from last night about this, about how even a little couple who lives in a bamboo house on top of a hill, who raise pigs and goats and farms papayas can be so affected by Family History Work. We met this investigator family who we had recieived as a referral from a returning member, and yesterday, went to their house. As soon as we got there, Sister met us and went to go call her husband who was working on his plants on the hillside opposite of us. We waited a few minutes, and brother and sister met us and sat down and were very excited to have us. They began to tell us that they had a most incredible experience visiting the temple complex. This couple had to look for some records of their grandparents, to officialize their land inheritance, and they had no luck finding the birth records at the city hall, so they were referred to the Mormons. So this couple went to Lahug, to the family history center next to the Temple, where they told us, they found it so clean, very "mingaw," which means lonely, but in a quiet, peaceful way. (The Sacred Grove is described as mingaw in JS-H.) They went into the family history center, where they were helped by someone who knows how to work a computer, because they sure did not. They then started to tell us how not only did they find the records they were looking for, but they found other family members, uncles and lolas (grandmas), back to 1800's, 1700's. They were so fascinated by this, this was so wonderful to them. They could not describe how happy they were to see this. Then to see the people there at the temple, whether rich or poor, nicely clothed or not, may cotse o wala (have a car or not), they were all as one. They were all equal. This family described very enthusiastically their feelings as they went to the temple complex, and even returned along with their recently-returning member friend. They explained their feelings as "bugnaw," cold, but a good cold. I felt the spirit so strongly that this little couple had felt the Spirit so strongly, and just needed to be given the gospel to follow.
Princess Padua was baptised on Sunday after church! Her family are all members, and her grandfather is the Stake Patriarch.
I also had District Leader's council this week. President pretty much just talked about the Scout Law.

And Yesterday, I had splits with my ZL, Elder Knutson. He's a real boy scout, too.
I love you always. It has been a little chilly here the last few days, the temperature hardly hit 80. I say this honestly.

Elder Dunford

And a little bonus section for this week!
Ang Visayang Pulong sa Semana: sangay (read "sa" as in 'Psa'lm, "ng" as in si'n'g, "ay" as in 'I")
The Cebuano Word of the Week: having the same name as someone else

January 27, 2015 - Talisay City, Cebu

This week was really cool. 

I've really gotten to know a few of the members this week. We've visited some of their houses, been fed a few times, and they really seem to be lovely saints. A lot of the people here live in subdivisions, which some places are pretty large, complete houses. It's a big difference sometmes from Ayungon, but I love this wherever we are.

 Abi ninyo, ania ko sa siyudad. (You thought I am in the city.)
In our ward we have a lot of part member families, where the parents are members, but children who are past 8 years old have not yet been baptised. So that's one place where I'm really glad to work. It's really good to visit these families, because we get to strengthen the parents as well as teach the gospel very simply and clearly to these kids who already love the gospel. 

A portion of the Cubar family. The Cubars are a big family that live in a compound, where all their houses are behind this stand of really tall trees. Sister Jasmine, pictured here, is super faithful and is so good.

One recent convert here is Francis, who, though he was just baptised a few months ago, he has been going to church for over a year. His wife is a member, and they have a small child, and often cant come to church because it's Bantay Bata (watching child). But he is so lig-on, he's so strong, and he's doing everything he can to get to the temple. It's so fun working here in such close proximity to the temple, it's a real tool we can use.

The Flat-bottomed fishing boat of Brother Angko, a fairly new member. He builds boats after this manner, that are all hydro-dynamically designed to ride up in the water at speed. He says he can get from here to Bohol in 20 minutes. Bohol looks like probably about as far as Catalina from here. Maybe a bit closer, but still, that is ridiculously fast.