Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Goodbye Narra

It's hard to say goodbye. We have come to love the people of Narra so much! Sunday night we went to the Magsinos with Elders Julito and Appleby. They are such a good family. Edwin is really working on quitting smoking and is making good progress. They are really looking forward to being baptized in March. We love them! Monday we fed the Elders breakfast; pancakes, french toast, bacon, scrambled eggs, the works! It was good! We then spent the rest of the day doing paper work and other chores in preparation to leave. Monday evening we went to Corpuz's for F.H.E. It was nice and what made it extra special was they invited their nonmember neighbour family to come and they seemed to really enjoy it. They are a really nice family- 4 teenage kids who seem really good. Hopefully they will come along now. The missionaries had taught them some but they really weren't progressing but the seem to have a renewed interest now.Tuesday we packed our bags, went to our last district meeting with the missionaries and taught Jeffrey and Sheila again. Sure love them. Sure hope Jeffrey will commit to be baptized someday soon. Tuesday night the branch held a farewell party for us and Sister Ordanza who is leaving next week on a mission to London, England. So that was really nice and it was fun! There was over a hundred people there! As we looked around at all of them it was just a really good and satisfying feeling to know that maybe we actually had made a difference. We made some wonderful friends! The Magsinos and Jagmis families were there ( our investigators ) as well as the family that came to the F.H.E. on Monday. It was great to see all of them come! Took some pictures and said lots of goodbyes and shed a few tears. We love the saints in Narra!

Mary Rose Rivera and Jonathon Laureo. Two  returned missionaries that are engaged and are planning to get married sometime this year.

Some of our favorite people

Us with Sister Palo, Sis Laureo,Bro Magsino and the Missionaries.

Joel Briones

Our missionaries.

Ruchie and Mary Rose Rivera

Bro Butaca's 3 wheeler. I think I should build one of these.

The branch held a nice going away party for us and Lorelei Ordanza who is going on a mission to London, England

Cant remember the girl's name on the left but then there's Lorelei Ordanza, Sister Palo, Sister Butaca,and Angelic Palo

The Abrigo Family

Narra Branch

Bro. and Sis.Zardoma

Pres. and Sis Asis. He is our Elder's Quorum President and fellow high councilman.

Sis Magsino, Sis Ordanza, and Sis. Palo

The Servas Family

The Jagmis Family.They are planning to be baptized in March. We love them and are excited for them.

 The Jagmis Family with Elders Merrill and Torida.

Us and the Jagmis Family

Us and the Magsino Family. The lady next to Lily is Bro Magsino's Sister who also wants to be baptized along with her daughter who is not in this picture.

The Magsinos. Jezebel, her mother Vinelda, Cherry,Annabelle,Edwin, little Wendel and Aries

Us and the Magsino

Us and the Malabuet Family

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Last Sunday on Palawan

Well it's almost over. We can't believe it. Our hearts our full and our eyes are wet as we realize that our time is up and we say goodbye to these wonderful people and this amazing experience. Last Sunday was one of the sweetest experiences of our mission as we welcomed back 3 brethren who had been been disfellowshipped years ago and who we had been able to work a small part in helping them return to full fellowship. This work is the Savior's work and his amazing love and grace and mercy is extended to all who will come unto Him. We had some sad news this week as Jeffrey took some steps backward and decided not to be baptized at this time. We are hopeful that he will sometime soon. The missionaries are teaching 2 other wonderful families though ( as well as several other wonderful investigators) who will be baptized in March. We are so excited about that. There were 18 investigators at church last Sunday including a fellow who Wirthlins met on the street and invited to come to church! He came and agreed to be taught by the missionaries. They taught him and it went well so the Wirthlins are pretty pumped about that. They are great people and will do a lot of good here. Last night we went to one of those 2 families and they reported that they had completely quit smoking so after 4 weeks they can be baptized. When they said that I thought those two missionaries were going to leap right out of their chairs! We sure love all these missionaries we get to work with! Also this week we decided along with the branch presidency that because we can't find a meeting house in Sandoval we will build a temporary roof structure to meet under on Zardoma's property. Pres. Stucki approved the idea so we - I guess they- will build it next Saturday. Finally some progress on that!

The Relief Society held another activity at our house.

They have a lot of fun together.

Jeffrey and Sheila Corpuz

We had a Family Home Evening at or house and invited Jeffrey and Sheila. Jeffrey wasn't able to come but we had a good time.

Brother and Sister Abrigo, on the right, have recently become active and it was good to have them at our Family Home Evening

This is Jill.Sorry I can't remember her last name but she lives with and works for the Betitas

That's a lot of missionaries for one branch! Lot's of good work being done. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hastening the Work

The Lord's work is truly hastening and we are trying our best to keep up. We have been super busy as we try to get as much done as possible in the time remaining. Can't believe we have so little left. We have had some wonderful experiences lately. We have been very concerned about Jeffrey  lately because he hadn't felt like he was getting the answer he was seeking and was not progressing. Along with the missionaries we have been struggling and praying to know how to help. Then last Tuesday when we went to teach them before we said anything he said he was ready to be baptized! We are so excited! He is the man I mentioned earlier that I had met in the market and his wife was baptized a few weeks ago. The missionaries are also teaching a wonderful family that is a referral of the Magsino family- his brother. They are such a good family! They are preparing for baptism. The father just needs to overcome some word of wisdom challenges but we know he will. They really want to be baptized and have been to church 4 weeks in a row now. They are just so happy with all they are learning and we have loved seeing the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ light up their lives. It is such a blessing to be a part of this work. The other missionaries also are teaching a great family. They were actually referred by a nonmember! Before we went with the missionaries last night to teach them we had only been to their house once but they seem to just love us and act like we have made a huge difference in their lives. The mother said she was crying in church last Sunday when Sister Gwilliam bore her testimony. They plan to be baptized March 8 if they too can overcome some word of wisdom challenges. It was so awesome last night after the missionaries finished their lesson and we had the closing prayer the father the father said, " Can I ask a question?" He said," How can I help my family be more spiritual?" Then he got out a paper and pen to write down our suggestions. It was so amazing! So we talked and shared some suggestions and he wrote them all down and was just so sincere! It was beautiful. Elder and Sister Wirthlin were their with us and it was great! We were all crammed in their tiny little house with not enough chairs for all to sit on: the one light bulb hardly giving enough light to read: the smell of their pigs which are in a pen just outside the front door almost overwhelming us and yet this wonderful family of 4 children and a nephew are just drinking in the Gospel and letting it light up their lives. There is nothing like this in all the world! We are so happy to get to know the Wirthlins! They just got here a week ago and we love them already.They are our replacements so we are helping them to get settled and showing them around. They are starting to get over the jet lag and culture shock now. That's always tough at first but they are really nice people and will do well. We are getting excited to go home but have already had a few teary sessions as we contemplate leaving these dear people we have grown to love so much.

A typical scene on the roads on Palawan

Yes, we do live on an island, it's beautiful here.

This scene is along the road between Narra and Puerto Princessa


Sheila Corpuz at her Baptism. Also her husband Jeffrey, her parents, and the teaching missionaries Elders Merrill and Torida

Members of Narra Branch who attended Sheila's baptism.

Some of the Narra Relief Society. They had an activity at our house and Sister Gwilliam taught them how to make cookies. Most of them don't have ovens so they've never made cookies.

We had a branch activity at the beach. Here is a picture of lunch on the grill.

Sister Sea

Sister Bongot

Bro & Sis Magsino, Sis Palo, Sheila Montes and Jerson Palo

Sis Magsino with us and our really tall Relief Society President Sis Palo

Elder Haney

Sis Palo and her kids, Jerson and  Angelic

Beach volleyball without a net.

These kids love the water.

We were winning until the rope broke.

Wipeout after the rope broke.

It held for awhile...

Oops. There were a few risque moments.

Don't look like missionaries here do we?!

Cooking Lunch...

...and now It's served.

Pants or no pants I'm goin swimmin'!

Frescel Ann Bautista and Ira and Michelle Guttierez at their baptism along with some other young women.

Missionaries love baptisms!

Frecille Ann Bautista and her Sister Armaine Grace who was baptized a couple of weeks earlier.

Haulin' logs!

A scene from beautiful Palawan