Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Blog of 2012

Love multiplied again on October 26 as our second GREAT grandchild, little Staussen Kristoffer Doria was born to Ron and Auna Doria.  Auna was the second grandchild born to our family in 1989 and she is second child of our daughter, Mindy, and her husband, Brandon Janis. Ron and Auna are living in Silverspring, Maryland where Ron is attending medical school. What a joy it will be to play with Eden and Staussen the last part of this year. We will also be meeting two new granddaughters.  Greg and Natalie are expecting in January. Travis and Maryl are expecting in March.

I love the way the picture below fell into place as the call, “Picture, Picture” went out and these wonderful Sisters came running to share in the fun. How I wish you could know each of them, but how grateful I am that I do!

 Several months ago we had the privilege of visiting with the matron of one of the pioneer families in this part of the Philippines, Sister Sabal. We were with Elders Seumanutafa and Laureano. Sister Sabal’s story is inspiring. Many years ago she and her husband sold their home to take their family of six children to the Manila Temple to be sealed. They were the first family from the Toledo area to attend the temple. Their daughter said, “We came back and had no place to go.”

They rented a home and were blessed to begin buying one three months later. Sister Sabal loves the missionaries and has assisted them in so many ways over the years. A stroke has confined her to a wheelchair but not dampened her enthusiasm or faith.

A highlight of September was the opportunity to be part of a temple trip with about forty wonderful members from the Pinamungajon Branch. This Branch faced many serious challenges in trying to get to the Temple. With the determined efforts of Branch leaders and the two marvelous young Elders serving in their branch, preparations were completed and the branch was able to make the trip, even a breakdown of the truck that was transporting them all to the temple, did not stop the trip. It was truly a time of joy and fulfillment.   A beautiful family, the Lagnason family with nine children, was sealed to their newly endowed parents.  The Acero family, with two sons, received the same blessing. Other temple ordinances were completed by youth and adults.

Elder Afu and Elder Laureano, the Pinamungajan Elders, had planned a devotional for the day after on a Sunday evening. They wanted to have this special time of testimony and music to define and “deepen” feelings experienced in the temple.

Elder Laureano is a gifted musician. He is also an experienced teacher having taught piano since the age of 14. His favorite hymn is Help Me Teach with Inspiration. Surely his prayer to do so as expressed in that hymn was answered at this devotional. With only one three hour rehearsal - that everyone loved - a ward choir, a missionary choir, a young women choir and a Primary choir prepared different numbers and sang beautifully under his inspired direction. One Sister said that when Love at Home was sung, she felt that she was floating on air she was so happy and felt so close to God. Beautiful testimonies were shared of feelings experienced in the temple as sacred work was completed.  Our hearts were touched and we are grateful to have been close enough to preparation efforts to see and recognize the tender mercies of God in making this happen for the wonderful members of the Pinamungajan Branch.

The first Saturday of October, a District Family Day Activity was held. There was good attendance from most of the Branches. Elder Dover was one of three speakers. Elder Laureano directed the Zone Elders in a special musical medley, Love At Home and Families can be Together Forever. Elder Laureano’s arrangement was beautiful and voices blended well. Elder Dover sang bass. I accompanied.

As we greeted members, I began thinking that we have about one year left. We will return October 7, 2013.

So many times I had wondered why we set our availability for two years. All the other couples in the mission will leave after 18 months. I had longed to see if President Schmutz would consider changing our call to an 18 month call also. However, as the activities began, I realized that I have truly come to love the people we know here. Once we leave, in all probability, we will not see them again in this life. (Thank goodness for facebook.) The realization hit me that I am very glad we still have a year. It was a sweet confirmation that we were right in offering our service for a full two years.

I told Elder Dover about these feelings as we drove to Pinamungajon for District Meeting today. He confirmed that early in our mission he had wondered quite a few times how we would ever make it to 23 months. He didn’t directly answer my question about how he felt now. Later, however, while reading in the Bible Dictionary concerning Eben-ezer, the stone of help set up by Samuel as a token of gratitude for deliverance from the Philistines (I Sam. 7:10-12), he read the passage “as a token of gratitude for deliverance from the Philippines.” Freudian slip, but. . . . . . . . . there you have it!

 At branch and district activities, it seems we are always asked to serve as “judges”.

This picture of members preparing to leave at the conclusion of the District Family Day will always be one of my mission favorites. We were preparing to leave the parking lot of the church, but with so many members waving at us from the truck, I thought that it would be a perfect picture.  As soon as I pulled out my camera many more came running shouting, “Picture, picture.” With Indat’s leap timed perfectly, the picture is indeed “perfect‘!

Of course we continue to have pancake breakfasts at our place.  This one fell on Halloween and was complete with spider webs and trick-or-treats. We love these younger missionaries!

Dec 3  The zone conference scheduled for today in Cebu has been cancelled to give missionaries time to prepare for typhoon Bopha, a category 4 plus storm.  It will slam into Mindanao today. The missionaries couldn’t find bread where they shopped for supplies.  We found out, bought extra for them and distributed it after district meeting.

Listed from right up, over and across - Sister Acain, Elder Laureano, Elder Warner, Elder Saet, Elder Mingus, Elder Flores, Elder Rubio, Sister Doronila

Dec 5  Over the last two days, the projected path of the typhoon has dropped far south. The predicted path would have crossed directly over Cebu City and Toledo and hit the cluster of islands to the west. Instead it took the path of least probable damage - just catching the southern tip of Negros and then staying over water as it moved out of the Philippine area.

District conference was held on the 10th

Dec 15  We have learned that the initial landfall in Mindanao of Bopha was devastating.  Over 1000 have lost their lives and another 500 plus are missing. Many people have lost their homes and are without basic necessities.

Members here had been asked to pray that the storm would be tempered. One sister, in doing so, reminded the Lord that they pay their tithing and are generous in fast offerings.  They have been trying to build a home and “pay as they go”.  They have walls, recently added a cement floor, but do not yet have doors or windows.

It will be a nice home when it is finished.  The kitchen is especially functional.  They have just finished one room because they are expecting a baby.  They pled with the Lord stating that the storm, if it hit, would take the roof off their home and they would not be able to replace it during the next year.

Cebu suffered no damage in this storm.  Can we add this to one of the miracles we were promised we would see?

We were happy to be invited to the wedding of Ladi Narona and his bride, Carol. We came to know Brother Narona as Elder Narona when he had served in Aloguinson.  We worked with him and his companion, Elder Manlicmot, on several occasions.

Dec 26  We helped the Toledo II Branch prepare a Christmas choir program. Several  members have very nice voices and had wanted the choir to continue after having  prepared a number for Branch Conference. Children had sung in that choir. For the Christmas choir, however, we invited the children to sing with the primary but not with the adult choir. Kennen Magbago was really disappointed, so we made him a judge of how well we sang.  It was very funny as he stood to give his report saying, “It was good. Not very good, but it was good.” After our last practice, we all went outside where Elder Dover shared his “Best in the Philippines Chocolate Cake”. Kennen wears the blue trimmed T-shirt in picture one.


A favorite Christmas decoration is the Nativity. To share the story of Christ’s birth, we made some laminated paper ones. Several days before Christmas, we visited some families with the Pinamungajan Elders, Elders Laureano and Warner. The nativity figures were added to one family’s Christmas tree as the story was told.

At another home, Elder Laureano told the Nativity story using the cover of his hymnal as the manger.  As he spoke, neighborhood children gathered at the door and were invited in. He involved them beautifully in the story.  Wonderful Nativities have been created using varied products including fine porcelain and olive wood, but these simple figures leaning against a missionary's hymnal will remain for us "The Best Nativity Ever".

There have been several conferences in the mission this holiday season.  The workshops that have been presented have broadened understanding of the scriptures as they testify of Christ’s mission as our Savior, teach repentance as we strive to keep the commandments of God, follow Christ’s example and more perfectly exemplify His attributes thus qualifying for Eternal Life made possible through the atonement of Christ.

The importance of moving from a testimony or knowledge of truth as received through the power of the Holy Ghost, to true conversion where pressing forward in faith with a changed heart becomes a way of life has been discussed.  How to help others desire and achieve this is an important quest in missionary work. A question to consider might be “If knowledge does not bring positive change, what good is it?”

Conversion can’t happen without testimony,
 but testimony can happen without conversion.

A good friend asked recently what might be the defining statement of the mission my husband and I are serving.  I have given considerable thought to that question. Here is my statement:

I have come to understand on a vastly deeper
 and more personal level
Christ’s invitation to repent and come unto him.

In Mosiah chapter 2, King Benjamin teaches that even if we serve God with our whole souls, we can never repay him for the blessings and mercy extended to us. As we do as he commands, he immediately blesses us, has therefore paid us, and we remain indebted to him forever.

We are in the Philippines as member and leader support missionaries, but as we serve we find that we are the ones most greatly blessed. We desire to assist and strengthen testimonies and means of those who live on these beautiful Isles of the Sea, but it is us who are more greatly strengthened. We are grateful for the “brightness of hope” the atonement of Christ and His restored gospel bring to the world

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” II Nephi 32:9

Our Grandson’s request to visit us as Flat Calum brought some great adventures and special memories shared in this Flat Calum Smilebox.

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A melodrama produced as a final activity by our Tutay/Pinamungajan Branch English class will remain as a highlight of our mission.
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This Mango Picking Adventure Smilebox gives some fun insights into Filipino life.
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The Best Nativity Ever Smilebox shares some of our warmest memories of the season and extends our greetings to you.
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The first of December, towns across the Island hold Christmas tree building competitions.  Organizations volunteer to build Christmas trees in the town plaza.
The trees are made from various native materials. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weeks 25 through... Oh my, we have lost count.

. . .participated in several wonderful baptisms.

 . . . gave many piano lessons to advancing and beginning students.

. . . enjoyed a renewal of spirit and dedication at a wonderful mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson

. . . have made it through our first Filipino summer -  the 2012-2013 school year has just begun for Filipino children

. . . attended a session in the Cebu Temple

. . . are prayerfully visiting in homes to support and encourage newly converted members of the church and to bring back inactive and less active members

. . . working with the District clerk and Branch clerks to bring branch membership records up to date

. . . continuing to give English lessons to one youth group and one adult group

. . . have felt the tender mercies of God as we have quite specifically prayed for inspiration in several matters

. . . look forward to our morning hours of scripture and Preach My Gospel study

. . . open email every morning hoping for a message from family and friends.

. . .  celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary! June 3rd!


It has been hard to prepare something to share.  It seems like we have had a routine and just keep trying to move forward praying for inspiration in our work but it’s almost like we are waiting for something to happen before we can really accomplish our purpose here. We also had two weeks where either Elder Dover or Sister Dover didn’t feel really good. Fortunately that has passed. We are feeling good and are back to full energy and grateful for that blessing.

We have completed another round of apartment inspection to see if the younger Elders and Sisters have all that they need. We were asked to share messages at the first conference for return missionaries from the Toledo district.  What a wonderful group of faithful members of the church.  Their dedication is an inspiration to us.

A challenge for men in the Philippines is to find work.  Many faithful Priesthood holders must go abroad for close to a year at a time for employment opportunities. This is understandably hard on families and takes very needed Priesthood out of the Branches.  We have been so grateful for the employment opportunities the opening of a new radio station here in Toledo has offered to several church members including a priesthood holder whose prayers have been that the Lord would open up a way for him to work in Toledo and continue to serve in his District Priesthood calling here.  Several of our English students have been hired as part time DJs at the station. It has been fun to have them thank us for English classes they say helped them speak English well enough to get a job there. We feel the inspiration of the Elder Dallin H. Oaks direction a few years ago saying that it would benefit the people of the church in the Philippians to try and use English with the Couple Missionaries, rather than have the Senior couples try to learn Cebuano.  English is taught in the schools as a second language.

Last general conference, Elder Paul Koelliker of the Seventy described the missionary experience as a “minilife packaged in 18 to 24 month”. It is a fitting description.  One aspect of life are the many hello’s and good-byes it brings.  They seem to happen often in a mission.  We just bid Elder John Bornea good-bye as he left for the Manila MTC to serve in the Philippine Davao Mission.  He has served as a faithful branch mission leader in the Toldedo II Branch.  He also has been a capable and determined piano student.  In just a few months he has gained the keyboard skills to begin playing the easier hymns. His mother has agreed to let us visit her and teach what is so important to her son.  We are excited for this opportunity.


Our mission President, President Evan Schmutz,  asked us to attend the Pinamungajon Branch last Sunday. He and Sister Schmutz with the District Priesthood Leadership were all there for the calling of a new Branch Presidency.  Elder Dover met with President Schmutz and the District President, President Cojocson, briefly before sacrament meeting to talk about the new branch presidency. It was a sacred and memorable experience for Elder Dover as President Schmutz explained that he was doing something that was new to him and a little unusual.  As he had been praying about the new branch presidency, the Spirit kept directing him to a young man who had only been a member of the church for two months and did not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Words came to his mind - Not many of the wise and great are called, but the small and meek.”  These words with  Nephi’s words in 1 Nephi 16:29 . . . “And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things,” confirmed for him the Lord’s will in this calling. As President Schmutz explained his experience in making the decision, Elder Dover testified that he had an almost overwhelming witness of the Spirit that what President Schmutz was explaining was indeed the Lord’s will.

This new branch president will need training, much of which will be offered by the missionaries: the two outstanding younger missionaries who will be serving a 2nd counselor in the Branch Presidency and Branch clerk and Elder Dover as the MIS (Member & Leader Support) missionary in the District.  A new assistant branch clerk will be preparing for his future calling as Branch clerk. It is also exciting also to see the reactivation of an older brother from England.  He has been called as executive secretary. 

There were many people at this meeting.  The spirit was very strong.  President Schmutz told the congregation of his inspiration in making this calling and urged their whole hearted support.  He reminded them that whom the Lord calls, “He qualifies”. He said that when called the new branch President had been called, he had humbly stated his lack of experience and ability. President Schmutz said simply, “The Lord has called you.  Will you serve?” The reply was made with humility and great faith.  “I have been called.  I will serve.” 

One sister stood to bear her testimony stating that she had planned to raise her hand in opposition to the call, but as Brother Johnny Kyenko’s name was read and the sustaining vote called for, the spirit bore witness to her that this calling was being made under the Lord’s direction.  She had raised her hand in support.

Our hearts were deeply touched in this meeting and our testimonies strengthened. As the words to the sacrament hymn, “I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me” were sung, the thought came to me that the Lord has greatly blessed us to bring us here in missionary service at this time. Interestingly the same sacrament hymn was sung in church the last Sunday we attended a sacrament meeting in Augusta, Georgia.  Those same words brought a similar confirmation then that we had been greatly blessed by the Lord to have had the privilege of living and serving there.


Following an English lesson, children from the neighborhood gatherat the Sabroso’s for a “Don’t Eat Pete” game.

Baptisms are always special events. Missionaries and branchmembers at the baptism of Star Montebon, three members of the Mendoza Familyand Johnny Sepata.

We are blessed to be one of two of the fourteen Filipino missions with a temple.  Another temple for the Philippines is planned. I particularly like these shots taken early one morning after spending the night in the mission home. Branches from outlaying areas plan group trips with members spending two or three days at the patron’s house on the temple complex. It is a welcoming place for entire families.  Food can be purchased or prepared on site. This shot shows a group leaving the complex after spending several days doing temple work.

Elder Dover

Ride with me.

Visiting with the Elders.

Open air TV Karaoke is a popular pastime in the Philippines. Elder Dover gets into it with “The Impossible Dream.” Sister Dover joins in for the final bars.

Jessa Mae and Yves Magbago are cousins with very nice voices.  We were at their home to celebrate the 11th birthdayof Yves.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weeks 19 through 24

Let’s begin this 5th blog, approximately weeks 19 through 24 – or more exactly March 13 through April 18, 2012 - with the best and greatest news of all!  WE ARE GREAT GRANDPARENTS!     Little Eden Naomi Wayment, with beautiful red hair, made her long awaited entrance into this life on March 18th weighing in at 8 lb 9 oz.  She was welcomed by our wonderful oldest granddaughter, Kylee, and Kylee’s equally wonderful husband, Ryan.  They live in Houston, Texas.  Heads will turn – and who could help but smile - when people catch a glimpse of this red-haired trio.  It will be many months before we hold this little one in our arms, but we will watch her grow through pictures and Skype.  What a joy she is!

Before we have a chance to hold Eden in our arms, there will be another precious little one to hold.  Our second oldest- and also wonderful- granddaughter, Auna, has announced that she and her - also wonderful- husband, Ron, are expecting in October.  Ron’s heritage is Filipino.  This will be a beautiful dark haired baby. We are so happy for them!  It is amazing how as new members enter a family, love multiplies rather than divides.  

The dry season – April through June - got off to a slow start beginning with a couple of weeks of frequent rain. We had been invited the first of April to a member’s birthday party in her home which is located in the center of a rice paddy.  The home, however, was flooded the day of the party (and for a week thereafter).  She asked if the party could be held at our place. 

For her home to be flooded is not unusual, even though the house is built on stilts. The water comes in and later recedes through half inch spaces between each of the narrow bamboo strips that make up the floor. Incidentally, she told us that her kitties were very happy.  They love being able to catch fish in the house.

At the party a game was played where everyone told something interesting about themselves – something others may not know. One young sister said that she had had a dream in which she saw the Savior. He embraced her.

Another young sister told of a dream she had had about a year after her family had joined the church. In the dream, she was with the Savior. She was an angel and he taught her how to fly. There were some other angels standing close by, watching. She recognized these other angels as some of her friends. The Savior asked if since she now knew how to fly, would she teach them? She said that she was able to teach some of them how, but not all..  The ones who learned to fly in the dream were those who have now joined the church.

Another young sister told of a dream she had before being taught by the missionaries.  In her dream, two young men in white shirts and ties showed her a large attractive building that she had never seen before.  Later two young missionaries taught her the gospel and invited her to attend church with them.  When she saw the Toledo chapel for the first time, she recognized it as the building from her dream. (And yes, she was one of the angels who learned to fly.)

We held our 4th transfer, 6th pancake breakfast.

We tried walking several mornings but did not enjoy it and felt rather obvious.  We are back to exercising in the larger room we have here at our place.  I have actually begun doing “The Bunny Hop” as part of my daily routine.  I can hop much better now that when I first started.

We spent a few days on the north end of the Island last month consulting with Elder and Sister Bailey, the Senior Missionary couple in Bogo.  They will be returning home to Manti, Utah soon just in time to help with the annual pageant. We went there with the hope they could help us better learn how to use Power Point in creating some auxiliary training seminars and share from their experiences information about how Senior Missionaries can effectively offer support to members and leaders.  They were wonderful hosts and became new friends.  Using ideas from our discussion and what we trust is inspiration; we have made some personal goals based on the 2012 Goals set by the Philippine Area Presidency.

They introduced us to Annie’s amazing basket weaving shop and pointed out three-and-four-foot-high termite mounds in fields of sugar cane.

Note by Elder Dover:

After discussions with Elder and Sister Bailey, I have decided to try and help branches bring membership records up to date and to teach how to use information from reports that can be generated.  If this proves to be a realistic project, it may very well keep me busy for the rest of my mission. I would like that. We are told that much of the quarterly report information sent to Salt Lake is a “best guess”.  I hope to be able to get into the computer system of each branch in the Toledo District, and work with the district and branch clerks to clean this all up, and to teach the branch clerks how to do it, get them fired up to work hard at it and keep it up to date.

We will work with Individual Ordinance Summaries for members of the branches. We want to review each summary with the members to bring it up to date. This will give us the opportunity to visit branch members – we will go with the young missionaries or with other branch members who know the people and know where they live. We will get any unrecorded information and then work with the branch clerks to get it recorded. This will work very well with the Area Presidencies’ goals for the Philippines for the missionaries to focus their labors on the less active church members. Hopefully, this will all coordinate well together and will be a worthwhile project. We will start with the 2 branches in Toledo, and then work our way through the other branches in the district. There are a total of 8 branches in the district. The District President is very supportive.

We are hopeful that helping to establish and teach the use of and the importance of the record keeping system of the church, as Elder Dover has explained, will be a solid step in more firmly  establishing the church here in Cebu. It would help us feel that our time here will have been of lasting value. I do know that Priesthood leaders value Elder Dover’s counsel and I have heard him give excellent counsel touched with that optimism and sense of humor that is one of his wonderful qualities.  

I will soon begin a project to increase interest in family history. I need to complete some work on the auxiliary training Power Point Presentations before I begin work with family history. 

Summer vacation has begun in the Philippines.  The private school, Saint John, across the street from our place had three different graduation exercises- lower, middle and high school. A graduating class here is known as a “Batch”. So this year’s class was Batch 2012. Because the exercises were held outside, in English and WELL amplified, we could clearly understand all the speakers. Do not view this as a complaint. I found it very interesting and well done. I was impressed with the values urged by each speaker. The songs sung by the youngest children were delightful including “You are my Sunshine”. My mother used to sing this to me all the when I was little and I had almost forgotten that. Interesting isn’t it, to be reminded of such a tender memory in the Philippines.

On a recent trip to Cebu, we were excited to pick up 7 packages from the states. They held some items we requested, plus some surprises.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Using some of the things in one of the packages, Elder Dover was able to satisfy his craving for a good home-baked chocolate cake.  He figured out how to use our propane heated oven and baked a perfect one.  “Dad is great, he still bakes chocolate cakes.”  

Included in the packages were a total of 8 sets of UNO cards.  We had wanted just a couple of sets for gifts and to have on hand for missionaries on P Day.  When we received so many, we thought about having an Uno night in the Branches, but gave up the idea us impractical.  However, a couple of members we had mentioned it too were really disappointed and urged us to move forward with UNO nights.  They offered to help. So, with the Branch Presidents of Toledo I and of Toledo II approving, we invited just the Young Single Adults in both branches to an UNO night at the church. They came – so did the Branch Presidents. They all seemed to have a great time and now are ready to teach the game to other members.  They will serve as “UNO Masters” at a combined Toledo Branch I and Branch II UNO night this Friday.  Several told us that it has been a long time since the branches have done anything together.

How will many players play with only eight sets of cards?  We’ll see how our plan actually works, but basically the winner of a hand wins the right to remain at the table for the next hand.  Other players count their cards. The person holding the most cards will be the first to give up his/her seat to the person who has been waiting for a seat at the table the longest.  If there is more than one person waiting to play, the player holding the next highest number of cards will give up his/her seat to the 2nd waiting person.  And so on until each person waiting gets a seat or until all of the players with losing hands are replaced. We hope that these nights of fellowshipping will help recently baptized members and returning less actives make new friends and enjoy an evening of socializing.

Last Saturday we visited the home of a recently baptized family. They are a wonderful family.  The father had to quit smoking and give up social drinking in order to join the church.  We would like him to find new friends in the church, so we took Uno cards to them and asked their delightful Single Adult daughter if she would like to teach her family how to play UNO. She had attended the UNO night for SA.  We asked if she could be one of the Uno Masters and perhaps bring her family to the Branches UNO night.  She seemed genuinely pleased.  We then asked if there were anything we could do for them.  She got a cute expression on her face and said “play uno now”?  It was funny.  So we did and taught her mother how to play.  Many children from the neighborhood gathered to watch.

Before we left, we mentioned English lessons we are beginning to teach. Her mother asked if we could teach her. We will go to their home once a week now to teach her, her husband, and some of their children.  She told another member later that her family is very excited to study English with us because they do not have money for private lessons or to attend an English class at a school; however,   they have long wanted to speak better English.  Right now and they are very hesitant to speak in English, but they do have a limited understanding of it.

We will teach some basic grammer and conversational English, then read from the book of Mormon. Sister Ernstrom, the mission office secretary, gave us a valuable tool that we will use.  It is the first half of the Book of Mormon with one line in English followed by the translation of that line in Cebuano.  It is perfect to teach English to those who have limited command of the language. The following is an example:

1    I, NEPHI, having been born of goodly parents,
1    AKO, si Nephi, natawo sa mga matarung nga ginikanan,

therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father;
busa ako gitudloan sa tanan nga nakat-unan sa akong amahan;

and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,
ug nakasinati sa daghan nga mga kasakit sa akong panahon,

nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days;
bisan pa, gipangga sa Ginoo sa tanan ko nga mga panahon;

yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God,
oo, nakabaton sa dako nga kasayuran sa kaayo ug sa mga misteryo sa Dios,

therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
busa ako naghimo og usa ka talaan sa panghitabo sa akong mga panahon.

2    Yea, I make a record in the language of my father,
2    Oo, naghimo ako og talaan sa pinulongan sa akong amahan,

which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
nga naglakip sa kinaadman sa mga Judeo ug sa pinulongan sa mga Ehiptohanon.

We just started an English class of about 10 students who meet with us at the church on Saturdays. They seem excited about the class and we love teaching it.

As a side note, we gave Elder Dover’s “learning Cebuano” materials from the MTC to a young woman who came here as a bride. She speaks English and Tagalog. She has been struggling to learn Cebuano and felt that we gave her the tools she needs to do so.

We have been able to reach out in many small ways to help individuals. We went to the hospital recently to help two of the younger missionaries give a blessing to the baby of an inactive mother with a non-member husband. We returned the next day with some food and things for the baby and to learn how the baby was doing.  The baby was doing much better than expected.  The husband wants to have the missionary discussions now. They want us to be part of those discussions.  This sister’s mother and brother are also interested in taking the discussions.

Today is Thursday, piano day. And as Winnie-the-Pooh - a bear who is given to hums and poetry - would say of finding good hums - “They just come, sometimes, and they can’t be fetched.”  - so I say of today – “May good hums come to us all.  Happy Thursday or whatever day it may be for you!”  Teaching piano always brings good hums to me. Thanks for reading!

A summer sunset over Kanlaon.

I decided to look up Negros volcanoes on the internet. Negros has a chain of them with the tallest being Kanlaon. It is listed as restless- being 2 on a 1 to 5 scale. This summer sunset over Kanlaon was taken from the waterfront by our place. The view is across Tenon Strait. I have been told that whales and dolpins frequently pass through this strait. They aren’t observable from here though. It is off the south part of the Strait of Negros in Dumaguete that they can be observed. That is the point where Cebu comes closest to Negros. Kanlaon reminds me of Bali High in South Pacific.  It is generally at least partially covered by clouds.