Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12, 2013

We are moving into our last 9 months with new focus.  Elder Dover was recently called as the 2nd councilor in the District Presidency.  This has provided new opportunities to work more closely with Branch Presidencies.

Reinforcing this focus is the new truck we picked up in Cebu just Friday, January 11th. Well, it is not a new truck, but it is new for us. A Senior Couple who had been serving in Bogo, Elder and Sister Stroud, were using it. They were wonderful missionaries and have now completed their service and returned to the States.  They will be missed. We feel blessed to know them.

This truck will allow us to get up into Lamac and other rural, mountainous areas.

 A guy and his truck
McDonalds and a coke from Seven-Eleven
What more could he want?

We will be attending sacrament meetings throughout the district and will be much less involved in Toledo I and II on Sundays.  Having Sisters in Toledo I as well as Zone Leaders there is making a big difference.  There were 30 in Relief Society on Sunday.  They have been instrumental in bringing several less-or-inactive men back to church, also. By July, as the effect of the age change for missionaries is fully felt, there should be Sisters -  as well as Elders – in many branches.  If what has happened in Toledo I happens in other branches, the church will be greatly strengthened.

Last week was transfer week. Losing the last of the group of Elders who have served in Toledo over the last months, have left us feeling  like we are definitely in a new phase of the work.  We had worked closely with Elder Garver, a zone leader who had been here for three transfers, with Elder Laureano who had served in two different branches but been in the zone for 9 months and Elder Rose who had been here 5 months. Elder Rose came into the zone as a new missionary with that “where on earth am I and how will I survive this” look that I understand so very well. He has worked hard though and served well. Elder Mingus, from Missouri, was transferred also.  He has been in Lamac for three transfers and has done much to strengthen the branch.

We drove Elder Garver to Balamban on Wednesday evening where he would spend the night and then head to Cebu to complete his transfer the next day.  He had to go late.  Transportation would have been hard to find at that hour. We enjoyed one last visit with him.

Elder Laureano requested a ride to Balamban the next evening for himself and Elder Mingus.  We were happy for one last visit with them also.  We actually enjoyed a back seat concert on the way as Elder Laureano began singing some of his favorite songs in his rich, clear tenor.  Then Elder Mingus joined in with an amazing rendition of vocal jazz percussion. The King Singers would have given him a contract on the spot! Fun memory indeed!

So now we look forward to introducing many new Elders to The Toledo Couple’s Mission Famous All You Can Eat Pancake Brunch. The name had to change from “Breakfast” to “Brunch” because President Schmutz asked all missionaries to complete their regular morning study program before beginning P-Day activities.

Tuesday of last week, January 8th, we attended the temple sealing of the Teñado family. It was a great and glorious opportunity to be there. They are a great strength to the Pinamungajan Branch and a joy to know.

Brother John Kline from California was baptized on January 2nd. He came to the Philippines from California. It has been a marvelous experience to assist in teaching him the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He said several times of his baptism day that it was the happiest day of his life. We have every confidence that it is only the beginning.

Brother John Kline with his wife, Pilar, and daughter, Claire.

Brother John Kline and family with missionaries and a number of the wonderful members from Toledo.

Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Wherefore, he is the first fruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved. II Nephi 2:8-9

We humbly express our gratitude to daily testify of this truth as authorized representatives of Jesus Christ.

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