There are 24 young missionaries in the Toledo zone. The zone is divided into two districts: the Toledo District and the Tutay/Pinanungajav District. In addition to the Zone Leaders, there are three sets of two elders, one set of two sisters and one set of three sisters in the Toledo district, and four sets of two elders and one set of three sisters in the Tutay/Pinanungajav district. There are so many new sister missionaries arriving in this mission, and in many others, that the leaders have to put sisters together in groups of three because they do not yet have enough housing to put them in groups of two
District meeting are scheduled on Mondays at 10:00 AM. We went to the Toledo meeting. At the meeting, we met a missionary named Sister Perrigo, who is from Meridian, Idaho. She knows our son Lyman and has worked in Liz’s store. She is Shayna Gunnel’s best friend. She is glad that Kaleb’s motorcycle incident did not delay his entry into the mission field. It is a small world! Imagine not only being in the same mission, but in the same Zone.
One of the Zone Leaders, Elder Mejos, who is from the Philippines, has a best friend who is serving in New Zealand, Aukland Mission. Watch for him, Kaleb.
The zone leader conducted the meeting, and the amazing young missionaries gave accounting of their work, encouraged each other, and taught from the scriptures. One quote that we took away from the meeting is: Whatever you are doing, ask yourselves, “Does this bring me closer to God and Heaven? If not, don’t do it.”
After the meeting, we went to lunch with the missionaries at–guess what– Mang Inasal. It is a favorite place for the missionaries to get a filling meal for little money. Our meal cost about $3 American.
After eating, we went to see Brother Marven, who took us to the place that sells LP gas for our cook stove.
In the late afternoon, the zone leaders asked us to go make visits with them. We visited a young man who is struggling because he grew up without any parents. The missionaries are working to get him coming to church again and to prepare to serve a mission. He promised to come to church Sunday. We visited a family who had not come to church for some time because of their special needs son. This family also committed to come to church. It is very special to visit with these Philippino brothers and sisters.
We made another visit to Sister Marlene. She had a wonderful meal for us again. For dessert, she served Mang Blanco, a smooth coconut pudding. We will either have to stay in the Philippines forever so that we can have this dessert, or learn to make it ourselves.
The elders taught a lesson answering the question, “Where are we going?” A family friend named Kathy joined this discussion. The missionaries taught that as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The elders taught that at death, our spirits go to the spirit world. Death does not change our personality or our desires for good or evil. We remain in the spirit world until we are resurrected. When our bodies and spirits are reunited through the resurrection, we will be brought into God’s presence to be judged. We will remember perfectly our righteousness and our guilt. If we have repented, we will receive mercy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We will be rewarded according to our works and our desires.
After the lesson, Elder Ratu, who is from New Zealand, started talking in a pronounced British/New Zealand accent. The girls were giggling at him, so he then started speaking Bisaya with the New Zealand accent. We laughed and laughed.
The evening ended with a song:
I lived in heaven a long time ago
So did you.
Lived there and lover there with people I know
It is true.
Then Heavenly Father presented a beautiful plan
All about earth and eternal salvation for man.