Parties –September 13, 2013

Philippino hula Farewell Welcome birthday banner main dish



Philippino pinata

In the morning we went shopping at the market down by the harbor. After lunch, the zone leaders asked us to go visiting some less active members with them. The first two were not home, although we talked to some other people there. The last was a sister and her husband. We talked to them quite a while. They are good people who were “offended” by another church member.

I wish everyone could understand the following counsel from Elder David A Bednar:

In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are things to act and things to be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:13–14). As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity for independent action and choice. Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation.

As Elder Neal A. Maxwell has said, the restored Church is not “a well-provisioned rest home for the already perfected” (“A Brother Offended,” Ensign, May 1982, 38). Rather, the Church is a learning laboratory and a workshop in which we gain experience as we practice on each other in the ongoing process of “perfecting the Saints.”

Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).

After the visits, we went to a birthday party for a one year old son of the Toledo 1 branch president. It was great fun, with a complete roasted pig, much other delicious food, including pickled papaya (which I loved), and a Philippino version of a piñata.

We left the birthday party to go to a farewell/welcome party for the Dovers and for us, with decorations, entertainment (think Philippino sisters doing the hula), games, and, of course, good food. It looks like John has become addicted to a desert called Mango Float.

These people really know how to have fun. How could anyone want to stay away from Church activity here?


One thought on “Parties –September 13, 2013

  1. Bonnie Winters

    We love the Halls and miss you! You are having wonderful experiences! We are learning the office and have been assigned to a Young Single Adult ward to watch over and wrap our arms around. We have been to the YSA ward once and felt a warm and caring spirit there. There is SOOOOOOO much that goes on behind the scenes to keep a mission of 278 missionaries going. We are doing our part and will help in the Lord’s work whereever needed. Love from Texas, Elder and Sister Winters


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