January 17, 2014

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He wore a jacket and a cap. A smile split his face as he made his announcement.

I will be your pathfinder.

 We traveled over mountains, along ridges and across deep valleys through the wind and rain.Dirt and rocks had been washed across the road by water cascading down the steep mountain slopes. As we inched along the edge of the road through the second mud slide, the Pathfinder studied the terrain carefully.

I have a bad feeling about this pass. It will probably be closed tonight.

We came around the curves and down yet another hill to enter the town.

What do you need to get?

The Pathfinder guided us through the maze of narrow winding streets. As we traveled, he pointed out landmarks.

That’s the Cebu Monument. It is very famous.

That is the seminary where they train priests. My cousin is a priest.

I used to work in this store. I loaded furniture and delivered it. Maybe I will see someone I know.

I would eat lunch here when I was working. If no one came to have furniture loaded, I did not eat.

We passed through the gates into the Temple complex. Workmen were putting up bamboo scaffolding to repair the damage caused by the earthquake to the base of the Angel Moroni statue. In the lobby of the office building a sculpture of a fish begged a picture.

We went into the office.

Some elders have lost their phone.

Oh no! Please break the news very gently to Sister Ernstrom. She is very fragile about lost phones.

What will she do?

Well, she will have to turn it off. It will take time to get a new one. Then she will have to charge each elder 600 pesos for the new phone.

We got a reimbursement check for missionary apartment expenses from Elder Ernstrom.

You will need to cash it at the Coconut Planters Bank of the Philippines. Do you know where it is?

We have a Pathfinder.

Again we wove through more streets and pulled in front of the bank.

The sign says the bank closes at 3:00 PM.

What time is it?

It is 3:15.


The Pathfinder looked at the uniformed guard standing in front of the bank holding a twelve gauge shotgun.

I will ask a favor.

He walked over to the guard. The guard smiled, then pumped the Pathfinder’s arm and pulled him a hug. He stuck his head into the bank, then turned again to the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder motioned to Elder Hall to go into the bank.

What happened there?

I know his brother. At first he did not recognize me so I took my cap off.

The manager said okay, but you will have to talk to the assistant manager. The assistant said since the manager had approved, he had to follow along. So they cashed your check.

We started back through the streets.

There will be much traffic through the main part of the city today. This weekend is the Feast of Santo Nino and Sinulog. I will show you other ways to go. We will take the south road back.

We followed some other streets. Even those streets were choked with people walking and standing.The other streets were completely blocked.We came to the entrance of the only freeway in the Philippines. There were three lanes for traffic on each side.

When we started into the mountains, it began raining again, but the pass on the south was not nearly so high and the not so sharp. We completed our journey safely.

His jacket was not fringed and his cap was not made from coonskin. But the skills of the Pathfinder will be remembered forever in the annals of our history.


Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life.








One thought on “January 17, 2014

  1. Marven Pagdalian

    Feels so good to be part of your missionary works. I just wanted to serve the Lord the rest of my life and this is the way perhaps I can do it. The Lord has said “in as much as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”. When I was younger I have said to my wife I’d like to serve another mission with her but she just used to grin and tell me it is not possible. I know I had made a wrong choice of marrying her, so now I have to pay for the consequences of that decision and I can not go on another mission yet the Lord has shown me a way, so here in my hometown I can still serve the Lord by working with the senior missionaries that will be working here in our place.
    Elder and Sister Hall you are very kindhearted and humble in so many ways. I am wandering how am I gonna be when the time comes that your mission is over and you have to go back to your place and we’ll have to say “God be with you till we meet again” never having to think if we’ll be ever able to meet again in this life, but for sure in the next life.


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