Monthly Archives: May 2015

Tears — May 15, 2015

beautiful day to fly a kite

A beautiful day to fly a kite


I am so tired of seeing sisters cry!

Elder Hall was extremely frustrated. First the youngest sister talked to us with tears in her eyes. Her mother quickly found some work to do outside to hide her tears. Then the oldest sister put her head down on the table and sobbed and sobbed.

I just want my father to be baptized.

It will happen, sister. He will be baptized.

But it has been fifteen years.

I know.

When my mother and my sisters and I got baptized, my father listened to the missionaries with us. But he did not get baptized.

I know.

He has been taught by so many missionaries since then. But he was offended and did not get baptized.

I know.

He is so nervous about the baptismal interview.

I know. But remember how many people are praying for him and for your family.

Now it was her turn.

I know.

The missionaries have taught him and helped him “develop faith in Jesus Christ and to repent of his sins.” Your father has developed faith and repented, hasn’t he?

Yes, but….

As Mormon taught, “the first fruits of repentance is baptism” (Moroni 8:25). The baptismal interview is the way established by the Church to ensure that each candidate meets the Lord’s standards for baptism and is prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”. He is prepared for membership and activity in the church, isn’t he?

Yes, but…

Through this interview, baptismal candidates fulfill the scriptural requirement that they witness before an authorized representative of the Church that they have “truly repented of all their sins” (D&C 20:37).” Do you understand that everything done in the church is done by proper authority?


And your father will be interviewed by one who has been ordained and set apart to be an authorized representative of Jesus Christ. As he prayerfully and worthily exercises that authority, he will receive spiritual powers and revelation. He will know your father’s heart. You know that, don’t you?


So trust the Lord. It will be alright.

On the morning of the interview, the sky was a beautiful bright blue. White fluffy clouds perched over the mountains. Children’s kites soared in the perfect light breeze. We sat on a homemade bench and waited in the shade of a mango tree.

The door opened and the father stepped out. His face was split by a huge grin. He looked at the missionaries and gave his “thumbs up” sign. They gasped and jumped up to shake his hand. He had passed the interview!

The missionaries all congratulated him. A sister missionary blinked back her tears of joy as she spoke to the man.

We haven’t seen that smile for a while. Now you can truly give us your usual greeting:

“Nag antus sa ka gwapo.” (I suffer because I am so handsome.)

 Elder Hall gave his friend a big hug. The sister missionary looked at us and spoke ruefully..

For the first time in my mission, I wish I could break a mission rule. I wish I could give that man a big “grandpa” hug! I am so happy for him.

The man had a question.

Will all my daughters come to my baptism?

Yes. Yes, they will

He started to walk away. He didn’t get far before he had to sit down at the table. He put his head down and covered his face with his arms. Now it was his turn to cry. But his tears were tears of joy

 He would be baptized the next day.

Storms Happen — May 8, 2015

Youth Conference at Hidden Valley Resort

Youth conference a Hidden Valley Resort

We had been invited to go to Cebu City for a Senior Couples Ger together. On Friday we for a temple session followed by dinner at the Mission home. n Saturday there was time to sit and visit. The Mission president’s wife told a story.

I was talking to a missionary from Northern Luzon.

The northwestern portion of the island of Luzon, which encompasses most of the Ilocos Region, is characterized by a flat terrain on the east and the Cordillera Mountains on the west…

Trade winds tend to move tropical cyclones in a west-northwest direction as they approach the islands of the Philippines. Tropical Cyclone Frequency in the Philippines based on PAGASA’s data archives from 1948 to present show Northern Luzon being affected at 32% (very frequent) The Visayas, including the island of Cebu, are affected at 7% (less frequent)…

The energy of a Tropical Cyclone is remarkable! Consider for example, that an ordinary afternoon thunderstorm (which lasts for 1 to 2 hours) has the energy equivalent of about thirteen 20-kiloton atomic bombs. Now, a small typhoon carrying winds of 120 kph has an energy equivalent of almost 500,000 atomic bombs, or about 6 atomic bombs per second! A typhoon also releases about 20 billion tons of water…

Cyclones bring storm surges and coastal flooding; strong winds; extreme rainfall and inland flooding; eyewall mesovortices or miniwhirles; and landslides, mudslides or mudflows.” i

The President’s wife had talked with the young missionary about cyclones.

Do the cyclones hit your area often?

Oh yes, sister. The south winds push the storms north and it usually comes to our place.

What happens when the storm comes?

We are flooded. We have to leave our house and go to a high place.

Do you have food to eat where you go?


Then what do you do?

We wait until the storm passes. Then we go back to our house. We take everything out of the house. After it is dry, we put back anything that is still usable. We repair the house when we can get enough money.

Do storms come often?

Oh yes, sister. They come every year.

But you are always laughing and smiling. You are so happy.

Yes, sister, we are happy. If we were not happy, we would be so sad…….

because storms happen.


Embark! — April 23, 2015



Brother Marven was donating his sound system for the Youth conference. Elder Hall walked down the steps into the large conference room filled with rows of chairs.

What is that song you are playing?

It is the theme song for the youth for this year.

What is is called?

“Embark”   (

It is so loud.

It is one of the songs from the the 2015 Strength of Youth album, which was written entirely by youth. So my very strong system plays it loud.

A youth leader heard the conversation.

Here, Elder Hall. I will give you a copy of the words of the song.

We read the words. The title was, “Embark.” The dictionary says that embark means “to begin a course of action, especially one that is important or demanding.” As we watched the youth come into the room, we thought how everything that youth at this time are asked to do is important and demanding.

We are starting on a journey

We’re following the light

It’s giving us direction

Leading us through life

We could see the light reflected in their eyes and in their smiles. The Philippines has been described as “the land of beautiful smiles.”

So we will stand up all together

Raise our eyes to the sky

With faith and love in our hearts

We will embark

We often see the Philippine people, especially the youth, walking down the street with a hand on the shoulder of their friend, or around their shoulders, or holding their arm.

Not too long after we came here, I was waiting in the church for Elder Hall to finish a meeting. I stepped into an empty classroom and sat on a chair. Soon a sister came into the room.

Sister, I saw you here alone. So I came in to talk to you so you would not be lonely.

The Philippine people stand together. If someone is working, others will come by to talk or provide companionship. If someone is sitting, others will come and sit also.

We will give what we have been given

Live our lives with faith

Lift up those around us

And help them on their way

We will live a life of meaning

And cherish every step

So when we meet our maker

There is nothing to regret

The youth leaders explained:

The 2015 Youth Theme is a continuation of the 2014 theme, “Come Unto Christ.” First youth need to come unto Christ and the they need to embark in His service. When we decide to embark in the service of God, great things begin to happen in our life and the lives of people around us. We learn of Him. We come unto Him.”

The song was worth singing loudly and enthusiastically.

Yeah, we will stand up all together

Raise our eyes up to the sky

With faith and love in our hearts

We will embark!

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. (D&C 4:2)