Pamily that I love!
And then there were two. I can hardly imagine what our house is like right now… for as long as I can remember there were kids and lots of noise. Between all five of us and our friends, soccer teams, YW groups, YM groups, basketball teams dance groups and everything in between; having only two kids at home will be a big change. But, after all the parties you have hosted, and the lbs and lbs of dads special chocolate chip mix that have been consumed over the years, I think you deserve a break.
We had a wonderful week! Crisanto was baptized!! It was perfect. We got there and the font was filled and the water was not dark brown and he was right on time. We taught one of our other investigators and her children (the padyak picture) at the church before the baptism so they were able to stay and watch - which was wonderful. I think it was neat for them to actually witness what could happen to them if they keep going on the path they are on. After Crisanto was baptized he bore his testimony and could barely speak due to choking on his tears. The spirit was strong and tangible. He is solid, especially for only being 18 years old. He wants to start filling out his mission papers right now so that as soon as he hits his one year mark of membership he can submit his papers and head out into the mission field. It is inspiring to see such devotion to our Savior in a new convert.
On Sunday I was the surprise speaker in church because someone didn’t show up. I have learned to carry the Liahona General Conference edition with me on Sundays just in case that happens and I can have the material to throw together a talk. I jumbled together a couple different talks and spoke about the Holy Ghost, which I felt was timely seeing as Crisanto received the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting. I felt the spirit so strongly as I was bearing my testimony about the Holy Ghost in my life. I am grateful for the way the mission has allowed me to come to understand the promptings of the spirit after those first few exceptionally difficult weeks in the field when I spent what felt like hours on my knees at night praying for strength. Those difficult weeks turned to overwhelming joy and warmth the first time I extended a baptismal commitment, saying the words “will you be baptized by the proper authority of God.” Each time we recite Joseph Smith’s first vision I feel that same burning confirmation as the Holy Ghost directly touches my life. How grateful I am that we have that gift with us if we will only seek for Him.
We had Zone Conference this week and it was combined with the Naga Zone. At 5 am we all piled into a Jeenpney and started off on the 2 hour winding drive to Naga. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but driving here perfectly resembles the way the night bus in Harry Potter drives; weaving in and out of traffic and I think they can even shrink sizes to fit between cars. Zone conference was wonderful and exciting. As always, President Bliesner inspired us to be better. We are really focusing on finding new investigators through the members. I have come to realize how important member missionary work is. The members take the role of a friend rather than a teacher and the lessons are more effective when the investigators don’t feel that they are listening to a presentation. Missionaries come and go out of wards but the members are always there and it is so important that everyone has a friend at church. I feel like our obligation to share what we know is part of the promise that we are renewing each week as we take into our bodies the emblems of the perfect teacher and missionary.
They are splitting our mission in July. The Naga mission will be in the north and the Legazpi mission will be in the south. Crazy! My last area and the area I am in now will be in 2 different missions starting in July!
The transfer on June 6th will decide which mission we are in. The irony of that is that I went into the MTC on June 6th last year. I could be starting a new mission on June 6th.The New Philippines Naga Mission President
L. Barry Reeder (55) and Sharon L. Reeder (53) from Perry, Utah. President Reeder is the Owner and President of Brigham Distributing in Brigham City, Utah, a wholesale distributor of books. He is a former counselor in the Stake Presidency, Bishop, High Counselor, Stake and Ward Young Men President. He is currently serving as a ward missionary in the Perry 6th Ward. He served in the Hong Kong Mission from 1976-1978. He graduated from BYU in Accounting.
President Reeder said “The missionaries will love my wife because she is the fun one. I am just a simple farm boy.”
The New Philippines Legaspi Mission President
Jovencio A. Guanzon (61) from Manila, Philippines and has served as an area seventy since 2007. He is an amazing teacher and experienced church leader (and he speaks fluent Tagalog and English!).
Rope Bridge to our Investigators House
In either March or April I believe I will be training a new American missionary. I am excited and nervous to get an American comp because there will not be a native to fall back on with the language. I can hold my own in lessons but there are still moments when I really have no clue what they are saying and I have always had a comp that understands. Two white Americans will get sooooooo much attention haha. If she likes to run - that would be a dream come true!
Our neighboring house is full of traveling massage sales people. We wash our clothes behind our house and they do too. This morning I had a group of about 14 faces peering out of their back door playing a game of 20 questions with me. Haha they are fascinated by the white girl that can jumble along in Tagalog. I thought I would get used to it but it still surprises me how excited they are to see a white face.
I am glad you got the Speen off and running. If you haven’t heard from him it is because his P-day isn’t until Monday or Tuesday. That is good that he was so excited to get going.
I got some fudge in the mail this week from grandma with a random assortment of candy. It was so great! I love her - she is a sweetheart. She is going to have her hands full writing all these missionaries.
Well, love you all hope you are not freezing to death!
xoxox from the Pines,