Sunday, May 29, 2011


U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas and Elder and Sister Bird

Children Who Placed Roses in Memory of their Father's Killed in War

General Gary North and the Birds

View of American Memorial Cemetery

Happy Memorial Week-end to all. We attended Memorial Day services at the American Memorial Cemetery in the Global City area of Manila. It’s not that far from where we live. It was a most spiritual and emotional event. In this cemetery are buried 17,202 soldiers from W.W. II and another 36,000 plus, whose bodies were never found, have their names listed on memorial walls around the center of the cemetery. It’s the largest memorial cemetery of its kind anywhere. We listened to messages delivered by Robert F. Lane, President of the American Association of the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, General Eduardo SL Oban, Philippines General, and 4 star General, Gary North, commander of the Pacific Forces of the United States. He came over from Hawaii, since he is stationed at Hickam Air Base. Also in attendance was Vice President of the Philippines, Jejomar Binay. We met all of the above people, and in addition, met the Ambassadors from Australia and Canada to the Philippines. We had a good visit with each of them. Each was very kind and very approachable. Their talks were all very inspiring and timely. We cried frequently throughout the time we were there. I often thought of my Dad and his war experiences. He would be happy we were here today. We truly love our country and are most grateful for those who preserve freedom. Our two favorite parts of this memorial serivce were, the playing of "taps", and a tribute to two recently fallen soldiers. We will share the details. Taps: Right after the last speaker, a soldier appeared to our left between two pillars with a bugle to his mouth and began playing "taps"....pure, perfectly pitched sounds.....then right across the way to our right, another soldier stepped out with a bugle and began playing an it really was a was absolutely so beautiful and touching. Then if that wasn't enough....we have our 2nd favorite: The children of the two fallen soldiers were invited to come and place roses next to the wreaths placed as tributes to their fathers, who had recently been killed. A little girl about 6 years old and a little boy about 4 walked up the steps and across the way carrying roses. They walked to their fathers wreaths and each knealt down and placed their roses. Then they stood up and turned back around toward the audience, took hold of each others hands, and walked forward to the edge where the steps go down, and there they stopped, put their hands on their hearts, and together said, "We will never forget". They stood there for a few moments, and then walked down the steps to their mothers. There was not a dry eye present! WE will never forget!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Sister Bird at Public Affairs Office

Manila Administration Office (MPAO)

Some people may wonder what, exactly, Public Affairs missionaries do. Besides hosting events, like the VIP Reception for the Jubilee Celebration, we may be assigned to attend government meetings (like the DSWD), meet with Ambassadors to the Philippines from other nations, especially India, Vietnam, China, U.S. and many others, to let them know of the church's presence in their countries and what we do there, help with Open Houses (the new addition to the MTC will be coming up soon), ground breaking ceremonies (Urdanetta Temple will come up sometime) and everything to do with these events. We folded a lot of boxes as we prepared for the Jubilee VIP Reception! We also train Public Affairs Councils in the various stakes and districts. We try to inform the people, of this country, of who/what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is. It's AMAZING how much misinformation is out there! Of course, we try to work a lot with the media.....this seems to be a good place for showing the Philippine people what this Church is really all about. Some wonderful things are going on here and our stakes/districts are doing an excellent job of reporting. Click on the following link that gives a great example:
Beginning in July, there are Church History/Jubilee exhibits that will be happening all over the Philippine Islands (outside of Metro Manila area) and we will be attending many of these. We work out of the Public Affairs Office which is located in the MPAO (Manila Philippines Administration Office) right across the street from the Manila Temple.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Sister Bird looking at China Sea from Vivere Azure Beach Resort

Meal at Sonya's Garden--Ymmmm!

Elder Bird at Sonya's Garden

View of Lake Taal from Hotel

Saturday, May 21 we went on a road trip for P-Day. We traveled to Lake Taal, a former volcano site, Sonja's Gardens, and down to Anilau Beach Resort, a tourist diving and snorkeling site.
It was a beautiful day. Elder and Sister Burningham (San Diego) drove, Elder and Sister Bell (Los Angeles), and the Birds were the travelers. Of course, we were in air conditioning in our van, but at Anilau (pictures by the ocean), it was the hottest we have ever felt.....this is not the time of year most people go to the beach here because it so unbearably hot. I guess if you were out in the water snorkeling, that would have helped. It was nice to see big open spaces of tropical forests. The little villages along this side of the island were a few steps up from the ones we have passed through. Still poverty, but not as bad. We also saw some very nice housing areas.....quite a number of that was good. The wood carving shops were amazing......we would love to bring some things home from here. They are not so expensive but cost a fortune to mail out!! We will have to find out what kind of wood this is. We also saw a parade as we were coming back from our excurision........traffic backed up forever.....we think it was their barangay festival.......a barangay ( bu-wrong-guy) is like a community.....this would be like Shelley Spud Days...... they each have a festival once a year.....they are a BIG deal. It was fun to see. There is an express way called SLEX that is a toll road and is wonderful that goes much of the length of this was so was the first time we didn’t feel like we were in a 3rd world country.........except we saw farmers out plowing their fields using hand plows pulled by Carabao. They could sure use some tractors here....we have not seen a single one.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Elder and Sister Bird making presentations at International Family Meeting

Fairview Stake Members in Attendance at DSWD meeting on the Family. It was a long meeting, that is why my eyes are closed.
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On Thursday, May 12, we were asked to represent the Church at a meeting held at the government's Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The meeting was for the purpose of bringing different organizations together to seek ways to better position the family as vital to the success of the Philippine nation. There were three speakers followed by a question and answer session. The hard thing is, that many of our meetings are conducted in Tagalog (which they should be) but then we miss much of what is being discussed. However, here is the good thing, in the presentations, they each used power point and all of those were in English, so we at least got the gist of what they were talking about! The issues they deal with are similar to those back home: Single parenting, unwed mothers, unemployment, poverty, education, and parents working out of the country to support their families. Their children are left with grandparents or relatives to raise. A parent may be absent for years. An interesting discussion was held, but the highlight for us, was when a lady stood and said, “No success in life can compensate for failure in the home”. She even credited Mr. David O. McKay with the statement. A round of applause was heard from those present. We visited with her after the meeting and discovered that she was not a member of the Church. She said she had heard this statement somewhere, and she found herself thinking about it often. Sweet! On Saturday, May 14, we attended the International Day of Families from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Couldn't understand very much but at the end the person in charge asked us to come up front and present gifts to those who were present. We felt awkward doing it and tried to encourage the stake president in attendance to do it, but he declined. So we presented the gifts from this government department.
Here is a unique thing about the Filipino meetings......they feed you constantly!! Soon after the meeting started, drinks were passed out, and then little packaged snacks. About 30 minutes later they passed out sandwiches similar to McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, they were sausage and egg or cheese it looked like. I definitely skipped that, but Randy did partake!!! Then an hour later, lunch was served! My thought was that if they skipped all of these snacks, they would have more money in their budget for the poor!! On the way home, about an hour and a half drive, Randy started to feel sick. Sure enough....... he got e-coli.....definitely the sausage!! He became VERY sick!


Sister Bird in Front of Malaya Branch Chapel

Elder Bird in Parking Lot/Basketball Court at Malaya Branch

Jeepney in Background Waiting to Pick up Members to Take Them to Their Homes

Our first week to attend our newly assigned Malaya Branch, was on Mother's Day. We met up with Elder and Sister Sorenson (the previously assigned couple) from Rexburg to travel to this new location. After about two hours of travel through small, jeepney, tricycle (motorcycle with a side car attached), bicycle, motorcycle, children filled roads, AND pouring rain, we arrived at the small chapel. We had the only car parked in the small parking lot, which doubles as a basketball court. The Saints were wonderful. Not many of them, but so gracious. I hugged all of the sisters and little children, and greeted them in Tagalog. The Primary President and The Y.W. President both said we could be best friends...I am all for that! Not much English was spoken, except for the hymns, but a great spirit was there. All of the children plus youth sang a song to the mothers as a special number in Sacrament was so sweet.
This past Sunday morning was our second Sunday to attend our new branch. I was awake at 5:45 am and thought we probably would not be attending our branch because Randy was so sick. However, he was just so determined we needed to be at the Malaya Branch that morning......that, truly, he was healed for a few hours!...we got ready and took off. The day was so beautiful. Horrible traffic, but once we got about half way there, we were out of Metro Manila and into the mountains/ was sooo nice (of course, I wasn't driving!).....I didn't get car sick...yeah! We just traveled through little village after village. The peoples homes/shops are right along the road, but there were so many children out playing, walking together with their families, or carrying water....such a tender sight. They just raise their own food and try to sell what they can and they have a simple, but hard life. As we drove along, I thought of how much our Father in Heaven loves each one of these, his children. Each one is known to Him and each has a story of his own......I wish I could know each one of them. We had several crazy things happen on the road, both going and coming home today....huge trucks in front of us going up a mountain, a funeral, an accident, dogs......pretty soon I just started to was so ridiculous.......Oh, that I could have caught every situation we found ourselves in, on a video.......we are seriously watched over every time we drive on a road!!! We arrived at the Branch safely! There were about 50 people in attendance!! I had a special experience with a sister last week that I will mention now. Her name is Irene. She speaks a little English. Her husband is a member of the church (I think it's a second marriage for both) but inactive for many years. She told me that he has had a desire to return to his church for quite a while now, but they could never find where there was one. She said she had never prayed to her Father in Heaven before in her life, she is 45 and yes....looks 25! One night her husband taught her how to to begin, then how to just ask Him for help or tell Him what is troubling you, etc., then the correct way to end a prayer. So one day she was riding in one of the tricycles and was thinking about prayer and she just decided to try it. So she said, " Dear Heavenly Father. We have been trying to find my husbands church for several months but have had no success. Please show us where it is. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." She then leaned her head back to rest it, and as she looked, there in direct line with her eyes was a black sign that said THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, with an arrow pointing to the road across the street. That sign is small and easy to miss. She quickly told the driver to turn there and just up the road a bit is the church! The missionaries have been teaching her and she is going to be baptized on the 11th of June and asked if I would come!! Yes, of course, for this we will drive that road again on a Saturday!!! We are so grateful.....we truly know that we can do anything if we just place our faith and trust in the Lord. He is blessing us so much. It is so amazing to see how the restored gospel of Jesus Christ tranforms people. The Church is so true!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Thousands of Philippine Latter-day Saints celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being established in the Philippines. More than 4,000 members performed traditional songs and lively dances in elaborate costumes at a cultural celebration on Saturday, 30 April 2011. The event depicted the Church’s history as well as the local culture and history. The youth started practicing their dance routines and making their colorful costumes as early as two years ago." (media release). (Click here to watch a clip of the dancers).

We loved being in attendance at the Araneta Center with about 20,000 other people to watch this spiritual, and yet colorful display of the culture of the Philippines. The routines depicted how different cultures, viz. Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and Western cultures have molded this country.

Monday, May 9, 2011


The Jubilee Events started tonight with the VIP dinner and reception at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City. We were so amazed, this hotel was probably the most grandioso, top of the line, premier hotel we had ever seen!! The environment was beautiful! As the guests entered the area where this was being held, they were greeted, registered and given gifts, and then shown through wonderful displays giving them information about the church and especially its history in the Philippines. They were allowed time to just mingle and visit and then were escorted to the dining was so so nice. In attendance at the event, along with many civic, community, and church leaders, were three of the first four missionaries in the Philippines. (Elders Murray, Lowe, and Goodson) We also had some of the first converts to the Church. Sister Garcia, one of the early converts, and aunt to the former Philippines president was in attendance. Former Philippine Pres. Ramos was there along with some of the Senators and Congressional leaders of the country. It was such a privilege to meet each of these along with many others. A wonderful buffet meal was prepared which consisted of rolls of Sushi...(nope, we didn’t have any raw fish!!) chicken, rice, beef tenderloin, many salads, a cucumber soup that was yummy, rolls, drinks and a dessert bar (cakes, fruit, and other native pastries). A string orchestra played throughout the evening. A program followed the dinner with wonderful music by a quartet of young men, Church members, that were so talented. The lead singer, Paulo (17 year old boy) won the equivalent to runner-up American idol here in the Philippines. We got to know them a bit, because they came to rehearse in our Public Affairs Office a couple of times before the event. Those who spoke in the program were Elder Edwards, Area President, and Elder Teh, new Area President, and Leni Pilobello, Director of Public Affairs for the Philippines. The whole event was very touching, watching a video history of the Church here in the Philippines. From one early convert to over 650,000 Saints today. From one mission to seventeen missions. The stone truly has been rolling forth. Elder Teh is the first Philippine area President here and now nearly 70% of the missionaries come from the Philippines. We were also honored to have President DeLaMare, (Quezon City mission president) President Howard (Manilla Mission President) and President Taylor (Philippines MTC President) and their wives in attendance. Those who spoke bore strong testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Church’s growth here. We had a great conversation at our table with a young, Fiipino business man about the Church. His work hours are from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm. Not much time for family life during the week, only the week-end. He asked if he could visit further with us next week and wanted to have lunch. His name is Jefferson Mendoza. We were so impressed with him...such a bright and pleasant young man. This whole evening was so grand. It made up for the 2 hours it took to drive there because of a bomb explosion on EDSA (main highway)......we sat there in traffic forever! All is well!

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Disintecting fruits and vegetables

Here's what we've learned about shopping. There are more enormous malls in the Metro Manila area than we could ever have imagined. Within two miles of us there is the Mega Mall which is the largest mall in the Philippines. It has over six floors high and covers a huge city block or more. We've never seen anything like this.

Then within a short distance of this mall there is the Shangri-la mall, the Ortegas Center, The Robinsons Mall, and Market Market just to name a few. Everyone is very modern with high end stores. Each worker in every store dresses alike. They are very service oriented and have lots of employees and security guards. They all call Carla Mom but what they are trying to say is Maam. But the a's are pronounced short so it sounds like Mom. They all call Randy Sir. So when we are together they say "How can I help you Mom Sir? Every mall also holds at least one large grocery store. Which is very well supplied. Nothing is inexpensive here except labor. You can find some better deals on the street markets. For instance, large wet markets where people are selling their fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats. You can even pick the chicken you want slaughtered there on the spot. Now, that's fresh meat. So far we have only purchased fresh meat shipped in from Australia. The caution we have to take is that every fruit, vegetable, can, etc. must be dipped in a disinfectant for a few seconds and then rinsed and allowed to dry. So when you come home with a few bags of groceries, you have a lot of work ahead. This is definitely a third world country so you really wonder and question who is really buying all of this stuff. Randy thinks it's me. Anything that has a common brand that we see in the U.S. is very expensive here. We buy it anyway!!!! I need my Cheerios and Campbell's cream soups. There's a store similar to Costco here called S&R. It actually carries some of the Costco brands and was the forerunner to the Costco chain in the U.S. This is also the country of pearls. Carla has already purchased one necklace and earrings. They are really beautiful,... and we may need to have financial help for this mission!! Ha! Ha! It's all good.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Elder and Sister Bird after 20 hours of flight. Hong Kong Airport. Next Stop Manila

A view out our apartment window

A hard days cleaning, and we are now ready to serve

April 11, 2011

We arrived at the airport ready to take the long flight to the Philippines. Our luggage was within weight limits and with a tearful good-bye to the Peterson’s, we were off. Our flight to San Francisco took about 1 1/2 hours and then we sat for about three hours waiting for our next flight on Cathay Pacific. It took us quite some time to find their terminal, but finally did and sat until time for our flight. We boarded the 747 and marveled that a plane so huge can stay up in the air for so long. Our flight to Hong Kong lasted for about 14 hours. We sat in economy and it was grueling. At first we thought we would read, watch a movie or two, etc. but the entire flight was in the dark. People all around us wanted to sleep so we didn’t feel we could turn lights on and wake them up. So we endured the flight and departed our plane and WOW!! we were in Hong Kong. Just like that we are half way around the world. We quickly found our connecting flight to Manila and boarded where we sat with the people we would grow to love for the next 18 months. So, we landed in Manila, got our luggage through customs (no problems) and found our ride to take us to our new home. WE first went to the office and met people there. Then it was over to the realtor who took us to our new home. The Pioneer Apartments were going to be our new apartment, and while driving here, I thought, I’ll never be able to drive here in this land. It was like bumper cars with over 20 million people. Three lanes of traffic with five lanes of cars trying to fit into it. The one with the bumper in front had the right of way and also buses moved any and everything out of their way. We got to our apartment located in Mandaluyung. We are on the 25th floor and upon opening the door a terrible smell came out of the kitchen. The realtor said that’s O.K. it was the smell from the recently cleaned grease trap. You see, they have no garbage disposals, no hot water, so everything goes down the sink into a “cesspool” underneath the sink. It sits there and eventually gets cleaned out. This one hadn’t been cleaned out for a while. The apartment was somewhat “dirty” and didn’t quite feel like home. With faith we said, “We’ll take it”. The door closed and we were now left in this “stinky” , dirty place. Carla’s motto became, “I can do hard things”. We took the entire next day cleaning this apartment from top to bottom and said, Let’s dwell on the good things and sure enough, we focused on what we are blessed with. We have air conditioning, a flushing toilet, hot water in the shower, a bed, a washer and dryer, and new refrigerator (I am taller than it is), and wood floors. WE even have a water purifier which allows us to have clean drinking water. WE are so blessed.


There is a great advantage to being a senior missionary and living close to home….. after the MTC, you can go back home, do your laundry, and re-pack everything! We did just that! It also allowed us a little extra time with some of the family. That final Sunday at home, we attended Sacrament Meeting with Mike, Heidi, and their family, Primary sharing time/Sunday school with Rachel, Brady and family, and Relief Society/Priesthood with Scott, Julie and their family…….then a great dinner at the Petersons. It was a wonderful Sabbath day. On Monday we tried to clean the house, re-pack….weighing each bag carefully to not exceed 50 lbs. each, and tie up all of the loose ends. We said a teary goodbye to all and the Petersons drove us to the airport.
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Monday, May 2, 2011


Elder and Sister Bird Ready to Enter the Missionary Training Center (MTC)

Our MTC District. Birds, Lunds, Leavitts, Westovers, and Harpers.

With Sister Amy Street (Our Trainer)

With the Websters, from Rexburg. They are headed to Bermuda!

Our MTC experience began with us driving our car to the MTC. I felt it such a privilege to have those gates opened to us allowing us to enter. We went through an orientation of registering, having our medical papers checked, receiving our passports with visas for Philippines, going to the book store to recieve a bag of books for our training, and being assigned our room.......a room at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Provo. We were told in our “welcome” meeting that we were the largest group of senior missionaries that they have ever had at one time in the MTC. Most were from the west but some from Pennsylvania and some from Canada. My heart was so touched as each stood and introduced themselves and where they were called and the type of mission they were going to serve. The wonderful prophetic scripture from Daniel came to my mind about the stone cut out without hands, and is referred to in D&C 65:2; “The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.” Many “small stones” were rolling forth into the world from our little group, alone, to places like: Ivory Coast, Freiberg Germany temple, Winter Quarters, Boise, Finland temple, Philippines (us), Nairobi Kenya, Washington DC temple, Washington, Omaha Nebraska, Mogadishu Africa, New Zealand, London, Australia, Bermuda, Sharon Vermont, Nauvoo, Hawaii PCC.
On Tuesday night we had a devotional with Elder Robert C. words can express the feeling of looking behind, where we were sitting, and seeing every missionary from the MTC sitting one can deny the feeling of the Spirit that is present in every part of that sacred place. Elder Oaks spoke on the need for the Spirit in every aspect of our lives. Some of his main points that I loved were:
The Spirit is key and core to the gospel being spread.
The Gopsel of Jesus Christ has the power to make bad men good and good men better.
The key to baptizing happens by planning and then heading out and relying on the Spirit.
The Spirit is Real....tangible.
There is no complete list of the ways the Spirit communicates to us.
How to maintain the Spirit constantly: prayer, scriptures, focus on Christ and think about His life, virtuous thoughts, obedience, follow promptings, no contention with your companion.
Don’t get discouraged, seeds planted in some soil take a very long time to grow.
Make plans-----set goals.
Lack of detailed planning by missionaries is why more people are not baptized.
The Lord truly will lead you to those he has prepared or them to you.
Treat EVERY contact like a gold coin.
We were divided into districts and Randy was called as our district leader. In our district were the Lunds from Salt Lake City, the Westovers (former mission president) from California, Harpers (former mission president) from Taylorsville, and the Leavitt’s from Canada. A Sister Street was one of our main instructors. She was a young returned missionary from Omaha, Nebraska. She was dynamite and looked like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter fame. I tried to line her up with the son of the Mangleson’s (public affairs missionaries going to Australia) Sister Street was so cute and available! She needs to find a good man. We spent time each day learning how to teach the different lessons in Preach My Gospel and then we had times when we went and taught “mock” investigators and were filmed doing it so we could learn our strengths and weaknesses as companionships. Here is what I learned....... I am our weakness and Randy is our strength!!! Boy, was I ever glad when those were done!! I did learn some very valuable things, though. Like, for instance, when the investigator had very specific questions that we had not prepared to teach, I would say,” Why, Elder Bird will be more that happy to find that reference for you and the answer to your question”......oh, Randy was sooo good. Most of the sisters were stressed about this activity....including me!
On Wednesday 325 new missionaries arrived. I saw the cars start pulling in right at 1:00 pm. We were having a break and Randy had gone to talk to someone, so I decided to just walk down on the side walk and watch as the families brought their sons and daughters to drop them off. Well, that was a mistake!! To my great surprise, as soon as I walked around the corner and saw this happening, I was so over come with was all I could do to not start sobbing right there!! It brought back to my heart all of those emotions of when Mike and Scott left for their missions. I was amazed at how suddenly all of those feelings returned to my heart with such power. I had to turn immediately and walk the other way. It took me most of the afternoon to get so I didn’t feel like I was going to cry if I talked to anyone!! Oh, the tender feelings of a mothers heart!! The rest of the week I had a constant prayer in my heart for each of those new missionaries and their families. Whenever we were in the cafeteria, I tried to look for faces of missionaries that looked like they might be struggling and need a little lift........I was so relieved to see that they all looked so very happy. I always tried to visit with lots of missionaries while standing in lines for food....which was often!!
The MTC was such a fantastic experience. The only down side to that week was that we would have breakfast, sit in classes, then it was time for lunch and you always eat, even though you are still full from breakfast!! Then it gets sit in more classes and at 4:30 you go to dinner and soon you have eaten another huge meal. You feel you will never eat again, but sure enough, a few hours later in your hotel room, you are relaxing and studying for the next day.....feeling all stressed and worried about teaching.....and so you have snacks!! The MTC is definitly not a place for losing weight!!
Here are a few things I jotted down in my notes from the MTC:
“As my age has gone up, my hearing has gone down”. Brother Judd
Hearing the experience, originally recorded by John C. Green in “The Life of Heber C. Kimball” that Heber C. Kimball had on the night of September 22, 1829 (when the prophet Joseph Smith received the plates from Moroni) of seeing the beautiful bow in the sky and then witnessing a great battle, and then learning, many years later, that the same night Brigham Young had the same experience and had recorded it in his journal. It is too long to write here.
“The Book of Mormon” is a revelation about revelation. It will always be the primary missionary tract” Elder Holland
The Plates were originally written by revelation and then translated by revelation. 1 Nephi is all about revelation! 2 Nephi taught what revelation is and how to use it. The middle of the B of M is about things we can get revelation on and the end of the B of M is telling us: now go and receive your own revelation!
Teach doctrine so people can solve their own problems.
On Wednesday evening we took a beginning Tagalog class. It was fun to attempt learning some of the greetings in the Philippines. We were also taught some Church language and I was asked to close the class with prayer in Tagalog. I laughed and said, “I would have to combine Tagalog and English” which is exactly what I did. I prayed by looking at my notes and with eyes open and making many mistakes. But it was a sweet experience. My husband said he was so proud of me that I would attempt it.