Friday, May 20, 2011


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!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing that story. The Lord truly does bless his senior missionaries with experiences they would never have if they sat in homes in Utah.