Amie Vargas at Entrance to Jubilee Exhibit
Some of the Volunteers for Jubilee Exhibit in Bacolod
VIP's Attend Exhibit and View Local History
Youth Sings During Opening Ceremony
Bacolod Public Affairs Training Group
On Friday, May 4, we flew to Bacolod, for the final Jubilee Exhibit and Stake Public Affairs training. It was the very best experience yet of flying, while here in the Philippines. Our director of Public Affairs, Haidi Fajardo, flew with us. The city of Bacolod is on the island of Negros....a one hour flight to the south. This was the first time we have had a flight leave on time!!! Truly a miracle! The Bacolod airport was quite nice and modern...the toilets in the CR (restroom) even had SEATS on the them....but still no toilet paper! While I was in there, a MAN was also in the CR cleaning. I chatted with him while washing my hands....yup, lots of great new experiences. Another great thing about this trip was our hotel room...it had a soaker tub and lots of hot water....that was a first! On Saturday we did stake public affairs training with all seven stakes on this island. The training went so well, and we really loved meeting so many new members that seemed to be very on top of their callings in PA. Many of them traveled a great distance to be at the training...they were such a fun group!
This final Church History Jubilee Exhibit was done in grand fashion! It started on Monday morning with a well prepared cultural program followed by remarks from Evelio Leonardia, Mayor of Bacolod City and Benjamin Candari, Bacolod Stake President. The exhibit ended on Friday night after having 1,066 visitors attend, including many civic and community leaders.
I will now share a few sweet moments we had:
- On the flight to Bacolod, I had an Ensign sitting on my lap, while I was sitting there with my eyes closed. This lady, sitting to my left, tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the magazine and asked if she could look at it. After going through it, we started talking. She was returning from a very large family reunion...cousins from Europe, the U.S., and Australia attended. I pulled out a copy of The Family Proclamation and she read it and loved it. I left that with her and gave her one of our business cards, which has web sites printed on the back to go to if you would like to learn more. It was nice.
- A sister named Gerlie gave a spiritual thought at the beginning of our PA training. She told of how very shy she had always been, never having many friends because she would avoid any kind of social interaction. After joining the church in her early 20’s, she reluctantly accepted a calling and started to realize that she truly had talents and the Lord blessed her with confidence to develope them and use them to serve others. Now she can approach political leaders with confidence and she loves it. She was really an amazing woman possessing great social skills!
- A sister named Sarah, who teaches business courses at a university there, told us she was baptized last October. She was Catholic (almost everyone is) and had been really studying other religions and trying them out for a very long time and none ever felt right. One day someone told her about the LDS church, she decided to try it out, and for the first time in her life she feels so happy. She reminded me of Irene Javier (Malaya Branch), because she just wants to tell everyone about her journey.
- On Friday night, Randy, Haidi, and I walked to a convenience store to get bottles of water for the training. As we left, this beggar boy followed us holding his hand out. Haidi said not to give him money, but she gave him a brownie she had bought. I felt so bad. So on Saturday night we went to a sandwich shop and bought some sandwiches, along with a couple of desserts. I told Randy that I was giving this to the first little beggar children that approached us. We walked up the same street we had been on the night before, and sure enough, two little skinny girls came walking toward us...holding out their hands...saying “Please, po” I went over to them and asked if they were hungry...they said, “Yes, po”...I told them they needed to share the food in the bag. They were all smiles and said thank you and ran down the street holding the bag. I sure hope they got to eat that food or perhaps shared it with a little brother or sister.
The great thing about the gospel is that it helps people to become self-reliant, and the poor are cared for in the very best way...the Lord’s way.