Sunday, June 29, 2014

Outside our apartment ... we're growing

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I have thought a lot about gratitude this week.  Isn’t it easy to be thankful when things are going our way?  But as President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?”  We have been expecting a care package that was mailed weeks ago, and it is looking like it will never arrive.  I have felt a little sorry for myself.  All the treasures I was looking forward to receiving are who knows where.   The mailing was done as suggested, which included putting pictures of Jesus on the box; but it has never come.  I remember meeting a sweet sister last week who told me she has heart failure and kidney failure, but added, “I am happy”.  This has caused reflection on my part that we need to be thankful in our circumstances.  Things are just things.

Today we traveled to Victorias, a 45-minute travel time from Bacolod.  We attended a ward there and after being greeted by many friendly members and meeting investigators, we were asked to sit on the stand as Sacrament meeting was getting ready to start.  Minutes before the meeting began we were asked to speak.  I have never been good at speaking without much preparation, but we did it.  I try to speak slowly (in English) because my Hiligaynon consists of a few words.

After Church, we were invited to go to an investigator’s home.  We parked the truck and walked about a half mile through a grassy path that led to a village of bamboo homes with tin roofs.  No locks on doors, because there are no doors.  No windows to wash, or window coverings, just a gentle breeze.  This is a place where dogs and chickens walk where they want, because they can.  No running water, only buckets filled elsewhere.  This humble home had a few dishes and pans, a few cooking utensils neatly organized on wooden shelves nailed to the bamboo wall.  There was a pile of wood, and a hot coal keeping a pot warm.  In the center of a plastic tablecloth covered table were flowers in a vase.  Rice bags filled with dirt provided steps to get to the sleeping area.  The dirt floor was smooth.  This is their home and the sister graciously welcomed us in!

Simple, humble home sweet home
Mother and baby Carabao on way to above home                                                                  

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