Sunday, March 29, 2015

Beautiful view of a rainbow over Cebu taken from our hotel window

I sat down on the Church bench this morning and there was a young girl sitting alone.  She scooted closer to me.  Her name is Alex; short for Alexandra, she is twelve years old and comes to Church every Sunday by herself.  Her mom lives in Manila and she lives with her Lola (grandmother).  She was baptized in November of 2014.  She didn’t have her own scriptures so George wrote his testimony in some scriptures we had picked up in Cebu and gave them to her.  We later drove her home with the Sister missionaries and invited her Lola to come to Church next Sunday.  In the end Alex was my shadow and we hugged and she kissed my cheek as we prepared to leave.  I pray she can continue to be strong.
Karen with Alex
Alex with her Lola in front of their home
Elders Celebrado and Paskett had invited us to attend the organization of the Cadiz 2nd Ward.  The Cadiz branch was organized back in 1992.  Today it was standing room only.  The branch/ward choir sang on key and even with some harmony—the best choir we have heard here.  It was an emotional time as their Branch President was released and a new Bishop and Counselor were sustained.

On Saturday we drove to Fabrica, Elder Bragas and Elder Kindred invited us to their baptisms and to speak later at a missionary fireside on the Restoration.  After greeting many members and investigators and looking out among the 50 plus in the congregation, I realized how much we love and care about the Filipino people.  When we left to return back to Bacolod many of the people came out to wave.
View of Cebu City from the air
With Kim Ellison in front of Cebu Temple--we arrived in the Philippines 1-year ago
Thursday morning George and I flew to Cebu to the Temple and met up with our “batch mate” Kim Ellison.  She serves as nurse specialist in the Cebu Mission.  We had fun catching up and comparing notes.  Yes I still had my phone and could easily take calls if needed.   She took time from her schedule to attend the temple with us.  We also met Elder Asuncion’s (one of the Bacolod missionaries) parents; Brother Asuncion is the temple engineer for the Cebu Temple and he took us on a tour through the underground tunnel connecting the utility building with the Temple—and where they recently had secretly removed David Archuleta from the Temple when it was crowded with onlookers waiting to see him.  We also saw where the original 12-foot statue of Angel Moroni is being stored.  It was damaged in a recent typhoon about a year and a half ago and subsequently replaced and repaired and kept as a spare.
With Brother & Sister Asuncion
One thing I really liked about this trip was the large soaking tub, not Filipino size, in an American style hotel and warm water.  In the short time we were there, I took two baths.  Hmmmm it was great and will last me for 6-months.  George enjoyed taking long, warm showers.

We discovered this enterprising young man gathering coconuts
Worshippers gathering for Palm Sunday in Victorias today

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