Today (Sunday, April 19) we traveled to a small branch in San Enrique, about an hour drive south of Bacolod. Just a couple of days earlier we had greeted Sister Jonalyn Torino at the airport. She returned from serving in the Salt Lake Temple Square mission. (This was one of four trips we have made to the airport in the last few days). We met Jonalyn over a year ago on the temple grounds. I remember it was brisk day; and Sister Torino’s hands were cold; she only had a thin sweater on to keep her warm but she said she was okay. I was drawn to her not only for her warm smile, but she was and is truly humble and thankful for her blessings. We met with her and several other sisters over the next few days from the Bacolod Mission area before our time came to come to Bacolod. We have kept in contact by e-mail. After she was released, we watched her tearfully remove her badge. I cried too.
|Sister Torino's arrival in Bacolod|
Today we were invited to speak with Sister Torino at Sacrament Meeting. It was uncomfortably warm as there was a brown out (no electricity) and we are in the hot & dry season here with daily temps in the low to mid 90’s with ~70% humidity. But in spite of the warm humid air there wasn’t one empty seat. When I came to the pulpit to speak, someone sat in the chair I had been sitting in! Sister Torino is the only active member in her family, but her family came today and said they plan on coming to Church every week. I am sure they have seen a mighty change in their daughter.
Later we received a text from Elder Ehninger and Elder Demetillo who said some of the members had commented on the “super tall white couple” who had visited. Elder Ehninger has been serving in this area for several months and it is apparent the people love him. It is also wonderful to see how he has grown in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
|Earlier this week we were invited to a pristine setting near a resort|
|New house - living room|
|New house - dining table|
|New house - kitchen|
|New house - living room|
|New house - Bedroom|
|Trying to figure out washing machine|
I think George and I were “compelled” to be humble in our last apartment. When we arrived at the house, I barely used any warm water in the shower (the only faucet with warm water). Every day I turn the water a little warmer. I am getting spoiled. We have enjoyed walking here among the lush tropical setting. There are houses being built in this subdivision; next to the new structures being built are hastily put together living quarters where the work crew live. No worries about someone not showing up for work!
Note: we are late posting because we have had no internet for 2-weeks now. It takes time and patience to make things happen here :-).