Monday, June 29, 2009

I knew this day would come, that I'd sit down to create a blog posting and think, "Hmmm. What's gone on this week?" Remember our last frantic posting? Contrast gives us a fresh perspective on what might otherwise be squirmed at and pined over as dull. We enjoyed our week of "mopping up" VERY much! Besides, it gives me an opportunity to share some of the ordinary treasures of our realm, such as our front porch.

Entrances are essential; entrances to our homes, our offices, anywhere we come to and return to regularly. They should be welcoming and inviting--give a hint of what's inside, welcome us and our loved ones. Now admit it--everyone who comes to your door short of a robber is a loved one. Here is the entrance to our office and apartment stairway.

When we came there were a few brave potted plants that had survived on nothing but sporadic rain. They responded instantly to regular TLC, and of course I was on the prowl for new specimen to add to the groupings. THIS is Boston Fern heaven!

Landscaping with pots is very common here, especially in the heart of the city where there is more sidewalk than soil. As you can see in the background, there are planter beds against the office designed for low-maintenance green; not anything that particularly gladdens the heart, just green. I've watched the maintenance crew that blasts through every couple of weeks. It's much like in America--trim, mow and sweep. (No blowers--ruins the mow blow and go rhyme doesn't it?) They don't appear to take notice of anything except grass, so my puttering and planting is okay. Right in front I pulled out a dead shrub and planted cucumbers and morning glory. There will be a true garden spot over at the temple complex.

If you can't tend a whole landscape, tend a few pots.

The up side of only having a few growies to tend is that you PAY ATTENTION in a whole new way. This plant (middle of the first photo) was Jesusa's recommendation. I agreed more to be agreeable than because I liked it. There were no blooms on it, but she assurred me that they would come and I would be dazzled. Oh my! Such a show they put on for everyone who came to the office! I've got bonus points for whoever can identify this one; so far I'm hard pressed to find books or horticulturists who are into scientific names. I'm sure they're around, just haven't met them yet.

Every visit to Jesusa's nursery operation has included an invitation to stop by the office when she's in town. She came! She brought her very friendly husband Peter! Oh joy! Her photos don't indicate her warmth and friendliness; oh she's a lovely woman! Her growing operation is helping support her daughter's nursing education. I assure her that we will lend our support to the nursing education by continuing to buy her plants. So many plants, so little time...

Kevin here--We had the opportunity to tour the temple construction site with President and Sister Hansen and their visiting children on Friday. As you can see, I went as Alan and Ann went as Steve! Don't you think the hard hats give a look of importance? Now where's my clipboard? The hard hats were more a formality than anything, as we didn't come with 50 yards of the temple itself.

The construction to the right is our new home and office, and to the left, outside the picture is the stake center. The construction manager said they have over 600 workers there at various times of the day. Many live near the site in temporary housing and so it's like a small town. They've recently erected the crane that will lift the upper portion of the base of the steeple, and eventually the Angel Moroni. They've also started installing the granite slabs on the outside. We'll keep you posted on progress. Still no open house or dedication schedule, but PLENTY of preparatory activity going on behind the scenes.

One of the nicest things about serving a mission is the relationships that come about through serving together. We are particularly grateful for the Morgans--John and Mariann from Richfield, Utah. Their call was to strengthen the branches, but they were transferred into the office the first of the year so they could learn how to run it to teach us. They are both extremely capable and efficient in all office proceedures and affairs and have shared their expertise and wisdom generously. We are experiencing the countdown with them; they head for home on the 26th of July. At least once a day I order them to hand over their airline tickets and inform them that they aren't going home. They just smile.

Elder Morgan and Kevin cleaning up our kitchen after dinner with some of the young missionaries. LOOK! Some of the dishes are STACKED Some things never change.

We end this blog entry with an ongoing story of amazing generosity. You've probably read in the Ensign about the program for getting keyboards out into developing countries so people can learn how to play the piano to play for church? My piano students are the recipients of that anonymous benefactor's generosity. I ordered 20 keyboards and they arrived a couple of weeks ago, just in time to start sending them home with my students who;ve learned to read rhythm and have mastered four octaves of note recognition. I didn't hold the keyboards out in front of them like a carrot; I wanted them to WANT to learn to play, not just want a keyboard in their home. Some students have dropped out, and I knew they would. You might want to learn something new, but do you have time to devote to it? Anyway, four have gone home with VERY happy piano students.

The latest keyboard adoption was to a beautiful young psychology student named Alma Cana. For some baffling reason, her lessons have been hit and miss--double booked--overlooked--you name it. If anyone had reason to be discouraged and quit, it was Alma. She patiently carried on as best she could, forgave me when I double booked her slot, and has learned more in spite of me than because of me. When she came to her lesson tonight, the first in 3 weeks, and rattled off her four octaves of notes (she had made her own flash cards as well as a cardboard keyboard--now that's an interested student!) I told her about the keyboards and asked if she was ready to take one home. She nearly started crying. She said she had been thinking about learning to play, and how was that going to happen if she never got to work on a real instrument?

I dearly love the keyboard benefactor. If we are ever in a similar position, we will use our money to accomplish so much for good, to bless lives and enliven souls.

On a little housekeeping matter, I recently had a blogging session with our blog mentor Courtney Rice, who helped me figure out how anyone can leave a comment. You don't have to be registered, etc. any more, so have at it! We love to hear from you! You are treasures in our hearts. Love and blessings, Kevin and Ann in Cebu.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Little Detour to Texas

It's high time we reported in on our favorite missionary, Jonathan. He's been serving in Eastland, Texas for three transfers now, and is working hard and experiencing success. Our Mother's Day chat with him was all about our missionary work--sharing our experiences, similarities and differences. We clicked off Skype after more than an hour feeling grateful and satisfied.

Jonathan can make friends with anyone! It appears that his Wilberfriend is a little shy...

This is Josh & Amber Hassell on the day Josh was baptized. Jonathan and Elder Droge have taught this dear family the gospel and they have courageously made the necessary changes in their lives to become members of the church.

This very cute little girl was baptized shortly after Josh's baptism. What a happy time!

A little bit about Eastland--Jonathan is definitely on the other end of the noise and crowd spectrum from his parents in their mission! A Google Earth search of his addressed right after he was transferred to Eastland revealed a lot of open space, and we wondered if there was anyone who might want the gospel in their lives except a few lizards! Well, not quite, but you get the picture. His sleep is never interrupted by "racetrack sounds"....ahhh. Their area takes in several other rural communities as well.

And now some mission philosophy from Elder Reed, himself:
"Missions are unique experiences, as I have determined. I have classified it like a coma. You leave all those you know and go to some far away land for two years to a new people, and try to convince them of something that you know to be true. In the end you just leave as if it never happened and go back to normal life. Thankfully much can be learned in these two years that will shape anyone to be more spiritually tuned to the Lord and the Holy Ghost.

I am grateful that I'm able to take part in the qualification of souls to enter into the Celestial Kingdom some day. What a marvelous work and a wonder, especially to help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

I hope that anyone--everyone would want to take part in such a rare opportunity, while being an official missionary and as a member missionary. One of the prophets said we cannot attain the Celestial Kingdom if we do not participate in sharing the gospel with others. I back that up 100%."

Seeing how hungry the missionaries in Cebu are for mail, and knowing that you're interested in relieving world hunger, here's Jonathan's address:

Elder Jonathan Reed
Texas Lubbock Mission
Senetry III Plaza
5214 68th St. Suite 202
Lubbock, TX 79424

And as he says, "The amount of my love for you is more than all the oil under Texas."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jeepney of the week: Barbie Pink

Jeepney antics of the week:

Plant of the week: MIMOSA PUDICA aka Sensitive Plant. It grows everywhere here--if they only knew that in climates like Boise's it is given away to the children of plant-buying mothers at the greenhouse. Bet you never saw it bloom before.

Happy Father's Day from Cebu--

It was a morning of hand shaking and congratulations from many fathers in the ward to Kevin. There were dadtalks, and the youth and single adults of the ward sang. We were recruited last night to help them put their musical numbers together. These are kids who are eager to make music and all they need is someone to steer them. It was my pleasure to help them prepare.

Talk about an amazing week, all due to the visit of a general authority, a flu epidemic and an erupting volcano in Japan. I realize these seem like random factors; well, sort of related in a funny way that I'll share as the week unfolds.

First the general authority. It was mission tour week, and Elder Ko, a member of the area presidency and Second Quorum of Seventy was our visiting authority. His visit has been on the calendar for at least 6 months, and there has been great planning and preparation for "the company that's coming". Our part was relatively simple; see that the office looked ready for company and put together a dinner for 10 for the 2nd night he and his lovely wife Sister Kim were in town.

Elder Ko is Korean so it was logical and pleasing to have a Korean menu for our dinner. We checked out Korean restaurants and even had ideas about what we'd like because we go for Korean fairly regularly, but couldn't get the restauranteurs to think in terms of a small catering event. Next possibility, a lovely fellow in our ward who has a catering business. Rene met with Sister Morgan and I, we expressed our desires and he said he could do it. This was to be held in one of the extendable classrooms at the church--functional but not particularly beautiful or inspiring for a nice meal. We kept asking questions--what about...what about...Rene's response was, "don't worry sisters--it's fine dining." We hadn't tasted his food before, but he assurred us he could pull off a Korean meal, so we went for it.

If I ever exhibit good sense it will include knowing when to delegate instead of trying the superwoman thing. This was one of those victorious moments in my life. All I provided, besides my brain and organization was fresh mango pie.

As you can see, Rene wasn't kidding when he said, "don't worry sisters--it's fine dining."

It was a very pleasing meal for Elder and Sister Ko. They were surprised and delighted to be served their favorite fish and very good kimchee. My take on the meal? Beautiful--pleasing to the Ko's, but nothing I'd exclaim over with joy. What can I say? I'm an inlander and all fish should have bones at least the size of toothpicks. Kevin and I thought you had to work too hard to eat this particular fish, but the Ko's were very pleased.

Check off Tuesday.

Wednesday was supposed to be pick up two incoming missionaries and President and Sister Hansen's daughter and son-in-law from the airport day. Now remember, last week was transfer week, and to have a seamless "dance" we should have gotten all our incoming missionaries then. This transfer was NOT a seamless dance. It was a lurch at best.

It started with a flu epidemic at the Provo MTC. Missionaries were held for an additional week (International travel is carefully watched so individuals with swine flu don't bring it into the country.) It was the week after, and we were on deck to pick up the two sisters when we got a call from Natalie and Seth (Hansen's kids) saying that they were being rerouted to Seoul and they didn't think they would make their connection in Hong Kong. There was no way to find out if they or the sister missionaries were on the flight except to go to the airport. (Why do we have phones anyway?!?)

The real scoop is that there was a volcano erupting in Japan, sending "stuff" up into the air, so planes that would normally land to refuel there had to go to Seoul, wiping out the regular connections.

A funny in all this unforseen flurry was what Kevin termed "Ultra Bread Bowls". I make this bread that proofs for 12 hours before you bake it, which means if I mix it up in the evening I can bake it in the morning. This usually works just fine because I can easily run up stairs to our apartment and stick it in the oven, then go take it out when it's done. Imagine forgetting the bread that's in the oven in all the hubbub about airline unknowns....

When I remembered the baking bread it was well on its way to being petrified bread. We were 45 minutes away from the apartment. This bread bakes at 450 and by the time we returned it had been in the oven for at least a couple of hours. Would my wok be distroyed? Would the apartment be on fire? (That one seemed almost impossible since it's made of cement, but you never know.) There was no smoke when we walked in the door, just a strong toasty fragrance. What a blessing! It could have been yet another chapter in the missionary mis-adventure book for President & Sister Hansen. But at the same time, disappointment! Our good whole wheat bread ruined! We did dig the inside out--man it was a thick crust!. Bread--it's our anti-rice. We must balance the whole asian grain issue somehow.

Toast anyone?

Look! This post is proving that verbosity is one of my weaknesses. Oh brother. Maybe this is processing? Just know that the two sisters were on the flight (they had spent the night in Hong Kong--Salt Lake missionary travel didn't know about it--there were quite a few Outlook emails flying the next day and I got twisted pleasure out of everyone's huffing and puffing over this detail. Especially the email saying they'd be in better control another time. Ha! Ha! Go ahead and be in control of an erupting volcano! All I can say is, the sisters handled the situation well, and we were none the wiser or worse off because of their over nighter in Hong Kong.

Hansen's kids also stayed the night in Hong Kong and flew in on Thursday. Poor Sister Hansen! She was getting a much-anticipated visit from some of her beloved children, albeit in the middle of mission tour with a general authority, and the kids weren't showing up like planned and she couldn't even go take care of it due to her mission responsibilities! Ack!

We took care of all these unforseen details with pleasure--got everyone at the right time to the right place (as much as was in our control--we don't even pretend with items like volcanos!). Hansens are great folks doing a great job on a challenging assignment. They didn't ask for this calling, but are wise, willing and energetic in all aspects. To offer our support is one way WE can magnify our calling.

We were a little tired on Friday.

Saturday we drove up the mountain and walked through a hmmm---nature preserve? It was a 1.5 Km walk, mostly through shady tropical forest with educational signage from time to time telling about the flora and fauna, as well as the ecological condition of the area. I'm delighted to find SOMEONE caring that the Philippines are one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world. I fretted about this before we came, but seeing so many people just trying to put food on the table--I see both sides now. Hopefully those who understand the environmental impact of deforestation and water pollution will turn the tide before it's too late.

Here are some pictures from our Saturday City Respite:

This was taken from a little look out tower on the edge of the nature preserve. It was quiet and there was a breeze. All we needed was some good food and a pillow for a nap. We're getting pretty good at taking pictures of ourselves, eh? This one's for you, Justin.

Wouldn't you agree that nature creates the best sun protection?

I know, I know--you've seen us once and that's probably enough, but our grandkids want more pictures of Grandpa and Grammi in the blog.

A couple of pictures from our mountain climb last week. Yes, all that moisture on Kevin's shirt is his own sweat! I'm soaked too, you just can't see it.

These fellows were walking down the side of the highway when we stopped for a minute to see Jesusa (this always means a new plant or two for me--Kevin is very indulgant and patient). Most Filipinos like getting their picture taken.

Every week I think, "this was a normal week--not much to share in the blog". And see what comes rolling forth. You are in our thoughts and prayers; thanks for keeping us in your same place. Blessings on your week, Elder and Sister Reed in Cebu.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Independence Day, Republic of the Philippines--June 12, 2009

Hello dear friends--

It was transfer week, and most of our labors centered around preparations for this amazing movement within the mission. I realize we weren't moving--rounding up all our belongings, wrapping up our missionary labors in a given area, but we sure scurried around seeing that the business end of transfers would go smoothly. Kevin, handling the financial end of the new or different assignments, and me seeing that the various lists were updated to reflect the changes, setting up new email accounts, putting all things in order for "a smooth transfer dance." We both do a training segment for the incoming missionaries, and to the outgoing, farewell and warm wishes for their next life chapter.

It all began on Tuesday afternoon. They started arriving--the homebound missionaries. They are easily recognized because their countenances are even brighter than ordinary. (Haven't you noticed that missionaries are "bright"?) The departing missionaries have a look of victory about them, like they know they've accomplished something magnificent. They come in threes or fours; one will be staying--leaving--and the others returning to their area to await their new companion on Friday (transfers). The greetings and reunions! Do you ever wish to be a fly on the wall? I don't even have to pretend I'm not there! They greet me too, and my heart is warmed and strengthened and filled with rejoicing to see them hug and slap backs and share their feelings of victory.

Our Wednesday goes on, filled with preparations for Thursday (incoming and outgoing missionaries) and Friday (transfers). The outgoing missionaries come into the office late Wednesday after a day of training at the Employment Resource Center. Our final good-byes are throat-lump-happy as we wave them off to the mission home for the last night of their mission. Most of them, the Filipinos, we won't see again in mortality. This is a moment to ponder on enduring to the end so we can have a joyful reunion in heaven.

Thursday would be a gloomy mission let-down except that the new missionaries come as the old missionaries go, and their excitement and energy and testimony for their labor of inviting others to come to Christ fills the void from those we said good-bye to.

It won't be long until we have happy reports on the good work of the greenies.

Ideally there would be as many missionaries coming as going. This would make President Hansen's and the AP's job of arranging transfers fairly simple. We only gained three to our eight lost. Areas had to be closed. Oh my, the shuffle! But it occurred, and I know that good things are about to happen. In their diligent, thoughtful labor to create powerful companionships, they have the assistance of heaven. Sweet.

Friday--transfer day--everyone who moved to a new area was notified earlier in the week--enough time to wrap things up but not too much time to get all mushy and sentimental about the area they're leaving. Keep up the momentum! Keep working! They all meet at the chapel next to the mission office for a transfer meeting. When they arrive they leave their luggage in classrooms that are designated for the different areas--islands in our situation, then they head to the chapel for a one-hour meeting of instruction and inspiration. By now, Sunday evening, everyone is settled in and about "the business".

We'll do this again in six weeks. We have nine missionaries coming in July; eight Filipinos and one American.

We live on an interesting street. "Salinas Dr." sounds calm--sedate--almost pastoral. Maybe it was at one time, but now it's a busy thoroughfare. You never know what you'll see driving down Salinas, including pigs in trikes. I routinely travel with our camera in my lap.

In my mind, animal transportation is traumatic for the critters, but apparently not so. Most animals we see, in all kinds of situations, co-exist quite peacefully with their humans. One of these days Kevin is going to capture how dogs and occasionally goats lie and doze on the edge of the road, not the least bit jumpy about the traffic whizzing by.

Jeepneys of the week:

Kevin really likes these sporty little ones. One wasn't enough this time...

And for me--the guys on the back.

They're so casual about hanging on and balancing! Sometimes they hop off, then as the jeepney starts, they hop on, all the while looking to wave down the next rider.

Saturday morning--5:00. It was a perfect day for an exploratory outing. Remember two weeks ago, we drove up to our ward's youth camp-out on Mt. Manunggal? We were curious about the climb to the top--where you start, how long it takes to drive to the start point, etc. We'd talked about hiking it, in fact our stake president was very interested in going. It's the rainy season though, and we canceled the hike due to rain the last few days, but still wanted to take a look. Kaikai was interested too, and as a bonus his son Kyle came.

We got to Tobongon, the village at the base of Mt. Mannungal and things looked surprisingly dry. Why not just go a little ways up? We had to wade across the stream first.

It was a very pleasant tropical day for hiking, especially early on. The intermittant cloud cover helped us make it to the top.

We stopped often to rest and inspect our progress. Look down into the valley; look up to the top; look across the valley to the facing mountains.

It's pretty hard to stop once you start. The top is calling! That feeling of conquering the mountain--you can almost taste it. We kept going and going, asking each other often if we needed to turn back.

We had questions more than once about which way to go; this wasn't a National Forest Service trail after all. People live up on the mountain, and someone appeared each time we needed our direction confirmed. This woman was our final sherpa. At the point we met her, we were getting ready to turn back. The trail felt much steeper, narrower, and we weren't sure it was the right one anyway. Here's the magic of following a good leader: they make what you previously thought very hard, much easier. She carried a load on her back, plus 2 umbrellas. Her shoes were flip flops, and she moved along the trail with great sureness of foot. I wish she had felt more comfortable having her picture taken. I had great respect and appreciation for her strength and experience.

At one point the trail forked and we turned right when we should have turned left. A little way further was a house where the owner said it was a left turn at the pig.

Finally! The end of the trail! We saved the VERY top for another day--a drier day. We walked to the crash site, (see the blog 2 weeks ago) then down to Cruscrus instead of hiking back down the trail. The wet spots would have been problematic going down hill...

Cruscrus was another very interesting chapter. Kevin hired the only vehicle in town to take us back to Tobongan and Kaikai made weather report connections (for our next hike up the mountain) with one of the only cell phones in the village, and arranged some food for us. He got the store owner to boil us some eggs, then went across the street where ladies were making bibingka--bought some of those, and of course, water.

Bibingka is a wonderful Philippine dessert. We first had it in a restaurant; now we've had it in its original form, cooked in banana leaves in an outdoor oven.

Kaikai is a people magnet. He talks to everyone (look at us--now we're part of his huge circle of friends) and they enjoy him very much. This would have been a GREAT time to know Cebuano, then we could have been in on the chat while the eggs boiled and the bibingka baked.

That's about it for another Philippine chapter. All is well here; many thanks for your prayers, encouragement and support. We love hearing from you! Next week we'll report in on our mission tour with Elder Ko, a member of the area presidency.

Have a great week.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Jeepney of the week. Elder Reed chooses them; I don't have a very discerning eye. I'm mostly paying attention to the antics of the guy on the back. For a car guy though--plenty to check out.

Jeepney fact: A jeepney passes by any given spot on the average busy street every 4 seconds.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It was a quiet week in Lake Cebubegone, our temporary home town. Our weeks are greatly shaped by the whereabouts of President and Sister Hansen. They fly around (figuratively as well as literally) to the four islands, one week doing zone conferences, one week doing missionary interviews, one week planning and executing transfers, and one week preparing for all the above. They come to the office once or twice a week, and otherwise work from their office at home. This week was an interview week so they came to the office early on, then were off island, which left us to handle the details of incoming missionaries, outgoing missionaries, lost name tags, missionary support and new apartment lease agreements. That certainly isn't all we did, but you get the picture.

Some days are quiet. We might work for a full morning without anyone calling or walking through the front door. Elder Reed resides in the back corner office and I in the lobby area. After a few hours of work, we meet in the middle just to remember that we're a team--mission companions--and discuss our labors.

We aren't glued to the office, in fact our responsibilities require us to be out and about, paying bills and going to the bank, gathering supplies and checking on details. Much of the above takes place at the mall of all places.

We also go to the post office twice a week, which if you remember is in the vicinity of Carbon Market and Fort San Pedro. Post office trips are a good time to chat and make plans, as the trip takes at least an hour, most of which is travel time. Of course we're always on the lookout for the jeepney of the week; our current search is for a Barbie jeepney--hot pink or lavender. They do exist.

This last week was Kevin's 2nd week of English classes. He continues to refine his sessions, and they are being very well received by the 10-12 students who come each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening. All participants speak some English, and probably understand more than they are comfortable responding to. His classes are definitely "doing" classes; they all repeat, practice, learn English idioms, and sing! When I walk by their classroom there is usually laughter coming through the door, and lots of smiles. In America we can hardly imagine that being able to speak English is a valuable asset. It is for these dear people for sure. If they have good English skills they are able to improve their economic condition. Good job Elder Reed! My companion is the BEST!

Kevin with one of his students, Rackielou Ramos who is preparing for a presentation she has to make at work tomorrow.

Here are a couple of interesting pictures. We Americans are a cautious bunch. Seatbelts! Car seats! Guard rails! Restraints of every kind for our own good! It's partly because we insist on going fast. Here the pace is slower--roads narrower--more traffic, and truly, less wrecks. Not that I can imagine having my toddler on the front of a motorcycle, but hey--it's their mode of transportation. Little kids know how to hold on and balance. And you already know that there are often 4-5 family members on board, with the little children sandwiched between Mom & Dad.

Admit it. He looks like he's having the time of his life! No worries! The commander of the ship! Mom is in the side car.

Plant of the week--Magnifera indica
English name--Mango

Mangos are the favored fruit and crop in Cebu, and the locals go to great pains to produce beautiful, flavorful fruit. The best fruit has developed inside a newspaper envelope that was hand applied. Check out this tall bamboo ladder! It's just leaning into the canopy of the tree. I couldn't really capture the size of the tree so you'd appreciate how tall the ladder is without making the person tiny. When he is finished, the tree will be full of paper envelopes, kind of like a woman getting a permanent--hair full of those white papers.

I've adapted a fresh peach pie recipe to fresh mango pie for a few mission events. Oh folks! Now, my loyalty is to fresh peach pie in September, but fresh mango is just as beautiful and delicious. Besides, there are no peaches in Cebu.

Sweet moment of the week--The shipment of General Conference Liahonas were delivered on the afternoon of City Zone interviews. There were LOTS of missionaries in the office, and I was mobbed when they found out what was in the boxes. The mobbing only lasted until they each had a copy in hand. As you can see, engrossed.

I wrap up this posting by introducing you to Sister Tripoli and Sister Buarao. They are companions in an area close by and we had them over for supper one night recently. Each shared their thoughts about the gospel and serving a mission. Elder Reed and I are strengthened by "young giants" like them every day.

Sister Tripoli--"As a humble servant of the Lord, I bear you my testimony that I don't know everything but I know enough! I know that miracles have not ceased, that Heavenly Father lives. I have felt his presence in my life. Jesus is the Christ and He invites us to know Him. I love the Lord and this is my way of showing my love for Him. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it contains the fullness of the gospel. I promise you, that if you search, ponder and pray about its truthfulness, you will experience the miracle of receiving a witness for yourself."

Sister Buarao--"Each day of my mission is a testimony of the Lord’s love for us. The people we teach help me appreciate more of the blessings brought by the gospel in our lives. I know that Heavenly Father is a loving Father. He sent His only Begotten Son to redeem us from our sins. He has restored His gospel and opened the Heavens to us once again. It is reassuring to know of His love and to testify of these things to our fellow brothers and sisters. My life has been blessed; and hopefully, through God’s grace, I can share the blessings brought by the gospel in my life, to other people's as well."

Be well. Do good works. Stay in touch