Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Has this month gone by as quickly for all of you? It has been the slowest at times, but when we look again it's hard to imagine that we only have 35 months left! :-D

The mission home
One of our guards - we have three
The mission office, AP Apartment and Office Couple Apt

There is a church inbetween
Highlights: Since Dennis also acts as the President with Keys for the five Districts in our mission, we have had the privilege of traveling up and down and all around to sign temple recommends and do some of the baptism interviewing as well. We have met and visited with many members, and the District and Branch leaders. While Dennis does the interviews I sit outside the door and enjoy conversing with the families that come along. The churches are great social centers, and no one minds waiting, even for hours. We continue to be educated.

There are certain questions that come up in every first meeting, starting with 'how old are you?', followed by exclamations of beauty or youthfulness. Then it's how many children, grandchildren, where are you from, even favorite color. Yesterday, someone commented that they had exhausted their English repertoire and didn't know what else to say. The light bulb came on! These are the questions they practice in their English classes. They aren't really dying to know how old we are, or our favorite color, or are they? :) In all cases, or whatever the motives, there is genuine kindness and even interest I think.

In one of these stops we met a medium sized brown dog, Buddy, who is a most faithful attender at church ... Stays the whole three hours. He belongs to the Branch President in Tautog, and never misses a meeting. What an example! There is no air conditioning in their building so the door stands open; he comes in every time and is an accepted and welcomed member! Why does this not even seem strange to us?

Saturday night we were so lucky to be available to attend a baptism, finally! It was for some of the same group that had been at the mission home for FHE last Monday, so that was especially fun. There were four. Three stood to bear testimony after. These are the times we miss knowing the language the most, and hope that we will at least learn enough Tagalog to understand more than just the sweet spirit with which they testify.

I was in the middle of working on a missionary medical issue and had to slip out of the baptism for a few minutes. While I sat just outside the open doors, I observed a cat and a frog enter the church in pursuit of the plentiful array of flying insects that were attracted by the bright lights inside. Paws and tongues flew in a great hunting expedition. The frog seemed surprised and uncomfortable when he found himself on the white tile floor, however, and turned around to exit but made a wrong turn and ended up trapped behind the door. I wondered about helping him out, but then he squeezed his fat self through the crack between the opened door and the jam. Resourceful, just like his human counterparts.

We hope you all enjoyed celebrating Pioneer Day! One branch chose Come, Come Ye Saints on Sunday, and I wondered if that was planned or coincidental. It wasn't mentioned otherwise, but Dennis and remark regularly about the pioneers we live amongst. So many of them are still in their teens, sometimes the only members in their family, sometimes shunned. One family is living in a home supplied by their church, and when the matriarch was baptized, that church cut off their electricity. They carry on, carry on, carry on.

We love you, and thank you for your prayers! I know their power has stood me up and carried me along countless times this first month of adjustment. We have both needed that help.

With love,
President and Sister Dahle