Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Building a Ship

Jeffrey and I were talking and thinking about the principle of obtaining promises from the Lord. Jeffrey was pointing out the fact that several people have talked about the promises in their patriarchal blessings that have never been fulfilled. It seems to me that there are a least two reasons this happens. One is the consequences of our own actions and the other is the consequences of others actions.
What happens when a young man gets a blessing that says he will go on a mission but decides to live another lifestyle? He doesn’t get the blessings involved in serving a mission. But the consequences will extend to those he didn’t teach and maybe to a young woman that was promised she would be married to a worthy elder. Her life will take another road than the one the Lord had set up.
What happens when a young woman is promised educational opportunities but is pressured to forget it for various reasons? Her life will take a different road and the experiences she was suppose to have and bless other people’s lives will be postponed or carried out in a different way.  I believe very strongly that the Lord will make up those blessings to those who are faithful. He will even change circumstances so that promised blessings can be obtained. We do know that in His day all will be made whole.
Flowers in Alaska

Reading in 1 Nephi 17 the story about the promises made to Nephi that he would construct a ship and carry his family and people to another land. Nephi didn’t look around for the ship; he asks the Lord where he can go to make tools to build his ship that was promised. He understood the principle of seeking for blessings and promises. This is such an important principle in obtaining the promises I am given. I have to seek, search and figure out how to make the promises given to me come true.
This is my live, my choices, and my quest, if I don’t take advantage of opportunities and ask for the Lord’s help in what I’m are doing, I won’t get the blessings promised. Nephi could have stayed in the Land of Bountiful that they had discovered, but a few chapters later we can see how numerous and prosperous this group of people would become and Bountiful just wouldn’t be big enough in years later. The Lord had a plan in mind and if Nephi hadn’t constructed a ship, I’m sure the Lord would have asked another to do it. But years would have been wasted and one of consequences would have been that Lehi would never have seen his promised land.
I want All the blessings I have been promised…….I just have to go out and get them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Dec 5

We had another very busy day at the office. I was very happy that four women were there to take care of everything. Sister Hoem was at the front desk, Jonah was assisting Elder Stewart, I was helping out with reports and Sister Stewart would run between reports, think of how she wanted information, and take over when everyone went to lunch assisting Elder Stewart.
Since Friday the office has been very cold. I am the only one who didn’t mind. The Stewarts could not figure out why the central air suddenly decided to go on after being here since July with only the fans and air conditioners at two ends of the office. They had the maintenance men come and try to figure it out. The Maintenance man finally asked if the thermostat had been set. Nobody knew where it was until it was found right by the front desk. It had been overlooked as a decoration because no one knew what it was for. On the opposite wall there are two wires sticking out of the wall that no one knows the purpose for.
Manila Monday - Missionaries from Manila on Monday

The Elders and Sisters were mostly from the Manila mission field who had traveled in and the companions sat in the waiting room cutting out angels for the kids at the Mabuhay house, writing testimonies and finding virtues of their companions to put on the tree ornaments. Sister Bowman gave us some things to cut out for the children at the Mabuhay house to wear for taking their picture, like a long Santa mustache, hats, reindeer horns, glasses, etc. Sister Bowman also gave us a Bingo game the Elders and Sisters could cut out and the angel decorations for the kids. We listened to the Christmas devotional as we worked. It still is interesting that we are in another day while the rest of the world is getting ready for bed.
Sam and Anna Bowman - my nephew and niece who will come to visit in December!

Have I told you who Sister Bowman is?  She is the wife of the financial controller who worked for three or four years in Africa and then was asked to come work for three to six years in the Philippines. He has a paid job. Mostly though it is a calling. The interesting fact is they are my youngest sister’s in-laws and I met them for one day over 10  or 12 years ago when my sister got married. I knew at the time that I was older than both of them. My brother in-laws parents are younger than I. Well now we meet up with them and find out how cool they really are! Sister Bowman is very creative and talented in the craft and homemaking fields as I’ve witnessed in Relief Society and Jeffrey and Brother Bowman talk on a wide range of subjects bouncing ideas off of each other.

My niece wanted her grandpa to baptize her, so the whole family is coming out in December at Christmas time and I’ll get to see my sister and her family!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Light the World"

Light the World with acts of Service - Become like the Savior
Acts of Service, awareness of virtues, helping out neighbours and strangers
Becoming more like our Savior

Here at the Dental Clinic we don't get out a lot and when we do we finish the basics of living and go to sleep. We were a little concerned about how we were going to celebrate Christmas and join in the "Light the World" activities. Presto! We have all these missionaries who sit and wait - sometimes for an hour or more. Leading up to December 1 we had all the waiting missionaries cut out and decorate and get ready for our celebration.
Missionaries from Quezon City
As different sets came in we had them decorate trees and presents around them and also cut out ornaments to be put on the trees as other missionaries come in December.
Missionary from Quezon City North
Then after we put all our beautiful decorations on the wall - they all fell down. Putting on our thinking caps we realised we did have lots of floss and so Sister Stewart (the tall one) tacked up floss to the ceiling panel and we hung all the trees, presents and "Light the World" sign.
If you look closely the present has the floss dangling, we had to adjust the sign up and down before everyone was satisfied.
Now we are just waiting for the missionaries in their acts of service!

The Visit November 15

Elder Cook came to tour the Dental Clinic at the Philippine MTC
Elder Cook first greeted the Missionaries who were waiting

Sister Stewart answered questions and showed him around

Elder Pagara was in the dental chair and got his picture with Elder Cook

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sister Missionary

Yesterday I walked up the incline to the MTC and went to the front desk to find a missionary sister to bring her to the dental clinic. First time visitors often get lost because we are at the back of the property under the gym beside a huge storeroom. When I found her we walked back to the clinic together and chatted about the meaning of her name and her reason for going on a mission. She told me that she knew her teeth had serious problems and had decided to go on a P-day to get her tooth extracted, “when it starts to hurt.” She was grateful that she could visit a dentist while in the MTC.  I helped out Dr. Stewart and kept smiling and talking through the extraction and filling up of cavities along that side of her mouth. When I walked her back to the MTC she kept saying, “Thank you so much. I’m really grateful that you would do this for me.” Then she gave me a hug and a whispered, “I love you,” as she slipped through the door.
It was nice that it was raining so no one was around to see the tears.

I knew she was really thanking Dr. Stewart for being there for her.

Ideas and Convictions Turning into Reality

Bits and pieces of the dental clinic story are starting to emerge.*  One rumor is that one of the mission presidents urged a dental clinic to be formed because he had so many missionaries that had to be sent out for dental care while on their missions.

Two dentists wrote out on a napkin in an airport what they would need to have a dental clinic. It started out as an idea. One of the dentists was either a home teacher to a Seventy or was home taught by a Seventy. The dentist talked to the Seventy who thought it was a great idea, though with a “Good luck with that”.
How ideas and Vision is born

One of the dentists had another classmate or confederate who had some ideas and ways to get donations and got them. Who was the mover and shaker? The MTC Dental Clinic was up and running about 6 or 7 months later.

If anyone has experienced how projects run in the Philippines or getting church approval you would know immediately that this came about by sheer miracle.  All of the dental chairs and fixtures and equipment were donated.
The Stewarts were called to be missionaries with one of the dentists who got the clinic up and running. A week after their shared opening and starting up business, the Stewarts were given the key to the door and told they were in charge. The idea from the talks to the dentist the Stewarts had previous to going on their mission was that they would be doing dental work for about 4 or 5 hours a day and be able to experience the Philippines the rest of the time.
I can testify that they work 6 days a week usually 5 in the morning until 5 at night except for half a day on Saturdays for two weeks and then they will have a Wednesday and sometimes a Saturday off on the third week – working 12 hours a day on the other four days. Dr. Stewart is a surfboard aficionado and has checked out the beaches on a few of those Wednesdays. Regardless they both will never see 60 again and work very hard long hours.  It is all totally worth it – but that is a post for another day.

*I’ll post the whole story when I find out.

8 Pies and all the Trimmings

So the rumor is that Nate and Kelsi made 8 pies for the Thanksgiving feast. Andrew made his usual green bean and French onion dish – with a twist. You will have to ask him for the story. Rachel made the mashed potatoes and Rebekah’s Michael made the turkey and all the trimmings. He practiced ahead of time and everyone raved about dinner. I heard that Michael’s grandmother and grandfather came with an uncle and all had a really good time- even the grandmother with Andrew’s twist. I asked if anyone had taken pictures and the answer was, “Kelsi had your back.” Have I ever mentioned how much I love my daughter-in-laws? They are my reward for having so many boys. It sounds like Thanksgiving in America went really well. I am not even going to explore the idea that it may have been better that we weren’t there. In the Philippines, there is no Thanksgiving. We will share a feast  Monday family home evening with the other missionaries here.