Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013

Just a quick update that Jared's companions family has been found and are safe. A friend sent me a part of a letter a sister missionary serving in the Tacloban Mission from Calgary wrote home. You can read the full story if you click on this link. It is from Deseret News and an amazing story of how all 204 missionaries serving in that mission were protected by the hand of God, all had frightening and faith promoting experiences but in the end all the missionaries were found and by a miracle flown out to the MTC in Manilla. As a mother it gives me great hope and faith while my son serves in such a far away place. We have turned Elder Hubbard  over to the Lord and he is in God's loving care.

 About ten of us from the Zone went out this morning and played basketball. I'm sitting next to Elder Coquia, Elder Adorza (my comp) is in red, Elder Paredes (from my district) is behind him, and then  Elder Gaudiano on the far left.  
 Dinner last week that Brother Cuay cooked for us. Litson Manok (spit roasted chicken) and Crispy Pata (deep-fried pigs legs). SO GOOD. 

 Christmas!! It's a little odd to see so many lights and no snow. I forgot to mention in my previous letters, but in the Phils they start celebrating Christmas as soon as September hits. You'll see lights going up and the radio stations all start playing Christmas songs. This is an office building that we pass by almost every day. 

 A tasty balut from the other night :)

Nom nom nom. I always have to eat balut in one bite. It get's a little gross if you do it in two or three bites. 

Hey Mom,

Yeah, his family is okay. Their house got wrecked up pretty good, but everyone is alright. It's a huge miracle that all of the missionaries were accounted for there. There will be 16 missionaries from the Tacloban mission arriving here tomorrow to be reassigned. Other than that I don't think our mission will be affected too much. 

Dear Family,

It's been a pretty good week...we did a lot of exploring and going house-to-house. We didn't see many results at first and it got kind of discouraging, but than I realized yesterday that God's plan for people can be unexpected at times. We had gone to visit a less active family, but when we got to their house the Jehovah's Witness was already there teaching the dad (the mom was hiding behind the house...from the Jehovahs that is). They hadn't seen us yet and we didn't want to get into a lengthy conversation about what God's name is, so we told the Aunt (who was also hiding) that we'd just come back later and we went to a nearby subdivision to do some finding. We went down one street and knocked on maybe ten houses...everyone was either busy or just closed their doors, and when we got to the end of the street it had seemed like nothing had come out of the effort we'd put it. As we started walking back we say a guy standing in front of his house and decided to talk to him. He seemed a little hesitant at first but as we introduced ourselves and I told him that I was from Canada, he seemed to relax. It turns out that he actually works for Bell customer service...and all of the people that he gets calls from are Canadian. His name is Bernard, and he let us in to share a message. Super nice guy. 

It was funny, because at first we were a little frustrated because our LA appointment got stolen, but if we had never gone to that subdivision to OYM, we wouldn't have met Bernard. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Did you guys like the balut pictures? I don't know why, but people gave us balut three days in a row. The one is the picture is the biggest one I've ever eaten. I also ate a smaller one that was a bit under-cooked (the duck felt like it melted in my mouth...I almost gagged, haha). 

Things have been going good too in the ward here. The stake president came into Elders quorum the other day and talked about the things that have been happening in the Phils...the typhoons, and the earthquake - and how the Lord is hastening his work to prepare for His second coming. It really kind of hit me how true that really is. We are living in a time when the world is being prepared to meet Jesus Christ again. People's hearts are being softened and readied to hear the Gospel, and the church is spreading all over the world. It is so great to be a part of this work, and everybody in the church is a part of it. Even just by going onto the internet and doing family history...it's all a part of hastening the work. I think it's so cool. 

As far as Christmas things go, do you think you could get me a new debit card? My wallet somehow went missing last month. I think it must have been stolen, because we've moved apartments since then and it never turned up. It had my debit card in there. My licence, thankfully, was not in my wallet so I still have it. 

I haven't got the package yet, but I'm sure it'll get here sometime soon. I guess I'm not actually allowed to see Brother Jensen...(I read the white handbook to find out) so he might just have to mail it.

I'm sorry that this email is kind of short. We're almost out of time. I love you guys so much and I hope and pray that things will continue to go well for you. 

Have a great week!
- Love Jared. 

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