Thursday, December 31, 2015

Self-Reliance through multiple means

Meet Nicole and Alejandro.  Evangeline, Alejandro's wife, Nicole's Mom has been working in Hong Kong for 12 years.  We have a missionary couple in Hong Kong that are working with Evangeline to help her become self-reliant and we are working with Alejandro and Nicole to help them.  

When Evangeline went to Hong Kong 12 years ago they sold Alejandro's tricycle to pay for her to go because she could make more there than he was making here.  Now 12 years later they are no better off financially than they were then and their family has not been together all these years.

One of the goals of self-reliance is to keep families together.  Life is not about how much money you have, it is about families.  Families are eternal and need to be together to build the relationships necessary for a forever family.

Last May Alejandro joined the church and made changes in his life.  He wants his family together.  He wants to be sealed for eternity in the House of the Lord.  He wants his family living together in one house, together everyday, not just for two weeks vacation each year.

So what do we do in self-reliance to help?  Self-Reliance Services is not a new concept but is a new organization which falls under the Perpetual Education Fund in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  During the past two years there have been some amazing materials given to us to aid in our pursuit of self-reliance. 

What is Self-Reliance?
“Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family”.

President Thomas S. Monson has counseled, “[Self-reliance] is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being.” 
You can read more about this program at SRS.LDS.org

Evangeline will compete her contract in 2017.  By then the family will have businesses in place to support them.  We first met this family in early October and started working on a plan for them.  



 Alejandro wanted to start driving a tricycle again for his business.  He had already purchased a motorcycle and started making payments on a sidecar.  Two weeks ago the sidecar was installed and he started driving for hire.   Nicole has been going to College, studying Hotel and Restaurant management.  She loves cooking and baking and has done very well in those classes.  She now is able to cook snacks and sell them at her house.  They are both working hard to find more customers and increase their income.  Evangeline is working hard to pay off loans that they took prior to this.

What a blessing it is to see a family work together and take responsibility to solve their own problems.  There are a lot of work to do with this family before they are all back together in the Philippines, however it is fun to see how much they have already accomplished in three short months.



Do you think I look good in pink?  The color of the Trikes is determined by the city where it is licensed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mission Christmas Conference

Mission Christmas Conference

I don't know if everyone is like me when it comes to analyzing things but I do a lot of that.  When we felt prompted that now was the time to serve a mission we talked a lot and considered many things before we set a date of availability on our mission application.  Among these were April 15 income tax deadline (I have had a tax practice for 40 years and did not want to leave without completing all my clients returns), Special days such as Baptisms, Birthdays, special family traditions and holidays. We also talked about not shoveling snow if we were called to somewhere warm like the Philippines.  We are enjoying not shoveling snow as we hear about from our family about all the snow that has come to Utah already this winter.

Christmas is a very special time of the year for families and I looked at the calendar and counted the months when we got our call and was pleased that we would only miss one baptism of a grandson, one Christmas, and one Thanksgiving.

So you might ask what our feelings are about this now that we are in the Philippines serving the Lord. 

There is nothing quite so special as Christmas as a missionary!

Thursday December 10, 2015, was our 1st and unfortunately our only Mission Christmas Conference.  This was a very special day.  A day to be remembered by Sister Anderson and I for the rest of our lives.  

All the missionaries gathered early for a group picture of us all.  I was hoping to have a copy of the picture to post here but have not received one yet.  I will edit this post and add it when I receive it.

We then were taught by President and Sister Deyro.   Sister Deyro talked about the miracles of Christmas.  She spoke of the warnings given to Mary and Joseph to keep them safe and to the wisemen and others.  She reminded us of ministering of angels.

Sister Deyro taught us from the Book of Mormon about Miracles.  
Mormon 9:9-11, 15-25
 9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
 10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
 11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.
 15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
 16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?
 17 Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by his word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought?
 18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
 22 For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;
 23 And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;
 24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;
 25 And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

Cathy and I have experienced so many miracles on our mission in the Philippines.  We witness that these things are true.  God does love us and when we exercise our faith he answers our prayers and miracles happen.  Sometimes we are the answer to others prayers and often others are the answer to ours.  Sister Deyro concluded by quoting the following scripture.

 Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

We pray daily that we might be instruments in God’s hands, that we might be the answer to someone’s prayer each day as we work and serve the beautiful people in the Philippines.

President Deyro taught us about 5 words beginning with the letter “A”

Aim, or setting goals.
Attention,  stay focused and avoid distractions
Attitude, See that ye serve him with all the heart, might, mind and strength that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.  D&C 4
Affection, you are accountable for those you serve, love them.
Action should reflect your Aim. 

After workshops presented by some of the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders we had lunch.  After lunch we had a gift exchange and the day concluded with each of the missionaries receiving gifts from “Adopt a Missionary Foundation”  Everyone received some very nice gifts that they will put to good use while serving in the Urdaneta mission.  Many of the missionaries received very nice leather bound scriptures which were so special and appreciated.

Merry Christmas, I hope and pray that you see and enjoy all the miracles of the Christmas Season and especially that you look around you each day and learn to recognize God's hand in everything you do.

Here are some pictures below of the lunch and gift exchange.  Enjoy




















Monday, November 23, 2015

THANKSGIVING




I begin this post with a scripture from the New Testament. The Apostle Paul wrote the following to the Colossian Saints while he was imprisoned in Rome.

COLOSSIANS 2:5-7

5: For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
6: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 
7: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 

Cathy and I are certainly not imprisoned in the Philippines. The exact opposite would be our description of this beautiful land filled with kind and loving people. We have had our hearts touched and our testimony strengthened so much in the 6 months that we have been here. What a blessing they are to us and how thankful we are for having all these people in our lives.

We are, however, absent from our family and friends back home in America. And so this scripture is applicable to us and to our relationships with family and friends from the Philippines, to New Zealand and Australia, to England and many places in America and other parts of the world.

Many years ago my brother Boyd told me that Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. I had never thought about what my favorite was until he told me and explained why. Thanksgiving is a holiday where there are no gifts, no work or social expectations. It is a time to spend with family and reflect on all the blessings we have been given from our Heavenly Father. It is a day to share favorite foods, stories and memories. It is a day to simply enjoy the bounties of life, the blessings of family and the love of all the family past and present.

I have so many memories of Thanksgiving through the years. I have so many memories from my childhood of going to Idaho for Thanksgiving. All the cousins would be there and we would run and play and have so much fun together. We always had our own table in the kitchen and the grownups had their table in the living room. That was heaven for us kids. I have wonderful memories of having thanksgiving dinner with my Mom and Dad and my Brothers and Sister. After we got married we often shared thanksgiving together in one of our homes. What good times we all had. Recent years we have had thanksgiving at our home and the homes of our children. We always have a large group and we always have a wonderful time. This year will be the smallest group we have every had, just two missionaries in the Philippines.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday celebrated here and so will be a work day for us. But that is perfect for us because there is no better way to show our gratitude to Heavenly Father than to serve Him by serving the people we love in the Philippines.


Two weeks after we arrived in the Philippines I received this email from my grandson Parker.

Hi Papa!  
I love you so much! :) 
I'm glad you went on a mission because we are a family that serves.  
Love,  
Parker 
p.s. please write back!! 

This is just one of many sweet messages we have received from family while we have been away from them. Read the scripture above one more time and I hope you will see why I chose it today.

I am so thankful for my family. I had the best parents I could imagine being blessed with. I grew up with 3 brothers who taught me so much and continue to teach me what is important in life. My brother Wayne passed away almost 10 years ago but I often think of things he told me and learn new lessons from them still today. I was blessed with one sister, Karen Mae who was the apple of her Daddy's eye and my best friend growing up. Our family has so many good memories of all the fun times we have shared.

Our four children are the best in the world and they each married the perfect partner for them. Together they have given us 14 grandchildren that light up my life.

I am thankful for the Gospel in my life, for my Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement which reaches everyone who has ever been born.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and send my love around the world to each of you.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Isaac Takes Grandma & Papa to Nathan's Baptism


This is our Grandson Isaac Horstmann. On 31 October, 2015, his big brother Nathan Broch Horstmann was baptized. Isaac knew that we wanted to be there but could not because we are Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Servicing for 18 months in the Philippines, Urdaneta Mission.  

When they all arrived at  the church, my daughter Rachael noticed that he had put us in his back pocket and taken us to the Baptism Service. When he got home he returned our picture to it's place in his room. He has never taken this picture to church before but he was thoughtful of his actions on this special day.  

We are so blessed to have 14 grandchildren who love us and pray for us.  This is a special boy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Lack I Yet?



In General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints last month, Elder Larry R Lawrence gave a talk entitled What Lack I Yet?  This talk touched my heart and caused me to do a lot of reflecting on things that need improvement in my life.  Those of you that know me intimately will have not trouble helping me create a long list of items and traits that need improvement or total and complete change.

In the Sermon on the Mount the Savior taught “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”. [Matthew 5:48]

President Joseph Fielding Smith said It is my duty, it is yours, to be better today than I was yesterday, and for you to be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you were today. 

The above scripture is a beautiful goal but one that seems out of reach.  However, the statement by President Smith helps me to keep perspective.  I am capable of improvement.  I am able to be better today than I was yesterday.  I am able to recognize the poor choices I have made and strive to make better ones today and in the future.

When President Sorenson, my Stake President set me apart almost 6 months ago as a missionary he gave me a blessing.  I know this blessing came from my Father in Heaven.  President Sorenson knows me quite well but I don’t think he knows that I am a very impatient man.  God knows and the blessing of patience from him came not one time, not two times but 5 times.  My Father in Heaven knew that I would need to exercise patience in everything from the speed of the internet to the traffic in the Philippines.  From my ability to do things as quickly as I want to having people understand what I am trying to teach them and then to accept it and make the changes necessary to improve their lives.

When I was home, working and enjoying my family I was not focused on one task like I am in the Philippines.  Cathy and I work 7 days a week with regard to Self-Reliance.  We study, we pray, we visit, we teach, we listen and we pray some more.  All day and all night we think about ways to help people become self-reliant.  We worry about those that don’t have good clean drinking water. We worry about those that don’t have enough good food to eat.  And then we go to work and try to help them find ways to improve and get more income for the necessities of life.

So now we come to “What Lack I Yet”  I am working hard, I study, I pray, I serve and I pray some more.  I ready my scriptures, I study them and I pray some more.  So why do I have troubles.  Surely the Lord wants me to be successful.  Surely He wants all his missionaries to be successful.  So I took the challenge from Elder Lawrence.  “What do I need to change?”  “How can I improve?”  “What weakness needs strengthening?”

I have some family members very close to me that have been upset with me for some time and choose to not include me in their lives.  This hurts me deeply.  I try to make things better but nothing seems to bridge the gap.  This too is part of my question “What Lack I Yet”.  The son of my brother Wayne who passed away almost 10 years ago told me that it was up to me to help keep our family together after my Mother died.  This motivated me to try even harder.  I took his words seriously and continue to try and pray for inspiration of what I can do. 

All of this and more is part of my personal quest to improve and find what flaws I can work on to improve. 

I have a small book that a good friend recommended to me several years ago called TO DRAW CLOSER TO GOD by President Henry B Eyring.  It is a collection of discourses and is full of insights.  I picked it up this morning and started reading again.  Not really considering what I have been praying for and not really looking for any answers, just a good book to read for a while in my morning studies.

The second discourse is entitled Listen Together.  Here is the part that really touched my heart and I thought of what I have been praying for, “What Lack I Yet”

What the scripture calls a “humble and contrite heart” has always been exemplified for me in two paragraphs from the autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Perhaps it touched me because I admired so much the strength of Elder Pratt and also because I like so little to be rebuked. Here is the first paragraph of the two—I will have to break between the two because you need a little background.
After journeying for several hundred miles up the Platte, we at length met two messengers from the pioneers under President Young, from Salt Lake Valley. These were P. Rockwell and E. T. Benson; who had been sent out to try to find us and report our progress and circumstances. Having visited all the camps, they returned to the valley, or rather to where they met the President and pioneers, on their way back to Winter Quarters on the Missouri. I accompanied them back nearly one days’ ride on the way, and then bid them God speed, and returned to my own camp. Soon after this our fifty met the President and company of pioneers and camped with them one day.
Now this is where you need a little background. For a moment, think of yourselves as Parley P. Pratt. He was leading a hard, hard march. He was doing the best he knew how. He was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was meeting his leader, one with whom he had been in great difficulties. Elder Pratt saw himself as an experienced man, as indeed President Young was experienced.
Can you young men now picture yourselves having a priesthood interview with your elders quorum president? He is going to talk to you about what you have been doing. You have been working hard. Aren’t you prepared for a little praise? Wouldn’t you like him to tell you how wonderful you were?
Parley P. Pratt had arrived in Winter Quarters after President Young and the Quorum of the Twelve had made some very specific arrangements. Elder Pratt had taken a look at the plans and thought he could do better. He changed the arrangements. He did not know that—at least according to one of the other members of the Twelve who had been there—they were a decision of the Council and were revelation. Listen to Parley P. Pratt’s description of that day with his priesthood leader.
A council was called, in which I was highly censured and chastened by President Young and others. This arose in part from some defect in the organization entered into under the superintendence of the President before he left the camps at Winter Quarters; and of variously interfering with previous arrangements. In short, I was severely reproved and chastened. I no doubt deserved this chastisement; and I humbled myself, acknowledged my faults and errors, and asked forgiveness. I was frankly forgiven, and, bidding each other farewell, each company passed on their way. This school of experience made me more humble and careful in future, and I think it was the means of making me a wiser and better man ever after.[Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1985), pp. 330–31]

I have learned a lot from my study today.  My prayers and my desire to be better today than I was yesterday and better tomorrow than I was today motivate me to work hard and improve relationships with family, to have more patience, and to be a better servant of the Lord.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Every day we learn something new about being self-reliant.  Yesterday  I heard a little story that reinforced the importance of developing our skills and talents.

One day a flock of ducks went up the mountain and spent the day learning to fly.  After they had learned this new skill they were all seen returning home, walking down the street carrying their shoes.

It is important to identify and use the skills and talents that you have been blessed with.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Prayer & Miracles

Missionaries pray a lot!  We pray when we get up in the morning.  We pray when we study.  We pray when we have breakfast, lunch or dinner.  We pray when we get in our car to drive.  (this prayer is really important in the Philippines)  We pray when we start a meeting, We pray when we end a meeting.  We have a prayer in our heart all day long as we consider the work we are doing and the people we are working with.  

I learned a long time ago to Pray like it is all up to our Father in Heaven, and then work like it is all up to me.  I am so blessed that my wife and I are each 100% committed to our missionary service.  We are each totally committed to our assignment in the Philippines and to the Self-Reliance program.  From the time we started talking about and preparing to serve we were in total harmony with each other on what we wanted to do.  This is such a blessing and allows us to be more effective in our work.

We experience miracles in our missionary work almost every day.  Many are simple and would be easy to pass over as simple coincidences.  I will tell you about an experience we had a couple of weeks ago.   We had an appointment at one of the most distant towns in our mission.  When you look it up on any map it says it is about 120km away and will take about 2 ½ hours to get there.  There are several things I have learned about driving since we got her 4 months ago.  

1 It always takes longer than the computer estimates.
2 The preferred route of the computer is seldom the best route.
3 If you leave 10 minutes late you will be 1 hour late.
4 If you leave 10 minutes early you will be early or on time.

We left 3 hours early and stopped along the way to see a man we are working with at this business.  We only stayed a few minutes but told him we would stop and spend some time on our way back.  We made it to the town of Mabini right on time for our appointment with the Mayor.  President and Sister Deyro got there at the same time.  

We have been praying that we would get another Mayor visit scheduled this week.  We are asking the members in different areas to make the appointments with their Mayor rather than trying to make a cold call on our own.  Miracles come when we pray and act on our faith.  President Deyro had a member come for an interview and found that he worked for the Mayor of Mabini and he was able to get an appointment for Friday morning.  We had a great visit with the Mayor and look forward to great relations with the city and the opportunity of sharing resources with each other.

After our appointment we visited some of the other towns in the area, had some lunch and headed back.  We stopped on the way back to visit with our friend that we have been working with.  While I was visiting with him at this auto parts business Sister Anderson was talking to the woman who owned the shop next door.  

We talked about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and prayer and then about tithing.   He said, I know that tithing works, I can prove that tithing works.  At that point I said, you know that one of these days you are going to have to be baptized so you can take your family to the temple to be sealed together for all of Eternity.  He said, “I know.”   Then I said, “with your permission, I am going to ask the young Elders to stop by and see you here at your shop several times a week, just to be your friend and answer any questions you have.  Is that ok?”  He said yes and started pointing behind me.  When I turned around there were two Elders standing there.  After visiting with him for a few minutes they walked to the shop next door and found that Sister Anderson had just had a similar conversation and had asked and received permission to have the Elders stop and visit with her too.  The Miracle of Heavenly Father putting these two Elders exactly where they needed to be at the exact time we needed them was wonderful.


I know that this is Gods work.  He is in control and watches his missionaries and all his children.  He inspires and directs His work.  He loves you and me and wants us all to be happy and successful.

Monday, September 21, 2015


Monday wash-line

Did you know that we have clothes lines?  One day Sister Anderson wanted to wash our sheets and hang them outside since there is nothing better than some real sunshine to make sheets white, crisp and smelling good.  So we tried to figure out where we could string a line and were planning to go to the hardware store to buy some clothes line. I mentioned it to Fred, he is the non-related brother of Ililia (Lillie) who owns this place, his house is in the resort and just about 100 feet from ours.  So I mentioned it to Fred and he said, oh I will take care of that for you.  That was a Saturday, the next day when we were leaving for church he was out digging a hole with a pry bar and when we got home he had planted a bamboo pole in the ground, actually two of them, and had strung clothes line from them to the wall that goes around the resort.  So now we have a clothes line.  




The house to the left is Fred’s and our apartment is just behind where I am standing.  There is a walk through gate just to the right of this picture.


This is one of our little lettuce patches, starting to grow back after harvest and our crook neck and yellow squash starts.  We are going to go buy some pots and plant some out here on the front porch and let them grow on the railing.  We gave some to Fred to plant around the yard so will see how those do, also some zucchini.  Our tomatoes are giving us fits.  They look beautiful and we finally have some tomatoes on them but they are only the size of large cherry tomato and after more than a week they are still just green and hard as a rock.  We are trying to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed.  Today we are going to go buy some more pots to transplant some of our seedlings that are getting too big.
















We also have some beautiful free range chickens here.  Some might get annoyed at the Roosters crowing early in the morning but for me it just makes it feel like home.  

We teach our members that even if they only have a small lot they can still grow some vegetables for their family and sell any excess they might have.  

Chickens and goats are also easy to raise and can help a family on their path to self-reliance.  There are so many things to do and each will help make life a little more comfortable.













































This is looking at the back of our apartment.  You can see our tomatoes growing tall.  The white on the rail is some plastic, actually a piece of plastic table runner we put there to give them a little shade from the relentless heat and to stop the rain from flooding them out.

The downstairs is where 4 Sister Missionaries live.  Lillie loves the missionaries and is happy to have her place filled with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This is our wading or kids pool in the back yard.   There is about 6 inches of water in the deep end. That is all rain water.  Now to be fair the pool collects the rain from the whole and runs to the deep part but that is still a lot of water.  It rains so hard here.  Sometimes it makes me nervous.  I don’t know why, I love rain, I love thunder and lightening but when it rains so hard for so long I think I worry that it might never stop and that we might need to build an ark.  I know what you are thinking, Cathy thinks I am a little out of it too… just telling you that is how it is. I also still hate spiders and snakes and am not very comfortable with geckos that crawl inside my chair.  This happened one day and I had to take my chair outside and dismantle it to evict him.  In the evening the geckos make the strangest sound.  It is really hard to describe, it is kind of a chirping sound but I have only heard it at night when birds do not normally chirp.  Some say that the word gecko comes from what some think it sounds like.  You will have to listen to one and make your own decision.





There are a number of these bamboo huts in our back yard.  If you would like to come visit we will roast a pig and have a bbq here. 






This is a little more of our back yard.  It really is beautiful here.  Where we live is called the Golden Flame Resort.  They have Weddings here, Birthday Parties, Conventions, just about any event you could think of is hosted here.  There are two floors in the main building for the events and a third floor with bedrooms if some want to stay over.  There are two pools in the back but they are only filled when there is an event scheduled that wants to use the pools or when it really rains a lot.  

We are so blessed with a beautiful, safe place to live.  It is very quiet here, we get a little noise from the highway and there are dogs barking and roosters crowing and geckos chirping but nothing that is annoying or that keeps us from sleeping well.  

The people treat us like we are someone important or special.  We try to remind them that we are here to Serve not to be Served.   They keep treating us that way and it makes me uncomfortable but I understand that it is not me but the missionary they are treating so special.  They love the missionaries here.



These pictures are taken at the Tayug city park across the street from our church.  This is Sister Costales from our ward in Rosales.  She is also the Stake Self-Reliance Coordinator for the Rosales Stake.  

We have worked really hard with her helping the members of the church in all 10 wards and branches in her stake learn about the Self-Reliance program.  We have taught with her in every church building in her stake the My Path to Self-Reliance Devotional and have started groups in all 10 units.  There are three different paths members can take in finding their way to self-reliance.  My Job Search where they are taught principles such as how to present themselves to employers using Me in 30 Seconds, and Power Statements.  They also learn how to search in the hidden job market.  In Education for Better Work they learn how to identify an education path which will help them later find employment to become self-reliant.  Finally we have Starting and Growing my Business for people who want to start their own business or improve on one they may already have.  Members attend these groups for 12 weeks and also put into practice Gospel Principles from My Foundation. These lessons include, Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ, Communicate: Petition and Listen, Show Integrety, Use Time Wisely, Manage Money to name a few.  When 12 weeks are completed they will receive a certificate from LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, UT.

Saturday and Sunday are very busy days for us.  Yesterday was looking like it would be a quiet day of church only.  This has only happened one time since we have been here.  It was a very odd Sunday without assignments to fulfill and without any devotionals to teach.  We got home from church and started making lunch.  I made lasagna and garlic bread and Sister Anderson (aka Cathy,  Mom, Grandma) made a tossed salad.  It was a delicious lunch.  (don’t get too impressed the lasagna was a frozen one from Costco (called SNR in the Philippines), we bought it and cut it into 4 pieces and put it in the freezer so we can just take a piece out and bake it and it is perfect for us two little missionaries) anyway while dinner was preparing we got a text from Sister Costales asking if we were available to go to 1 ward and 2 branches with her.  

This part cracks me up.  She always says I drive so fast.  She says “we never drive over 100km/hr. Well I never drive 100.  Most of the time if I can go fast it is about 65 or 70 maybe up to 80… this is kilometer per hour not miles per hour.  Anyway I think it is funny that she always tells me to take my time and drive slow and then she says she is more comfortable having this missionary that has only driven in the Philippines for three months drive her than for her to drive herself.  She always makes me laugh.

So we went with her to drop materials off at Santa Maria ward. Then to Tayug to observe the Starting and Growing my Business group that is on week 5.  Wow that group has it together.  They are doing awesome.  I was so excited to see everything they are doing.  Their videos on the thumb drive were corrupted so I made them another copy while I was there.

We then went to San Quintin.  We were able to help them and give them a little training and also to give them the videos to show.  All in all it was a great evening.  

We pray every day that we might be the answer to someones prayer and it never fails that a door opens and we find something to do at the last minute to bless others.  I think that Heavenly Father lets us wait like that some times so we remember that it is He who is in control.  We are only instruments in his hands and as long as we are willing he will put the opportunities in front of us.

I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and the Holy Ghost is real and helps guide us.   I love the feelings I receive from Holy Ghost that reminds me that my prayers are answered daily.  I don’t always know and understand the answers at the time and I often do not know what I am supposed to learn at the time but eventually that comes too.

I am so thankful for the calling that Cathy and I have received to serve as missionaries in this beautiful country.  To Serve with these beautiful people.  When I look in the big brown eyes I see the light of Christ in the kind sweet people of the Philippines.  I know this is where we are supposed to be.  I know this is when we are supposed to be serving a mission.  I love my wife so much and am so thankful that her goals and mine are the same.  We love serving together.  We miss our family and friends at home and pray for them daily as we do for our new friends here in the Philippines.