Families are forever. Families are strengthened through learning about eternity together. All people are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. Enjoy getting to know each of these families, even if it is to be grateful for your family and what you already have.
Family name is Obedencio. He is Marlon, a Jeepney driver, been inactive but did come to church this week after we committed him to with a loaf of bread. Her name is Edelyne and is the Gospel Essentials teacher. The son's name is Edel, 4. They said the bread was lami (pronounced la (like far), me (like eve), lami) Also said lapok kaayo, meaning literally muddy very, or very muddy as we would speak, as the bread was delivered while the typhoon was near.
Family name is Dinglasa. Mother's name is Rosa. Her two children are the younger two, Jose, 9, and Rose Marie, 7. The young girl is a non member friend named AnnAnn, 17, who came to church Sunday with Rosa. Rosa's husband recently died, we do not know how, but she has not been out to church since then, until Sunday. She was very happy to be back and so was the branch happy to see her. AnnAnn is now being taught about the church.
Family name is Antipuesto. Father name is Anescio he is inactive and unordained. Mother is Wilma and comes to church occasionally. Daughter in red is Stilla,18, and daughter in pink is Joana, 17. Sons are Renaldo, 20, in dragon t-shirt, Nelmar, 15, in white t-shirt, and Dennis, 9, in grey shirt. The lady in yellow is a neighbor who is also an inactive member whose name is Daisyrey Mesina. Daisyrey helped us find the Antipuesto home as we could not remember for sure where it was. We could remember which big tree to park by, but other than that we were lost and it was dark out as well. Plus, lapok kaayo because of the typhoon and the bread was still warm. The other girl in the back is a friend of Reynaldo who we believe lives here as well. None of the males are ordained with priesthood and Dennis is not baptised. The whole family committed to come to church, but only Stilla came. She was so excited to be there, as were her friends to see her. She has a special relationship already with Sister Parsons, like they are kindred spirits.
Family name is Cavile. Father's name is Herminigildo. We forgot to make a note of what he actually goes by. We spent a week trying to memorize names, only to find nobody goes by their given names, but each has a nick name. This brother and his children have been in the church since, December, 2006. Brother Cavile is the 2nd councilor in the Branch Presidency. He seemed to be unaware that the next step for him is to obtain a temple recommend, but now is working on that as a goal. Did not see wife, he said, "she is too shy", is not a member of church at present. Daughter is Nicca,12, who gave a very special talk on Father's Day about her father. Son is Jon Loy, 4. He is a very active boy. The first Sunday he "ran" sacrament meeting, and wrestled with Edel Obedencio during the Primary Father's Day song. During home visit, Sister Parsons offered that JonJon could sit with us during Sacrament Meeting. JonJon sought her out on Sunday with excitement and he sat and looked at the picture of Samuel the Lamanite, counting the arrows. He drew his own "five fingers" and made a face on each one.
Family name is Galvez. The grandma ("Lola" in Cebuano) is Amor. We have not officially visited this family so no further names are known by us. We have hired her to make curtains for our apartment. She is a very active lady in the church as are her adult children.
Family name is Pabayos. Mother's name is Evangaline. Son's name is Louwe. We visited her and immediately recognized Louwe from church. She is a regular at church and is married to a non member.
Family name is Bacang. His name is Luciano and has been a member for 9 months only. He is ordained as a priest. He has two sons whom we did not meet who are 14 and 13. The sons are not ordained. His wife left him several years ago. He is a farmer and had a wonderful crop of white kernal sweet corn which is behind Sister Parsons as she took the picture, so if you look behind her you can see it. He is irregular in his church attendance and was not at church this week (hopefully) because of the typhoon. We are re-visiting him later today. Here is a picture of the path to his house.
Also passed a chicken (manok) house/pig (baboy) farm. We think that people live in the house on bamboo stilts above the farm. It all smelled quite unique (really bad). We did not linger to look! There were also what Elder Parsons thought were bats flying all around through the trees.
Family name is Licerio. Father's name is Gener. His business is bug control. The sign on the highway says Pestman. He is a returned missionary who labored in Manila where he met his wife to be, Thezz. They have been married about 20 years. He is the 1st councilor in the Branch Presidency. She is the YW President also Primary Secretary. They have two sons. The one in the picture is Dallen, 19, (It was his birthday on the day of this picture. We joined them for Family Home Evening). He is the Branch Mission Leader. He is studying Resort Management and loves to cook and is preparing for a mission, probably in a year or two. The other son is GeneGene, 17, enrolled in the Military Academy. (By the way, high school is completed in the Philippines at age 16, then students enter the University at age 17.) MelMel, 15, is the oldest daughter and Dianne, 5, named after Princess Di, is the other daughter.
The preceding pictures are members of the Sibulon Branch, our 1st branch to work with. On Sunday afternoon, we traveled to scope out the Bacong Branch, our 2nd assigned branch. We found several members still at the church in the midst of "AREA ATTACK" activity. They were together in a group doing what we had been doing the whole week before. This was a very exciting discovery.
Family name is Abarido. Father's name is Nemuel. He is the Elder's Quorum President in the branch. He has recently returned from inactivity to the church. His wife, Barbara, is not a member. She says she will join in two years. (?!) She works for an American advertising company filing documents. The two daughters are named Adelstein, 5, and Sheen, 2.
These are neighbors of Nemuel, from preceding picture. The lady on the left is Francisca Argonista, a member, who is visiting her sister, name Maria, and her sister's son, Mario. Maria and Mario are non members. That is all we know. It was a quick visit and trying to beat the rain. Also needed to get back home as the power was extinguished on the whole of Negros Oriental following the typhoon; they called it a Brown Out. All church meetings were held without any power; i.e. no microphones, no air conditioning, no fans, but no lack of spirit!! With no power, there is also no street lights to illuminate the many pedestrians and bicycles in the street for the return drive. The drive normally takes about 30 minutes from Bacong to our apartment, about 20 Km.
This is the rest of the Argonista family which is also a neighbor of Nemuel. The father is Junior. Son's names are Fernando, 19+, and Jerad, 12.
Now we are asking you each to share our mission with us. As you looked at these wonderful people, I am sure one or two tugged at your heartstrings. Consider that person as you pray and we know that Heavenly Father will guide us to fulfill what that person needs while we are here in Dumaguete District. This district is made up of 9 branches. The aim of the District and Mission Presidency is to make a stake here soon. To make that happen there needs to be 5 wards with a minimum of 20 full-tithe paying, temple recommend holding, Melchizedek Priesthood holders. 3 of the branches already meet this requirement. So Melchizedek Priesthood activation is one assignment we have. Specifically, we are assigned to these two branches which are nearest to attainment.
Also, the Asian Area has pinpointed a major concern that 50% of the church youth here, ages 16 to 30, go inactive. Remember high school is over at 16 here, and that is where we believe they are being lost. So Young Single Adult follow up is another priority assignment that we have on our mission.
We love you all and feel your prayers,
Elder and Sister Parsons