Dearest Friends and Family,
Well what a month! Work is so busy that homesickness hasn't been an issue!
We traveled to Baguio and met the mission president and his wife. While we were there we picked up an elder struggling with depression and met a little boy with a serious problem. This little boy is 9 years old and l has a stomach so distended he looks like he could be carrying triplets. He has an enormous tumor and we are working with the local hospitals to get him in and be operated on. Jeff took the photographs as Dr. Jackson did the examination. Nothing like I've ever seen.
We went to a black tie affair for St. Lukes Hospital.We had a wonderful dinner and sat through hours of boring doctor awards, but made great contacts. From that I was invited to visit an international addictions facility family group and was introduced to the board and owners. We will be traveling to another area to their treatment center and speak to all the patients on spirituality and purity. One of the Muslim board members interrogated me and was not a friend of 'Mormons'. I don't know what she thought but after asking me what I would say to a multi-faith group my perspectives of spirituality and purity, hoping obviously to make me look like a fool, I responded and she was happy. We'll definitely give the credit to the spirit for that one! The owner said that for her to suggest I speak to the group was the ultimate compliment.
We are trying to get on a schedule and last night I told Jeff on the way home, I'm so tired I won't be able to exercise tonight after a 17 hour day my body is screaming for bed. One episode of NCIS which we've already seen to slow my brain and then to bed. Yesterday I had so many patients I ended up running a group, which is kind of a 'no-no' but there was no way to see everyone and then address the mission presidents. At the end of the day one of the mission presidents came in to my office, stating that he knew he could have my undivided attention if he just came, that was embarrassing. The group went great though, 8 young men all needing anger management and we got it done.
Our dear friends, the Hadlocks, the missionary welfare couple in charge of the wheelchair project are going strong too. More connections with the Rotary Club here and now with the man who is the owner of the international addictions facility, again being a member of the Rotary Club, so that opens doors so we will have another large training in that providence.
|Marcia manning the zipline!|
|On rope bridge|
So I headed out last Saturday with Jeff and a few other couples into the mountains. On the way back Elder Fonbuena said he knew the man who owned the resort Sierra Madre. He had been in the Army with him, so we stopped at this resort. The owner was there and he was a retired General in the army and served in the Philippines Special Forces with Elder Fonbuena. I felt in between 'White Christmas' and 'Sound of Music'! Then the General and I hit it off right away and as I stood up overlooking the mountains I really felt like Julie Andrews and began singing 'The hills are alive with the sound of music'. He then asked if I wanted to go zip lining, I said 'sure'. I'd heard of it but have to be honest wasn't sure what it was. He took my arm and escorted me over to the zip line. It was out over the tallest green mountains, a few pools, and a beautiful waterfall. He must have realized I wasn't sure and smiled asking if first I'd like a demonstration. I told him if he is a retired General, and a member of the Green Beret and I felt absolutely safe and would follow him. I also mentioned I thought my dad would be really impressed if he could make me an honorary member of the Green Beret. He smiled and said he'd call his 'people'. In a few minutes a couple of men arrived, he introduced one as one of his captains, and he went down the zip line. I was a little scared but everyone was watching. Jeff immediately said no, you are not going and I told him if President Fonbuena was allowing me, I was absolutely going. President Fonbuena is the executive secretary to the Area Presidency. It was a blast! Then Jeff followed telling them he had to come get his wife. The General then took me to a huge rope bridge that I walked, no one followed me on this one-I really needed tennis shoes but had just flip flops and my feet were a little rope burned and bloody after making it across-but I did it! The men said they were very impressed and suggested maybe I should be allowed in the Army. After that came the beautiful falls! We had to walk and crawl quite a ways but he had us driven down there to the most gorgeous falls amongst the jungle area, high into the mountains. I stood under the falls and felt like a blanket of rain embraced my body, didn't even care about the hair-and that says something!
|Waterfalls at Sierra Madre|
What an amazing day-on the way back my phone was loaded with messages, and an emergency admission to the Medical Recovery Center, MRC, I had to follow up on asap. Very long night but so worth it for that day! The mission presidents were so understanding and said they weren't upset at all, I needed to get a break every now and then. So I worked late into that night and got caught up and then the MTC president came Monday and told me they were taking me and Jeff to Corregidor tomorrow. I said not in my budget and they let me know it was their treat. I'm not the history fan but I think Jeff is so excited he is going to not sleep tonight. This is where MacArthur said 'I will be back'. He did come back. There is also an American Memorial Cemetery we will see next month in Manila.
We love you all and miss you too but know we are in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing! How we love serving the Lord and as there must be opposition in all things, the most wonderful moments come as well as the most challenging.