Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Over a month on Palawan

Mission experiences

Last week was our first transfer week which was a new experience for Elder and Sister Wolcott. For those not familiar with LDS missions, every six weeks new missionaries come to the mission, missionaries go home and for various reasons missionaries are moved to different companions. This is a complex logistical feat for the mission president, in our case President Ostler, as he considers needs, potential new trainers, personalities, work ethic and so forth, then seeks inspiration to put the right missionary in the right spot. Companionships may last one transfer or several but in any case when the word comes that you or your companion is leaving there is a period of sorrow for it is unlikely you will see each other again. These elders and sisters develop strong bonds because they are in the trenches together in difficult circumstances. It was an interesting experience to see these companionships say goodbye as we came to pick up the departing missionary.

Saying Goodbye on Transfer day
Some are going home, some are moving to another area, but it is goodbye.  This is tempered somewhat by the expectation that in a few hours the missionary will get a new companion and will develop a new relationship. It is overall a growing experience for these extraordinary elders and sisters.

The children of the Puerto Princesa Branch 2, gave their Sacrament Meeting Presentation last Sunday.  It was such a special treat.  Children are children where ever you may be.  It was fun to see all of the girls with white bows in their hair, singing like angels (Filipinos have beautiful voices).  We loved watching them.  They did an incredible job. As a child Sister Wolcott remembers singing short songs about the love Jesus has for us, but read the words of the song they sang.

"I Know That My Savior Loves Me." 
A long time ago in a beautiful place, Children were gathered around Jesus.
He blessed and taught as they felt of His love, each saw the tears on His face.
The love that He felt for His little ones, I know He feels for me.
I did not touch Him or sit on His knee, Yet, Jesus is real to me.
Now I am here in a beautiful place, Learning the teachings of Jesus.
Parents and teachers will help guide the way. Lighting my path every day.
Wrapped in the arms of my Savior's love, I feel His gentle touch.
Living each day, I will follow His way, Home to my Father above.
I know He lives! I will follow faithfully, My Heart I give to Him.
I know that my Savior loves me. I know that my Savior loves me.

The children loved singing this song and they sang it with all their hearts.  It was a joy to watch them.

We went went to the "fish farm" again today with sister missionaries to meet an extraordinary family. They manage a fish farm about 60 Km North of Puerto Princesa. The sister teaches seminary in their little community every day and this opens the door to many missionary opportunities. When we go there with the sisters assigned to the area they always have one or two families for us to visit and teach. Not only that, they usually have lunch for us. Today it was siopao (Chinese dumplings), Dumplings filled with seasoned chicken, it was extraordinary. While there the brother opened up two green coconuts, poured the water into a pitcher, then scooped the soft coconut meat into the drink, nothing else added. This was our first taste of buko, nothing in the store will ever match what we drank today.

Lunch at the fish farm

Life in the Philippines

There is a local mall called Robinson's, as a public service they offer voter registration for the 2016 elections when they are open from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM, Voter registration closes this Friday so there is some urgency to get registered. As we left town at 8:00 this morning we drove past a line of people that was at least a kilometer long. As we talked to those who have registered one needs to be in line by 2:00 AM to get registered. This evening at 8:00 there were still about 50 people in line outside of the store, hoping to get registered today. Memories of this will help me when I have to wait an hour some day at a government office!

To our engineering friends. In an upcoming post we will share some amazing engineering and construction photo's.


  1. Great report! It's wonderful to learn about saints in other parts of the planet. Reading your reports is like reading the National Geographic! Ed

  2. Hi Jerry. I agree with Ed. When your mission is finished you could go back to work as a writer for NG. Reading your posts helps me understand your mission and I can't help but appreciate what wonderful representatives you and Joanne are for both your church and as Americans. Steve

  3. great photos! good work and a beautiful place - think we gotta visit sometime soon!
    love, your friends, malcolm & Deb

  4. Yr blog is great Jerry. What an amazing mission you are having. I'm so ha pig for you guys. Thanks for all the updates!