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Acts of Kindness

Updates from the LDS mission of Kathleen O’Reilly as she serves in the Philippines. Click “Subscribe to Blog” and be notified immediately of all new posts, photos, and articles.

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Aug. 31, 2013 - Bank Pin #’s, Flummoxed, Skype, & 2 Nephi 5

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August 31, 2013 - Friday - at home - the Philippines
It's P-day and I slept in till all of 7:00am. Most of the morning was pretty lazy as all I did was clean up a bit, read, and try to do my bills and budgeting.  It's so different here than in the states.  There you can pay your bills with either a check, or a credit or debit card. Here everything must be paid with cash.  Since I have an American debit card that I can use to get cash (if there is money in the bank of course) anywhere I go in the US, that would be easy.  Here it's nearly impossible to get cash from anywhere because the ATM's and the banks don't authorize or recognize pin numbers that are not 5 numbers.  In the states they can be up to 8 numbers.  Here...5 only.  So irritating.  The only bank that will recognize Wells Fargo is the National Bank of the Philippines which has hardly any branches and none anywhere near where I live or work. I need to change my PIN number and can't do it on line and no bank branch is near enough.  HELP!!! The timing for calling the help hotline in the states is messed up as well.  Our time differences are too great and you can only use a landline which means I would have to do it at work as I don't have a landline here in my flat.  All in all it has left me a bit frustrated and flummoxed.  I am sure I will figure it out. That or else the consequences will quickly be right in my face. 
Sister Doig made brownies for our Monday night Family Home Evening which starts right after work in our building so it's easy to get to.  Right now the whole flat smells yummy like home made brownies.  As good as they smell I am not going to eat any as I am trying to limit the junk I eat and try to eat only the stuff that is good for me.  Sister Doig is a good cook so that may prove to be a challenge.  It's just too easy not to be self-controlled.  Besides, I don't need the calories. I have lost about 8kg. (Figure that out in pounds if you want) of weight since I got here and I would like to keep that off and lose a lot more if possible.
I spent the afternoon reading and studying and writing (sulat).  Those seem to be my fall back activities and I am really glad to do them.  They are comforting and worthwhile and make me happy (maligaya).
For all of your who are parents of my students: I have not received emails from many of those kids.  Only 2 in fact.   I don't know if you are sharing my emails with them or if you think that they are not allowed to email me.  They are allowed to email and SKYPE me as I am no longer a paid employee (kawani) of the district or their teacher (guro).  Perhaps the lack of communication has simply to do with their time being used up by important things like studying and family (pamilya) and such.  If that is the case, it's just fine. But if they are not communicating with me because they think there is a restriction, please let them know that I would love to hear from them.  With parental permission of course.  Perhaps they are not aware of how much I would enjoy hearing from them.  Even a paragraph occasionally is a real delight in my days.
Tonight I helped Sister Doig prepare for her primary calling.  I drew  a  3 foot boy on some cardboard which she is going to use to help teach the kids a song.  It turned out well considering I am not usually that kind of an artist.  I took a picture of him.  He looks cute and appealing I think and I hope he will be useful in helping the children learn. Since tomorrow is Sunday I will probably get a ward assignment.  I hope it's either in Relief Society or Young Womens. Whatever it is, I will do my best to see it work well and to spread and teach the gospel here in the Philippines.


2 Nephi 5

The bro are unhappy.  Some more.  They have such contentious spirits.  Satan must just love how he can influence them so easily. It has to be very hard on those around them who are trying to live righteous lives.  Seems a lot like the same sort of thing today.  The righteous always having to defend themselves against the wicked. Thank heavens now days that most of us are not in fear of our lives.  I never want to feel the hatred and animosity that Nephi has thrown his way.  Satan takes such delight in seeing contention and mistrust going on.  What the elder brothers have failed to realize is that Nephi has not sought to be their ruler.  He has become such because of his desire and ability to live righteously. It has made him strong and capable and trusted by the Lord.
The Lord warns Nephi that he should depart from them (the wicked) and flee into the wilderness.  He listens(as always) and leaves taking his own family , Sam & family, Joseph and Jacob, his sisters, and any others who will heed the warnings and revelations of God.  They took what was possible for them to leave with and journeyed  in the wilderness for many days.  (What is many days I wonder?) 3?  33? 133?
The place they stopped in permanently became named after Nephi and the people called themselves Nephites. (Nothing like being surrounded by your own name everywhere you go.) I love that the people immediately begin a society that observed and kept the judgments, statutes, and commandments of the Lord.  They are exceedingly blessed from the very beginning.  They raised abundant crops and started increasing their herds and flocks.
Wise thinking Nephi, in their precipitous flight, has taken what is most important with him.  Not many of his worldly possessions are mentioned except the sword of Laban, and most importantly, the things of the Lord - Scripture (plates of brass) and also the Liahona, which the Lord gave to the people as a gift
The people work.  They are industrious. (The history of the LDS people follows this same story line.) They build homes and other buildings including a temple fashioned after Soloman's Temple but not quite so ________. (What word goes there? Elaborate? ornate? decorative?)  However, the place was well done and the workmanship was exceedingly fine.  The history buff in me has often made me wonder where that temple was and if the Lord will eventually reveal its place. If it's important, he will. 
Nephi's people want him to become their king. (Now that could go to your head.) He says, "NO!! No king!". But he does tell them he will do what he can for them.  Good man.  He's a smart one and realizes that having all that power can cause issues.  Look at what the brothers tried to do to him when he was simply placed over them to instruct and teach. 
The Lord lets Nephi know that his (the Lord's) words have been fulfilled.  The contentious brothers and their people are cursed and cut off from the Lord just as it was told.  They have become a dark and loathsome (*I looked that one up in the thesaurus), lazy, idle, and cursed people. Full of mischief and subtlety which amounts to underhandedness and secretive and negative behaviors. Now read verse 25. What is your opinion?
The Nephites are a happy and prosperous people. This due to following the inclinations (preferences) of God. Obedience, humility, kindness, charity, honesty, compassion, integrity, love, and faith would have been some of the attributes used to describe these good people.   These words should be used to portray us.  DO they? Are the descriptions of us as complimentary? Are we equal to the behavior of the Nephites?
During all this time, Nephi conscientiously made and kept the records of the people.  He notes that if the people are pleased (delighted) with the things of God, they will be pleased (satisfied) with what Nephi has engraved on the plates.  What a diligent man and faithful servant of the Lord.  Oh, to be more like this amazing man.  Question is... how do we become more like Nephi?  What must we each do?
* I like the word loathsome. So descriptive. Best used to describe really ugly and unpleasant things and people.   Hateful, repugnant, despicable, disgusting, detestable, abhorrent, nasty, vile, odious, and obnoxious. Gosh!  I want to be described in those terms. (Not so much!) 
So now read verse 22 again - substituting any of the other words for loathsome.  How does it make you feel?
I also like the word dark - not as in the absence of light - although that too applies when describing the bothers and their followers, but the words that mean things like sinister, threatening, evil, bleak, depressing, unhappy, moody, mysterious, obscure, and shadowed.  Aren't words and their meanings the most interesting thing ever?  I adore learning about them and their multiple meanings and uses.   Sure makes all reading, especially the Scriptures, easier to understand if the words mean more.
New Tagolog words

  • sulat = writing
  • maligaya = happy
  • kawani = employee
  • guro = teacher
  • pamilya = family

Have a lovely day.  I am grateful for your love, kindness and prayers in my behalf.  They help so much more than you realize.  Thank you for being such good friends and support.  I would be very lost without each of you and your dear families.  I am so thankful that you have blessed my life so very much.  Take care and write soon.  Encourage the kids to email me.  I will love it!
Hugs and love, Sister (Miss Kate) O'Reilly

Sister O'Reilly

"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving, human soul on another." -- George Eliot

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