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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. 18, 2013 - The Manila Temple, Dedicatory Prayer, Typhoons & Book of Mormon Challenge

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August 18th - Sunday - Today is the Sabbath and I had planned to attend meetings with the Tenneys.  However in the middle of the night I awakened with a migraine headache.  I took medication and tried to sleep through it.  It's mostly gone now with only the echo of it left but because I was throwing up I did not attend meeting.  I miss not taking the sacrament.  Sister Doig is still not well enough to attend so she rested most of the day too.
Thank you to everyone who is sending me such sweet emails and notes.  It makes my day to open up my email and see the sentiments, information, and questions you have all sent.  I can tell that this will be a lovely experience of communicating with so many of you.  
The question that has come most frequently is whether or not I have seen/been to the temple.  Yes, I see the temple everyday as I work directly across the street from it and NO, I have not attended a session or done any temple work as the temple has been closed since I got here and will be closed until this Saturday for its annual cleaning and rejuvenations.  There is some updating etc. going on.  We will be attending weekly once the temple reopens.
 Here is some interesting info regarding the Manila Temple (From the internet with a few of my own observation )
Standing on a hilltop that overlooks the Marikina Valley, the Manila Philippines Temple anchors a complex of Church buildings including a temple annex, a patron housing facility, a missionary training center, and area offices. The beautiful grounds, open to the public, are filled with majestic palm trees and lush, colorful vegetation.

Temple Facts

b2ap3_thumbnail_MoroniWest.jpg

 

Announcement:  1 April 1981
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication:  25 August 1982 by Gordon B. Hinckley
Public Open House:  3–15 September 1984
Dedication:  25–27 September 1984 by Gordon B. Hinckley

Site:  3.5 acres.
Exterior Finish:  White Ceramic tile.
Ordinance Rooms:  Four ordinance rooms (stationary) and three sealing.
Total Floor Area:  26,683 square feet.

UNIQUE TIDBITS & EVENTS

  •  * Not all temples have an east-facing angel Moroni. The Manila Philippines Temple is one of 5 temples which have west-facing angel Moroni statues due to lot orientation and the placement of spires (or towers)
  • * The Manila Philippines Temple was the first temple built in the Philippines and the second built in Asia. The first temple built in Asia was the Tokyo, Japan temple.
  • * The street where the Manila Philippines Temple is located was renamed to Temple Drive during the temple's construction.
  • * A typhoon approached Manila the day before the groundbreaking of the Manila Philippines Temple, creating concern that the event would have to be postponed. At a mission conference that evening, a missionary prayed for the weather to cooperate so that the groundbreaking could continue. The typhoon changed direction that night, and the groundbreaking proceeded as planned.
  • * Nearly 27,000 toured the interior of the Manila Philippines Temple during its 13-day open house held prior to its dedication.
  • * The days prior to the dedication of the Manila Philippines Temples saw several natural disasters in the Philippines including two typhoons, the eruption of Mayon volcano on Bicol Peninsula, and an earthquake in northern Luzon. The temple remained unaffected.
  • * The Manila Philippines Temple was dedicated in nine sessions by President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
  • *On Sunday, December 3, 1989, the grounds of the Manila Philippines Temple were overtaken as the last rebel stronghold in an attempted military coup to overthrow the government. A planned attack by royal troops that evening was miraculously called off. Nevertheless, prior conflict had left the patron housing facility extensively damaged, the temple annex with minor damage, and the temple proper unentered and unharmed except for a single bullet hole at the top of the highest spire. Six mortar or rocket shells had exploded on the grounds, some even passing between the spires.

DEDICATORY PRAYER

I read the dedicatory prayer of the this temple which moved me in several ways.  I'd love to share with you.

Manila Philippines Temple - Dedicatory Prayer

DEDICATED 25–27 SEPTEMBER 1984
BY GORDON B. HINCKLEY
b2ap3_thumbnail_GordonBHinckley.jpgOur Eternal Father in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thou art the Mighty Elohim, the Father of all men, our God whom we worship and to whom we look with love and gratitude. We come unto Thee in prayer in the name of Thine Only Begotten Son, the Redeemer of Mankind, the Savior of the world.
We are thankful for this day when we dedicate this sacred building. Its completion brings to full fruition the marvelous and wonderful work of establishing Thine eternal ordinances in this nation. Now Thy sons and daughters of the Philippines have available every gift and blessing, every act and ordinance pertaining to the dispensation of the fullness of times.
Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to Thee and to Thy Son whose redeeming sacrifice has made possible our salvation. We thank Thee for the great eternal plan which Thou hast revealed through Thy prophet for the salvation and exaltation of Thy sons and daughters. We thank Thee for the restoration to earth of Thy divine gifts and powers of all prior dispensations. We thank Thee for the vision afforded the boy Joseph Smith when Thou and Thy Son appeared and opened the work of restoration.
We thank Thee for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as another witness of the reality and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank Thee for the promise found therein that in the latter-days Thou wouldst remember Thy children on the isles of the sea.
This nation of the Philippines is a nation of many islands whose people love freedom and truth, whose hearts are sensitive to the testimony of Thy servants, and who are responsive to the message of the eternal gospel. We thank Thee for their faith. We thank Thee for their spirit of sacrifice. We thank Thee for the miracle of the progress of Thy work in this land. In a few short years it has grown from small beginnings to its present stature with many established stakes of Zion.
We thank Thee for the hospitality afforded Thy servants by the government of the Republic of the Philippines. Bless the gracious officers of this nation, and preserve by Thy mighty power peace and freedom in the land. Lift the blight of poverty from which so many suffer. Particularly bless Thy faithful saints who live honestly with Thee in the payment of their tithes and offerings. As was promised of old by Thy prophet Malachi, open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that there shall not be room enough to receive them. Bless Thy saints in their faith that they shall remain true as Thy covenant people. Bless them in their homes that there shall be love and peace. Bless them that neither they nor their generations after them will go hungry, nor naked, nor without shelter from the storms that beat about them. Open their minds that they shall grow in wisdom in matters both spiritual and temporal.
May Thy Church in this island nation grow and increase in numbers. May the evil designs of its enemies be frustrated. May Thy work become as "a city set upon a hill whose light cannot be hid."
O Father, we pray for Thy prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball, whom we love and honor. He is now old in years, his body worn from service to Thy children. Sustain him by Thy power, and comfort and bless him.
We love Thee, our Father and our God. We love Thy Son, our Redeemer and our Savior, the author of our salvation, He who gave His life as a ransom for all men. Grant us faith and knowledge of things divine. Grant us willing hearts and obedient spirits. Grant us strength and the will to walk the straight and narrow way that leads to life eternal. Bless us as a people, wherever we may be found, that we may be worthy of the respect and confidence of all men and that we may walk acceptably before Thee.
We thank Thee for this beautiful edifice and for all who have worked to make it possible. May it stand as a pillar of truth and as an invitation to all who look upon it to learn of the purposes for which it has been created.
Now, in the authority of the holy priesthood in us vested and in the name of Jesus Christ we dedicate unto Thee and to Thy Beloved Son this the Manila Philippines Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We dedicate it as Thine abode and as the abode of Thy Son. Wilt Thou accept this temple as Thy house, a gift of Thy grateful people. We dedicate the building, all parts thereof and any related structures, with all of the facilities and furnishings thereof. We dedicate the grounds and their plantings. We dedicate it as the house of the Lord with shouts of hosanna unto Thee and the Lamb. Wilt Thou deign to visit it and sanctify it with Thy presence. May Thy Holy Spirit always abide here.
We dedicate it for the sacred ordinances Thou has revealed to Thy prophets. We dedicate it for Thine eternal purposes. May it be holy to all who enter within its walls. May no unclean thing desecrate its sacred precincts. May it be preserved from the storms of nature, from vandalism, from trespass by those who are unworthy to enter it.
Bless the work that will be done here by Thy covenant children. Bless Thy work in all the world. Bless Thy people everywhere. May the spirit of Zion grow in their hearts wherever they reside. May the messengers of Thy divine truths be endowed with power from on high in their sacred ministry. Wilt Thou reveal unto Thy prophets, seers and revelators Thy will concerning Thy people. Bless the leaders of Thy work in this land and in all lands that they may seek to do Thy will and that they may counsel with the people under inspiration and direction from Thee.
Now, Almighty God, accept of our thanks, hear our prayer, pour out Thy healing spirit upon us, accept of our offerings, forgive our sins, strengthen us against evil temptation, magnify us in our service in Thy great eternal cause, bless us as we seek to build Thy kingdom, we humbly pray as Thy thankful sons and daughters, in the name of Thy Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love the part where President Hinckley prays that "no unclean thing desecrate its sacred precincts.” Also that  "it be preserved from the storms of nature, from vandalism, from trespass by those who are unworthy to enter it."
In this part of the world where nature and especially the weather is wild and can do so much damage, it is a reassuring feeling to know that the Lord is watching out for his Saints and their places of worship.
Since typhoons are such a huge and destructive part of the weather here, President Hinckley was wise to pray for preservation from such things. A typhoon is a violent tropical storm in the western Pacific and Indian oceans. In the Philippines, tropical cyclones (typhoons) are called bagyo. Around 19 tropical cyclones or storms enter the Philippines area in a typical year and of these usually 6 to 9 make landfall.
 So far this summer there have been no typhoons in the area of the Philippines where I live. However, there have been some in other parts of the country.  The one last week in the Aurora and Isabela provinces was quite destructive.  It was the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far this year and left at least seven people dead as it crossed much of the Philippine island of Luzon as a Category-4 storm.
 Most of the fatalities from Typhoon Utor occurred in the worst-hit province of Isabela, where one woman was photographed  on camera being swept away by a raging river. Her body was later recovered.
 Almost 42,000 people were left homeless on Luzon and Cebu islands after Utor toppled light structures, ripped the roofs off of homes and buildings and inundated farms. Some towns were left isolated due to landslides and fallen trees.
 As of a few days ago all members of the Church there were accounted for and there was little damage to church property.
 The deadliest tropical cyclone to impact the Philippines was Tropical Storm Thelma (Uring) which in 1991 caused floods that killed thousands of people. The wettest known tropical cyclone to impact the group or chain of islands was the July 14–18, 1911 typhoon which dropped over 2,210 millimetres (87 inches) of rainfall within a 3 day, 15 hour period in Baguio City.  (We don't get that much total rainfall in Utah in 8 years.) Tropical cyclones usually account for at least 30 percent of the annual rainfall in the northern Philippines while being responsible for less than 10 percent of the annual rainfall in the southern islands.
 Typhoon Mike is considered one of the most devastating typhoons in recent years.  Although, personally, I think they all sound pretty intimidating.  The following article about "Mike" was from the Deseret News in Salt Lake City on November 14, 1990.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_TyphoonMike.JPG"Typhoon Mike roared into the South China Sea Wednesday after killing more than 110 people, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and devastating the country's second most important industrial center.

The typhoon, which ripped into the central Philippines Tuesday with peak winds of 150 mph, had weakened to 94 mph and was continuing west at 14 mph Wednesday, said Crisologo Enriquez, the Manila weather bureau's chief forecaster. Officials reported severe devastation in Cebu, a city of more than half a million people and the country's most important commercial center after Manila. Radio station DYHP reported from Cebu that 28 people were confirmed dead in the city and surrounding districts.

On Negros Island, officials said 35 people were killed, including 30 who died in a landslide in Isabela town. Officials reported at least 32 people drowned in Surigao del Norte province on Mindanao island. At least 17 deaths were reported elsewhere, officials said.

Cebu residents reached by radio from Manila, 350 miles to the north, said hundreds of buildings were damaged. Cebu Mayor Tomas Osmena said the city was without electricity, telephones and drinking water.

About 140 people were missing and 320,000 refugees from the typhoon jammed schools, offices and makeshift evacuation centers. President Corazon Aquino declared 30 of the country's 73 provinces disaster areas."

 SCARY!!! Tornados and hurricanes watch out!! Typhoons are massively destructive and frightening. I wonder what we are supposed to do if a typhoon strikes where we are?  I think I will ask Franco or Jib what the protocol is.  I guess if one started this way someone would inform us of  what was to happen but I would like to know beforehand just to be on the safe side.  I do know that you are NOT supposed to go into low lying enclosed areas like  underground parking lots as they fill with water very quickly.  Franco was telling us about some guys who drowned trying to rescue their cars from a underground parking lot of a local mall.  No thanks!!  Let the car go! Don't get dead over something as unimportant as a car.
 Since I am really leery of water anyway I doubt that I would go anywhere near that amount of water to rescue anything except a human being and I don't know that I would be a very effective rescuer as I would probably drown first and take anybody I was trying to rescue with me.  Sister Doig likes the water and swimming and will probably use the pool in our condo quite often.  I did not even bring a suit and no store  around here carries clothes anywhere near large enough to fit me.  
 If I have to get new clothes, I will be in real trouble.  Filipinos are tiny people.  I am an Amazon next to them.  Most adult women are no more than about 5 feet to 5'3" tall.  The younger generation is, like everywhere, getting a bit larger.  However, in the outer provinces and the areas of the country most hard hit by poverty, the people are still smaller and thinner. Some of it has to do with hard physical labor, poor nutrition in some instances, often from the lack of medical attention for parasites and disease, and the lack of hygienic sanitation, food, and water supplies.
 On that really cheerful note, I think I will go and watch a movie with Sister Doig.  She is feeling pretty down right now and probably needs some attention. I hope she heals quickly and can be ready to go forward with this week. She has not been reading with me and I think we need to get back to our scripture studies.  I still really love reading and studying by myself the most as I get such peace and understanding when I study carefully on my own.
b2ap3 thumbnail BookofMormonTablet Before I left on my mission I did as instructed and read the Book of Mormon from the beginning to the end.  I did the math and in the amount of time I had it meant that I needed to read 7.2 pages a day.  I made it simple by reading 10 pages a day which meant that if for some reason I missed reading a few nights that I would still be finished by the time I entered the MTC.  I was finished about a week early and started over.  
This time I am reading  just one chapter per night and making notes etc.  I am still doing that.  It will be interesting to go back and re-read my observations and feelings the next time I go through the book or if I need insight for a lesson or talk.  I don't know that it will be all that brilliant or even useful,  but I am really enjoying the experience.  If any of you want to do this with me I would love to have you along for the ride.  I write down the book and chapter in a regular lined paper notebook and then use one-half to a full page to make notes and comments.  It will be awesome to share with you what you have learned.  I also write my personal feelings and questions that the chapter may have produced. It's a wonderful experience.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am.
I may include some of my observations in each email that I send from now on.  I hope that is workable for each of you and that we will grow closer as friends, as scripture students, and as children of our Heavenly Father.  
 Have a good day.  Be good.  Mahal Kital.
New Tagolog word for today - bagyo = typhoon
Love,

Sister O'Reilly

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


CURRENT TYPHOON NEWS

Typhoon death toll rises to eight in Philippines

Published August 15, 2013
AFP

b2ap3_thumbnail_Typhoon4-Utor.jpg

MANILA (AFP) –  The confirmed death toll from Typhoon Utor rose to eight in the Philippines Thursday as the storm swept across southern China, where thousands had fled its path.

Utor left tens of thousands displaced and whole towns badly damaged when it raked across the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon on Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

But the death toll was much lower than in past typhoons which killed hundreds, and council spokesman Reynaldo Balido said Filipinos were learning how to cope with about 20 storms that hit the country each year,

"People are aware of the danger and the risks of this kind of typhoon now, so they were able to conduct pre-emptive evacuations," he said.

Nevertheless, two men were swept away by a flash flood while two fishermen were killed as the typhoon smashed their boat that they had taken ashore to shelter from the cyclone, Balido said.

A man drowned while trying to save his water buffalo from being carried away by an overflowing river, another man drowned while rescuing relatives from floodwaters, and a man was crushed by a landslide.

A woman was swept away while standing on the roof of a house as rescue teams and neighbours watched helplessly, he said.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Typhoon3.jpg

The government reported four other people missing, mostly fishermen who went to sea before the storm hit.

Although Utor was the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, packing gusts of 200 kilometres (124 miles) an hour, Balido said it was unlikely the death toll would go sharply higher as all the affected areas had reported in.

More than 83,000 people still need assistance, including thousands who lost their homes, he added.

Utor ripped the roofs off houses, government buildings and churches as it flattened crops and toppled trees in parts of the Philippines before heading out to the South China Sea.

Packing winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour at its centre, it brushed past Hong Kong, where it forced the closure of financial markets, schools and businesses and disrupted hundreds of flights.

It also caused a 190-metre-long cargo ship to sink off Hong Kong Wednesday before making landfall in mainland China in the southern city of Yangjiang.

At least one person was confirmed dead and five were missing in southern China, state media said Thursday, as Utor dumped torrential rain on the area.

More than 88,000 residents of Maoming in Guangdong province were evacuated, the official Xinhua news agency said, but the victims were caught in flooding and mountain torrents

b2ap3_thumbnail_Typhoon1.jpg

By Thursday the typhoon had weakened to a tropical depression as it moved northwards towards Hunan province, the Hong Kong Observatory said.

The Philippines is one of the world's most vulnerable countries to typhoons, as it is where storms often make landfall after they emerge from the Pacific Ocean and move west.

Over a thousand people were killed when Typhoon Bopha hit the southern Philippines in December, the deadliest storm in the world in 2012.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Typhoon2.jpg

LINK TO ORIGINAL STORY

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