From Mom & Dad† September 2009
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Here is a pic from our Anniversary.
Thank you for your prayers for the last 9 months - it is because of them that we truly were safe and were away
in Dagupan or else we would have been trapped at the Office or on the way home from our Branch. Our Manager could not leave the Office and it took him 5 hours to get home. Our friends from Salt Lake went out to our Branch for a meeting and were trapped for 7 hours at McDonald's. Remember what I said last month about Mission President Ho Ching telling us at Zone Conference that it was because of the prayers of our grandchildren that we were safe and he looked straight at me. A few weeks later we were in another meeting with him and in his closing remarks he again made the same statement and looked at all of us very seriously.
We are grateful for all of you.
Mom & Dad/Carolyn & Garlan :)
Dear Family and Friends,
We got back from our trip to the north late yesterday morning, stopping at the office on the way in, to find a number of the PAO people sorting and sacking food bags and hygiene kits for the victims of the typhoon. While Carolyn bagged, I helped load the sacks and went out to deliver them in the Pasig area. You probably have followed the typhoon in the news. We did as well, as we were several hundred kilometers north of Manila in the Pangasinan Province when it hit. The typhoon cut across the Island of Luzon and on into the South China Sea towards Vietnam. Its devastating effects were felt most within a narrow band about thirty miles wide, and passed just a mile east of us here. The neighboring cities of Marikina, Pasig, Cainta, and Laguna got the brunt of the high winds and heavy rainfall. It received between 18 and 24 inches in a day and a half, flooding the lower sections of those cities with water up to ten feet deep. The crew I was with had difficulty getting into some of the areas as the water had not receded. There were so many vehicles trying to negotiated the narrow streets, to get to the homes of family members, and so many people leaving that the streets were choked off. Some of the streets I drove down still had a foot of water in them. People were scooping and sweeping the water out of their homes after piling everything their owned, furniture, appliances, close, bedding, and etc. in the street. The heighth of the water level on one street was marked with brown lines on the walls and inside the home I was in. Cars on the streets were covered with silt and debris. Power lines were down, and there had been no power for three days. That meant no running water or communications, nothing to cook meals with, and no shops left to sell food or wares of any kind. Fortunately, agencies were
just arriving to bring them some necessities. As food as handed out, they gratefully took it, handing to others until it was all gone. Those with homes even in these circumstances will not leave for fear of what possessions they have left will be stolen. The conditions were truly heartbreaking. The rivers are receding, so the continued threat of more flooding is minimal.
The newspapers this morning said there were 122 dead, many missing, about 48,000 displaced, and over half a million impacted. I am sure that many of those who were riding on the debris of their homes in the middle of the Pasig River on the Saturday night news probably will never be found. Today the survivors of the worse storm in recent history will begin again.
One of the missionary couples here were just on the edge of the storm and were the only ones affected at all. Their apartment basement garage was flooded, and the power is still out. They did get some extra exercise, climbing the stairs to the 21st floor for the last three days. Another couple, who had gone out to do a seminar Saturday morning, couldn't get back and stayed at a McDonalds for seven hours until the water went down.
While we were in Pasig, it began raining hard, but few even paid any attention to it. The news says that the rains will continue on and off for several more days. It is a blessing here that the temperature does not drop or exposure would be a bad problem. The army and police forces have been mobilized to help with the disaster. If you can google up youtube, there should be lots to see.
Well, to happy news, we had a wonderful experience, meeting with seven stakes; one group was the largest yet, ninety three. We visited the cities of Lingayen, Calasiao, Lingayen, Bayambang, Mapandan, Mangaldan, and Camiling. We will probably be here at the FHC for the remainder of the week, preparing for our trip to Cebu, a large city on Cebu Island, a long, slender island in the Visayas group, where the new Temple is being built. We will leave on the 8th and return on Monday. The southern third or Luzon and the Visayas were not hit by the typhoon. This storm was rated a 2 on a scale of 1-5. The winds were strong, but it was the amount of rainfall that made it so deadly. The typhoon season is during the months of August, September, and October. The areas along the elevated highway on our return had experienced lots of rain, making the rice fields look like the ocean, but except for some wind damage to trees, the effects were really minimal.
Thanks for your prayers and concern. Keep the Philippine people in them. Take care of each other. Love you all. E/S/Fitz
We are here at the Office and there was not any problems with the roads coming into Quezon City. It looks very normal, but the problem area is 3 miles E of the Temple here, Marikina City is under water and there are still some residents on their roofs. The missionaries were flooded out and several are at Pres. Ho Chings home.
We are going to stick around here because they are bagging up food and will be delivering it. Maybe Dad will get to go out with them. One of the Stake Presidents who works here said that his Stake members lost everything. Salt Lake has made contact and will send whatever is needed, the problem is getting it through customs - they sometimes make it sit and want to get paid extra for getting it through. The US and other countries are responding and sending the Gov. $ and whatever is needed so we will get help, it is just the water is still there. They do not want people going into Marikina so we did not see the devastation first hand. Dad will get to if he helps deliver. It is on UTube for the whole story we were told.
The best things you all can do is continue praying for these people and then let's fast together on Sunday. Paying your Tithing and Fast Offering is the Lord's way of helping. Please take care of yourselves also & get your 72 hr. kits ready. You want to be prepared and then you can help others instead of waiting for others to help you. Just do what the Prophets have asked all of us to do. We will do the same.† Please go next door to our neighbors on the left and ask him where his Mother is living. I don't think that it
was here in Manila, but please ask him. He is probably concerned with the typhoon too.
We met a good looking missionary in Camiling yesterday. He is a football player from BYU and he knows Poli and Pres. Ho Ching is his Stake President back home. He said to tell Poli hello. His name is Elder Lesa. He brought a Muslim woman and her children to give them a tour of the Chapel.
Ok, this is all I know for now. We will check in tomorrow. Our apt. should be fine and there are 4 or 5 other couple missionaries that live right there too, so we have company.
Thank you all for your prayers,
Mom & Dad / Carolyn & Garlan
We are just leaving Tarlac so it will be about 3 hours to Manila. We should have electricity and internet but just wanted to EM before we left. I did get ahold of Aunt Bonnie just now so she will be calling one of you to pass the word.
It's like the starfish and the little boy who was throwing them back in the ocean.....even if you give someone something, they have no place to put it. My idea is to give everyone some kind of a back pack/bag that they can keep things in. I'm sure that the Church will send supplies.
Thank you for your prayers and fasting and let's all fast together next Sunday. Like I said, God has a plan for these people and the general authorities have prophesied for them so things will work out.
Love to all,
Mom & Dad /Carolyn & Garlan
We are safe in Daguypan. Manila has been hit hard with the typhoon and flooding. Our manager was stranded
at our Office today because of all the flooding. It is really bad, so we are very blessed to be up North. We were
not planning on going back to Manila til Monday afternoon, but we will wait and see how things go. The weather just showed all of the flooding going on and it was in the area we would need to go through. Also the trip we made last week to the Bicol/Naga area is under water too. We can stay up North here as long as we need, so don't worry.
With our meeting Sunday for a Fireside, we have had 6 meetings in 4 days with very faithful members heeding
the quick request to come and learn the Indexing program for microfilm for Philippines that Salt Lake sent by
Anyway, we are ok and we are because you pray for us. There are members trapped in the 2nd floor of one o
the Chapels in Marikina that we training two weeks ago and members will have to help them because the
gov. and city rescue is busy! This is close to Manila.
We love you,
Mom & Dad /Carolyn & Garlan
Dear Family and Friends,
A week has gone by since I last wrote, so I will try to catch you up on our latest adventures. We left Friday morning at 4:00 in order to avoid the MetroManila traffic and went south again. There is only one highway to the southern end of the Island three hundred miles away, and most of it is only two lanes wide. That's like funnelling the I-15 freeway up Provo Canyon and passing through numerous little towns with hundreds of people on the streets. The driving is a wee bit tense. In between the towns, the highway winds up and down through hills and mountains, covered with a canopy of banana, coconut, and other trees, beautiful scenery. The highways pass through small mountain towns as well. This trip took us to the southeast coast to a city called Tabaco (Taw baw co), nothing to do with the infamous plant. We passed between the Mayan Volcano and its shorter brother. They begin their rise about 3/4 to a mile off either side of the road and peak at about 8,000 feet. It is quite imposing. Fortunately for the city, the recent eruptions were on the opposite side of the volcano. It does cross your mind as to what one would be in for if an eruption occurred. Our hotel was about four blocks from the ocean, which extended for miles in each direction. In America, it would be a resort city for the rich and famous, but here it is just another site to live and eek out a living. Unfortunately, while we were there, it was mostly cloudy and rainy, so we got few pictures.
We held workshops beginning at 8:00 Saturday morning until 5:00 that afternoon, with seventy FH Directors, consultants, and members. Driving back to Naga proved to be a real challenge, as about an hour of the drive was back on the main road from Naga to Legaspi in the dark. The oncoming traffic was returning to Legaspi from Naga's Festival, bumper to bumper, making it nearly impossible to get around slow, local trikes and jeepneys. As the hotels in Naga were all booked up for the weekend, we were invited by the Naga Mission President and his wife, The Smith's from Orem, whose five children had all graduated from OHS, to stay with them. It is a gorgeous home, where we slept in the same room the General Authorities sleep when they come to the southern areas of the Luzon. Just call us spoiled. We went to the same ward with them and our Couple Missionaries. That afternoon, we held an indexing workshop with 80 members. There is so much excitement for this new technology and the help it is to researching your ancestors.
We left the next morning at 4:30 in order to get into MetroManila early in the afternoon, as it is a jungle during rush time. It seems that a half million cars are all headed in the same direction at the same time and half of them want that little space between you and the car in front of you. It is no wonder that when I close my eyes after a ten or twelve hour trip that all I see is automobiles and buses zigzagging across the streets in front of me like bees around a hive. We got home at 2:30 that afternoon, quite relieved to be home. Today, Wednesday, we are getting ready to leave for the north again tomorrow, meeting with six stakes in their areas over the following four days. We will get home again on Monday next. It will prove to be an easier five hour drive, as the NLEX freeway extends almost 2/3 of the distance.
I will forward a couple of emails I received from friends here for your enjoyment. Take care of each other. Dyios Kumoyog. (Ilicano for God Speed) E/S/Fitz
We are at the Mission President's home in Naga city. They are from Orem and the Smith kids went to Orem High, but were not in Soccer. The youngest is Gabe's age. We will have to find out more names so we can see if you knew them or not. They lived over by Cascade.
We are just going to bed after spending the day traveling and Training Family History in a nearby town. Tomorrrow we will go to Church with them and have training at 3:00 for Family History and then stay one more night. It is a lovely home.
We will leave early Monday morning for Manila.
Hope everyone is doing ok. We could not call out and I wanted to talk to you Rachael before the funeral, I hope everything well as you prayed for.
Love & hugs to all,
Mom & Dad :)
Dear Family and Friends,
It is Thursday here already, and I haven't gotten a letter off yet. We left last week on Wednesday morning and returned this past Monday. We had a wonderful trip to the north again with our favorite technician, Loy, did some training on the new indexing program, got several Centers back up in areas new to us, and saw some beautiful country. We got back down to Baguio, the city in the clouds, on Friday, where we met up with two couples from the Area Office here on Friday. Loy and his wife, who are from Baguio, guided us to some new sights of the city, one where they do a lot of the famous carvings that the city is famous for. It was really interesting that in several shops were carved statues of native American Indians in their traditional headdresses. They seem to feel a certain kinship with the our Indian culture. Friday was the only day that it had not rained for days, and it began again Saturday and continued night and day until we left early Monday morning. We drove about halfway back before it started again. Fortunately, Monday was announced as a holiday, so there was little traffic through the towns and cities we went through. On school days, the streets are clogged with students of all ages headed for their campuses, walking, in trikes, jeepneys, pedicabs, and private cars. Most of the schools are right on the main streets through the cities. The towns and cities are often separated briefly by rice paddies, where the workers are out early, working in the fields. We see carabao along the roads, tethered or working; they are powerfully build animals. Then, it will open up to kilometers (a kilometer is six tenths of a mile) of rice fields, and some cane, and corn fields.
The Monday holiday was a little unexpected. The son of the founder of the Iglesias Ni Cristo church, a Protestant type religion here of about 3 million members, died about three weeks ago at the age of 84. As a closely knit body, they voted entirely for Gloria Arroyo, the current President of the Philippines. To show her appreciation, she pronounced Monday, September 7 a holiday. Her son is a candidate for the Presidency, as she can not serve another term. The election is in January. There is speculation that she might declare martial law in an attempt to remain in power.
The rainy season finally arrived this past week with about 7 or 8 days of heavy rainfall. We started the day today with sunshine, but I'm not holding my breath. The rainy season, June, July, and August, were lighter than usual, but now til December will have still have its share.
The indexing is new, and it is something we are adding to our training. More Catholic parishes are requesting to have their records filmed and digitized. About ninety percent of the country's civil records have been completed.
The Center is buzzing this morning, with Sister Fitz on a trot in and out of the office, helping patrons, making calls, ordering film, and etc. I'm headed out to a distant Stake Center to check the internet connection problem, so I'd better close for now. Take care. Love you all.
This short video about the Savior has a young girl singing and she reminded me about my granddaughters and that it could be one of them. I hope that you have a minute to listen to it.
I'm sure that Rachael and Zak have told you about her Grandpa. If you can't go to the funeral, I hope that some of you can go to one of the viewings. I wish that we were there to be with them. This week is a very tender week for all of us too as we remember Grandpa Bartling on the 19th. Rachael's thoughts about her Grandpa are like what we are thinking about all the things that we used to do at the Farm with him. How we loved him and Grandma so much and they sure loved each one of us and gave all that they had. What more could they have done for us? They loved the Savior and their family & sacrificed so that others could have what they needed and were helped. The video reminded me of Grandpa & that it was a sacrifice to live on the Farm on the Prairie of Nebraska where the battles were more temporal of drought and blizzard unless the tireless wind would bring rain and the rainbow. Grandpa could have made other choices when he came home from WWII, but he prepared the way for all of us to taste the Legacy that we now claim. I could not have asked for a better home and I am grateful that like Nephi, I was also "Born of goodly parents." A belief in Jesus as the Savior was part of their everyday life, their testimony was in the way they lived their lives, Christlike lives. When they moved to† Heaven, they did not have anything to regret, they were good examples for us to follow and now it is our turn to do the same for the following generations. Grandpa's handshake was his word and every knew it. He kept his promises & I kept mine by having their Temple work done. I know that Heavenly Father told Grandpa, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant".
In Nebraska there are 7 generations who exemplified Christlike faith -
1.Michael Frederick Carl Wilhelm Stark md. Wilhelmina Hurling
2.Gustave August Stark md. Sarah Sophie Bathke
3.Clarence Orvis Merle Stark md Anne Bee Janes
4.Clarice Lousie Stark md. Donald Robert Bartling
5.Carolyn, Bonnie, Harry & Donal Bartling
6.Carmen, Jeremy, Stephanie, Megan, Josh, Zak, Natalie, Gabe
7.Brit, Chris, Jayden, Arianna, Tat, Meisen, Symone, JJ, Khloe, Kailei, Mariana, Riki, Iuli, Gavin, Brooks, Bella, Leila, Taylor, Kaylee, Kilisi, Lolo, Nanga, Feleti, Ryker
Now, it's up to all of us to show them how we are going to finish the race and prepare the way for the Savior. May you have sweet thoughts of the times with Grandpa and Grandma.
We love you lots,
Mom & Dad :)
I am forwarding this from our Missionary, Sister Mae Yao who is in Tacloban. She is talking about her friends in the Ward have not emailed her yet. I wanted you to read about how she really has a testimony about Missionary work and it isn't easy where she is.
Carmen, we bought a camera for Mae and told her that it was from you and Chris & Brit. She didn't have one & was so sad that her mission would not be any pictures of her mission. We gave it to her the night before she left at the MTC testimony meeting.
A little note to her will be received with a very glad heart. They get to email Monday's at an internet cafe' - if they can find one.
Love you all,
Mom & Dad :)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
On the Church's webpage www.lds.org in the center section, they posted a short video that is a message of Hope. It was made especially for 9/11 and I am a couple days late in finding it. But, the important thing is that it is a message of Hope that is timely for anyone's circumstances and any day to view.
Please take a moment and look at it.
We all have challenges in our lives everyday, it is part of our journey here on earth. Some circumstances are because of just the world around us, some others impose and some may be consequences for choices made in haste or from being ill informed or discouraged. Whatever the case may be, the truth will always remain that there is a living God is Heaven who is our Father, He sent His son, Jesus Christ who willingly came into the world to be our Savior. The Holy Ghost is our Comforter. Through the good times and the hard times these three of the Godhead are always there. For we believe in God the† Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. This is our First Article of Faith.
The constancy of the Godhead and our family will help all of us, any of us to overcome what faces us each day. We are here for each other, we love each other and truly care about and rejoice when someone is successful and has a good day. Faith, Hope and Charity was relied upon by our parents and grandparents throughout the decades and centuries before us, it is even more crucial for us to rely on them now.
My heart is full of love for all of you and also faith that a loving Savior knows each one of you so well because He suffered your pains, anguish, illnesses and sadness in the Garden of Gethsemane. I love the scripture in Luke that tells us that an angel came down and comforted Jesus, how tender. He will also send angels to comfort each of you in those moments when no one else is around. One of our Church leaders recently reminded us in a conference talk that there are angels here on earth to that are here to comfort and love. We can continue to be there for each other. There are so many of us to take care of, but that also means that there are so many of us to remember each other in prayer.
I am grateful to my Savior that we are one big family! I love all of you so much and pray for your peace of mind and heart. For blessings and miracles to continue for each of you and your families temporally and spiritually. You are all sacrificing in ways that are seen and felt and ways that only the Savior sees and the angels record in Heaven.
Grandma Bee said it last and said it best, "God bless the whole family." I know she is one of our angels alongwith many, many others who continue to love us dearly and watch over us.
This is my testimony and I say it in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dear Jen & Jeremy,
We are enjoying our stay here in Baguio. It really does rain every day, but it is a soft rain and they remind us that it is the rainy season! The sun does come out inbetween.
This is the place to see wood carvings, but how could we ever get any of it home! All kinds of furniture, bowls, carvings -even a 6' tall statue of angel Moroni from one of the members that is a wood carver!
We will go to Church at 9:00 in the morning and then leave Monday morning to go back to Meto Manila.
The Mts. here remind us of the Cabin. We still can't find our way around because it is just all hills, up and down and around - no landmarks.
We did an Indexing Seminar with the Stake here this morning. We had a good turn out and they were excited to get started with Indexing. They have 3 or 4 Universities up here and the students from those all go to this Stake, so it would be a good
Fireside for the Single Adults also.
Hugs and love to you all,
Mom & Dad Fitz :)