Sunday, March 17, 2013

It's A Beautiful Land

Subic Bay
Subic Bay
Today we had a Regional Conference, which was broadcast from Salt Lake.  The speakers were one of the Seventies, Sister Cook of the Young Women’s Presidency, Elder Holland and Elder Hales.  The Church is organizing four new missions in the Philippines, so much of what they said had to do with inviting the young men and women to follow the counsel of the Prophet and serve missions.  The increase of missions and hence missionaries, will accomplish the work of the “Rescue”.  The growth of the Church here is significant.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the attendance in the Stake Center this morning.  It is as large as any Stake Center back home.  It was filled to overflow.  In fact during the intermission hymn, all of us in the Cultural Hall picked up our chairs and crowded forward so over a hundred more could come in and see the screen. It looked like at least half were youth but, of course, anyone under the age of thirty-five looks like a teenager. Can you imagine the view from the rear - thousands of black haired Saints, and Mom. There are twenty-four Stakes in Metropolitan Manila.  There were three sessions of the broadcast in each building to accommodate the crowds.
Baatan Road Marker

“Throughout World War II, the Japanese Navy maintained a ship-building facility in Subic Bay.  The area became infamous for the war crimes committed against Allied prisoners of war - especially for the Baatan ‘Death March’. . . the forced march of 67,000 US and Filipino prisoners during which many thousands died or were executed, and the tragedy of the Oryoku Maru ‘Hellship’.  It was the prisoner transport ship on which only 400 out of 1,360 POWs survived the bombing, sinking and the subsequent mistreatment by the Japanese.”  Andy Davis

We made a short trip to Baatan National Park and Subic Bay earlier in the week.  It’s a beautiful place now, but it’s difficult to be there and not visualize it as it was shown in the newsreels and movies of the forties.  We drove to the top of one of the peaks in the park to visit the monument erected by President Marcos in commemoration of the heroes of the war.
Heroes Monument

We were invited to Sister Chavez’ birthday celebration on Wednesday.  They live only a short distance from the Taal volcano.  It is a small volcano, with a side vent inside the crater of a larger volcano.  Now, a long time after the destruction, it is a beautiful and peaceful tourist attraction.  Sometime we might sail over to the volcano and ride horses to the top of the ridge where we will be able to see the Crater Lake within a crater, within a Crater Lake within a crater.  For now you can imagine it.

It’s time to get back to work.  We will be back in the Temple at six on Tuesday morning.
Taal Volcano

We’ll close for now.

Bay at Baatan Peninsula 
Bats Hanging Out In National Park
Bat Lost In The Daylight?
Monkeys Resting By Roadside
Got A Dime?
We Didn't Get Fed To The Lions
They Had Hope
Heroes Monument
Inside The Arm Of The Cross
Afraid Of Heights?
The Shadow Of The Cross
The Birthday Girl
The Party Goers
A Crater In A Crater In A Crater?
Tending The Rice Fields
Flooding The Field For Planting
The Rice Fields
There Is Beauty All Around
We love you,
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister


  1. Hi Brother and Sister Larsen
    I'm so glad to read your blog, and to see your both doing fine. We miss you here in Denmark. Take care, and God bless you.
    Conny & Kamilla Hillgaard

  2. The attendance sounds amazing.
    What humbling stories you have for us this week.
    We love & miss you,
    Lis, Nathan, Toby & Ali