Author: Marvin L. Storm

Scope and Uniqueness of Missionary Work

At church recently, I made an interesting observation.  In Sacrament meeting, a recently returned missionary from Monrovia, Liberia in Africa, was one of the speakers giving a phenomenal talk. Then in Priesthood meeting, there were two young men who were brothers in the class. Their father works for a US-based company and are an American family currently living in the Philippines. One of the brothers just returned from his mission in Mexico and the other had just received his missionary call to serve in Madagascar off the southeast coast of southern Africa.  After the priesthood meeting, I was chatting with

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New Temple in the Philippines

The Manila Temple opened in 1984, the Cebu Temple opened in 2010, and now the Urdaneta Temple will open in May of 2024. Temples that are under construction or have been announced total ten more…with more likely to come.  We had an opportunity to visit and attend the Urdaneta Temple, a three-hour drive northeast of Manila, and attend the open house – an event where the public gets to visit and tour the temple prior to its dedication. The reason for our visit to Urdaneta was to record an oral history of Sister Fe Corazon Basconcillo Johnson who was the

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Learning from an Apostle

We had the privilege of attending a devotional with Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Lord, recently. A very brief biography (I always like to read bio’s of Church leaders to see the path they followed) of Elder Anderson. Born in Logan, UT but raised near Pocatello, ID. Served his mission in France returned to BYU and graduated with a degree in Economics, got his MBA at Harvard, and spent his professional career working in a health care system in Tampa, FL. Called as General Authority in 1993 and an Apostle in 2005.

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The Tabernacle Choir in the Philippines 

I love listening to The Tabernacle Choir. Since I grew up in a small town in South Dakota, I wasn’t exposed to The Tabernacle Choir and knew very little about them. The first time I started to gain an appreciation of the Choir was on my mission to South Africa. The saints there had a great respect for the Choir which rubbed off on me and that I’ve held ever since.  Nearly every time that I am in the Utah, I try and attend the Spoken Word or any other events the Choir participates in such as the annual Christmas

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Sometimes an Ol’ Friend Surprises You

As I have shared before, years ago Marcia and I were called to be serve in the Oakland 9thBranch (later to become the Oakland 9th Ward) where we served for six years. Initially, I was assigned as the executive secretary to a young newly married branch president. During this calling I met a Filipino – Joe Aliling. Joe and I became good friends over the years that we served there. He was the epitome of the most faithful of Latter-Day Saints.  Although I knew that he was Filipino, I never took the time to ask him to share the story on

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Inspired by Oral Histories

The next best thing to keeping a journal or writing a history of experiences of your life is to record an oral history of an event, period of your life, or an overview of your life. We have the rare and blessed opportunity to capture events and individual histories of leaders, Filipino saints, and missionaries. Often I stand opened mouthed amazed at some of the stories, events, and histories we’ve been able to record during oral history interviews. These interviews not only keep us humble, but inspire us. Here are a few summaries of the recent oral history interviews. The

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Exploring the Island of Palawan

A series of events lined up that allowed us to take a break from our day-to-day activities and get away for a few days. We decided to go to the island of Palawan. First, since it was the traditional Christmas and New Year’s Holidays, things in the Philippines get very slow. Christmas is by far the biggest holiday in the Philippines. As I mentioned, the Christmas holiday starts in September and decoration don’t come down until the end of January. Secondly, a remodeling of several offices including ours was in progress that started shortly before the Christmas/New Years break with

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A Christmas Day Wish from Marv and Marcia

It is Christmas Day in the Philippines. At times like this our thoughts turn to our friends and family. This is the first time in over fifty years we have not been with part of all of our family. At times like this, you have time to reflect and reflect we did. Hallelujah A missionary companion that I served with in South Africa over fifty years ago on my first mission sent me the video link below of a Christmas Program performed by their ward congregation. I found this video inspiring and thought you might too. If you have a

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Christmas Time in the Philippines

The Filipinos love to celebrate just about everything – especially Christmas – the seasonal celebration for Christmas starts on September 1st and runs through the “BER” months of SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, and DecemBER. Christmas is similar in many ways to the way its celebrated in the US that includes parties, get togethers, and of course gift giving. Many different traditions in the Philippines come from around the world and are combined into the Filipino Christmas holiday mix ranging from traditions like decorating trees with lights and ornaments, faith-oriented traditions like Midnight Mass, Christmas songs about sleigh bells, a winter wonderland,

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The Future of the Church in the Philippines

Seeing the Future Today In the last few months, we have seen the future of the Church in the Philippines and it is in the faces and eyes in the youth we have seen attending conferences for the young people sponsored by the stakes throughout Luzon. During December, we have or will be hosting six Young Single Adult (YSA) or Stake Youth Conferences (SYC) at the Church History Center on the Strength of Youth Campus in Tanay – which is about a two hour drive one way . As with all distances in the Philippines it isn’t about how far

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The Faith of a Filipino Sister

Recently, we had the opportunity to record an oral history of a faithful and somewhat remarkable Filipino saint – Sister Conchita dela Cruz Davis. As I’ve mentioned several times, listening to stories of these Filipino saints’ stories who have been faithful in the face of considerable opposition, financial hardships, and in some instances being shunned by their families is a humbling experience as compared to my challenges. Here’s a big picture overview of her story. Sister Conchita Davis was the tenth of thirteen children and lived in a rural area north of Manila. Her family were faithful Catholics, had family

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You Never Know Who You May Meet at Lunch

When we are not in the field and are working in the Area Office working, we often have lunch in the cafeteria. There are approximately 120 people that work in the Area Office, including the teachers at Mission Training Center (missionaries have their own cafeteria), maintenance and grounds staff, and all administrative, finance, and HR personnel, and the Area Presidency all work in the Area Offices. The cafeteria is staffed by three people, two full-time young ladies and one young man, who works part time.  Lunch is served from 10 am to 1:30 pm five days a week. The menu

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Version 2.0 is the Future 

The My Plan Conference Transitions from Version 1.0 to Version 2.0 In the past, I’ve shared various things about the My Plan Conference including that in my opinion it’s a phenomenal concept that will have lifelong benefits for the Filipino missionaries that attend.  To review, the My Plan program is a three-day immersive experience where Filipino missionaries that have completed their term of service go to a central facility, currently held at the Church owned and managed For the Strength of Youth campus in Tanay, Rizal, Philippines which is a 500-attendee  university like campus compete with dorms, classrooms, assembly hall, and

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Whom the Lords Calls, He Qualifies

We continue interviewing and recording oral histories of mission leaders some of which have been recently released and some that have been released for a while as well as some Filipino saint pioneers. I’m used to using the term Mission President when referring to a leader of a mission. These leaders are no longer referred to as Mission Presidents but as Mission Leaders. The Mission Leader term is more reflective of the partnership of the leaders of a mission which rightly includes both husband and wife. As most of you know, the wife of a mission president is just as

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A Trip to the Provinces

A few weeks ago, we took a four-day trip to the provinces (Filipinos refer to the rural areas of their country as the providences) northwest of Quezon City. On this trip, we spent a day and a half in the cities of Tarlac and Angeles (both in the Pampanga providence) in meetings. After these meetings, we drove to Balanga and Hermosa (both in the Bataan providence) ). There we had the privilege to interview two couples and a widowed sister that were among some of the first Filipinos saints to join the Church in the Bataan providence. One of these

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