Author: Marvin L. Storm

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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I Never Thought I Would See This in the Philippines 

Some of our friends may recall that I served as a scoutmaster to Troop 349 sponsored by the Orinda California Ward of the Church. Initially I was less than enthusiastic about being asked to be the scoutmaster. I even told the existing scoutmaster at a barbecue shortly before I was asked to be the scoutmaster there was one calling in the Church that I would never accept. This calling was scoutmaster. Two weeks later, Bishop Jex called me to be the scoutmaster. I flatly told him “Absolutely not.” He told me to think and pray about it. A week later

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A Pioneer’s Pioneer

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Augusto Lim one of the early Filipino pioneer saints. During the interview Augusto shared some of his family’s story including how one set of his great grandparents were Chinese immigrants to the Philippines in the 1800s. Even though they were initially laborers; they worked hard and eventually became merchants importing goods from China to sell to the Chinese living in the Manila area. Because his grandparents were Chinese, they were discriminated against. Seems like discrimination is a part of every era regardless of where you are in the world. There always seems to

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Historical Acquisitions 

The term used in seeking and acquiring relevant historical information about the Filipino saints, events, and items that may be related to church history in the Philippines requires us to be detectives, research, find, as well to talk and interview pioneer Filipino saints. After interviewing Filipino saints, many share their journals, pictures, and other memorabilia with us. Some of these items that are donated turn out only to be nice family mementos but occasionally we find real gems of historical significance.   For example, a full-time Filipino senior missionary serving in the Olongapo Mission home as a secretary to the mission

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Old Manila/Rizal Park Outing

Once in a great while, a group senior missionary activity is organized. A few weekends ago, an excursion was organized to Rizal Park in Old Manila. A bit of background – Jose Riza was a Filipino reformer in the 1890s and is admired by Filipinos for his nationalistic writings and activities. He was executed for treason on December 30, 1896 by the Spanish colonial government. His writings helped inspire the Philippine Revolution against colonial rule. December 30th is celebrated as Rizal Day which is similar to our President’s Day.  An Adventure Begins Just before embarking on our first Jeepney ride. Jeepneys

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Marcia at the Salt Mines

Many of you may be aware that it was basically my idea to consider serving a mission. My dear wife initially was less than enthusiastic and wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement about traveling halfway around the world to a hot, humid semi-third world country and leaving her kids and grandchildren behind. However, as she has done many times during our marriage, when an opportunity to serve the Lord comes her way, she has always put the Lord first.  After we were called to the Philippines, one of the saving graces of our mission call is that my wife

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The Youth of the Philippines 

For the short time we have been in the Philippines, one thing that amazes me is the devotion and faith of the LDS Filipino youth. To gain a better understanding of the basis of their faith, I’ll share some of the things we’ve learned about the Filipino youth since our arrival. In the US, and throughout the world, the Church focuses on our youth because they are the rising generation and face monumental challenges in the future as they seek to find their way in the world. In the Philippines, there’s an enormous amount of effort put into ensuring that

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Philippines Medical Scoreboard Thus Far 2-0

Yesterday was an eventful day for several reasons.  First, after our regular meeting with MeGa, the person we report to, surprised us with a birthday cake that was sent by her best friend Cherry, who told us months ago while we were celebrating MeGa’s birthday that she would buy Marcia a cake on her birthday. Both of us had completely forgotten about this promise of getting a birthday cake, but not Cherry. We were deep into our daily work, when just before lunch, Mega came into the room with a strawberry cheesecake from a very high-end bakery. This was probably

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Oral History Interviews Continue

We continue to interview mission leaders and are now beginning to schedule interviews with other Filipino saints that have a closer native connection to Filipino church history. While interviewing mission and other local leaders is relatively easy to do because we know who they area and where to find them. In many cases, it’s a challenge to find early Filipino saints to interview because they are relatively unknown and if we do know and learn of them after a lot of homework, we more often than not can’t locate them because addresses and other contact information is unavailable or extremely

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We Are Almost Filipinos

After over two months in the Philippines, we’ve had the normal adjustments from living in a different country, getting use to the food, weather, and customs, as well as gaining an understanding of both the scope and technical aspects of our assignment of collecting early Filipino saint’s memorabilia, history, and stories. I believe we’ve successfully made this transition and are beginning to make progress in our specific assignment.  Trees Take Time to Grow Years ago, we lived in Moraga, a rural community in the San Francisco Bay Area. The home where we lived had several large Cypress Pine trees that

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The Work Begins

After the initial settling in and getting acclimatized to the environment, heat, and humidity, we began to roll up our sleeves….let me state that a little differently, since we don’t wear long sleeve shirts here…. we began to dig in and do the work. What is the work? There Shall Be a Record – the Work I’ve had a modest exposure to the world of historical document collecting and preservation. With the exception that years ago I visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and also went to Philadelphia. In these cities, I had a chance to see the Declaration

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Arriving in the Philippines & First Impressions

On Our Way  During the time we waited to leave for the Philippines, our flights were changed three different times. After we checked in at LAX on Philippines Airlines, I noted that our boarding passes had Marcia and I seated in different rows and in center seats even though I paid for aisle seats.  When we got to the gate, I approached the customer service agent and asked if it was possible to be seated together. He said all seats were taken. I thanked him and sat down in the waiting area.  As we were boarding and arrived at the

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Our Journey to the Philippines

For us, one of the biggest challenges we had in preparing to leave our home for two years was paring down what to take with us to two suitcases of 50 lbs. each. However, eventually, we managed to do this with a few extra pounds to spare. However, carting all our stuff around proved to be a challenge. We left El Dorado Hills, CA for the Mission Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah, on Friday, March 17, 2023. After a few days with our eldest daughter, Jodi, and her family, in Syracuse, UT we entered the MTC on Sunday, March

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To Our Friends & Family

This is the first entry in our blog. This blog post is to let all of our friends and family know that instead of sending emails to everyone to update and share our mission experiences, I plan on composing blog posts several times a month about what we are up to in the Philippines and where we have visited in the islands. For those of you that don’t know, the Philippines has several thousand islands and different regions that compose the islands. Philippines by Regions The Philippines consists of approximately 7,641 islands broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from

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