Monday, March 14, 2016

Bataan Memorial and Several Baptisms

We had to say goodbye to two of the Elders assigned to San Ildefonso.  Both the Americans were transferred out.

 Elder Heaton, on the left of me, and Elder Uhler, on the right of Sister Swift, are the two leaving.  They are both very good missionaries and we enjoyed getting to work with them and know them.  They've been here since December.

 On Friday we went to see the memorials for the Bataan Death March.  It's only about a two hour drive from where we live.  This is one of the roadside markers along the road where they had to march.

We walked around the memorials and monuments and read the plaques.  This is the main monument, a massive tower of concrete that was huge.

 During World War II after the surrender of American and Philippine troops, they were marched 60 miles in the heat with no water and almost no food, then packed in boxcars to the prison camp.  The Japanese treatment of their prisoners was so abusive many died, and many were killed if they stopped or fell behind or asked for water.  It was so terrible it became know as the infamous Bataan Death March and was judged by an Allied military commission to be a war crime.

The whisper wall said 60,600 Filipinos and 9,900 Americans started on the Death March and only 45,692 Filipino and 9,300 Americans arrived at the Concentration Camp.  I also read that of the 60,000 prisoners interned at Capas Camp, that 30,000 died under detention.

This is one of the boxcars they were crammed into after the march to take them the final miles to the concentration camp.  More died in these boxcars on the way.

 On Saturday we had a really good day.  There were three baptisms.  This is Ashley, who is only 8 and this was a child of record baptism. She is the niece of the Branch President and was baptized by her cousin Jared, seen here.

This is Sister Jenelle and Sister Lorena, new converts, with Elder Diso to the left and Elder Bugarin, who did the baptisms, to the right.

The work is moving forward.  We love going to baptisms.  The Spirit is always strong.  It's great being in the Philippines.  We are doing our best and help in any way we can.

 Meanwhile, while we are in the Philippines, lives goes on back home.  Our granddaughter Mallory got baptized.  Here she is with her family.  We miss you Mallory, and all our other grandchildren and children.