Cebu's pioneer missionaries return for temple dedication

Four missionaries who opened Cebu for the preaching of the gospel now see the harvest that has come of their labors, the crowning point being the dedication of the Cebu City Philippines Temple.

Elders Richard Thorson of Layton, Utah; Tom Pearce of Hunter, Utah; Paul Wright of Piedmont, Calif.; and Don A. Asay of Concord, Ore.; came to Cebu in the latter part of 1963. Now three of them — Brothers Thorson, Pearce and Wright — returned to Cebu on June 9, experiencing what easily could be called the grandest reunion of their lives.

(Brother Asay had professional commitments that prevented him from traveling to Cebu with his former missionary companions. He made the following comments to the Church News: "When I arrived in the Philippines, there were 36 missionaries and a few hundred members, many of whom were U. S. servicemen scattered around the island of Luzon. It was difficult to comprehend that less than two years later we were opening another island. We were excited over the opportunity to preach the gospel throughout the Philippines. When we arrived in Cebu, we had no place to stay, no meetinghouse, no contacts and no members. We felt a little like the sons of Mosiah. We never visualized the growth that would take place. A temple in Cebu was beyond our comprehension. I am humbled and blessed to have played even a small part in this wonderful work.")

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