Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week 24

We had a busy week with parties and transfers.  Here are some pictures from this week:

Family Home Evening with the zone missionaries and scones!  I've never used scones for a base for chili, but that was their favorite way to eat them.

Missionary apartment out in the boonies for new missionaries.  We were sent to make sure it was clean and ready for them.  It was!

This is the chapel in the boonies for the branch there.  It's hard to see, but this building has 3 phases added to it, and it is in the middle of nowhere!  Someone had to be a good talker to talk the church building program into building one there--miles away from any town.
Our zone before transfers.  We have 8 new missionaries now in our zone, four just fresh from the MTC.

Our three Manaoag sisters before transfers.  The middle one was transferred, and they were all  really sad.

Filipino treats at Mangaldan District RS party.  Fried bananas, coconut rice treats, and ube cakes.  Yum!

Sisters making treats.

San Fabian branch sisters.  The two in front are my new piano students.

A different branch with their treats.  The big bag has friend caribo skins which they tell me is delicious.  Haven't tried them yet.

San Fabian dancers doing a Filipino dance.

Another branch with their dance.

Still another dance.

In this dance they each carried two lighted candles and balanced one on their head the whole time.

Me with some of the Mangaldan dancers

Transfer day with the new missionaries for the Mangaldan zone.  The two elders in front are the Zone Leaders, and the two sisters are headed to Manaoag.

Just a little bit of luggage to take along.

We only caught the tail end of the Easter Parade procession.  This sea of black haired people poured into the Our Lady of Manaoag church for Good Friday services.  There were thousands of people.  Some people walked miles and miles, dressed in long white dresses or white pants for the men.  We were told some people carried crosses, but we missed seeing them.

San Fabian sisters with their new keyboards.  They were excited!  Now San Fabian can have pianists!

Mapandan District Relief Society Birthday Party was held Saturday.
These dancers are from the San Jacinto branch.

Mapandan branch singers

Manaoag sisters who did the dance at the District RS Party.

Pres. and his fiancĂ©. 

Sisters playing silly games at the RS party.  Filipinos really know how to have fun!

Two sisters being baptized Saturday night with the Sister Missionaries who taught them.

Manaoag sisters at the baptism.

Beautiful sunset looking out the church doors.

Our Easter feast.  The Manaoag sisters joined us for Easter dinner.  In order to get a table big enough to seat six, we have to pull the desk beside the table and still put food on extra chairs because there is not enough room.  We really envy the missionary couples who can have more than 4 additional people come to dinner at one time.  We can't!
These were some of the highlights of this past week.  We hope you are all well and happy, and feel the Savior's love at this Easter time.  See you next week!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's Been Five Months!

Greetings, Family and Friends.  It's been five months since we entered the MTC in Provo.  In some ways it seems like yesterday, and in other ways it seems like forever.  Next month will mark 1/3 of our mission.  We've had some wonderful experiences and will share some from this week with you now.

We went visiting with Dola and Pope to some members.  That bridge was quite an adventure!  Notice the huge bunch of bananas in the tree.  That's what they are pointing to.  We also visited a sister who was baptized 4 years ago on that day.  She was so appreciative of our coming and sharing with her the scripture found in 2 Nephi 31: 20-21.  She said it was the reminder she needed to keep pressing forward with hope, and that Eternal Life is the reward.  So cool!

This is a mom and 3 of her 10 kids.  The oldest girl was making supper over the fire--rice with some chopped veggies.  The kids wanted to sing a hymn, and they knew every word of every verse.
We came across this man who was riding a Schwin bike--probably 70 years old, both the bike and the man.   He knew where we lived and had ridden past our place several times.
Our RS President's family and their corn harvest.  They were really disappointed in their crop.  After all those all night sessions to water, and all day sessions to weed, the crop wasn't good and they ended up losing money.  So sad!  They still had smiles for us, though.

We went visiting one day with the missionaries to new members.  They were so gracious and brought a little pastry and Coke for us.  Our missionaries are so cool.  Each one is dedicated and hard working.  It's a privilege to get to associate with them.
Kids are so resourceful.  They are playing a game where they throw their flip-flop at a pop can to see who can knock it over.  We see this game played all over, or they toss rocks at a target.  They have so little, yet they can find joy in the smallest things.  Next time the kids complain, "I'm bored!" tell them to go throw their shoe at something!
This cute little gecko was on our curtain at home.  We really don't mind the little ones--they are supposed to eat bugs.  But I have a hard time with the bigger ones.
Not a lot of pictures this week.  But we had an enjoyable week and hope you're had one, too.  We love you all.  See you next week.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Busy Week

Greetings from the Philippines!  This past week has been busy.  We will take you along as we share our week in pictures.

We saw this trike as we were riding along, crammed with school children being taken home for lunch.  The kids have an hour break where they go home, or buy some street food before resuming school in the afternoon.  No school lunch for them, or no buses to transport them.  You find your own transportation or walk.

Monday afternoon the Zone Leaders texted us and invited us to Family Home Evening with all the zone missionaries.  We had a short lesson, then a spoon fork game.  Then I got in the party mood and taught them how to play fruit basket and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  They loved playing games.  Zone parties will never be the same!  Of course, there is always food! 
 Some of the elders made spagetti and transported it by jeepney several kilometers.  Very impressive!
We went visitng with our Relief Society President one day.  These are pictures from our day with her.

First we ran into road construction, so had to walk to visit.  Notice the primitive methods these road workers use, but they still had big smiles on their faces for us.
Some men carrying water for their chores.

This couple and baby are in front of their sari-sari store where they try to make a living for their family.

Kids enjoying the coolness of the river.
Us doing missionary work near the end of the road.  I'd like to have joined the kids in the river that day.  It was so hot!
Cute neighbor boys along the way.  Our friend hired them to work in the corn for p100 for all day picking corn.  They were excited for the work--$2.50 for the day!

Traffic in Dagupan where we did apartment checks.  You can't imagine the traffic!
Or the overhead wires in the city!  How would you like to be an electrician for these wires?
This was an elaborate casket in a funeral procession.  Wow!  Talk about going out in style!
Brad had to take a shot of baby kids.  He said they were less than a day old.  I think it made him homesick!

This is our counselor in the district presidency with his corn harvesting attire.  You need to be covered to protect from the sun and from scratches from the dry corn.

Corn harvest!  After watering corn all night for weeks, the corn was finally ready to harvest.  Two families harvested their corn at the same time, and the branch members divided to help both.  Kind of a party!  Unfortunately, the corn was really sparse this year.  They will be lucky to break even--after all that hard work!

Here we come through the corn from one harvest to another--bringing cookies for a treat at one and baking rolls for the other!

Helping to shuck the corn for our friend's corn harvest.
 We watched these two boys catch mangoes that their friend threw down from the tree.  They were pretty good in catching them and not letting them hit the ground.

I had a great experience Saturday.  I was asked to give a scone making demonstration for a district Relief Society Party.  There were somewhere between 70-90 ladies in attendance, and they had a ball making scones, scones, scones!  They got so creative--making fish shaped, heart shaped, flower shaped scones.  Such fun!

 Between scones, we also made no-bake cookies.  They were excited to see how they could make food for their families, even though they don't have ovens. 
This was a visitor in Sacrament Meeting today.  He was about 4" around, and crawled along the floor near the pulpit.  I was rather distracted keeping an eye on this instead of on the speaker.  I was assured there are no poisonous spiders in the Philippines, although people do capture them and have them fight each other, betting on the winner.  Great fun!

We were introduced to some new fruit this week.  The large green one with spines is called guyabano.  It's fruit is sweet and pulpy, and is supposed to cure cancer.  The dark one they call black grapes.  It has white flesh and a large seed.  The greenish one I peeled, and it divided into sections.  It is very good, but I don't know what it is called.  Can anyone help me?
Well, this was our week in pictures.  Hope you enjoy!  Have a great week coming up. We never know what new adventures we'll have.  Whatever the Lord wants. . .