Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sharing the Week with Heather and Spencer

This week I have many pictures to share because Heather and Spencer visited with us.  We'll let you see in pictures the events of this memorable week.  We loved having them share our missionary life.

 Monday we had couples' luncheon at the mission home, and just as we were finishing, Heather came with a driver from Manila.  It was SO GOOD to see her!  We were in "matching outfits", and I forgot to get a picture, but there's one at the end with our outfits.  Tuesday we headed to San Fernando to check out an apartment for us there.  But it was roach infested and surrounded by a busy street and barking dogs.   I'm hoping for something better, so we told them to keep looking.
                                      On the road to San Fernando, we went along the South China Sea. . .
rice terraces, 
old narra tree

                                                                     Cathedral bells in Agoo. . .
Lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant.

                                                 Fish drying in the sun.  Such sweet smells!

                                                            Fish lady wanting to sell her wares.

When we came home, we attended district meeting with Heather, then went visiting with Dola to various members.
On the road to one family, we showed Heather the cacao tree with it's cacao pod.  This is where you get chocolate.

Cacao pod with beans for making chocolate.

                                               One family we visited with neighbors and cousins.
                        Another family.  This is where the grandfather and his blind wife live.

 Grandson taking care of grandma.  He was cooking dinner--rice with ulam (topping) of boiled weeds.
                                      This was the inside of grandma's nipa hut.
                                                    Cooking fire and area for meal preparation.
                                       Grandson and granddaughter visiting grandma.

This is where the grandchildren live with their father.  Their mother works away from home, but comes home about once a month for a visit.

                                                          Family in front of their nipa.

Grandfather plowing the field with the caribo.  It was moving at a pretty good clip, so my picture is a little blurry.

                                                                               Finished plowing.
 Elder Dinkel showing Dola how to milk a goat.  There are tons of goats here, but the people don't drink the milk.  They think there is only enough for the babies, and that goat milk is not good for humans.  They wrinkle up their noses and think the idea is disgusting.  Yet people are starving, and children don't have milk because it is so expensive.  If we could only convince them that it's good, it could change their lives!

I thought this was interesting--10 Commandments in Tagalog.

               At another house, children were playing badminton in the field, or just watching the game.
 Or playing basketball.  Basketball is huge here.  There are make-shift hoops all over, and most are well-used.

Wednesday we studied with the sisters and thoroughly enjoyed that.  Then we went to a Relief Society enrichment class where they had asked Heather to speak.  We also thought they were going to teach us some Filipino cooking.  But Dola was the only one who showed up to the class!  I think the Relief Society President forgot about it, and forgot to tell the sisters about it also.  Heather went to a lot of work preparing a presentation, and I felt so bad.  But I had her give her lesson at my piano recital on Thursday, so at least those sisters benefited from it.  It was great!

Wednesday night Heather tried halo-halo.
She finished the last bite!  Yum!

 Thursday we had our piano recital.  This was the first recital anyone had played at.  These are all my students, but there is also one more who had to work and couldn't come.

                                        They were all so nervous, but they did very well.

 Some of them wanted to have their picture taken with Heather.  They loved her!

 These are my San Fabian girls who have been playing for three months.  The one on the right is now the branch accompanist.  She played today for Sacrament Meeting and did a great job.  It is the first time they've had anyone to accompany their singing.  This is one of my success stories of our mission.  It's not me, but it's them and their dedication to playing that has made such a difference in their meetings.
                                                                      We're so excited!

 Dola invited us to their house for a visit, scripture study, and buko (coconut) and egg pie.  All was very nice.  We took pictures of the geckos on their walls.
                                                                               Their family.
 Friday was the great event that we worked so hard to pull off.  Thank goodness Heather and Spencer and Brad were there to help me!  District Primary meeting from 8 am to 3 pm on-- reverence!  They asked us to do the morning session for 2 1/2 hours.  This was during snack break!

                    Each of the three branches did a presentation from their branch.  These kids were darling!
                                                                                 So were these!

 And these.  They did a play about "All Things Bright and Beautiful" with great costumes and much effort.

After the Primary Program, we headed to the wood carvers and stopped by the Sea on the way up.
                                                              Spence admiring a caribo.
                                                                              And Heather.
                                             Fishermen bringing in their boats and nets.
 We decided to go to Baguio for a look since we were pretty close.  It was a beautiful view to look out and see the Sea in the background.

                                                  Wow!  After 18 years, they're still in love!
\We just looked over the valley of Baguio because we were short on time, but it was a great view, and cool! Literally!
                                     We had dinner at the nipa hut restaurant after our trip.  It was quite a day!
 All too soon Heather and Spencer left us.  Here we are under the banana trees in our matching outfits--soon to say goodbye.  Did they really come?  It seems like it was all a dream.
Saturday night we went to a baptism in Manaoag.

 That was our great week in pictures.  Hope you enjoyed them!  If anyone else wants to come and see us in the Philippines, we'd love to have you.  It could be the adventure of a lifetime, and you'd make great memories.  Just ask Heather and Spencer!  We love you all, and hope you have a great week.


  1. I am so glad Heather & Spencer were able to visit you! So neat!

  2. What a wonderful week! Thank you, Mm and Brad! I learned so much and have come home more grateful. You're doing great work out there in the humid heat! I loved seeing you.