Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eighth Month--Paalam Manaoag

We just finished our eighth month on our mission!  Where has the time gone? Now we are transferring and leaving Manaoag behind.   It will be hard to leave.  We have made many friends here.  

This week we went with the Sisters to visit some of their less active members and investigators.  We visited these people who have a sari-sari (store) at Virgin's Well.

This is the Virgin's Well.  It is well-known in the Philippines, and many people come here for pilgrimages or to drink the Holy water.

 This is the first "wild" pig I've seen in the Philippines.  When I was a girl and lived here, they were all over.  People used to keep them and their chickens under their nipa huts, or homes on stilts.  But now they have mostly very nice looking white pigs like we have in the US.
Here is another investigator whom we met with the Sisters.

 The rainy season is starting, and we get down pours most evenings for a few hours.  The people tell us that during the height of the rainy season, the down pours last several days.  But for now, it's just for an hour or two.  Look at all the water that accumulated in our front area.  We don't have a lawn, just dirt (or mud)!

 We had a final zone meeting before we and several of the missionaries left for new areas.  I made scones, and they loved them!  Imagine that!!!!
 We went to Baguio to look at a new apartment for missionaries.  This is Bridal Veil Falls on the way up the mountain.

Here are the Elders in the apartment.  The Filipinos love bright colors!

                          Here is the view of Baguio from the kitchen window of the apartment.

 We took the Elders out for lunch in Baguio.  This was the sandwich at the Fifties Diner.  It was enough for two meals for us!
 We had a Family Home Evening and dinner with Dola's family to tell two of the sisters and us good-bye.  We had a lesson, games, and dinner.  They are a really special family, and they have taught us a lot.  We will miss them!

                        We were able to attend the temple in Manila with some of our branch members.

   Malou was married that day in the Manila Temple.  She asked Elder to be one of her witnesses.  She looked beautiful in her white dress, and we were very grateful to be able to attend.
 These sisters were at the temple also.  Our District took a bus and a van--around 70 people in all.  We left at 1:30 in the morning and got home at 8 that night.  It was quite a day!

 Our branch gave us a good-bye party tonight.  We have learned so much from them about what it takes to be happy.  Family and the gospel can make you happy, not things.  These people have hardly anything in material possessions, but they have love and laughter in their homes and are happy.  I know why I was sent to Manaoag--to learn to love them and to be forever changed because of what I've learned.  I didn't know love could hurt that much when you say good-bye.
The picture says, "We love you".  Paalam Manaoag.  Mahan namin kayo also!  Salamat po--thank you for what you've taught us.  We will always have a place in our hearts for our brothers and sisters here and for our eight months in Manaoag.  But we are ready to start our next new adventure.  San Fernando, here we come!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Week Thirty-Four

We had many of our usual experiences this week that I will share with you through pictures.

We started our week visiting members in our branch.  These two sisters were our guides.

 This is one sister we visited.  Her son was murdered a couple of years ago, and it's been really hard for her. But she is strong in the church and knows she will see him again.
 We had a Relief Society enrichment meeting at one of the sister's homes.  We are picking weeds from her bean patch to cook for our lunch.
                                                                  There we are in the weeds.
 This sister reminds me of my mom.  She just turned 85, and she always has a big smile on her face.  She is dicing squash that is similar to zuchini for lunch.
                                                         These sisters are preparing to grill fish for our lunch.

They used the banana leaves as tin foil to keep the fish from getting too charcoaled.

                      Milk fish or bangus were grilled.  We also had tilapia.  Both are raised on fish farms here and sold in the markets or the grocery stores.

This was our lunch--grilled fish, fresh tomatoes and onions, rice, grilled eggplant, boiled weeds with vinegar (tastes like spinach) and stewed zuchini-type squash.  It was very good.  They were kind enough to provide a fork and spoon for me, but most of them ate it with their hands.

                            There we are enjoying dinner.  Notice no forks.  Hands seems to work well.
 One of the sisters is showing us how to make Vicks vapo-rub.  You melt vaseline jelly in a double boiler, add eucalyptus jell and menthol oil and melt together.

Put the liquid in various containers and let harden for your menthelatum rub.
                                                                  Trying out our rub.

It was a missionary sister's birthday, so we had them come over for dinner and cookies and ice cream to celebrate.

We did apartment checks, and this is one of our favorite zone leaders.  We will miss him.

 Two cute little boys who run wild during our keyboard lesson.  They are cousins, but they are being raised as brothers by their mother who is one of my students.
 My San Jacinto girls who take keyboard lessons.  The one standing by me is getting married Saturday.  She is a RM, forty years old, and met a man on the internet.  They are being married in the Manila Temple.  We are so excited for her.
 We delivered paint to an apartment, and it poured while we were delivering it.  The missionaries and Elder Dinkel were soaked!  I stayed in the car and tried to keep dry and take pictures.
 After delivering paint, it was late, so we stayed in a hotel on the beach.  This is our hotel bed box springs.  Most Filipino beds are just the bamboo with no mattress on top.  With a mattress, this bed was just fine.
 We made scones, tortillas, and no bake cookies in one more branch before I left the area.  I have one demonstration scheduled for June 29, then I will have given all 7 of our branches demonstrations, plus demos in a couple of other areas that are not part of our area.  So fun!
These two sisters are sisters and are also my piano students.  These girls are tiny--4'9" or so, but big in spirit.  I'll miss all my girls!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week Thirty-Three

Monday we met the Fullmers at Lingayen Bay.  The Fullmers are the other couple that will be in Baguio Mission with us.  They are being trained as the office couple.   Lingayen Bay is where General MacArthur invaded the Philippines during World War II to drive the Japanese out of these islands.  This is the War Memorial in the Bay to remember that invasion.

                                                    This is the Lingayen Beach and Bay.

 This is the Fullmers from Logan.  They will be the office couple in the new mission.  They are the only couple going with us to serve in that mission.

 Our eleventh anniversary was Tuesday.  Brad brought me two dozen red roses, then we went to dinner in Urdaneta.  I had steak, rice, and veggies and Brad had barbequed pork, rice, and veggies and our bill came to under $8 US.  Let's don't talk about the 8 cow wife, okay?

 Wednesday we checked out an apartment for sisters in our new area.  These were some of the churches and towers we saw on the way.  This area was in the northern part of our mission--very quaint and Spanish style buildings.

Evening sky as we came out of a district conference meeting Saturday night.  They have beautiful sunsets here at night.

Sorry I was short on pictures.  My camera batteries died this week, so I missed a few pictures.  But we are busy and happy.  Take care.  See you next week.