Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ocean Baptism

This is Norm's first haircut in the Philippines.  He was impressed.  The guy spent quite a bit of time with a short massage included.  It cost about 70 cents.  Norm said he could spend 18 months there.

                                    The finished product.

The girl in the pink blouse is going on a mission.  We took them to her final interview.  This is where she lives.  Very humble circumstances.  The family are members but the Dad is inactive.  The Mother in striped blouse is so sweet.  She is hoping and praying they can go to the temple.  We thought we were just picking up the girl in pink - Irish - but they all piled into the back seat of the truck.  We didn't have room for the Sister missionaries so they had to climb in the back for a bumpy ride.

We are in Tagbilaran for her interview.  A good hour and a half away.  The family wanted us to take them home after the interview but we couldn't stay because we had to go to the ferry and pick up missionaries.  We gave them money for a bus to get home and money to go get something to eat.  They were very appreciative!

An awesome sight at the ferry.  I love these missionaries.  We had a van and a truck to transport them and their luggage.  It was quite a day.  We had to do shifts.

This is just up the road from the ferry.  We stopped to organize luggage and decide who was going with whom.  There was a knock on the window and I looked up and there was Jake.  He was doing a service project and then stopped by to get his new companion who was with us.  So fun to see him.  His companion is Elder Francom from Davis standing by him.

We had four Elders in the back and a sister and I shared the front seat.  I couldn't sit back.  Could barely shut the door and that is the way I rode for 15 minutes, holding on over the bumps.  Jake bought us all bottles of water.  We were so appreciative.

The Sisters apartment and church in Ubay.   This is an hour and 45 min. away from where we live. You can see their rice cooker behind the books.  The bookshelf divides the kitchen from where they set up chairs for church.  The door is into their bedroom.  The fan saves our life.

We went to the ocean for a baptism.

We met in this precious hut for a meeting before the baptism.

Those attending the baptism.  The front row are the Elders and Sister Missionaries.  The back row is the Zone Leader, Elder Smith from Springville I think.  Going to UVU this fall - goes home mid January.  Next is the branch president, or group leader if they aren't a branch and next to him is his wife the R.S. president, then we have the dear sister being baptized.  Don't know her name.  She is about 50.  Her husband is deceased.  Next to her holding the little one is an investigator that they have set a baptism date for November 22nd.  Her husband has a word of wisdom problem he is working on.  The young boy in pink is also an investigator.  The other couple are ward members.

The dear sister, just before being baptized.  The other Elder and branch president are the witnesses.
                                                               Coming in!   Such a precious experience!!!

The missionaries, the sister who was baptized and on the end is the branch president.

This is the hut we had the meeting in.  I was so grateful for a little breeze.  The president and his wife fed us afterwards.  They arrived on a motorbike but she had fixed a big pot of bihon which is noodles and chicken and veggies but mostly noodles.  She had some sort of cupcake like things and pop with glass dishes and glasses.  I don't know how all of that got there.  They just make things work and they are workers.  They made it all so very nice!

The Elders Van and our truck and I don't know who was behind.

The bumpy dirt road that got us there and back.

Monday, October 20, 2014


We have had a good week.  We spent three days in Cebu to a Senior Couples Seminar.  We took this tricycle to get to the ferry.  Took about 25 minutes and the guy charged us double what he should have we found out later.  But, it was fun.
.,  It takes about an hour on the ferry.

The ferry.

The mission office with Sister Tanner.

The mission home with President and Sister Tanner.

This is the other side.  It truly is a mansion.  There is a swimming pool behind the trees.  Norm enjoyed it a couple times.  Sister Tanner is so amazing.  She has everything in place.  She works so hard keeping everyone in food and clean sheets and clean everything.  She is the nurse for the mission which is close to 200 missionaries and they are ALWAYS calling her.  President Tanner is just as amazing.  Sometimes they leave at 5 in the morning and go all day without food.  They have way too much to take care of.  They physically take care of everyone but more importantly they are so spiritually in tune.  He truly taught us while we were there and I know that is the reason I am on this mission.  It is such a privilege to serve with them.

Their home looks so big but it is always full of people.  This week they will have 16 missionaries arriving and they will be staying there.  She will cook several meals for them as they are being trained and then sent on their way.  I don't know how she keeps coming up with recipes to cook for so many people and she does it all herself.

There will also be missionaries leaving and they put them up for the night and they take them to the temple etc.  Then there are zone meetings and district leader meetings every month.  She puts them all up and feeds them all.  They are totally amazing.

This is the view out their kitchen window.  It is so absolutely gorgeous.  

This is the church in Inabunga. Jake went to church here a lot.  This was his first area and I think he spent about 5 months here.

Inside the chapel.  I am sitting behind these chairs on a piano bench.  Thy didn't have anyone to play so I got to do that and loved every minute.  It was like "you can play the piano."  About half way through the meeting the Branch President said something about Sister Halladay and I thought he was announcing the intermediate hymn but he was asking me to speak.  Well, that was interesting.  I did bear my testimony and then Elder Halladay bore his testimony.

More inside.  A couple classroom upstairs and a couple on the side.  So small.  They have fans going to cool them off.  They absolutely packed the place.  
This is a precious family that Jake baptized.  The father passed away after Jake was transferred.  They are hoping to go to the temple in March and we are hoping to go with them.
Today, is Monday, October 20th.  We went to Tagbilaran to get groceries.  It is about an hour away.  Our closest groceries and they have a McDonalds.  I don't like McDonalds but it surely looked good today.  Our first time to go there.

We even treated ourselves to a Mcflurry.

Street outside McDonalds. Love the tricycles.   It is usually more crowded.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

More Phillipines

Service Project - We went with the missionaries to harvest rice.  That was some experience.  They were literally wading knee deep in mucky mud with bare feet.  Couldn't keep thongs on.  They would cut it with a sickle and put it in a bunch and when big enough, carry it to a pile.  I sized it up and decided to go get my camera.  On the way to the  truck I literally fell in a ditch and thought my ankle would no longer be the same.  Very painfully I made my way out of the patch and spent my time sitting outside reading the Book of Mormon with the chickens and pigs.  I think the Lord blessed me. No more rice harvesting for me.

It was truly a miracle that the next morning I was in absolutely no pain.

Earthquake - every where we go we see things like this.  The earthquake was exactly a year ago.  I wish we had been here before.  It wouldn't have been so depressing.
Beautiful places - we are truly in a jungle - this is a bad picture for light - roads are very narrow.
District President lives under the blue tarp.  His house was destroyed in the earthquake.  They have walls up but nothing inside but crumbled cement.  He has lived this way for a year.  They hope to pour cement soon.  He is a wonderful man.  Drives a tricycle to support his family but spends hours serving the District which is like a stake president to us. He owns a motorcycle and that is how he travels around the District.  Sometimes he leaves at 4 a.m. to get to where he needs to be in the district.  Norm is his 2nd counselor.  He speaks English but very hard to understand.
Jake's first apartment in Inabunga.  I was so happy to be here and see where he lived for 5 months.  They wash their clothes by hand and this is how they dry them.  It is the way everyone dries.  Clothes are always outside - even in the rain.

The places where the missionaries live makes our apartment look like a mansion.

We have watched conference today at the church in an air conditioned chapel.  It was wonderful. Absolutely loved every minute.  We will watch again tomorrow for the Sunday sessions.

I have ventured out to do a little cooking this week - it adds greatly to the heat of the apartment but it is good to have something around to eat.  The oven likes to bake at 400 or above so I have to watch that a bit.  I did have a picture of some bread I made but lost it.  Don't know where it went.  Can't go too wrong on pancakes and french toast which we have had this week.

We can buy carrots and potatoes at the market so that adds a little variety.  I am going to try some pork tomorrow and tonight I think I will try a cake.  We are very good at popcorn on top of the stove. Feel free to drop in any time for a snack.  Surely do love you.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


P day with half the district. They took us on an outing to get acquainted. This is the chocolate hills. 

The chocolate hills. 

Elder Tolman teaching the district.

This is his district.

Went to lunch afterwards. Only nice place there is.

Christmas lights in our front yard. They start celebrating in September. Even playing Christmas music. 

Our church in Calape. Chapel is air conditioned. The rest has fans. Understand very little of the meetings. Norm was sustained today as 2nd counselor in the branch. Been to 3 mtgs at least 2 hours each and understands very little. I sit in a classroom and wait. 

The only place we dare buy meat which is chicken and pork. 

The market but it is Sunday and not much going. Usually it is a zoo.