Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our Life

Life in Calape - that is where we live.  I put off getting my hair done but this turned out to be a very nice experience.  
When I first saw this picture I thought it was Betty

And this is the bathroom sink.  There is no such thing as hot and cold water.  There is just one facet and that is water.  The medicine cabinet is underneath.
This is the kitchen facet.  The turn on thing is the short silver thing about 2 inches high.  The bottles in back purify the water which we use for vegetables.  We can't drink this water but we do brush our teeth with it.  The black knob on the facet determines if you are using purified water or regular.

Our clothes drier.  Haven't used a drier in  4 1/2 months.  The chair in the background is totally useless and that is my garbage container.

Clothes didn't dry today so had to sleep under them.

Cream on a shelf in the grocery store.  No refrigeration.

This is our milk we drink - not too bad if you get it cold.

Just had to include a public restroom.  You will notice no seat and no paper.  The rest is left up to your imagination.

This is where we buy our meat - a little pork but mostly chicken.  Not too far from our apartment and it is very clean.

Our landlord owns this bakery.  His wife's name is Aileen.  They are the nicest people.

The market is behind his store.

We buy mangos, bananas, the watermelon looked good but aren't very tasty. Walk down the aisle between the two and they have vegetables.  We find good squash, potatoes, carrots and onions.  That is our diet.  Oh, and they have cabbage and cucumbers too.  No lettuce.  We buy eggs here too - never refrigerated and we have no idea how long they have been there.
Standing on our front step - our neighbor is remodeling.
Elder and Sister Wieland from Oregon work in the Family History Department in Cebu.  The temple was closed for 2 weeks for cleaning  so they came to our island and did workshops and helped people.  They were amazingly wonderful.  We fell in love with them and wish we knew what they know about family history.  This is their second mission.  He is a retired pharmacist.  Their first mission they went to Malaysia as MLS like we are and they have quite the stories.  They hope to go on a third mission in a few years to China.  They will be through here the end of April.  I feel like everyone is going home and it is making me sad.
We took them to see the chocolate hills and he stopped and talked to these sisters.  They teach young people.  He sang I am a Child of God to them and they exchanged email addresses.  We really enjoyed being with the Wielands.
The sisters we go visiting with - we are on our way to see Brother and Sister Lanzaderas and a cow was stationed along the way. The path is totally non driveable and mostly muddy.
President and Sister Tanner came over for the weekend with the two senior couples who serve in the office with them.  We had a meeting in the church here in Tagbilaran and then we went out to eat.    It is very special to be with these good people. Sorry it is so dark but it was a beautiful setting.
Sister Tanner, Sister Caycayon from Hawaii who goes home the first of March and Sister Boothe from the office who goes home the first of March as well. They have no replacements for either of these couples.  I think they are bringing in Elders to serve in the office and we will be the only Senior Couple on Bohol.  We are nervous about that.  The Caycayons are responsible for half the island and we have really relied on them.
Early the next morning, like up at 4:30 (how is that for spending a nice night in a motel ?) so we could leave at 5:15 to catch the boat to go see dolphins.  It was the worst weather.  Totally rained the whole day.  The wind blew and we bumped along for an hour and 20 minutes and saw no dolphins.  This is the office crew and President and Sister Tanner.
Going in and out to the boat.  We all actually went surfing.  I just stuck my head in shortly but it was so beautiful.  We fed the fish and it was like in a different world.  It was raining and I had no towel because I wasn't going to get in the water and no change of clothes and it was cold.  The first at being cold in the Philippines.  I was more than miserable.  Just shivering and gravel/sand between every toe.  I thought I would never be the same.  We had taken a lunch which was delicious but too cold to enjoy.  The rest of them were such troopers.
On the way back President Tanner was catching a few winks.  We used umbrellas to protect us from the wind and rain.  It took only 45 minutes to get back as we weren't looking for dolphins.  I was actually glad to get back to our apartment.
Sister Caycayon from Hawaii and Sister Robertson from the office.  The Robertsons leave in April.
This is our boat and I was so happy to be docked.  Brother Caycayon is in the front, then Sister Tanner.  President Tanner has his back to us.
Yours truly doing I don't know what - Norm just likes to take pictures.  I always sport the best hairdos. And that is how I looked all day.  I was just soaked through and through.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

This and that

I didn't think I had many pictures this week - but decided to send a few.  Don't you love the basketball set up.
Norm and I were waiting for the sister missionaries to give a lesson and then we were going to give them a ride home. We saw this cute path that led to the ocean and decided to check it out.  These are rock stairs.
Another view looking back up.  There were stairs and then grass and then more stairs and more grass - I think about three sets of them.  It was in the middle of one of them that I fell and GREAT was the fall thereof.  The steps were a little mossy which I didn't realize.  I wasn't paying attention and the first thing I knew I was down.  Probably the hardest fall I have ever had.  The rocks were not forgiving.  I lay there for a while totally stunned - hurting and wondering what happened.  I was grateful to finally be able to get up and find that I could move and nothing seemed broken.  I have a LARGE bruise on my backside and believe me it is large - there is a lot of backside.  (I have refrained from sending a picture :)  The worst was I fell on my already fragile wrist.  I could not move my fingers or wrist without great pain which really scared me.  Had I not already had a rod in my wrist I think I would have been in trouble because all my weight came down on my wrist.  Truly another miracle - after two days there was no pain and except for being black and blue I am good as new.  Thank you for your prayers.  I have been so blessed.
This is the ocean we got to after falling down the stairs.

Our way back to the truck - beautiful country and my handsome companion.

The sisters who live behind us heart attacked us before they got transferred.
Elder Francom - Jake's last companion before Jake got transferred - invited us out for another baptism.  They were hoping to baptize in the river again but the weather didn't permit so they went to another chapel quite a ways away.  The boy on the right baptized the little girl by him.
I wondered about the water.  The font is outside.
This is the chapel - Pilar - with the font on the side.
Sitting in our apartment with the zone leaders and STL's - Sister Trainer Leaders - trying to figure out how we were going to do transfers.  Sister Warner on the couch is from Utah - I keep thinking Cody should look her up. She comes home in April and is a most wonderful missionary.  The sister with her back to us said something I will never forget.  Her name is Sister Deliarte.  She was going to Cebu for training and there wasn't anyone to go with her.  I told her I was sorry she had to go by herself which meant going on the ferry, finding a taxi in Cebu and getting to the mission home.  Her reply was instant, "That's ok Sister - I have the best companion - The Holy Ghost.
Another basketball bank board.   Don't you just love it. 
The sister missionaries that were transferred from our zone.  Sister Mangompit - so glad she transferred - in 4 months Norm never got her name right and now I can quit being embarrassed. Sister Lagaspi has absolutely no support from home - she doesn't hear from anyone but she says that is ok.  A wonderful sister.  And Sister Warner - She was so good to help us get adjusted to this adventure.  This McDonalds is very close to the ferry so soon as they buy their ticket, if there is enough time, we always make a stop - the missionaries are always hungry.  I think I am too.

Saturday morning I was doing my hair in my dark cubbyhole and all of a sudden the room was rocking.  And it was a serious rock, not just a tremor - instantly your heart starts beating fast. Nothing tipped over but I wondered where I was going.  It lasted for about 5 seconds but I was surely glad it stopped.  It was a humbling few seconds.

We visited Talibon today for church.  It is about an hour and 15 minutes away.  While we were sitting in Sunday School the R.S. president asked me to teach the R.S. lesson.  Panic immediately set in.  Why wasn't she teaching it!  She said she would get an interpreter for me.  I felt very strongly she should have taught it.  They don't mind at all asking or telling someone at the last minute that you are doing something.  They think you can do anything on the spur of the moment.  This is the third time we have visited this branch and the other two times they had a missionary teach it - I think next time I might go a little more prepared. The lesson was on prayer - I barely had time to read it before I was on.  I hope it was ok.  Once again - I know all of our prayers were answered.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Typhoon, New Year Party, Missionary Visits

                                               Unannounced Typhoon - December 28th, 2014
Monday night, December 29th, the rain came in torrents and the wind was unreal.  No one had warned us and we thought, this is quite a storm.  We were up a lot through the night wondering what was going on.  The power went off for 23 hours.  That is not good.  Means no water, no fan, plus the regulars.  (The size of the trunk took much more than our little saw.  Look for the roots there.)

By morning it was calm but we got a text from President Tanner saying that a large Mango tree had come down on President Saballa's home and tricycle and he suggested we check on it.  Couldn't believe that disaster could strike him twice.  That is the home that we just did the cement floor.

When we arrived it was for real. Underneath that tree is his house and his tricycle.  We called the missionaries and they canceled district meeting and came.  Norm bought 3 saws that were worthless for the job.  President Saballa had a couple hackers.  The missionaries worked hard.

The miracle of the whole thing was when they got the tree off the tricycle it was unscathed.  Absolutely not damaged in any way.  It truly was a miracle and he was so grateful.  It could have been flattened.

It made for quite the service project.  We spent hours there and went back two days later and finished.

President Syballa knew someone that had a chainsaw and he saved us a lot of work.  He did the big stuff.  We helped out with a few more Christmas pesos and were grateful for the help.
A little side project in the front of their home.  You can see the tricycle in the road.  That is how he makes his living.

This is the extent of the damage to his home.  It could have been much worse.  The famous blue tarp took a bit of a beating.
Norm standing by some bananas on the side of their home.  Bananas kind of grow upside down. in large bunches.
We ate inside - bananas, drink, and some breads.  This is the famous cement floor.  They haven't moved in yet except for the table.  They treat the cement like we do a hardwood floor.  They take their shoes of at the door and sweep the cement.
On our way home we passed this tricycle transporting 3 pigs - to market to market!
We get a call from the zone leaders that they had pulled in their van to wash it and could not get traction to get out.  They backed up and splattered mud all over the building.  We bought a rope and pulled and pulled which was worth a few feet but then we broke the rope.  Back to the market for more rope.
This time we doubled the rope
And met success. 
Our New year's Eve party in our church.  There were 20 missionaries.  They began at 6:00 p.m. to watch a movie "Dragon 2".   They were so excited to watch a movie - they do that once a year on New Year's Eve and it has to be a Disney movie.  Norm and I weren't nearly so excited.  Afterwards Norm and I bought pizza for the group and pop.  I made a very large fruit salad and my sheet was a tablecloth.  It was a party.  It was over by 9:00 as the missionaries had to be home by 9:30.  They really do enjoy just being together.

When we got home Norm went to bed forgetting it was New Year's Eve.  So I found me a cadbury bar and a mango and munched and entertained myself.  But my funnest memory is at midnight there was all this commotion outside.  Fireworks, motorbikes etc.  I opened the door and standing on top of the table outside was Sister Mangompit blowing her horn and screaming and yelling and Sister Deliarte was with her doing the same only she wasn't on the table.  I love those sisters.  They are so fun!
Friday afternoon we went on some appointments with our local missionaries, Elder Borrego from Show Low, Arizona and Elder Banham from Logan. This man is reading the Book of Mormon.  This is where he lives.  In the corner is a very small room.  There was no bed in it.  Just don't know how he lives.  Saw no place where he could cook.
This is where we taught him.  We sat on the benches.  The Elders on one and Norm and I on the other.  This investigator was on the chair.  He is making a canoe type of thing.  We offered to give him a ride to church which is a long ways away for him.  He accepted and we picked him up today for church.  He had on a clean shirt.  Don't have a clue where that came from.  So hope he will continue to come.
Then we visited the Santiago family.  They are members.  We also invited them to come to church with us and they said they would.  Only one could come because one has to stay home and make sure their property is protected.  None of these people speak English.  They speak Cebauno with the Elders and we just listen and smile.  She also came to church today.  She was very friendly with some sisters there. I was so happy to have her there.  She is 58 and he is in his 70's.  He doesn't have good health and when he comes to church he walks.  He starts about 5:30 - 6:00 to get there by 9:00.  He just stays for Sacrament meeting and then walks home  It is an unbelievable walk.
This is one of my piano students, his name is Ezra Bagio.  This is their home which is so much nicer than anything else we have seen besides where we live.  They said they had a keyboard but when I got there it only works from Middle C up, nothing works below.  This is my keyboard I take with me.  He is a cute little boy but it will take some time. You wouldn't believe the outside of their home.  They live in the back of her Mother's home.  They don't have a front door just a side door and another family lives in back of that.  Just one continuous place.
The 2nd counselor in our branch presidency lives here.  The typoon made this mess in his yard from the house next door.  His house was destroyed a year ago and he has made this for his family.  His wife is not a member.

This is the front of his home.  We park by the fence.  You can see the ocean out back. They do have pretty flowers in their yards.

Today, Sunday, January 4th was interesting.  So happy our appointments came to church.  The Sister who usually plays the piano didn't show up so I got to play.  Quite enjoyed that.  Didn't understand anything of Sunday School.  Understood a little in Relief Society.

Right after church we went to Loon for 5 piano lessons.  The first girl is so darling - very talented but she didn't have a place to practice so not much progress there.  She said this week she is going to school in Tagbilaran and she thinks she can find a piano so she can practice.

The 2nd student is a young man, he couldn't make it so his friend came and said he wants to take.  I have to copy all the music off - and was very thankful I had something with me that I could give to him.  I think he will be good.

The next two sisters who are both returned missionaries didn't show up and the last little girl had lost her music and there was nothing done there.  I am not sure how successful that venture is going to be.