Friday, July 31, 2015


 The title of this Post is Trial and that mean several things -- it has been a great trial to have parted ways with my ipad.  It has been 3 weeks now and still no sign of it.  However, I have just discovered my iphone can do much the same thing so I am trying to get signed up and figure out how to make that work  It is so small and my eyes are not improving with age.  So the next trial is to see if I can make this blog work.

This is my birthday and bless Jake.  He found we were to a meeting in his area and he surprised us and came with this tarpaulin he had made.  He also brought us an ice cream treat and we just had a party right there on the outside of the church.

Elder Santos is his companion and he is a great Elder.  You will notice the ipad - I did have it for the picture.

 This is the baptism we went outside to take a picture and after that there was no more ipad.  I don't know the cute little girl that is being baptized.  I think that is her Grandpa standing by her but he is inactive.  She just comes to church by herself.

We had a zone conference.  Can anyone find Letty?  Jake is sitting by Grandpa.

We were eating at this place and you can see the port at Tagbilaran.  A good looking companion!!!!!

This is Sister Nelawas and Sister Lopenia.  We spent 3 days in the hospital with them.  Not a place you would want to go.  They are the sweetest sisters.  I was trying to do some paperwork with Sister Lopena and Norm stayed with Sister Nelawas.  She started singing and she asked him what his favorite hymn was.  She sang hymn after hymn for him.  She has the sweetest voice.  I wish I had been there.  It was a special experience for him.

The Branch President of the Sisters came to check on her and told us their story.  They started out baking rolls for a living.  They lived in just a very small place.  Half of it was where they sold the rolls and the other half was where they made the rolls.  At night they slept where they sold the rolls.  There were 7 of them and there wasn't enough room for them to sleep on their backs so they had to sleep on there side.  He was a member 7 months and they called him to be the Branch President.  He read a lot and prayed a lot and he has been Branch President for 6 years.  

They have been so blessed - their business has grown and they now have a house. They also make peanut butter.  They are up at 4:30 mixing bread and they retail it but the peanut butter they sell themselves and it is delicious.  They are the happiest people.  They just work together and feel so blessed.

Jake had this desire to climb a chocolate hill.  I was told it was impossible because of the thick brush.  But they climbed it.  You can barely see the white shirts going up.

This is how I climbed the chocolate hill.  
The Elder on my left is coming home with Jake, Elder Smith.  The Elder on Jake's right is his companion.  We grabbed a bite to eat - so fun to have them in our home.

A sister in our branch, Sister Elsa, had her home destroyed in the earthquake nearly 2 years ago now.  The church has just barely built this home for her.  They didn't give her windows.  She just has boards that she can open up.  They didn't do a CR which is a comfort room or more commonly known as bathroom so the Elders spent 3 different days doing a service project to dig her a septic tank.  It was inch by inch - like chopping cement.  I thought it was interesting that the 27 homes the church built for nonmembers that we have been spending a lot of time with put windows in all of their homes.  I would like to find out what is going on.  This dear sister has no water as of yet and no electricity and no money and no husband with 3 girls.  Her sister is living with her and she is pregnant - due in September and the sister has 3 boys.
The service project in action.  The house you see in the background is her neighbor who has a nice house.  The boy in the yellow shirt is amazing.  His left arm you see is deformed but he works like you wouldn't believe.  He shoveled with everyone

Sleeping beauty just done in.  

Jake had this sign made for us for the Sagbayan church.  When you enter the front door it is the where they hold Primary.   This is the metal door - on the inside it is red. We spent a lot of money and put up boards on the inside and painted them white to help keep out a little noise and it really did look better.  Then there was a space at the top of the boards so we bought 6 big pillows and covered them in white plastic and shoved them in to fill up the hole in hopes its would muffle some of the loud motorbike sounds.  We hope it will help.  That is where they hold sacrament meeting.  The pulpit is just on the other side of the metal door.   Four Elders live here as well.

Well, that is all for now.  We have just spent another trip to the hospital with a sick Elder.  Didn't make it home last night to feed the Elders.  I had put meat in a crockpot to cook while we went to shop and get my hair cut.  We were about to head home when Sister Tanner called and said she would like us to meet a sick Elder at the hosital.  That took the rest of the day and night.  We had to call our landlord to come turn off the meat - then we had to call the sisters to come put the meat in the frig and we couldn't get hold of the Elders because they have lost their phone so they showed up and we weren't here.  And that is how life goes.

Love you all!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Missionary Work

  We went to District Meeting with Jake this week!  He is an awesome District Leader.  Just love to hear him teach!!

Elder Tolman gave Grandpa Norm an opportunity to bear his testimony about the atonement.
These Sisters are in Jake's district and they invited us to go teach this dear sister.  This is Sister Clegg and Sister Storey and they are both from Utah.  Sister Clegg just went home and Sister Storey leaves with Jake.  The investigator they are teaching is Katy.  She has 3 children - speaks good English and has a baptism date.  It was fun to talk to her.  She definitely has a strong testimony and is teaching her children.
This is the outside of her home.
We had to climb through this to get to her home.
Ubay where we have the ocean baptisms just got them a new place to meet.  They have been meeting in the Sisters apartment and they are thrilled to have them a nice place.  This is their first meeting.  They didn't have anyone to play the keyboard so I got to do that.
They had a lot of people come to their first meeting.
                                                                  Sunday School
Picture afterwards of everyone that came.  They were all so happy.  The District Presidency and the Elders make it look like a lot of Priesthood Brethren.  They also had a choir that was good.  I am amazed at what they come up with.
I came across a Grandma retreat.  Any takers?  There are a lot of you that qualify.
Went to a home evening with Jake.  This place was awesome.  We walked through muddy paths, in and around shacks etc. and came to this cinder block room and that is where they live.  Nothing in it but a small table and a TV.  They borrowed stools for us to sit on.  Everyone else sat on the floor.
Jake gave an awesome lesson on the iron rod.  Sorry it is so dark.  Norm had a flashlight he used some of the time.

They have gorgeous rice fields - lots and lots of them.  And such beautiful scenery.

A building house project that they are still working on.  It looks like a little doll house to me.  I was interested in the cute flowers they had planted along the front, they always have flowers.
Down the road from the house were these children going to school.  They all LOVE Norm and they love to have their picture taken.  They always have uniforms to go to school.

Just after this picture we were headed back to our truck and Norm's eye hit head on with a bug.  A very tiny one that must have stung the inside of his eye because it shot pain that was terrible.  He has suffered for 2 days with this.  We tried washing it out with water and later we were able to get some drops but it is red and his vision is skewampus - has us a little concerned.  He can still drive for which we are grateful.  It is red and mattering but it is getting better.
Today, July 8th was a CSP (Community Service Project) to dig a hole for a septic tank.  The ground is like clay and lots of roots and very hard to dig in.
There were 4 Elders, 2 Sisters and Norm.
Another little retreat a few feet away.
They need to dig 6 1/2 feet.  They got it about half done and will finish in the morning.

I was the picture taker and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The sisters were cleaning the fish for their dinner.  Norm and I left before that happened. These sisters live behind us.  Sister Calautit and Sister Lappay.