Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept 20 - 27

This week has been scarce on the picture taking.  Our biggest activity was transfers and that was the hardest we have done so far.  We started gathering people on Tuesday - some had to go to Cebu for early meeting.  Then we gathered more on Wednesday and Thursday was the biggest day.  We started at 5:00 a.m.  Made 4 trips to the ferry - delivering and picking up and transporting.  At one time we had 6 missionaries in our truck besides us.  5 were in the back seat and they are not small people and I had an extra one in front with me and that meant I was sitting on the gear shift.  We were very cozy and thank goodness it was a short drive of about 15 minutes.  Later we had 6 more but 2 of the elders climbed in the very back of the truck and that was dandy.  We started at 5:00 a.m. and returned home a little after 10 p.m.  I am always so grateful when everyone is delivered safely.  You can picture all of the luggage.  Each missionary having 2-3 luggage and bagss.

We needed to take one elders luggage to him on Friday morning and that was an hour and a half drive away so we spent much time getting people where they needed to go.

Sunday we went to church in Panglao which is close by where we live.  Norm and I spoke and I also played the keyboard.  It certainly isn't my favorite to play but we got along.  The talks went ok I think.  I told them we were Elder Tolman's grandparents and several of them came up afterwards with such big smiles on their faces.  They love Elder Tolman.  The usual comment, he works hard - it was his last area and it is so fun to follow where he has been.  Although I do miss him as we drive by his apartment a lot.

They meet in the cutest place.  Below is the sacrament table.  They had just taken the white cloth off.  I loved the cute plants behind.  They had plants everywhere which is unusual where we have been before.

This is the outside of their church.  The door is where the people are standing.  It just seems like the Garden of Eden to me.  There is always so much green and flowers.  It is really beautiful!!

I am going to teach this sister piano lessons.  She does play already so we will see how that goes.  She is married but her husband isn't active.  She gave the Sunday School lesson and did a wonderful job.  That is the group leader standing by her.

This is Brother Lock and Sister Ruby.  Jake helped get the paper work ready so she could be baptized.  They had 3 different dates for her but things kept getting confused.  Jake had to get it all straightened out.  Brother Lock is from North Ogden.  He is in his 70's and she is in her 20's.  Don't know how long they have been married, but she is the sweetest and the prettiest lady.

After our meetings in Panglao we went to Bililihan to their group meeting at 2:30.  They meet in the Elders apartment. The Elders move everything out and put up chairs.  We started out with 11 people counting Norm and I and the two Elders and the group leader.  After we started a mother and her little daughter came and after that 2 investigators came so we made it to 15.  At first I thought it was kind of hard for such few people.  I didn't understand the talks in Cebauno - one missionary talked and the group leader talked.  But the sweetest sister gave the Sunday School lesson and it was just precious.  She spoke a lot of English and she was so personable - just walking around and talking to everyone.  It was wonderful and I was so glad we were there.

For what it is worth this is the view outside our bedroom window.

  On Saturday we attended this self reliance graduation.  68 graduated.  It was amazing to me.  It is sort of like a bridgerland program, they can do sewing, cooking, welding, etc.  They attend a 12 week course and they graduate.  This is a huge milestone for these dear people.  It just thrilled me to see them progress and improve their lives. They had a wonderful graduation.  I don't know where they got the cap and gowns but they were all so happy.  They had the graduation music and all.  Much food afterwards.  It was a grand occasion.

Elder and Sister Bell attended with us and afterwards he installed a warm water heater in our shower.  I can not tell you how grateful I am.  I just dread showering and washing the hair takes a lot of gritting teeth but he installed this box thing and it works and I will be forever grateful.

My next happiest news is I found some canned beans.  I love green beans.  By far my favorite vegetable.  When we first came last year I could find canned beans and they were't too bad.  I bought quite a bit but then they weren't available any more  I have hunted for MONTHS for more green beans but they just have rows and rows of peas and corn and I don't like either of them.

Well, Friday much to my amazement as I was checking, the can said green beans.  I actually had to get out my glasses and see if I was seeing right.  They had 12 cans of them and I bought all 12.  I was back the next day wondering if they would have more but nope.  Peas were in the same place.  I will surely enjoy my beans although I did give a few away to Sister Bell.  Quite noble of me as I am not sure if they will appear again. 

Our apartment is getting to feel more like home.  Did a bit of baking today - last week we ran out of gas so for 4-5 days there was no cooking.  It seems we are always trying to figure something out.  But I now have gas, green beans and a warm shower.  Things are looking UP!!  

Sorry I didn't get to hear the women's conference.  I tried to listen but it kept freezing on me.  I did see that Claudia Bigler was leading the choir and congregation.  That was fun! 

Love you all bunches!!  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Baptism and District Conference

                                    Week of September 13th to 20th 2015

We took a sister to the hospital last week.  While we were waiting for her x-ray I noticed this sign and thought it was interesting.

Sister Stanley stepped out of the shower and slipped on the tile.  Her knee went out on her and she tried to catch herself with her elbow.  Ended up with two fractures and we were all so grateful it didn't require surgery.  Sister Lappay is her companion.  We rested at McDonalds while waiting for Elder Halladay and the truck.  They are lovely sisters.
These Elders from Panglao invited us to attend their baptism.  We picked them and their bikes up because the bikes needed repair.  On the way to the church I asked who was being baptized.  The Elder said actually Elder Tolman found this sister.  Norm said this wasn't Elder Tolman's area and he said Elder Tolman was on splits and started talking to this lady on the bus.  And the rest of the story is she is now baptized.  Just warmed my heart.  Of course I couldn't wait to tell her we were Elder Tolman's grandparents.  Such a sweet sister.  It took the elder 4 times to baptize her.  It was his first and they didn't do a demonstration.  She couldn't get her nose plugged and he couldn't get her completely under.  Such a sweet lady.

This weekend has been our District Conference - better known as stake conference for most of you.  Elder Augustin, an area seventy, was our visiting brother.  We had the privilege of spending much time with him and he truly is a gentle, spiritual giant.  He is from Manila.    The conference went well.  I was in charge of the music which is a little scary.  It all went amazingly well considering we had 3 practices.  I know we had angels singing with us.  It was our last meeting in this area and it truly made me sad to think we were moving on and wouldn't see them as much.  I have grown to love them.

After conference they were taking lots of pictures. The girl second from the left is April and I taught her piano lessons.  She is VERY talented.  Is now off to college and will go on a mission..  I am standing between Britzel and Nino - brother and sister.  They are both in college.  I taught Nino piano.   Their  Grandparents are the Lanzaderas couple that we went to the temple with.  Love them so much.  You never see them but what they hug you and thank you for helping them. Sister Tanner and Sister Bell, our new senior Sister who is teaching me more than I am teaching her for sure.  So very capable and wonderful to work with.

We stayed here Saturday night.  President and Sister Tanner and Elder Augustin were all here.  It was a privilege for us to be with them.  I could just feel their goodness and it was a special experience for me.  This is a rare place to stay in the Philippines, even has a swimming pool which Norm GREATLY enjoyed.  

We are enjoying dinner together.  They have delicious food.  I haven't been much on eating out but this place is good.  I think I have tried most things on the menu and have liked them all - Norm not so much.  He said he preferred their pancakes.

                                                         I love this dear sister!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Moving, Baptisms, Elder and Sister Bell

                                                      First two weeks of September 2015
Little by little we packed in our suitcases and bread tins.

Elder Santos in blue, Jake's last companion, and Elder Lao, helped us move the big stuff from another Sr, apartment in Tagbilaran that they are closing out.  Our apartment is completely unfurnished so we hauled in a lot of things.  This is the washing machine coming along.
We were very grateful for their help.
Moving is so much fun!  :)

Our new apartment from the road.  There are 3 apartments in a row.  The first one is furnished and much more expensive.  We are in the middle one.  No one occupies the other two.

And this is our front door.

Our study upstairs.  Looks like I have lost a few pictures of the apartment.  I will get them in next round maybe.  I have a hard time getting pictures transferred from one mechanism to another.

My first attempt at baking in this new apartment didn't turn out too well.  Brownies in the back turn out blackies!!!  Everything broiled instead of baked.  Happy to report we have improved since this picture was taken.  Tonight I made pizza.  It wasn't Norm's favorite but I ate a lot.
Elder Borrego and Elder Jennings invited us to Jagna to their baptisms.  9 baptisms all total.  There was a family, Father and Mother with 4 children and then 3 additional baptisms.  It was a wonderful day!  The first baptisms in the area for many years.  They are actually from Duraro, but Jagna had the font.
Afterwards the Elders cooked dinner for us.  They are the nicest Elders.  They cooked chicken nuggets, cut the raw chicken off the bone and went to work, and they cooked rice and fried it, and then they bought a chicken to add a little more.  They are hard workers and we do love them.
The missionaries in Calape wanted to get together for family home evening.  I did the food and they did the rest.  They came prepared and we had a good time.

They are such good missionaries and we will miss not living by them.

On our way to the Lanzaderas home.  We have spent much time with this family.  Their home was destroyed in the earthquake two years ago when Jake first came.  They have just built this little home.

There isn't much furniture.  I got a chair and the missionaries got the floor.  Always a fan!

A daughter is visiting them and she has a handicapped child.  Her only child and she said "I am the most blessed Mother".  Her husband works abroad.  They are very strong in the church.  That is her Mother, Sister Lanzaderas.

We are helping with a service project.  The place was like a jungle and it was all cleared before they left.  I was the limb picker upper and piler.

We took this dear Elder Celocia to the airport to leave for his mission.  He is the only member in his family I think of 9.  The rest are Baptist.  This is his Uncle who is a member.  Jake knows  him and he said Jake gave him a tie.

On the same trip we picked up this sister, Sister Magsayo at the airport just returning from Las Vegas. Her sister in the white top, returned from her mission in Ogden, Utah just a month ago.  We had all 5 of these sisters in the back seat of our truck.  Not even room for a mosquito.

We delivered the Elder at 9:30 and were suppose to pick up the sister at 10:30 but when she got to Manila she needed $100 American dollars for her luggage and she didn't have it so the church had to get the money and she missed her flight.  We waited 5 1/2 hours for her.  There is no room in the airport.  You meet people outside on the street.  It was a long 5 1/2 hours  We took them to eat which took a little while. and then we ran some errands.  It was an hour and a half ride to get there so we couldn't go home.

Elder and Sister Bell from Hooper, Utah are our new Senior couple.  They now live in our apartment.  They are here for 23 months.  He has been extremely successful in his business.  Was a plumber and had many stores.  This is their first mission and they plan on going on 3 missions.  They are extremely capable people and very ambitious.  We are learning from them instead of them learning from us.  We are so very grateful to have some help on this island.  This dear sister is actually a Richards from Brigham City. She is Emery and Lucille Wight's grand daughter.  Absolutely wonderful people. Janice and Murial are her aunts.

President Tanner and Sister Bell just arriving at the port.
Couldn't resist this picture of Sister Tanner on her knees in the bookstore.  She is a dear sister.

I do have more pictures that I evidently lost in transferring them from one machine to another.  I don't dare try to retrieve them or I will probably lose what I have so I just hope for the best.

We are doing well.  We have been gone so much since we moved in that we are barely getting settled but it is going to be good.

The first day we were here, my oven didn't work, the washing machine wouldn't work - ended up wringing out the clothes by hand and the neighbor told us we would be out of water for 4 days.  I wasn't so sure we had made a good move.  I am trying the washing machine again in the morning and hope it is happier this time.  The oven seems to have recovered and we do have water.

On the funny side, the only batch of wash I did was whites - when they said we would be out of water I hurried and washed garments.  A couple days ago Norm announced he was out of garments and he couldn't find them.  I told him that was impossible, he had plenty of garments, I went in search but I couldn't find them either.  We looked for a couple days but no garments.  I started thinking about it and told him I left his on the line for him to gather, I took the shirts to iron and my garments.  Now he thinks he remembers putting them in a sack and forgot what was in the sack and put it in the garbage.  They are GONE!   Guess I will quit looking for them.

Love you all!  Stay well, be safe and BE HAPPY!!!!!