Sunday, November 1, 2015

Senior Retreat and Baptism

                                                           October 29th - November 1st

We met for 2 days this week with the Senior couples. Starting at left: Elder and Sister McNeff from Coalville.  They just arrived two weeks ago and will be working in the office.  Next are the Halladays, 4 months left.  President and Sister Tanner who are absolutely amazing.  I could write chapters on them - truly a privilege to serve with them.  Elder and Sister Bell from Hooper.  They are much younger than us - have been here 2 months.  They took our place in Calape and they are amazing missionaries.  Very capable and very hard working people and they signed up for two years.  The last couple are the Bocks and they are from Australia.  They are serving for 2 years - been here 6 months and thy are on the Island of Cebu working in Bogo.   Wonderful people.  It was a privilege to be with all of them.

The first day we were in meetings all day discussing policies and what to do in different scenarios and got  acquainted etc.  It was a wonderful day together.

That night we went to Isla Hayahay which is in Calape and had dinner and we all spent the night there.
This is were we stayed.  It is in Calape and has good food.
They also have a swimming pool which Norm loves.  He swims night and morning and says the water is perfect.Friday we did some sight seeing with the new couples.  Saw chocolate hills, went to Mantacida and saw the houses we spent so long traveling back and forth and we cruised  the Loboc river and had all you can eat smorgasbord - food wasn't all that good but we ate anyway.  Two very nice days.  Just a strength to be with other adults that speak English.

Saturday we  went toValencia and Norm baptized Sister Emma Smalley.  I LOVE HER!  She is an angel.  We met her husband Bill in the mall several months ago and chatted with him.  He was excommunicated about 25 years ago and she is devout Catholic.  He gave us his phone number.  He is building his home which really interested Norm.  Well, we lost his phone number and never did see him.  We finally asked the Sisters in Valencia if they had met a white man etc. and they said we are teaching her right now.  We were so thrilled.  They set up a time we could all go together and it has been instant friendship.  He is working his way back and should be baptized before we leave we hope.  They asked Norm to baptize and confirm Dear Sister Emma.

They are tending their nephew from California for a few months.  They are the nicest people.  She is a wonderful cook.  He told Norm they are the reason we were sent to the Philippines. He really loves Norm.

Outside the church is a mango tree that still has papers on it. They are up very high and there are a lot of papers on the mangos.  It amazes me how they get them on and how they get them off.

This is the rice that they pull in clumps and plant each one at a time.
This is all done by hand.  An amazing amount of work.
After the baptism the missionaries arranged for a music fireside.  They did a good job and we enjoyed it very much.  They had a good crowd.

Meetings in Balilihan.  They had 22 there today.  They told us today would probably be their last meeting because they aren't progressing.  I am sad because these 20 people really enjoy it and I think they do a wonderful job.

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