Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween and Day of the Dead

Halloween was yesterday and the Day of the Dead is a National Holiday here on November 1st. It’s been an interesting week. Monday was our Zone FHE Halloween Party. Great fun! Our Elders were all here and Elder and Sister Hussey and Elder and Sister Tagg (office couple). Most of the native missionaries had never seen such a thing before and they loved it. Elder Smith put up his traditional spider web with help from the ZL’s and we decorated the joint.
We played a bunch of games including bobbing for apples, candy toss and team mummy making.
The chili and hot dogs were a hit and many had never tried Rice Krispie treats. The eyeballs had several Elders a bit nervous but they were brave and tried them. Loved them!Lots of work but great fun and several of the Elders thanked us for their first ever Halloween party. They were still in shock at Zone meeting the next morning.
Wednesday we went to Alfonso (about 3 hours away) and participated in an apartment painting project. The DasMarines Zone was there (16 Elders and 4 Sisters). The apartment belongs to 2 of their own and it was in desperate need of a face-lift.
While we were visiting and working some of the Elders asked about our Naic Zone FHE’s. The next thing we knew they were asking if we would do one for them if they can get permission from the Mission President to travel to Naic. I think we’re creating a monster! It will be fun to see if they can arrange it. We’ve got to start working on some more Philippine dishes. I’m experimenting with a chicken noodle sopas today. If it is good will be making and serving it on Thursday for the branch missionary training meeting. Yep, you guessed it, sopas is soup.

Elder Smith went with the Maragondon Elders on Thursday. I stayed home with a tummy ache. They visited several less active families. Transfer s are next week so we’ll be getting some new blood. We were sad this week to lose one of our new ZL’s. Elder Vaka has been called as an AP. He’ll do wonderfully but he was a bit sad about leaving the Zone. So this transfer week is going to bring lots of changes and challenges. Should be fun!

As some of you may have noticed from previous postings I’m fascinated with the funeral customs here. Elder Smith just humors me every time I want to visit another cemetery. We’re posting a bunch of pics from the funeral we attended yesterday. Our wonderful District President Pipit’s mother died last weekend. She was 93 and he and his 9 (total 10) siblings hosted an amazing and traditional memorial. The body is taken to the mortuary and embalmed then placed in the casket and taken to the home of the deceased. It is on display 24/7 for however long the family determines.Folks come and go the entire time and pay their respects and visit. The family is cooking constantly as it is expected that the guests will be fed. Pres. Pipit is the only member in his pre-dominate Catholic family so the services were held at the Catholic church.After the funeral the congregation files out and then follows the herse to the cemetery on foot. The procession is usually led by a band. No jazz music, just slow, sad stuff.
As we were walking home from the cemetary we met another funeral procession on the way to the cemetary.


Merrivonne said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful information you share about the customs of the people in the Phillipines. Your family home evenings help all the elders and sisters feel like a home away from home. I can just imagine the smiles on your faces as you see the elder's faces light up with joy and appreciation. Keep up the GREAT work :) Love you lots.

Ginger said...

You are just what those Missionaries needed! I'm sure you bring such fun to the zone and keep their spirits high! Love you tons!!

Natalie said...

So cool to see different cultures. Glad you've been able to introduce a few of ours in the mix. Love you!!