Sunday, November 8, 2009


Okay, so I ditched Church today! Have had a killer headache and decided to rest this morning. Elder Smith went and took care of things for me. It’s handy to have a wonderful missionary companion. We mainly worked from home this week. We did go into Manila to the temple on Tuesday. We also took our car into the PBO there and left it for some repair work. The temple was wonderful and afterward we went to the Mission Home for dinner and a testimony meeting with this month’s “going home” missionaries. There were 5 sisters leaving this time. They have been amazing missionaries and will be missed. It was also transfer week so we got some changes and new blood. It’s always hard to say goodbye to the Elders who are transferred but the new ones are so terrific it helps the missing pass quickly. Our new Elders are from Washington and Singapore. They are both fresh from the Provo MTC. Two others were from other Zones and have been out for a while.

Thursday was an interesting evening. We had a training meeting for the Branch missionaries from 3 of our 7 branches. We fixed a monster pot of sopas and had dinner, then the training. It went well.

The Zone Leaders did the training (in Tagalog) and we added a comment once in a while. We have a new program here that helps with member re-activation and new convert retention.

DANG! Did you just jump? I sure did! A gecko ran up the wall by the computer and startled the dickens out of me! I hate when that happens because it scares me every time. It isn’t natural to have 6” lizards charging up the wall. Now, back to the meeting… this Thursday we will be having another meeting for the remaining 4 branches. There were 16 branch missionaries here plus the full-time Elders from those branches, Elder and Sister Tagg from the mission office and us, so it was a nice crowd.

The next day we added a bit to the sopas and all of the Zone Elders came over to the apartment for lunch

and that’s where we had a chance to meet and greet the new ones.

Saturday we went to Manila and picked up the repaired car. The Hussey’s rode in with us. After taking care of business we went to the Mall of Asia on the way home. Whoa! Now, that is a MALL!

One of the center areas in the Mall of Asia set up for Santa visits and shows for the kids.

One of Santa's long time helpers relaxing at the Mall

There are 600 stores and 150 different eating establishments. It is the 4th largest mall in the world. It has a cinema complex, bowling alley, Imax, skating rink and a walkway out overlooking Manila Bay. Plus, who knows what else.

One of Santa's long time helpers relaxing at the Mall

We’re glad we can say we’ve been there but, not sure we’ll go back very often. The most ridiculous part of the excursion is that it took us 6 hours to get home. It was only about 45 miles to travel. The traffic in Manila is something to behold and when it is like Saturday night it is a nightmare to behold. A couple of the hours we probably averaged about 10 feet of progress. We were very thankful to get back into the Province where the traffic is only bad, not terrible.

New month, new fruit. This is a Dragon Fruit.
They are quite colorful and certainly strange looking. The little black spots in the fleshy inside are seeds. The seeds are tiny and easily chewed. They are very moist and juicy. Neither of us were terribly impressed with the flavor (a bit bland) but since there are tons of them sold every day most folks must like them

These are a delightful treat we're planning to ship home to everyone for Christmas. I just know that our children will be thrilled. Haven't decided who to give which one to yet. Ginger likes pink so maybe the shrimp for her, Natalie likes green so seaweed it is. Amber used to be grumpy so the crab will be hers. Heather may get a combo box and the boys will get one of each cause we spoil them the most. Right girls?
Starting to put up Christmas decorations (Everyone else is doing it so why can't we?)


Xackery said...

haha, ewwww seaweed pringles!

Natalie said...

Ok, no thank you with the mall. Waaaay too much for me. And ewwww...those pringles just sound nastola!! Your Christmas decor is beautiful.

The Hardy's said...

Sounds like you are having the time of your lives...geckos and all!

I can only imagine how those younger missionaries LOVE Elder and Sister Smith and are probably sad to leave your area. I'm sure you make sure they're all taken care of.