Sunday, February 28, 2010

Still Quarantined!

      Elder Smith went to the doctor on Monday and his quarantine was extended another 10 to 14 days so… He is healing well and on the mend but is still contagious.  The Mission Tour was this week and so we had to do some creative planning.  Tuesday was the meeting for our Zone (along with four others) in DasMarinias.  We had previously taught the new Mission Song to the Zones and had committed to leading the music at the tour.  Elder Smith drove me to the stake center and then sat in the car for 3 hours while I was able to enjoy the meeting and lead the song.  Yes, I did feel guilty!  But, Elder Teh was amazing!  It is always a pleasure to listen to a G.A. and this was no exception.  He is a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and in our Area Presidency.  We were scheduled to feed the Teh’s, Howards etc. on Tuesday before a fireside here in Naic.  Well, with Elder Smith’s guck we were in a bind.  We finally figured we’d somehow transport all the food etc. to the Naic Chapel and serve the meal there.  After checking with the doctor on Monday he said that as long as Elder Smith stayed upstairs and didn’t interact with the guests we could have the dinner at the apartment.  So, as soon as the meetings were winding down in DasMas we headed for home and put the finishing touches on dinner.  We prepared Beef Steak Tagalog with rice, mixed veggies in cheese sauce, rolls, cucumber salad and brownie/ice cream/cherry topping for dessert.  Dinner was scheduled for 5 p.m. with the fireside to follow at 6 p.m.  At 5:00 the phone rang and it was Pres. Howard.  They had been delayed in DasMas and were just leaving the Stake Center, a 45 minute drive from here.  We quickly put all the food on “stay warm” mode and then went to the Naic Chapel for the fireside.  Elder Smith was here to stir things once in awhile and make sure nothing burned.  We were all back at the apartment by 7:30 and ready to eat. 

It was actually a blessing in disguise as we were able to relax, visit and enjoy the time and meal together.  Sister Jean (our tutor and Naic Branch RS pres.) came over to help with the final preparations and serving.  She is such a sweetheart. 

                Tuesday morning we were up bright and early to head to Makati for the second day of Mission Tour.  Five more Zones were able to meet and enjoy Elder Teh and his message.  The Mission Song went well and was great fun.  Poor Elder Smith set in the car once again for hours!  Sister Teh is a former Manila Mission missionary and actually served some of her mission in Naic.  I was very inspired and uplifted by Elder Teh’s messages and felt so sad that Elder Smith missed them.  One thing is certain, we are here in the Philippines for a reason!  The Lord does issue Mission Calls and we needed to be here to serve.  We are so thankful for the things we are learning and for the blessings of being in His service.

Now for a little taste of home. Our KFC is Kapag Fried Chicken.  The original recipe tastes like home and the crispy is quite spicy.  All meals come with rice and gravy.
****3/5 Update****
Elder Smith went out in public today and was shaking hands and everything. Back to normal! Hooray!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


               Okay, so it’s boring being at home all the time!  Elder Smith was thoughtful enough to accept a case of viral herpes and now we’re paying for it.  He hasn’t shaved for a week so the sores can heal.  He has them in his mouth and on his right cheek and jaw.  We saw the doctor Monday morning and he has been on a ton of medication and is responding well.  In the meantime, we are grounded!  Oh well, we did clean a few cupboards and we’re way ahead in our Book of Mormon reading assignment.

                We had a fun FHE last week and then on the following Friday we had a work/service project here at the apartment.  The Elders worked hard and things outside are pretty spiffy now. 

While working one of the Elders found a baby boa constrictor.  No idea where Mama was!  Far away, we hope! 

After a hot dog lunch it was back to teaching.  We fixed a Mexican layered dip with Tostidos for lunch. 

It was a hit.  None of our natives had ever tried it and they were quite fascinated.  The Americans were elated.

                We finished up Area Book checks before the plague hit so the Zone’s we’re responsible for are up to date and looking good.  Next week is Mission Tour and so wanted everything in order before then.  Have a few supplies on order from SLC then they’re really going to be perfect.

                The fruit of the month is a Pomelo. We’re almost sure we’ve seen them in the States but never tried them before. 

They look like a large grapefruit.  The peel is quite thick and the white lining is bitter.  (Yes, I sampled it!) 

The sections are pinkish and are a lot like grapefruit except they’re quite bland tasting.  They have small white seeds which is a requirement for any fruit over here. 

There are seeds in nearly everything!  It didn’t make our “gotta have more” list but is better than some of the other things we’ve tried.

                For Valentine’s Day we fixed some Muddy Munch snacks from Chex cereal mix.  It turned out well and after packaging it and adding some heart shaped marshmallows we delivered them to our Elders.  They seemed tickled. 

They are all looking forward to the next FHE as we’ve warned them that it is going to be a St. Patrick’s Day affair.  Over the years we’ve had some fabulous St. Patty’s FHE’s so this one will be fun. 

                We’ll be back to the Doctor on the 22nd to get a clean bill of health for Elder Smith!  How’s that for confidence.  Then we can get back to visiting folks and going to Church and all that good stuff.
Picture from last weeks Zone Interviews
With Elder Whitman and Elder Cowen ** two of our Naic alumni

***Update 2/21***
Brother Smith is doing well and we're very optimistic that the Dr. will release him from his quarantine. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We loved going to Corregidor Island last Friday. All five couples in the Manila Mission went and we (Elder Smith and I) especially had a wonderful time. So much history! We left Manila that morning by ferry. It was a 90 minute ride. There were TV monitors we could watch and there were some videos about what we could expect to see. Then, one of the guides for the tour company got on the microphone and told more stories. Once we arrived at the island we went to a buffet lunch at the hotel. Overnight tour packages are available and we’d actually like to take advantage of one before we leave the Philippines. The tours are on open buses with about 30 passengers, driver and a tour guide.

We've arrived!Elder Smith in front of the Pacific War Memorial
Our guide was an American who lives on the island. His father was on Corregidor when it was captured by the Japanese and he and his wife retired and moved from Minnesota to live and study the area. He is currently writing a book about the events there. The Philippines was a vital link in WWII. We won’t go into lots of details about the actual battles and such as you can go to Google or whatever and read those. However, seeing the remains of the barracks, theatre, homes, tunnels, gun placements, bomb craters and more was overwhelming.

Remains of the Movie Theatre. Last movie shown there was "Gone with the Wind" or "Sargent York" according to rumorElder Smith and I both had fathers who served in WWII so maybe that’s part of our fondness for this site.
The Barracks were 1/3 mile long and 3 stories tall, hence the name, "Mile long barracks"Guns and a fascinated Elder SmithWe learned about the Death March in Bataan and other happenings in the Philippines during 1942 through 1945. The Japanese navy surrounded the entrance to Manila Bay and once they secured it many thought they would end up securing the entire Pacific Theatre. In 1945, U.S. and Filipino forces regained possession of the island which was a second huge battle on this small rocky piece of land. We saw where General Douglas MacArthur’s home was located while he resided on the island. We also went through the tunnel where the allied headquarters for the Pacific were located.Malinta Tunnel map. So much concrete! If you ever have a few extra hours and want to have us bore you with stories, we’ll be happy to oblige. Nearly everyone snoozed on the ferry trip home as it was a busy day.

Sunday was a meeting for all members in the Manila Mission area. Sister Allred, 1st counselor in the RS General Presidency was here for a training and leadership meeting. Elder Ko from our area presidency was also here. We met at the Buendia Chapel in Makati. We’re not certain what the final attendance count is, but surely over 1,000. The chapel, cultural hall, RS room, hallways and parking lot were all full. It was a very good meeting with lots of encouragement and information. Sister Allred is a dynamic individual and Elder Ko is terrific also. The meetings began at 2:00 and ended at 7:30 in the evening so it was a marathon of training. We were honored to be able to attend. It will be interesting to see if some of the things discussed will get implemented. Hopefully it won’t be like the U.S. where we tend to implement the things we like and sort of ignore the rest.