Sunday, May 23, 2010

There's a Cold Spell.....NOT

Can’t believe it but it is down into the mid to low 90’s this week! It is still frigging miserable but a bit cooler and there is rain in the forecast for the week also. It’s so dry here that the rain would certainly be a blessing. We had a busy “traveling” week. Went to several Zones to do area book checks so we were in Manila traffic way too much! Fortunately most of the books were in pretty good shape so it didn’t take long at each place. We love going to the other Zones and seeing our Naic Alumni. It is amazing how attached we get to each one who serves here.

Pasig Zone

We’re excitedly getting ready for Sisters to move in next door. We will be cleaning (the Elders doing a service project) and the Hussey’s will be getting the furniture and fixtures this week. Transfers are on June 3rd so not much time to get things ready. Elder Mahe will be leaving then to go home and we’ll really miss him. Not sure yet how many or which of our other Elders will be transferring. We have a couple who have been here for several transfers so imagine they’ll go this time.

We had several baptisms again this weekend. Attending ones in Tanza, Naic and Ternate kept us traveling even more.
Tanza Baptism
Naic BaptismTernate Baptism Tuesday May 25th will be our one year mark in the mission field. Several of our Elders have asked us to extend so we don’t go home before they do. We’ve explained that they will surely be transferred by then but they said they like the idea of us still being here for them. Ahhh..
One of our new "favorites". Crab, white fish, broccoli and shrimp. Steamed and seasoned! Awesome.
Rocking the Saints at the Fiesta Parade
Parade in front of the apt.
More parade
Heading back from the end of our road. Notice the Jetti Oil storage tanks. They are right on the beach.Neighbors dropping by. The goat herd had just left minutes before.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pizza Again!

We are so proud of the Naic Zone.  We had the highest baptism rate for the mission again last month so Pres. Howard treated the Zone to pizza after district meeting on Thursday.  The nearest Pizza Hut is nearly an hour away but the AP’s delivered it on time and it was delicious. Yes, just in case you noticed we are so excited about our Zone and the amazing Elders.  However, things are going to get even better!  President told us on Thursday that we are getting Sister missionaries beginning next transfer!  They will be moving into the vacant apartment next door to us.  The Mission Office is already working with the landlady on the lease and hopefully everything will be ready to go for the first of June.  Somehow the Zone just keeps getting better!               

Much of our week was spent getting ready for District Missionary training on Friday evening.  We held it at the Naic Chapel and each branch mission leader and missionaries were invited.  The Elders did the training focusing on reactivation, correlation meetings, referrals and helping the full time missionaries.  We had a good attendance and very informative meeting.

One of the best parts was that the District Presidency called an emergency meeting with the Branch Presidents at the same time.  So, when their meeting was finished many of the presidents and the District Presidency came in for dinner and visiting with everyone attending.  We had hot dogs, chips, pakwan (watermelon) and juice packs. We had ordered little ice cream sundae cups from our neighborhood bakery and odds and ends store for dessert.  We will probably be doing another one in a couple of months.  We’re concentrating on getting the members more excited and involved with the work. 

Maragondon Baptism

Naic Baptism

                Our buddy, Elder Tadeo, came to the meeting and to spend his 26th birthday with us.  He enjoys visiting with the converts from his days here in Naic.  He even got to “finally” see our tuko.  It was living here when he and Elder Bowman were ZL’s when we got here last year but it was his first sighting.  On closer observation Friday night, we’re guessing he (our Tuko) is about 14-15” long now.  He’s pretty impressive.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Yes, we do celebrate Mother’s Day in the Philippines! Sister Smith was wished a happy one at least 50 times at church. There were lots of smiles and good wishes. The Primary children sang some songs and the YM/YW did a number and furnished a speaker. Sort of felt like home!

It’s too dang hot to do very much so we had a fairly low key week. The temperatures are in or pushing 100 degrees every day so the only relief we really get is when we are in the kotse (car). It is still in the high 80’s or low 90’s even during the middle of the night. Phooey!

We did have a super fun FHE Monday with our Zone. We had Filipino food this time and since the majority of our Elders are natives, they were pleased. We had secured a bunch of trumpo’s (wooden tops) and had a spinning contest. Elder Smith is determined to develop the skill before we head home. The tops have a nail at the base and string to wind ‘em up. The trick is in the release. When it is done correctly the things will spin like crazy and you can even do lots of tricks with them. The kids here are playing with them all the time.

Zone Conference was on Thursday so we went to Makati the night before and went to dinner (AT CHILI’S) with the new office couple, the Swensens. It was a lovely visit and good to get acquainted. At the Zone Conf. our choir sang to Sister Howard as a Mother’s Day tribute. She seemed really pleased.

e had several baptisms this weekend. There were more than we could attend which is wonderful. We did make it to two of them and have included pictures.
Trece Martires BaptismTanza Baptism It is amazing how hard the Elders keep working even in the heat. Another month or two and they’ll be doing their work in the mud and heat and they just keep on going, and going, and going…
It's Elections in the Philippines. There were at least 500 million posters up on every available surface! The elections are May 10th. Will be glad when it's over and things get cleaned up a bit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Some draught relief

It finally rained!  We have gone several months without any measurable rainfall and finally this week we had a couple of gully-washers!  It actually cooled our 100 degree temperatures down at least temporarily.  More rain is forecast for this coming week and we sure need it.  The rainy season doesn’t officially begin until June but this little head start is welcome.

                We had a pretty typical week with visits to less-active members, tutoring, meetings with our Zone and so on.  Wednesday we went to Makati for a meeting with the Mission Presidency.  We didn’t get home until after 11:00 p.m. so was a long day for us.  Our Zone choir is getting ready to sing at Zone Conference on Thursday.   We wrote some new words to “Mother, I love you” from the Children’s Songbook.  Sister Howard hopefully will be surprised and pleased when we sing to her.                 We’re on rat #4 during the past 2 weeks.  Our back porch is surrounded by fields that are full of miscellaneous crud and vermin.  The roof has a gap of several inches between it and the walls so they don’t have to work very hard to get in.  There are also assorted holes in the floor and walls.  Elder Smith has patched most of them and is always on the lookout for more.  These guys are just wimpy, regular sized rats.  They’re nothing like the Godzilla rat we had when we first got here last year.  (Thank goodness.)                We started off the month of May with a baptism in Trece. The projections for the month are looking very good.  Our Zone is so awesome and works so hard.  We’re really proud of them. 

Another new month and new fruit!  This time it is Buko. We realize that you all recognize coconut when you see one but buko is the green coconut. It is full of milk and gooey, chewy coconut meat.  Once it matures it turns brown and the milk pretty much goes away and the meat portion is much thicker.  They are a very popular drink here.  There are also buko pies, buko shakes, buko smoothies, buko salads and about any thing else you can think of.  The buko in the picture has the top trimmed so a straw can be inserted to drink out the milk.  At the palanke the buko is P15 each or about $0.30 each.

Our new sofa set.  It's fairly comfortable and we no longer stick to it!  Fabric vs vinal

A ship that Elder Smith is nuts about.  Found at a Handicraft store in Makati.