Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hello Conson!

On Tuesday, July 13th we went to the Temple and a going-home fireside and dinner for this month’s missionaries.
Elder Cudiamat
Elder Matheson
It was a lovely day and we were thrilled to see the growth of our seasoned missionaries. Elder and Sister Hussey (end from right) will be leaving soon so they were included in the group.
It started raining during dinner and progressed throughout the evening. We knew there was a Tropical Storm coming but we were in for a surprise. By midnight the storm had become a Category III Typhoon. Oh my goodness what a storm! We arrived home in Naic at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday and within 5 minutes of arriving, the electricity was out. Then the winds hit with a vengeance. Needless to say it was a very long, dark night. There were 6 Elders in the ZL apartment as Wednesday was transfer day and they were going to ride together to Makati to pick up our new Zone members. They finally called the AP’s at 4 a.m. to let them know that the buses weren’t running and it was impossible to get there. We ended up with flooding in 3 of the 6 apartments in our Zone but not serious. The Philippine news says that there have been 68 deaths attributed to Conson so far. This is our second Typhoon season and the power of the storms still amazes us. There is at least another 1 ½ months to go so have extra water and candles ready. We were without power for 2 days and without water for 2 days. Thank goodness for candles and our bumba (water pump to a well) in our front yard. The water is a funny shade of brownish yellow but it can be boiled and used.

The majority of the week was spent in clean up and trying to stay dry efforts. There has already been another tropical storm that has blown through. The weather forecast is for rain, thunderstorms and temps in the high 80’s and low 90’s for the next week at least.
Sunday lunch was a treat! Pres. and Sis. Howard’s daughter and family are here visiting from Virginia. They were seeing the countryside and attending church (where Pres. had meetings/interviews) and came to Naic for lunch. The Tylers are a beautiful family and very nice. It was a real thrill to meet Shelley (Sis. Tyler) as she practically knows us from following the blog. We will see them again later in the week in Makati and are looking forward to it. They walked down to the beach after lunch and we had Cassava cake for dessert. We were shocked when Pres. Howard said he had never tried it before! We thought he was practically a native. Thanks to the Howard’s for sharing their special family with us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It can’t be July already..

We missed a week somewhere in the shuffle!  We were on-the-road quite a bit doing area book checks and got sidetracked! 

Things are back to normal now and it is a new month so definitely need to get a new fruit posted. 

Some friends in the Tanza Branch (Pesa’s) gave us this spray of Makupa from the tree in their back yard.  It is quite pretty and they taste like apples.  They don’t have millions of seeds like so many of the Native fruits over here. 

We ate them for a Sunday afternoon snack with some of the missionaries and some Naic Branch members.  Everyone really enjoyed them.

We were excited to find out that the 4th of July is a holiday of sorts here in the Philippines.  It is US/Philippines Friendship Day.   All of the missionaries in our little compound are Americans so we celebrated the day together with a traditional meal of meatloaf and Kraft Mac ‘n Cheez.  It doesn’t get much more American than that. 

The Sisters provided a flag for a centerpiece we talked about what we love about being an American.  Monday, was a morning FHE.  We walked to the beach near the apartment and the missionaries played beach volleyball, kick ball and baseball.  Lots of exercise and fun in the heat!  Afterward we came back to the apartment for hot dogs, potato salad, chips and watermelon. 

It was undoubtedly an American celebration.  The Zone sang “happy birthday” to Sister Smith as she turned 29 once again. 

This is transfer week so there are changes brewing once again.  We will be getting several new Zone members and we’re excited to meet them.  We always miss our transferring members.  The Zone is doing well with 10 or so baptisms already for the month.  Lots of additional baptisms scheduled for the rest of July and the first part of August.

President and Sister Golding who have been serving on Palawan for 19 months went home to Las Vegas this week.  They are an exceptional couple and will be greatly missed.  They are going to be taking up permanent residence in St. George so will hopefully get to see them on occasion.  Next month the Hussey’s go home to England and we’ll be the senior Senior Couple!  Hard to believe.