Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wedding Week

Busy week!  We had three weddings to attend and help with.  Monday we were in Trece for  a big event.  

The wedding cake was from Goldilocks (big bakery chain here).  It was about $14 US and was quite tasty.

The groom is a member and the bride has been taking the lessons.  She was baptized on Saturday (yesterday) so the wedding needed to take place before that. 

We were able to get the cake and made spaghetti (bride’s choice) for 50.  Fortunately there was plenty as the guests ended up numbering closer to 70. 

Friday was another two weddings here in Naic.  Both couples were planning to be baptized on Saturday also and the weddings took place the day before.  There is no divorce in the Philippines so many (most) couples live together.  The commitment for baptism marks a big change in their lives.  We were able to help with the flowers and luncheon for these weddings. 

Wedding luncheon at People's Restaurant

One of Friday's wedding bouquets.  They were about $5 each US!  Amazing as they had roses and everything in them.

They were married in the town municipal hall by one of the mayor’s staff.  It was a double wedding and was actually very nice.  Both couples are young and so excited about the gospel.


Tuesday was Temple Day and going home activities for the missionaries.  It is always a treat to attend the Temple and this was no exception.  We said goodbye to 4 of our Naic Alumni. 

Two of them were former ZL’s here.   Wednesday was transfer day.  We had quite a few changes in the Zone.  We have a new ZL and Sister in the compound.  Elder Dymock and Sister Betts were transferred and are now TA’s.  We also are thrilled to have the Province TA’s living in the ZL’s apartment next door.  That makes 8 of us in our little apartment complex!  How things have changed and grown is amazing.  The Naic District Primary had roadshows yesterday afternoon.  They were very entertaining and enjoyable.  Each Branch was assigned a topic and then created a performance.


Naic Zone had 9 baptisms yesterday.  It will be fun to see if we get pizza again at the next District Meeting with Pres. Howard. 
There are already quite a few baptismal dates for September.  Sister Swenson called from the office yesterday to make sure we were heading to Las Vegas when we leave here.  So, it looks like our travel plans are underway. 

*Girl's Night!  The Sisters baked cookies and then decorated them with ants (thanks Ginger for the idea).  So much fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Still Raining

Gotta love the Philippines during the rainy season. For one thing, it’s cooler! It is still in the high 80’s to low 90’s everyday but somehow the rain makes it feel less intense. It is always humid anyway so that never changes. It actually cools down into the mid 70’s at night sometimes which is a true blessing.

We enjoyed having the DasMarinias Zone over for FHE on Monday. There were 20 of them including 5 Naic Alumni! They have asked to come for FHE at least once each transfer. They have to rent a Jeepney and it is an hour ride to get here. They also have to have permission to travel outside of their Zone boundary. Since the AP’s love to come to FHE out here and one is formerly from Naic it wasn’t hard to get the permission granted.

Elder Smith had a nice birthday this year. The Zone Leaders and Sister Missionaries had a beautiful blue barong (native shirt) made for him. We had cake and ice cream and then had his favorite spaghetti dinner for Sunday. Sister Jeane fixed ChiliConCarne Filipino syle for Elder Smith's birthday. Yummy
Thanks for the wishes from all of you at home!

Saturday was a full and busy day with a Mini MTC for the youth in our District. There was training in the morning and then lunch. The early afternoon was spent tracting with the fulltime Missionaries. At 5:00 we met back at the Naic Chapel for a closing program. Our Zone sang hymn #335 and then Sister Smith taught the Mission song to everyone.

Here’s an additional fruit of the month. This is a guyabano. It is sort of an ugly critter and the pokey outy parts are pretty sharp. Inside it is white with lots of large black seeds. The fleshy part around the seeds is the sweetest. One that we cut was a bit over ripe and had a bit of a fermented flavor to it. Hmmm…

Beans and Egg Plant at the Palanke Bundles of green beans. they are 18" to 36" long

Monday, August 9, 2010

Exploding Watermelon

We realize that there are lots of watermelons in the U.S. but none quite like the one we bought the other day. Thursday afternoon we were picking up groceries and decided a watermelon would be good sliced up for brunch on Friday. The 6th was Sister Frost’s birthday and her companions wanted to have a surprise brunch (French toast) for her. So, we took a lovely seedless melon home and set it on the counter that evening. During the night Sister Smith heard some noise downstairs but decided it wasn’t worth investigating since it probably involved something with more than two legs. At about 3:30 a.m. the need for a trip to the CR prevailed. What a sight to behold!
The watermelon had exploded! There was foam oozing out and the innards had sprayed across the counter top, across the floor and reached our little center island.  
This was a true “wake up Elder Smith moment”. He was a good sport and helped with the cleanup and carcass disposal. The insides were like mush and the rind was corroded and nearly gone. When we moved the melon to clean, it collapsed.  
We rinse all of our food and canned goods in a bleach/water solution. We’re not sure but suppose somehow there was a small hole and a chemical reaction? So, watermelon gets to be the featured fruit this month. Actually we do have some others that are more exotic and will post them later in the month.

Yes, Naic Zone did get pizza again this month. We really do have the best group of missionaries in the whole world.
Monday was FHE and great fun as always.  
Sister Smith had a cold/flu so hid out upstairs while the party raged. The yucky stuff lasted through Wednesday so we really didn’t get out or do much. Our refrigerator decided to go nuts and started freezing everything inside. We finally gave up and went into town on Thursday to purchase a new one. It was delivered on Saturday and the old one has gone to a repair shop in GMA. It will be recycled to another apartment.  

Friday evening we went to King Bee in General Trias for dinner. The Thomas’s where here from Palawan and the remaining Senior Couples where there to say goodbye to the Hussey’s. We are certainly going to miss them.
They fly back to Great Britain on Friday, the 13th. Elder Smith decided to follow in Sister’s footsteps and started in with the cold/flu crud on Saturday. So, there will be another few days of R&R then back to the business of being busy.

Birthday Brunch for Sister Frost (Sister Martinez, new in Zone)

Where to go in Carissa to get a dog bite (and whatever)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Out of Sync

We’ve really had a nice “couple” of weeks but Sister Smith has been lazy so the letters home have suffered a bit. We have been having lots of rain all month. We both really enjoy it but the poor missionaries certainly have a ton of shoe cleaning to do. The rainy season is typically in June, July and August. The Natives tell us that this has been an extra wet one so far.

We had a great FHE on the 19th of July. We used the same menu from the day before when the Howards were here. It was fun to have no big preparations of food to do. We had already done most of it on the Saturday previously.This past week we were in Makati at the Mission Home. It was Zone Conference week and we were able to review and check about 60 Area Books. They are really looking good and the missionaries are getting things in proper order. It was a fun week as we were in excellent air conditioning and went to all sorts of fun places with great people to eat.
At Chili's with the Swensens, Howards, TA's, AP's and office EldersIt doesn’t get much better than that.

On August 5th we will be having a mini-transfer in the Mission. The Manila MTC has 7 new missionaries who need homes and we are lucky enough to get them. Two of them will be coming to Naic Zone so we will be doubly blessed. Regular transfer isn’t until the 25th of August so this will be an in-between transfer. It looks like it might be another pizza month and the projections for August baptisms are great so will wait and see. One of our companionships is working hard to set a Mission record for the most OYM’s in a week. We’ll let you know how they do.

The TA's were visiting and had breakfast with us before heading on to other ZonesBuilding a bahay kubo in Maragondon Branch. Elder Smith and Elder Hussey were there helpingThis will be the new home of a husband, wife and baby in the branch