Sunday, April 6, 2014


Just some fun pix!  Enjoy!

One of our resident geckos!

Star fish that they brought out of the ocean from the baptism.  They actually looked fake, like rubber toy ones.

In Quezon - a storm moving in!


 Caribou with rope through nose.  They do that and then tie them to a tree or something to stake them down.

Boy leading a caribou.  This is actually quite common to see in Narra.  We once saw a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 riding on the back on one.  He was pulling this cart thing that had a couple of other kids on it and some bags - probably of rice.  Wish I could have gotten a picture of that!

These little ones live just down the street from us.  I don't know if I captured it in the picture but the girl pushing the stroller seemed to have such a hopeless, sad look.  It made me feel so bad for her and wish I could just take her home with us.  Most of the kids are happy and cheerful.  They love Americans and are always waving and saying hello!  Last week one even said "Welcome" :)

Another of our wildlife - a giant grasshopper!

We have a banana tree in our yard and it has bananas on it.

Our banana tree.  Betcha don't see one of those everyday!

Food in the Philippines

April 3, 2014

 Someone asked what we eat, so I thought I would write a little about that.  We have eaten quite a bit of Filipino food.  We have eaten pan cit, which is a noodle dish.  Mostly it's pretty good, but once in a while its not too great. 

Sopas is a pasta soup.  It is very good as long as it hasn't cooked too long.  The last time we had it the pasta was mush and I could barely get it down!  I had almost taken a second scoop but was so grateful I hadn't.  The one bad thing about that is it usually has the red hot dogs in it.  I think I told you what is in the red hot dogs - red worms.  But, I've gotten through that too.  When I serve myself I just try to avoid them.  

Adobo is the national dish, so we've been told, but it is not that great.  They eat a lot of pork here, but I really try to avoid it.  They leave ALL the fat on, so you get a huge piece of fat with a very tiny piece of meat.
Lumpia is pretty good.  It is very much like egg rolls.  We had a RS activity here and one of the sisters demonstrated how to make it.  

We had curry chicken, which was really pretty good.  But there's a problem with the way they do chicken here.  They just use a cleaver and chop the chicken up, bones and all, and it all goes into whatever they are cooking.  So you have to continually be aware of bones.  I really try to avoid all meat, if possible.  

Our favorite is called bekal express.  The missionaries made it for us, as they cook once a month for our weekly correlation meeting/luncheon.  It was VERY good.  It is with pork and it cooks in a sauce made of coconut milk, out of a fresh coconut.  But it is not just the juice.  They grind the coconut and then they press it and get all the juices out.  It was really good.  I told the elder who made it that he needs to give me the recipe.  When they make the luncheon they cook here so I plan to watch him next time they do it. 

Probably the most interesting thing Dad has eaten was Seafood Chop Suey at a restaurant we went to on Tuesday on our trip to Cabar.  Their "seafood" is not like our seafood.  He ate something that tasted kind of like crab, but was octopus.  And they did have shrimp in it, head and all.  We had to keep one to take a picture.  It's not the best picture, but you can see the black eyes staring at you.  Here they eat fish, head and all.

   They aren't very good pics, you get the idea.  Dad ate them - without the heads. 

 Love you!

Meetinghouse Complete!!

April 3, 2014

The meetinghouse - complete!

Dad with the new sign. President Quiniones on the right and Bro Zardoma on the left. It is his property that the meetinghouse is built on and he has done so much work on it!

The other sign that will be put out close to the road.

We are done cleaning the chapel.  We didn't get the storage room cleaned out but everything else looks pretty good.  They  do not have screens on their windows, but they have bars on them so they often leave them open.  When dad went into the primary room there was a bird in there.  Later when I went in there to clean I was pulling the folding doors out so I could clean in between and their was the makings of a bird's nest and several feathers!!!  There's a saying here - "Only in the Philippines!"  

Well, I guess I'd better run. Hope you are all doing well.  I'm guessing its warming up a bit there.  It is HOT here!!!  This past month I discovered that something my 4th grade teacher said was not true.  She said, very emphatically, "Horses sweat, people perspire".  Well, that is simply not true in the Philippines.  The Filipinos may perspire, but white people sweat!  I didn't realize I could sweat so much!  I know, it's disgusting, but true.  After cleaning the church today my clothes, shirt AND pants were REALLY wet - like I had taken a shower in them.  But, we will get through it. 

 All in all, things are great.  We are loving it here.  We're thinking we will start teaching an English class next month.  I think there would be a lot of interest, and maybe some missionary work will be done.  I've already got two girls from a store we were in that want to come.   

Well, to ALL of you, please write soon.  We love to hear from you.  


Minamahal Pamiliya!

April 2, 2014

Minamahal Pamiliya!

Well, we just finished our Tagalog lesson, only we weren't able to do it.  We spent the hour trying to get connected through Skype.  As I said before, the internet is not very good here, but we are grateful for what we have.  We hope you are all doing well.  It is already Thursday, and I am sorry I haven't been able to write before now.  But, it has been, and continues to be a very busy week! 

Monday I was able to get some training from the finance Elder on doing the working fund report.  It was very good training, and I learned a lot, but promptly forgot most of it.  Oh well, he is very patient and will reteach as I need.  I did remember how to do the most important thing, and was able to get the report in.  That afternoon we had to shop for supplies, etc to furnish the Cabar apartment.  It is interesting here.  I've told you there are not any real grocery stores here, but you can find almost anything else you want in these little shops.  They are not secure at all, anyone could break into any of them, but I guess they don't, I don't know.  We'll have to take some pictures some day so you can understand.  It is hard to describe in words.  But again, we are so very thankful for what we have.  We feel very spoiled, and, I don't know, guilty I guess, because we have so much more than almost all the people here.  Anyway, we were able to get the rest of the needed supplies (we had to get some things in Puerto).

On Tuesday we went to Cabar and got the Elders moved into their new apartment.  The owners had done a lot of work and renovation and it was nice.  The Elders were very happy with their new place. 

Yesterday we had our meeting with our Learning Coach for our Language Training.  Skype worked perfectly for that meeting.  Then we went out to the new meetinghouse in Sandoval to take some things out - chairs, Sacrament table, etc.  Meetings there are scheduled to start this Sunday.  Because of the time difference we will not get conference until next weekend.  On Saturday we, along with the other missionaries, our BP and hopefully some Branch members, will be canvasing the areas (mostly Sandoval and Bagong Sikat), inviting people to the meeting.  Hopefully we will have a good turn out.  There are many inactive members in these areas that have become inactive because they cannot afford to travel to the chapel in Narra.  We are hoping they will have a Branch there soon.  

Today we will mostly spend the day cleaning the church.  We are hoping to get the members involved, but we need to get new cleaning supplies and equipment before we do that.  They are such good people - kind and loving and generous.

The highlight of our week last week was the baptism of the Jagmis family.  It was just so overwhelming to see this beautiful family all dressed in white (except for their youngest daughter, Carmelita who is not old enough yet).  On Saturday there was no water to fill the font so we went the beach.  Bro Jagmis has a big old truck - like a hay truck or something, so between that and our van we were able to take everyone out to the beach.  It was so beautiful, and the Spirit was so strong.  Even though there were a lot of distractions the Spirit was strong and it was just so, I don't know the word to describe what it was like seeing this whole family accept the Gospel and be baptized.  We are so excited for them, and they will be a great strength to the Branch.  

Well, I will write more later today, I hope.  We are on our way to clean the chapel.  We love you all so much!  And miss you!!!  Thank you for your prayers.  We know they help and strengthen us.  And we LOVE hearing from you. 

Jagmis the Ocean!

March 30, 2014

Hi Everyone!  Hope everyone is doing great!  We had a busy and exciting week!  But mostly I wanted to tell you about the baptism yesterday and send you some pictures.  It was the Jagmis family.  We showed up Sat to fill the font and...NO WATER!! Our water had been off since Friday - not off off, we still had a drizzle, but anyway.  To make a long story short we ended up going to the beach and having the baptism there.  We had the service in the chapel and then went out.  

 This is the Jagmis Family.  Carmelita is the little girl, the 2 little boys are Christian and Jefferson, the older young man is Jason - he is the nephew of Sister Jagmis and lives with them, and then Brother Jagmis. 

 Bro Jagmis is the father who asked us, the first time we visited them (not the first time they were taught, just the first time we met them), what he could do to strengthen his family.  They have just moved steadily forward and are really a remarkable family.  Last fast meeting he wanted to bear his testimony but his wife told him not to because they weren't members yet. 

Here they are going out in the ocean.  They had to go out quite a ways to get it deep enough.  Elder Haynie and Elder Julito were the witnesses (still in missionary clothes because we didn't think about them needing to change), and Elder Torida and Elder Richards were the baptizing missionaries.

Another of the baptism, but look at that beautiful fishing boat in the background.  Incredible huh!

The baptism was really incredible!