September 22, 2015
Magandang Hapon po kayong lahat!
We had a great week last week! We got all of the TPA (Temple Patron Assistance) forms sent in for the Narra branch and also for the Rizal branch. So hopefully we will hear back from the Area office on those soon.
Anyway, we were not able to go visiting with the Gattuds last week, but we did go visit a widow sister in our branch – Sister Capiendo. We have visited her before as we have been out walking, but this time we went specifically to visit her. She takes care of her mother who is, I think, 96 years old. She is lonely though. Her husband passed away about 2 years ago and she still misses him, which is understandable. We only understand part of what she says because she tries to speak English but then reverts to Tagalog and just goes on and on. She loves to visit. She is just really a cute lady!
My cooking class was a lot of fun! Not too many of the girls showed up but they had fun making the pizza and waffle cookies. I think they really liked doing the waffle cookies because they could all participate. And they both turned out really good! They do not have mozzarella cheese here in Narra. They have Eden cheese, which is kind of the consistency of Velveeta, but white, and a different taste, but the pizza actually tasted really good.
Dad’s self-reliance class did not go so well. Only a couple of people showed up and nothing really got done. I don’t think it was announced very well and no one really knew what was going on. Actually, we didn’t even know about it until our branch president told us when it was and asked dad to bring the seedlings, plants and seeds. We have talked about it though and we discovered another sister in the branch who is really into gardening. So we are hoping that we can have her, and the Bebita couple (I think I told you about their awesome garden. They are just a cute older couple, but very shy.) work together to organize a group and teach them and all work together to plant a garden at the church – a teaching garden, but then if they help in planting and caring for the garden they can share in the produce. And hopefully the will learn how to plant for themselves. The reason we think this other sister would be good is because she moved into a place that was just covered with weeds, really a lot of weeds. When we went there we saw that she, or she and her husband, had cleared it and planted a variety of vegetables, etc. The people who had been living there before really would have been benefited by growing some of their own food so we are hoping the members can catch that vision and work to become more self-reliant. It is a lot of work, but if they work together maybe they will see that it can be productive and give them a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, and also more peace in being able to provide for their families better.
was quite an adventure!!! We went to the Rizal branch conference. We have not been there for a while because dad’s high counsel assignment was changed several months ago, but we really enjoy the people there. We were able to get a picture of the little boy who had club feet and is having them corrected through Bahatala. I think I told you about them. They are a non-profit organization in Puerto through whom the Church Humanitarian Services goes through to distribute wheelchairs. They also have other programs, including making artificial limbs, and this program to correct club feet. The club feet program is completely free for those who need it. They pay for travel and every thing else, except food. The correction is done with casts, and they focus on infants and young children. I did ask if they can do it for adults and really didn’t receive an answer, so I think they don’t do it because their bones are set. Anyway, both of his feet were turned inward at a 90 degree angle to his legs. But he was so cute and he could really get around. But of course, it was difficult and he couldn’t wear shoes. he had shoes on! and he was so proud of them. And his mom was smiling from ear to ear. He is the youngest of 8 children. He still has to go through more casts – in fact he goes in tomorrow to have them put on but he is doing so well. (I have some pictures of him, his family, and some of the Rizal branch). President Caduada, the 1st counselor in the mission presidency who took President Angoy’s place, was also at the conference, with his family – 1 son and 3 daughters, ages 12 – 22. This was their first visit to Rizal. After meetings we take off and President Caduada leaves a short time after us. But he catches up to us because he drives pretty fast. Dad decides to pull over and let him pass because thankfully dad drives a little slower, and he knows that President C was trying to make it back to Puerto by . After about an hour of driving we come to the old rickety bridge that I have told you about and sent pictures of. There is a LONG line of vehicles on both sides of the bridge just parked and waiting. Come to find out, the powers that be decided the bridge needed to be repaired, which is a good thing. So they asked a man there to make a detour so people can still get around while they repair the bridge. He did that, but then he proceeded to charge everyone 100 pesos to use the detour. That is only about $2.50, but is a lot of money for these people. Some of the people got angry so they found the police. The police showed up and didn’t really know what to do. Finally they decided to close down the detour and everyone had to wait until they finished the work on the bridge. Luckily for us, they only completed about 1/8th of the bridge before they let us pass. We ended up only having to wait for about 45 minutes. So, President C takes off again, and we follow quite a ways behind. After about 20 minutes we come upon Pres C pull off to the side of the road, with TWO flat tires! Because this was his first time traveling the road there, he was unfamiliar with the way they often do things here. They are continually working on the roads, which again, is a good thing because they are replacing dirt with a concrete road. However, for whatever reason, they come to a certain spot and stop. Sometimes they build up dirt at the end of the concrete so you can get back down on the road, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they put up warning signs, or “use other lane” signs, and sometimes they don’t. On the way to Rizal we had that problem – no sign and we just continued on the cement road and came to the end of the cement, with no way to get back onto the dirt, because the cement is several inches high, it’s too much of a drop off, so we had to back up quite a ways until we found a place we could get down onto the dirt. Anyway, back to the Caduadas. His problem was the reverse of ours. Instead of there being no way to get off of the concrete road, there was no way, no built up dirt to get ONTO the concrete road. He did not realize this, just saw the concrete road and assumed that was where he needed to go because, again, no signs, and he hit the edge of the concrete and blew two tires. Interestingly enough, it was the right front and the left rear. Don’t know how that happened. The people living close by came out to see what the LOUD noise was. So, luckily we were behind them and we drive exactly the same vehicle so we were able to lend him our spare so they could get home. Thankfully no one was hurt. Thankfully dad listened to the prompting to let him go first. Also, we were blessed because they were just finishing the tires we got a downpour. Needless to say, they did not make it to Puerto by . But everyone made it home safely. And we made it home in time to go to Brother Tana’s birthday celebration. We had been invited to Sister Tana’s birthday and their anniversary celebration (they are on the same day) several weeks earlier and were unable to attend because of teaching appointments, so we were glad to be able to attend. It was a lot of fun. Lots of members of the branch. The food and the company were great!
Well, sorry SO long! I just had to share our adventure. Our two favorite sayings here really fit – “Only in the Philipppines” and “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”
We love you all and hope you are all safe and happy and doing great!!
Love and miss you all so much!
Grandpa and Grandma,
Dad and Mom