November 11, 2015
Well, we have had quite a week! We actually saw something that we have not seen in the Philippines since we have been here. It was a big surprise! Can you guess what it is??? I bet not. I think I will have you guess. You can guess as many times as you want. If you guess right, we will bring you some Filipino candy! I will tell you the answer next week, if I don’t forget. If I do you can remind me. Another surprising experience – which is unimportant, actually both of these things are totally unimportant, just surprising. I’ve told you about Suhat, it is like Pumalo or Pumelo, I can’t remember what it is in the US, but the big green grapefruit like fruit that has a really thick skin and is citrus, but pretty dry, not very juicy. Well we have eaten a lot of suhat because I miss grapefruit and it’s all we can find here. But it is dry and not sweet, although some has been better than others. Well, we went on visits with the Gattuds and they gave us one off their tree. It was amazing! The skin was a little thicker than a grapefruit, but not bad, and it was so juicy and sweet. It was masarap! We really thought that they were just dry and not sweet, but this one was so good. So, 2 totally unimportant and irrelevant things, but sometimes there are irrelevant but interesting things in life.
So, I started this letter on the way to Brookes Point on, I think it was October 31st but I am not sure. I had planned on finishing it and sending it last week, but we have been so busy and I just didn’t get it done. And now, this week is half over so, I’d better finish it and get it sent. We had found a place for the new couple that we thought would be it! We didn’t see inside it but the elders did and said it would be good. They were renovating it but it would be ready in 2 -3 weeks. That was all information from the caretaker. So we scheduled an appointment with the owners to talk about it and for us to see it. But when we got there the family sent someone out to tell us that the apartment was no longer available. The missionaries were under the impression that it was because we were “Mormon Missionaries” and the father is a minister of another religion. So that was down the tube. Anyway, we couldn’t find anything else. We did get the manager of the lodge to go down to 25,000/month, which isn’t a huge drop from the 30,000, but, the daily price is 1350/night, which is 40,500/month, so 25,000/month is a significant discount. So, we let President Ostler know our results and he said to go ahead and move them into the lodge. He said they may just stay there for the 3 to 4 months they are there. And the Atkinsons FINALLY made it to Narra. As often happens in the Philippines, things don’t happen according to plan. Their car was being shipped from Manila and was suppose to be there on Friday or . So we went to Puerto to get a chest xray because they are required for us to go home. We were going to stay overnight and meet the Atkinsons and Wolcotts (who had been in Manila) at the airport and bring them back to Narra and then to Brooke’s Point. However, the car did not arrive. We got word afternoon that it wouldn't be there until late night so the Wolcotts said they would have the Atkinsons stay until so they could get their driver’s license and then bring them out. But, the car didn’t actually arrive until evening I think. So they came out yesterday and we took them to Brookes Point. They are a great couple! They have been on 2 missions to Malasia. They were planning on going on another mission last year but Elder was doing some kind of construction work, helping his son, and he fell off a ladder from high up and broke both feet, both hips, I think, his back and I think an arm, maybe there was more. And he is older – actually they are the oldest couple in the mission right now. They had to pin one foot back together, the other one wasn’t too bad, and I think they had to replace both hips, but I am not sure about that. But, he was determined. He apparently healed really fast and gets around pretty well. They are really determined and spunky. And, come to find out, their daughter lives in Mendon and Nyree knows her. Her son is in Audrey’s class. The Atkinsons have 11 children – 9 daughters and 2 sons. And all but one live in Utah, most of them pretty close to the Atkinsons! I’m jealous! Anyway, they are great and I know the members will love them. We got them settled into their little room. They seemed pretty tired when we left, but they were going to go out with the missionaries.
I think the rest of our mission is going to be pretty busy! More busy than usual. I have a cooking class, Dad has a service project at the Church property, and we have a visit to one of the temple prep families that we have yet to visit because they are never available, and we have a movie night at the church. We are showing “Meet the Mormons” and inviting members, nonmember and investigators. Not sure if we will make it to that because it conflicts somewhat with our appointment. we will travel to BP again for our HT/VT training. Our one in Cabar went pretty well last Sunday. I was concerned about doing it after 3 hours of meetings, but the members actually did really well and participated well. We had a brown-out so were not able to show the videos we had planned, which was a good thing because it would have made it much longer. As it was it was 1 ½ hours. We have made some adjustments in the training so hopefully it will stay at 1 ½ hours and we will only show 2 short videos. Every from now until we go home we will travel to one of the branches to do the training, except Nov 29th, which is district conference.
It has been REALLY raining here the past 2 or 3 weeks. Unbelievably so. Lots of flooding. Hopefully it will dry out a little. We thought we were out of the rainy season!
Well, we love and miss you all SO MUCH!!!
Hope things are going well for all of you.
Can’t wait to see you all again!
Dad and Mom, Grandpa and Grandma