Monday, 18 May 2015

Families Can Be Together Forever! 5/19/2015

Magandang Tanghali!  
The Mendoza Family after they were sealed
as a family for eternity in the temple.

Coming out of the Manila Temple.

My artistic photo of the Angel Moroni.  Look
up, waaaaay up!

I thought I'd start out our blog with the highlight of the last two weeks since I last wrote.  Last Friday we were able to go with the Mendoza family, to the Manila Temple.  Brother Mendoza was not active for many years and his wife was not a member until one year ago.  Brother Mendoza is now in the bishopric and Sister Mendoza serves in YW.  He is a rice farmer and she does what she can to help out.  Such a humble family!  They were SO happy to know they can be together forever and it was such a pleasure to see their joy and to be with them on their special day!  We're loving every minute here!  We get to be among such wonderful people that we love so much!  We fall into bed each night and wake up tired, but somehow we are given all the energy we need to get everything done the next day.

We have started teaching a couple of English classes in different towns that are a lot of fun.  I can't remember if I've already said this, but there is a funny expression here that people use all the time.  They say they are getting a nosebleed if too much English is spoken to them and when they try to respond in English.  People laugh at other's attempts to speak English, so people are really scared to try.  Of course, being on the other end of the stick, we understand the feeling of being afraid to try to speak a new language.  The thing is that most people really WANT to learn to speak English as it can qualify them for better jobs for much better pay.  We promised that there would be "No Nosebleeds" in our English classes!  One of the classes has been running for 2 weeks, and the other one for only 1 week.  We are having so much fun with the classes and people seem to really enjoy them.  We teach conversation, proper pronunciation and grammar.  It is open to members of the church and non-members.  Here are a few pictures of our English classes:

Some of our Lubao class.  We have 20 students.
The other half of the Lubao class.

We love visiting members of the church that don't come anymore.  They are always so friendly and open.  We love sharing a lesson and visiting with them and we always commit them to come back ("babalik") as they are missed!  Some of them are coming back and it's always so exciting!  I need to get more pictures of those visits, but here are a couple:
We went to go see the Galveson Family.  It was Fiesta time in
their barangay (community).  Their daughter Shyra, was getting
her hair and makeup done for a beauty contest which is always a
big thing in the Philippines.
These are the Tiksay's.  We are in front of their summer
house.  It's called a bahay kubo.  I wish we could bring one home! Sister
Tiksay is a teacher and has 57 grade 4 students!  They split the class
when they have 60 students.  Brother Tiksay is a rice farmer.

Here are a couple of pictures from a fiesta parade that happened in our barangay.  When the parade participants would see me taking pictures the ENTIRE parade would come to a stop and pose.  I kept having to tell them to move on!  Everyone wanted to be sure to be included in a picture.  This was especially true for the 'bukla's" (gay) participants, who would really put on a show for the camera!

The Fiesta King and Queen

We love going for walks around the neighbourhood and feel like tourist attractions when we do.  By now, the kids know that we have a camera and they love posing for pictures and then looking at the pictures.  We have a basketball court right near our house which is always in use.  

The kids play in barefeet or flip flops and can run as fast as kids in North America
wearing expensive, high tech running shoes!  Notice the courtside
houses.  Box seating!

See the bag of brown liquid?  They sell Coke in plastic bags.
There are little stores that people run out of their
homes that are called sari-sari's, for extra income.

Mga kaibigan (friends)
These little kids were playing a game when we walked by.
They were trying to get a paper plate with the centre cut out, over a
bottle.  Their own version of ring toss.

We love working with the young missionaries.  They are so great!  We go to the zone and district meetings and we also get to go to appointments with them sometimes.
These Sister Missionaries had one oc the cleanest apartments
on apartment check day.  This was supposed to be the "funny
face" picture, but apparently I'm the only one that got the memo!
Birthday dinner for Elder Hunt.  He's from New
Zealand and we found some New Zealand beef that
we cooked up for the 4 elders in his apartment.
Elder Furniss (from Utah) and Elder Fepulea'i (from Australia).
The small guy in the middle is Jayson, a local member that
is leaving on his mission in 2 weeks.  He went out visiting with us.
We brought some birthday cake to Elder Furniss and enjoyed it
along the highway together!
The Elders and Sisters in our zone.  We have 1 Canadian
in our mission and he's in our zone!  (Elder Wetterstrand from

We buy all our fruit and vegetables in the palenke's- the outdoor markets.  Fresh mangoes, bananas, watermelon, coconuts, string beans, eggplant, tomatoes, sour sop, and other fruits that we can't remember the names of.  Everything is so fresh and delicious!  We could also buy our meat and fish that have been laying out on tables in the hot sun, but we choose to go to the real markets for that!  We also love running down to the fresh pandasal shops.  Pandasal is fresh from the oven- buns (or rolls).  All the breads from the bake shops along the street, are so good!

Our favorite coconut vendor.  He is a master with the machete!
The husk is off in seconds and then he leaves enough on
for us to get it home and cut a little hole in the top to pour out the juice
and scoop out the tender meat inside.  It's so maserup!

Two of the vendors where we bought our mangoes and bananas.
They are so much more tasty than what we buy in North America!

The members are so good to us here.  They invite us to many events in their homes.  This was  a debut (18 yr. old birthday party).
The Ibanez parents with the birthday girl!

We see these types of signs everywhere!  They are all over the jeepny's (I think the real spelling is jyipni), buses, family cars, motor trikes, stores, etc.  Christian faith in the Philippines is publicly expressed in ways that you would never see in America.

Well, that's it until next time!  I can't promise weekly posts anymore, but we'll do our best.  We are so happy here.  It is such a privilege to serve here as missionaries.  We love sharing our testimonies of Jesus Christ and we love the people!  We also love you!  Thanks for taking time to stay in touch with us!  Ingat!

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