Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Life Here! 7/14/2015

 Hello loved ones!  I haven't written in our blog for 3 weeks or so.  Everything is looking so normal to us now that we don't feel there is anything new to write about!  The same kinds of things fill up our schedule, but lots of different faces and experiences.  I will try filling you in on what is new with us, but it will probably be kind of random.  Here goes!

I'm sure I've mentioned before that there is no such thing as an address?  Cities are separated into barangays which are kind of like neighborhoods.  Once you find the right barangay, you have to stop and ask people where someone lives until you finally find the right house.  Well, ours is pretty easy to find.  Just look for the friendly boar that is chained to a tree 24/7, and lives right across

Here is Fred.  This is not his best side, but he is photo shy.  See
the picnic table for their "store"?
the street from us!  His owners butcher pigs and sell the meat just laid out on a picnic table in front of their house, so it makes sense that Fred (the boar) would be the marker for their house.  No, we haven't bought any of the meat!
While we were walking along this path to visit a member
we ran into some animal friends.

We actually see and hear different species from the animal (and insect), kingdom all day and night long.  We have lizards and ants that insist on living with us no matter how hard we try to get rid of them.  We don't actually mind the lizards, but the ants are the bain of my existence here!  We are used to hearing the roosters crow, the dogs bark (constantly), and the eerie human baby sound of cats meowing.  One cat has taken residence in a box just outside our door.  That cat is about to give birth, so we are waiting for the big event.  Daily, we also get to see some pretty chickens, ducks and roosters and many other fowls of the air.  We understand that when the rain really starts coming, we will see fish swimming in the streets!  We'll keep you posted on that.

How cute is this scene?

This little frog is the size of my pinkie nail!
That's another sound we hear at night.  There
must be a million frogs around our apartment!

Just to let you know, it isn't all work around here!  The senior missionaries gathered for an activity and meeting a couple of weeks ago.  One of the senior couples, the Wright's, live here and arranged for a carabou ride complete with a cart and woven hat for the riders.  They also have a trike, so Mike got to drive a trike and I was the passenger in the side car.  It made for some fun!  We always love gathering with the other senior missionaries.

Our chariot!

Back to work!  Here are some pictures of people we have met along the way.   This is just a small fraction of some people we have come across, but I will introduce them to you through the captions.

This wonderful couple joined the church a few months ago.
Their daughter and grandkids are visiting from another city.
Notice the window to the left and the shortened doorway?
When Mt. Pinatubo erupted it sent a flow of mud and ash that
buried many houses.  Some people only dug out enough of the
mud and ash to occupy it again.  Of course, the windows and
door used to be at a normal height!  Oh, and don't be fooled by
the number on the house.  Don't go thinking it's an actual

All ages LOVE to pose for pictures!  Just some cute kids
that passed us along our way and stopped for a picture.
Choose The Right!  Some primary girls at
an activity.
Sister Santos (not her best side either), trying
to navigate to a member's house.  We are
getting a little bit of rain, which means it has
cooled down a bit!

And now for some of our awesome missionaries!  We love them and admire the hours of work they do everyday.  They are a great example to us.  Most are 18-20 years old, some a little older.  They are obedient and hard working.  They teach with the Spirit and serve others with genuine love and care.

14 year old Alvin's baptism and the Lubao (that's where we live),
Sister Rowena with her family and the Lubao sisters.

Alvin's sister is the taller one of his left.
She gets baptized in a couple of days!
These are the missionaries in the Guagua District.

Last district meeting for these two elders.  We
miss them!
Only a little trunky!  Leaving on a jet plane!

Happy Birthday to Sister Ayala!

We have talked about the Self Reliance Program.  It starts with a My Path Devotional which helps people decide which of the 3 classes they should enroll in:  Starting and Growing My Own Business, My Job Search, or Education For Better Work.  Sister Irma did an outstanding job facilitating this devotional.  Here are some of the students for this batch of the 12 week course.

Hard at work figuring out budgets, talents and interests!
Decisions made!  These groups are ready to get started.
The 3 groups have wonderful facilitators who will encourage
them to reach their goals!

If you have made it all the way to the end of the blog, we have some exciting news that did not happen in the Philippines.  It happened in New York City and we are SO happy about it!  Our son Jacob FINALLY popped the question and Ashlee said YES!  Wedding date to be announced soon!  We can't wait to have Ashlee as a part of our family!
The proposal...

The happy couple!