Thursday, September 1, 2011

August 28

This month has gone so fast. We started out the month with a trip to Manila for a Employment Resource Center Conference/Training. We learned a lot and enjoyed shopping / looking in a bigger city. Our hotel room was very small and we haven't done twin beds in years but it was ok. We flew out of Naga and it took less than an hour. We went directly to the meeting place where he had a snack of a sandwich. At noon we had lunch which was a whole fish, head and everything. After removing the head, we tried it and it was very good.Two hours later we had another snack of pizza. Then at 5 we had dinner, which was a soup with all kinds of things that I did not recognize and of course rice. I ate some but after so much food I was not hungry. This caused some concern that I might go hungry. Saturday we had our meeting at the ERC office. Elder Misaluchia spoke to us about the importance of what we are doing. Again lots of food. After the meeting it was back to the hotel and then over to the Mall to look around. It was very big. We bought a fresh water pearl necklace and a table runner all made by Philippinos. Sunday morning we flew back to Naga. The Bakers took us to the airport and picked us up. We ago back in time to go to church. Then it was nap time.

Week of August 14:  Elder and Sister Nielson of the newly called Philippine Area Presidency came to visit do a Mission Tour.  On Monday we were invited to have lunch at the Mission Home and to meet Elder and Sister Nielson. That was where we learned that they might have known Bryan. When we went home we emailed Bryan to get more details. It is so great to have the technology to communicate so quickly. We were able to hear them in Legazpi at a Zone Conference. They gave us so many things to think about. Bryan and Sariah lived in their ward in Twin Falls and Elder Nielson was the Stake President when Bryan was the Elders Quorum President. They remembered Bryan and we had a nice visit with them. It was a good day. There was a youth fireside in Naga on Thursday evening and so we went and listened to them again. I think that it is one of the very few time that I have shaken hands with a general authority and I have never just sat and talked with one before.  Quite a highlight in my life. He thanked us for serving a mission. He also told the missionaries that whenever the general authorities meet the missionaries are the very first thing that is prayed for and I guess that is us too not just the young ones.
August 19: We taught out English Class and had a great time with the six people that attended. They are each so special. One Sister Cristine Martino had come in the week before for the Career Workshop. We told her about the class and she has been coming. She has a great testimony of the Gospel and has been a member for 5 months.  We spent the night at a very nice hotel in Legazpi, the Hotel Venezia. We were going to Cantaduanes Island on Saturday morning and needed to be at the ferry very early so the pickup could be loaded. Carlo was late and by the time we got to Tabaco we had to park the pickup and run for the ferry. We are so thankful that Carlo is always with us to help with the language differences. It was a three hour ferry ride but the ocean was calm and it was a good ride.Carlo met a friend on the ferry and they gave us a ride to Virac where the Stake Center was. Our hotel was almost next door so we were able to walk back and forth. We did a training with the Stake Employment Committee and then a Prosperity Fireside after that. There was not a big group but a group that was very interested in the principles that we were teaching. We just ate at the hotel. Without a vehicle we did not wander too far. Sunday we attended church and then his friend picked us up and took us back to the ferry. Again a nice smooth ride. We got home about 9 p.m. and were very tired.

Week of Aug 22:  Monday, I got a much needed hair cut. I have had 3 hair cuts and have been 3 different places. I think that I will be going back to this last one, if it doesn't close! We visited with the Bakers and the FM group to get directions to the Stake Center in Tabaco. They were having a Basic Cosmetology class. We were there for Tuesday and Wednesday. It is about a 2 hour drive. The last typhoon that went through did some serious damage on roads and bridges so that involves some interesting detours. The one to Tabaco, I felt like I was in the jungle. It was a single lane dirt road with bushes and trees so thick you could not see anything but the road. The directions all worked and we found the church. The class had already started. This class is put on by the Splash foundation, a beauty products company in the Philippines. It is a week long training and they teach, hair cutting, coloring, pedicures, manicures, hot oil, perm principles. Hair cutting on both male and females started the first day of the class. There are 33 in the morning and 33 in the afternoon. Elder DeGrange was not brave enough to get his hair cut and I had just done mine the day before. It was amazing to see how quickly they learned. To get enough models they would go out and kidnap tricie drivers that were going by. They even paid some to let them cut their hair. It was a fun two days for us. Tuesday night we met with  some of the sisters from Cantaduanes who came over on the ferry to take the class. We shared some things about us and our testimonies. We also learned about them. We went back on Friday for their graduation.The sisters and one brother felt so good about themselves and had such a good time. It was just good to be there and share part of this day with them.

                                          The Legazpi Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Nielson of the Philippines Area Presidency

We were invited to attend the Naga Zone Activity on Monday Aug. 29. Each month the zone with the cleanest apartments get to have a activity day on a Monday. We went to Mt. Isarog National Park and hiked down to a waterfalls. It was a fun day and the missionaries had a great time. Elder and Sister DeGrange are a bit out of shape but they made it down to the falls and back up.
                                             The whole group at Malasbay Falls

                        President and Sister Bliesner, Elder and Sister Baker , Elder and Sister DeGrange

                   Malabsay Fall in the Mt Isarog National Forest. This is about an hour from our place.
These are not very good pictures so will try and add better ones as soon as I put them on the computer. :)

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