Thursday, December 13, 2012

September 30 2012
Today is really November 1 and the Mission Blog of Elder and Sister DeGrange needs to be completed. There was a computer crash that caused several delays and then just busy getting ready to leave the Naga Mission.  Here is a recap of our last weeks in the  Philippines.
Our laptop died the last week in August. We took to Bitstop and they determined that the motherboard was gone. We purchased a Acer Computer because we needed a computer for a Career Workshop on Sept. 1.  The workshop was cancelled because no one came. This was to be our last time to work with Sis. Abonalla. We enjoyed being able to get to know her.
Thurs. Sept 6 was graduation for the Naga CES English class. Everyone came to class and we had a good time listening to them tell about their experiences.  We did Peas Porridge Hot and sang I Like Mangos. President Lucillo provided brownies. We handed out certificates and took pictures.   Jean said she could crochet a purse for me.
Jean and Kleene completed the class

Jean, Kleene, Kevin, Marilou, Jane and Sister and Elder DeGrange
The next week was graduation for the Legazpi CES English class. Again, everyone attended and we enjoyed that class also. We handed out certificates and took pictures and another last thing was done. DR attended several of the classes and we have enjoyed knowing him. He attended about 3 of our classes so we knew him quite well.
Legazpi English Graduation - E&S DeGrange, Nelma, DR, Icar, Kevin, Tara and Jenner.

Saturday was the last couples activity that we would be attending. We have come to love all of the couple missionaries and President and Sister Bliesner. This week is the PenaFrancia Festival so we watched a short parade and then went to the mission home and visited with each other.  Elder Miskins asked us what was the most important thing that we had learned. There have been so many things and I don’t remember what I said but this experience has been life changing for both of us.

 Outside the mission office, waiting for the parade. Elder DeGrange with the Campbells.
Elder Campbell is buying a pair of sun glasses
 The parade is over. From the back the Campbells, DeGranges, Lawhorns, and Miskins

At the Mission Home - President and Sister Bliesner, Elder and Sis. Miskins,
E&S DeGrange, and E&S Lawhorn.

 Monday and Tuesday was the last Career Workshop that we would be teaching. It was a small class but as usual we learn so much and enjoy being able to work with these young people that have completed their missions and returning home  to school and or employment. 

Elder DeGrange interviewing a Elder for a job.

Elder and Sister Lawhorn participated in the class. They will be teaching the next class.
Jomel arrived in Naga on Sep 19 for a Stake Employment training. He had a driver so we did not have to drive him around. Our computer also was not well so we had to make a call to Bit Stop. It had to spend the night so we went to the meeting with Jomel.

 The next night we had the same meeting in Legazpi.  We picked up the computer and it now seems to be working. We spent the next two nights  at the Hotel Venezia. Friday we had a day tour of Legazpi with Brian Dorasan. It was fun and we enjoyed Brian’s antics as we visited the zoo, Embarkadaro, Cagsawa and one of the oldest Catholic churches in the area.

Mayon, one of our last view of the volcano


Entrance to the park

Dinosaur swing


 Catholic Church that survived the bombing of WWII

Saturday, we attended Bea Adille’s 2nd birthday lunch and then it was off to Naga for the last time.

We had dinner at the Lucillo home on Sunday and the next days were spent packing.

Naga 1st. Ward Relief Society

The Such Family, Jeanette, Sis. Such, RS President, and Julius

Redith Cairnes and her son. We were invited to their home for FHE.

 Brother and Sis. Dela Cruz. Larry and Bro. DelaCruz shared the same birthday. They sat in the back by the door and greeted everyone that came. They made us feel very welcome.

 The Campbell, came out on Wednesday and took a load to the mission office where the Office Elders said it was like Christmas. I fell down the stairs and was so thankful nothing was broken but it sure did hurt. Mark came and gave us the deposit and we left. We had spent 1 ½  years and it went so fast. We had dinner at the mission home with the Bliesners and Campbells. Many fond memories with those special people. Dylo came over and gave us a big bag full of Filipino treats and 3 mugs to remember them and the CES students and President Lucilio. Saturday morning it was off to the Naga Airport for our flight to Manilla. Jomel picked us up and we had lunch at Chili’s.

We then visited Ft. Santiago, a very old military fort.  This place represents freedom to the people. The Japanese also used it as a prison during WW11. We took a carriage ride around the area first. I have always wanted to do a house and buggy ride. We had a very nice room at the Holiday Inn. We didn’t sleep very well. Anxious to go home and yet not really wanting to leave.  The emotions did not allow for much rest. Our driver, Clem, arrived at 5:30 a.m. and drove us to the airport and we were off for the next chapter in this journey we call life. So thankful for the opportunity that we had to serve in the Philippine Naga Mission. So thankful for the wonderful people we were able to meet. We are so thankful for the increase in our knowledge and understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been truly blessed.
It was a long flight. We flew on Delta to Hong Kong and from there to Portland, Oregon.There were several Elders in the Hong Kong airport along with Elders Tae and Nielson of the Philippines Area Presidency. They were on their way to General Conference. We made it through customs with no problem and soon we were on our way to Salt Lake City. We were met with balloons and signs and the greatest looking family ever. Bryan, Sariah and family, Steven and Ruth, Pat and Dot and Boyd were waiting for us. After collecting luggage, we were off to lunch at Texas Road House where Larry had his steak!
Saturday evening Sariah and I drove into Salt Lake for the Relief Society Broadcast. Dot had invited us to go to her Stake for the broadcast. Even in Salt Lake you go to a Stake Center for the broadcast. It was so nice to be my sisters and to just visit and enjoy their company. Sunday, we spoke in Bryan's ward. Monday we headed for Emmett. It was so good to see our house. We were greeted with all the bedrooms and office furniture in the front room. But, the new carpet looked great. President Walker met us at the Stake Center that evening and released us from our mission. and invited us to take off our name badges. It felt like part of me was ending as I took off that badge.

We reported our mission on November 25th in the East Valley Ward. This completes this chapter in out Book of Life, The Philippine Naga Mission - March 2011 - Sept. 28, 2012.

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