Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 76

February 20, 2012

Dear Family and Friends, 

How is everyone this week? We were so excited this week because there was a ‘glitch’ in the internet connection and we happened to talk to Jon, Tamina and family on SKYPE uninterrupted for about an hour! That was a miracle and we are still amazed at how that happened. It was so good to talk to them since we have not really had that opportunity since we arrived here.Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We are hopeful that we can do the same this week with everyone else!!

This has been one of those ‘routine’ weeks. We are still struggling to find our exact fit here in Narra in knowing how we can best help this area. We have conducted a lot of training and have traveled a lot but we are still trying to find why Heavenly Father has brought us here and what He wants us to do. In the meantime we just keep on doing whatever we can. We have finished all but one of the special assignments. The last one will be completed by the end of March. We will go back to Manila for another Presidency meeting in early March so we will see what other fun things we can help with.

Having said that, this week was one of those fun weeks that just make you want to laugh. First off the rains brought a mouse or mice into the house. Oh boy! Mom was rather nervous so I set two mouse traps. What do mice eat in the Philippines? We decided that peanut butter would be best. The next morning the ants had eaten or carried off the peanut butter form both traps. Hmm! Now what do we do? Well, a day or two later I hear this scream from the bathroom. I thought the mouse was back, but this time it was a spider. It was about the size of a one cup measuring cup. After I took some pictures, it was curtains for that spider – if you know what I mean. 

Yes, I know I will pay for every ant, bug and spider I have squished over here, but right now I am willing to pay that price.  Mom said that she was now officially scared of our house (but not really)!

Our branch in Narra had a Branch Activity at the beach on Saturday. We had to drive down this one lane muddy, bumpy road and at the end of the road – there was the beach – literally at the end of the road was the beach! No place to turn a vehicle around or anything. The activity was really fun. We arrived after the games and the branch was sitting under some trees and learning first aid techniques. We love the members here. When they have an activity they always teach something – it always seems so organized and formal. But they know how to have fun together. 

After the activity we walked the beach and of course picked up shells. The shells were just small ones but they were really cool. Mom washed them off in the ocean and put them in her pocket as we walked. 

When we got back to the apartment mom arranged them on the bookshelf. They looked nice. 

 We went off to Aborlan (about a 45 minutes drive – depending on how many slow trikes you happen to get stuck behind) to a baptism. The baptism was wonderful. A young father from a part member family was baptized. He shared his testimony at the baptism and it was wonderful to see how happy he and his wife are now. 
Elders Roberts and Christie in the back
 When we got back home we settled in to do some reading and to check e-mail. Mom was working on the computer and heard something like a rock hit the floor. She asked me what that noise was and I said that I didn’t know. We looked around the room and found that one of the sea shells had fallen off of the shelf on to the floor. 

Yeah - that little critter was still in the shell! And he was trying to find the ocean.   Not only to we have critters trying to get into the house but now we are even bringing them in with us. We look back on this and just have to laugh. Whenever something happens we just say or think to ourselves – only in the Philippines!

Sunday we had a branch fireside about member reactivation and retention. The fireside was long but to help break up the meeting our full-time missionaries had an intermission activity. They had an animated ‘froggy dance” on the computer for everyone to do. It was so fun to watch everyone participate – young and old- even the very old! I just laughed and laughed. Everyone had a good time. The members like to just have fun whenever they are together – and it is just a simple fun. We have learned a lot from them. 

One last experience! We were in the town center doing some things and I asked some people if they could tell me the location of the post office. The first person said no problem and began to ‘flag down’ a trike that would take me to the post office. I said. ”No, I have a vehicle I just need to know where it is”. He said that it is at the municipal office building. The second person gave me pretty much the same answer. Well, we found what we thought was the municipal building but it wasn’t. The man inside this building pointed through the back of his building. So I went into his building and asked where the post office was located. Every person in that room walked me out of that building and pointed me in the right direction. Well, we made it to the municipal building. 
Municipal Building

 A very nice lady showed me where the post office was but it was closed. I waited around for about 10 minutes but no one came. Another lady came by and asked me if she could help me and I showed her the letters that I wanted to mail. She said that the post office was closed. “When will it open”, I asked?  She looked at me as if I was asking a trick question. When she saw that I was serious and I wanted to mail some letters, she said, “Maybe Monday.” I said, “Maybe”. She said, “Yes, maybe Monday?”  Can you see where this is going? If I mail the letters on Monday what will be the chances of those letters actually leaving the post office on Monday or maybe Tuesday or maybe Wednesday or maybe …  We love this country and the people. 

We hope that all is well with you. We love you and miss you very much. We love being missionaries and enjoy having the time to study and ponder about the gospel. The time seems to be going by so fast. This next week is transfer week again. I can’t believe how quickly the transfers come. We are down to 3 transfers and then we are coming home. Wow! Well, we love you. Take care of yourselves and have fun. Remember to BE good, DO good, and BE men and women of Christ. And always remember to say your prayers. 

Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, Janene and Grant

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