Friday, February 28, 2014

Pebrero 28, 2014
Biyernes (Friday)

Strange week. Last night we were to be set apart. Michael, Amy, and Tommy were present with their families, but no stake president. I was a little torqued, to say the least, as we have had an appointment for two weeks. But, we are supposedly booked for setting apart tomorrow morning at 10:00, just prior to us getting on the road to Salt Lake. It will work-out.

We are ready to go, and tired of getting ready to go. I have been exercising, we have the apartment rented, I have literally thousands of pills bottled and ready for the next 18 months. I have strengthened myself a bit and feel pretty good about getting busy. We got our hair cuts yesterday. I have to try on pants this afternoon. Our shots are complete. We have our credit and debit cards updated and our drivers licenses. I have been studying the internet to see what the island of Panay is like, and I am still trying to learn some Hiligaynon. We gave numbers to the neighbors who will keep and eye on the house this morning. Life is good.

I will tire of the MTC pretty rapidly, but look forward to a week of Preach My Gospel and scripture study. It will be spiritual, fun, and interesting. We will see Ryan and his family Sunday and report to the MTC at 10:40 Monday. We are taking our car and will return to Caldwell on Friday evening, late. Saturday we will be busy repacking and leaving suits and heavy clothes behind. We will rent a car and return to SLC and get a motel close to the airport so we can turn in the car and catch a plane Monday morning.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pebrero 24, 2014

We had a wonderful day yesterday with the kids at Michael and Emily's house. Grandkids rode the 4-wheeler and motorcycle and played together. And cried when they had to part. Cousins do become close.

We said farewell to Chancey and his family. I missed them immediately. We felt a bit empty on the way home.

At 7:00, we called Brother and Sister Scott in Snowflake, Arizona. They are the senior couple we follow in the Philippines Iloilo Mission. They found us, actually, through Elder and Sister Taylor who are still serving in the mission. We had a great conversation and they gave us many good tips on what to bring and where we might find food and about the assignment. Of course, assignments change, but President Aquino said we would be going to the same district, that our car and house are ready for us, so we know we will be going to San Jose in the Antique District.

Amy is having surgery this morning and I am off to exercise. Sandy is with Amy and I suppose she will be away most of the day. I am going to the Globetrotters this evening with Brian and the kids. I loved the Globetrotters as a boy and look forward to seeing them after so many, many years.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pebrero 22, 2014

Sandy and Chancey are working on one of the apartments, trying to get it done and rented before we head to Salt Lake/Provo/MTC next Saturday, the 1st of March. We are to report at the MTC Monday, the 3rd, at 10:40 am.  We don't want to travel on the Sabbath, so we will go and attend church someplace, perhaps at the MTC.

We drove to Nampa early this morning to pick up trim at Stone's Lumber. They weren't open, so we went to MacDonalds, Sandy's favorite breakfast dive. I didn't eat, but sat and visited about what I have been reading regarding the Philippines. I expect it will be very different in real life and real time. Most of the reports we hear are 20 years old.

We will call the Scotts tomorrow evening at 7:00 and hope to get some more up to date information. They are the senior missionaries we are replacing. We have many questions regarding the work and living on the island of Panay.

I cleaned up the back yard today and went to exercise in the pool at the YMCA. It was a nice day. We are leaving in a few minutes to Amy's house in Boise. She has initiated and planned a sort of family reunion/farewell for this evening. I look forward to seeing everyone.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pebrero 20, 2014

Went to the dermatologist and to the temple this morning. The dermatologist's physician's assistant served his mission in Iloilo. He was in the city all the time and it was 20 years ago, but it was fun talking to him and asking about the language.

I spent nearly two weeks trying to memorize (memory the problem) how to count to ten: isa-1, du'ha-2, t'atlo-3, apat-4, lima'-5, anu'-6, pito'-7, walo'-8, siya'm-9, and pu'lo-10 . . . then it goes on in Spanish. Then the physician's assistant says they just use Spanish, and I didn't need to learn these. So, one doesn't always get the low-down from the Internet.

The pharmacy called and they have collected 18 months of my medications . . . the bill totaling $812.48. We will pick it up tomorrow. How does one say "Crapolla" in Hiligaynon? This going on a mission can be expensive. Our glasses came to about $550.

A senior couple by the name of Scott left the mission, I think in December, and we are to fill their spot. The Scotts e-mailed and we are going to have a little conference call Sunday evening. Sandy and I look forward to hearing about the mission. Elder and Sister Taylor, the other senior missionaries in the mission (the only other couple), have been e-mailing with us and telling us some little, very valuable, hints about what to pack and what not to pack. We are winding down to the wire pretty fast.

We still have to get an apartment painted and rented. It is nearly ready. Chancey is going to help us get the floor back into shape this weekend, I believe. The place has been a bit of a mess. What a bummer to have people not pay their rent, but go ahead and tear the apartment up anyway. The last guy, we learned, shot his pellet gun at a phone book in the house. Not much of a gun, he is not much of a shot. Sandy has been digging pellets out of the cupboards.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pebrero 19, 2014

Ma'ayong hapun. (Good afternoon).

Studied the BoM this morning and hit the YMCA for deep water swim session. It was so crowded that it was tough to swim. Good thing I have built in flotation. When I breath in, I pop up about 8 inches out of the water.

I started studying Preach My Gospel today, again. I have the purpose still memorized, but reading the commission to teach and the teachings of President Benson concerning the power and authority of the calling is powerful. While Sandy and I were getting examined and fitted for glasses I read. It was tough to hold back tears. The folks at Walmart would have been amused at the old fat guy crying in the optical shop.

Sandy got fitted for her first pair of bifocals. We are set vision-wise. I remembered my first pair of glasses. I went to Idaho Falls to get them and was to meet the boys out in Kunzville in the Basin to hunt. I hopped the fence and started across the field to meet them by the head waters of the Teton River. The bifocals were so new to me that I immediately stumbled and took a header in the plowed field. I was by myself, so I was not to embarrassed.

Counting down to the MTC. SHORT!!!
Trying to paint this evening. Haven't touched a brush in about 10 days.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pebrero 18, 2014

Clearly, we are not in the Philippines yet. Sandy and I have been preparing; doctor appointments, pharmacy appointments, new glasses appointments, colonoscopy, dental appointments, gathering clothing, putting all together so we can leave our home, studying Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures, searching the mission on the Internet (blogs, info etc.), emailing with Elder and Sister Taylor (senior missionaries in the mission who have been valuable in helping us with details), buying Prilosec to take with us and repellent and rubber shoes. We have been getting an apartment ready to rent, getting things stored in the house, taxes done, I have been exercising/dieting trying to get stronger so I can work, doing our church work in the ward, home teaching, transferring insurance to the church insurance group, getting clear on travel baggage, getting the laptop working well so we can skype, reading about the Philippines, and wondering how it will be.

I have been studying Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) language. It is tough. It took me a week to learn to count to ten. There are many words from Spanish, but many sound like jibberish to me. And, dictionaries don't always agree. It is fun and interesting though. We are told that English is prevalent on the island of Panay, so we don't need to study, but I want to speak a little at least, out of respect.

They say"Hi" and "Hello" and "Ma'ayong Aga" (good morning). There are several greetings with Ma'ayong for mid day, afternoon evening and Ma'ayong adlaw meaning good day.

So, I am just starting the blog/Journal today, February 18, 2014. We are to report to the MTC on 3 March at 10:45. They tell us that a bunch of senior missionaries will arrive that day. I know that none will be coming to our mission, but it will be fun to study Preach My Gospel with them for a few days. We leave on 10 March at 11:00 out of Salt Lake. I do not look forward to the travel. "Bulig!", or Help!

It has been an interesting and instructive time from the Lord. We asked for a year mission, in someplace that was not hot and humid, where we could take our own car and not be in closed-in circumstances; perhaps a temple . . . They payed no attention. I was excited when we opened the call, and torqued after I thought about it a little while.

Candace and Dave Gingery helped me think more clearly, and Bishop Hilton, and things started happening and the Lord's hand started appearing about daily and in so many different ways. I have felt the Spirit and now I know the call was from Ang Manugdumala (the boss). I will go where he wants me to go. Sandy was fine with it from the beginning I think.

We talked to the President (Presidente (Pangulo) Aquino) via e-mail. I inquiered to see if we had to have a Japanese influenza vaccine ($300 a pop for each of us and we needed two pops each). President was nothing short of ebullient to hear we were coming and wanted us to come sooner, if we could. He told us he had checked with the mission doctor and we didn't need that shot. He said we would be assigned to the Antique (pronounced on-tick-wa) District to help with them becoming a stake, we will check apartments once every 6 weeks, and we will help with English acquisition for non-English speaking missionaries. Sounds very interesting.

He told us he loved us . . .which hit me like a ton of bricks. Since then, I am his loyal geezer missionary, anxious to get to Iloilo and get going. Ma'ayong adlaw kag bugay sa ka. (Good day and blessings to you.)