Saturday, March 14, 2015

Last Entry

Home nine days. We saw the Stake President at church last Sunday. He said he would be in touch and release us. He has not done so. He is a pretty loose guy though. Our applications papers sat on his desk for weeks. Nobody seemed to look at the papers when they went in. He asked if we would do 18 months opposed to the 1 year we had requested. We went to a hot place, with little medical assistance, and flew for long periods/distances that I specifically asked not to do.

In spite of all that, it doesn't matter. We were sent home by an area authority 70, so I figure we were released in Manila.

It was a tough time. We met many people we loved. We met many who played us. There were many people who play the church for assistance. There many others who are genuine and "pure in heart." We ask the Lord to bless those,  pure in heart and the missionaries and the mission president and his wife. We pray for the Philippines and her people. Sorry to be home early, but happy to be home. We await test results from doctors and hope to see a doctor that will help my hearing problem.

Going to get this blog published as our/my journal for the last 13 months. That's it . . . .

Saturday, March 7, 2015

7 Martsa

Home for a day. Can't get time straight. 3:39 am. . . Been awake for over an hour.

We got home night before last. Greeted at the airport by the family. It was such a joy to see them and an undeserved blessing.
Thankfully, Lindsey took some pictures. 

We spent all yesterday getting some minutia completed and we had a fine visit with Taylors in Meridian. We talked about the mission with some of Taylor's friends who served missions in Thailand and Maylasia. They knew the drills. 

Our High Priest Group Leader and his wife visited us and gave me a home teaching assignment. I am so pleased. It was like a message to keep going, it is not over. The battle rages.

Trying to contact doctors for appointments. Going to watch Parker play basketball this morning, later. . .

5 Martsa

Got up at 4:30 to be ready by 5:30. Boise took us to the airport at 6:00 . . . Filapinp Standard Time, I will not miss that. I texted our close ones for our last text and we were on our way to the airport. Boycee knew the dates the Philippines were dedicated for mission work. 

Joseph F. smith dedicated the land in 1955 from Clark Air base. Then, president Hinckley dedicated the land again in 1961 from the Cemetery. Boycee said the dedication prayer is available on LDS.Org. 
will check it. 

We wait to fly to Tokyo, then to Portland, then Boise. I hope to do some sleeping.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

4 Martsa 2015

We went to breakfast this morning in the Kasteler's apartment. That is usual. They oversee the MRC and feed the recuperating missionaries. Then we went outside, thinking reception might be better, and face timed to let all know we will be coming home in a few days. 

I am adding entries I have written in my sketchbook here. Sister Sessions wanted me to say nothing until we knew what the leaders were recommending. She wanted to wait til we thought departure may be close.

27 January
Reading the Old Testament again with the mission. I really don't want to. I e-mailed President Aquino and President Holzapfel to inquire about the efficacy of reading the OT. 

Then I opened to Genesis 26, a chapter I have read many times with no registration. The inspiration was clear. We read the Old Testament to find how The Lord blesses us, even when we don't deserve blessings. Sometimes He blesses us to fulfill a covenant promise, because of covenants made to others ( Abraham, mothers, fathers, children). Sometimes He blesses us because He chooses us, or plane old chooses to bless us. Anyway, I am reading the Old Testament reverently and I re-e-mailed the Presidents and told them to disregard my messages.

13 February
I did some research for Elder Tracy regarding Zion. The phrase that struck me was, "pure in heart." I thought about how we become pure in heart through exercising faith, studying, serving, and through the Atonement (heavy on The Atonement), and think also that many come here to earth already pure in heart. They are those that immediately recognize the truthfulness of the Gospel and after hearing the Gospel they cannot even be driven from the Church, let alone be offended by someone. . . Joseph Smith, Presidents Hinkley and Monson . . . Sisters Gingery and Sessions, for instance. 

The rest of us struggle and study and stop and start and work to become pure in heart. I am reminded of the Lord's paraple of soils.

Anyway, I think that Antique will become a stake when enough "pure in heart" are baptized, or build themselves, so they can take the lead . . .(Jacob 3, Alma 5:19, Matt. 8:8, Mormon 9:6*, Moroni 7:47-48.

Having ear/hearing problems all of a sudden. It started a few days ago. Have been to the doctor here in San Jose. Prescribed 10 days of anti-biotics and more exercise. That did nothing. I complained to President Aquino and he got me in touch with Elder Arner, the Area doctor. He wants us to come to Manila to see specialists.
 He wants us to pack and bring all our gear as he is pretty alarmed by medication, history, and now this. We asked that we just travel and see the doc. I offered to pay for any extra travel. (The church travel bill must be enormous).  I hope it is something pills can treat.

21 Pebrero
We got back to San Jose from Manila today. Medical information was not pleasing. . . Another nail in the coffin. . . Nerve damage due to age was his diagnosis. He prescribed Vitamin  B-12 and ginkgo biloba and to come see him in 6 months. After waiting in his office for two hours, then having to go to another part of the hospital for a hearing test, then coming back for him to see the tests, I was about to rip his head off.

Elder (doctor) Arner discussed the situation with Sister Sessions and me in our room for quite a while and advised that we go home. He said the Philippines is not a place for fighting illness. We are saddened and excited. Sad to leave people we have come to love and excited to get a good meal. Of course we can't wait to see all our family.

27 Pebrero 
Arrived Manila 10:30 am. Because traffic is so crazy, we made it to immigration at 1:30. The airport cannot be more than 2 miles from immigration. We had great company, or I would have jumped out and walked. We only took about 30minutes in immigration. We got back into traffic and made it to,the MRC at 6:00 pm. We were worn out. I was sick all night with stomach cramps and diahrea.

1 March
At the MRC waiting for passport info and instructions. I have been sick for several days now. Need diapers. 

Manila is huge and way crowded. It seems prosperous here, but looking behind tall walls we see everyday Filapinos suffering. It is a sad place to me, with all the show of wealth which is vested in foreigners, or politicians, or a very few Filapinos. Praying to depart soon. I keep feeling crappy and wondering if we will actually ever leave.


We went to the American/ Filapino war cemetery today. It was much more than expected. We loved it. There was a feeling of peace, cleanliness, quiet reverence, freedom, appreciation. I offered many prayers for the heros interred there, for the thousands of unknowns who just never came home, for the Filapino fighters who fought along side US soldiers and share the cemetery. I am thankful to know that The Lord knows each one and where their remains are and He loves them. They are in His keeping. 

What an interesting place. What a great experience. The hallowed ground was a favorite place for President Hinckley. In fact, we are told, that Pres. Hinckley dedicated the Phillipines for missionary work at the cemetery. It feels like a holy place.
Old Glory flies over the cemetery. The Phillipines gave the ground to the U.S. The Philippine flag is a companion flag, but the pole is several feet lower out of respect. I had a chance to be alone for a moment and offered thanks for this little piece of the United States of America. I snapped off a salute to the Stars ans Stripes and walked quietly on.

I thanked the guard, a Filapino at the front gate as we left. He said,"This is your place." I told him,"Salamat po, for taking such great care of the place and the soldiers." I patted him on the shoulder and he grinned.
Grave of an unknown below. There are several thousand who were not identifiable. 

 I have been pretty down, but The Lord indicated to me Monday afternoon as I knelt in tears, talking to Him and apologizing, that our effort is acceptable to Him and that we will have more assigments somewhere, sometime, that we could go home.

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 3 . . . Afternoon

We went to Mabuhay House (Mabuhay means long life, or good life). It is a really nice place where people can go for help. It is member supported and started by a past mission president doctor. We had a lot of fun playing with the kids, and adults too. We sang for them. We played some learning games and just visited. The sisters made some cookies. I don't think the cookies were very good. When I asked the little girl seated with Sister Sessions, below, her eyes were watering and she looked as if she were gagging. She nodded that they were good, but just good culture, I think. Fun morning.
The little fellow in the wheel chair has feet that were completely turned backward. He undergoes surgery, after healing a while, and the doctors are trying to get some normalcy to his legs and feet. 
Moises and a little mom with a cleft palette one year old. The little guy is sick, so he will go home to get over his cold, then come back for surgery. Moises has several problems, but he is a member and he offered a wonderful prayed when we departed.
Senior sisters who went with us. 
There were about four little ones wait him for palette surgery. Some of the least of Father's children come here. It is great that they receive such treatment, love, and care.

3 March

One year and on day on the mission. We are in Manila and very tired of the place. The MRC is a nice place and the people special, but we are pretty bored. The traffic here is a nightmare.

We attended church with the lead couple here at one of the Manila wards two days ago now. The chapel here was dirty, as have been most that we have been in the past year. Only Sibalom cleans their chapel, in our limited experience. One wonders what happened to the teaching that the chapels are Heavenly Father's houses and are sacred buildings. I remember that from when I was little.

We have gone to the Megamall the last few days and walked. That felt good. Yesterday afternoon we went to the temple, now closed for two weeks of cleaning, and folded temple clothes for a few hours in the basement to help out. The temple goers here don't have their own clothes and almost always rent, so the laundry is super busy.

Last night Sister S and I conducted the FHE. We taught a short lesson and did "two truths and a lie" and had banana splits for treats. After, Sister S and I sat around after with Elder and Sister Garrett and swapped stories. Today we go to Mabuhay House to visit and see if we can recommend ways of helping mothers teach their children to read and do math, or teach mothers the same things if they don't know how to read/write.
Sister S with Sister Garrett and young Elder Liu, a missionary fom China. Good kid.
We met this little Sister Missionary and her companion outside the MRC. They were getting X-Rays for TB prior to going home in a few weeks. She has the most amazing eyes. Had to get a picture for reference . The picture does not show them their true bright blue. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Huwebes ang 26 Pebrero

At Circle Inn in Iloilo. We tested missionaries Tuesday, then spen enjoyable time with the senior missionariesy. Yesterday we visited with Strengs and walked around SM City. We saw the young men who are preparing for missions from San Jose. They were over to receive their patriarchal blessings. I would have liked to be a fly on that wall.

I painted in my sketchbook a little and we read and spent a pretty sleepless night, my 4th in as many days. We are up and getting ready to head to Manila at 10ish. Not much to say. The weather is getting hotter each day. 

Deuteronomy 26, with a careful reading, adds a bunch to Malachi and other scriptures regarding tithing. 26:12-19

Notes going through the verses and thoughts:
Levite -bishop
Hallowed things- increase- money
Tithing indicates we have not transgressed His commandments, "neither have I forgotten them."
Have done according to the Lord's will
Keep the statute with all heart and soul
Tithing "avouches" that we will Araw Araw keep His statutes, walk in His ways, hear ken to His voice (Spirit and scriptures)
The Lord avouches we will be His peculiar" people
He will grant Eternal Life and make us holy people 
It is a covenant to keep the law of tithes, an indicator of faithfulness. If we can overcome to pay a full tithe, we can keep all commandments. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

23 Pebrero

P-day. The Sisters were over to start their washing early. I was up for hours. I got up at 3:30. I couldn't sleep anymore and just lay in bed trying to think of Tagalog phrases, that when I checked, I had them wrong anyway. I read the scriptures.

 Pres. Amar came over for Linguahe and Djeolito came over to work a bit and visit. Ryan and his girls called this morning. It was fun to talk with them. They asked if we had tasted balout yet. Not going to happen. Everyone we talk to tells us how good it is, but. . . Not happening for Sister S, or for me. 

We helped Djeolito sign up for e-mail and facebook, then we went To Santiago's for a dang good lunch and mango shakes. We drove Djeolito home and took a selfie with him. 

I took the truck to the car wash. We are going to Iloilo tomorrow to test missionaries and I wanted to get it cleaned up a bit. The crazy guys that wash it for me wear this headgear. Men all over the place do this. We wonder the purpose. 

Anyway. A pretty good day and tiring.
Maybe they want to keep their hair in place, or not be recognized by passers-by, or maybe it is a ninja thing. It seems too hot to me for a full head covering. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Chinese New Year

@Pebrero 19
We zipped out of San Jose at 6:00 am yesterday and had a pretty good drive to the mission home. Elder Seeds and his companion took us to the airport at 8:00.
We got to the airport way ahead of our needing to be there, so we sat and read scriptures while Filapinos gawked at us. The flight was easy and quick. 

We were met at the airport by Brother Boycee Labeste and Elder Kasteler. Brother Boycee is a local leader and church employee and friend of President Aquino. He told us many wonderful stories while we waited for various errands to proceed. It took us 5 hours to get from the airport to the MRC, so we heard lots of stories. 

Bro. Boycee heard Boise in our conversation naturally. He told us he was named by his family, not after Boise, dut he was the third son in his family, "There was boy a, then boy b, then came me, boy c." We all laughed and I figured he was telling the facts. It was his joke. But, he didn't tell us really how he was named. 

Elder Kasteler is a medical man and he and his wife seem to be leading at the MRC. We all had dinner last evening at Kasteler's apartment and some good conversation. After,  S and I walked down the street to a little store that had many American products. I bought some gluten free Chex and cannot wait to have a bowl of cereal. Weird. 

This is a huge city and very rich, built around abject poverty. It seems to be the jeepney capital of the world.
I will get more pictures today. I want to paint a jeepney collection. The highways are terribly crowded. 

It is so quiet here at the MRC (Missionary Recovery center). No dogs bark. I can hear no chickens crowing. It is so very peaceful. I just want to stay here a while. We go to the temple at 10:00 this morning. 

The temple is similar to the Boise Temple. The story is that Pres. kimball came here and looked at three sites. At the first two he said, "No, this is not the place," at this sight, the last sight, he said, (Yes, this is the place." So, the rest is history. As with other temples, the area around prospers. 

Looking forward to getting medical help here. Several of the Elders are doctors. They are first Elders and brothers. It is as it should be. They are here to help people. Strange feeling as we have built doctors into Demi-gods in America. They are of great service here serving 21 missions in the Philippines and some outside (Marshall Islands for one). Ill missionaries come and get help and try to get well and go back to their assignments. I fear there are many missionaries who come because they are homesick, but I don't pretend to know.

Looking forward to today.

Biyernes ang 20 Pebrero

At the MRC this morning at 5:30. Can't sleep. It is too quiet and I am wondering too much what is wrong with me. We will go see the doctor at 7:00 I am told. That means it will, more likely, be about 9:00. 

We tried to go to the temple yesterday, twice. Once with reservations and in the afternoon at 2:00 as walk-ins. Many people came to the temple yesterday. . . President Trask, the MTC President just walked up to me in the hall and we visited. I am sure pleased I came into the hall to write and study. What's a fired up man. He baptized our mission president some 30 years ago. 

As I was saying, yesterday was Chinese New Year and things were crowded because it was a holiday from work. As we were coming back to the apartment from the temple, we met Sister Chrisanto's family. A young man just asked us our assignment and when we told him Antique, he asked if we know her. 

Early morning shot of the temple.

Then, we had a man come to our room tat turned out to be Elder Gan's father. What a good faithful man. So is Elder Gan. We told about Elder Gan and shared pictures of Elder. Brother Gan said, "His mother sure misses him." He will come home in June from Panay. Brother Gan travels two hours to get to work and again going home. Great man.
Great conversation with President Trask. He was a missionary here, then a mission president and now back as MTC Pres. He is such a dynamo. I can see why The Lord loves him and trusts him. 

Sabado ang 21

Home from Manila. What a huge, densely populated place. The temple, MTC, MRC, and Area compound is very nice and the area just around the temple, like all other temple sites I have seen. The area prospers because of the temple.

Not such good news about my hearing. We spent hours at the St. Luke's Medical Center and had tests done. The doctor told me my hearing loss is nerve damage due to age and injury over long years.  He prescribed Vitamin B and ginkgo biloba to keep from further deterioration. We had devotionals in the evenings with the senior missionaries and ate supper together. It was nice and quiet.

Right, Elder and Sister Kasteler
Elder And Sister Garrett

These folks are dedicated to helping . . . Recovering missionaries, and they do many humanitarian projects to help outside the church, planting love seeds.they took great care of Sister S and me. 

We flew in this morning, arriving in Iloilo at 9:30. The office Elders picked us up and we drove them back to the office. We interviewed with President Aquino for a little while and told him hello from President Trask and Boycee. We went to lunch at Uncle Bobs and had pretty tasty salad and Australian steaks, then we started for San Jose. 

We stopped at 7-11 to get a drink on the way out of town. We could not believe that on the radio being broadcast in 7-11, was Popeye the Sailorman, who lives in a garbage can.some lightweight puny voice guy was singing. So I took the opportunity to belt it out for the folks in the store, "I'm Popeye the sailor man. I live in a garbage can. I love to go swimmin' with bare naked women; I'm Popeye the Sailorman." 

They all got a big kick out of that; some old fat white guy bellting out a barracks ballad type song in 7-11 downtown Iloilo. They won't see that again.

We are planning church at Sibalom tomorrow. We thought it would be fun to visit Djulito and his family tomorrow. He worked here Friday, but we were gonzo. Looking forward to a restful day, the Sacrament, and worshiping with friends. Tomorrow I think I will read and note some of the notes I have written over the year. I took my list of medications in to the doctor and noticed some really cool notes from Elder and Sister Ardern and Elder Robbins. Some that stick are, "Read the scriptures reverently." I like that. Another, "read slowly and ponder the talk of the Savior and Father in Heaven." Great study tips.

Elder Robbins talked about half full and half empty. Life being what we make it attitudinally. He calls for us to compare the attitudes of Nephi with those of Laman and Lemuel. My favorite is "Read reverently."  The Spirit comes. He loves the scriptures, The Savior, and reverent worship.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Labing anim Pebrero, Lunes

Good day today. We went to Iloilo and tested missionaries for CLS. The technology worked well for a change and the missionaries had a good time.

We senior missionaries had a good time too. We taught Elder and Sister Cushing how to register and test and we had fun discussions about art and family and all sorts of stuff. We went to lunch at the Atrium again and it was very good.

We saw Sister Villiami and several of the missionaries at the office today. We were surprised as it was P-day, but most of the ones we were able to visit with are going home soon, or are companions to those who were testing..

Elder Boligao (AP)  and Sister Villiami. Two of the great ones.

Elder Seeds and Elder Carnahan (traveling AP) talking to Sister Sessions

Elder And Sister Cushing kicking back for a few minutes.

Elder Latchumanan, left and  Elder Magno (traveling AP), back to the cam, visiting with Elder Seeds. We just finished testing Elder Magno. Elder Latch is a favorite from when we were first in San Jose. He and Elder Cabatuando used to take us to the Hamtic Hills teaching with them. I think they just needed a ride, but it was great fun.
Yesterday, I traveled to Culasi and Tibiao with Presidents Amar and Tandoy. It was a good day and much learning took place. Also, 5 men were interviewed to advance in the Priesthood at District Conference. We enjoyed Sacrament Meeting at Tibiao and we enjoyed just visiting with Elders and members in Culasi after t.
 heir meetings.
Elder Dorman prepared for Sacrament Meeting in Tibiao.

This is their "mean look" there in Culasi, according to them. Elder Egama left, Elder Coronel, Elder Kellerstrass, Elder Robertson, and a young brother that wanted in the pic. Bunch of pussycats . . .
We have some meetings, or interviews, and maybe a baptism to attend tomorrow. We think Sister Amor is getting baptized in the afternoon. We have to get a few things ready for the jailbirds and then we need to get prepared to go to Manila on Wednesday. We are flying there to see if the doctors can figure out why my hearing is heading south and a few other little dents and scratches . Busy Week . . .

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day

Here in the Philippines it is V Day. They take any opportunity to celebrate just about anything, so today all the classes at the college are cancelled and today's classes were held yesterday. I don't know what this might mean for night noise, but last night was quiet enough.

I went to the jail with Pres. Amar and the Zone Leaders yesterday. They taught about the restoration. Pres. Amar bore strong testimony. A man asked, "What if I have already sold my soul to the devil?" The question got me out of joint. 

I took the microphone and delivered a little chew-out lecture, telling them all that The Lord Jesus Christ paid the price for their souls and that lucifer never could. That he could never support them, but when they repent and pay their time, The Savior awaits them with open arms and they can always "Come Unto Him". Lucifer has no power beside that we are willing to give him. "You cannot have enough tattoos, you cannot have taken too many drugs, or stolen enough that The Lord Jesus Christ will not forgive you if you repent" I was a bit cranky. "I don't want to hear any more about selling your souls to the devil. If you remember nothing else about the old white man who visited you in jail, remember my assurance that The Lord loves you and will not stop loving you, and you will always be able to come to Him. He will save you while the devil can do nothing for you.

It was funny, they all started clapping and cheering. It was the "Good News" to them. Then we gave them BoMs and a great many wanted them. We asked them to share. Pres. Amar's wife sent pancit, rice cake, chocolate milk and pandisal ( sweet bread) for treats. It went over well. 

We took Djulito to lunch and delivered cargo to Elders. Then the day just sort of fizzled. We walked last night and the Sisters came over to try on clothes that Sister S has been fixing for them. Today I will go visit James. Tomorrow we go to Tibiao and Culasi to interview men for Priesthood advancement. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

11 Pebrero

Wednesday morning. I woke up ar 3 am and stole Sister Sessions' pillow when she got up to use the CR. It is always fun to give her a hard time. But, then I couldn't get back to sleep til 4:30. I got out of the rack at 7:05 and rolled to my knees for a morning chat. 

Showered, shaved, read e-mail to get the mission doctors information and sent him a note regarding my hearing problem. Have not heard back. I fixed sausage and scrambled eggs and mangoes for breakfast and studied Tagalog in preparation for lessons this morning with Pres. Amar. 

Yesterday we attended district meeting and had a good lesson. The missionaries practiced teaching, something we have not done in months. We talked about investigators and shared some experiences and scriptures. 

After meeting, I took the truck to be washed and read the OT while I waited. I slip the washers some pesos for a tip and the one guy always pats me on the stomach. Sister Villavert does the same thing. I will ask Pres. Amar if this is a custom, or just a handy place to touch for a quick, "thank you".

I finished a painting I have been working off and on for weeks, maybe months. It is of Leslie Gulch. My neighbor and I visited there and took lots of pictures. 

We walked last evening. We like walking in the evening much better. It breaks up the day. Sister S is doing sewing for the Sisters. Not much going on, especially today. Tomorrow we go for apartment inspections and lunch in Iloilo. Looking forward.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Pebrero ang walo

Sabbath. We attended at San Jose today because James fizzled out on his baptism yesterday and we were going to attend in Hamtic for his confirmation. It was good to go to SJ. I haven't been there in about 2 months.

This week we went to Zone Conf., Traveled to Culasi and Tibiao Wednesday to take supplies. Thursday I can't remember, Friday the Elders and I taught at the jail and did some blessings around town, and Saturday Sister S and I (and I am certain the Hamtic Elders) were disappointed that James cancelled his baptism which was supposed to take place at 9:00 am. We decided to do a few minor things we needed to accomplish . . . Guisano food shoping, took the "F" Sisters to find Michelle's (a little deaf Sister that made some key rings for us) and we took them to Santiago's for lunch. We had fun. I forgot to take a picture, so I took one this morning at church.
Four of the best. From left: Sister Smith, Sister Fantone, Sister Fepuleai, and Sister Crisanto

It was good to take the Sacrament and report on our week in interview with the Lord. It is embarrassing that I have so little to report to Him. But, it is very good to renew my covenant with Him. My scripture reading this morning was great.

This afternoon we have a meeting at the church for a District Leadership Meeting, I think. I am not sure, but I will go and report.

Tomorrow is P-day. Sister S will do some sewing for the young Sisters. They come to the mission and lose weight and Sister S keeps a little busy adjusting their clothing. Nice for her. I will just read, or paint. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pebrero 4

We went to the church and got a whiteboard for Culasi early this morning and we went to V-Brent's and bought a smaller one for Tibiao. We bought 8 pens to use with the boards. We bought fuel and tied everything on the roof of the Ranger. Before we got far, I noticed the load was loose, so I stopped and retied everything. We had the white board and frame sitting on a large pad we use to transport missionaries in the back of the truck.

We stopped again before we got to the Sibalom intersection and had to turn north. I wanted to make sure all was well. I tightened everything and drove on. We almost got to Belisone and the load had shifted again. I stopped, took out the pad and a Pinoy man came over and helped me tie everything on again.

We got to the other side of Belisone and the whole thing flew off the top of the truck. I should have photographed that, but didn't think to do so. We gathered the pieces and put them inside the truck. We were really lucky that the frame didn't break, so I tied it on the back of the truck and we went on up to Tibiao. We were way off schedule, but we made it to the Tibiao apartment and met Elder Daniel and Elder Dorman.
Tibiao apartment. It is actually nicer inside than it appears from the outside. They have it pretty clean. The apartment is not actually finished, hence the hole in the wall. They hold church here with about 12-15 members attending.

Elders Daniel (left) and Elder Dorman.
We proceeded to Culasi and got all the pieces out of the back of the truck and hauled them inside the apartment/chapel combo, and Elder Kellerstrass and Elder Egama and Sister Sessions and I put the thing together as best we could. It was surprisingly strudy when we finished and they were very happy to have a teaching aid. The whiteboard is made of a thin metal sheet, backed with wood and a white emulsion. Sister S is going to take them some magnets when we go back up on the 15th. They can use it as a bulletin board put magnets on visual aids, if they have any. Anyway, it worked out okay.
Coming together after much reconstruction.

Culasi with the together whiteboard behind them. They were happy and we were happy it was not a failed trip.

Gateway to the Culasi apartment/chapel. Sister Sessions adorns the ingress.

Stopped to see the boat builder's wares in Tibiao. I just wanted to see what and how. These babies will be used in the ocean and will have an inboard engine. They are simple and when outriggers are added, they appear quite fast and stable. Mahogany keels, then light wood frames and some sort of plywood sides and lids. It is not marine grade, but they work.
 We will walk in about an hour and the Zone Leaders are coming over to plan with me for the lesson at the jail Friday. They talked Sister S into feeding them dinner. Sly dogs.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Pebrero ang 3rd

3:20 pm
We had zone conference with new Zone Leaders this morning. I even took a little time talking about fathers naming and blessing babies, baptizing their children, ordaining to the Priesthood and standing in when not exactly temple worthy. It was a good lesson for many and it opened some minds to the handbook and how important it is for leaders to read and find out. I hope to share the same message in the next leadership training for the district. I think they are getting tired of hearing from me.

New Zone leaders seem serious and seem like obedient men. Here is a zone pic, including some of the new missionaries who have just come to Antique. It is good to have them. Interesting how quickly new guys become veterans and start training. . .
Left to right/back to front: Elder Abanilla, Elder Nocom, Elder Olivar, Elder Goronel, Elder Orr, Elder Swanton, Elder Tracy, Elder Kellerstrass, Elder Larson, Elder Christensen, Elder Dorman, Elder Chapman, Elder Folsom, Sister Crisanto, Sister Smith, Sister Sessions, Geeze, Sister Fantone, Sister Fepuleai, Elder Soon, Elder Robertson, Elder Habala (ZL), Elder Egama, Elder Daniel, Elder Borboran, Elder Estradam and Elder Wadman (ZL)

Left, Elder Christensen visiting with the ZL's

Left, Elder Larson and Elder Christensen looking over

Elder Folsom and Elder Dorman enjoying birthday cake for Elders Soon and Wadman.

Elder Christensen is from Logan, Utah and Elder Dorman is from Nampa. Both seem to be doing well. Elder Abanilla is new and comped with Elder Tracy. He seems to be fitting right in with the others.

We went to the house after the meeting with Elders Larson and Capulac to test Elder C. in English. He chose a high level and I think he probably did well. Sister S fed them sloppy joes and spuds and root beer. I think they had fun and we had fun talking with them.

Tomorrow morning we will travel north to take chalkboards to Tibao and Culasi and take a bucket, broom and mop to Elder Robertson and Coronel. I will have to try to remember to take pictures. We will do lunch at Mamma Mia's . . . yea!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pebrero 1

Sabbath Day. I took President Amar and Mark Cabreros to Bugasong to work on their accounts and audit. It was a nice day, hot but windy. The noise outside was terrible; truck and buses passing and a guy across the street working on his motorcycle. Every few minutes he started the engine and ran the rpms up so high we could not hear testimonies.
This is the chapel at Bugasong. We had picked up the chairs and left a circle for the branch council to meet in a while.
 For some reason, ignorance of the handbook I expect, I was asked to bless and name two babies today. What a surprise, and it was an honor, but . . .

One little girl was there for confirmation. The counselor did that. As it turned out, the little girl and one of the babies' father was there. I asked the missionaries what priesthood the man held. They told me he was a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, but was less active. I told them that the father should have done all the ordinances and the next time there is any question to call me, or the mission president and get help, but the rule of thumb is the father will preside always in his family. We will teach the branch presidency and the missionaries at Zone Conference about this, so they really don't need to consult me or the mission pres. It is a good lesson for them, but I was sorry for the father. I was delighted to help and hold little baby boys, but I feel like a robber.
This is Francis Celestial. Named and blessed this morning.

This guy is Precy (pree cee) Roy Galecia. This is the guy whose father ought to have named and blessed him. His father promised me that he would be there and ready to baptize Precy.
Sister S fixed potatoes and meat balls for dinner to end our fast today. It was great. Now we hope to get some rest.

Last night, somewhere in the barangay, the music and bass drummed from 10 pm until about 5-5:15 this morning. I asked Pres. Amar if there are not ordinances to protect the citizens from such inconsiderate behavior. It seems that there is not, as long as the group has a license from the municipality to party or fiesta, they can disturb everyone else at will. Sucks, is the word. Anyway, we are worn out. It has been a good Sabbath.
Tomorrow, in America, is Tommy's Birthday. We wish him the best and we love and miss him and his family. I will slap it on facebook right now.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Paalam Enero

31 Enero . . . So long to a long month.
We have been doing very little after Wednesday, but yesterday we went to Iloilo to get groceries and have lunch with the Robinsons and Elder and Sister Cushing. We wanted to meet them and we had a nice lunch and visit.
Selfie, minus self. I like it that way.

The waiter took this one. We had a nice time and a great lunch.
We got home about 8:00 last night. The drive to Iloilo is getting more and more difficult, long, and boring. If one could catch more than glimpses of the ocean through the huts and trees, it would be a beautiful drive, but . . .
We saw President and Sister Aquino yesterday. President is feeling better, but he was pretty low because he received some negative criticism from Antique. I tried to bolster him some and wrote an e-mail to him last night. I hope he lets the criticism go over his head, forgetting all about the comments. They are of no account anyway.

He is a good Priesthood man, who wants the blessings the Lord has in store to be given to Antique, but until leaders become worthy and lead and magnify their callings, the blessings will be withheld (to the detriment of members). President Amar appears to be on the right track. . . There is no problem with Pres. Aquino, it is Antique leadership that is weak. President Aquino and Sister Aquino have a huge number of missionaries to watch over. It is unfortunate that adult leaders in Antique cause him any heart ache.

Today I went to the Binarayan track to meet the baseball team. We walked Thursday evening and met them at the fields. The coach asked me if I could help and I jumped at the chance. They practiced this morning. We worked on throwing, fielding, and hitting. The guys are from two area high schools and will play tomorrow in Sibalom. I am hoping the time will not conflict with church, but it probably will. It is okay. practicing with them is fun.
They practice on the soccer field at the track. I have seen no baseball fields anywhere, but they say there is on at the University in Sibalom

Semi-serious pic of the "Stealers" the name we decided upon. They are the Antique Stealers. (stealing bases)

When they wanted wacky (pronounced walk-ee in Filipino English) The coach is the man in the light blue cap, back row.
I taught them how to play "work-up". They have nobody close to compete with, so this little hitting competition is good and fun. I played with them from right field to hitting. They got me out and I was out of gas. We will practice again this afternoon at 3:00. Now this is missionary work I like. Still trying to rationalize it as mission work.

Tomorrow I take President Amar and Mark Cabreros to Bugasong to do more with the audit. I am hoping they can get the accounts reconciled for Bugasong to the satisfaction of the area.