Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week one was FANTASTIC!!!

What a week!!  We arrived here in Cauayan after a good nights sleep on Wednesday morning [your Tuesday evening] to a fanfare of waves, pictures and lots of hugs!  The Carlos' and the Breese's along with the AP's greeted us at the 'airport' [and I use that word loosely].  Brenda and I had a good cry as we hugged after over a year of missing each other.  What a blessing this next two years will be for us both.

The AP's and the Breeses followed President and Sister Carlos' vehicle to the mission home where we unpacked, got a tour then settled down for a long 'chat'.  This home is beautiful and very comfortable.  Tomorrow or Tuesday we will move to Cabatuan to our new home where we have been unpacking and getting things settled.  Friday we went shopping and bought a refrigerator, stove, water dispenser [the type you sometimes see in office buildings in the US] and three more fans.  I unpacked boxes with the help of Brenda and Randy and have almost everything put away.  Yesterday we went to two baptisms in two far away areas and ended up at SaveMore in Ilagan where I bought the staples we will need to set up housekeeping.  They are all in 'our truck' [picture to follow next week] and will be taken to our home tomorrow and unloaded. One funny side note about the second baptism..there was no pianist there so I was asked to play the piano.  It was a Kawai [electric] like the one we used to have so I felt fairly comfortable trying it.  HOWEVER...I fought ants on the keyboard, wind blowing the music and as one brother was giving the talk on the Holy Ghost, I tried to adjust the hymnbook and accidently hit the 'fill in' key which brought immediate drums, bongo, and other percussion background beat music at FULL VOLUME...I threw up my hands in a panic, looking horrified at the audience and fumbled around until I found the OFF button!!!  I will probably never live that one down and will go down in mission history as one of the greatest debaukle's in the world pulled off my a senior missionary!  hahaha!!  BUT...the brother who was rattling on in Tagalog didn't miss a beat and never even acted like it bothered him one bit!  Such tolerance...

We absolutely LOVE our new area-we went to two Sacrament Meetings today, one at 9 and one at 10:30, both in the Roxas area.  We will be serving in a district that includes 5 different units, all branches.  President Carlos was asked to speak at both meetings and he, in turn, introduced us then called us to bear our testimonies.  The people are so wonderful and so accepting of us.  Yesterday as I walked through this grocery store, I gathered a following of about 8 or 9 little boys, ranging from 7-12 in age.  I felt like the Pied Piper...they were all staring at me and just mesmerized by my height, blue eyes and light hair.  I am taller than most of their fathers and that fascinated them.  I got the same reaction today-people will have to learn to trust and I certainly understand that.  Next Saturday morning, the combined 5 units are having a women's meeting where they want to learn about 'pasta' and have invited me to join them and teach 'Fettucini with Alfredo Sauce'...I must ask Cristin to email me her recipe!  It should be fun...

The heat here is more oppressing than I had ever imagined.  It took my breath away at first but I am certain, with time and patience, I will become accustomed to it.  One thing I have realized this week is as I live in the heat and humidity and don't use A/C, it will get easier and easier to cope.  It is the in and out of A/C that makes it hard.  Here, at the mission home, we have air in every room whereas in our home in Cabatuan, we will have A/C in the bedroom and that is all.  We also will get used to cold showers.  There is one hot water heater in the master bath but it doesn't work very well and the set-up in that bathroom for a shower is not great-we will just use another bathroom for our showers and because the ground is not cool, the water isn't cold but actually a refreshing cool.  I will probably be a two shower a day person, one in the morning to start the day and another at night before bed to cool off.

Gloria and Brenda like to walk early in the mornings so this past week, we have been walking for about 30 minutes at 5:30 am.  I plan to continue that after we move and will look forward to walking in my town and becoming acquainted with the little eccentricities of Cabatuan.  I like mornings and if I walk around 5:30 or so, it is still relatively cool...relatively being the operative word!  The humidity and tropical climate make the foliage here amazing!  I feel like I am living in the garden of Eden.  There are also many different foods, bugs, rodents, etc. and everywhere you go, you can hear roosters crowing!!  That will wake us up every morning...

President and Sister Carlos and Elder and Sister Breese

My first 'trycie' ride and what a ride it was!!

An electrician's nightmare!!

Tricie's all over the road inTuguegarao 

A family 'van' in Roxas

Cute little fella's waiting outside church for their families...

One thing is for sure...this will be the adventure of our lives!!!!


  1. Thanks for your post! What a wonderful experience. I will pray for you, especially that you and the heat will learn to get along OK. Last night in the temple the AC was out in the women's side upstairs, and we thought we would die. We're spoiled!

  2. Wow! Just pretend that you are camping during a Nebraska Summer...maybe that will help. I can only imagine how lush the greenery is. We got used to the cold during our power outage with the blizzard of 97 so much so, that when the furnace did come back on, it felt too warm. You are right that living with the luxury of going in and out of different temperatures during the day is what makes it so hard to bear.

    You will be in your element teaching cooking to your people. Teach them about roll making and cinnamon rolls and you'll have them all trying to come back home with you.

    Thanks for the update - we'll live your experience, in our minds, through your descriptions.

  3. I love this. Those little kids are going to love you like mine do, I just know it. You are a Meemaw through and through ;)

    Love the photos, it certainly is a different world over there, isn't it?

    Love you both!