As I walk every morning...as I drive to a missionary appointment...as I meander through the Palenke [the open air market]...as I travel these roads, I JUST FEEL LIKE I AM STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MOVIE AND I CAN'T GET OUT!!! Never in my life have I seen such beauty. These people are the most amazing folks I have ever met-the most enterprising and creative entrepreneurs I have ever had the occasion to rub shoulders with. [yes, children of mine, I know.....'you don't end a sentence in a preposition' but I really couldn't reword it...] The landscape is just breathtaking and I am constantly amazed at their pride in ownership. The natives [not the ones with the loincloths] make these fun little brooms and I constantly see adults early in the morning or towards evening out sweeping the streets in front of their homes. The people are very clean and although they wash their clothes in a bucket and hang them to dry wherever they can find a place, their clothes are always clean and fresh, their children are dressed in darling things and the women, all of them, no matter their age have painted toenails! We will be teaching a family in the humblest of circumstances, dirt floors, chickens and animals wandering through the house and I will look down at painted toenails! I haven't painted MY toenails in years and here they are, keeping themselves looking so nice. They all have jet black hair, dark skin, huge brown eyes and the whitest smiles. Filipino's have NO body odor [which is a very good thing for me, the ninny with the nose of a dog] and they have little body hair. Yesterday a man was in a tank top and was giving us directions to a river baptism and when he raised his arm, it appeared that he had shaved his pits. A tender mercy for me...
Our week was a good one-our first river baptism, a fun Branch Family Home Evening where Randy and his team won the 'eat a cracker and whistle' contest, and the Sister's Specialized Training along with our usual missionary appointments spattered thoughout. All of the sister missionaries came into Cauayan on Wednesday and we spent the day in workshops, eating, and being taught by President and Sister Carlos. I had the opportunity to share a little of my friend Jean Keaton's story of the start of her artwork and then present each sister with one of her pictures that I had laminated and made into a bookmark that depicted the theme of the day.."I Feel My Savior's Love". They all LOVED them and will treasure them I am sure.
My sweet sister-in-law LeAnn requested 'more pictures' and within a couple of days, I had received the same request from others of you. I will sign off with a picture gallery of our week...
|Our Sister Missionaries on the Mission Home stairway|
|A humble church building, a former home|
|Up stream of the place where the baptism took place on Sunday afternoon|
|Elder Jackson with our newest member of the Mallig Branch, Brother Exwat|
|Randy's group in the contest|
|Painted rocks-a common sight|
|Outside the fencing in front of our home|
|Garden area inside our fencing off the front porch area|
|Typical view from my car window|
|Walkway at the San Pedro Branch building|
|Randy's first trycie ride-on the way to get a haircut. The ride costs 10 pesos [20 cents].|
Hope you all have a great week-we sure plan to....