Thursday, December 8, 2011

WOWEE!!!! such beauty...

The setting of our hotel

Two cute old people...

Brenda and Randy walking down a little path leading to a souvenir shop-notice the dense foliage

These are wild poinsettias..they are everywhere and HUGE!!!!

I have lived MANY years and have never, for as long as I can remember, seen such breath-taking sights as we saw last Monday in Banaue.  If you google it, you will discover it is the 8th Wonder of the World and now, I know why.  It was absolutely gorgeous and it was not even the best time to be going.  You can see the rice terraces in the picture above and in the spring [April and May] all of those areas that are currently mud [waiting to be planted] will be lime green with new seedlings.  We hope to go back then and see it in it's height of beauty.  Another senior couple has been assigned to our mission and will be coming in February so we will probably take a road trip so they can enjoy the splendor.

A short history lesson...
It is amazing to think these people arrived at this mountainous area, saw the possibilities and actually accomplished such a feat with NO TOOLS!!!!  The native Ifugao people are still there and enthralled us with a cultural program on Sunday night, sharing with us the dances, clothing, and traditions of their people.  They are very small people, as you can see by the picture of Randy with this man in his native dress.
A native ritual dance

Randy and our new friend-Randy is the one on the right!!

Ifugao woman in their typical resting pose
We truly enjoyed the beauty and the glorious experience of being in that part of the mission, if for only a day.  Randy took a couple of movies and will post them on UTube sometime soon.

Last Friday we had our first of many Christmas Devotional's scheduled in the next few weeks.  Upon our arrival in August, I learned of Brenda's desire to give this opportunity to the Stakes and Districts in this area and because we have written and produced many events together in our former lives, I think she was just laying in wait for me to come.  I am not the front man but I am a great supporter!!  Together, we gathered our scriptures, a computer and within a few hours, had a great one hour production.  It took another morning to gather the costumes but both of us have, in our young families, done the nativity so the costuming was not complicated, just a challenge here in the Philippines, to find the items we needed.  The groundskeeper at the mission home even provided a staff for the shepherd from a nearby tree!  I wish you could have seen the faces of the members as they filed into the chapel and saw the missionaries on the stand, some dressed in their costumes, and heard, for the first time in their lives a quartet singing acapella!!!  Everything went off without a hitch and I think it turned out great!  Our second one is tonight, another tomorrow afternoon in all, we have 6-7 planned.  An interesting side note-the District President, upon welcoming the audience [some were members and many were just friends who were not of our faith] said history was made that night-NEVER in the past have they had any program of this kind.  Both Brenda and I were so touched by that but saddened that nobody had thought to provide such an evening for these great saints.  Well, people, this will be one of two because we will definitely do something again next year.  
Elder Bangal and Elder Williamson [shepherd and king]

Missionary Choir during their pre-performance practice
The highlight of our weeks are normally the time we spend with our dear young elders and sisters and this week, although starting with a little break, was no exception.  We worked with the Mallig elders on Tuesday, the sister missionaries and our dear President Munoz on Wednesday and finished with the Zone Leaders on Thursday, teaching 22 lessons!  That is what this is all about-teaching, lifting, supporting, and helping those who are seeking truth, find the answers and in the process, changing lives and helping families come to Christ.  What are we doing tomorrow you ask?  Over 20 baptisms, another devotional and more spiritual food for us!  What else could we possibly want???  [maybe a kid or grandkid to hug?.haha]


  1. Amazing. Your kids and grandkids will be here to hug when you get home, promise :) What an amazing opportunity you and Daddy have right now. Love you.

  2. Also...we have a tooth. Houston, I repeat, we have a tooth ;)