Recently, Elder Shaner went shopping...not something he does often, and bought himself a hat! He was surprised that he could find one that fit him as his head is quite big but he got this and loves it-he looks so cute in it..John Wayne he is NOT but he is MY hero...
|cooking dinner while I was sick in bed...|
|isn't he cute???|
|busy room as they all scurried about..|
|Aurora piano students|
About a year ago, Sister Larsen [who is no longer in the mission] bought a wonderful orchid and the mission gardener grafted it to a palm tree in front of the mission office. We have all enjoyed watching it bloom and bloom and again this week, it was in full bloom but THE BLOOM HAS BECOME HUGE!!!! Look closely-I wanted to stand in the picture with it to give you a perspective of it's size.
Monday nights we are often invited to Family Home Evenings in different branches or homes. They are always fun and the one in Mallig was no different-we were invited to bring games and the lesson. We used Don't Eat Pete and Cops and Robbers, two of our favorites we have learned. These people LOVE games and all were involved.
Because we were way in the middle of the 'bukid' [rice paddies accessed only by using small roads that are only a raised 'hill' surrounded by water...] and this road was not as familiar as some to us, we decided to leave earlier than later. Driving on those roads in the pitch dark can be unnerving. Randy was told of a different road that was wider and better so we decided to take that one back to town..
|See the huge bloom???? You would love it, Judy!!|
|Randy explaining the rules of the game..|
Driving along in the dark, we noticed an intersection [and that is a broad exaggeration of the word] coming up and were focused on not missing that turn. He was driving [ALWAYS!!] and as we were slowing down, we suddenly felt and heard this HUGE NOISE that was a THUMP, DROP!!! Guess what??? He had driven right into a ravine!! [if Cherlyn is reading this post, he and I are now even! Some of you might remember my post from last summer where I backed my SUV into a huge ditch at Girl's Camp!] In his defense, when we were looking at the road, we noticed a small darker area and just thought it was a small dip, NOT A HUGE WASHOUT FROM THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!! There we were-night, pitch black, scary...we texted the Elders and they jumped on a motorcycle [driven by a member-they are not allowed to operate vehicles and these are obedient Elders] and they came racing out to find us but in the meantime, a man stopped and got off his motorcycle. His English was good enough to realize we were in trouble so he took charge. Every vehicle that passed, he flagged down and within 5 minutes, he had returned home to get a crowbar and shovel, had a team of maybe 12 men and by the time the Elders arrived, we were out of the ditch! These are the most helpful people - we were hearing them repeating 'missionaries' 'americanos' and we imagine they were talking about those stupid American missionaries that drove into a ditch...but they came to our aid anyway...what a blessing!!
|the front of the truck was buried to the bumper|
As the fields are harvested, those who are very poor will go back into the fields and sift the chaff...the 'tailings' of the harvested rice is piled in the fields and families will go through those piles, sifting and sifting to find the remaining rice that was missed the first time.
It always makes me think of our work here-we sift through the people to find the ones who are ripe for the picking...those who have been prepared by our Father in Heaven to hear His word and accept his commandments, change their lives and become a part of His kingdom. Many are not ready...many have not been prepared...for many, it is not their time but when we find the ones who will accept our challenge, what a glorious experience that is.
|Entire families set up their umbrellas for shade and sift the chaff.|
The sunrises here are so beautiful...I love the early morning, the beginning of a new day and a fresh start. So many of our Father in Heaven's children are also searching for that fresh start...our glorious responsibility and privilege is to find them, teach them and bring them into His fold...what could be more important or have more impact on our lives or the lives of these wonderful people...this is the best two years for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|sunrise in the Philippines|