'Make new friends but keep the old...one is silver and the other gold...' How many of you readers can remember that song from childhood many years ago? I first heard it at Campfire Girls camp when I was in elementary school. It has been one I have thought of and sung most of my life...this life is about change and two things that does always change are our relationships and friendships. When we arrived in the Philippines, Cauayan Mission we had a house waiting for us. Sister Breese and Sister Carlos had spent many hours cleaning, furnishing, and readying it for us. We were definitely spoiled...upon arriving, we just had to shop and pick up the little extra things the mission did not provide and move in.
Across the street from this home was another nice home occupied by another senior couple, the Russell's. They are from Oregon and knew the Carlos' when they were all in the same stake. On their property is a darling 'guest cottage' that houses a set of young missionaries..currently we have sisters living there. Over the past year, we have become friends with this amazing couple and have learned SO MUCH from them and their experience as senior missionaries. This was their second mission [their first was to Maine] and the two were mirror opposite missions. In the Philippines, we have such a marvelous opportunity to actually make a difference in the units to which we are assigned. The members want help. They want our counsel and input. They are anxious to allow us to train them and will listen. The Russell's totally changed the branches that were assigned to them. A couple of months ago, we learned of our assignment change...to Mallig. We will have similar challenges and have used their guidance and experience to help us set a plan for our new branch. We love this couple. In the past nine months, we have become good friends and we both know we will see each other again in the states. As I write this, they are home, having been released and are floating in their pool!!! A great senior couple and a wonderful example of selfless shadow leadership...thank, John and Sharon! You will be missed by many on the other side of the world...
|The Russell's at their farewell dinner at the mission home-Sister|
gets the 'red plate' because she is so special!!
|The senior team..back row-the Mills, us, the Gottfredson's and the Lakers.|
Seated-the Russell's and the Carlos'. Last official gathering..
|An airport farewell...|
As they were flying away to Toyko, we had three men and two women from the Cabatuan Branch helping us make a move across the street. Now I want you to know...I HATE TO MOVE!!! I am a 'nester' and I want my nest organized, clean and orderly. Moving really messes up that plan!! I had to go through things, separate, pack, organize, and then a day or two later, unpack and [my most hated thing] try to figure out where I want things put in the new house. A year ago we sold our home, packed up about 1/10th of the 'stuff' we had, put it into storage, got rid of the rest of the 'stuff' including our home and a car and consecrated it all to the Lord for two years. It hasn't been long enough for me to have forgotten that traumatic month and I didn't want to do it again but....President wanted us in this house so a senior couple would be in the same compound as the sisters so here we are. It has been less than a week and the only thing that is totally settled is the kitchen. Elder Shaner is working on the office today and I hope to go upstairs shortly and get our bedroom and my sewing stuff all unpacked and put away. That said, I really do like this home. It is much cleaner, more roomy, the kitchen is actually a detached building behind the main home [it sounded weird to me too but it really works well] that has lots of good ventilation with windows on all four sides. I think we will be happy here. Oh, and the house comes with a 3-day a week housekeeper...I really will like that part!
|Covered breeseway between the main house [left] and kitchen [right]|
|This young sister was helping me unpack the kitchen-she was|
also a baby wearer like my Kim!!
|Looking from prep part of kitchen through to eating area..|
|Our new home...my garden is on the property to the left of this picture. That balcony|
upstairs is lovely in the morning. A great place to sit and read my scriptures.
|President Quitola [my garden buddy, remember?] eating his first Dragon Fruit|
of his entire life!!
|Dragon Fruit. God makes them in white and a gorgeous bright pink! The one|
in front is uncut. They are about the size of a large pear.