Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Sometimes I hate computers!!! Maybe that was a little strong but I spent three hours on Monday composing a blog post and all of a sudden...IT WAS GONE! I was SO frustrated and confused. I have no idea what happened to my original settings and such but you will all just have to deal with what I can do.  My guru is my youngest daughter and this week, she is  indisposed to bail me out...the mom of very active kids so I will do my best to recreate..

Our responsibilities in the mission are varied...we often spend days at a time helping with managing the 70 or so apartments in the mission.  Keeping them all supplied, the landlords happy and the elders and sisters working hard for the Lord can be very time consuming.  This past three weeks have been NO different-in fact, we have been much busier than normal.  Last Thursday we got a new 'batch' of missionaries [14 to be exact] and they all needed a place to live!!  Five went home the night before so that freed up a few beds but Elder Shaner and I have been hunting, talking to landlords, negotiating, etc. and that is why I haven't been visiting with all of you-sorry...we find that the housing responsibility takes us about two days a week-we still have plenty of time to spend in our precious branch of Mallig.

Elder Shaner is checking out the kitchen area of a potential
apartment in a beautiful mountain village.

Elders Mousely and Acu visiting in the living area of a potential apartment. This cute little
girl is enjoying their company-she just wandered in off the street.
When we finally find a house or apartment and all of the negotiations are finished, it becomes moving day. Once our truck is packed, we look like the Clampetts as we move the furnishings.

The employees of the stores where we purchase the supplies often
will tie us in and load for us-a real help for sure!

Elder Nielson and Elder Pinol navigating a refrigerator up some steps and into the house.
Frequently we rely on the area Zone Leaders to help us find and then interpret for us with the landlords.  Our tagalog is not our strong suit so the local members and missionaries serve as our translators. When we knew we were going to Tuguegaro last week we checked the pouch and there was a box for Elder Nay.  We served with him for many months in Mallig and were so happy to see him again. When I picked up his box, I noticed a little box in my inbox and low and behold!!  His mother had sent ME a box!  What a sweetie-she read on this blog about my love for Crystal Light and sent me a box containing some, also some CTR rings in tagalog as well as a great muffin mix.  What a surprise...thanks Sister Nay..

Elder Nay and Elder Reyes with his box-I bet he shared with his great companion.
When we were in the MTC, we were trained to run the office this second year. President changed his mind when the Lakers arrived and they now are in charge of keeping track of the Carlos and keeping the office running smoothly. Being trained in the office however gave me an interesting peek at the mission while we were in the MTC-I was able to pull up all the pictures of the Elders and Sisters.  I hunted and found that we had five with us in the MTC who were coming to our mission and I was so excited to find and meet them.  I looked and I looked but never saw the faces that I recognized.  They arrived a few weeks after we did but were in our 'batch'. When this group arrived, it didn't take long to find out that they had amazing talent!  For our recent transfer meeting, they all got together and sang a beautiful arrangement of 'Nearer My God to Thee'.  They were accompanied by Elder Ilagan, an amazing pianist!

Elder Nay, Elder Landeen, Elder Needs, Elder Zeigler and Elder Rostedt
We love serving in our little branch.  When we started working with them, we decided to begin with the youth programs and they have really responded well.  The Young Men's and Young Women's Presidents are amazing leaders and are learning so much.  Last Friday night we [the YW] were in charge of a combined activity.  We reserved the Barangy Hall [a covered outside area similar to the pavilions at parks in the US] and we make a Frisbee Golf course.  Only one problem...we couldn't find frisbees here so we improvised.  The ladies will often purchase these little nylon fans that will fold into themselves and slip into a pocket or bag and we bought enough for each to have one-the little children can be seen in parking lots at church using them as frisbees and sure enough, they worked great!  Everyone had a good time!!

The day after my last post we had a great opportunity to attend the birth of our 25th grandchild...via SkyPe.  We knew early in the day [the middle of the night for them] that things were popping and after spending an evening in Mallig, we arrived home around 9 to find that he hadn't been born yet-we hooked up the computer, grabbed our dinner and attended the event.  Gavin Paul Shaner was born on the morning of September 5th [the late evening for us here]. He weighed 7#9oz. and after a battle with pneumonia [he inhaled merconium] he is doing good.  It was such a thrill to be there-we have missed many important days in the lives of our family while serving here and it was nice not to miss this special evening!!

Rob testing out the connection.

I visited with them both between contractions.  I called it my dinner and a movie-I sat there eating
my salad [and teasing them with the marvelous mangos] while they worked hard.  Good job kids!!
My garden is doing ok-the corn is a disappointment but I think the overall climate is just not appropriate for our great American sweet corn. The tomatoes seem to be flourishing so maybe it won't be a total wash.  I also planted some squash along the drive and it is doing well.
One thing I have learned for sure on this is like a garden.  You plant, you water, you fertilize, you harvest and you enjoy...kinda like the work we are doing.  I am just so thrilled to be working with these amazing people-there are NONE better!!

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