One of the things that President Carlos always stresses to his missionaries in his communications with them is...'NO REGRETS'. That is his theme...his byword...his mantra. Serving a mission is a wonderful experience for the young and the old alike and as full-time missionaries for the Lord, we spend the time allotted us teaching, inspiring, lifting, blessing, and in short, helping those who are not yet acquainted with our Lord and Savior or those who have, for one reason or another, left the path, find their way back and into his fold. He is our Shepherd. He leads us and it is in His name that we testify of the divinity of Christ. That being said, it is the sunset of our mission and in retrospect, do we have any regrets? Anything that is undone? Anyone whose life we have yet to bless? With only three months left to serve among these wonderful people in this glorious country, we need to ensure our work is done. NO REGRETS!
Sister Rosie has asked me numerous times to please teach her how to bake! She is our precious President Q's wife and we love her. This week was SO busy [as you will hear about shortly] so on Wednesday night, we drove to her house to invite her to come spend Thursday with me in the kitchen baking because I was going to stay home doing laundry and other personal upkeep things. She was most anxious to learn yeast breads so we made 'knots' [dinner rolls] and cinnamon rolls. This is so interesting because she does not have an oven! We are assigned to the Roxas district and there is not ONE family in that entire population of 1350 families with an oven in their home! Why these women are so interested in baking is beyond me. Maybe they aspire to an oven and if they get the instruction while there is someone close by, they will store that information for a later date. Who knows? Anyway, Thursday Rosie and I baked our little hearts out and their family was so tickled. We shared a pan with the sisters who live in the guest house on our property and they were also thrilled. [they love the fact that I love to cook and there is usually lots of leftovers!]
|Adding the cinnamon to the center before rolling them up.|
|I look like such a giant compared to Rosie-she is a little|
bit of a thing.
Our housing assignment continues to boggle our minds and occupy much of our time. Setting up these apartments, moving the Elders or Sisters to new, nicer or larger apartments, working with the landlords to update or repair the apartments...etc.
Last week Elder Shaner and I purchased 24 new fans! When an Elder or Sister comes to the mission, they are allowed either one or two fans, depending on the set-up of their individual apartment. A two story apartment will give each missionary one fan for their bedroom and one for the downstairs where they study. If they have a single floor apartment, they get two because it is simple to carry the bedroom one to the study nook. We had a hard time getting all 24 into the truck but Elder Shaner, an ex-Navy man who was accustomed to packing a duffel bag, used his Tetris skills to fit them all in one trip. The back was full as well as the back seat.
We absolutely LOVE helping the young Elders and Sisters-they are so grateful [most of the time] and we enjoy becoming acquainted with them as we serve.
One job we have is delivering supplies and this past week we spent three days on the road, delivering to four different areas and setting up three different apartments for an increase in missionaries. In one day, he assembled 9 fans! He can almost do it in his sleep. At one apartment in Tuguegarao, the missionaries informed us they had a 'Zombie' fan and would like it replaced. I laughed when I saw it-I just took a picture to show you the ingenious of these people!!!!
|Poor guy doing 'his thing' with the fans|
Last Monday we had the opportunity to move our Zone Leaders in Roxas. Their apartment was always on the top of the list for upgrade but we just couldn't find one that was suitable. About 6 months ago I noticed some building going on across the street from their Branch President. A month or so ago we drove down that street and saw a 'For Rent' sign...we hopped right on it and within a couple of weeks, we had a nice brand new apartment for them. When we asked them to see if they could get help with the physical move, we were happy to see eight Young Single Adults from their branch show up along with the Elders from Aurora. We had them moved in about two hours.
|A happy Elder Landeen and Elder Ballentos.|
In the past I have told you all about the celebrations here in the Philippines-it is amazing how they love to party! Because of the physical logistics of the homes, most parties are held outdoors under huge tarps. The decorations always have a theme and we always enjoy the interaction. Thursday afternoon we attended the first birthday party of Rafa Luy. She was a newborn the first time we met her family and we couldn't believe she was actually a year old! Her parents live in another city but were visiting 'home' for the celebration. Lots of great food and fun.
|The birthday girl with her Lola..[grandma]|
|My granddaughters would love the princess theme.|
While driving down a road this past week in our travels I saw the most gorgeous and interesting flowering tree. I looked very closely to see if it was actually two different trees that were just planted close together but no, it was one tree. I saw three other identical trees in the same city later that day. It appeared to have two different color and shape flowers on one tree. It was fascinating to me. It made me think of us here in this marvelous country. We are so different. We are light skinned, light eyed, light hair, different native tongue, different food preferences, tall, big feet, and the list could go on and on BUT...we are all children of the same Father in Heaven who loves us enough to put us together for this short period of time. Our sun is setting fast but there will be a new tomorrow...the Church is getting stronger and stronger in this great country and as the tree, we are blending together to create a wonderful gospel family. I feel so blessed to have played a minor role..