Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conference, Birthdays, and more . . .

We attended the Billibago Ward this past Sunday. Because of the time difference (we are 14 hours ahead of Salt Lake) we will not see the general conference sessions until this next weekend at church. We took Jose, our security guard with us, since this is his ward. He is the Elders Quorum President. We were driving down the road and he said we needed to turn, but we didn't see a street. We went a little further down the road, turned around and came back. It was hard to tell that this 'road' was a road. It was just a rocky dirt path between two buildings. The ward building is beautiful and modern, but it is fit between some very poor looking homes and buildings. I wish I had a picture. I will have to try and get it next time we go there. This will most likely be our 'home' ward while we are here, but we will be visiting the other wards and branches in the mission as directed by the president.

We met a young man at church who was from Baguio City. He asked if we knew anyone that had been there . . . well, Wade's parents were there in 1992, before he was born. I told him that my niece had served there as well as my kids' pediatrician who was the mission president. He knew President Thomas, in fact he had spoken at his baptism.

His name is Marc Duno. This is in the foyer of the church. We enjoyed visiting with him before church. It is such a small world!

I am feeling a little more confident in my work in the mission office. This week I had about 50+ Baptismal records to enter into the church system. Normally that wouldn't take much time, but when you are trying to read the elder's handwriting, trying to figure out what is a city and state, what is the mother's maiden name which by law is given to each of her children after their given name, trying to find missing dates and the list goes on . . . I have all but 5 done. Yeah!! Now to get ready for transfers the first week of May. We have about 17 new missionaries coming into the mission. So, the work goes on and we are starting to keep up with the 'moving train'!

Monday evening we were invited to the President's apartment to celebrate Elder Williams and Elder Jewkes' birthdays that are this week. Elder Williams is one of the APs. Sister Puzey had made homemade banana cream pie. It was yummy. Good food and good company to celebrate two great Elders!!!

When we got back home, we were able to get the conference sessions on line at, so we have been watching some of the conference sessions before this weekend. Today I listened to the Young Women’s Meeting that was 2 weeks ago. I love hearing the talks that are given to the young women. They are inspired for the young women of today and great advice was given. They told of the young women from Alpine who walked from the Draper Temple to the Salt Lake Temple to help them remember to keep pure and virtuous so they can enter the temple someday. They trained for it each week so they would be able to make the long walk of 22 miles. It was very inspirational to me to hear this story and the sacrifices made by parents, family and leaders to make this such an important part of these girls' lives. I especially enjoy listening to Mary Cook – she is a friend from high school - and I always look forward to hearing her speak.

The weather has been nice this week as well. Jose is quite the gardener. Here are some pictures of the things he plants and grows here on the property.

This is the patio garden between the carports of our building. Jose takes good care of it.

I learned a little about bananas this week as well.

You can see the purple colored ’leaf’ bud in the middle of the tree by the branches. This is the bud that the bananas grow from.

These are still really green but will be ready in a few weeks.

Papayas . . .

The papayas are bigger than I have seen before in the stores back home and there are lots of them. They will turn yellow and then will be ready for eating.

Pineapples are interesting plants.
Jose takes the tops from the pineapples that we buy and cut up and sticks it in the ground. These will get a yellow color to them in a few weeks and be ready for picking.

This one actually has two pineapples growing on it. Can you find the second one?

This is where the vanda orchids have been grafted onto a tree.

They use a little charcoal and moss and put the branch into it. And it grows!

Unfortunately, they only bloom once a year – in March/April. I'm excited that I get get to enjoy them for 2 years!! (2011 and 2012) They smell so good!!

These are some other flowers that grow everywhere in the Philippines. They are in different hues of pinks and oranges. These are the same flowers we saw in Israel when we visited there a few years ago. They look almost like crepe paper flowers.

Jose has also got a mango tree growing –it is about 4 inches tall. He just took a mango seed and planted it. It seems like if you plant a seed anything will grow around here . . . Well, so much for the horticultural lesson today.


  1. I'm SO envious of the flowers and fruits you have available to you!! Papaya is the best with fresh lime juice squeezed on it...YUM!! Tell Wade Happy Birthday and that he's getting really OLD!! Love ya both...

  2. WOW! Those pictures were cool. I love bananas and pineapple. It was neat to see them actually hanging on the trees and bushes. Sounds like you are enjoying your mission. Take care and tell Wade Happy Birthday.