Monday, May 30, 2011


Children playing along the roadside
Yesterday as I sat in church I wrote a few thoughts as I watched all of the children who were siting with their families around me. Because of possible problems, we as missionaries are instructed not to hold little children. That is a really hard thing for me. They are so dang cute and it makes me want to pick them up and give them a big hug!! These little ones will come up to us to shake our hands at church. They seem to watch everything that we do.

The Bishop was the last speaker in Sacrament meeting. He spoke about how special these little children are. He made the statement that these little children are more righteous than their parents. I truly believe that what he said is true. These little children have been saved to come to earth in these troublesome times.

Recently during the Jubilee Celebration, while celebrating 50 years of the church in the Philippines, we were told that the church will continue to grow at a rapid rate in the Philippines. These children are the future leaders of the church here and around the world.

So the next time you look at those sweet little ones who may not behaving in the best of ways at the time (I have had a couple like that), remember that they are more righteous than you and that they are the future leaders of the church. Teach them about our Savior and all that He has done for them. You will be surprised at how smart they are.

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer the little children to come unto me,
and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God."
(Luke 18:16)

"And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them." (3 Nephi 17:23-24)

Horticulture Lesson Update . . .

I had a friend send me a note asking for an up date on the bananas growing in our backyard. In her words "For those non-travelers in the bunch, please post an update." My last update was April 28th. You can look back and see the difference in the pictures.

You can see the 'blossom' at the bottom of the bunch of bananas
These are only about 3 inches long
These are the larger bananas. They should be ready to harvest in about a month.
The stem is much larger in diameter than the baby ones.
They are about 5 inches long.
Here are a couple of the pineapple almost ready to harvest.

And here is a couple of papaya.
I think it is neat how they grow below the leaves on the bare trunk.
The horticulture lesson will continue in about 3-4 weeks . . . maybe we will have one bunch of ripe bananas by the. I hope I can help with the harvest of those . . . .

Saturday, May 28, 2011

60 years old!! Oh My!!

Well, I turned 60 on May 27th. (But I am also proud of all 60 of those years!) I can't believe that I am that old . . . but then again, it really isn't old is it?? You are as old as you feel and if that is the case, I am only beginning my 40s!!!

I just want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. I felt loved and spoiled. Wade took me to an Italian Restaurant f0r dinner! It was wonderful . . . I did tell him that he still owes me a big birthday party. You see, when he turn 50 I did a huge party for him. He was supposed to do something when I turned 50, but he said he forgot and since my birthday always falls on a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) . . . so I told him when I turned 60 he needed to throw a big bash . . . Well most of you know we are in the Philippines, so the big bash will have to wait. But it is great to turn 60 and be serving a mission!

Thanks again everyone!

Helping Others . . . .

When I decided to start a blog of our mission, it was first of all to help me keep a journal of all that we are doing and seeing. It is also to help others who may be considering a mission, an idea of what to expect as a senior couple. Of course, it depends on where and what you are called to do, but you can see that you are not like the young missionaries. And I also wanted my blog to be uplifting to others who read it who may be searching for something in their lives.

Recently, my sister sent me an excerpt from an email she had received from her sister in law who come across my blog and read it. As I read her note, my eyes filled with tears. This lady has been struggling in many different ways, spiritually, physically, mentally, in the job area and in everything you can imagine. She said she had been built up spiritually and that she felt that things come into our lives for a reason. She had wanted to leave a comment but wasn't sure if she should. I would have loved her comment. So, to anyone reading this who would like to leave a comment, please do, Leave your first and last name so that I will know who you are.

My hope is that I can help others through my expediences, that my words might be uplifting to someone who is struggling. I hope that you can laugh and cry along with me as I have written the words. There are times when you struggle on a mission . . . and of course you miss those at home, but if you will stay close to your Savior, love your companion and focus on the work you have been sent to do, you will receive blessings for you and your family at home.

I know that my Savior loves me and he knows me. I know that I have been sent here to the Philippines for a reason and there is a purpose to my calling. I pray daily for the strength to fulfill the responsibilities that I have. That I will love the people and the missionaries who I serve with. I know that this is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father if we will keep his commandments. I love each of you and hope that you will feel His spirit. Thank you for sharing my experiences . . . . . . .


Typhoons and Rain

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of the rain we get here. It was night so they didn't show up too well. I have never seen rain like we get here. I was watching it rain out of the mission office window and at first it looked like hail was coming down - this is because the drops are so big - but it was rain not hail!

This is right outside our apartment door
This past week we have had a Typhoon Songda (Chedeng - pronounced shay - ding) off the eastern coast of the Philippines which is bringing lots of rain and thunderstorms to the area. At one point is was rated a category 4 storm. We have had rain everyday this past week. In the USA we call it raining cats and dogs. Here they say it is raining cats and dogs and carabao (water buffalo)!! And I say, when it rains it doesn't pour, it comes in buckets!

It looks like it is flooding, but as soon as the rain stops it drys up.
And the rain is turning everything green - it had been hot and the grass was starting to turn brown. It is beautiful here!!
We are safe and all of our missionaries are safe as well. We have just had lots of rain . . . and they tell me that the rainy season still has not started! But, today the temperature was in the low 80s, so we are enjoying the 'cool' weather!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dooms Day . . . May 21st . . . ???

I think everyone heard the prediction that the world would end on May 21st. As we were driving back from Cabanatuan, the sun was peeping through the clouds. The sun was really bright, and I was thinking that maybe something really was happening . . . Here are the pictures of the sun peeking through the clouds . . . .

It made me laugh yesterday when President Puzey showed me this picture thats he took of a billboard in Angeles . . .
I guess everywhere around the world had heard the prediction. I am glad to say that we are still here, alive, kicking and serving a mission.

Cabanatuan POW Camp

On Saturday May 21st, we decided to attend a baptism in Cabanatuan (Ca-ba-na-tu-an) - about a 2 hour drive. It is north of where we live and it was fun to drive through the farm land - mostly rice fields. We got to the church about 11:30 - plenty of time for the baptism at noon. No one was there and the font was not being filled. Elder Jewkes called the Zone Leaders to find out if we were at the wrong church . . . Seems that the date of the baptism was the 22nd not the 21st!! I had read the text wrong, so it was totally my fault! You see, part of my job it to find out when and where the baptisms are each week. I send a text on Thursday to the Zone Leaders and they send a text back with the information needed. Most all of the baptisms are on Saturday . . . easy mistake, right?? Well, we enjoyed the ride and since we we in Cabanatuan, we decided to go to the POW Camp Memorial. This is where the Japanese kept the prisoners interned during WWII. That was after the prisoners marched 105 kilometers from Bataan to San Fernando and then were herded onto trains to get from San Fernando to Cabanatuan. The prisoners were treated in humanly and thousands died from disease, starvation and heat exhaustion. We were disappointed that there was not more information or someone to tell us more about the sites. There was not another person at the memorial that day. They do consider it sacred ground because there were so many Americans and Filipinos who died there. Here are some of the pictures from that day.

The Gate leading into the memorial site

This wall reminded us both of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington DC

I am standing at the memorial looking towards the road that we drove down.
It is just grass with some tire tracks.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We've moved - temporarily . . . .

Our apartment is being painted this week, so we are living at the Oasis Hotel here in Angeles. It is nice, but we are both missing the comforts of our little apartment. I thought it would be great not having to cook for a few days, but since my bout with the flu last week, I am really hungry for some home cooking! We should be back in our apartment by Monday . . . yeah!! Rice and beans hasn't sounded so good before!!! ~smile~

The restaurant at the Hotel (see how skinny Wade is getting!)

It's a Miracle . . .

The church has been celebrating 50 years of missionary work in the Philippines. The first weekend of May, a large Jubilee Celebration took place in Manila and was broadcast to all of the Philippines. We also had an Area Conference that weekend. Last weekend (May 14th) each stake put on their own Jubilee Celebration. We attended the one put on by the youth of the Angeles Stake.
Jubilee CelebrationIt was held on the parking lot/basketball court at the stake center. The youth preformed songs and dances from their region of the Philippines showing the culture of the people in that area. Angeles is in the state of Pampanga.
Here are a few of the pictures from the big event.

The Youth Choir
The Masters of CeremonyThe Costumes were beautiful
The boys 'stick' dance
The mud pot dance. All of the girls carry various sizes of pots on their heads
Then another dancer helps to stack them and lift them onto her head.
More beautiful costumes
Notice the dancers feet
This dance represented the planting and harvest.
This dance was fun to watch.
As some of the dancers moved the poles on the ground a couple would dance
between the poles. It got faster as they went.

The final number
I hope you noticed the sky in these pictures.
Here is the miracle I am writing about. Wade & I had gone to San Fernando, about 30 minutes from the Stake Center to go to a Burger King (that's right there is one here). As we were driving to the stake center, we could see that a big storm was coming up - the wind was blowing and we were getting just a little rain as we drove. We got to the stake center and the wind was blowing pretty hard. In the opening prayer, the Lord was asked for good weather so that this presentation could be preformed. (We found out later that the Stake President as well as many others had offered personal prayers as well). The program was preformed as the weather calmed down.

As we drove home, we drove down a road that looked like a pipe had burst - water was running down the road like a river. This was only about a half mile from the church. As we drove further down the road, we could tell that it had been raining - hard! When we got onto Clark, we saw a couple of trees that had been uprooted from the wind. Heavenly Father spared the chapel from being rained on. A lot of work had been put into the Jubilee Celebration!

We experienced a miracle Saturday evening!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not feeling well in the Philippines . . .

The Tuesday after Mother's Day, I woke up with a sick tummy. I didn't think it was all that bad, but after going into the office for a few minutes, I went home and laid down thinking I would feel better, especially after drinking some Coke (it always settles a tummy down, right?). Well about 10:30a the lady who cleans for the President came down with my purchases from the market. (She picks up meat for me since she goes early in the morning and she knows who to buy from.) When she could see that I wasn't doing so well, she put everything away for me . . . she is so sweet! Anyway, I laid back down and finally woke up around 5 when Wade came home. It really wiped me out! I hate being sick and I never take time to rest to get over anything! So Wade knew that I wasn't feeling well. Wade went to McDonald's and brought home some dinner - I didn't eat but a couple of bites of chicken nuggets. I still wasn't feeling great on Wednesday, but I went back into the office. After work we drove down to the mall.

This is what we saw as we drove home.
The sunsets are beautiful here! The clouds are beautiful at this time of evening as well.

The sun is down by 6-6:30p every night - no daylight savings here!!

I was finally starting to feel somewhat normal by Friday . . . boy I don't want to feel that way anymore! Not sure if I had a flu bug or if I ate something I should not have . . . Welcome to life in the Philippines . . .