Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Transfer . . . . Good-bye ~ Hello . . .

Transfers - January 10 - 12, 2012

Every six weeks we have to say farewell to missionaries as they leave  and then say hello to the new missionaries as they arrive.  This is a sad time and a happy time.  We are so fortunate to be in the office and experience the transfers. 
It is always hard to say good-bye to the Assistants
that we have worked so closely with.  
This time we said farewell to Elder Apolinario.

Elder Jewkes and Elder Apolinario
Elder and Sister Jewkes with Elder Apolinario
Elder Strong saying farewell to his companion!
Farewell to some great missionaries!
 And then we get new missionaries . . . 
Wednesday the missionaries coming from the Provo MTC arrive . . .  

Do they look a little jet-lagged?
And then on Thursday the missionaries from the Manila MTC arrive . . . 
The trainers come into the mission office to pick up their new companion . . .
20 missionaries waiting to see WHO their new companion will be . . .
Our New January Arrivals ready to go to work!

A Special Visitor . . .

On January 4th, we were working in the office and we some special visitors.  The lady that works with our son Charlie, in California, was visiting family in Manila.  They were on their way to Baguio and stopped to meet and visit with us.  Nenette, her husband and sister-in-law came in to visit us.  They told us it took them an hour to find where we lived.  It was so nice to meet them. They gave us a great report on how cute Charlie is and what a nice kid he is.  She gave me a hug from him and another hug to take back to him.  
Sister Jewkes, Elder Jewkes, Nenette, her sister-in-law and her husband
With the APs . . . Elder Pioquinto, Nenette's husband, Elder Apolinario, 
Elder Strong, Sister and Elder Jewkes and Nenette
What a great surprise!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year's in the Philippines . ..

Between Christmas and New Year's there was an evening in the nearby park where there was a display of  Lanterns.  They are like a kaleidoscope in that there is music playing and the lights 'dance' to the music.  It was fun to watch and it was not freezing cold . .  maybe around 70 degrees!  Here are some of the pictures I took of the lanterns.

Wade Watching the Lantern Show . . .
The colors were beautiful and it was fun to watch the lights dance to the music!
Lights hanging from the trees at the park

Christmas Tree at the Park
The mission home/office all lite up!

New Year's is a bigger day than Christmas!  On Christmas most of the stores were just "business as usual'!  New Year's Eve brought another round of very loud fireworks . . . some of them sounded like bombs going off!

On New Year's Day, the ladies that clean for us invited us to their family gathering for dinner.  
Sister Lina
Sister Connie

Christmas Day 2011

***I am unable to get the font all the same on this post . . .????

We went to bed on Christmas Eve with the sounds of fireworks blasting most of the night! but Christmas morning was a beautiful day. As we drove to church that morning people were wondering down the street like it was just another day. They don't celebrate Christmas like we do back home with lots of gift giving (most can not afford it). The do get together with their families for singing and lots of food.

When we arrived at church, the place was deserted! We wondered if there really was going to be a Sacrament Meeting, but about 9am, everyone started arriving and by 9:15a they began the meeting. After Sacrament meeting, everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas and went home.

Some of the Ward members after churchI had made orange rolls to take to the Quiambao family. We also gave some to Sister Long and her family. Then we visited the Cedello family. They have become good friends of ours. Ronnie & Christie have 9 children ages 2 months to 19 years old. Great family! But we knew they wouldn't have presents on Christmas. So, a pan of orange rolls and a stockings with goodies for each of the kids was taken to the family. The day the baby was blessed,
(isn't he cute!)I took a picture of the entire family . . . and had it made into a 8 x 10, framed and wrapped. When Ronnie opened it he said he had never had a picture of his entire family together. Later in the day I received a text from Christie that it was the first Christmas in a very long time that their kids had a Christmas gift.

So being on a mission on Christmas had a whole different meaning for me this year . . . we missed our family, but it was so nice to be able to share just a little something with others to make their day a little brighter. It was
nice tor be able to reflect on our Savior's birth, his life, his crucifixion and all that he has done for each of us. I know it made my day a lot brighter!!

AND . . . Christmas dinner was sweet and sour chicken . . what would you expect in the Philippines??

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas in the Philippines part 2 . .

December 22nd and 23rd, 2011

We had our senior couples meeting/Christmas party at the mission home. All of the couples stayed at the mission home that night. We had a full evening planned with more activities on Saturday.
Each of the sisters brought food to go along with the ham and turkey.The tables were set for the season.Sister Lopez and Sister Rosero and their families were invited to join us as well.Sister Rosero and Sister Lopez both help with the cleaning at the
mission home and our house. They are sisters ~ can you tell??After dinner, we presented the nativity with all of
the senior couples taking part.Elder Apolinario admiring the ornaments that were brought to
the zone conferences and now adore the mission home Christmas tree.Then it was time to go caroling to some of the neighbors on our street.
We had a stocking to give to each home we visited with a Book of Mormon and
some literature about the church . I believe there was also a treat inside.One of the neighbor's invited us all into his home and
then he sang carols with us.Back to the mission home with all of the colored lights!The next morning we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast . . . . . .and then we were off to visit the orphanage. This is the same orphanage we went to when Andrea & Ryan were here. We were able to purchase some stockings and goodies to put in them with some donated funds (no church funds were used!). We had the kids act out the nativity in costumes that we brought along with us. They are so cute!
We played Christmas bingo with candy to mark the cards. The kids really enjoyed it as well as this older lady who was there.We had two pinatas for the kids to break. The younger kidsand the older kidsThen we has a special visitor come to visit the kids.We even caught Santa kissing Sister Martino . . .We all enjoyed being there with all of the kids and
I think that all of the kids enjoyed it as well!When we got ready to leave the kids all sang a special 'thank you' song to us.
I think it brought a tear to each of our eyes!One of the things that the children and adults do to show respect
to an older person is to take their hand and touch it with their forehead.
This little girl was doing it to Elder Jewkes so he did it back to her . . .Back to the mission home for lunch of leftovers from the night before.
We all went away with the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts
and knowing we had helped to make Christmas a little
brighter for these beautiful children!