Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Visit to Urdaneta . . .

March 14, 2012

We attended the Zone Conference in Paniqui today.  Paniqui is located very close to the border of the Baguio Mission.  Brother Laceste, 'Boycee' who is the director of the MRC was going to be there and invited us to go to Urdaneta to visit the area where Wade's parent served a mission in 1992 and where his father passed away.  Boycee knew Wade's parents and was excited to share the sites with us!
Site of the new Urdaneta Temple
Site of the new Urdaneta Temple
Site of the new Urdaneta Temple - the swamp area that needs to be filled before they can start.
Site of the new Urdaneta Temple - the swamp area that needs to be filled before they can start.
The new Baguio Mission office - they were not there so we didn't get to go inside
Baguio Mission Home
The church in front of the Baguio Mission home and office
Philippines Baguio Mission Office
One of the church buildings where Grandpa Jewkes (Dale) played basket ball
Wade trying to show his dad's famous two handed shot
The hospital where Dale was taken after he collapsed on the tennis court.  He was playing tennis on his p-day
The Rosales Chapel where Wade's parents attended church
Wade and I in front of the church in Rosales
Thank you again to Boycee for a wonderful day in Urdaneta!!!

It's a Bug's Life . . .

March 7, 2012

Wade and I went to Manila to visits the eye doctor to see about getting the cataract in my right eye taken care of.  It had gotten a lot worse since we came to the Philippines.  When I went to my eye doctor back home, he said I didn't need surgery, but now I can barely see the print on baptism records that I need to enter into the computer each week. 

We drove to the MRC (Medical Recovery Center).  We met Elder and Sister Fleming who took us to my appointment. (Driving in Manila is crazy!)  We set up the surgery for Thursday morning.  (Patti was with us and left early on Thursday to return home.)  

The Flemings were wonderful.  Wednesday afternoon. they drove us past the house that Imelda Marcos lived in . . . it is beautiful and the gates probably cost more than my house back home!!!   
One of the gates to the Marcos home in Quezon City
The home where Imelda Marcos lived in Quezon City
Wednesday evening we attended the New Manila MTC open house.  It is a beautiful facility and they can now accommodate more missionaries.

The next morning early we headed to the Global St. Luke's Hospital in Manila for my surgery.  Yes, I was very nervous, but the doctor was very professional and the facility was beautiful, new and very clean!
Thursday evening after my surgery . . . note the goggles I have on, thus it's a bug's life comment! I have to wear them to bed every night so I don't bump my eye.

Friday morning, we went back to see Dr. Laxamana for a check before we headed back to Angeles.
Dr. Laxamana, me, Elder Jewkes and Sister Fleming in his office
Our room at the MRC
Dining room at he MRC
Kitchen at the MRC
 This sister missionary is from Nepal.  The elder is from the Philippines.  We had a fun evening!
Playing Dominoes with the other missionaries
Wade, me and Divine - she is the cook and housekeeper at the MRC
Wade & I with Sister and Elder Fleming before we left to go home.
Wade in front of the mission van.  The driveway was very narrow!!
 This billboard made me laugh.  I hope you can read it (this picture was taken from the car).
It says:  'The family that Facebooks together stays together"
 I will have my other eye done in April.  It will nice to really see clearly again.  When I went back last week for my check up my vision was 20/20 in my right eye!!!  No more glasses for now!  Success!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Visit from Patti . . .

February 29, 2012

Patti came for another visit.  (We sure like that her job allows her to fly to visit us almost at a moments notice . . . you gotta love working for the airlines!)  We were so excited to see her again!!  

Our friend Ronnie drove us to Manila to pick her up. Once you get to the airport, you have to wait in a waiting area across the street from where the arriving passengers come out.  It is so noisy so you can't really call out to the person you are waiting for and guards stop you from going to help them with their luggage! Patti was standing next to a person who saw me waving my arms otherwise, I am not sure how long she would have been staring looking for us.  We couldn't get up close to the fence so she could see us.
This is where you wait for the arriving people at the airport.  This was at 11pm!
We went on a couples retreat on Friday and Saturday and she was able to go with us!  (I will write about that on another posting.)
Sunday when we went to church, 'Auntie Patti" (as Ronnie named her) took charge of little Ron Issac, whose nickname is Aki,  for the 3 hours we were at church.  She held him and he slept.  He is so sweet!!
Patti and Aki
Granny Connie (as Ronnie calls me) with little Aki
Aki with his mom Christy.  Look at those bright eyes and the fingers he has found to suck on!!
On Monday we went shopping for some fabric with Sister Martino and Sister Carol Guiwan.
Shopping for fabric
We stopped at a market on the way back home.  They were selling Okay so Sister Martino bought some for all of us to try. Sister Guiwan was with us and told us it was good . . .
Sister Martino bought one for us all to try
Patti trying this Filipino food - yummy!
My turn and it was good!!  It had shrimp on top of it.  You dip it in vinegar.  You can see Sister Guiwan watching us try a native food!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Visit from Sister Ann Dibb . . .

February 25, 2012

Sister Dibb from the General Young Women Presidency visited the Angeles Stake (this also included several of the nearby stakes) for training and a member devotional.  President Martino asked us to attend and to represent the mission since he had a prior commitment at a Stake Conference in the mission.  We were delighted to be asked!

Sister Becka and Sister Ardern outside after the meetings
During the training, Sister Dibb asked for a Beehive, a Mia Maid and a Laurel to come forward. (These are the names of the classes for the young women in our church ages 12 - 17).  She also asked a Young Adult (returned missionary) and a mother to join the group.    The girls were timid and shy to say the least.  She couldn't get the Beehive to answer her questions even when she told her she could speak in Tagalog!  She was teaching that as the young girls come in to Young Women, they should look to the older girls for examples to be stronger in the gospel.  She told them to focus on the temple and make it a goal to attend the temple.   She told the leaders to PRAY daily, Read the scriptures daily OBEY the standards of Youth and to stand strong and to SMILE because we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.
During the Member Devotional, President Ardern (Philippin4s Area Presidency), told us that "Trials are a way to shape us.  Our trials mold us into the person our Heavenly Father wants us to be."   He also told us that Heavenly father didn't send us to earth to start the race, but rather to finish the race.  He  gave six points that we must follow to finish the race: 
  1. Always look to God ~  don't curse God when trials come, turn to Him in prayer 
  2. Keep the Commandments ~ when you keep the commandments you draw closer to God.  Keep ALL the commandments. 
  3. Have good Friends ~  the company you keep so often directs the direction you go.  be a good friend - always encourage to do right. 
  4. Attend all my church meetings ~  you gain additional strength when you attend all of your meetings. 
  5. Continue to make covenants ~  particularity those of the temple
  6. Read the Scriptures each day ~ they will draw you closer to God.
We have the atonement to overcome discouragement and help us to finsish the race!

Sister Dibb told us that we need to gain our own testimony; to be worthy to carry a temple recommend and to enter the temple.  She quoted her father, President Thomas S Monson, Choose good friends, so you can make good choices."  Then Sister Dibb ask the congregation if they had any questions about her father that she might answer for them . . . (it was still quiet) so she told us some things about him . . . He whistles a song all of the time.  He always says how good looking his wife is.  His favorite color is yellow - he always gives her mom yellow roses (she isn't sure that is her favorite color though). Favorite food - chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, but no broccoli or cauliflower.   He likes vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.  he likes Chinese Food but orders the same thing all of the time.  Hobbies  - raising chickens and pigeons and he likes to fish. His favorite church calling was the Deacons Quorum Secretary.  He is concerned about his grand children and wants them to have good memories.  His motto: 'On the Lord's Errand', 'Work will win when wishy washing wishing won't', and 'To the Rescue'.  What a great way to get to know our living Prophet, through his daughter.

I was able to visit with Sister Dibb between the two meetings.  She told me that you just never know what is going to happen when you call individuals out of the audience.  She is a very special woman.  I was glad that we were able to talk for a few minutes!  What a wonderful evening and a privilege to attend these two meetings!

Orchids, Dogs on Bikes and more . . .

February 2012

Here are some random pictures taken the end of February . . . 

This little girl was trying to pedal this bike and side cart. 
All of the kids hold their hands like this when you take a picture . . . it means I am handsome or cute!!
Another shy little boy ~ Can you tell I love these kids??
Our newest orchids.
I think this is the first year this pl ant has bloomed.
Jose and his prize orchids. 
We went to visit our friend Marissa and her family.  She was riding her bike with her dog . . .
The dog just sits on the back fender and rides ., . .
He is happy for the ride and doesn't even try to jump off!
Wade with his Dr. Pepper ~ Jose tries to find them when he goes out shopping.

Friday, March 9, 2012

February Transfers . . .

February 22, 2012

It is amazing to me at how fast 6 weeks can pass in the mission field.  We sent home some great missionaries who are missed!
back row: Elders Murano, Venance, Au, Deppermann and Strong front row Sisters DeGracia,  DeCato, Sister & Elder McCary, Sisters Briggs and Moran

  This time we sent home two of the Assistants that we have worked with in the office. . . . we are so lucky to work with these young Elders and get to know them . . . . we miss them!
Elder Deppermann from Illinois
Elder Strong from Idaho
Sister Briggs (Idaho)  and Sister DeCato (Utah)
Sister DeGracia and Sister Moran from the Philippines
                     We also are missing our good friends the McCarys.                              We hope to see them back . . . .
Elder & Sister Jewkes and Sister and Elder McCary (Georgia)
 AND then we get more missionaries!! 
Elder Pioquinto helping missionaries bring in their luggage . . .
        Retiring their suite coats . . . to hot for those here.  They will stay safe in the mission office until it is time to go home in 2 years!!