Sunday, May 4, 2014

Week of April 27th, 2014

Construction Zone
This is a picture of scaffolding that appears to be bamboo.  Construction is mostly manual, but things go pretty quickly; one bucket of concrete at a time.  The people are industrious and hard working.

Across the street from major shopping mall

There is a beautiful new mall called SM.  It is the largest mall in Bacolod City.  The second story overlooks the ocean, but on the other side of the street is a squatters area.  Such a contrast of worldly goods and 'have nots' is evident in this picture.

Overhead wire spaghetti

Many streets have so many low wires hanging, I can’t imagine how they keep track of what goes to what!
Gated Community  

Sunday, May 04, 2014

It is Sunday evening and another week has slipped by.  Today we went to the Bacolod 1st Ward which is next to the mission home.  One little boy, shook my hand several times.  He told me his name is Jeff.  I asked him how old he was and he held up his hands and showed me six digits.  I told him I had a grandson that is six and that his name is Nathen.  I showed him Nathen’s picture.  He thought Nathen was big. 

I also drove today for the first time since before our mission.  It is a holiday weekend (Labor Day) and although I only drove a few miles, it was nice to know I still could - even if it is a big truck.  George took this picture as we drove through the gate of our gated community.  There is a guard there twenty four hours a day.  Our community is completely walled in and we are very close to the ocean, but unable to get there from here.  We actually drove behind our subdivision earlier this week and discovered that behind our community is an area 
where hundreds of squatters live.

We love the young Elders and Sisters.  They work so hard in seeking those to share the gospel with.  The Philippines Bacolod Mission is the top baptizing mission in the Philippines 22 missions.  As the “local” missionaries prepare to go home, they have an opportunity to take an English Proficiency Test, which will help them in their future job endeavors.  This week Elder Peralta came from Colonial Divina to take the test (which he passed) and he shared an experience with us. 

He told us about a time when he was looking forward to furthering his education and his family was able to save the money and pay for his tuition.  But right before school started, he developed Dengue Fever.  This is a mosquito born virus that can make people very ill.  He ended up in the hospital.  He told of how his mother sat near his bed in the hospital and cared for him constantly for the several days that he was there.  When he was well enough to be released, they were presented with the hospital bill.  They had no money, because the money they did have went towards his tuition and they had lost that, because of his illness.  He said he was reminded of the scripture in Mark 15:34 which reads’ in part “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  He said his angel mother removed her wedding band and took it to a pawn shop and with the money was able to pay the hospital bill.  He has a great love for his family and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Today, an area he has helped open became a branch. (she was able to get the ring back).

The Lord has blessed George and me.  He is making our backs strong, as we are learning our responsibilities.  This week, we will be involved with the Liahona Foundation, who is coming to our area to help young children and pregnant mothers (members and nonmembers) with malnutrition.  We plan on going with this group two of the five days they are here, and have arranged for other senior couples to be with them the other days.

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