Sunday, August 24, 2014

Beautiful Children dressed in traditional costumes for their schools celebration of "Philippine Day"

Monday, August 25, 2014

I love to hear people pray here.  Their entire prayers are filled with salamat (thank you).  We have heard “salamat” up to seven times in a prayer.  This is a good reminder for me to look around and be more thankful for little things.  Today at a baptism two young girls around 9 or 10 years of age sat on each side of me.  I asked them if they spoke English, they didn’t.  They asked me if I spoke Ilonggo; I shook my head no.  So we just sat together and smiled at each other and although we didn’t verbally communicate, I could feel of their tender spirits.
School where Sunday Service is held

School courtyard
Curious spectators
We had another interesting experience with the local power company last week.  Aside from the occasional brownouts, which we’ve grown accustomed to, we had a total loss of power at the Mission Office, where we spend most days—enjoying the ‘aircon’, the Philippine term for air conditioning.  We came into the Office Monday morning to find we were without electricity.  When it’s 90 degrees out with near 90 percent humidity, IT’S HOT!  Turns out we had a backup generator, but that only supplied enough energy for basic lights and a few fans.  Here’s the rest of the story. . No it wasn’t what happened with our internet a few weeks ago; where someone in the Area Office forgot to pay the bill.  The power company had purposely terminated the electric line to the Mission Office.  I guess they frequently get wildcat squatters who splice into power lines and steal power.  Well, they had just been out to work on the transformer at the CES Office, in the adjacent building, and they thought the power line going to the Mission Office was a wildcat line (duhhhh, right across the parking lot, where the line was going?).  So, without doing any checking, they just assumed it was an unauthorized user and cut the line!  Okay, now back to the fun of getting the power back.  So, this was their fault, but before even recognizing our issue, they were insistent on seeing our power bill (twice) to make sure we had a valid account and were current on our payment.   By the end of the day, we had power.  Now we have even more appreciation for electricity!
School classroom where service was held
Wall Posters

Sunday we started out early and didn’t get home till the day was done.  As we traveled north to our destination, we stopped along the way delivering much hoped for letters from home and supplies.  We enjoy these times as we get to spend a few minutes with young Sisters and Elders serving in the Philippines Bacolod Mission.  

The missionaries: Elders Abalos & Meek

The participants of the special service (Karen & I supervised the picture taking)
We were invited to attend a special Sacrament meeting in Gawahon.  This is an area that is new to missionary work.  We traveled from Victorias and took missionaries and several members up into the mountains to the little community where the meeting was held.  This trip takes an hour by trike (motorcycle with sidecar).  The special meeting was held in the elementary school cafeteria or “feeding area”.   Picnic style tables were moved to the sides and the bamboo benches were lined up in congregational style.  Even with the windows opened on each side of room, it was very warm.  Chickens and dogs peeked in the meeting room.  Eighteen investigators came, along with around twenty members.  As is typical, there was music, Hymn books were brought and the chorister stood and sang a line of the song, and then said, “Ready, start!”  The Bishop of the Victorias 1st ward and his counselors spoke along with a sister.  There was a beautiful song sung about Christ provided by young girls and the missionaries prepared and blessed the sacrament.  People are receptive to hearing about Jesus Christ.  The Philippines is a Christian nation.  A sign posted in the cafeteria, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”.
View coming off the 'mountain' from the special service

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