Saturday, November 1, 2014

This cute smiling boy our grandson's age leading a young carabao in training

Saturday, November 01, 2014
A pregnant lady walked up to me and said, “I want to look in your eyes so my baby will have a nose like you”.  I told her I liked her nose.  Big noses seem to be desired here and “white” skin.  Another time a Filipina I was walking with saw a white carabao and said, “Look Sister Mower, the carabao’s hair is the same color as your skin”.
Murcia Branch building
Sunday we attended Church in Murcia.  We parked near the busy village square and walked about a block to the meeting house as there is no parking available close by.  The Church is actually a rented house that has been converted to serve as a Church.  I was immediately drawn to a petite smiling woman who serves as the Relief Society President of this branch.  She looked up at me and asked me to share some of my height with her.  She is around four and a half feet tall, me, I am 5’7”.  She taught the lesson in Relief Society and throughout the lesson she asked, “Sister Mower, can you expound on this topic”.  Every time I would have to ask her to please repeat the question in English.  I try to keep it short and simple, because of the language issue.
Karen & Joy
It was especially warm Sunday and with no breeze even from the spinning fans, it was good to get in the air conditioned truck.  We were asked to take a newly baptized older couple home.  The couple (who are in their 70’s), three of their grandchildren and a missionary along with George and me squeezed into the truck and off we went.  We traveled for what seemed a long time and the further we went, the road kind of disappeared.  I questioned if it was legal to be driving in the area; there were no tire marks.  They kept assuring us it was okay through our interpreter the missionary.  Finally we came to a steep grassy hill planted with banana trees and were cautioned to be careful not to hit the trees.  George and I looked at each other and the family agreed to navigate the last leg of their trip home on foot.
Sugar cane field road
Rosie is a courageous example of trying to help her family.  She brought her five children to Church for a month before the missionaries started teaching them the gospel.  Because of the distance she walked an hour each way for the teaching sessions (the missionaries said barefoot).  Thursday evening we witnessed her marriage to her sweetheart and father of her children.  She looked radiant in an ivory dress and pearl necklace.  Rickie the soon to be husband wore a traditional Philippine untucked ivory shirt.  No rings were exchanged.  Later we witnessed the baptism of Rosie and four of her children (8 to 15 years old).  I was drawn to her four year old daughter; a serious young girl.  The wedding started an hour late because the Bishop performing the ceremony was delayed.  She sat quietly on the row in front of us and watched George and me (we are an oddity).
A marriage & baptism with Elders Meek and Varsovia
Today is All Saints’ Day in the Philippines, a national holiday.  This celebration is to honor saints; their examples are to remind us how we’re supposed to live.  Here people often go to cemeteries to honor their deceased loved ones bringing food and flowers and visiting with family.  A lady we met today, said it is like a family reunion.  We go grocery shopping on Saturdays, and today was the perfect day to go as I think everyone was at the cemetery.  Halloween was not celebrated in our neighborhood but the stores had candies and plastic pumpkins for sale.  A friend told me malls celebrate and we did see some children dressed up.  Tomorrow is All Souls’ Day a day of prayer for all souls.
Cutest witches we've ever seen!

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