Sunday, January 18, 2015

Yeah, and you expected what?

George and I have just returned from taking Elder Shayne M. Bowen (of the Seventy) to the airport.  We were honored to be his chauffeur as we traveled to meetings and Stake Conference in Bago Saturday and Sunday.  Bago is a city South of Bacolod with a population of about 160,000 people.  Elder Bowen is a counselor in the area presidency of the Philippines.
A nice park where we enjoyed a nice walk along the ocean
Yesterday we had a couple of hours before being needed back at the Church (Elder Bowen was in meetings) so we walked along an inlet of ocean.  There was a cement path and we enjoyed the cool air.  Yes the temperature was actually cool.  Later we saw missionaries (there are 20 in this area) and they were saying how cold it was.  Okay 79 degrees isn’t exactly cold, but it was cool.  Today these same missionaries were complaining of the heat!
Boys playing basketball on left and a rock game on right
I enjoyed watching some young boys playing some sort of game that seemed to have rules and a purpose.  The only requirement was a rock tossed with an expectation and there were physical maneuvers.  It seems that our (U.S.) culture is so caught up in having the latest toys, etc. to be contented—and here were poor boys who had nothing, yet seemed to be happy and having fun.
Children coming in on the small ferry
We watched a small boat ferry people from one side of the inlet to the other.  Although the boat was small and the handler steered the boat well through the wind and the waves, there were no life jackets.  There were also people having picnics; rice and fried chicken is always a treat.
Interesting sign up in the park
Later at the adult meeting when they announced Elder Bowen to be the speaker, he whispered to the Stake President who then invited George and me to bear our testimonies.  When I was speaking Elder Bowen leaned over to George and said, “There is no free lunch”.
Some of the missionaries serving in the Bago Zone
As we walked into the Chapel for stake conference this am, they put these medallions on us
I think coming on a mission has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, but we have been blessed so greatly and we have grown so much (and I don’t mean rice bellys).  We have met many people who have very little, but are happy.  We came to serve, but it is us who have been served.  We love our dear Mission President and his wife; President and Sister Lopez greatly.  They have given their lives to service by example.

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