Sunday, March 1, 2015

Welcome to the City of Bacolod aka The City of Smiles

It is beautiful on the tropical island of Negros Occidental.  There is always something blooming and exotic fruits that we do not recognize or are even able to pronounce the names of that continually grow.  The mission home front yard has colorful blooming orchids.  The orchid project was planned by President and Sister Lopez.   
To President & Sister Lopez from the Bacolod Missionaries
Welcome back Sister Lopez--WE LOVE YOU AND PRESIDENT LOPEZ!

And this week Sister Lopez returned to the mission home on a whirlwind trip to help organize their personal belongings for moving and packing.  She was so happy to see the beautiful orchids.  She is a picture taker and she took many shots!  It was great to see her once again and feel of her kind spirit.  I was a little jealous, she wore pants; she reminded us that it was okay—she had been released.
Enjoying our neighbors beautiful flowers

This week George and I have attended zone conference and the evening session of a stake conference, among other things.  President Lopez was remembered both times as a servant of our Heavenly Father who demonstrated faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We also had the privilege of hearing Elder Echo Hawk of the Area Presidency teach on this very topic and sharing his personal experiences.
A view of the meat market

The other day we were parked in front of a meat market.  This is a busy place but there were no front door or screens.  There were big slabs of meat on a table with several men with big knives standing around it and cutting as customers (standing next to the meat cutters) told them what they wanted.  Although each of the workers had a small apron in place, they wore no gloves and one smoked a cigarette as he chopped away.  The meat was weighed on a scale and put in a plastic bag and after the shopper would pay for the various cuts of meat, they would leave.
Busy streets along our travel route today
The travel philosophy here is the more the merrier
Actually Sunday is a relatively quiet market day, but some stands were open near our apartment

Cute baby about the same age as our newest grandson, Alex
To make a long story short; although we intended to visit a particular Ward, we unintentionally ended up about an hour and a half south of Bacolod today in Hinigaran for Church.  In Church I was reminded of reading in Alma about the armor the Nephites wore and how we need to keep our armor strong by reading the scriptures, praying to our Heavenly Father and following the counsel of our Church leaders.  I would say that is pretty good when I only understand a few words.  We met a new mother holding her three week old son Jonahbert. He was born February 7 and our grandson Alex was born February 6!
Another packed vehicle--doesn't look too comfy!
A front view of the 'cottage' we will be moving into in April

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