Sunday, May 3, 2015

Carabao and working along the national highway today carrying a heavy load

Yesterday I watched for a short time the fence being built across the street.  They mix the mortar by hand, put it in a small bucket and carry one bucket at a time to the block guy who is building the fence.  It’s a slow, tedious process, but the nearly finished product looks good and they are such hard workers.

Block wall going up across the street
Trees planted by the owner of our house
Our neighbor Orlando told us that for this neighborhood, if you have purchased a lot but are not using it, others can use it.  The owner of our house planted many tropical trees and plants across the street.  Someone came and carefully dug up several of the small palms yesterday; they carried them off in their sikad (a bicycle with a side cab).  I guess they need them for their yard or someone else.   The truck we drive is parked on another empty lot across from the house; the owner cleared an area and put up a tent for the truck.  Unfortunately many of the neighborhood cats also like the tent.  Other neighbors have planted a variety of fruit trees on empty lots that are producing interesting fruits.
Our truck parked under a canopy
Beautiful countryside and looming dark clouds on the horizon
After Church, we parked along the ocean to enjoy the beautiful view
It is now May and the dry season has officially ended.  We did have a few dry months with only occasional rain.  Since May 1st, we have had scattered rain showers every day.  Today we stopped in Victorias to visit a missionary.  A heavy rain came and even with two umbrellas, we were drenched!

Hey, nobody can see me--I'm hiding behind this ornament!
We have a couple of tokay geckos hanging around.  One lives by the front door.  We eye each other cautiously daily.  It is green with orange spots.  I love to hear their call. .  . too ko, too ko, too ko.  It starts out strong and slowly fades away.  When we first arrived in the Philippines, I thought I was hearing the neighbor’s alarm clock.

President Ferrin came over to the office a few days ago from a training meeting he was leading in the chapel with an urgent look on his face.  He said he received a call from a Branch President who said a returning missionary had been waiting at the airport for 4-hours waiting for someone to pick him up.  George rushed to the airport and picked up Elder Manalingan, an amazing young man who was returning from Ghana.  He had some wonderful stories of faith from his mission.  He served a great mission and was happy to be coming home and meet his mother and sister who were waiting by the chapel for him.  Apparently there was a miscommunication with the Ghana Mission, but the Elder took it in good stride.  President Ferrin released him and it was apparent he was happy to be with his loved ones.

Last night we attended a baptism as we often do.  I love the song we sang, “Families Can Be Together Forever” and it was so appropriate.  A couple of months ago an 11 year old girl was baptized and several weeks ago her dad was baptized.  Last night the dad baptized his wife and mother of the 11 year old girl.  The two older brothers also have baptism dates over the next few weeks.  The youngest daughter around 5 years old with a warm pink knitted hat on, was quite interested watching her mom be baptized.  Following the baptism, the newly baptized sister glowed as she shared her testimony.  George and I could feel of her spirit as she didn’t speak a word in English.

Today it was great to return to Old Sagay and attend Church.  It was great in that we traveled North and hadn’t for a while; it was good to see beautiful lush terrain and many of my favorite animals in the Philippines, the carabao.  The missionaries are solid in this area and the ward loves them.  We had a special treat seeing a former Bacolod sister missionary who was recently married in the Temple and is now living in Cadiz where her husband has a job as a teacher.

Fresh bananas going to market--there are many varieties here (we prefer the variety sold in the U.S. :-)

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