Sunday, July 26, 2015

Yeah, another of our favorite carabao pictures
Another week has slipped by and today was my favorite day of the week.  I wanted to travel to Candumarao this weekend to visit a missionary, but I also knew it meant leaving early and traveling a long distance along the same narrow roads as those walking and riding bicycles, people and animals on sicads, trikes, buses of several varieties, trucks etc.  We turned off towards Candumarao and George said why don’t we just stop at Isabela and partake of the sacrament (as our directions to this small barangay were pretty sketchy).  We arrived just as they were singing the opening hymn so we sat towards the back of the chapel.  After the sacrament was passed we thought we would slip out and try to find our destination, but the counselor stood up and welcomed “the missionary couple, Elder and Sister Mower” and invited us to come up and sit on the stand and bear our testimonies!  As George was speaking, a toddler came over to him and hugged his leg.  I hope I will never forget the great faith of the people here and their kindness to us.

Workers out in the rice fields
After the meeting the stake president who we have met before, he said he was hoping to go to the Candumarao Group today, the place we were looking for!  He said it was the desire of his heart to attend Candumarao today, but was unable to make the proper arrangements.  He and a new member of the high council came with us and showed us the way.  We went as far as we could by truck and then we followed a dirt path to the Elders house, a cement house among the bamboo and plywood structures.   As we walked people came out of their homes to greet us; “Maayong aga (good morning) Elder, Maayong aga Sister”.  We arrived just as sacrament meeting was preparing to start and we were again asked to share our testimonies.  The spirit was so strong; 74 people were at Church today.  Just like a regular ward but sitting in a cement house of the Elders out in the bukid (Jungle).  So in the end, my worry of the travel turned out to be a wonderful experience and I got to visit the Missionary!
Footpath to Candumarao
Partial picture of the attendees at Candumarao meeting

Saturday, we had the opportunity of attending the baptism of a young ‘FilAm’ (Filipino-American)—he is Filipino, but born and raised in the U.S.  His parents are working abroad, so he and his brother were sent to live with their Lola (grandmother) and Lolo (grandfather) to be raised.  The grandparents retired from their work in the U.S. a few years ago, have settled in Bacolod and have brought some orphan girls into their home to raise (very good people).  He only speaks English, so the ward is so kind to go out of their way to speak English in Primary.  

Tristan and his family at baptism
We stopped for these ducks crossing the road
Sunday morning along our travel route

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