|Missionaries respectfully remove their shoes and bags before entering mission home|
When we arrived back in March of 2014, there were approximately 250 missionaries serving in the Philippines Bacolod Mission; now there are 189. There has been a gradual downsizing to make the mission more manageable; allowing Mission Presidents to focus more on the needs of the missionaries.
|Street vendor pushing his wares down a busy downtown street|
Working as the nurse specialist I remember the first day I was handed the phone and how frightened I was. A hospital telemetry nurse is different than being a community nurse. But it is apparent, this is the Lord’s work and we have been blessed greatly in working with our young missionaries. He watches over His missionaries with a special interest—as we have seen many miracles come to pass. Some days have been non-stop and others pretty quiet. George and I never imagined that we would love and care for the missionaries so greatly. George has often accused me of blessing each one by name in my private prayers.
|A barker trying to line up more business for his jeepney|
We have served under President Lopez, a great teacher and tireless worker, President Ferrin, kind, loving and understanding and now President Barredo, a great leader and role model. We have visited from the top of the mission to the bottom of the mission in inspecting apartments, delivering supplies, and meeting with the missionaries. Today was our last Sunday in the Philippines. We were blessed to be able to share our testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ and the restoration of the gospel. We truly feel blessed that the Lord would allow us to come to the Philippines.
|A Sister Nanay at Church this week--she still chops her own wood|
A funny incident happened this week. We dropped off the truck for a maintenance service and walked over to a nearby mall. We saw three young women standing taking ‘selfies’. As he often does, George offered to take their picture. Well, you know we have a little language barrier here—the girls lined up to have their picture taken with him! Haha. As we walked away, they yelled ‘thank you sir’.
|Mobile banana vendor offering his wares|
We have compiled this list over the 18-months we have been here:
Things we will miss about the Philippines
1. The people (missionaries, members and people)
2. Salamats (thank you) in prayers
3. Visiting 72 different sacrament meetings; groups, branches, wards
4. Beautiful country sides, fields, trees, plants, flowers
5. Friendliness of people
6. Resourcefulness of people
7. Hardworking people
8. ‘Ready, sing . . . ’
9. Listening to people singing (accents).
Things we won’t miss about the Philippines
2. ‘Out of stock’
3. ‘Sit and wait a while’
4. Brown outs (we are on the 2nd one for today)
They have so little, but thank so much. We have so much, but thank so little.
|Among the many missionaries we've come to love so much!|
We have been blessed beyond measure by our small service. This is such a wonderful part of the Lord’s vineyard we have been able to experience. We are thankful for the wonderful missionaries who serve here and only pray that our grandchildren may have an opportunity to serve here.
We now leave here with mixed emotions. We have loved our time here, but now move on with grateful hearts to the many people, members, and missionaries we have associated with and learned so much from. This will be our last blog post, as we are leaving the Philippines this week to be reunited with our children, grandchildren (2 new grandsons we haven't yet seen), parents, and family.
|The Victorias Milling Factory--largest sugar cane factory in the world|
|Inside the Church of the Angry Christ (Catholic Church inside factory property)|
|Karen thought this mural was a little scary looking|
|Beautiful grounds outside the church|