Monday, September 21, 2015


Monday wash-line

Did you know that we have clothes lines?  One day Sister Anderson wanted to wash our sheets and hang them outside since there is nothing better than some real sunshine to make sheets white, crisp and smelling good.  So we tried to figure out where we could string a line and were planning to go to the hardware store to buy some clothes line. I mentioned it to Fred, he is the non-related brother of Ililia (Lillie) who owns this place, his house is in the resort and just about 100 feet from ours.  So I mentioned it to Fred and he said, oh I will take care of that for you.  That was a Saturday, the next day when we were leaving for church he was out digging a hole with a pry bar and when we got home he had planted a bamboo pole in the ground, actually two of them, and had strung clothes line from them to the wall that goes around the resort.  So now we have a clothes line.  




The house to the left is Fred’s and our apartment is just behind where I am standing.  There is a walk through gate just to the right of this picture.


This is one of our little lettuce patches, starting to grow back after harvest and our crook neck and yellow squash starts.  We are going to go buy some pots and plant some out here on the front porch and let them grow on the railing.  We gave some to Fred to plant around the yard so will see how those do, also some zucchini.  Our tomatoes are giving us fits.  They look beautiful and we finally have some tomatoes on them but they are only the size of large cherry tomato and after more than a week they are still just green and hard as a rock.  We are trying to figure out what the problem is and get it fixed.  Today we are going to go buy some more pots to transplant some of our seedlings that are getting too big.
















We also have some beautiful free range chickens here.  Some might get annoyed at the Roosters crowing early in the morning but for me it just makes it feel like home.  

We teach our members that even if they only have a small lot they can still grow some vegetables for their family and sell any excess they might have.  

Chickens and goats are also easy to raise and can help a family on their path to self-reliance.  There are so many things to do and each will help make life a little more comfortable.













































This is looking at the back of our apartment.  You can see our tomatoes growing tall.  The white on the rail is some plastic, actually a piece of plastic table runner we put there to give them a little shade from the relentless heat and to stop the rain from flooding them out.

The downstairs is where 4 Sister Missionaries live.  Lillie loves the missionaries and is happy to have her place filled with missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This is our wading or kids pool in the back yard.   There is about 6 inches of water in the deep end. That is all rain water.  Now to be fair the pool collects the rain from the whole and runs to the deep part but that is still a lot of water.  It rains so hard here.  Sometimes it makes me nervous.  I don’t know why, I love rain, I love thunder and lightening but when it rains so hard for so long I think I worry that it might never stop and that we might need to build an ark.  I know what you are thinking, Cathy thinks I am a little out of it too… just telling you that is how it is. I also still hate spiders and snakes and am not very comfortable with geckos that crawl inside my chair.  This happened one day and I had to take my chair outside and dismantle it to evict him.  In the evening the geckos make the strangest sound.  It is really hard to describe, it is kind of a chirping sound but I have only heard it at night when birds do not normally chirp.  Some say that the word gecko comes from what some think it sounds like.  You will have to listen to one and make your own decision.





There are a number of these bamboo huts in our back yard.  If you would like to come visit we will roast a pig and have a bbq here. 






This is a little more of our back yard.  It really is beautiful here.  Where we live is called the Golden Flame Resort.  They have Weddings here, Birthday Parties, Conventions, just about any event you could think of is hosted here.  There are two floors in the main building for the events and a third floor with bedrooms if some want to stay over.  There are two pools in the back but they are only filled when there is an event scheduled that wants to use the pools or when it really rains a lot.  

We are so blessed with a beautiful, safe place to live.  It is very quiet here, we get a little noise from the highway and there are dogs barking and roosters crowing and geckos chirping but nothing that is annoying or that keeps us from sleeping well.  

The people treat us like we are someone important or special.  We try to remind them that we are here to Serve not to be Served.   They keep treating us that way and it makes me uncomfortable but I understand that it is not me but the missionary they are treating so special.  They love the missionaries here.



These pictures are taken at the Tayug city park across the street from our church.  This is Sister Costales from our ward in Rosales.  She is also the Stake Self-Reliance Coordinator for the Rosales Stake.  

We have worked really hard with her helping the members of the church in all 10 wards and branches in her stake learn about the Self-Reliance program.  We have taught with her in every church building in her stake the My Path to Self-Reliance Devotional and have started groups in all 10 units.  There are three different paths members can take in finding their way to self-reliance.  My Job Search where they are taught principles such as how to present themselves to employers using Me in 30 Seconds, and Power Statements.  They also learn how to search in the hidden job market.  In Education for Better Work they learn how to identify an education path which will help them later find employment to become self-reliant.  Finally we have Starting and Growing my Business for people who want to start their own business or improve on one they may already have.  Members attend these groups for 12 weeks and also put into practice Gospel Principles from My Foundation. These lessons include, Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ, Communicate: Petition and Listen, Show Integrety, Use Time Wisely, Manage Money to name a few.  When 12 weeks are completed they will receive a certificate from LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, UT.

Saturday and Sunday are very busy days for us.  Yesterday was looking like it would be a quiet day of church only.  This has only happened one time since we have been here.  It was a very odd Sunday without assignments to fulfill and without any devotionals to teach.  We got home from church and started making lunch.  I made lasagna and garlic bread and Sister Anderson (aka Cathy,  Mom, Grandma) made a tossed salad.  It was a delicious lunch.  (don’t get too impressed the lasagna was a frozen one from Costco (called SNR in the Philippines), we bought it and cut it into 4 pieces and put it in the freezer so we can just take a piece out and bake it and it is perfect for us two little missionaries) anyway while dinner was preparing we got a text from Sister Costales asking if we were available to go to 1 ward and 2 branches with her.  

This part cracks me up.  She always says I drive so fast.  She says “we never drive over 100km/hr. Well I never drive 100.  Most of the time if I can go fast it is about 65 or 70 maybe up to 80… this is kilometer per hour not miles per hour.  Anyway I think it is funny that she always tells me to take my time and drive slow and then she says she is more comfortable having this missionary that has only driven in the Philippines for three months drive her than for her to drive herself.  She always makes me laugh.

So we went with her to drop materials off at Santa Maria ward. Then to Tayug to observe the Starting and Growing my Business group that is on week 5.  Wow that group has it together.  They are doing awesome.  I was so excited to see everything they are doing.  Their videos on the thumb drive were corrupted so I made them another copy while I was there.

We then went to San Quintin.  We were able to help them and give them a little training and also to give them the videos to show.  All in all it was a great evening.  

We pray every day that we might be the answer to someones prayer and it never fails that a door opens and we find something to do at the last minute to bless others.  I think that Heavenly Father lets us wait like that some times so we remember that it is He who is in control.  We are only instruments in his hands and as long as we are willing he will put the opportunities in front of us.

I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ and the Holy Ghost is real and helps guide us.   I love the feelings I receive from Holy Ghost that reminds me that my prayers are answered daily.  I don’t always know and understand the answers at the time and I often do not know what I am supposed to learn at the time but eventually that comes too.

I am so thankful for the calling that Cathy and I have received to serve as missionaries in this beautiful country.  To Serve with these beautiful people.  When I look in the big brown eyes I see the light of Christ in the kind sweet people of the Philippines.  I know this is where we are supposed to be.  I know this is when we are supposed to be serving a mission.  I love my wife so much and am so thankful that her goals and mine are the same.  We love serving together.  We miss our family and friends at home and pray for them daily as we do for our new friends here in the Philippines.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Monday 14 September 2015
Today we were invited by Josephine Bernardo of the Binmaley Ward to visit the Mayor of Binmaley.  After the visit she asked us to go with her to the Binmaley North Elementary School where she teaches Grade II.  We had so much fun!


 Notice the Class Sizes, Can you imagine having 50 students in one class room with one teacher.  I commend these dedicated teachers who love these beautiful children and have so much enthusiasm and the biggest smiles you can imagine.

Sister Anderson absolutely feel in love with this little girl in her cute little jumper for her uniform.  She asked me to take a picture but before I could there was a large group of children in the picture.   I did get a second change to get one of just her.



One of the little boys was making the sign we use in American Sign Language for I Love You.  Sister Anderson asked him what it meant and he said he thought it meant power and another boys said it meant peace.  We explained that is how to say I love you in American Sign Language.  After that every where we went they were making the sign.

 They work hard to make the school appealing to the students and to visitors.  They teach mostly in English although their native language is Tagalog.  When we asked them to recite their ABC's they promptly did so and then we asked them to do the same in Tagalog and they did not want to, they seemed shy at that point where they had been anything but shy before.
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 Lunch time certainly needs a good game of marbles.  We asked them if they played for keeps and they said not just for fun as they returned the marbles to each other after the game.

This school has classrooms surrounding this beautiful pavilion.  We were told that some time ago the LDS Church was remodeling their chapel and asked to use the school for Sunday services.  The humanitarian services of the church donated this pavilion in recognition of the generosity of Binmaley.
Sister Anderson is like the pied piper, everywhere she went she was mobbed by beautiful children who wanted to hear everything she has to tell them.  It was so fun to watch!

 These classrooms are small and crowded but you would be hard pressed to find more enthusiasm any where you might go.  The teachers are so dedicated to their students and obviously love their students and the career of teaching that they have chosen.  The children likewise are so happy and excited.
 Students here go to school from 8 o'clock in the morning until 4 o'clock  in the afternoon.  They get a 1 hour lunch break and some leave and go home for lunch, others are met by their parents and have lunch outside the school while others eat at the school.  We arrived during the lunch hour so everywhere we went there were children following and acting so excited to have visitors from American at their school.

 Sister Anderson loves teaching.   She loves children.   She loves school.  So you can imagine how much fun she was having.  I think she would have stayed all day if we did not have other places we needed to go.