Another week with lots to do. We had several important meetings this week, some fun, and some actual work, too.
On Monday morning we were supposed to go back to Ondoy for a Zone activity, but the weather was terrible, so they moved it to the Tanay bulding, but we were early, so went shopping at the Tanay market, then took treats to the young ones and came home., That evening, we drove into the city to attend FHE with all the seniors from our Mission. We had a pot luck dinner and a game, and got to know some of them a little bit. More and more I realize how blessed we are to be out of the city. But I enjoyed seeing the temple and the PAO and the MTC, and had a little angst as we realized we would have been there sort of in the center of it all. The office, however, is south of there, at the Aurora chapel. More on that, later.
On Tuesday, Elder Schlager went to build a little house with Elder Jensen, and Sister Jensen and I attended our district meeting. It was really good, and in the future I think we will both go, as there are two different zones that our missionaries are in, so they attend different meetings. We shopped on the way home, as the guys were still busy.
Thursday was Mission Tour Day, and we went back into the city to meetings all day with Elder Ardern and his wife from New Zealand. He is second counselor in the Area Presidency, and the meetings were great. They live in Manila, and had been touring the mission all week. We were the third conference, and only a third of the mission attending. We had a nice, well prepared Filipino lunch, and more meetings. The chapel is lovely, and large, and the Mission office is downstairs. It is like a really big stake center.
Friday, we went to Maligaya. That is the neighborhood where many members live, and where Elder Jensen is building houses as fast as he can. First we had to go into the Antipolo market to buy white shirts for the men and young men who don't have them. People send money to buy different things for the members here, and I think this was collected in one of the wards in the States.
So Maligaya. It is really beautiful, as far as the area is concerned. It is a hard hike down a hill into the neighborhood, muddy and slippery, but there are some concrete paths between the houses. Here are Marjorie and Angel. Marjorie is Marivik's daughter. Her mother speaks virtually no English, but Marjorie is a little magpie. She held my hand and took care of me all the way, and already knew all about me because she had been grilling Elder Schlager all morning.
She is 11. Behind her is Vanessa, with her daughter Yanni. She is an angel. Her husband, Dexter was approved today to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. They were baptized in March, and plan to be sealed as a family next year. The same is true of Marivik , Jun, and their children. We will be here for both of those occasions. How wonderful for us.
This Is Vanessa's little house, with her and Yanni in the doorway. She loves it . It has windows, a hose bringing water down to the pump outside, and electricity. They have a meter for the water and power. ( Did I mention that EVERYONE has a cell phone here, but many do not have power to charge it. They beg and borrow from others. ) She has two trees in her yard, one with mangos and one with payayas. Just outside her fence is a big green hill, her "backyard", with banana trees, and lots of other lovely things. She is planting flowers, and growing beans on her fence.
Here is the next little house. It was finished on Saturday morning. Then, Elder J went and bought three more lots. P40000, or about $700, total
Here you can see him, with Sister J, making plans for the next family to reside in one. This is a single mother, quite well spoken and educated, with 4 children, two teens and a married daughter, and then the little one sitting on the wagon, living on the side of the road picking through the trash to find things she can sell. Her little wagon takes her to the side of a family member's house, so that they can sleep off the road. They took her a tarp and talked to her, then took her rubber gloves and talked to her again. I think she will be the next resident in Maligaya.
Saturday, there was a district Priesthood meeting in the afternoon, so both Elders went there. Sister J and I went to support the local economy. In our neighborhood is a little Maniped business. Looks pretty dumpy outside, but inside it is lovely, clean, and peaceful.
See my feet soaking? I got a great pedicure, and a foot massage. We had a terrific two hours, and it cost P300 with tip. ($7.50) Boy, these missions can be exhausting!!
Today was district conference, and they hold the adult session at 8:00 am and the general session following, due to cost and difficulty of travel. We filled the Morong chapel and the adjoining hall, and they came on jeepneys, trikes, and walking through really heavy rain. Afterward, Elder Aduru, from the 70's, met with all the investigators and newly baptized members. The chapel was half full. Can you imagine that in the States? After 4 1/2 hours of meetings?