Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

We received so many kind messages to wish us a happy holiday this week.  Thank you to all of you, including my sweet Aunt who sent a card, and it miraculously arrived on time!   We are grateful for all of you, and the love and support that constantly flow to us.  It is our hope that we can just be a vehicle to carry it with us to the people we are learning to love so much over here. 
Our holiday was a little different, as there is no celebration or day off here.  We had a great time working with the missionaries in Tanay, and then came home and ate a hot dog.  But we were able to meet some of the other senior couples on Saturday night for a catered turkey dinner.  The caterers did their best, but obviously had no idea what a pumpkin pie was before this, thought we were crazy to want to actually EAT turkey, let alone pay the premium price it costs, and were very surprised when we arrived, to learn that we wanted the mashed potatoes to be served HOT.  (The Sisters took them down the hall and heated them up in a microwave!)  

Probably not a Thanksgiving Day we will forget, though!

This is the scene at the Manila Temple.

And now it is            CHRISTMAS TIME

                     IN THE PHILIPPINES !!!

Our subtle effort to assert the fact that we ARE Christians, and celebrate Christmas along with the rest of the country!

Decorations are going up all over,  just like they do at home.  Every night, when we come home, we find more houses all lit up.  

See the little guy hanging from the deck over the carport?  They love these little hanging santas, and some houses have about 20, hanging on swings, or from parachutes, or on ladders.  They always look to me like they have been "hung by the neck until dead!"

AFTER  we worked with Sister Precious, we were going home, but she was going to the church to work with the YW, so we took her to get something to eat.  We ordered a big Halo Halo, to share for dessert.  THIS is Halo Halo, a sort of sundae.  There is a big scoop of shaved ice in the middle, over which they pour cream.  Then, they dress it up with all sorts of good things.  The yellow in front is custard, the purple is ube pudding, the green is Not Jello, but young coconut that is flavored and colored and sort of jelly like, there are BIG tapioca, and pieces of candied mango, and macapuno balls, and ,... So, we lifted off a bite or two for us, and gave the rest to her.  She then proceeded, to show us "how to eat it properly"   Halo Halo means  ALL MIXED UP.  So, you are supposed to stir it all together and  Wonderful.

On Monday, we had to go to a hardware store for Elder to find things he needed for the apartments, and so we went down to the malls. There is a big Wilcon Depot there, really really nice.  I decided to take the opportunity to go back to David's Salon for a visit with Bea.  It was really good that I fed Elder S. first, and sweetened him up with Halo Halo.

Elder, of course, does not take me to the Salon when we are at home.  And the first visit here was just a quick haircut.  But this time, the whole kit and caboodle. Washing, coloring, highlighting, conditioning, cutting and styling. And, of course, a massage.  3 hours!!  Heaven for me.  Elder thought he was in a nightmare and couldn't wake up. And then when we left, to add insult to injury, a hefty P4100, plus tip.  (About $100, which of course is not all that out of line, but remember, he never has gone before.)  
Unless I can find a drug that induces amnesia, I will never get him in there again!!

THIS WAS FUN.  Several of the sisters who are joining the church have a small problem with the skirt thing.  Not that they are disobedient, only poor.  And in Sampaloc last week, after visiting RS, Sister Jose felt strongly that we should  not be so afraid of offending that we don't teach them.  The missionaries, of course, always leave behind anything we have left that is not in rags. There won't be much from Elder and Sister S!  We have been working on it a little bit, and the women at church suggested a UK UK store, a sort of thrift shop we see here (now that I am looking for them).  So, I saw one in Teresa, stopped, and found these 7 skirts.  I paid P300, or about $7.50.  (So don't start collecting skirts, please.  It will cost too much to send them.)  Anyway, I laundered them, repaired one hem, and took them to Sister Rowena.  I told her to keep whatever she could use, and give the rest to Sister Tapiador, the RS Pres, to offer to the others.  She was SO excited.  She told me today she kept 4 and passed on three, so I will have to do more shopping, I think.   They were pretty fun, the turquoise is silk, the red one is velvet, and I would have worn some of them.  Except, of course, that most of  the waistlines are about 16 inches.  Even Scarlet O'Hara would have trouble with that!  

CONTRARY to how it may appear, we do not spend all our time eating and shopping.  'This week we were able to teach with the Elders three afternoons, and it was wonderful.  We taught a new family with two small children who were referred by a member, and the lesson went so well.  He is a fisherman, and makes the Lambats, or nets, they use to fish.  He showed us the nylon they use.  WOW!  I thought I was pretty good at knots with my crocheting.  

Then, we went to teach Sister Christine at her home in Pililla.  Her family all joined the church in 1990, but she was only seven, so was not baptized.  They did not all stay active, and so she never was given another chance.   Now her father is gone, her mother is ill, and she has a small son,  This is Lorenz, and he is, believe it or not, playing with an IPAD.  Daddy is working in Abu Dhabi, until next May.  She wants to join the church, but is not sure how he will react to the idea.  She cried.  We told her that the church is not in the business of dividing families.  We unite them, in our temples, for eternity.  We suggested that she pray, and talk to him, and do what is best for her and her family.  She had a blessing, and was at church today, with her son.  Also at church was Sister Marione, a woman we helped teach last week, with her son.  She plans to return next week with her baby daughter, too. 
And Saturday morning, we attended the baptism  (again, in the swimming pool, only it was raining a little bit!)  of Sister Esponilla, shown here with Elder Purificacion.  We met her the second week we went out to teach in Sampaloc, at the Besario home.  She has been steadily making progress, and read the whole Book of Mormon, and is just a darling.  We had a visit with her on Tues, preparing her for baptism.  She has so much desire to do all that she can.  She kept saying, "THIS is it!  THIS is it"  I have never seen a new convert that I was so sure would be there every step of the way.  I am glad we have more than a year left, as I know we will be in the temple with her next Christmas.

The Elders sang for us during the Baptism.  We lost Elder Magno this week, Emergency Transfer, but have a new one, Elder Cubbage, from Alaska.  He is third from left.                                                            Have I mentioned before that the songs are always in English, and very often done a Capella?   The person directing sings the first line, to get the tune and key.  Then they say, "Ready,  Sing"!  It tickles my funny bone every time, but it works.
Today, we attended church in Tanay, where I was asked to teach the sharing time in Primary.  OK with me!!  Then RS with Sister Marione, the investigator, then up to Sampaloc to teach Temple Preparation classes to the Aguilar family at their home.  We found a feast going on at the chapel, sort of a "break the fast",  but we were still fasting.  Elder S asked President Dolletti to come out to Aguilar's home to discuss the worthiness interview for the recommend.  So, he and his wife came, taught, and then went down to Tanay to put his donations in the computer, as the renovations are not complete at the Sampaloc building.  Here they are, on the "family transportation". 

This is another souvenir for us to bring home.  A real, carved, Filipino Nativity Set.  I love the palm tree, and see the little rice farmer with his caribou?  Also, the three wise men, of course, bearing gifts of coconuts, bananas, etc.  I am not sure what the wood is, but hard.  It is our gift to ourselves.  

Does Anybody know what these beautiful bell shaped flowers are?

They are blooming everywhere.  It is like even Mother Nature is decorating for Christmas!  And guess what?
Watermelon Season here is Nov through Jan!  Can you think of a more perfect Christmas fruit?

1 comment:

  1. Where did you buy the Filipino Nativity set? We've been looking for it and couldn't find it. Salamat po.