Sunday, February 2, 2014

Exit Day and Transfer Day

WITH the new job comes new office responsibilities.  On Tuesday morning, we had to be at the mission home at 8:00 to meet the APs and the 7 missionaries who were returning home.  This is a very long and busy day (for us, and for them!).  They spend the last 2 nights in a hotel, and had breakfast before they came.  Really spoiled.  Here are some of them, just chilling at the mission home, waiting to begin the day's fun.  Elder McCoy, on the left, said he  sat in the warm shower and closed his eyes.  Sister Elsmore, from the US, said "I just had the best shower of my LIFE!'
 Here is Elder S with Elder Osores, preparing for the day. We began with a meeting, and part of the new job is a presentation, done for both exiting and newly arriving missionaries, about the American War Memorial Cemetery.  Elder S does that, with slides.
 That is a significant place for missionaries, because the freedom of this nation was essential to the opening of the missionary work here.  President (then Elder) Hinckley came and dedicated the country for that work right here, at the chapel of the memorial, in 1961.
 He offered a wonderful prayer for the people of this nation, and for the missionaries who would come to teach.  President Revillo reads some of that, with the promises. They are beautiful and coming to pass.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is the chapel, all done in very small Mosaic.  Really pretty.  See the four prayer stools in front, to kneel at?
Then out to the cemetery to enjoy the peace and quiet. It is a beautiful place, 152 acres, which the US built after the war, 1949.   Here are (most) of them, at the cemetery.  
17 000 graves, and another 39000 names on the walls of those who were MIA.  This represents approximately 1/3 of the lost.  Many are buried elsewhere.   

 President Revillo just musing as he waited for the missionaries to be finished touring.

Then, back to the mission home for lunch, which was delicious, as usual. Pres Revillo's mother, and also their daughter Janene and grandson from the states are visiting.  Jayvin in "one year and 4 months."  He follows his grandpa (lolo) everywhere.  Just darling.

  Then we went to the temple with them.
Back to the Mission Home for another meal.  See the kitchen?  See the big rice cooker?  I helped them get things served, but then we had to hit the road.  

We drove out to pick up some of the Missionaries who were being transferred to Mindoro the next day. Got them all, with luggage, and took them to the office.  Then, we delivered them in shifts to the places they were staying for the night.  Elders with APs. Sister with STLs.   We got home about 11:30 pm.  They had to pack and weigh luggage and be up at 3:00 to catch a 6:00 plane!  
The next day, they brought all the new missionaries in, most from the MTC just down the street, and their trainers, and had ANOTHER meal.  Sister Revillo has a big job on these days. Three large meals to plan and prepare and serve, plus snacks and speeches and trips to Memorial and to temple, etc.  We arrived during lunch, and Elder S did his thing again about the memorial.  They don't go twice, but Pres Revillo is currently switching it from an "as you leave" activity to an "as you arrive" activity. so we have two years of doing it both days.  
These are the new Elders and Sisters, and their trainers, with Pres. speaking to them at the chapel.  The skinny legs next to him are Oliver, their 6 year old.  Then back to the Mission Home for Orientation and pictures with the President and Sister Revillo,  and with their new companions.  She is such a girl. As soon as we got back, she was in the kitchen to oversee the meal preparation. When they called her from the kitchen for pictures, she said, "I haven't even combed my hair!"  We had two sisters arrive, and 8 Elders.  Then they were taught about their money and support cards by the Finance Secretary, and about their letters and mail and such by the Office Secretary, and about their Apartments by the Apartment Managers (ME!)   
They were given new pillows, airplane tickets for those who had to fly, and sent home to their new lives.  We took some and delivered them to their apartments, purchasing a propane stove on the way out for some sisters in distress.  We got home about 9:00 that night!

WE spent Thursday taking care of things.  Thanks to the very much appreciated help of Elder Peck, Elder Crowther, and Elder Smith, we found apartments, the post office, and the man who makes our furniture.  WE ordered two new bunkbeds, and two stove tables, and arranged to pick up beds nearly finished.  WE went out to two apartments of sisters and installed locks, CO2/Smoke detectors, and gave them rat poison and other things.  We found the post office and picked up a PACKAGE FROM HOME!  WE got a little lost on the way home, but were blessed to look up and actually realize where we were!  Home by about 7:00.  I actually cooked dinner! 

Just incidentally, we were stunned when we got to the post office.  WE thought we had seen poverty here before, in the provinces.  There was nothing out there to compare to the slums we saw downtown.  I would have taken pictures, but honestly, all the government buildings were behind iron fences and guarded, and we were afraid to stop and get out of the car.  No real reason to fear them, but just cautious.  

Aren't they lovely?  But the one on the right, Sis Morrell, from North Salt Lake, is a stunner.  She looks like Brook Shields.  

Friday we were coding. so we left before 7:00 and went to Antipolo to meet Johnsons and acquaint them with the apartments they will be managing.  Had a lot of time first, so we went shopping for the apartments in the downtown area.  OOPS, bad mistake.  Everyone was shopping down there for their tindahans, and we were in line for nearly an hour.  Late, again! Along the way, due to Chinese New Year, we saw a parade!

Saturday, we shopped and delivered and repaired and helped missionaries.  Here are Elder S and Elder Buckway, fresh from  Ogden, and Elder Merrill, fresh from 6 months in the office, repairing a wooden bed. They were not, and understandably so, happy with their new living quarters.  When we got there, they had been spraying and cleaning and fixing all day. (P Day)  Dead cockroaches and ants everywhere.  But this apartment is on the chopping block.  Lease runs out Mar 1, and will not be renewed.  
Sometimes, if he likes them, Elder shares his tools!

We have unique words for many things in our church, but sometimes "keys" are exactly that.  I have often said that I wanted callings that did not have "keys".  I meant the kind you can lose or forget or have to get from someone to get the work done.  Now, have we got "KEYS".  We have to have keys to every apartment, and make sure they all work. Mostly, there are at least one key for every door and a key for the outside gate.  We are still just learning which key will open which of the over 50 apartments we manage.  So now, the girl who doesn't like keys has about 200 to lose.

Binangonan Chapel, where we now attend.  Large, new, and despite the similarities in design, very different from the ones out in the provinces.  Clocks work!  TP and soap and Paper Towels in the CR!   Padded benches in the chapel!  Air Conditioning. They were very welcoming and kind, but they don't need us.  

SO, here is the recap:
WE got lost taking a carload of Sisters to the Memorial.  One point for the Philippines.  
We were late because we tried to fit in extra shopping, and you can't be in a hurry, here.  One point for the Philippines.
We missed our turn and made a right turn at the next intersection, onto EDSA.  Got arrested, again !, P500  bribe fine.     6 points for the Philippines.
We got a package from home which came on time, was not stolen, and only cost us P50.  One point for us.
We drove out to our new branch today, then on to Sampaloc, and home, and never got lost.  One point for us.
We ate on the run and whatever we could find, and stayed well.  One point for us.
Managed to NOT lose our brand new driver's license in the first week.  One point for us.

We met a man in the City Walk who talked to us and asked us if we were Christians.  Said he has just returned from living and raising his children in California, and had been looking for a Christian church.  We gave him our cards, and promised to arrange for him to attend the next day with our missionaries from the Ward here.  We did that, of course.  But, got texts the next day telling us he had been mugged, and asking for money. Turns out, we were targeted by a con man and his young assistant.  We caught on (finally) and wised up a little bit.  Lots of skirmish, no yardage for anyone.

So, our team is practicing, and getting better    
But their team is still winning!

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