Sunday, November 16, 2014


Last year, I spent my birthday proselyting, and celebrated by stepping into a pile of nasty stuff.  I am nothing, if not entertaining for the natives!   
This year, I spent my birthday filling in last minute as the etiquette teacher at zone conference, having 100 missionaries wish me a happy birthday, and singing to me, and then dining out with friends at another nice restaurant.  

Missionary Manners
Showing sensitivity for others

v   If you are going to be late or not coming to any appointment, call or find a way to contact the person or family you are meeting.

v  Do not visit unannounced during mealtimes.
v  Wash your hands before setting the table or sitting down to eat.
v  Wait until you are invited to be seated.
v  Stand up when a lady or older person enters the room as a sign of respect.
v  When getting food, allow others to go first, especially children and ladies.
v   Hold the chair of a lady who is going to sit beside you.
v  Do not rock your chair. Sit up straight and do not slouch.
v  Do not reach across the table, ask for the item you want to be passed.
v   Use a serving spoon, ask for one if one is not available.
v  Never pile your plate high with food.
v  When taking food, take small portions to make sure there is enough for everyone.
v  Cut only one or two bites of meat at a time.
v  Take small bites and do not talk with food in your mouth.
v  Chew food for a long time without noise and with your mouth closed.
v  Lift the food to your mouth and do not lower your head to the plate.
v  Do not lick your fingers, the serving spoon or your knife.
v  Do not point your silverware at another person.
v  Do not use a toothpick after eating unless you are alone.
v  Be appreciative and thankful for being invited. Compliment the food but do not complain about anything.

v   Say “Excuse me” when leaving the table.
v  Do give a thank you note to your host, or hostess.
v  Keep elbows off the table while eating.
v   Don’t use your hands to eat unless we are eating special finger foods
v   Do not comb your hair or apply make-up at the table.
v   Cover your mouth when you burp.
v   Don’t talk loudly or interrupt when someone else is talking.
v   No phones or texting in the table.
v   Offer to help clean up and bring plates to the sink.
As a missionary, you are not expected to help in washing them.

This had been prepared by myself and Sister Jose, at the request of Sister Revillo.  But I did not have to do the presentation last time.  It was all done as a Power Point, and I have NEVER before taught that way.  It went Okay, though, I think.  

We taught them some basics, took them into a catered lunch, and tested them.  With Prizes!  They loved it.  

That night, 

Elder and Sister Sheffer and Elder and Sister Johnson took us to dinner, at another VIKINGS. (Because what we really needed was a second large, elaborate meal that day.  Suffice it to say, we could use a better meal plan than the one we are currently on.  We ARE trying, honest, but now the holidays are upon us!)   I slipped  out before the singers and horned helmets made it to our table to sing to me.  But we did take a picture for you:  
Such good, kind, fun friends.  I wish you could all meet them.

Also this week, 

it was bazaar time again.  Mostly, I just miss these.  There is an expat group here, American Women of the Philippines Club, who sponsor this  every month as a way to promote industry for the people, many of them women.  It is quite fun, and nice.  Especially at Christmas time.  
 Many, many cottage industries, and small business people, come and sell their hand made work here. It is a great place to buy souvenirs.

Sister Revillo and Sister Jose had never been before.  They came with me this time, and we had so much fun.  15 minutes before we were due to leave, I asked Sister R if she wanted to get something for lunch to take in the van.  "No!  I never eat, when I can shop!" So, I got her a piece of quiche, which she enjoyed very much, on the way home. 

Sister is such a girl---she bought a new purse, and jewelry, and sort of fell into a booth full of second-hand items from Japan---we had trouble getting her out of there!   

But on Friday, we had an office meeting.  And here is your funny story:  
I mentioned recently that they live in a really lovely home in a a VERY upscale neighborhood, back-to-back to the area offices and MTC.  But it is still the Philippines.  Apparently, they have had a problem with rats in the hollow walls and ceiling of the house.  So, they call exterminators.  These, in turn, sealed up all the outside openings that the rats were using.  Good idea, right?  Except that the rats were sealed INSIDE.  So, at our meeting, she says, 
"I woke up early yesterday, screaming!"  There was a rat in bed with her, chewing on her clothing!   
President says, "That's why I am tired."    He just sat there, with his head in his hands, while she told us that the rats have eaten all the wiring in the ceiling in the meeting room, "That is ;why there is not a projector in there anymore".  
And, that the rats are now dying in the walls, "And they smell, so I am having to use candles and fragrances so you can't smell them."

This is the girly-girl who has a pair of shoes to match every one of her many outfits, who makes her own pearl jewelry (when she has time and is not the wife of the Mission President) who has lived in Japan and Singapore, who makes the best chocolate chip cookies on the PLANET, who has sparkles on her fingernails, never passes up a piece of chocolate, and who says "I'm a shopper", with no apologies at all. 
 In the van, they were talking about Imelda Marcos and all her shoes.  I teased Sister, "How many pairs of shoes do you have,?"   She said, 'Not 8000!" 

Saturday, we were in Binangonan for the Baptism of Brother Ryan, 24 years old. 
We are a couple of hundred baptisms short of our goal for this year, so President has asked for "A white Christmas".  He got all the missionaries to commit to one baptism each on Christmas Day.  It can be done, if we all do our part.  

And, a happy happy birthday to our grandson. 

5 is wonderful. You are wonderful.


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