Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cuayan Phillipines Mission's blog

If you would like to see more pictures, you can click on the mission blog located to the right.

The more the merrier!

How many can we get in one vehicle?  Sometimes there are people on top too!

Planting rice

 What back-breaking work!  It also requires standing in water to the ankles.


These people love basketball.  Hoops are found in odd places.  This one is on the main highway!

A beautiful people

 A couple of young women in our branch--Virginia and Marites.

 A couple of our nursery children--Euloli and CJ.

The Mateo family.  Hyacinth was baptized on her 8th birthday.  Her little brother, Hilary, is in our nursery class also.
 Brother Arcino.  He is 2nd Counselor in the Branch Presidency.  He brings a carload of his grandchildren to Church each Sunday.

The children here are adorable.  They act shy, but they love to have their picture taken.  In the background a chicken is pecking at the rice spread on the road to dry.

Waiting for a turn in the barber chair.  Forty pesos for a haircut.  That is equal to a little less than a dollar!


Arriving for church- grandma, grandpa, mom, and 2 sons. It probably takes them a good 30 minutes to get to church riding on the kuliglig. The front of the kuligig detaches to become a tractor to work with in the rice fields.

Dancing traffic Director

One of the dancing traffic directors in llagan city.


A typical school.  Usually the grounds neat and inviting.  We have seen the children out early in the morning trimming grass.  Their school day is long.  Everyone goes home or to the local food stand for lunch.  Sawhorse type barriers are placed in the road when children are coming or going to slow the traffic.  No school buses.  Just lots of tricies and jeepneys to drop off or pick up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


 No OSHA here.  These guys are installing this heavy sign while standing on scaffolding that no one in the States would use in their business.

Shiny silver hearse.


 On the way to the dam we stopped at a camp.  They charge for use of their picnic facilities.  They have tables and grills.  We were just passing through.  This swinging bridge expands the river there.

The water is quite low.  We visited near the end of hot summer season.  We have had many thunderstorms since then and will soon enter the "rainy season".  All rivers will rise then.

 This camp reminded all of us (at least those who have been) of Girls' Camp. I have not heard of anyone having Girls' Camp here.

Magat Dam

We took a little excursion one Monday morning with a group of young missionaries in our district to Magat Dam.  In it's greed, the government sold this dam to a private individual so it is not open to the public.  One of our sisters sweet talked the guard into letting us drive out onto the dam to take pictures. 

 This is the lake behind the dam.  These are actual floating houses where fishermen live.

This is how close the mountains are on the lake side.  Don't they look like volcanic aftermath?  Not worn and tree covered like our Blue Ridge!
This is the view from the other side of the dam.  We haven't escaped that haze so prevalent on Virginia summer days.

Car mishap

 The car in this picture is the one that we drive.  This is the spot where we always park when we are at the mission office.  The white wall is the boundary of the mission property.  The gray cement wall behind it is from a broken down home structure on the adjacent property.  One evening we rode with another of the senior couples as we all went out to dinner.  A thunderstorm arose while we were gone, complete with driving rain and lots of wind.  When we returned to the office after dinner to get into our car to drive home, we found that the wind had blown the second floor wall that was remaining on the home structure over the mission office wall with part of it falling onto our car.  This picture was taken the next morning after all the debris had been cleaned up.

This is what our poor vehicle looks like now.  We cannot open that door any longer.  We're still waiting word about repair.  The lucky thing about it is that the office night guard usually sits in that spot where our car is when we are not there at night.  Perhaps he was saved from serious injury.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


The flowers here are gorgeous.  Some of them are familiar.  This is a beautiful orchid that grows naturally.  I love the detail.

Signs and Sisters

 This is the arrival into Nueva Viscaya province.

 These structures are part of the welcome to the Nueva Viscaya province.  The most northern part of our mission is in this province.
Not sure which dialect "Mabbalo" is from.
Sorry about the view from the car window.  When it is 100 degrees outside and actually feels like 120 degrees in the blazing sun,
we take pictures from within the air conditioned car.
When we look up the temperature for the day, the actual temperature is listed, with the "feels like" temperature underneath.
We guess that "feels like" is the heat index.

These sisters are in our Zone.  They are using plastic bags to fill with water to make water balloons for a fun activity on preparation day.
The Zone Leaders put a lot of thought into the fun games for the day.  Getting wet was a blessing that hot day.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What we've been up to...

The weather is beginning to change a little bit.  There are more clouds in the sky so that the sun is not quite so intense.  Soon the rains will come.
The children have started back to school.  And we are busier than ever.

On May 23 we found out that there was another senior couple coming to live within our mission to serve as welfare missionaries.  We were assigned to find a suitable apartment for them in Tuguegarao.  Tuguegarao is about a three hour drive from where we live.  They were to arrive on May 30!  Our task was to find a decent place and furnish it within 10 days.  Finding a decent place was the first obstacle.  Purchasing furniture, appliances, and an air conditioner was the easy part.  Trying to clean and set up the apartment while working around the guys installing the air conditioning was interesting.  Chuck installed a water heater for their shower.  I scrubbed walls and cabinets and the bathroom all the while working around the belongings of the previous tenants that were stored in one bedroom.  They finally removed their stuff on May 30.   We did the best we could in the short amount of time we had.  The Leslies arrived in Cauayan on May 30.  They spent the night at our mission home and then continued to Tuguegarao on May 31.  They are so graciously grateful for the work we did, despite the things we didn't get done exactly like we wanted to.

I have mentioned before that people here upon meeting you, will ask how old you are.  When we were purchasing appliances for the senior apartment, one of the young men working in the store asked how old I am.  I have learned to turn it around, so I asked him how old he thought I was.  When he said "36?", I thought I was going to have to pick Chuck up from the floor.  He was trying really hard to suppress the laughter.

Since we deal with the housing issues in 86 apartments, I though that I would share a couple of texts we received in the past week.
"A rat chewed through the cord to our refrigerator.  We smelled something burning so we unplugged it."  This particular apartment is adjacent to a rice grainery, so rats are a real issue.  Chuck replaced the cord and gave them rat traps.
"We have a cat problem.  A mother cat crawled through one of our windows and had 3 kittens. What do we do with them?"  Our reply--"Take them out of your apartment."  That sounds cruel, but there is no pet control here.
"Can we request 40 hangers?"  This came just after the release of the newsletter for June in which we told the missionaries that we would supply 24 hangers for each.

We really enjoy visiting each of these apartments, not for the inspection part of it, but for the opportunity to get to know the young missionaries better and to share a few spiritual moments discussing a scripture verse with them.  We encourage them to keep their places clean so that they will want to return to them after a hard day's work, so that they can invite the spirit in when they study, and so that they can stay healthy.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Philippine houses

 A house just for our Grandson Ian whose favorite color is orange.  Either the houses are painted white or bright colors or they are cement gray.  They like green, blue, salmon, and yellow.  Notice the rebar sticking out of the corner braces.  Many buildings have this rebar just sticking up out of the structure.  Makes a place really beautiful, don't you think?

Elder Shorter requested that I include these pictures.  These is a frontal shot of the mission home.  He particularly likes the palm trees and the beautiful wooden door.  

Floats from the Harvest festival

 The Philippines is divided into large Provinces--similar to our states.  Most of our mission is in the Isabella Province.  The capital of Isabella is Ilagan.  Ilagan is just about 45 minutes from Cauayan City.  This past weekend there was a Harvest Festival for the whole province held in Ilagan.  We just happened to travel there when they had these floats on display.  Many of the larger cities contributed a float.  The floats are made from corn, rice and seeds that are harvested in each area.  The caribou are not made from natural items, but they represent the province well.

These are a few of our favorites.  These people are very creative with making do with what they have.  I am often in awe of their ingenuity and creativity.

On the road

 This is a picture taken through our windshield (sorry for the reflection) of traffic in down town Santiago.  It gets a little tight and crazy!
These electrical wires hang over the road that the mission home is on.  We pass under this dangling mess most every day.  The wires almost touch the top of our car.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book of Mormon "Power Read"

Our whole mission began a Book of Mormon "power read" on March 11.  We have followed a schedule that will take us to completion on May 8.  We have circled each reference to Jesus Christ (by whatever name He is called).  We have highlighted in one color (mine is pink) His words.  We have highlighted in another color (yellow) all the teachings and doctrines referring directly to Christ's mission, resurrection, birth, crucifixion, etc.
It has been an enjoyable and eye opening experience.  I have come to love the Book of Mormon more and more.  It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ.  What love He has for us to provide the words from His "other sheep".  I know that this book is the word of God because I have read it and I have prayed to know of its truthfulness.  I have received that witness that it is true.


This picture is for my mother:)  I didn't get both signs in the picture.  There is another to the left that says Glenda's Eatery.  These stands are everywhere.  The Bukohan is a place you can get a coconut drink that is quite watery.  They put the drink in a plastic bag with a straw. The purchaser carries the bag by clutching it around the straw.  The eateries offer Filipino dishes by the roadside.  Usually these meals are quite cheap.  This stand hasn't opened for business yet.

On the road again

 This is the road that we live on.  Notice that it is dirt also.  This picture makes it look nicer than it really is.  Half the time there are vehicles of all kinds that we have to maneuver around. It is always dusty.

We went to visit a missionary apartment to talk with the landlady.  She wanted a rent increase.  The road to the apartment is dirt, as you can see.  We had to take a detour because they were working on the road.  How's this for a detour sign?  This road is wide enough for 2 lanes.  The picture below is the detour road we took.  Barely one lane wide.