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.