Time is flying here, we do stay busy. We had 16 Missionaries return home last month, and only got 5 to replace them. We did get a new Couple, the Snows from Virginia. More work with less people, that causes all of us to step up the pace a bit.
We got to do some travelling, down towards Bataan. There are monuments built to honor those who were victims of that terrible time, along with milepost markers built where the highway and the sites of the march coincide.
It also seemed to be a time for snakes, Elder Kimberlin heard something behind him on one of his early morning walks, looked back and saw a 4 foot snake hastily slithering where he had just stepped, maybe a foot and a half away. And, needless to say, Elder Kimberlin did some hasty maneuvering of his own, putting some distance between him and it. Several days later, he found the carcass of what appeared to be the same snake in the same location, so he feels a little braver now.(Like maybe that was the only snake in the Philippines!)
As the seasons change, rainy season is about over and we're entering into the nicest part of the year, different fruits and vegetables appear in the markets. Mangoes and pineapples are about gone, palmellos(looks like a huge grapefruit, but a little sweeter) are here. And the bananas continue to appear. Everything is for sale here, snakes, lizards, crabs, you name it, they have it.
The farmers spread their rice crop out on the highway to dry, then as the clouds appear, they hurriedly gather it into bags. Traffic tries to avoid running over the rice, but sometimes it can't be helped.
And when Americans start looking toward fall(in September), here Christmas music begins to be heard in all the markets and stores. Christmas decorations appear everywhere for sale(there's no Thanksgiving here), with some Halloween masks thrown in for good measure. Halloween is celebrated in conjunction with All Saints Day(Nov.1). The cemetaries are all cleaned up, and people go to visit the gravesites of those who have gone on. Kind of like our Memorial Day, but much more celebrated.
But the good work goes on, the Missionaries keep working, keep praying, keep blessing the lives of good people everywhere. Its so exciting to be with them and watch them, they are so dedicated to their purposes. But for all the work, the sweating, Elder Kimberlin keeps gaining weight.