Sunday, October 26, 2008

Eight More Weeks to Go

It's hard to believe that it is almost time to leave. The closer we get to the end the more busy we become and the faster the time flies. What an experience !
This young man has saved all these rubber bands, quite impressive.

On the table you will recognize the green been cassorole , the kind with the onions on top, cream of mushroom soup, very familiar to us. Sister Kimberlin made it for this training day for the District Presidents and their wives. It got some strange looks, kind of how we feel when we look at some of their food. Most gave it a try, some did not. Some really liked it and wanted the recipe. It was just fun to watch people.

This is just one of many funny signs we see almost every day, the people say things different than we do.

This is a fruit bat, it belongs to Greg the man in the picture, he has three and he invited us to meet them. They are large, look kind of like they have little dog faces and their wings look like soft brown leather. It was a fascinating visit. Greg has a tailoring shop, where you can get a suit or pants made. Sister Kimberlin has had several blouses made in his shop.

This is a water filter we use here and we are so glad we have it ! I'm not sure what would happen if we drank brown water ?

Just so no one will wonder if we get to eat good food every now and then, on SBMA (the old military base) there are new restaurant's going in. Korea is buying the Philippines, at least in our area.

This is training at a zone conference in San Antonio. Elder Makihele is not really into the training more into his picture being taken.

These are the Jones from Idaho. They are having a new experience, getting their drivers license in the Philippines, when you are new it is classified as an "experience" They were troopers, it is very hot and takes a long time, most things look a little strange at first.

The lady in pink is Merlyn, it is her happy birthday, we took her a cake and hat. She works in Olongapo and helps Sister Kimberlin with the electric bills for some of the apartments. By helping that means she doesn't have to stand in line forever.

This is Elder Agacer, he is going home on the day this picture was taken. He is the only one that loves Eddie as much as Sister Kimberlin. He lived next door to us and when he would come up the stairs he would yell, E D D I E, any time of the night or day.

This weekend we did training in Alaminos, it is north about 31/2 hours. We feel it is the best district. They had a family history center that was unbelievable, it functioned and is busy, they do New Family Search and it was impressive, the system they have going. We did training in other areas then we, with the President and his wife and the other Senior couple, the Snow's, went to a great restaurant right by the ocean and had the biggest shrimp we have ever seen , they were very good! Wish we had taken a picture.

We had a good experience a week ago. We have some good friends, Bert and Rayola Sorensen, they served in Iba in about 1992. When we attended the District Conference in Iba, we started asking people if they remembered the Sorensen's. Everyone old enough remembered them with very kind and loving words. The three Brother's above remember them really well and the sister standing with Sister Kimberlin was the lady that help them in their home. We are standing in front of the house they lived in. The Sister said everyone cried and cried when they left. The members sometimes come to Conference in Jeepney's like the one in the picture, some have to come quite a distance.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pictures of Interest

This is a great family history story.Sister Kimberlin has been helping the Catalogo's do their family history this year. Bro. Catalogo (white t-shirt) had lost track of his family.His father died and his mother went to another country to work, someone else raised he and his brother. Over here it is not unusual for people to lose contact, most do not travel much. So he remembered he had an aunt who lived and hour and a half away, which to him was like clear across the US. So one day Elder Kimberlin was going to go move some Elders down south and the Catalogo's went with him and they stopped where he thought his aunt lived and found his step father and 3 sisters,one of the sisters had looked for him in 2002 and couldn't find him, so she was crying and crying she was so happy. They gave him his Mother's phone number and he made contact with her again, she is still living abroad. He was so happy !! In Dec. they are going to have a family reunion and his mother is coming home, he has not seen her for 21 years. How's that for a family history story!

This is a picture of the ladies at Enrichment meeting. They are learning to bake cookies in their toaster ovens. Most families have a toaster oven but no stoves with ovens. They really want to learn to bake, there seems to be a big interest in American food. We had a good time that day, and you can make oatmeal cookies in a toaster oven. Next I think we might learn to make taffy. In the second picture the Sisters are learning to bake pies in our apartment.

New Mission President

The first of July we received a new Mission President, President Aquino. He is Filipino, has a really sweet wife and three boys. He was over the Church Education System in part of the Philippines, so he is a great teacher, very soft spoken and kind, with a great sense of humor.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Trip to Manila

Each one of these walls is covered with names of Americans and Philippinos who died here in WW11. Medal of Honor recipients' names are in gold with a star by them.
Just one of many vistas with crosses and Star of Davids.
At the Manila Temple with Returned Missionaries Sister Bacatan and Sister Agustin
Beautiful wreath at the front of the Memorial.
Pres. Burtenshaw, the Thompsons, Kimberlins, and Snows in the rain. We didn't realize this was the beginning of Typhoon Frank.
More of the beautiful grounds surrounding the Memorial.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Typhoon Season

I believe this was a service station, the whole front is blown away. We asked some of our friends to the South how they survived, they said its just life in the Philippines. Needless to say, they get no government help, no FEMA, they just roll up their sleeves and go to work rebuilding.

This is driving down the National Highway, you can see the poles blown over, trees uprooted. The poles here are hollow concrete with tons of rebar. In places they were snapped like matchsticks.

Needless to say, typhoons are just terrible. This picture of Santa Cruz is where our couple missionaries live, this is the street to their house. The Snow's, they are from Virginia, lived using a generator for a month. They had to fill it every night with gas so they could have a little air conditioner going. We didn't hear them complain much, that's probably because the people they work with lost their homes and everything.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pictures of Interest

The newest member of our Branch is Julie Ann. She reads everything given to her cover to cover. The Sisters who taught her are Sister DeGuzman and Sister Bulan.
Aeta's are a dark group of mountain people that live among us here and sell things like you see in the picture. There seems to be a lot of prejudice against them , they are viewed as a lower class. The ones we have become familiar with in town seem friendly enough.

No one is shy here about choosing alternative life styles , and there are many that choose alternative styles.

Eddie on the left and Ruth on the right are the mission kittens. We raised them when their Mom was run over in the street, at that time they were three weeks old. We love playing with them.

The Branch in our complex bought new uniforms this year for the sportsfest , volley ball and basketball are taken very serious here.

Once after a day in the office, Sister Burtenshaw and I walked on this beach close by and bought necklaces from the Muslims. It was very beautiful.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Death March

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April 9 here is Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Heroes, a national holiday. Great battles, campaigns, victories or losses are celebrated with a day long fest in Balanga, Bataan, and the Bataan Death March parade is the main event. The organizers have acquired replicated uniforms, both GI and Japanese, with authentic Filipino garb, and they paint blood, wrap wounds, everything for realism, then they march in a parade, complete with floats depicting battles in progress, with the Bataan Death March as the finale, complete with uprisings, riots, and punishments. They especially appreciate the American and Canadian Missionaries, for the realism, they are fed before and after the parade, all the makeup and uniforms are provided. It is held in April as was the actual march, and even with all the festivities, you can still feel at least a bit of the pain felt by the real POWs, as they made their way in the heat of summer. But if you've read the history, it doesn't take much imagination to remember the actual brutality.