Monday, March 31, 2014

Out and About

 For family home evening, we took a walk.  We went to Julie's bakeshop and bought some treats and bread.

This is one of the roads through the village.

Many of the houses are cement but some of them have woven walls.  The walls are patterned and pretty.  The woven walls allow some air flow which would be nice in the hot, sticky weather.

A picture of a tricycle.

And a pedi-cab.

A coconut tree!

We are walking into the sunset.  When we walk, we get a little parade of followers.  The children seem so intrigued with us that they follow us around.  They will often run up and take my hand.  I tell you, I just wanted to bring a couple of them home!  :-)

A close-up of the woven wall.

Some of our followers who consented for a picture.  The little boy on the right in the long white tee shirt was the one who kept holding my hand.  I just wanted to keep him.  

Ammon, found an avocado tree to climb!

It was a great evening!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


We went to church today.  It turns out we were at the first meeting of this ward!  It  was just created and this was the week of organization.  We meet in a rented building.  There are about 75 members (from what I could see. )  This stake hopes to have another ward by the end of the year.  The work is growing so fast!  The members say that if they get 800 new members, they will get a stake here in Lapu Lapu.  Pretty cool!

This ward spoke quite a bit more English than the other ward but there were still whole talks that were not in English.  The boys loved primary because they spoke English the whole time!

A quick funny on Hannah.  I don't know if it's that she looks like Elsa from the movie Frozen or that her name sounds like the name Anna from Frozen, but wherever we are, kids start singing "do you want to build a snowman?" to her.  It's hilarious.  Even little street children that see us.

It is quite an amazing culture shock here.  First of all, there are SO many people on such a small island.  It is unfathomable to my country-girl mind how crowded it is.  The other shock is the contrast between wealthy and poor.  There is true poverty all around us and it is totally side by side with wealth.  It can be very unsettling to see it so ever-present.  Hannah was wise though.  She pointed out to me that the people seem very happy.  I suppose you don't need stuff to be happy!  :-)

I have thought much about our trip here.  Russ and I have felt often that the Lord wants us to be here in the Philippines.  Most of you know that I am not a very "venturesome lass".  I could be forever content in my own little hobbit-hole.  I don't need adventures or travel.  So this trip has stretched me quite a bit.  But even though there have been several opportunities that we could have chosen to abort the trip, we have felt we really needed to do this.  On the night that Caleb was set apart for his mission, our stake president spoke of the fact that he felt that the Lord wanted us here.  As difficult as this has been (and it HAS been difficult!) we have felt the Lord sustaining us and guiding us to find the right people and go to the right places.  I know that HE will continue to watch over us and sustain us.

Well enough of that for today!  Have a great Sabbath!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Around and about

We haven't taken many pictures in areas outside of the hotel because we have been so busy looking for houses but here are a few:

These are called jeepneys.  They originated after World War 2. When the army left the Philippines, they left a bunch of jeeps and army trucks. The locals converted them into bus-like affairs.  Now they are a major form of public transit.  As you can see, this is a newer one.  15 to 20 people will sit in the back.

This is a quick drive-by picture of the Cebu temple.  We were on a house hunting drive.

Another form of public transit called a tricycle.  It's a motorcycle with a side car on it.  Believe it or not, they can have 4 to 5 people on this.  (3 in the side car, one sitting behind the driver with legs hanging on this side, even one on the back with legs hanging off the back)

Beautiful flowers around our hotel.  There are SO many.  We found some plumeria that smells so sweet.

There are goats all over.

Just native vegetation outside of our hotel.

Going for a walk.  BTW it's HOT!

Another form of transportation in the small villages.  Called a tricicat.  It's a pedal bicycle with a side car.

And a couple pictures of dinner at the hotel.  :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The new hotel

We found a member of the church here named Br. Lauder.  He is a Canadian ex-pat.  He has been so wonderful for us.  He has a car and has driven us around the whole island looking for housing.  The first thing he did was get us in a different hotel for half the cost.

It also turns out to be a really fun, family friendly place.

We have 2 double beds and 4 twin beds in one room.  Plus we have a small fridge and a bathroom.

There are several live turtles.  This one is about 3 feet long.

Looking at the turtles

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The hotel at last!

 We were so glad to get to our hotel.  It was a very nice place but we knew we could only afford to stay there a couple of nights till we found some other temporary housing or a house

Lovely comfortable beds.

Nice pool.

Here's a couple of the views off of our hotel balcony:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

And we are off!

So the visas came and 2 days later we were on the airplane!  If you want to know insanity, you should have hung out with me those two days!  Yikes, was it ever crazy!

We got Caleb set apart as a missionary on Wednesday night.  What a spiritual experience that was!  Then Thursday morning we took off for Provo.  After buying a few last minute items (travel pillows) and saying a flurry of goodbyes, it was bedtime.  Now to try to sleep until 3 am when we had to get up to leave for the airport.  (Btw not much sleeping happened with all of the excitement!)

Here's a pic of us at the airport

My mothers heart couldn't quite wrap around the idea that my missionary son was taking his family to the airport rather than the other way around.  :-(  Doesn't he look wonderful though?

We got all checked in (whew!) and got up to our gate on time.  Then we finally got on an airplane!

All the kids were excited to fly for the first time but some were more excited than others!  :-)

Twenty six hours later, the enthusiasm had dimmed somewhat!  :-)

This is us waiting in line at immigration.  The little boys were pretty worn out!  (I wish I had dared to lie down on the floor!)

Finally out and ready to go to the hotel!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So what do you do while you wait for visas to arrive (or departure date for mission)?

We are in a bit of a holding pattern while we wait for our visas to come.  Luckily, we can stay at Grandma Clines's house.  Here's some of what happens:

Sledding on the crust at Grandma's house.

 Having a bath in Grandma's cool, jetted, walk-in tub.

Playing games with Grandma (Scrabble or Parcheesi)

Loading church music on an ipod for mission.