Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bongabong and a Big Banana

Last week on Monday, the Mindoro Zone of the San Pablo Mission had a zone activity.  Lunch was served at the house shown above.  It is the home of a member from the Victoria Branch.  She lives in the house which measures 20x20 with her two adult children.  It has a sitting area, sleeping room and food prep area.  It is tidy and clean.  It is cool since the air can circulate through the bamboo and she has an electric fan.  There is city water which comes from a spring she uses for washing, drinking and bathing.  It sits next to a beautiful river which at times can rage and flood her home.  Each time she is able to restore, clean and enjoy the beautiful setting.

The P-day activity was a take off of the American TV show "The Amazing Race" which is also popular here.  Each team of two was sent to an area where they performed an activity and received a clue of where to go next.  The first team back was the winner.  At the end all were deemed winners and we think some of the tasks had to do with missionary work.  A fun day!

This is the kitchen where all the good food is cooked.  Elder Labastida (in black), will soon be leaving us to serve in the Denver mission,  and is doing a good job cooking Tilapia and pork belly.  Our meal included rice and eaten without utensils. 

There is a lot of love here.

Just look at the blessings we are receiving.

Just a thought about these chairs which are found in all of our church buildings here in the Philippines:  They are light weight, they have something on the bottom that helps them from slipping around and can be moved without much noise.  They have flexibility so when one sits on them they are comfortable.  They can be made in many sizes (in the case of the Philippines they fit someone Sister Bellessa's size).  They can be stacked and stored in a very small space.  They can be cleaned easily and arranged in a myriad of ways. They can be made from recycled plastic in any color.  They are affordable to almost any budget and have been such a blessing to third world countries throughout the world.  If there is a Nobel prize for world change it should go to the person who invented the plastic chair.  

We loved seeing the photos of our grandchildren all dressed up for Halloween. Here in Calapan we saw children dressed up as well, but in the Philippines the holiday is called "All Saints Day".  It is a religious holiday and is much like our Memorial Day.  There are many booths at the market selling flowers and traffic jams at the cemeteries where everyone is visiting and remembering their departed family members.  Instead of ghouls and goblins there is a sweet spirit of family togetherness.

At the grocery store I had to explain to Elder Bellessa that Spam was not the Spam he receives on his e-mail account. There are whole aisles devoted to different flavors and kinds of Spam.  

A large Christmas star made out of pop bottles.

A playground made from tires.

Tires painted like candy for Christmas.

When we payed our water bill we saw this tricked out WW2  Jeep, the iconic Filipino vehicle.

Another Devoted Believer

After our usual trip to Pinamalayan on Friday, we added another 1 1/2 hour drive to go further south to find what surprises a city named Bongabong might have in store for us.  It turns out the surprise was it was just like every other city other than having a really cool name.

An added bonus of our Bongabong trip was passing through the city of Bansud.  Just think, we might have passed up seeing this very large banana.


  1. Although you could not hear me on FaceTime tonight I could hear you! I loved hearing the updates. Can't wait to hear from you again! The Biorn Family is sending hugs and kisses your way!!! 😘😘

  2. I love the pictures! Looks like you guys are having a wonderful mission. Just read that Rudy Carlos has been called to be president of the MTC in the Philippines.