Monday, November 21, 2016


How better to greet the Thanksgiving Holiday than to add a photo of a local turkey.

Don't "pig out" too much.

We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of  Mindoro Oriental.  Instead of floats as we would have in the US, there are about twenty five clever displays honoring different countries from around the world.  At night they are all lit up and quite fantastic.  As you can see, here is the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty (holding a Christmas gift), and the Empire State Building.  

My weekly chronicle of pop bottle creations. This twenty foot high tree is made with Mountain Dew bottles  Check out the musical instruments from a video we took in the city of  Socorro

The crowning decoration at the Mindoro Capital is this beautiful tree.  It is decorated with large stars of different colors that are made from bamboo then covered with various colors of plastic with a light inside.  We wish we could bring some home..but alas they wouldn't fit in our suitcase.

Elder Bellessa had minor surgery to deal with an ingrown toenail.  When he was waiting for the doctor in the operating room he spied this poster and hoped the doctor was going to give him a drug to deaden the pain.  Gratefully the doctor told him it was okay and a local was given.  Some drugs we are thankful for.

There is a neighborhood not far from our house that has intrigued us as we've gone by.  There is just a driveway in but  the number of meters at the entrance indicated many homes were tucked back in among the vegetation. We hesitated going in since it seemed "guarded" by these rather intimidating men.  We were brave and walked up to them.  When we asked if we could take photos they were totally friendly and wanted to talk.  All the little children ran away since someone like us probably hadn't come before.  The women also disappeared.  

The men all gathered together and had a good time getting their photo taken, especially when we told them how guapo (handsome) they were.

We often see men carrying and petting their special roosters.  Cock fighting is a very big sport here.  We imagine if your rooster was able to earn you some money he would have the right to be strutted around town to show your friends.

A boy with his homing pigeon:  This is a hobby we've become aware of.  While we were there this young man threw the pigeon in the air then clapped his hands for it to come back.

Here is our newest arrival, Sister Masangcay.  She is fresh from the Mission Home and full of enthusiasm.  She is a college graduate and speaks English very well and is adorable.  Six new elders also came off the boat on transfer day.  We'll be able to get acquainted with them starting this week.

 Elder Reyes and Elder Mesias are in the mission van on their way to their next areas.   They have a special place in our hearts.  So hard to see them go.

We have a strong bond with Elder Labastida who was transferred to a new area and is waiting for his visa to the North Denver mission.  He has been on Mindoro ever since we came and there were a few tears as he left.  He is an amazing young man who has endured more hardships in his life than any of us can imagine.  He will still be on his mission when we get home so we plan to see him then.  We won't be seeing most of these missionaries again since they are from far flung areas of the Philippines but we hope we can keep in touch by email or FaceTime.

Elder Acedilla (purple tie) is sitting between his and Elder Pocong's two wonderful converts.  He is home with his family now but reports he is reading his scriptures and offering prayers and looking for the right bride to take to the temple.  We think he gave away most of his clothing to the new converts because both are planning on missions.

A happy ending to our week was seeing the Sosa family at church.  They live a considerable distance from the chapel and find it difficult to attend because of the lack of transportation.  The father works construction in Manila and was home for three days so they came together.  We love the Sosas and enjoy being their home teachers. 


  1. Hope David''s toe is better.Steven had the same surgery while there I believe. Too bad the elders can't wear open-toed shoes. I love to read your blogs. ��Karen

  2. Such beautiful people! We too love reading your blogs.