At Zone Conference a whole pig was served. A Filipino tradition.
A little Pepsi to help with the wait. Elder Bellessa says,"If there is sunshine in the bottle as well as on the label, there is sunshine in my soul".
A diversion while waiting in line was watching the progress of these men changing the tire of this cattle truck.
This is another example of a man in his t-shirt coverings.
We were able to provide food for some of the Mangyan people who come down from the mountains at Christmas time.
The branch Christmas party was privileged to hear a wonderful performance by the sisters and senior couple. To check out some rather interesting moves check these out (or not).
We won't soon forget our "Typhoon Christmas" experience. The storm began about 3AM and built power enough to get us up around 5:30. To hear and see what 185MPH winds look and sound like click here. It lasted around eight concerning hours. Here is what we saw as we drove around after. Three member's homes were totally destroyed with 45 others damaged. One of the first places we went was the home of the family we had taken Christmas to. We were relieved to see it was still standing but was flooded with three feet of water. The photo above shows what happened to the steel rebar on a project a block away from our home.
The owner of this tossed around structure brought some chairs while he and his friend made the effort to extricate it. It was the very next day from the typhoon that everyone was out helping each other. As Sister Bellessa went for her afternoon walk she recorded the following which was an indication yet again of the resilient spirit of the people.
We were surprised to see the family we had helped greeting us as we came into church. They were excited to be wearing the new clothes they were given and wanted to thank us for the gifts. The wife is deaf, the husband has problems with his speech. The ten year old is autistic, and the eight year old is blind in one eye.
New Year's Eve Day was a big day for the local market. Everyone was buying food for their celebration. Many of these people are still without electricity but there was a spirit of fun and celebration. Fireworks are a huge part of the festivities and as we looked out our window and watched the display in our neighborhood, it rivaled what we see from Memorial Hill in Midway on July Fourth. Everyone from the Barangay (neighborhood) came out for the celebration (except for us since there was a 6PM mission curfew).