Monday, June 19, 2017

NBA Finals, Intrepid Travelers, Mission Joy

We've seen these signs wherever we've gone but only recently realized that we can cut to the front of any line.  Even so, we are reluctant  since we aren't as old as it shows on the sign.  Once in awhile it is a great boon as it saves us from sitting for hours.

Elder Bellessa applied for his driver's license but was told he needed to get clearance from an eye doctor.  We thought this was an interesting combination of services.

This poster was on the window as we entered  the clinic.  We're wondering how they do this.

Amy took some wonderful photos while she was here in March.

Beautiful Smile!

"Pogi" boys on the street.  We get the sign under the chin quite often so we asked what it meant, thinking it looked like a gang sign.  It actually means "I am pogi" which means, "I am cute".

Hard working sisters the day the rain came down.

NBA madness.  As I walked through town it seemed as though almost every business had a TV going with the NBA finals.  Young men mainly wear basketball clothing and everyone seems to be up on all the teams and players.

We are traveling like locals.  We are slowly getting the hang of travel to Manila since Sister Bellessa goes every few months for eye treatments.  Since we're not fond of driving in Manila traffic we've begun leaving the car at home, going to the port on a tricycle then walking onto the boat.  At the Batangas pier we catch a bus that takes us to an area not far from the Manila temple where we get a taxi to the Missionary Recovery Center.  We are taken to appointments by the MRC but taxi back.  We get lots of looks from the locals since there are few old white people as brave as us.

Being in Manila means checking out the pearl market.

The market is mostly, if not all, run by Muslim families who come from the  pearl area of Mindanao.

You never know who you will run into on the streets.

 Going back to the Batangas pier we were delighted to see the NBA Finals on the bus.

Another boat passenger waiting to get on

We found that for P20 ($.40) more we could enjoy the benefits of Business Class.

We got our own bathroom, TV, air conditioning and prayer.

President and Sister Mangum will be leaving us to go home in a few days.  The mission is preparing a farewell video and slide show for them.  Here is a photo of the Baco Elders as well and the video we made for them.  Elder Ancla does a great impersonation of President Mangum. 

While we were staying at the MRC we were able to attend the opening of the  the MTC. expansion  The MTC choir sang the closing song.  The expansion will accommodate twice as many missionaries.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away

It is now the rainy season!  When it rains it pours..buckets, cats and dogs!  There is thunder and lightening.  The streets become rivers and it is kind of exciting.  It has been so hot lately it has been hard to be out for daily walks.   We've been told it will cool down when the rains come and here it is!  VIDEO

A local dress shop claiming to be in all the best cities of the world.

McDonald trainees starting young.

If you come visit we will take you to Infinity Farm which defies photographs in beauty.  The first time we went they were working on this beautiful art piece.  We recently took President and Sister Mangum and saw it completed. VIDEO

Planting time again.  VIDEO

We are used to seeing T-shirts with what we call T-shirt sermons.  

School just started back in session.  With the remaining money that Amy and her family left we were able to buy school supplies and backpacks for two schools.  Happy day for us and the schools thanks to the Barker family.

Delivering Supplies.

Funerals are quite a production.  Many times there will be a line of vehicles a mile long of respectful neighbors and friends.  A poster is made and placed at the family residence so you know when you drive by who has died.  In the smaller towns we have seen long processions of people with T-shirts displaying  a photo of the deceased.  There are always lots of balloons and a gathering afterwards.

Funeral Procession

These are the fancy hearses

We can think of more respectful ways to use our flag.

We attended a very successful district youth conference.  President Mangum was persuaded to not dance, but to pose as though he was dancing.  The youth have posted it all over the internet.  The three day event was well organized with over 100 youth and leaders.  There is amazing strength in the generation coming up.

Sister Bellessa was part of this group planning how to depict a teaching topic.

President and Sister Mangum came for their last zone conference with us.  They will be leaving to go home in less than a month.  They have been here for three years.  I'm sure they are happy/sad/busy and ready to see their families.  We sure love them and our missionaries!

Another use for plastic stacking chairs and tall elders as we attempt to turn on much needed air conditioning.

Here is an artist's depiction of Elder and Sister Bellessa "gathering". ( a picture of a picture of the painting). The painter is Roger DeGuzman who is a bishop in San Pablo.