Tuesday, July 18, 2017

One Year of Joyful Service

Pola Branch.  We got up around 5AM to travel to Pola for their branch conference.  Pola is one of our favorite towns to visit.  It is a fishing village on the southern end of the island.  The branch is small but was full this Sunday.  They seldom see people like us so it is as though we are rock stars.  We got lots of hugs and respect and people wanted their photo taken with us.  We had to keep telling them Elder Bellessa was not the new mission president that we were the senior couple.

Rainy season is here.  These little kids came to the gate of the sister's apartment to say "Hi."  They were soaked but didn't seem to care.  The little boy in the photo is keeping dry by standing in the tree.

Calapan Branch Baptism:  We have such a strong, supportive branch in Calapan.  

Barker Backpack:  As we were driving by the elementary school we spied someone with a green backpack donated by the Barkers. (My daughter Amy Barker and family.)  Many of the children don't have the money to purchase one so we were happy to see this.

Beautiful Lola: This Lola (grandmother) is 87 years old.  When we go home teaching she often walks by dressed in traditional clothing looking regal.

This is a pig farm across the street from the sisters' apartment.  We park the car right at the gate of the farm so we check on them each week.  The other day while we were in the middle of leaving a spiritual message we heard one being slaughtered...not a pleasant sound.  

The Mangyan people are coming down from the mountains to visit.  They keep together as a tribe.  We will see them bedded down on the sidewalks laying on cardboard.  They are respected as indigenous tribes of the island and people are very generous to give them money.

Posing for Money:  The men, women and children smoke pipes with something that keeps them warm and feeling full.  They wear the same clothes until they wear out then find something else.  Taking baths and washing clothes is not a part of their culture.

Pinamalayan Baptism:  We had a grandmother and a young man baptized this week-end.  The Elders did a wonderful job of making it a special event.  The talks and music take place in the chapel then trikes transport the members to a secluded area of the beach for the baptism.  Afterwards, back at the church, those who were baptized bear testimony and often there is food to celebrate. 

Entering the Gate.  There are two witnesses one is off camera.

On the way to get baptized

An angel on a Trike

1 comment:

  1. You look fabulous, Sister Bellessa (you, too, Elder)!