Friday, February 16, 2018

Cog-dom

Helping behind the scenes is where I shine. I was so glad that Stephanie Lambertson was the Primary President and that Lanette Hopkins and Wendy Vance were the camp directors. I don't enjoy being in the front like hands on a clock, but I do love being the cog that moves the hands along.  I love assisting and helping out in someone's vision and dream. Well maybe I do love being the CubMaster that was really a lot of fun but even there I assisted the Den Leaders (fathers) in helping the boys.

Today was a win-win for my cog-dom status. A picture I took was used as an expression of love, some stories I collected were used as the basis of a short talk, and the prop I created will be used in Sharing Time for Primary. The funny thing is I HATE being told what to do and how far and high to jump. But I love using my talents in my own way to further someone else's plan.  Give me your goal and then let me figure out how I can be of service.
Spinner to be used in Primary

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I have wonderful caring grandchildren

Ernesto and Christy Solera Valentines Day 2018

Ernesto told me about the great Valentines day he had. First he went with his sweetheart to the Mall and had a nice date with her.  When he came home his children surprised them both with tokens of love and appreciation.
Coming home the children gave them more surprises

Today I talked with Ernesto and he told me the rest of the story.  When asked how they got money for the presents, the children told about planning a surprise for their parents.  Planning ahead they walked to school instead of using the money their mother gave them to ride a tricycle or jeepney.

Imprints

We have made a lot of good friends here, the Bowman's were an unexpected privilege. It has been a little tricky as they have been gone to the States quite a few time taking care of parents and in-laws.
Jeffrey and David are both on the 2nd floor and get to have drop-in discussions. Sometimes Jeffrey will tell me a doctrinal question that comes up.
David Bowman and Jeffrey walking from the Area office
Last Monday Jeffrey and I walked home together and David came a little part of the way. He is leaving for the States again and it looks like we won't see him because he'll come back after we've left.

As we were walking and talking about the wonders of the day Jeffrey had had, he told me he'd made a lasting impression here. As we rounded a corner he showed me his foot print he'd made walking home one night and realised the cement was still a little wet.
New cement left foot

And here's most of the right foot
In reality our presence will be missed like the hole left in water when you pull your hand out of it. But there will be a physical impression for a little while of his footprint.
If you happen to round the corner at Giraffe and Greenmeadow look down

Corner as you turn to go to the Area office 


Getting Through This

I warned Jeffrey that if he bought a chocolate cake that I would take half instead of my usual slice. Every once in a while Jeffrey will buy these little 6 inch two-tier chocolate cakes from Mary Grace a free-standing shop in the mall on the fourth floor. He brought one home and then after supper watched me with an amused fascinated look on his face as I carefully enjoyed every little bite.  It has just been one emotion filled week.
This picture came off the internet, I did not have the will power to wrench the fork out of my hand and go get a camera
I have to admit I could see Kristy's Facebook post in my mind: "Sweetie, you eat as much chocolate as you need to get through this." Lisa 2016

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Getting Ready

This always happens when a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON comes to visit. New paint jobs, facelifts, and extra shifts to clean and pretty up everywhere.
All around the MTC and Area office little paint jobs, cracks, and the grounds are going through a rigorous treatment

I guess this is a good idea as I didn't even notice that the paint was streaking or getting dingy

No idea what they are doing up here - something important

The temple renovations were scheduled a long time in advance - I wonder if the other improvements were too?
Elder Rasband will come strolling through the Area and MTC next week and I wonder if he will even notice all the little details that have been improved? I think it would be very difficult to notice anything different as there is always a big push to improve every little detail when ever anyone from Utah comes - but especially when the Apostles arrive.

I have happy thoughts and dark thoughts on the whole issue of getting ready for dignitaries. Yes, I  want the Area to look wonderful and beautiful as an honor to someone who is a representative of the Lord. The inside scoop is that men are working for 65 pesos an hour for an over-time extra shift. So a man with four children takes home a little over 600 pesos on a regular day. He signs up for an extra shift, stays overnight and goes home the next day after working three shifts. The added benefit is that he doesn't have to pay the cost of going home and coming to work which is a little less than 250 pesos a day.

My heart just about cracked when I did the math. Men here regularly make a little over $10 A DAY, spend almost $5 for transportation and feed, clothe, and take care of their families with the rest. A true emergency could be life changing. Without God's grace and assistance they will never get anywhere fast.

The perils of over-tipping fall on deaf ears to me. Sorry to the other Senior missionaries on a tight budget who may follow. There may be expectations.  Five dollars goes twice or three times as far here as it would in America.

"To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!" Isaiah 10:2

Friday, February 9, 2018

Games made

Candy Conversation with M&M's - each colour had something they said with it, balloon pop-ups - nerf gun ball shot out of a cup with the bottom cut out and a balloon cut and tied to pull out and 'pop' the ball. We measured how far you could get your ball to fly. Then a 'foosball' or nerf gun ball soccer game was made, and finally popsicle harmonicas.

Not knowing how many girls or boys will show up and what exactly they will like to do - Activity Day can be intense thought and effort - so when everyone looks happy - ITS A WIN!
Only Grant - 10 year old showed up so Sister Baysa the Primary president helped him make the  "foosball" game. Though our game is in a shoe box with a nerf gun ball as the 'soccer' ball Shoti helps - kind of - he's only six
Cedric showed up about an hour late and joined in the last of the game making
Two girls began until a third girl showed up about 45 minutes later.
Shoti checking out the clothes pins to make sure they worked
Chiyo, Achiee, and Sweet working on their game box
Sister Henry brought the Bishop's kids over early and stayed to help out - wonderful lady!
Chloe came about an hour later and is working on a popsicle harmonica. We actually got them all to make some sound!

Yup

Good and bad, happy, frustrating, sad and exciting such is the yo-yo emotions. 
Dawn rising

Babies are coming to our family, Rebekah is getting married! A missionary friend lost a battle with cancer and my good friend Lisa has gone home to the Father who created her. The Lord has answered prayers of protection, guidance and help in my Primary activity. A grandson here in the Philippines received a shot at school and is suffering terrible headaches. To vaccinate the children for Dengue fever they were given a shot that is affecting children badly. The policy was put in by a previous administration, so there is no one responsible for it's outcome.
One hour I am discussing the many blessings, joys and privileges that we enjoy and loving the interactions with Jeffrey and the next hour I'm reading about the passing of a loved one. 
I have answers to prayers driving safely to and from the church having an enjoyable but intense time with the children in activity day engaging them in games and education (tricky balance) and deciding it was a win.
Then I'm up at 3 in the morning with leg cramps deciding how I feel about the day.....