Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's Time - Jonah-ing

I noted the first week I was here that there are no curling irons or hot rollers. You can buy all kinds of instruments to straighten your hair but only if you have very long hair do they have these double curve kind of curling irons to use for curling. So I kept pulling back my hair, braiding it up, generally messing with it for too long each morning. I was unsatisfied but when I saw this picture I decided not to fool myself any longer and went with Jonah on another trip.
Bad news
Shorter and much cooler
Jonah and I had so much fun riding around in jeepneys, walking through the mall, buying stuff - lots of stuff, up stairs, then down stairs, and then getting my hair cut by an expert. It is very short in the back and short in the front and falls into place when I shake my head - nice.

It is so fun to go with Jonah! She makes every trip a lot of fun.
Before - on the way to
After - on the way back

Morning at the Temple Annex

Ernesto let me know that his wife was going to come to the temple on Saturday because of the holiday the president of the country set up because all the Asia presidents were getting together for a summit or something. The president wanted the commuter traffic to be lessened so gave a Friday and Monday holiday to workers. I asked if I could watch their children while she worked in the temple. Ernesto said he would be working his usual shift at the MTC and that would be great idea to watch his kids. His wife came with some other people from Cavite on a bus.

I was excited to see the kids again and tried to think of what I could do to prepare for a few hours. I understood the youngest boy Jhon Andrie was artistic, so I got pencils, markers, crayons, scissors and paste and three different colors of paper. For their daughter Princess I got a Beauty and the Beast coloring and sticker play book and for the older son, Jhon Kyle I got a (snap-together-like-lego) set that looked like it would take quite a while to put together. Then I worried that they would want to do something else another hour and got a yo-yo, dominoes, and a small nerf ball. I also put in my grandma bag a bottle of water and some snacks.
Solera Family

I met with the Solera family around 6:30 am and noted they came with other children. Of course the children with them wanted to do the same activities so I invited them to come over too. Luckily Andrie wanted to play with the dominoes and help his brother with building his set so there was a lot of paper for the other kids. More kids came until a corner of the room was filled with children drawing and playing.
Children at the Temple Annex
I started making notes in my head about what I would do next time, and what supplies I would want to have on hand. There were some kids who where extra needy and not artistically inclined, so I played catch with a few of them. After awhile the security man wanted us not to throw the ball in the room - of course - so I sent all the boys outside. The heat and humidity along with all of their running around wore them out - Nice. The yo-yo was problematic put kept some entertained for awhile. I had one scare when Andrie went looking for water and ended up in the tunnel going to the MTC before his brother, sister and I caught up with him. He was looking for water. That's when it hit me how far away from the states I was. No public building has a water fountain (except the American made MTC) so there were all these thirsty children. I let the Solera children have my water bottle - note bring lots of little water bottles next time - and they shared with their friends.....uh okay. The dominoes were a big hit and everyone wanted to play with them. Stack them, line them up, match up the dots, they were in constant use. The paper ran out so I sent them all outside to eat their snacks. Over all a good time was had by all - especially me.
The boys in the corner with legos, the girls drawing pictures
Next time bring dominoes - maybe a few sets

New Friends

Today we had lunch with a young man from Jeffrey's primary class and his family. Gilda (pronounced Hilda) is his mother and I have met her at the MRC where she works. She has helped the Dental Clinic find supplies and is a Radiologist. She was instrumental in helping the Clinic get the x ray machine up and running, and licensed. So it was really nice to get to know her on a more personal basis. Gilda met her husband Genesis after she moved from the South to the MRC to work. He works in Immigration at the Area office for the missionaries who need visas to other countries. They have two children, Kyle and Karl (I'm not really sure how to spell their names yet). Kyle the oldest girl -in the eighth grade going on ninth - is very artistic and can play the piano, writes stories, reads Hardy Boys, Shakespeare, and Harry Potter, and also draws. Gilda also plays the piano but Kyle was taught by a missionary who had a calling to teach piano to students here. When they pass their competency tests they were given a keyboard. Kyle was the youngest in the class at the time to earn her keyboard. She plays hymns and some classical works. Sometimes she plays in church when the usual pianist is gone (whom also was taught by a missionary). Karl who will be twelve in October, is a very bright young man who though autistic has plans to direct films, has a lively imagination and came remember facts given him previously. They are an amazing family of achievement and promise. The dad said his mother could only give him one gift and that was education and she told him to stick with the church and stay close to God. I think her efforts paid off in a big way looking at this wonderful family.
Kyle, Genesis, Gilda, Karl
They have American visas, I hope they can visit us again!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Heart Overflow

Today Jeffrey and I walked through the MTC courtyard with flower bushes and trees holding hands appreciating life here. Unknown to us our grandson was being born across the oceans. After a complicated day at the Dental Clinic with a new dentist on board, I opened my emails and found a voicemail from Matthew sent hours ago.
Born on Sunday night at 8:05 pm April 23 8 lbs 12.5 oz!
Mother and son doing well, I was informed he shares Shakespeare's  birthday!
Looking at the joy on Debbie's face and seeing this wonderful new baby fills my heart to overflowing. Joy, peace, happiness and love all merge at once. Life is good!
Addition of Love to the Adams family
She is loving that new brother
Oliver Yu-De Adams welcome to the world!

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Good Day

The morning breaks, the shadows flee.....

This is how my morning started out.

View of the temple from the MTC
We drove past the temple and I walked up to the MTC and then down to the dental clinic. We have the Stinchfields from Washington now working along side the Burtenshaw's and Stewarts. Dr. Stinchfield is an oral surgeon and will be a great benefit to many missionaries who haven't had their wisdom teeth removed. It is so hard when missionaries are just fine and then the wisdom teeth start to aggressively grow in and the pain can be quite bad.
Dr.s Burtenshaw and Dr. Stinchfield
The Stinchfields getting ready for their first patient
I had the privilege of assisting Dr. Burtenshaw so that Sister Burtenshaw could guide and assist Sister Stinchfield through the process of assisting her husband. It was very interesting and educational for me. I know the differences between an elevator, hemostat, condenser, explorer, acorn, number 12, plastic matrix, and lingual. 
Did you know there are 2 handed dentists and 4 handed dentistry? Dr. Stewart is a 2 handed dentist and  Dr. Burtenshaw is a 4 handed dentist. Just different ways of assisting. Putting your fingers in someones mouth is very interesting!
Well my day got really wonderful but the main participants will have to tell their own story first.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Feeling Needed

On Saturday I got an email from my team-teacher telling me she wouldn't be at Primary on Sunday - no problem I prepared a lesson.
When I showed up for class we had to go get chairs and set everything up. When class started the younger ones came in with us because there wasn't another teacher. I was glad I made extra handouts. When sharing time was suppose to start there was only one woman. I don't know what her title is but she comes to help out most weeks. As she struggled to get opening and closing prayers and such I couldn't stand it and with a prayer in my heart I went up to the front and started singing songs with the Primary kids. I've been gone so long from Primary I am not up on all the newest songs, so it was a little hilarious. The lady came back from somewhere and started the Primary with a prayer and an article of faith recitation. Then she looked to me to sing some more songs. The Primary counselor came in with about 20 minutes left of the day and had the kids draw paper flowers for their mom. I realized that mother's day is going to be in 3 weeks, one of which will be Stake Conference, so I went around snapping pictures of all the kids so we could make something for moms in a couple of weeks.
Lots of the children and parents are gone because it is "summer" here and they go to the Provinces for summer vacation. The Primary president has actually moved two months ago and comes back sometimes to help out. I've decided I'm need where I am - but - I am going to have a sharing time prepared in my back pocket and maybe learn a few more songs.
Dawn breaking
This week in the dental clinic we had a young man come in because, "I can't open my mouth further than two slices of bread without a lot of pain." The dentist took out his wisdom teeth and he couldn't thank the dentist enough as he walked out of the door. Of course he was still numb but hopefully he will heal quickly and be just as thankful.
Another young missionary came in with "something" spackel?, some kind of filling that looked terrible on his front teeth. The dentist was very careful to remove and check for anything underneath and then give him a lovely front filling that he can actually smile with.
This job makes it very easy to fill the importance of doing something. Much different from being a mom where the rewards are years and years later. Probably more lasting, though I am enjoying the feeling of rewards coming the same day I expend my efforts.

Time flying by

Beauty here every day

Life is moving at a fast clip lately. In the dental clinic we have a new dentist who has arrived with his wife. They are still adjusting to the time and will start working slowly next week. For one week we will have three dentists in the office until the Burtenshaws go home in May.
Last week I sewed up pillowcases for everybody in the office and next I will probably sew up some for the Eckerts.
Almost looks like a bed! The pillow is actually old and is to be used as a prayer pillow to kneel on

Elder and Sister Eckert work as nurses in the MTC infirmary and help out our missionaries as they heal from the work done. They get calls in the middle of the night for all kinds of things and lots of concerns during the day. I am awed by the caring, empathy, and teaching they do every day.

This week David Berrett from Salt Lake City visited the Legal office and Jeffrey and I had lunch with him. He was very nice and easy to chat with. He asked an interesting question, "What can we do to make your mission better?" Actually I could think of nothing that any man could do because my Heavenly Father answers all my yearnings in such a huge way. I have meaningful work, I have a creative outlet, I get to interact with Filipinos and their families, I live in air-conditioned places and this is a soul-filling beautiful place to live.

This week was our 33rd wedding anniversary and we spent it just like the last 25 - apart. Jeffrey was working late and I went to a farewell for the Soderquists after work. As usual we will celebrate in June (or July). Actually this whole mission has been a type of anniversary celebration as we talk and share with each other daily.

One morning this week the whole back floor of the clinic was flooded. Rizal and Ernesto got it fixed and cleaned up. We really have an awesome team who keeps this place running smoothly.
Rizal is great with the tools, Ernesto make our clinic run smooth
Jeffrey pointed out that 6 months have already gone by and I was a little shocked. Wait, I think I was suppose to know more before now......I'll have to step up my game.

What's the occasion?

This morning Jeffrey and I noticed lots of young adults 20's early 30's congregating at the mall. I did not know what the occasion was/is as we went to work at the Area office and MTC Dental Clinic. We only worked till noon and then came home. I have to admit I was pooped even though it was only 6 hours instead of 8 or so. I napped for just a bit and then studied my Primary lesson. Went grocery shopping and found a nice young man to push all my groceries back to the apartment. I love the service here.
Tonight the fireworks went off! Why?

I love the fireworks going off, I just wish I knew why. This was in a mall a ways away so I could actually photograph them.  The ones in our mall are too close and the camera picks up all the particles and dust smoke.  What kind of events are fireworks worthy?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Week up to Easter

I'm pretty sure Rebekah didn't tell me about how quiet it is leading up to Easter. On Thursday the mall was closed except for certain restaurants and on Friday everything was closed - except the gates leading into churches - they were crowded. On Saturday more businesses were open though I noticed the construction work around town didn't start up. I've heard that most people go to the Provinces and so the streets in Manila are practically empty. I drove by myself to the MTC Dental Clinic on Friday for missionary screening and had no trouble driving anytime this weekend. I am amazed at the way a whole city takes Easter seriously. I'm told the whole country does. This is amazing and wonderful. I think I'm still processing the idea. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes Easter seriously and Easter devotionals are planned in almost every Stake House. After church in the morning we'll go back for the devotional.

Jeffrey makes me happy

Skimming through Facebook today I noted a story I have heard before of a man who had been married for 20 years and was thinking about divorce. He had an epiphany and started asking his wife every day what he could do to make her happy.   I thought about the story for awhile and realized that both Jeffrey and I have made discoveries through out our marriage about what  we need to do and not do to make each other happy.
Jeffrey bought me a sewing machine. That makes me happy! I have a creative outlet now that fills a bit of my soul.
Round 2 High hopes
Brothers sewing machine that says Japan quality on it. I've come to love Japan quality in machines, restaurants, autos and industry.
Good quality fabric can be found at 4 to 7 dollars a yard - I'm in heaven

Sewing up pillowcases for two families
Ready to give away!
On Good Friday I was finishing up the last of my pillowcases and realized the material I bought for the last pillowcases just wan't going to work. All of the stores, malls and most shops were closed so I couldn't go out and buy anymore and we were going to meet the Soleras family early Saturday morning. Jeffrey was kind enough to give up one of his shirts so I could put the top on two of my pillowcases. Now that is sacrifice for a good cause!

Adopting a family for a year

There are just certain things a grandmother wants to do. One of them is to do things for her grandkids. My grandkids are currently far, far away but I still want to do things. So the solution was to find some grandkids right here while I am in Manila. Ernesto Solera works in our Dental Clinic fixing things all the time. I see him three or four times a week and always ask about his children. A little while ago I decided to adopt his children as my grandchildren for awhile so I have somebody to do grandmother things for - hopefully with.
Solres family at the Temple
So I sewed up some pillowcases and bought a few pillows and made some cookies and bread. Today Jeffrey and I went bright and early to the temple and missed them in our session, we waited around and found Ernesto coming out of later session and got to meet his wonderful family.  I'm hoping we can be with the kids when Ernesto and Christina go to the temple another month. They do not understand very much English and I don't know very much Tagalog, it should be interesting.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Seeing things differently

Today I opened up my scriptures to read in the Book of Mormon and happened to land on Alma 26:6.  The thought popped into my head that I knew this scripture was true because I have watched events in our family when we have received protection and blessings. For example over 10 years ago we heeded the prophet President Hinckley, who asked us to get out of debt and Jeffrey listened to our Stake President Hunt who urged all of us to do so now. Jeffrey told me at the time that it didn't make financial sense to pull our savings to pay off our mortgage because of some wonderful formula that luckily I don't need to figure out. We paid off the mortgage anyway - and anyone who knows us, knows we drive cars around until they clunk into the ground.
To shorten the story, "the storm cannot penetrate to them" and "neither shall they be driven" applies if someone else can't tell you what to do because you don't owe anyone anything. We have been hugely blessed by the Lord - especially right now.
So I went over to Jeffrey to show him my insight into this scripture. He listened and read the scripture and said how applicable it was to his current reading about the preparation for the last days and Jesus Christ's coming. You will have to get the whole picture from him, but I went away laughing that Jeffrey is looking at a big picture application of scripture and I see the present day application. It is just how we usually roll.


Late afternoon Jeffrey and I took off to go to the Albos home out in the Province.  We are very fortunate to have been able to get to know their family because now they have moved out of our ward. They were our first dinner guests in our apartment and now we ended up being their first dinner guests in their new home. The big surprise was that their daughter Jasmine got home from her mission two days ago. She went to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission.
We had a dish called pancet and I have to get a recipe because it is great and I think my family at home will like it. Rose also served lots of fruit and melted cheese sandwiches and the children's uncle made a black forest cake that was delicious, I loved the mango smoothies!
Pancet  - different noodles, meat and vegetables with lime sauce over the top
My sister-in-law Janice got us in touch with Jimmy Albos her friend when on her mission here. Jeffrey and I love his wife Rose, daughter Jayme, ah opps I forgot the son's name - James? and of course we love Jimmy. Hopefully we can get to know Jasmine who just got home. Now we find that Rose's brother and niece live with them too. The uncle has lived in Alberta, Canada as a baker and cook and just got back a little while ago. Rose's niece - I've got her name on the back of my tongue - ahh, I'll ask again it was a pretty name - anyway she is the daughter of another of Rose's brothers. They work together very well and it feels so nice to walk into their new home.
Albos family, Uncle, Jasmine, Jimmy Rose, niece, son/James? and Jayme
I feel bad we won't see them every week anymore. The two girls, Jayme and Jasmine will be going to school at college, I don't know if they will be in the city or not.  So far Jayme is still teaching Primary with me. This warm, loving family is going to make a difference to many other people.
The Elders came over and we all had a family home evening after dinner.
Jayme played the music for the songs
The Elders said the prayers
Jasmine gave a report of her mission, Jeffrey and I bore a testimony and Rose told us about their adventures when Jasmine came home. Great evening.

This should be a picture of happiness

Just looking at this picture should tell you that I am happy and things are working out just like they are suppose to. Not so.
Pillow cases for the Albos family
Saturday happened to be a day of frustration and disappointment. The sewing machine wasn't quite the dream I anticipated. It was only because I prayed very hard asking the Lord if I could please finish these gifts for the Albos family that the 8 seams needed to complete this job got done.

After going to church, I can see a correlation between those who attend meetings and come to church functions who look like the Lord's children but fail to stand for the Lord when under pressure, and this machine that looks like a sewing machine. They both look and act in certain circumstances like the real thing but crumble when put to the test.

My kind, loving husband told me he couldn't stand to see me so frustrated at the end of the day, so he has budgeted for a real sewing machine (with sure-use warranty) and we are going to go get one this week.

Keep posted for the rest of the saga.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Look what I got on Friday!

Huafeng FHSM-700
I am so excited to have a sewing machine to play with! I found it online and was surprised by how light and small it was. I found it is finicky with materials and the correct needle but it will sew up cottons just fine. Since I'm starting out with pillowcases for a family this is just right. It is so small you could pack it up in your suitcase and it is very light weight.
Pinky finger weight
So now another adventure begins! I have a whole class full of soon-to-be eight year olds who will need a comforter - even if its just the small kind.  Life is so good and I am so blessed!

Good Morning!

Good Morning Quezon City!  I am amazed how fast the sun comes up here. Around 5:30 am it is dark and at 6:30 am it is full light.

Nighttime is almost the same. 5:30 pm the kids are playing basketball on the street and by 6:40 pm it is too dark without a flashlight or street light.
The beauty of this place fills my soul.