Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dinning Out with the Canlas Family

We didn't have enough plates and chairs to invite the Bishop's family over so we took them to dinner to get to know them better.
We met at Gateway Mall in Cubio and it was raining and dark. I drove and got pretty close till we got on the phone and found each other then walked over to dinner.  Jeffrey has been Achie's (oldest daughter)  Primary teacher and when I first started teaching in February, Anya (first son) and Chiyo (second daughter) were both in my class. Anya turned eight and moved up a class and now Chiyo and Shoti (youngest son) are in my Primary class. Between Jeffrey and I we have the Bishop's family covered.
Dinner with the Canlas Family
Chiyo - All she wanted was a vanilla shake. Happy out-going and adorable
I had to ask Sister Canlas why the children's nicknames weren't anything like their official names. She explained that what they are called is a Chinese name. Achie means oldest sister, Anya means elder son, Chiyo means younger sister, and Shoti means youngest son. If they had another baby their names could change.
Shoti - one child who can be in two places at once and thinks of more things to do in two minutes than most kids think of in 10.
Anya is the oldest son and is very sweet with a smile and has some kind of condition that doesn't let him communicate much and has a hard time walking. 
Achie is the oldest and is very smart.
Janice Tae Mae and Bishop Canlas
Last picture before we went different ways

Intake Week Again!

The Dental Clinic enjoyed a new batch of missionaries who arrived this week.
Two young women who grew up in the same town and knew each other since they were little found themselves at the MTC together going to the same mission. They did not turn in their papers at the same time but they got called at the same time.
Lifelong friends
Meeting new friends the first day of their mission
The rain added a new challenge keeping the missionaries and their papers dry. Most of the Australians, Americans, Tongans, and Samoans fearlessly stepped out into the rain without concern. The few that came under my care were cautioned about acid rain and the belief that if you went out in the rain you would get sick. Filipinos from the city all feel the rain can make you sick.
Sister Tucker came down to help escort missionaries to their next station so they don't wander around getting lost
She found it very helpful when she found the second umbrella
Sister Maryann Whitehead escorted many missionaries down while Sister Tucker took them back up
Luckily she found a spare umbrella too!
And like all good days at the height of our screening process when the waiting room was filled with missionaries, the supplies arrive.
Waiting room filled with sister. Waves of sisters then waves of Elders
Arriving supplies is always a good thing. The timing well.......Sister Stinchfield checks off the order while Sister Hoem's takes her place writing down information in the screening process
Sister Hoem assisting Dr. Stinchfield

The Stewarts were gone this week, so Sister Stinchfield had her debut as Intake Coordinator. She did a great job downloading the names of the missionaries and making the screening pages that the information from the dentist's are written on. Since she was in charge all of the little details that can and do go wrong end up on her plate. She did a very fine job with the rain adding to the confusion as well as the other distractions.

We are going to just start to know and love these Elders and Sisters and then they will fly off to their own missions and exciting adventures........

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hong Kong day 2

The next wonderful day in Hong Kong started shopping for my Primary kids. I wanted to get them a souvenir like I do for my own kids when I go to an exotic place. In an open air market I found magnets with "I love Hong Kong". Then we rode a double decker bus and had a clear view of skyscraper apartment canyons, harbor views, the lush greenery and mountain sides.
Following Sister Cory through the outdoor mall
View from the top deck of the bus
It was really interesting meeting double decker busses coming around twisty narrow road.
We went to a place called Stanley. I am not sure if it is an area or a little community.  It had all kinds of shops and restaurants, indoor and outdoor and a mansion that had been picked up and put back together there. The builders had some columns left over so they just put them out front. Stanley is on a little tiny bay and lots of fun.

This lady could sell ice to Eskimos so it isn't hard to sell me an outfit that FIT! First time in months anyone had my size!
Part of the bay at Stanley
We had some gorgeous views from the top of the bus front seat of the islands and bays along the way
A swimming beach. I may be a bit skeptical of real sand because most of these coast were straight into the water. I'm wondering if the sand was imported. Regardless, lots of people were having an excellent day!

We drove past Ocean Park which has a valley of amusement rides and animals and then a tram ride over the mountain to the other half of the park with more!  I liked their dragon which can be seen many kilometers away.
On the way back, we passed thousands of skyscraper buildings some very old and some brand new alongside each other. There seems to be an effort to put a little space between buildings, so many people will have a view. Of course some will have only their neighbors windows in front.

A lot of the edges of Hong Kong are re-claimed land. In fact at one time the area the Church Building stands on was the ocean.
That night we had dinner (fabulous) then got on a ferry with Elder and Sister Corey just in time to witness a spectacular sunset.  We walked and talked and enjoyed being with them. 
Waiting for the ferry

The view of the harbor - light show in action
We said goodbye to the Corey's and a great two days!  Thanks Bill Atkin.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Hong Kong!

Hong Kong is really a fantastic place to visit! I had two days to explore and run around the many wonders of this magical city.
I have Bill Atkin from Salt Lake OGC to thank for this wonderful trip. He asked Jeffrey to take care of a case and I was grateful for the privilege to come along and play tourist while he did his work. We were treated royally with a limousine service to and from the airport. We stayed in a Marriott plush hotel and saw the city from Bird's eye view to sea level.
The church office building is on the left - orange with a gray spire on top. This shot is taken from a walk way. Walk-ways are formed about a story above the streets. I love this free flowing idea so that the pedestrians and cars do not travel on the same pavement. 
Church office building from a different angle.
I went site seeing, out to lunch and then sat in on a self-reliance lesson with a young woman from Manila who is planning how to start her own business while she is earning money as a nanny and housekeeper right now.  That night we took a hike around the Peak.
We found the spot where one of the group who dedicated this area for missionary work in 1947 carved out the date on the rock.
Elder Ferguson and Elder Adams checking out the rock date carving.

One side of the Peak had views of the ocean and greenery everywhere. There are a few homes up there, probably VERY expensive.
Lush and green with ocean views
Going around the corner we came into a beautiful sunset and clear view of the harbors and city.
Millions of people in an amazing place
The Ferguson's treated us to a hilltop dinner and we took taxi back to the hotel. We didn't want to wait an hour and a half or more for the tram down the hill. There are so many options for transportation! Most of the senior missionaries do not have cars. In fact most of the cars are not private individuals that I noticed. There are subways, all different kinds of busses - I loved the double decker bus with a birds eye view as we flew along - also light rail transit,  trams, boats, ships, ferries, limos and taxis. I didn't see any rickshaws or many motorcycles and only one bike. Maybe I was in the wrong end of the island.
Waiting in the 20 minute taxi line versus a hour and a half line for the tram - with Sister and Elder Ferguson
I love Hong Kong, this city should be on everyone's bucket list!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rainy Season

A wave of water from passing cars
After 45 minutes or an hour of raining, some of the streets cannot handle the influx of water and they start flooding. Shops had sandbags around their doors and walls they were bailing water out with buckets. I'm told if it rains for 3 hours the streets are not negotiable. If the rain comes down for a day or 36 hours there will be 6 feet of rushing water.
Water can be a blessing or a curse.
The kids loved splashing snd swimming about in the pools created.

Visiting Teaching is where the Magic is

I talked with Rebekah on the phone and was telling her about some of my experiences and  trying to explain mu feelings about the different places I work. I could tell she understood what I was attempting to say when she said, "When you visit inside of their [Filipinos] homes, that's when the magic happens."
I am one of the lucky senior missionaries that actually visits inside of the homes of ward members. Usually it is only the single missionaries who go from house to house as most of the senior missionaries work on projects or take care of situations. So there aren't many who visit inside of homes. I am deeply grateful for the fact that Sister Nida allows me to go with her when she does visiting teaching. We go with Sister Villanueva also, so I am not really needed. Thats ok, I love being an accessory!
I loved the color on a rainy day and asked to take Sister Dalinda's picture. "Sure," she said as she turned away. I started laughing and took her picture.

A rainy afternoon with Sister Nido, Dalinda, me and Sister Villenuava
I love Dalinda's colorful umbrella.
We visited a lady who wasn't home and then went on to Sister Henry's home. She became a member of the church when her son got interested in the LDS church and now he is in Canada serving a mission. 
Sister Villanueva, I, Sister Nido, and Sister Henry
Sister Henry is good friends with Sister Ledesma who is having a difficult pregnancy and has to lay down for the next two months. So it was decided to go with Sister Henry and visit Sister Ledesma. When we got there she already had visitors, so we just added to the mix!
Khittie Domingo is bending down on the left side. She is the first person who I met in this ward. She translated a whole lesson in Relief Society for me the first week we arrived. Sister June Henry is next and is good friends with Sister Ledesma who is laying down to save her baby, I am on the right, Sister Jessie Ann Villanueva is the young one elected to take the large selfie and Sister Nida Nido is tucked right behind her.
Sister Henry and Sister Ledesma - good friends
Mike Ledesma and his son Adam were also there and they quietly absorbed a whole pack of women in their tiny home. At the conclusion of our visit Sister Nido asked Mike to say the prayer. It was a prayer that knocked my socks off with it's message and power.
I owe so much to Sister Nido for shepherding me around on visits when I can't contribute much to the conversation or even get around to homes. I appreciate the fact that she lets me go for the ride. It is hard to describe the deep well of spiritual strength I feel from these sisters. 
A pot of boiling water gives off steam. If this spiritual strength were harnessed like steam engine, there would be an explosion of awesome good works. I watch it in little ways. These women are faithful, creative, compassionate, and hard-working. It has been my deep pleasure to get to know each of them.
To top off a really great afternoon, Sister Nido took us to a small restaurant so I could try a new type of pancit and fish.
The fish looks whole but actually all the bones have been removed and then they fry it up and it is very tasty or masarap.

Friday, July 21, 2017

How to Clean an apartment

There is nothing like having a pro work for you!  I had asked around about hiring a housekeeper because I’ve realized I really don’t know a lot about cleaning in Quezon City. I never seem to get all the black grit out of everything and something is always off after I finish cleaning. So I was recommended to a lady who would clean my house. Her name is Maricar Eugene. She has two children 17 and 21 and lives a little ways away. She is really awesome at her job and knows just how to clean this apartment! I’m not sure how she got the floor looking so good. There seems to be all kinds of tricks to cleaning here. I’m glad I figured out how to get my whites clean, now I’m wondering if I can learn how to really clean a house. More importantly do I want to now that I’ve found Maricar?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Taking care of missionaries

July 19, 2017
Today a missionary waiting for an appointment asked some questions and then answered mine about how long he has been a member.

He said one day when it was raining he noticed two missionaries walking down the street. One of them did not have an umbrella and was very wet. He told his mother they needed to take care of this man with a tag and a smile. He said the missionaries taught them and he was baptized in a month. He has a firm handshake and bright smile and is excited to tell others about the feelings and conviction he feels.