The little blue thing in the picture is a Tricy - a motorcycle with a wheel and cart added. The drivers haul people around the city for a price. There are a few very nice vehicles here but lots of motorcycles and the Tricy's. This picture is taken from in front of the mission office and our apartment. The Mission office is on the main thoroughfare of Naga and almost downtown (city center). The road is busy and our living room window faces the road. It is noisy all day and most of the night.
Our first evening here, we went to dinner with the Gardners and President and Sister Reeder. It was great to see them again. They seem to be doing quite well and we are grateful to be here to support them. We had a very nice Chinese dinner at a nice restaurant. Sorry we have no picture of them. We just talked so much we forgot to get a picture.
Above is a picture of the church right next to the office and this one below is the rest of the church on the right with the office building on the left. Our apartment is above the office.
Left is our new car - a Toyota Corolla Altis. It is very nice and I am grateful to be driving it and not the big van. Driving is quite interesting here. I will have to say more about this in future posts.
We have spent several days going to the stores and back stocking up on things we need for cooking, cleaning, etc. The grocery store is well stocked and has many American items. We were excited to find Hershey chocolate chips.
Below is a picture of the mall from the front. You can see it from our apartment building as it is very large.
Today is Sunday and we just returned from a District Conference which is a little over an hour away. For those of you who don't know, a District is like a Stake but has only branches, not wards and falls under the direction of the Mission President. Stakes come under the direction of the Area Presidency. This district has been a district for 22 years and can't seem to get the right numbers to jump up to the next level - that of a Stake. We rode with Elder and Sister Gardner and met the other couple, the Watson's, in the mission in a little place called Baao which has a small branch and a little church house. We will be going back to this branch next week to meet with the leaders to discuss membership records and, hopefully, do some training. We shall see.
We also met with President and Sister Reeder. It was great to be with them again. They joined us at the home of Elder and Sister Watson for lunch which consisted of cheese sandwiches, Lays potato chips, fruit cocktail and some cinnamon rolls which Kathlene made last night. Sister Watson apologized for the lunch, saying, "I have never served a lunch like this to my guests, I always have a roast and potatoes..." Needless, to say, we all feel the same as she does but were grateful for the food and the company. Some of Sisters will only eat something like a cheese sandwich anyway.
This is the house the Watson's live in and it looks quite nice but their AC doesn't work well and they have only fans for cooling. It apparently gets very hot.
It comes complete with all kinds of fruit trees including bananas and a shed for pigs. The Watson's are ranchers/farmers from Alberta Canada but don't think they are going to be doing anything with pigs. See picture to the right below.
I am going to end this one as it is getting long and there is so much to say. I need to talk more in the near future about these people. That is the reason why we are here. It is about these people and really nothing else. They are beautiful, happy people. I will talk more next time about how we are treated everywhere we go. We had a beautiful and productive day today and hope to make progress this coming week.