Friday, January 30, 2015

January 31, 2015

Today is Saturday and the week has just flown by even though we were not that busy.  However, we have seen a lot of the area and have many things to talk about.
With President and Sister Reeder in front of their home in Naga
Last Sunday, we went to a District Meeting in a city named Iriga.  This District consists of 5 branches and we were able to meet many of the leaders and missionaries while there.  There was a change of leader in the district. President and Sister Reeder spoke along with several local leaders.  President and Sister Reeder spoke in English (neither speak Tagalog), the local leaders spoke in half English and half Tagalog.  It seemed like they would say something in English and then maybe repeat it in Tagalog or they just said some things in English and some things in Tagalog.  The point is that we were able to understand  somewhat the message that was being conveyed by the local leaders.  We were very impressed by the local leaders and their humility and spirituality.  Sister Reeder gave a talk on Tithing.  I suspect that the principle of Tithing is an issue for these saints and this district has been a district for 22 years. The desire is to make it a stake and the principle of tithing is one of the items measured in being considered for a Stake.  The principle of Tithing is profound and most members don't understand it. They think that it is somehow about money but they are so wrong.  It is really about sacrifice.  The Lord asks us to give 10% of our earnings for which he says that he will "open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing" upon us.   The Lord doesn't need our money - but he does want us to learn obedience through sacrifice and giving up some of our money is the hardest thing for many people to do.  The principle of tithing is a "test" to see if we truly love the Lord and will do what he asks us to do.  The promise is profound.  Why would we not want to follow the Lords plan and receive his blessings?

We have been having trouble getting our Drivers Licenses and so decided to try getting them through the city of Iriga.  The president of the District suggested that the President of the Baao branch might be able to help us.  He agreed and we drove back to Baao on Tuesday and met him and went on to Iriga but were still unable to get our licenses.  It was the same issue as in Naga.  Our Visa is good for 90 days and then must be extended.  They won't give us a license until the Visa is extended and they know we are going to be here longer than 90 days.  For some reason they will do it in Manila so we may have to fly back to Manila to get the license.  We can drive with our Utah license and passport for 90 days so we are fine now.  I am not worried as I think we can get this all resolved in some way.

After the drivers license office on Tuesday, President Botor asked if we would like to see some of the area so we drove to two different cities with branches to visit.  We took a lot of pictures and are posting several as they are quite interesting.

We drove to a place called Buhi which has a branch but I don't know how many are people in it. It literally is at the end of the road according to a map.  It borders a big lake which you will see.  When we got near the lake President Botor said, "oh, I forgot.  Today is market day" and there were people everywhere and it was really hard to get through and find a place to park.

Just more of the outdoor market.  These are coconuts.

This is the lake at the end of the road.  It is really beautiful.  Pres. Botor told us that there is a village which you can't see from this picture.  It is further to the right.   The mountain you see is an active volcano and a few years ago it did spout some lava and affected the water supply to the little village on the other side of the lake. Many people were getting sick and dying because of bad water.  The villagers asked government and other sources for help but the only help that came was from the LDS Church which did come in and build a new water system.

This is the current building where the members in Buhi meet for church.

This is a new chapel under construction in Buhi with President Botor.  (this is not his city or building) He was really great with us. We are going to his branch in Baao for church tomorrow.  The Baao branch has only been in existence for 6 months and he said one of his biggest concerns is training in everything.  We will try to help with everything we can although there is a couple who live in Baao and can be a great resource to him.  We will probably help more with the church information system training.

This is the meeting place in another little city named Nabua.

The Gardners told us that they transport chickens like this all the time.  They are not dead but when turned upside down, they go semi unconscious and then revive when turned back upright.  I remember my Dad hanging chickens upside down but they didn't ever come back to life.  After he hung them up and somehow locked their wings together, he chopped off their heads.

I took this last night from our bedroom window.   These are young men from the local wards and it happens several nights a week.  Last night there were about 30 people here not counting children.  I was very impressed with so many coming and participating and also with the quality of ball players.  It is located behind the church house.

Sister Hoopes just can't help herself.  She found some items behind the Mission Office which were placed outside to be junked.  She went through to find things that she could use in our apartment.  This is shades of Germany all over again.

FYI:  You might wonder about garbage.  We put our garbage near the road at night and in the morning it is gone.  You might think the city has a very efficient disposal service and they do but it has nothing to do with government.  Some people in the city take it and scour it for recyclable material that they can sell.  I don't know where the rest goes but our garbage is gone.

Two sister missionaries going home on the next transfer.  The one on the left is Sister Beus from Hooper Utah.  Some of you might recognize the name.  She is the niece of Robert Beus in Fairview.

Other Star Valley ties:  Sister Gardner is a Cranny from Etna Wyoming and Jerry Campbell and his wife served in this same mission and left within the last year.

Small world.


  1. Great recap of your week! Although this is good record keeping for yourselves (and for Church information) it's a really nice thing for the rest of us to see and read. Thank you!

  2. I love the pictures and your commentary. And I love the lessons you teach.