Sunday, December 27, 2015

26 December 2015

This is our last post for the year of 2015.
In Daet for Christmas Conference on December 23, 2015.

That means that we have been in the Philippines for nearly 1 year.  The time has just flown by and it has been a great experience serving here.  This holiday season has been special and we have enjoyed the association with missionaries and members as you will see in the remainder of this post.  We have been greatly blessed here and feel that our children and families at home have been blessed.  We have enjoyed the opportunity to visit with many of them on Skype the past couple of days.

Our past week has been busy!  It was filled with Christmas parties nearly every day.

Pres and Sister Flores with their son and grandson delivering
the Christmas gift below.

Everything this week started with a dinner with some friends on Monday evening.  We had invited President Flores and his wife and son to dinner with us.  He is the second councilor in the Mission Presidency and also works for Facilities Management which is officed in the church next to us.

This is a traditional dish in thhe Philippines.  It is not usually
made of bread, however.  It is usually the real thing.

One of the Districts doing a dance and song.

We started on Tuesday with a Mission Christmas Conference in Naga for 4 of the 6 zones.  We had well over 100 missionaries here from the southern areas of the mission.  The Conference was to start at 10 but at 9:00 am, the power went out all over the city. This happens frequently and we never know how wide spread the outage is.  If the power goes out at 8 or 9 in the morning, we usually assume that it is a planned outage.  We didn't know the power was out in the Canaman Chapel until we got there about 9:40, and the generator in the Canaman chapel does not work so there were no fans and no air movement at all.  We were anticipating a very long a hot day, however, the power came on about 11 which really was a miracle for us.  We had power for air conditioning, fans, projector, etc.  There were also some missionaries late due to travel issues as the traffic was really bad that morning.

 The day included a welcome by the Mission President; a talent show by all the districts and zones; a movie (Johnny Lingo) and a special Christmas message from Sister Reeder. We started with the welcome by President Reeder and then went straight to the talent show.  That was really a lot of fun. Then after lunch we moved into the chapel to watch the movie and have the Christmas message from Sister Reeder.  It was a very nice day.

We were blessed along with the Watson's to go to Daet the next day for the 2nd Mission Christmas Conference.  We left at 7 in the morning and it takes just over 2 hours to get there.  By attending this Conference, we were able to see and be with every missionary in the mission over the course of 2 days.  That was a special treat for us.

Sandy and Tess Lopez.  We were at their place for dinner on
Christmas Eve

We were invited to the home of some members for Christmas Eve dinner.  These people are wonderful friends and we were at their home last summer for Brother Sandy Lopez's birthday party.  The three couples including President and Sister Reeder were invited to come early and eat and then we left.  The Lopez family was still expecting 30 or more to come after us and stay most of the evening.

This picture shows the spread of food they had for us along with President
and Sister Reeder.
Friday, Christmas Day, we had Elders come in the morning to use our Ipads to Skype home and we were invited to dinner by our wonderful next door neighbors at 2:00.  Elder and Sister Watson had prepared a wonderful turkey and ham dinner with italian salad, rolls, stuffing and more I can't even remember.  President and Sister Reeder were there again as well.  I was so stuffed, I could hardly walk.

But there is more....We also had an adult devotional on Christmas day night at the church.  Sister Hoopes had prepared a dessert and while we didn't think they were eating, it was exactly that.  A big meal for all of the adults to come and eat.  I didn't stay very long.  The food looked and smelled good but I was still too stuffed to eat anything.

We still have one more Christmas party which is the Naga 3rd Ward party scheduled for Dec. 30.  It will be for all adults and children and will also include food.  We'll make sure to eat less that day and be ready for some special Filipino food that night.

That is all for this week.  We have had terrible internet and been really busy.  I am at least 2 days late with this and no thought for the week of Christmas 2015.  I guess it will just have to do.

All our best for the rest of this year.

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