Saturday, February 27, 2016

27 February 2016 Ibayugen

A week of playing and partying!        Well, maybe not quite...

From the boat sailing towards Ibayugen.
 We left Monday morning early with the Watsons and President and Sister Reeder on our way to Ibayugen.  This is a remote area on the other side of the lake which is near Buhi. We arrived a little late due to traffic issues but met 6 missionaries there and our boat to cross the lake.  It took about 45 minutes to cross the lake.  After arriving on the other shore, we had to walk a short distance into the village but it was mostly on a concrete path.  There we met with Branch President Oliveras from Buhi and some of the members in the group in Ibayugen.  We had picked up Branch President Botor from Baao on the way.  We learned that he likes to go when he can.  He is a security guard and he always stood in the back watching over everything as if he were there protecting us.  And MAYBE he was although we never once felt threatened or in any danger.  

Native tribe during their dance.
Sister Missionaries along with the chief in red in the middle
and another woman who I don't know.
There is a native tribe that lives there of about 2000 people.  A few of these native people did a cultural dance for us which showed their gratitude for their lives and the earth.  We struggled to understand the interpreter's explanation of their beliefs but a lot of this was about gratitude for the light and life of the earth.

 A very few of these natives are members.  The chief of the tribe is a woman who is 80 plus years old and not a member.  But they love the Mormons.  We had heard before that a few years ago, a landslide had covered their water supply and they asked government and other religions to help them get water back to their village.  The only ones willing to help were the Mormons through the Church Humanitarian services.  The church went in and developed a new water system and piped it to the village.  To this day, the church is highly respected in Ibayugen and also in Buhi.  

There are missionaries who go there almost daily to teach and they are having great success.  We keep hearing that if the chief were to get baptized, all of the tribe would be baptized.  Consider bringing an entire stake in at one time. Some day, that is going to happen.  

The chief (woman in red in front) and the others from the dance.

This is the home where they hold the church meetings.
We had a great time there with these people.  The chief spoke a little english but no one else does.  So, with help from the missionaries and Branch Presidents, we were able to get along great.

President Botor (Baao branch and our body guard) and me looking
over the lake before returning back to Buhi.

Pres and Sis Reeder along with Elder Kostner from New Mexico.
Pres Botor helping Sis Hoopes from the boat.

The rest of the week:
Piano lessons in Pasacao on Tuesday.
Dinner with the Reeders and Watsons on Wednesday
Couples party in Pamplona.  We went with the Watsons on Thursday evening.
Friday was Naga Zone Conference.

Still seems busy when I start writing about all the things we were doing this past week.  Next week starts with a District activity on Monday morning which we will participate in.  Then it is prepare all week for the following week.  I, Elder Hoopes, have been asked to speak at the Brentwood College of Asia International School Commencement Exercises as the keynote speaker.  I will also be giving the opening prayer.  I have received an invitation which I will post next week.  And then on Tuesday is the all day Workshop for the missionaries going home.

Plastic wrap from the Bautista's and one of the bags of sugar.
Lastly, this week we received an unexpected gift from some great friends in Canada.  One of our Elders here in this mission is from Naga, Elder Bautista.  His parents sent him a package which included some things for Sister Hoopes.  If you can't tell from the picture, it is a large roll of film which dispenses so easily and 3 bags of Canadian sugar.  Sister Hoopes said she might start baking again now that she has this wrap.  And then, just a couple of days ago, I heard her say, "Oh, I am so excited.  I get to use my roll of wrap" as she wrapped up half an onion.  Thanks to you dear missionary parents for your blessings to your missionaries and to us.

That is all for this week.  Take care.

This is a closeup of a small hut on the lake.  They were all over
and people live here on the lake.  See the boat which is their
access back and forth to land.

1 comment:

  1. So many unique experiences! Love to read about it all.