Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mission Office

This past week we were in the office every day as we continue to learn our duties. Here is the Liloan (pronounced Lee-low-an) Stake center and mission office which is right next door. This is where we will be attending church. Because of General Conference and our trip to Bogo last week, this week was the first time we actually attended meetings here.  Meetings are mostly Cebuano with some English mixed in. We generally know the topic but not all that is said about it.

The Mission Office reception area where Sister McNett will be.

 and finance office for Elder McNett.

These are the Elders currently serving in the mission office.  What an amazing group of young men. From left to right is Elder Head (finance secretary training Elder McNett), Elder Bermoy (housing and mission car coordinator),  Elder Saluta (mission office secretary and travel coordinator training Sister McNett), Elder Jimenez (training to replace Elder Artigo), Elder Artigo (referral, office supplies and mail), Elder Bayot (assistant to the President) and Elder Nelson (assistant to the President). After next transfers Elders Bermoy and  Saluta will be back out in the field and Elder Head will replace Elder Bermoy in the office.  Elder Artigo will be going home.
On Thursday we had an office full of Elders and Sisters from all over the mission. All the mission trainers and their companions gathered and were then transported to the Mission Home to meet with President and Sister Tanner and receive additional instruction. We ae meeting lots of missionaries, which is one of the benefits of being in the office.

Two major blessings came this week when we picked up and installed both a washing machine and a water filter for the kitchen faucet. With the filter in the kitchen we used less than half of the bottled water than we have in previous weeks.


On the subject of water, after dinner one night last week we went to do dishes and there was no water coming into the house. Gratefully, after about a half hour it was back on. We are not sure how long it had been off, but went out the next day and purchased two five gallon water containers as an emergency supply so that we can at least wash hands and flush the toilet. A ready water supply is something that we too often take for granted.

Shopping for food is always an adventure. We never know just what we will find. Here are a just a few items we noticed this week.
How many flavors of Spam could there possibly be?
Chili Squid? I promise to bring some home if anyone wants to try it.
And last but certainly not least – rabbit fish cakes. Janica - just how fun are those?
Right across the street from where we shop for food is a McDonalds. On our way home Saturday we stopped and brought home two Big Mac meals. We never imagined a time when McDonalds would ever taste so good, but it was.

And we end this week with a small Philippine cockroach. The picture doesn’t really do it justice or indicate size. They are tough. One of the office elders thought they had smashed it and after about a minute it started crawling again.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cebu Temple

On Wednesday we had an opportunity to attend the Cebu Temple for the first time with several of the office Elders, Sister Tanner and the Tanner’s daughter-in-law, Heather, who was here for a visit. Gratefully, Sister Tanner drove us in. We are not quite ready to drive ourselves into Cebu just yet. The Cebu Temple is beautiful and reminds us of the Ogden Temple. 

On the way back we stopped briefly at a mall to see about internet service and on the way out drove through standing water from a passing rain storm.We are hearing reports of a typhoon to the north of us that may leave as much as a meter and a half of rain in less than a week. That is a lot of rain.

We also stopped at a store called S&R which is very much like Costco. It even carries many of the Kirkland products. We were able to stock up on some food, including a small block Tillamook cheese.

And for fans of StudioC


The mission home is a beautiful home in a prime location and is used a lot.

For church today we accompanied President and Sister Tanner to the northern end of Cebu Island to visit a small branch near the town of Bogo.  The meeting itself was held in a home and was an interesting mix of Cebuano and English. We sang the hymns in English, prayers were Cebuano, talks were a combination of both and the Sunday School lesson was delivered mostly in Cebuano while writing in English on the chalk board. 

Scenery on the way to Bogo. There is a lot of sugar cane and some corn grown on that end of the island.

In the native tongue we were traveling in the bukid – in the jungle or mountains.

Janica, you will be pleased to know that we probably saw a hundred goats today. Many houses have goats and/or chickens. There are quite a few cattle and we even saw three horses, which are rare here.

We also passed a cemetery. The crypts are all above ground.  Dad told how he slept a night in a crypt during the war when his unit occupied a graveyard. Sister Tanner told us that families rent space in the cemetery and if they don’t pay the bones will be removed and placed into a bucket instead.

If you enlarge this picture and look closely you can see the occupant of an open crypt near the center of this picture.

A typical open air market that we passed on our way. I didn’t even notice ‘Charles Angles’ until after the picture was taken. 

This is the main Bogo meeting house. After a major typhoon here about two years ago this building housed several dozen people for several weeks until homes could be repaired or re-built. Often LDS meeting houses are the safest and most secure buildings in the area when events like typhoons occur .

Almost back to our house I was able to get a shot of the local swimming hole.

After a full week in the office we feel like we are starting to learn our duties, but there is so much more to learn about running a mission office, we still feel a bit overwhelmed. We absolutely love the young missionaries here and want to do all we can to assist them in their work. The members are very friendly and accepting and we hope we can be of help to them as well. And of course, we also hope we can help take some of the burden from President and Sister Tanner who have an amazing load to carry.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Home Tour - The Sequel

As promised, we will now continue our home tour downstairs. These first pictures show the living room and screened in open air dining area. 

Next the kitchen. We are still getting used to being careful with water. We use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, etc. We will wash dishes in the tap water if we boil it first and add a little bleach.  There is no hot tap water -it's a like camping out only indoors. The full size fridge is really nice.

This is the bedroom. It has our one air conditioning unit.  The sun rises every day about 5:30 AM and sets about 5:30 PM. This will only vary by about an hour over the course of a year.


 Here is the bathroom and shower. The shower has an electric on-demand water heater. I discovered this morning that if the circuit breaker trips it will go from warm to cool really quick. The water from the tap is cool but not cold and is what Elder McNett shaves with every day. 

And last but not least is something that you will not see every day in a missionary apartment. The landlady who lived here before was married to an American and we assume this was something he had brought in. If only we could trade it out for a piano...

 ... and even though limited in what we could bring with us, we did manage to fit in a touch of home.
We are still adjusting but all in all it's not a bad place to live. We hope to resolve issues like a laundry house with no washing machine, no oven for baking and perhaps a second AC unit when the hot season arrives (we are approaching 'winter' now).