Saturday, September 6, 2014

Little Green Men...

Dear All,

Two notable notes, in chronological order:

1. I have finally spent an afternoon out with the sister missionaries! Sister Winters (remember this is my sister!) and I offered our service to the four sisters who's area we live in, and they kindly formed two threesomes. It was an experience we had both been hoping for! It was raining cats and dogs, literally, so my companions voted for me to drive us around instead of using the jeepneys and trikes. Sister Winters got to do both and was completely delighted! I was slightly disappointed, but dry is also good! Three homes, four lessons, and a variety of investigators and less actives returning! Again the language barrier was in the way, but when invited to give my testimony or share a scripture (in English) they understood me just fine. And I did have an idea of what to share. Miracle. The Sisters were calm and sweet and brought a loving spirit with them to each brother and sister that we saw. One was a first lesson that they had ITL'd (invited to learn) just a few days before. She was touched and receptive, especially soft hearted because her husband had recently passed away. Her son was home and her best friend dropped by just then. Nice!

2. Yesterday morning there was a knock on our bedroom door. President was out in the house so I just called out to 'come in', thinking it would be Sister Winters. There was instead another knock and when I went to the door there was a nice Filipino man in a green t-shirt asking to come in and clean our CR. CR is the acronym for comfort room, which is a delicate way to say bathroom. The fact that there was not only one green-shirted man in my house, but SEVERAL was extremely surprising! They were all in different poses here on our upstairs landing engaged in some serious deep cleaning! This is our gym area, too. Undeterred! Under, around, behind, inside, outside every moveable and non-moveable thing. It was like that scrubbing bubbles commercial where each little bubble whirls and swirls all over leaving sparkling cleanliness in its path! I declined the kind offer for our bedroom and cr to be cleaned in this manner out of a sense of privacy, and because Sister Mercy had just spent an hour and a half the day before giving it the business. I retreated back into the bedroom only to see two green t-shirted men cleaning the outside of our window and the wide ledge that is a nice landing zone for little birds. This is a two story house! Later there was a long handled broom waving around cleaning off the underside of the eves?! Red alert! When I ventured out of the bedroom a little later they had shined every corner of every room of this huge place and left the floors slick and the whole place smelling just wonderful. And then just disappeared! Is anyone jealous?

We have learned since that the FM group sends this crew out every six months to give our compound a going over! The timing is probably not a coincidence since Elder and Sister Bowen of our area presidency will be here on Tuesday to do a mission tour. They will stay in our spare room that we have named The General Authority Room. Handy, right? We are excited to have them come, and admittedly a little nervous too. Two and a half days to keep my ridiculous inside. I'll let President Dahle be the one.

This is a phrase I have picked up from Sister Mercy. Whenever I try to clean something or wash a dish when she is here she smiles big, takes whatever it is away from me and says, "I'm the one!"

Upon rereading this I realize that it looks like I spend a great deal of time in the bedroom, which is easily explained. It's also the home office where I sit and read medical helper books and try to solve the variety of rash and fever mysteries while President Dahle spends time doing some of his official president stuff, making endless phone calls and producing official documents, and reading the weekly letters...which he thoroughly enjoys!

Another note on the English speaking, for those considering a mission here or who is even just curious: one SundayPresident Dahle was giving a talk and he came to a part that he really wanted the congregation to understand so he asked one of the branch presidency counselors to come and translate for him. The translator struggled around many of the phrases, until he finally stopped and said,"President, they understand you just fine!" Everyone laughed and was relieved for the sake of the brother. So, it's all good with the English speaking! No worries!

Tomorrow we are on the road again!

Sending this early because our P-day will be taken up with wild preparations. My kingdom for Costco and Kohlers! :)

With love to each one,
President and Sister Dahle

What a great week! One for the record books!

Dear All!

What a great week! One for the record books.

Don't worry, you won't get a novel. Just the inside flap.

Elder and Sister Winters are here! This is a very special Senior Missionary Couple from Glendale, Arizona serving their third mission! And Sister Winters is my sister! It's funny to explain it to our Filipino friends because everyone is Sister- not just the missionaries- so we have to add the phrase 'same mother and father'. They are shocked! Try to imagine how it feels to be halfway around the world and suddenly, there is your little big sister and her sweetheart there for the sole purpose of missionary service, however they can, in whatever way they can...and to be a sister. (I hope she realizes this will be part of her work). It definitely calls for high kicks! They are living just up the road for the month of September and will be coming here serving as right and left hand to get some organizational projects completed. Heavenly Father is so very kind!

When we first walked through this house and saw the china cabinet, complete with all the fancy dishes and some stemware, Downton Abby came to mind. But alas, no Downstairs! Friday night the newly formed presidency of the Olongapo mission and their wives came for dinner, and it all came to life at the expert hands of Brother Barangan! What fun! What did we eat? I'm not totally sure, but it was so delicious. We foreigners sat across from the Filipinos and were able to watch and learn how to properly eat each beautiful thing!

Then came Saturday! We had all our Senior Missionaries for a meeting! We have so every much to learn, and their collective wisdom and experience is rich. Again, more is going on than we knew, and they are doing so much good! There was definitely more room at our large table...

And finally, in the evening, we attended a baptism that was long awaited! Along with four others, Sister Mercy's husband, brother Jerry was baptized! Happiest day ever! We have invited ourselves to their temple sealing in approximately one year! They have four children that will join them there. Wahoo!

On Sunday we met Xyk. He is eight and brings himself to church since he lives nearly next door. His baptism is in two weeks. At the end of the meeting block he came to the bench in front of us and got on his knees looking back right into my eyes. He wanted to meet. Then, he saw that I had gum and asked about some 'chiclet'. I shared. We were instant and fast friends. He took my hand and we went in search of my asawa/kasama. It will be fun to watch him for the next three years! Missionary secret: always carry chiclet.

I can't end without a lizard update. As bad as they are at hide and seek, they excel at playing dead. There was one in the kitchen sink that I felt sure was a goner...we were staring at him from inches away! He did not flinch. I don't touch lizards under any circumstances, so we tactfully left the room to give him leave to escape if he was indeed still alive. And he was gone. Wow! That is mature composure!

With love,
President and Sister Dahle

Presidency Dinner