Thursday, January 29, 2015

Return of the Green Team!

Dear Family and Friends,

We have again succeeded in the sending off of missionaries; 16 great ones. And yesterday welcomed in 13 new ones! Of all the fun things we do, that is the most fun. We have read their bios and the few that are confident in their English write letters to us in advance, so we knew a little more about them. All their faces are familiar.  

A text and an email came through at about 5:30 a.m. saying, "They are on their way!" It included a bus number and very approximate time of arrival. A convoy raced into town! We mill around the bus station, talking to our other missionaries that are there transferring, or over-seeing the transferred (bless the zone leaders and assistants), always keeping an eye out for THE BUS. When it rolls in we scan the windows for those faces and greet them so excitedly as they come down the bus steps. I grab the Sisters in a giant hug. I want them to feel welcome and loved from the very first minute...I wonder how many are actually offended and appalled?! Oh dear! 

The scenery on the ride home is actually pretty great, so that's good. And this time several of our riders were talkative and funny! No need for the 'what's everyone's favorite dessert' questions. As we drove into our compound one Sister saw our house and asked if some of them were going to live there. Mmmm....
First ride to the mission home. 
The New!
The Trainers
Assistants, Office Elders, and a brand new Sisters friendship. 

This morning, January 29, 2015, was the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Bloodless Landing. If you are a history buff, or even mildly interested, you could google it. We drove up to San Narciso beach with the Winters and the Gorringes for the ceremony. We met a 97 year old veteran who was in one of the canoes that rowed out to let the attacking American war ships know that the Japanese were already gone, and no need to fire. This sweet man from Iba gave us a whole sack of mangos he had picked from his tree. He reminded me of my dad. I had a lump in my throat half the morning.

Salvadore Soriano Tabile. Age 97. 
War veteran and participant in the Bloodless Battle. 

Which is more interesting? The mural or the conversation and onlookers? :)
We are statuesque, are we not? 
My cute sister!

Well, this time we had warning about the Green Team cleaning men. Remember before? I hid in the bedroom and poked my head out wondering what in the world was happening! Today, I threw the bedroom door open and let them have at it! No less than five filed into our bathroom! What can they all be doing in there?! After 30 or 40 minutes Dennis and I really began to wonder! I think we should be worried about the spiders we have been watching all these months between the glass and the screen of the bathroom window. We will miss them.

Part of The Crew

I sort of assumed they would only be doing the serious sort of cleaning jobs, so imagine my surprise when our gardner, turned cleaner, headed for my nightstand with a dust cloth. Alarming! But that was nothing compared to my shame when he started swiping at the lamp shade and sheets of dust came cascading down, laying a disgusting carpet of grey all over my journal and scriptures. It suddenly became really hot in there, and I would have run out of the room, but another cleaner was on his hands and knees in front of the door! Conspiracy! I am now writing this at my little desk in the maid's quarters where I do not expect to be found...except by the ones cleaning the underside of the eaves and waving at me through the windows. :-) Next time I will just stay at the beach.

You can run but you can't hide. 
Ahhh. Finished product.  Note the pillows. 
We have something to look forward to every week. I like that. I like change. We really, really like young single adults, especially the ones wearing name tags stating Elder or Sister, Philippines Olongapo Mission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is good. 

Thank you, thank you for your notes and letters! And for considering our invitations to join us here.

With love,

President and Sister Dahle

The president. Crashed. 

And this brings my mother to mind.