Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Back to school

Dear Family and Friends,

School starts up again tomorrow morning!  The beautiful children in bright uniforms will reappear early on the streets and things will be quieter through the day in the neighborhoods. At lunch time, they emerge for a quick trip home for lunch, then it's back again until late afternoon. There is a small road between our house and the church and mission office that leads back to several homes that have sprung up, most of which are hidden in the trees and up the mountain behind us. Their many children have converged out here throughout the summer for games that look like red light green light, tag, and rolling bicycle tubes with sticks as they run beside it. I sort of wanted to try that one. 

Off to school with fresh uniforms and matching Avengers backpacks. 

Tomorrow will also bring a dozen missionaries here for the stopover on their way to their homes and families! Oh happiness! Wednesday there will be nine new ones arriving. Oh happiness! The cycle continues! 

A glimpse into the high points of the last ten days:

Last last (not a typo) Thursday and Friday we completed the mission president interviews in the north, followed by speaking at a youth conference on Saturday morning, then District Conference meetings throughout Saturday and finishing on Sunday. We stayed in Iba the first night at a beach hotel and actually got up early enough Friday morning for a walk out there! Then the following two nights enjoyed Elder and Sister Gardner's spare bedroom and fantastic hospitality, since the drive back and forth to the mission home is prohibitive! What a blessing that was! Spending steady time with our missionaries, the leadership of the district and the members was incredibly enjoyable and fruitful.

Early morning on the beach. 6:30 am early:

Our hotel. 
CTI. The Lucky Boy has been out fishing and is now available for carrying snorkelers out to the reef. 
President getting in a run. 
Early risers!
Catching the little crabs as the wave goes out. 
Selling flower starts I think. 
Dad and kids. 
Interesting plant life!

Just before the wave breaks. 

The fishermen are done for the day. 

Monday: basketball for President and the office elders and tennis for Sister Winters and me. Then preparation!

They let me play!
The team. Farewell game for Elder Albano. He is holding the ball and is a great player 
and missionary. He has been an assistant to the president. We will miss him!

Tuesday: zone/district meetings in Lubao. We love love love going to these! (Not a typo)

Wednesday morning the text went out for all Elders' companionships to guess a number between 1 and 100. The number was 87. The winners, Elders Lobitana and Gernale chose 88 and won 24 hours with the mission president as a third companion! On Thursday morning he drove the nearly two hours to Candelaria in time for planning, then out to work! He used the time to give extra training and learned a whole lot from them and the experience as well. He came home Friday afternoon a little worn and a lot excited. There are pictures of some of their teaching appointments on the blog. Yes, we have wondered if there are some missionaries who are more worried than hopeful about 'winning'. We laugh about that one.

President's companions for 24 hours Elders Gernale and Lobitania

And on his way back to his real companion!
They had a great time!
Our Friday night date was to the triangle outdoor plaza in Olongapo where the sister missionaries had arranged with the city to show a free movie for the public! The feature? Joseph Smith and the Restoration! The members brought friends and work associates. Little flyers had been passed along the street. The set of beautiful tarpaulin signs made by Elder Winters for chapel open houses teaching about the many aspects of the church, lined the front of the stage. The missionaries milled through the crowd taking down names and phone numbers while greeting each person. There was an introduction to the film by an American elder speaking Tagolog, and closing remarks by Olongapo Branch 3 president, Dennis Mongroban. Treats followed! What a concept! And what amazing Sisters for arranging for it all! 

Movie night: Joseph Smith and the Restoration. 

Saturday, while President Dahle was at a four hour meeting with our area seventy, Elder Vicencio, and all the district presidents in our mission, I went teaching with the amazing Sisters Laguerta and Patalita, ending the day by attending a baptism! 

My companions for the afternoon. 

She is ten. Her mother and older sister are members. After she was baptized she 
stood at the front and bore her testimony with confidence. 

Today, after visiting three different branches along with their district president, President Soquila, we came home, ate tuna on toast with fresh mangos and Hint of Lime chips, a spoonful of Mango Graham ice cream each, and took a nap. :-) 

There you have it! 

With all our love,

President and Sister Dahle

Dinalupihan Zone 

Formerly Elder Penano and Sister Minoza, newly engaged and knocked on the door
to share the good news! How fun is that!!

The teacher!

Sometimes the sunset is just too spectacular!