Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The watched pot has boiled

Dear Family and Friends,

The old adage about the watched pot has probably been proven false many times before now, but this year it has been pressed to its highest limits! I have tried not to look at or even think about the calendar that reaches into 2017 because it is just too ridiculously far away. Admittedly, there has been a lot of peeking anyway. And now, without being sure how it happened, we are approaching our one year mark! Yes! On June 21, 2014 we entered the MTC. Amazingly, our missionary Elders who are receiving their calls now will actually still be here finishing their service when we leave to go home. Wild stuff! Wild!!

And away they go! June 1, 2015.

Another transfer has occurred. There are nine new missionaries here wading through their first days. It can be pretty tough! For foreigners, add culture shock (including change of diet and cool water bucket showers), to jet lag and a completely different language, in addition to and on top of the new lifestyle and the homesickness that all new missionaries face to one degree or another. Many just enjoy the bundle of challenges and embrace finally getting to be a full time missionary. Either way, missions raise up men and women who know themselves in new ways. Who learn unselfishness and give up namby-pamby altogether! We are so proud of them.

Spotting his trainee was easy for Elder Fa. He got Elder Wilcox, the only foreigner this transfer. 

And here they are! June 3, 2015.
One of my biggest fears was what to do here about tooth trouble! Oh the stories!!! Thanks to Sister Winters' real tooth troubles (most courageous sister award) and my suspected ones occurring at once, we have successfully navigated together the choppy waters of questionable dentistry, finding a professional, trusted one, and have come out high and dry! Her issues are nearly resolved and mine are exposed as fraudulent, with the added bonus of a thorough teeth cleaning and no need to worry for another year! I've never had the stubborn stuff removed with a pointy drill, causing a few jerks and jumps, but hey, it was fast! :-! 

She gets ice cream for lunch! Numb mouth from a root canal. Isn't she the cutest, bravest sister?!

Yesterday was notable! Grandpa Juco, age 92, was baptized! He has been holding out forever! His matching wife has been an endowed member for years. His son is the branch president. His grandchildren are serving missions in droves! He has been living in this loving household, and still somehow, holding out! We visited their home a few months back after 'Baby' Juco's blessing (Not his real name. I can't remember it.) President Dahle challenged Grandpa to be baptized by May 31. He finally, finally decided to read the Book of Mormon with real intent. You will want to see the picture! I asked Sister Juco, the daughter in law, about their health and if she thought they would make it another year so they could be sealed in the temple. Her answer? "Yes, they are strong! He still rides his bike!!!!!" 

There were also two young children, brother and sister baptized, ages 9 and 8. So lovely to have both ends of the spectrum. Notable!

Grandpa Juco, and his happy family along with the young brother and sister and their mother,
standing to the left of Brother Grandpa Juco. The terrific missionaries are Sisters Ayala and Sister Curitana. 

This is the returned missionary grandson that baptized his grandpa.

Remember Xyk? My young friend from the Cabalan Branch who asked for chiclet on our first meeting many months ago? I see him from time to time and we are regular pals. This morning, at the Area Broadcast held in the Olongapo District Center, he came up to where we were sitting with his usual big grin. He slowly opened his ball cap that he clutched with extra care to his chest, revealing the baby kitten he had smuggled into the meeting! Don't you just want to meet him?! Don't you?! 

The lizards are taking over! I caught one nibbling on the exposed end of a banana! Stealth Man got his head caught in the garbage can lid and was stuck! He has been photographed at leisure. He should get a less impressive name for that lame stunt, but we are giving him another chance. 
I still haven't seen one eat a terrible bug that they supposedly are saving us from to earn their keep. But then again, we don't see many terrible bugs. Fine.

Stealth Man! Looks a little uncomfortable. 
It was a photo shoot night!

With all our love!

President and Sister Dahle

Mission Leadership Council
Note the row of exquisite Senior Couples!