Saturday, October 15, 2016

Baptism of three little girls and then a Dancing Activities

We had three baptisms on Friday.  Three little girls.  One was a child of record member baptism and two were convert baptisms.  They all live together in the same family compound.  Out here in the Philippines they often live all surrounded by their relatives making up a compound.

 On Saturday we had District activities where all five Branch met together.  In the morning was Youth Got Talent.  Each Branch put on a talent display.  Ours featured dancing and singing.  This is our Branch.

 This is an action shot during the dance.

   We took second place out of five.  Pretty good.  Many district activities for the youth involve the branch preparing a dance to perform.

 In between the youth activity and the adult activity Sister Swift had some of her institute students over for pizza to celebrate the end of the year.  The first pizza turned out great but the second one was supper thick, like bread with a layer of pizza on top.

 Here are two Joshua and Gilbert eating pizza.

 Then in the evening was an adult dance for 30 and above.  These are some members of our Branch dancing.  Each Branch had to do a performance.

 Here we are as part of the dance performance.   Sister Swift won a prize for the best dressed in our Branch. 

Here we are with four of our friends, the Vitangcols and the Wilsons. The title of the event was "You Can Dance."  Whereas the title of the youth activity was "Youth Got Talent."  What are they trying to tell us by the titles, that we can still dance even though we're old.

Sister Swift with some of the other Sisters: Gina, Gemma, Priscilla, and Jenny.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

General Conference 2016

In the Philippines we have General Conference a week later than back home, because of the time difference.( 11:00 am Sunday in Utah is 1:00 am Monday in the Philippines)   It is recorded on the weekend it's held in Salt Lake City, then we watch it on the weekend after.

This is the Sunday morning session in San Ildefonso, our Branch.   We showed English in the chapel on a TV and Tagalog on our laptop in the Relief Society room.  It was interesting, we got about three times as many people going to the English version compared to the Tagalog room.  That's because it's dubbed in the Tagalog version so the lips don't match, and they talk really fast because it takes a lot more Tagalog words to say the same thing that was said in English, and also because they speak in Deep Tagalog (which is more formal and educated, and is hard for some to understand).

We heard a lot of great talks.  My favorite one was by Russell M. Nelson on joy.  He said that circumstances have very little to do with the joy we feel in our lives; but the focus of our lives has everything to do with it.  Read his talk to learn all about it.  I also thought a lot of the speakers talked about how challenging a time we live in, with the world in commotion because of natural disasters and economic and political instability and terrorism and such, and we should not be surprised by this because it has been foretold.

 We got to do our waffle tradition this conference since a waffle stand opened up in the mall near our house.  We went over on Saturday to get some of their waffles.

 They were pretty good (masarap), but thinner and not nearly as delicious as the ones we are used to back home.  They make the waffle and I chose a strawberry topping.

 Then we hurried home and I added mango fruit (this is the Philippines), ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup.  It was great, but it made me a little homesick and wishing we could watch conference and eat waffles with some of our children and grandchildren.

This is Elder Arcayos.  He had been assigned in San Ildefonso with us for seven months and is done with his mission now.. This picture was taken the Monday before he went home.  He was a great missionary and we really liked him.  A first I thought he was a big goof-ball but then I learned he was very hard working and just likes to joke around a lot.  He and his various companions had 17 baptisms over the seven months he was here.

 At church on Monday we had this private charity come by doing free medical screenings.  The Branch let them use our building and we helped with the event.  They look at people with eye or mouth or limb problems.  They advertised and people came for the free screenings.  We made sure anyone from our Branch that could benefit was also there.  The young woman in the bottom corner of the poster above is the mayor of San Ildefonso.

These are some of the volunteers from the mayor's office at the registration tables, and Brother Bert.  He's a member of the Branch that is almost totally blind.  They set him up with an appointment to have eye surgery.  Maybe he'll get his sight back.

Two local doctors donated their time to work with the patients  The man in the blue shirt is one of the charity foundation members that was sponsoring the event.

 This man was hoping to get an artificial leg and foot.

 Something wrong with this little boy's eye.  These people have no way to afford medical services to get these problems fixed if not for things like this.

 Here is  front gate of our building with a sign abouy the Mabuhay Deseret Foundation.  It was started by a former Mormon Mission President.   The foundation is private but partners with the church in that the church lets them use our buildings.

Group shot afterwards.  The two individuals in the blue shirts are the charity representatives.  One of the doctors is wearing the plaid shirt and and the other is in the green shirt.  The volunteers from the mayors office  are wearing white shirts.  And those wearing the yellow vest are the volunteers from our Branch.  I think we helped a lot of people.